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Old 04-14-2015, 07:54 AM   #57
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,344
Did someone suggest this and I missed it?

Airstream 5th wheel! (Good luck finding one, though. They're apparently pretty rare.)

They also made the Airstream Integrity in 1996-1997 which appear to be a fiberglass constructed 5th wheel, so they don't scream Airstream like the aluminum trailers do. But, hey, neither did my B190.

1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
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Old 04-18-2015, 05:45 PM   #58
Lone Star Piper
2010 25' FB International
2017 30' Classic
Terrell , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
We recently sold our home and decided to live in our RV while building a new house. We sold our Airstream 25 FB and bought a 5th wheel for the space. Here's what we've learned...5th wheel is VERY livable. We have a king sized bed, washer/dryer, and tons of space. However, we cannot wait to get our house finished, sell it and get back to an Airstream. There is absolutely no comparison as far as quality. We just loved everything about the Airstream hands down. Depending on how long you're going to full-time, I would look at an Airstream 30 ft. and see if it will work for you. I wish we had done that.

We probably would have always wondered about a 5th wheel had we not purchased this one. Now we know. Good luck to you!

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Old 04-18-2015, 07:15 PM   #59
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Interesting thread, since we're in a similar position. Two years ago we bought a Foretravel MH for our full-time coach, after spending nearly 3 years researching. At the time we bought the Foretravel that was the right choice for us. Things have changed, though, and we're starting to rethink things. Each type of coach has advantages and disadvantages.

Our Foretravel was about $350,000 in 1993, although it obviously isn't worth anywhere near that now. As we consider what we might want next, we keep coming back to the quality and weight questions. An Airstream is a high quality coach, similar to our Foretravel. There are 5'ers that are in the same league (DRV, Excel, New Horizons, etc.) but they are a LOT heavier than an Airstream. All of those would require a minimum of an F350-class truck, and really an F450 or F550 would be a better choice. Even the largest Airstream can be safely towed by an F250-class truck.

As for the "stuff" we all have, that's pretty much a personal decision. We downsized a LOT when we moved into our coach a little over a year ago, and we're still downsizing now. We have a much better idea of what we need and what we don't need now, and in a few months more of the stuff we have with us will be gone. No matter what we do, though, some of our stuff will have to ride in the other vehicle.

We're currently in a small, private RV park as we volunteer at the church's building project. We currently have two motor homes, two 5'ers, and a TT. The two motor homes are both 40' coaches, while the towables are much smaller, more in the 25-28' range. We are the only people who live full-time in our coach.

Yes, a 5'er with three slides (opposing living area slides and one bedroom slide) is great, but then there are also the disadvantages of slides. When looking at a 5'er, look at it with the slides pulled in. Can you still get to the refrigerator and bathroom? If not, you will have to put out at least one slide when you stop for lunch.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 05-03-2015, 07:41 AM   #60
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2004 31' Classic
McHenry , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Airstream or 5th?

My wife and I have owned 2 40' tag axle motorhomes and traveled West, North, and South in each. We got tired of maintaining 2 drive trains (MH & toad) and the higher maintenance and fuel cost, so 3 years ago we got a 38' 5th wheel - simplified things a great deal and gave us maybe 40% more room. We towed the fiver to Alaska, Florida, and the Canadian Maritime provinces and loved it. My wife worked about 20 to 25 hours remotely on most trips. This past Winter we parked the 5th wheel in Naples, FL for 3 months. The space it offered and the great weather made a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

The 5th wheel and long bed Chev 3500 diesel TV made it almost impossible to get into a lot of small state parks, and 16,000 lb weight gave us only 10.4 MPG for all of those trips (approx 30,000 miles).

Sooo, this April we left the 5th wheel in Naples on a year long rental contract and bought a 2004 31' Classic AS on the way home for the summer. We'll use the Airstream for Spring/Summer/Fall trips and store it indoors for the Winter when we head South back to the 5th wheel.

If you are camping somewhere that provides lots of opportunity and weather for being out of doors, even just under the awning, the AS will be just fine. The 5th wheel provides more space and helps avoid cabin fever when things are ugly outside, but after 2 days, even that feels cramped, at least for us.

Work in the AS will be fine for one anyway, except where phone activity needs to be separated. Our fiver has a desk and dining table which allows separation of work/computer activities.

Our fifth wheel is 5 years old and looks brand new - it is a Landmark by Heartland. We've had a few problems, but I expect it will easily last another 5 years due to the quality of the build, even if we return to traveling in it. The Airstream is already 11 years old, but also looks to be brand new. I think both RV types can be reliable for a long time if you research them carefully before buying and maintain them well.

We could downsize the TV for use with the AS, but until we are sure we won't be towing the fiver again, we'll keep the beast (wonderful TV with a great ride, but absolutely Godzilla in parking lots!).

Choices, choices! But domestic happiness is vitally important, so you have to research, read forum stories/comments/advice, and make the best decision for your situation.

Enjoy : )
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:13 PM   #61
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2014 16' Sport
Fair Oaks , California
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
That is a Classic dilemma. We had a much larger white box trailer. It was such a headache with repairs that I finally got what I wanted to begin with- the Airstream-
Women will always want more room. Men will always want longevity, dependability, reliability along with style, nostalgia, retro, art deco-
My wife still laments the selling of the larger trailer. I'm so glad that thing's gone to a new owner.
Due to this dilemma, we may never get to full-time in the Airstream, although I could very easily full-time in the Airstream at the drop of a hat. My silver cocoon is my happy place.
Our 25' AS is mine & my husband's happy place too
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:17 PM   #62
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2014 16' Sport
Fair Oaks , California
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by Oregon Ms View Post
Not really. I had such a good time downsizing that I fantasize about downsizing more. When I unloaded my last rig I was appalled at the amount of "stuff" I had accumulated over the past decade (and lugged around the country).

Smaller is less to clean, easier to drive, and fits in more places.

Consider your destinations...not all of the awesome places that you may want to travel to will accommodate a huge rig.
I so agree with this...maybe "most" women want more space, but not this one! I am currently decluttering my brick & mortar home and can't wait until we can sell and downsize since we're empty nesters now. Having less stuff has given us more freedom & joy, hence our AS being our happy place!
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:14 PM   #63
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1987 32' Excella
Nepean , Ontario
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,158
As you gather, this is an evolving decision. We've been through various RV's, usually getting them bigger each time. Finally, we had a 34-ft AS LY diesel pusher. Then I experienced the issues of complex vehicle repairs, plus having to tow a car behind. This led me to become a believer in the KISS principle. So I sold the moho (losing almost $60K) and bought what I currently have, a 32-ft narrow body AS (1987 Excella). I service at JC, and any mods I need are done by them. The only bone of contention was that my wife wanted to have a dinette, and I opted for more wardrobe. The TV is a older Dodge 2500 diesel and the long bed has plenty of storage for what had been in the storage bins of the moho. We spend the 5 winter months in it and travel (tow) about 15,000 miles per year. At 55 mph I clocked 16.5 mpg.

We're quite comfortable and pleased with this AS. It has all the amenities we need. If I were younger and we were both working and full-timing, I would opt for one with a dinette, as the folding table in the front would be a second work-station. This would mean either a 32-foot or 34-foot AS. Having seen what happens when slides stick on other RV's, I have always avoided them. As I said: KISS!
AIR 12148
1987 Excella 32-foot
1999 Dodge Ram 2500HD Diesel
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:28 PM   #64
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Any updates wycolo?

I saw this advertised in some trailer mag I was reading. Seems like a potential compromise - a non-huge 5th wheeler that might look cool a few years from now, though not the AS you desire...
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:34 PM   #65
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2005 28' Safari
formerly of Tustin, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, and Laguna Beach , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Spend about $400 on a REI BaseCamp4 tent, about $250 on two nice cots, pull out your old Coleman stove, and go camping for a week... preferably in rainy or extremely hot weather.

Then when you get back, go see your local Airstream dealer. (You can go back to REI, tell them the tent and cots didn't work for you, get your money back, and buy your wife some nice winter clothes and a nice new cooking set.)

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