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Old 09-18-2015, 12:25 PM   #29
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I just purchased a 23D International which I tow with a Chevy Express 3500. I also have an autistic son. This set up may work for your family as well since it allows for separate personal space. The plan is to use a wireless monitor. Have not picked up the trailer yet so take it for what it's worth.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:41 PM   #30
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Airstreams are leakers, not good the farther north you go during colder temperatures, have complex systems which tie you to campgrounds, and are stupidly expensive. That said, ignoring the $ aspect, no trailers are good for extreme full timing. However if you purchase an older 26' single axle, seal it, do floors and gut it you'll do fine. Do a complete redesign and think "Yurt with tires" and think how did people live in log cabins. I did so in a 1958 22' Caravanner with $11K total invested. I even have a 3500 watt dual fuel electric start generator. Just as comfortable but requires more effort. Think point source propane, boiling water. foot air pump dedicated uses. wood for heat, milk jugs for water, home made very efficient ice chest, unique waste disposal, multipurpose kerosene, many items fold up or down from walls, and many items fold open only when needed. You'll be delighted how large 19' to 24' is using open concept. You'll shed much useless complex systems (walls and cabinets too) weight i.e my Caravanner is 2180# however 1,000# is in my tow supply/resupply vehicle. The maintenance and winterization curve is virtually zero.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:53 PM   #31
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If U get a 5th er with 3 ax les, U will likely need a medium duty truck to tow it.

My neighbors have a 3 axle 5er & no truck at all. They hire the dealer to put it on the lakeside site each spring & take it back to dealer's storage ea ch fall !

I believe U could make 2 AS's work for U. More space & son could have his place.

The less U move around, the better that could work.

I often take 2 RV's on a trip, works gud. 😀
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:58 PM   #32
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Airstreams are leakers, not good the farther north you go during colder temperatures, have complex systems which tie you to campgrounds, and are stupidly expensive.
Huh tie you to campgrounds?
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:16 PM   #33
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:49 PM   #34
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Paula, THANK-YOU for that link. It is proving to be very educaitonal, and inspirational.

The Panamerica IS capturing my interest. It would allow us to have the Airstream experience with both our son and my Harley, no problem.

I wonder though if I can really find one, and at a price we can handle. Airstream apparently made so few of them. I really, really like it though.

Jim G
Jim... as a motorcyclist, I can certainly see the appeal of the Panamerica. Thinking about one for your needs, if you could even find one, do you believe that the living space would comfortably suit 3 adults living in for extended periods of time? Or are you thinking that the "garage" would be converted to separate quarters for your son? In which case, where would your bike go? Realistically, though, it seems the Panamerica is a bit of a longshot to locate and acquire.

As for the build quality of other brands of trailers and 5th wheels, of course they are less than one might desire and in 10 years of full time living, would be quite tired. But what options do you have, really?

Airstreams aren't so well suited to your particular needs and while their build quality is a bit better than many SOBs, you will pay double for the cramped quarters three adults would occupy.

If you buy a late model, little used SOB trailer or 5th wheel, you can chew it up and spit it out over the course of 7 or 8 years, then buy another one... for similar money as a new Airstream. And the SOB offers so much better accomodations and storage space for three full-time adults.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll figure it all out on your own. There is little anyone else can really do to determine your best course of action.
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:38 AM   #35
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Jim... as a motorcyclist, I can certainly see the appeal of the Panamerica. Thinking about one for your needs, if you could even find one, do you believe that the living space would comfortably suit 3 adults living in for extended periods of time? Or are you thinking that the "garage" would be converted to separate quarters for your son? In which case, where would your bike go? Realistically, though, it seems the Panamerica is a bit of a longshot to locate and acquire.

As for the build quality of other brands of trailers and 5th wheels, of course they are less than one might desire and in 10 years of full time living, would be quite tired. But what options do you have, really?

. . .
I think the Panamerica could be large enough, as our son needs a quiet spot more than square footage, and the "rear garage" could accommodate both him and the Harley (in our current cargo-trailer-based 6x12 garage/toyhauler/RV, the Harley is transported close to the passenger side wall, not centered, and does not adversely impact either tire loading or towing).

I agree that finding a Panamerica to buy is a long shot though.

A key attraction of the Panamerica over a SOB toyhauler is that it would weigh only about 2/3 of what the SOB would weigh. That is no exaggeration. The LIGHTEST SOB I have found so far that meets our needs weighs approximately 12,500 lb., and most are around 14,000 lb., and that is before our Harley and other gear. That necessitates an F250 or F350 diesel, which is unattractive to us from both an initial cost and ongoing maintenance cost perspective.

The research and analysis continues . . .

Jim G
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:15 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by JimGnitecki View Post
I think the Panamerica could be large enough, as our son needs a quiet spot more than square footage, and the "rear garage" could accommodate both him and the Harley (in our current cargo-trailer-based 6x12 garage/toyhauler/RV, the Harley is transported close to the passenger side wall, not centered, and does not adversely impact either tire loading or towing).

I agree that finding a Panamerica to buy is a long shot though.

A key attraction of the Panamerica over a SOB toyhauler is that it would weigh only about 2/3 of what the SOB would weigh. That is no exaggeration. The LIGHTEST SOB I have found so far that meets our needs weighs approximately 12,500 lb., and most are around 14,000 lb., and that is before our Harley and other gear. That necessitates an F250 or F350 diesel, which is unattractive to us from both an initial cost and ongoing maintenance cost perspective.

The research and analysis continues . . .

Jim G
I think the more experienced guys should chime in, but I would think that for a Panamerica (Gross weight 11,500#) you would also need an F250 or F350. Not sure an F150 can pull/stop that trailer.
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:47 AM   #37
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It would be exceedingly rare to find a PanAm.
Want to buy mine? Kidding, never sell!
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:26 AM   #38
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Look at this setup on page 1 of this thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...dy-114645.html


Does it have to be the current bike? Or would something like this meet your accessory transportation needs, and still allow for a more standard AS trailer to meet your lodging needs?
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:47 AM   #39
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We have good friends with a very similar situation only it is her 38 year old handicapped sister. They are now into a 45' pusher with slides and bunk. You are the only judge with respect to how much room your son needs. I would think the more space the better for year round 24 x 7 living. If he just needs his own space I would think the bunk would be a good choice. Our 15 year old spends a good deal of time in there if we are not out and about. Best of wishes for your long term decision. It would handle your trailered toys as well or lift for the bike towing a small car.

Absolutely a 3/4 ton diesel for the Panamerica (Gross weight 11,500#).
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:18 AM   #40
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I think the more experienced guys should chime in, but I would think that for a Panamerica (Gross weight 11,500#) you would also need an F250 or F350. Not sure an F150 can pull/stop that trailer.

I'll say AMEN to that one.
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:44 PM   #41
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Look at this setup on page 1 of this thread.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...dy-114645.html


Does it have to be the current bike? Or would something like this meet your accessory transportation needs, and still allow for a more standard AS trailer to meet your lodging needs?
You mean hauling the bike in the bed of the truck? The issue there is getting a 750 lb bike UP there, practically and safely! And, yes, the current bike is the 40th one I've owned, and it's the keeper!

In my current cargotrailer-based combination garage / toyhauler / RV, the rear ramp makes getting the bike in or out easy, especially since the floor of the trailer is just 16" above the pavement.

Jim G
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:09 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
I think the more experienced guys should chime in, but I would think that for a Panamerica (Gross weight 11,500#) you would also need an F250 or F350. Not sure an F150 can pull/stop that trailer.

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I'll say AMEN to that one.
An F150 with the larger of the 2 Ecoboost gas engines is actually rated for 11,700 lb towing, and that's per the new much more realistic SAE towing standard. The Ecoboost's tow rating is FAR higher than that of the 5.0 liter engine, which is no slouch itself.

Per the same SAE standard, an F250 with the 6.2 liter gas engine, with normal gearing is good for 12,XXX and with 4.10 gearing is good for over 14,000.

Mind you, not having pulled that weight with an actual Ecoboost-equipped truck, I am just in effect "quoting Ford". The real world performance might be less than acceptable.

If I go with a SOB toyhauler, I have to get a particularly light one, as the normal 38 to 40 foot ones weigh 12,500 minimum dry with no cargo, and most are actually 14,000 and up dry with no cargo. Our bike plus other cargo totals to about 2500 lb, so now the SOB toyhauler hits 15,000 lb. minimum and more likely 16,500 lb. I don't want that, because it forces me into a diesel, and I both can't justify the cost AND don't like the "scale" of that "solution".

One idea I have been considering is buying an aluminum "race trailer with living quarters". These are designed for car and motorcycle racers, and are far lighter than the conventional SOB toyhaulers. A 40 foot gooseneck (32' lower level plus 8' above the gooseneck), with 16' garage and 24' living quarters, weighs 9000 to 10,500, so if I got one at the 9000 lb weight, and added our 2500 lb of bike plus other gear, I'm at 11,500 - same as the Panamerica.

This solution would not have the water leakage problems associated with the Airstream design, but still has an all aluminum frame, body, and roof. The roof on these is ONE piece aluminum. The walls, being absolutely vertical, don't flow water past the windows to the extent that the Airstreams do. And, unlike the Airstreams, you CAN get living quarters with one slide! You can even get an aluminum plank floor instead of plywood. The overall height is far lower than SOBs, and close to that of an Airstream. Some of the front ends, like the Featherlite brand for example, are even somewhat "aero". You can order them custom with as many windows as you want, and the quality of living quarters and garage finish that satisfies you.

The cost of the race trailers with living quarters, ordered and built to your option choices, runs from $48,000 to $60,000, which is far less costly than an Airstream.

The biggest concern I have about the race trailer approach is liquidity. I have NEVER seen one at a conventional RV dealership - they seem to be sold only through specialized dealers who handle commercial trailers. Since a conventional SOB is itself hard enough to sell when you are done using it, I fear that selling a race trailer could be an even longer and harder process.

Jim G
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