Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-14-2006, 12:19 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 307
I am at crossroads

After 3 years of AS experience, I need more space....

the two choices are:

1) Stay with AS. The choice would be late 90's wide body 34', possibly with slideout.

Pros: It looks really cool and likely to hold resale value better.
Cons: Not sure how much space I would gain. Is the closet any bigger than in 32'?
When they did start putting in wood floor at the factory (how easy would it be to find such a beast) and secondly, when were clearcoat problems resolved?

2) Get a Fifth Wheel, 36'. Pros: Lots of space, big increase from where I am now. 2 slides. Cons: They look ugly. Will the construction hold up to long term usage? I keep hearing stories about cracked frames. Plus, does rubber roof need maintenance?

Justice - When you get what you deserve. Mercy - When you don't get what you deserve
Grace - When you get what you don't deserve
ipso_facto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,892
Choice #3 Get A 345 Classic Motor Home. This is a wide body with extra head room. Plus the measurement includes a usable area in the driver's co-pilot's area. You do not need to worry about the slide outs or the rubber roofs. Right now they are holding their value and even look to be appreciating with AS announcement that they will not be built again.
We faced the same dilemma and chose the motor home and never regretted the decision. Now we do not need a big tow vehicle to lug home groceries during the week.

Chaplain Kent
1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 12:32 PM   #3
Posts: n/a
Go with the 34' Airstream Classic. Much cooler than any fifth wheel on the road. I think you'll find carpet in most of the 90's Airstreams but wood floors are easy to put down. Others will correct me if I'm wrong but the slide outs add about 18 sq. ft. of floorspace while giving up the overhead storage and putting the couch much closer to the dinette adding additional weight and costing more. You either like them or not.... I don't ,but others like them and will tell you why.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 12:37 PM   #4
Rivet Master
myoung's Avatar
Nipomo , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 627
Images: 24
Ipso Facto,

You say you need more space, but you haven't said why or to what end or purpose. Perhaps folks could offer alternatives if they knew more about your specific needs/wants. Just a thought.
Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

Bowlus Road Chief "Endymion" (coming soon)
BMW X3 xDrive 28D
myoung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 12:47 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 307
space - for my books and clothing. I have so much clothing, it doesn't fit in the closet.

I am using the coach as additional storage space... with predictable results.

I could really use extra underneath storage space offered by a 5th, but I do have some reservations about them, mostly in terms of quality.
Justice - When you get what you deserve. Mercy - When you don't get what you deserve
Grace - When you get what you don't deserve
ipso_facto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 01:00 PM   #6
Rivet Master
myoung's Avatar
Nipomo , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 627
Images: 24
Interesting. So, you want to carry around more clothes and books. Both add weight, of course, so moving up in size presupposes that you will have more capacity. Depending upon the configuration and year that may or may not be true. One thing that is certain, however, is that slideouts add considerable weight without adding storage space. In fact, some slideouts eliminate some storage space in overhead cabinets.

Might you have other ways of redistributing the stuff you carry along? Can you leave something behind to gain space and capacity for more books and clothes. Can you substitute paperbacks for hardcover? Can you have layers of clothing or visit the laundromat more frequently? More questions than answers of course, but before swapping trailers it would seem that a whole bunch of these questions and others too need answering, IMHO.
Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

Bowlus Road Chief "Endymion" (coming soon)
BMW X3 xDrive 28D
myoung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 01:22 PM   #7
More than one rivet loose
thecatsandi's Avatar

Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,753
get rid of the clothing. I went from 2400 square feet to 240. I gave away 1/3 of my clothing and or stored the rest. I have one or two items for each catagory. Working so far. Classic 31 w/dinette
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 01:36 PM   #8
Rivet Master
Alumaholic's Avatar
2007 30' Classic
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,750
Images: 33
Clothes and Books?

Before your next trip, lay out all the clothing you plan to wear, and then put half of it back in the closet. You're camping out; remember?

Take the book, or books, you want to read on this trip. You really won't need your encylopedia or your reference library. If you have a computer, everything you'll need to look up may now be found on the internet. If you don't have a computer, and you find the urgent need for reference material to support your viewpoint during campfire conversations, go to the library.

If these suggestions frustrate or anger you, buy a fifth wheel.

Seriously, fifth wheels are more practical in many ways than Airstreams. They offer headroom, and lots of storage space. When practicality trumps mystique, it's time to get a fifth wheel.
Ken L
2007 Classic Limited 30 (Sold)
2007Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
Four Corners Unit WBCCI #8654, Affiliate NM Unit
Alumaholic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 02:02 PM   #9
Rivet Monster
wahoonc's Avatar

1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,142
Images: 40
If you can't pare down then a fiver may be the way to go. If you are looking for a high quality well built fiver take a look at the Heartland Bighorn or Landmark, Travel Supreme Classic and the Double Tree Suites. All are well built and have a decent track record. FWIW a 1994 TS used will run around $20k new is around $60-$70k range. The Airstream really does have it's limitations for fulltiming while still working. I go back and forth on this one in my mind all the time. To me the best way to go would be the fiver for fulltiming and the AS for the weekend getaways, but that brings up a whole 'nother set of issues

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 04:47 PM   #10
Rivet Master
silverback's Avatar
2006 28' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 696
Call me when somebody builds a 5th wheel (or any other RV) that has an interior like a CCD or Safari SE. OK now that I spit that out, I'm pretty certain that a 5th wheel configuration has towing advantages (hitching and backing up) but they absolutely cannot be more aerodynamic then an AS. Not with those big clipper ship prows. That would translate into decreased MPG and most likely a higher capacity tow vehicle. I'm with Chaplain Kent get an AS motorhome.
4CU Charter Member
1981 Excella 280 Turbo Diesel Motorhome
silverback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 05:18 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
2006 22' Interstate
Mont Vernon , New Hampshire
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 349
Check out the double bed 345 floor plan. It has a trememdous amout of clothes storage. You can find floorplans on

We have a queen bed in the back and like it very much. However, the double bed has much more storage; basically a built in chest of drawers in addtion to a large hanging area.

bugsbunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 06:02 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Foiled Again's Avatar

2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,678
Life Laundry

REALLY - look at your stuff. Now pretend you've sold your trailer and have only three cardboard boxes to put your stuff in. Edit, edit, edit!

We all have clothing we rarely if ever wear, books we enjoy but haven't read in 10 years, etc. Get a small storage locker if you absolutely can't bring yourself to give anything away, or better yet, call the local fire department. They will absolutely know someone who was burned out and has no insurance. Giving a really nice dress (or suit) that doesn't really fit you to some poor working person will make your day!

Paula Ford
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 07:40 PM   #13
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
hi ipso and others

we'd all like to solve your space issues....
how many people/pets?
are you full timin'?
how many miles towing per year?
what climate?
still working?
got a 1 ton truck?
still got a stick house to use?
books for professional needs, collecting, reading or just because?
how many years will you want/need the bigger trailer?
are you gonna just park it somewhere?

these are just a few of the questions we need answered to give ya the best options

otoh, if you've decided you need more space......
who are we to disagree?

-could the truck bed be converted into a giant walk in closet and book mobile?
-what about a shed/annex or another small vintage unit as a library?

-the 34 does offer more closet space for hanging items. and drawers and so on..
-newer ones (05+) have uprated axles and greater carrying capacity for books...
-some late 90s and early 2000 34s have very small carry little as 900lbs...
-wood floor models were available for just a few years, tend to be the heaviest models the front kitchen model. they also have lower ncc.

so a longer airstream will not mean MORE carrying capacity unless the choice is carefully made.....

-a narrow or wide body 34 could have the interior reshaped for more closet space....
-the streetside credeza/table and the curb side table/chair storage area could be removed and
-built in book shelves placed along both walls, 3-4 shelves high along each wall...
-sofa could be removed for a euro/stratolounger chair and more storage added.
-queen or single.....many twin bed models have a little more storage and if
-one bed is removed.....bam!
-do you use the shower?
-i put a closet rod in my shower and shoe racks in the tub...when i was parked full time with a nice bathroom nearby.

-dinette could be redone as office/eating/book space...
but the standard dinette arrangement is pretty versatile...

-if ya found one at the right price,
newer axles with greater carring capacity could be added along with the interior redo....

while ccd and safari interiors are cool they still aren't designed for full timers...

-you could look for a sqaurestream 5er....they are out there.

nothing airstream offers
will provide the interior volume or
storage space of a modern 5er with 2,3,4 or 5 slides.

yes they are generic looking from the outside but so what....
some have great interiors....and all of that space!

a 80-90s bluebird moho
has much of the exterior charm of an airstream
with storage approaching a 5er...
a classic air moho will not fit your needs imo.

cheers and tell us more!

now that i've looked at some of the other threads you've started on this topic.....hmmmmm.

books in the microwave?

so could it be you have a case of packratitis?

at least adding books long all the walls will help insulate and absorb condensation...

space heaters, stacks of books and clothes everywhere not a good combo....
you may need a 'got to much stuff makeover'

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 08:26 PM   #14
Rivet Master
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,474
Images: 19
As I recall, you are more or less full time, right? And I think I also recall that you set up for long periods of time - moving maybe once or twice a year? So the gas milage while towing is of little consequence.

First, the airstream has served you well. It is likely worth more today than when you purchased it! Certainly no less. What other RV brand could have done as well? So if you move on it should be with no regrets.

Second, I think you will find little new storage in a 34'. Most of the space is given over to living and galley areas.

Yes, fivers have mantainence and logevity problems that make the ones on these forums appear trival in nature. People do full body-off restorations of Airstreams in their back yards, but nobody pulls their own motorhome slide out for repair! But there are quality fivers that can give many, many years of service, HOWEVER - these models are seriously heavy! Even the smallest of the quality full-time rated fivers require one ton trucks, and something in the Ford 450 or 550 range is much, much better. And that is before you load it full of books!

Yes, rubber roofs do require mantainence. Estimated life is in the 10-15 year range, which is not bad, if you stop and think about it. Few house roofs last 20 years.

If you spend any time on the other RV forums that deal more with full timing, you will see that even the biggest 40' five slide motorhome owners are complaining about space! And "accessible" space does not go up much with these behemoths. You could carry your books and clothes, but you would have to box them up and put them in the basement storage. Which sort of negates the point of having books at hand anyway.

Good luck,


'85 Sovereign, 25'
j54mark is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thinking of upgrading, came to crossroads. ipso_facto Our Community 14 05-04-2005 09:00 AM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.