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Old 07-08-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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Airstream slideout issues?

We are researching Airstreams as an upgrade from a 27" HiLo trailer & are interested in slideouts. We have heard there are issues with them. Anyone give us positive or negative on this?
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
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Not much to report here. We owned a 34' Classic with slide out and never had any issues - enjoyed it!
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #3
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Slide Out

Ruth,

We have owned our 30' SO since new and never had a problem with it. We average 8 months/year traveling in the Airstream and the slide gets quite a workout. Most important piece of advice is to always have the Airstream level in both directions and have the stabilizers down before extending or retracting the slide. While I like the extra space, especially the visual perception of more space, I would probably not purchase another SO model. It is just not worth the additional weight it adds to the trailer.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:56 PM   #4
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Are you aware that Airstream no longer makes any trailers with slideouts? If you want one the only way to go is used.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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I have no idea how many S/Os were sold by Airstream, but as I read your question, it struck me that there are surprisingly few posts about problems with slides.

And yet, you might expect problems, since every time there are additional parts, there are additional chances for something to go wrong.

So now, watch there be 50 posts about how terrible they are.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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No issues.
Love the extra room. Also, having full usability when the slide is stowed is a huge plus... most slides on SOB's block main hall, bathroom, or galley, when stowed.

Before buying new in October 2007 (2008 model), we compared against a 34'. We felt it had the living space of the 34', without the extra set of running gear, extra length and weight. Besides the sq ft advantage, it has a more desirable tongue:base weight ratio, imparting a superior towing balance.

At an Airstream factory tour, we had a representative tell us no more than 20 slide units were produced per year.



The only drawback is, why A/S fitted these things with Goodyear Marathon 'D' tires. "ST" type tires are substandard at best, and GYM's are a timebomb on a trailer this weight... an upgrade is an absolute necessity.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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No Buyer's Remorse Here

I can't speak for anybody else, particularly those who have had issues, but I can pass along our experience if it helps you make an assessment. Bottom line - it is worth it to us and the slide-out has been completely trouble free.

The extra space the SO provides on inclement days and as floor space for our pets at night is invaluable even though I know I drag along a lot more weight than the traditional trailer. Our SO provides kennel service to two 160 lb Great Danes on just about every trip.

I believe my 'trouble-free' experience is related a regular maintenance regiment and strict adherence to slide-out rules. The trailer must always be level with all four stabilizers deployed before SO use, period. Maintenance is twice annual gear lubrication and application of 303 Aerospace Protectant on the gasket seals.

I prefer using 303 as it does not contain any petroleum products which will ultimately degrade rubber/vinyl material over time, it blocks 100% of destructive UV rays, and does not leave a glossy or oily finish on the surface that attracts dust, dirt, or grim. I also wax the sides and top of my slide-out twice yearly. Hint: you can also use the 303 product on a host of parts from window gaskets to wiper blades to tires.

Our 28' unit is nine years old now and has been to 26 of the continental states: probably approaching 30,000 miles in all. It will see an additional 7 states when we venture into Canada and then swing home through New England this fall. It has been occupied between 60-90 days annually and in almost every environment type from desert to extremely wet, cold to hot, seaside to mountain top, and subjected to some pretty harsh storms in between.

I can report no leaks, but you do have to wipe the water off the top of the slide before retraction if it has rained recently. I just use a towel while standing on the portable step we use in front of the door occasionally.

BTW, it tows beautifully!
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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Airstream SO info

Thanx for all of the great info, we're newbies, but excited about joining the Airstream community. Particularly liked the extra room for pups, have downsized from Danes to Doxies, but still need room for puppy playtime. I'll be checking out used trailers & will definitely check this site. Thanx again
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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There is a gorgeous one on our Classifieds right now.

it's a 2008 Classic, and seems to be in fantastic shape.

2008 30' Classic Limited SLIDE-- IMMACULATE - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Airstreams Trailers For Sale
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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We've had no issues with our slide out also. I think all the advice about stabilizers and being level were given earlier so I have nothing to add. Interesting to hear that they only produced about 20 a year? I know there were some years that had Safari slide outs, along with the Classics.

I'm an old Hi-Lo owner too. Had my '82 21' unit for 14 years. That was a good trailer. Noteworthy was the fact that the Hi-Lo's had the same axles that Airstream used. I was in the Jackson Center Teraport for service and next to us was a Hi-Lo who was in for an axle alignment at the Airstream Service Center. Prior to the formation of Thor and it's acquisition of Airstream, the founders of Thor owned Hi-Lo. I think they spun off Hi-Lo to someone else and today the company no longer exists.

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Old 07-13-2012, 12:25 PM   #11
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We came close to buying a HiLo, but the dealer network in Canada was invisible. This was in 2008, IIRC.

I loved the idea, since it would allow for more flexibility in TVs, but suspected that it would need service that only a HiLo mechanic could give.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage
We came close to buying a HiLo, but the dealer network in Canada was invisible. This was in 2008, IIRC.

I loved the idea, since it would allow for more flexibility in TVs, but suspected that it would need service that only a HiLo mechanic could give.
Other than the lift mechanism the trailer was typical RV. The lifting system was a hydraulic ram tied to 4 aircraft quality cables. It was my biggest worry but the lift system was engineered to lift 10 times the weight of upper section. My only failures experienced was a drained battery upon arriving at a campsite. I unhitched the car and jumped the battery from the car to the trailer battery. The battery recharged at the campsite. It also had a safety release that would slowly allow the top to drop down in case of a electrical failure. My only service to the lift system was a cable adjustment that I had done at year 10 when visiting the factory in Butler, Ohio.

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Old 07-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info, Jack. A pity HiLo didn't last; they had a valid niche.
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Thanks for the info, Jack. A pity HiLo didn't last; they had a valid niche.
You paid a price though. That 22' trailer was $8,200 back in 1982. Because it was kept in a garage for its life, it looked perfect when I sold it for $5,500 14 years later to a private party.

Jack
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