Originally Posted by tadpoletim
I am looking at buying my first airstream and have found one with a slide - 2005 Classic 30'. I am wondering why there are so few sliders out there and is there a problem with them? Any feed-back based on experience or knowledge would be appreciated. Cheers.
That's a good model and slide. I have a 2004 30' Classic slide. There are so few for a couple of reasons. First is the fact that the slide made the trailer a lot more expensive. Second is while Airstream built the slides well, they weighed a lot. I had to change out the factory installed hitch on my 3/4 ton GMC van to upgrade it to a Class V hitch. The factory hitch platform supplied by GMC had a 1,000 lb limit when used with a weight distributing hitch. I'm using a hitch receiver built by Hidden Hitch which is rated for 1,400 lbs hitch weight. I using an Equal-i-zer hitch which is also rated for 1,400 lbs. I think the Airstream specs for my year of trailer was about 1,260 lbs.
Third is the gross weight capacity of the trailer. I'm not sure what the 2004 specs are but mine is 9,100 lbs. This leaves me with 660 lbs. of weight capacity in the trailer if the fresh water tank is full (60 gallons). My 3/4 ton van is rated to pull 9,900 lbs. so I'm okay there. I do have a 6 liter gas engine with a 4.10 rear axle to handle that load.
I normally only take one trip a year where I hall a full tank of water and my trailer usually is carrying at least 500 lbs. of stuff (food, clothing, supplies etc), not counting the water. So on that one trip a year I'm pretty much at 9,100 lbs. Typically we tow without much water in the tank so 8,600 lbs is my normal towing weight.
As I noted the slide is built well with an awning that opens over it when you extend the slide. That same awing can be pulled out further to extend shade of the double windows within the slide unit. The Classic also has electric stabilizer jacks that ease the effort to extend the jacks. The jacks must always be down before extending the slide and they stay down until you retract the slide.
The slide itself was built as a fiberglass shell and then was clad in aluminum. There is more bracing in the floor to support the trailer when the slide is extended. It also has a wood block/magnetic system that locks the slide in place when you retract it.
All in all there just wasn't enough interest in the slides and Airstream eventually discontinued them. We love ours and have no regrets.
I've attached a few pictures. The interior picture is when the trailer was new in the dealer's lot. The slide out is retracted.
Also be aware that this is the heaviest trailer that Airstream had built on a tandem axle. I've replaced two sets of ST tires and now have 16" LT tires for additional reliability.