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Old 05-29-2012, 11:32 PM   #57
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I owned a 21 5th wheel for 23 years and just bought a new 25 foot AS International. It tows better that the 5th wheel! Hookup is no more difficult. I now have use of my truck bed. I did not notice having to make wider turns. After all the years towing the 5th wheel I was really concerned about towing a trailer but the AS has been great with no swaying issues. I have a reese dual cam hitch. I would not go back to a 5th wheel.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:21 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Isn't the Featherlite for horses, cars, utility rather than travel trailer?

As for initial build quality, many RVs can be brought up. Our two new Airstreams were near perfect. But isn't repairability over the long term, and having something of value when it's done is unique to Airstream?

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ROFLMFAO! This former jockey has been around a lot of horse trailers. The original Featherlites were nothing more than three slotted sides, a roof and ramp. Not exactly a travel trailer. However, some have been fancied up since then...... Can you believe this is a horse trailer? - YouTube
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
After owning an Airstream and a Featherlite gooseneck, I'm here to tell you that the AS comes in second when it comes to build quality. And did I mention that the Featherlite is aluminum?
I also own a Featherlite car trailer, and I have to agree with you that in my experience it is FAR superior in every respect to Airstream.

If you compare only these 2 brands, Airstream would comne in 2nd, but if you were to compare more than 2 I doubt that Airstream would would come in second.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:43 AM   #60
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Well it's useful to know the op can full-time in a horse trailer. Solves the oversized daily driver problem.

doug k
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:21 AM   #61
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Did someone say I'm a horse? Who told on me? Who let the cat out of the bag? (Or should I say, the horse out of the barn?)

Neigh! Neigh!

Where's my bag of oats?
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:29 AM   #62
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Didn't mean to blow your cover Harry, we're just horsin' around.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:37 AM   #63
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I'm not sure durability is quite the right word, but distinguishing it from reliability is a good start. Airstreams will last decades (durable), many other RV's will not without lots of work*. But Airstreams are not all that well built—reliability—because of cost cutting, poor QC, workmanship.

The original design makes them last despite the current practices of management. Other companies make better RV's and I would think they will last quite a while (durable and reliable).

Some RV's are very poorly made and they may be the ones made of 2 x 2's, 1 x 1.5's that fall apart after a while. Seems some Thor brands may be some of the really cheap ones. Some RV's in an accident fall apart and are totaled, but an Airstream in an accident is often totaled too because the aluminum panels cost so much.

The confusion between which RV's are bad, mediocre and premium confuses the use of the these terms. We don't have a lot of information about RV reliability or durability because no one can afford to test them. There are too many brands.

For long term use Airstream would be a brand to consider. There are some brands built for cold weather, but they aren't cool and may not tow as well. There's no agreement between posters about whether 5th wheels are easy or hard to tow. I'm glad to not have to make Harry's decision. If you end up in the northeast part of the year, the winters can be brutal, humid, wet, nasty, windy, snowy and rainy and cloudy most of the time. The summers feature more humidity and other crummy weather. No RV is going to make the weather better. Lots of the northeast is beautiful though I certainly don't miss the climate.

Gene

*We have friends who have a Class C and it is in great shape. It is about 20 years old. I think it is called Flair, but I really never paid much attention. Decor is 1950's. Obviously they don't all fall apart, but it may not last 50 years, and who cares? How many people keep an RV for 50 years?
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #64
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Well it's useful to know the op can full-time in a horse trailer. Solves the oversized daily driver problem.

doug k
Any of you having trouble getting your significant other (oversized/undersized.... whatever) into the Airstream?

I would suggest, a whip, long rope, and the Parelli method....
Elvera & Sioux" Trailerloading" - YouTube

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:17 PM   #65
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Some of the 5'ers have a higher floor height!
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #66
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I like the sign on the roof.

Last year we saw, built on a very long flatbed trailer and pulled by a Peterbilt, a 2 story home built trailer. It was kind of rough and the guy was getting ready to paint the outside with murals. He was kind of defensive when I asked him about it (saw it at a gas station) and I guess most people made fun of it. I thought it was cool he had built it, though I never would do anything like that.

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Old 05-30-2012, 04:10 PM   #67
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I like the swing seat underneath. Wonder if I built ramps if I could get the AS high enough at camp to do that.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:58 PM   #68
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Rednax: You made some interesting points but Iím not familiar with three of the acronyms you used: VPP, GN, SWB


VPP: Virtual Pivot Projection; which includes all three of the top tier hitches -- PULLRITE, PRO-PRIDE and HENSLEY. The latter two really are the ones that do it "virtually" through linkages. That is, the "point" at which the hitch is connected to the TV replicates the axle-mount of a GN (gooseneck; see B&W Turnover [plus] Companion) or a 5'er hitch location. The PR does it in actuality.

No one argues that the placement of the "pivot point" on or barely ahead of the drive axle is the superior location. The problem comes with the extra weight needed that detracts from TT GVWR, or, that the aforementioned problems with a compromised design (5'er) do not make up for the hitch type.

Distinguish between the hitch types, first. A VPP hitch replicates the GN/5'er type hitch that there is no advantage to the latter. All advantages thus accrue to the VPP hitched, aerodynamic, lightweight, low COG (center-of-gravity), independently-suspended trailer.

And note comments by those who say they've pulled them all:

1] They've pulled A/S type trailers with cars (and best hitch rigging for that era)?

Almost never . . it's a comparison between pickup trucks (themselves the worst handlng/braking vehicles available), thus what we know is that a pickemup needs the best hitch.

An Airstream is capable of higher slalom speeds than is a pickup truck while solo.


GN: gooseneck hitch

SWB: (alternately, SOB) "square white box" (or, some other brand); shorthand.

Now when it comes to one of these trailers, brand-new or up to 20-years old each may have advantages as CrawfordGene notes. Much has changed since 1973. Remember the now-ancient "progression" one made with GM cars? Chevy at bottom, then Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick and Cadillac? A/S is the "beginner" aluminum trailer way back once-upon-a-time. The others (now out of production) were built to a higher order . . but A/S was the handling & road performance champ.

Expect that one of these trailers is good for the first owner for twenty-plus years. 250k miles or more. Then, time for a re-fresh.

The SOB's are good for up to ten years, then time for the deer lease or the landfill. Maybe 60-70k miles before the stick & staple wood framing comes apart (assuming delamination from rubber roof replacement has been forestalled). They're cheap for a reason: Easy to buy on a second mortgage and the owners expect to use them for retirement up to that length of time, or will trade them every so often.

On other RV boards it is not uncommon to see owners who've had a half-dozen to a dozen or more units in a quarter century. Works for them.

My grandparents bought their Streamline in retirement and covered the US, Mexico and Canada. Kept it around fifteen years. My folks bought their Silver Streak while all us kids were still at home a good fifteen years prior to retirement. Had it 27-years. Replaced an A/C unit and the awning covering in that time. It's still on the road with another owner at 37-years.

What will be "best" for the OP ought to take all this into account. There is depth to all the questions of economy, short & long term. That my folks only had two TV's in that 27-years is part & parcel.

I, too, will likely move to where my son someday settles. The TT makes that an easy transition for me. My next one will have the floorplan I desire, first, and the accoutrements I find appealing/sensible, second (added to an older trailer that is "made new"). Living on the Gulf Coast has also made an RV a good choice as natural disaster means 18-months between a hurricane and the minimum time to moving back into a damaged/destroyed house.

The list goes on. Etc.

This trailer type is a family asset, not a fast-depreciating, limited-life toy (if one approaches it in that manner).

And, don't be confused by those who equate quibbles with problems (as to build quality). A/S may not be what is desired, but there are at least three fixes for every known "problem" (which are nothing compared to roof leaks, wall delamination, etc, on SOB's).

Take your time, enjoy the range of choice, and scout out the better SWB trailers as well (Arctic Fox/Nash, New Horizons, etc), but don't forget to consider which of those others can be pulled by cars, minivans or SUV's. That is an important dividing point. Aerodynamic resistance is much more important than weight.

The recent "conventional A/S" rigs put together by phbarnhart and JFScheck are worth your time to read on, as are the rigs of Road Ruler and zlee as others with "unconventional" (read, AndrewT [Andy Thomson]) CAN AM RV prepped rigs.

More depth available 'round here. If you are of the "spreadsheet type" in figuring expense versus value received (and drop preconceptions) then time spent in reading what A/S owners do, have done, and plan to do, will be of help no matter the eventual choice.

In that line, may I recommend a real favorite around here (as it is so much more than a restoration [beautifully done]); it expresses the depth of what many of us would struggle to write, and to have written so well:

First She Had to Take a Ride on a Boat

Also,

The Daily Kos, The Grieving Room, "Baby It's So Hard".

RV'ng is what you make of it.

.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:08 PM   #69
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Well said Rednax!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #70
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[B]


The Daily Kos, The Grieving Room, "Baby It's So Hard".

RV'ng is what you make of it.

.
Very moving story. Thanks for sharing the link.

Gene
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