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Old 01-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #43
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
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Posts: 1,042
The most sensible advice so far: slow down. There was a recent thread where the poster reported picking up 2 or 3 MPG by slowing down from 70 to 55. Others chimed in with similar experiences. So it seems, going over 55 does cost a lot of gas.

Do you have a cap on your truck? This may smooth out the air flow and pick up a little mileage.

Keep your tires inflated, on truck and trailer. Use synthetic oil. Be sure your engine is in tune. There are a few things you can do that do not cost a lot (compared to a new tow vehicle).

On the question of shedding weight, this does not usually make much difference where air resistance is a big factor. But in your case, towing over the mountains, it may make a difference.

All you can do is try a few things and see what happens.

Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:50 PM   #44
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1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Originally Posted by tmarquis View Post
My wife and I bought a 23' 2009 Airstream International. My wife a writer/film maker spends a good amount of of time on assignment in the National Parks and the Airsteam has been a great mobile office. We have had MANY fun adventures with it. But we find it more and more difficult to afford to take it anywhere much farther than an hour or so outside of our home town (Boulder,CO). The price of gas and the measly 12 or so mpg my 2006 F150 gets is seriously holding us back. It may be cheaper to drive a car and get a hotel room. (I know not the same experience) So some questions for everyone:

Am I alone?

Would a new F150 ecoboost get me any farther (new car payment aside)

Does anyone have any insight for tow vehicles in the future that might be more efficient.

I hear the vintage Airsteams were a lot lighter. What is it about the new ones that make them so damn heavy?

Do you think airstream has considered making lighter trailers? (I believe the sport model maybe the lightest?)

If I removed everything from the trailer that I don't need to save weight would it make much of a difference?

Driving over the Colorado mountain passes is killing my mpg. Maybe I should have gotten a diesel?

I've been thinking of selling the airstream and getting something more practical like So-Cal Teardrops - Home or a light weight egg shell trailer.


Sounds like you may have gotten a little spoiled by your wife's income/expense reimbursement paying for your gas and camping expenses in the past. And now you are on your own. Traveling is not cheap. Staying home is free. That is what my retired neighbors do. However I share your concern about the cost of fuel.

I can tell you that buying a new Ford EB is not the answer. As others have said this would be penny wise and pound foolish. I have run some numbers. My 25K 2008 Tundra is a terrific TV and I get 13 mpg. I might get 2mpg more with a new Ford EB that would cost more than 40K. The 2 mpg increase over 10K of towing would save me a whopping $350.

If you like your present TV and your trailer, I don't think there is a lot you can do to change your fuel cost other than slowing down and driving gently (as others have posted).

The new Jeep GC/Durnago small diesel with the 8 speed tranny should bring a significant improvement to fuel economy and I am sure would tow your 23' just fine. The downside will be the high cost to buy new and the teething problems with a new motor.

I don't care much for pop ups, but the hard sided A-liner type campers are very interesting. I have seen them on Ebay (not A-liner), but another brand for 10-11K fully equipped. If you went this route, you would probably want to buy a new TV just for towing your new small camper. More $ for equipment. Less now for gas and no Airstream!

I personally could probably do fine with a tear drop, but I am not sure about my wife. I have looked at some on line and there are a lot of junk/custom made ones for sale. The best new one (for the money) IMHO is the Silver Shadow or Little Guy at Little Guy Teardrop Trailers - Home for about 7K. If you want Airstream quality then there is the CampInn or Oregon Trail'R-FronTear for about 15K. However, I could never sell my Airstream. The tear drop would have to be in addition to the Airstream.

I go to lots of music festivals. If I go less than 250 miles, I take my Airstream. I enjoy staying in it, but I feel that all the space is wasted on one person. I just feel guilty. When I go much farther than 250 miles I just pack my tent and bicycle in my BMW 330ci and enjoy traveling at 30 mpg. This is not much of a problem for me as I have done a lot of BMW motorcycle touring and I don't mind sleeping in a tent.

Nothing wrong with looking at all the options. I think that it is probably a no brainer though to just keep the Airstream. Sounds like your TV is reliable and you like your Airstream. Remember that new solutions have new problems.

Good luck, Dan

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:51 PM   #45
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1996 28' Excella
Portland , Oregon
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I make biodiesel out of used cooking oil from my buddy's bar. I make a 37 gallon batch about every 2 weeks. It takes me about 2hrs of time including picking up the oil. I built the reactor and everything from scratch for under $500 and fuel now costs me about 25 cents per gallon in consumable products. You can buy a kit for $2500-$6000 if you don't want to build it.

It's fun, and takes away the fuel cost dilemma, but in the end, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of owning a truck and an Airstream.

Buying a new vehicle to get even 5mpg better (which is optimistic) will never pencil out.

1996 Airstream Excella 28'
2007 GMC Duramax 4x4 CCSB
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:21 AM   #46
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2009 23' International
Boulder , Colorado
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Thank you everyone!

So the wife and I have thought it over and we have decided to sell the Airstream. Things were different in 2009 when we purchased the Airstream. We are just not in the same place financially. We don't make nearly as much money as we used too(but are much happier in new jobs and town) We have a bouncing baby girl and the wife is starting her own business. We will probably go back to tent camping for awhile until things feel a little more stable. We may buy another trailer in a few years but it will have to be light weight design. Gas prices will continue to rise and unless your living on the road for months at a time it just doesn't seem practical. I've been researching light weight trailers just to see whats out there and there is some pretty cool stuff. I really had to dig to get past the Ugly Boxes out there but here are a few if your interested....

Cricket Trailer

Alto 1713

SO next question, Anyone have advice on selling an Airstream
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:26 AM   #47
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Wainscott , The Hamptons, Long Island
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Take as many of the best pictures you can, inside and out and put it on Airstream Classifieds. We sold our 20 footer last year and A/C brought us far more qualified, knowledgeable potential buyers than any other method. Our second best source was a classified ad in our local paper but those who came looking from that source were more curious than serious. Our eventual buyer came from roughly 2000 miles away.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:30 AM   #48
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Olathe , Kansas
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The free classifieds on Air is a great place to advertise and a 23" should sell quickly. Include lots of pictures or a link to flicker or other photo sharing websites so people can see the condition etc. good luck on your new adventure.
Get involved and sign up for a Rally!
WBCCI 4973
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #49
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Akron , Ohio
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You read my mind!

Originally Posted by Airstream Dad View Post
...but when I saw the specs on this beauty, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel:

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee: New Diesel Delivers 420 Lb-Ft, 30 MPG | News

I started planning for my next TV. The Grand Cherokee V6 Diesel matches my Durango V8 gasoline tow capacity at 7,400 lbs, at more that DOUBLE the gas mileage of a whopping 30mpg on the highway (currently I get maybe 11-12mpg towing, I'm sure the Jeep will do better than 24 mpg). That plus the sweet eight speed transmission likely makes this my next car. I'll look for one used after 2016.


Airstream Dad
That is so totally my plan....great minds think alike?
Nancy and Paul..........TAC OH 34
Five Airedales and One Chocolate Lab
(no they don't all get to go in the AS at once!)
1991 Excella 29 foot w/ProPride 3P hitch
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:23 AM   #50
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Ottawa , ON
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Originally Posted by tmarquis View Post
I really had to dig to get past the Ugly Boxes out there but here are a few if your interested....

Cricket Trailer

Alto 1713

SO next question, Anyone have advice on selling an Airstream
You're looking down your nose at these two trailers, but are going to go tent camping instead? Well, I haven't seen the Cricket anywhere, but I have seent he Alto, and given a choice between sleeping on the ground and sleeping in the Alto..?
No contest!
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:34 AM   #51
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Central , Connecticut
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A Safari Condo Alto is around $35k new, so that isn't really economizing much. I'd probably get an Aliner/Chalet A-frame trailer. Can pick up a nice one of those used for under $10,000.

Best of luck selling the 23' - I'm sure it will go pretty quickly.

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:04 AM   #52
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"Weight", per se, is not the problem of a TT. Aerodynamic considerations are far more important. And the range of possible TVs is wide. Using the default choice of the uninformed -- a pickup -- is the wrong place to start when the TT spec is out of the ordinary.

The TT you have may be too big, too expensive, etc. But there are plenty of used A/S TT's that may fit the bill . . and a better choice of TV for long-term economy (in all of its aspects) is out there.

How you intend to use the TT is the more important consideration (annual nights aboard, climate & terrain expected, etc).


1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #53
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I had a 17' Casita fiberglass trailer (3500 lbs) before we got our AS and we only got 13-14 mpg most trips with a 2005 4Runner V8 towing it and this was driving 60mph. If you get 12 on the Airstream then 1 or 2 mpg shouldn't make a difference and its a larger trailer. If you are still paying on the Airstream then I can understand your decision to sell.

We looked at A Liners before changing our minds to small trailers. Didn't like the headroom, fridge is small and the AC couldn't keep even that small space cool in 90F heat. Build quality isn't that good and they are way overpriced for what they are.

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Old 06-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #54
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I'm interested in your airstream! can you message me with the floorplan? Suzi

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