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Old 05-03-2005, 06:23 PM   #1
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Thinking of upgrading, came to crossroads.

I came to a realization I need more space. Old non-wide body style, while a really good introduction to A/S is no longer sufficient. I guess this is natural progression.

So I've come to crossroads. Stay with A/S, or God forbid, get a SOB. I also realized I really like the slide-outs after I visited a unit that had one. I said, this is really cool. Anyway, I was thinking about a wide-body 34', probably with a slide-out or a SOB, maybe even FW. What's viable competition? Any thoughts on construction difference? None of SOBs look as good as AS of course, but are they inferior construction-wide? I would love to have "basement" storage.
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:27 PM   #2
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I understand that Holiday Rambler makes a good product - my cousin had a numar or something like that he really liked. Then again, Thor makes other trailers - don't know the quality, but they do make Airstream

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Old 05-03-2005, 07:07 PM   #3
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I agree on looks, Airsteam exteriors look so much cooler then SOBs. I have been looking at Airstreams and 5th wheels for a year or so now. There are some very well built 5th wheels out there if you have the power to tow them. Some (bite my tongue) have superior construction to AS. Aluminum frame units are lighter and colder, wood frame units are heavier and warmer. The better-built units are designed for the demands of fulltime living.



The best 5th wheel I have personally been in was an Excel by Peterson Industries. The cabinetwork, finish and fit were very impressive to me. What you would find in a fine home. I can only assume the same detail to quality exits in the trailer parts I could not see.



But alas, no beautiful curved aluminum skin on the 5th wheels. Decisions decisions, good luck on our quest.

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Old 05-03-2005, 07:28 PM   #4
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Ah yes I to have a 32 1987 and would love to have more storage, my wife has a nick name, LUCY. We have looked at the Mountain Air made by Newmar that has quality and storage as well as 17000 lbs of weight. While the new Travel Supreme 40ft has solid doors, granite floors with lots of storage and a gross of 18000 lbs. When I look at other units that are 17 years old none have shown the ability to retain the luster of an Airstream. Ahh what to do? Oh LUCY I'm home. Just levity I wish you luck in your search.
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:04 PM   #5
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Thats what my cousin had was a Newmar - couldn't think of the name
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Old 05-03-2005, 08:58 PM   #6
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There are Airstream fifth wheels, with slide outs. You may be able to find one of them.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:34 PM   #7
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Ah yes, the elusive search for space. Elusive because, as it turns out, even in a 40' fifth wheel with five slides and a mdt to pull it, you still can't take it (or at least not everything) with you.

There really is no such thing as a travel trailer with basement storage, so that means fiver, or motorhome, of course. With fiver goes loss of truck bed and shell, if any. To get the necessary pin weight safely aboard also means one ton dually for all but the smallest sizes. If you are going to need significantly more truck anyway you might consider a motorhome.

I really do not think there is an RV that will stand up to the years like an Airstream, and the depreciation is brutal. But there are some nicely made tug along units out there. Besides Holiday Rambler/McKenzie, there were a very, very few American Star trailers made by Newmar. Up to 2004, I believe.

In fivers there are more quality choices. An incomplete list would include the aforementioned Excel, New Horizons, Travel Supreme, Teton, Nuwa (NEW Way), Newmar, and Holiday Rambler/McKenzie. Many of the quality full time fivers with slides need a mdt for all but their shortest models.

Good luck,

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Old 05-03-2005, 09:55 PM   #8
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If I were to go with a white box

and still try to be modest in price and length and weight, I would seriously consider one of the smaller Artic Foxes either trailer or fifth wheel with full winter insulation, built in generator, recessed air conditioner and overhead vents, full bathtub, and a slide or two. The construction seems well built and the interior's nice but not posh. We looked at a Monaco motorhome and I was very impressed with the amenities and even a fireplace that can put out heat or not, but we are no where near moving up that large. I think one of the manufacturers has a rear slideout porch which I also think is very cool!
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipso_facto
What's viable competition? Any thoughts on construction difference? None of SOBs look as good as AS of course, but are they inferior construction-wide? I would love to have "basement" storage.
Well there's a lot of competition out there. Nicer interiors, more storage, ducted air, etc, etc, etc. Then think about how much these silver things cost new, and if you spent similar $$ on a fifth wheel SOB, how much you could get. Patty reminds me of this fact every time a new Trailer Life shows up in the mailbox......but they aren't an Airstream, and once it gets in your blood, its hard to move on. I know a fellow who needed more space and traded in his A/S for a Holiday. Nice trailer but guess what. He sent me a note and after 3 years, is looking to go back to an Airstream. He likes the Holiday but...its just not an Airstream. Sort of scary but that's how it is for many of us.

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Old 05-04-2005, 07:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
Ah yes, the elusive search for space. Elusive because, as it turns out, even in a 40' fifth wheel with five slides and a mdt to pull it....
Good luck,
Mark
Is this one of those questions we aren't supposed to ask? What is an MDT?

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Old 05-04-2005, 07:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Is this one of those questions we aren't supposed to ask? What is an MDT?

Jim
MDT= Medium Duty Truck. AKA F550 Super Duty, C5500HD, etc.
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:37 AM   #12
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There are soooooo many other brands. Try this site to get owners' opinions on quality: http://www.rv-coach.com/RV/manufactu...v_results.html
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:42 AM   #13
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If you're inclined to consider a motorhome, there are a number of pre-owned bus conversions out there with plenty of basement storage. You certainly get the quality of construction (millions mile commercial chassis), they are highly customizable/configurable to meed your needs and most later model chassis have at least two pass through basement compartments. Bluebird is another SOB MH that will stand the test of time.
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:51 AM   #14
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I have visited a couple of RV shows lately just to compare SOB's with Airstreams. Really there is no comparison. Yes, the SOB TT's are less expensive, but I look at them and think, "What will it look like in 5 or even 10 years?" Then I say it is worth the difference to get the Airstream. There may be more head room in the SOB's, there may be more storage room in the SOB's, there may even be more convenience items in some of the SOB's, but I just don't see the quality or durability built into them that I see in the Airstreams.

I know there have been issues of late with the quality of craftsmanship, but that can be overcome within the warranty on most of the items I have read about. It is a hastle, but once they are corrected, you have a finely built coach. One that will outlast the compitition. I am looking at it as making an investment in the long haul. Otherwise I wouldn't pay such a premium for what others may see as just a "camper".

To me, it will be a way of life on the road as well as "camping with style." To that end, I have just taken the first step toward that goal by purchasing a new F-250 crew cab powerstroke diesel with the Lariet luxury package. It is one sweet tow vehicle. We will be ordering our 30' Safari within the next two weeks. My wife has already purchased everything to stock the interior including redecorating it, too. So for us, there is no question.
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