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Old 12-20-2002, 02:45 PM   #1
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Looking for my perfect Airstream. again

I used to have an older 25' Airstream. Then I made a big mistake and moved up to a 40' diesel pusher motorhome. I spent 4 years paying very expensive repair bills and having many vacations ruined by having to make more trips to the service centers. I finally sold this and have started my search again for another older Airstream.

I have about half a dozen wishes for particular features. I was hoping that some of you Airstream experts would be able to steer me toward the right models/years for these features.

1. I am looking for an L-lounge setup. I know that I could potentially make one if there was enough space up front, but it would certainly be easier to start with one. What models/years were these available?

2. I am looking for the older, lighter cabinets. I don't want to pull all the weight that comes with the oak cabinetry. What year did Airstream start this?

3. I would like to have a grey tank. I don't want to pull around the blue tank that I have seen people use for a grey. I would rather have one built in. What year did Airstream start this?

4. I would like a center bath. I have heard of fewer problems with them and better weight distribution.

5. I don't want a model where the oven sticks into the bedroom. What years do I need to avoid for this.

6. I would prefer a permanent bed, and don't mind going up to 31', but I don't want to tow 34'.

OK so is there any model/year that would fit all my criteria?

THanks, Mike F.
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Old 12-20-2002, 06:21 PM   #2
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Mike,

What you have described is a 1976-81 31 foot soverign or excella 500.

The overlanders and ambassador had the oven that sticks thru the wall. Grey tanks of any useable size started in the mid 70's. The lighter aluminum and luan cabinets were used from 72-81, there may be a bit of carry over on either end though. The 31 foot model could be had as a rear or side bath. The side bath was usally on the road side of the coach and has a smaller window along with the water heater under it. Look for the water heater when looking at pictures. Wherever it is so is the bathroom. In the rear bath models the water heater is usally in the rear roadside corner.

They are out there with the J lounge in them, but you will need to search. There is also a benifit of the center bath that I really like...... A full sized double bed! In some of the rear bed models you will not have twins but a full bed that can be walked (shuffled)around.

You also get a HUGE closet. I loved or 77 soverign, but it did not have the J lounge. The kitchen worked as well as the one in my home and was part of the reason I picked the MH we now have. The kitchen layout was almost the same.

Attached is a picture of a center bath model. The bathroom window is in the middle, over the wheels.
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Old 12-20-2002, 08:44 PM   #3
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Question Oven??

Just curious, why you mentioned the oven protruding into the bedroom. Ours has that, but I never saw it as a problem. Kind of like it, as we use it for a shelf in there.

We also have no grey tank, but most of the time we use full hookup sites. I used the "blue tank" a couple times this past year. As I get older, I look for things to do, that cause me to engage in physical activity. Yankin' a "blue tank" up to the dump station can be quite a workout! (Forgot the hitch to slip it over the ball both times! )
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Old 12-20-2002, 09:50 PM   #4
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Thanks Brett - Your response is just what I was looking for. Now I can be very focused on my search. My wife and I really look forward to getting back into an Airstream.

Pick - I just thought the oven would get in the way. Now that I think about it though it doesn't apply. I think any side bath (which is what I really want) will have a rear bedroom far away from the kitchen, so the oven issue wouldn't apply. And I liked your story about the blue tank. We do some dry camping and I didn't want to have to make space for a blue tank. I'd rather carry my golf clubs in that space. Last Airstream we had we actually replaced the grey tank. The original one was about 14 gallons. When we had one specially fabricated to fit all the available space it turned out to be about 25 gallons, so this made a big difference, probably the best improvement we did to that trailer.

- Mike F.
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