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Old 07-09-2003, 11:07 AM   #1
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Question TT vs MH

Greetings.
My husband and I just returned from a nearly three week trip with my '77 Sovereign International. It was my husband's first outing with the A/S and he came back sort of converted. He liked many aspects, such as the convenience of not packing/unpacking every night, quiet nights, and breakfast readily at hand in the morning. However he wasn't much impressed with some inconveniences, such as hitching/unhitching, manual stabilizer jacks, and towing generally. He looked longingly at several of the big bus-type MHs and really eyeballed an A/S 345 Classic that pulled into one campground.

We travel well together and I'd like to do more with him. So I'm considering looking for a Classic, as I can't see myself buying a box MH, except maybe a Pace Arrow. Since budget is a big consideration, I'm leery of used engines and drivetrains, but understand that a MH that has been well-serviced could be a better deal than a TT that has not been.

What I'd like from Forum members are some thoughts about the relative advantages of TTs versus MHs and vice versa, especially from those who have owned both. Also, owning a diesel pickup has made me a convert to diesels, so I'd be interested to know if that engine is available in older MHs. So good, bad, or indifferent, tell me your views on both kinds of rigs.

Thanks.
Eugenie
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Old 07-09-2003, 11:37 AM   #2
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We own both a motorhome and an Airstream - and here are some comments for what they are worth:

What one do I like the best? My answer "Like having two children; what child do you like the best". No answer here at all, as each kid (and RV) has a different personality.

We have a 40' bus conversion - was a 1976 Greyhound in its first life. We love it! Everything is at hand while on the road - commode, fridge, cooking, etc. Heck, you could do a load of wash if you wanted to (3 - 100 gallon tanks - 20 gallon water heater). Everything can operate from the 8 KW Diesel gen set - air conditioning, fridge, hot water heater, etc. Dry camping no big problem - charge batteries while gen set is on, for one example. Price of bus and conversion about what a new Airstream TT costs. Disadvantage to our bus (and THE MAIN reason to purchase our trailer) is the engine. It is a 2 cycle, Detroit Diesel 8V71 Non-turbo engine. It just does not do hills or altitude. My Freightliner tractor has NO problems with the Airstream in the mountains!!

Now the thought is "Why not replace engine in the bus, if that is a problem"? Good question! Price is the answer. My used 31' Airstream AND my Freightliner together cost the same as another engine (newer, 4 cycle) would in the bus. I feel that I made a better use of funds by purchasing the trailer/truck than installing an engine in the bus (I'd never recover the engine cost $$$).

We are having a blast in the TT, too. Does not have the storage space of our bus, but we knew that going in. In the bus, I carry my woodturning lathe, tools, etc. No room for that in the trailer. Also weight is not a problem in the bus --- very hard to overload it -unlike the trailer.

Bus is built FAR better that the trailer (or most any cardboard/stick motorhome, too). You can hold a dance on the roof! sides are stainless steel and heavy aluminum plate.

Trailer or motorhome, you usually end up towing 'something' - so that would be the same.

Did I answer your question? I didn't think so

Again, it is like having two kids; what one do you like the most???

don
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Old 07-09-2003, 11:38 AM   #3
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EAP,

There are a few of us out here that have owned or do own both a trailer and a MH.

I have had 2 Airstream traiilers, a 27 and a 31.

Trailer Pro's
Ease of mechanical repair, fewer systems.
Mechanical trouble with tow vehicle, get a new one, or it is in the shop, but your "home" is not.
A bit more usable space per foot of trailer, no steering wheel in the living room
Many more to choose from in the Airstream line for floorplan and length
Eaiser to manually level. This will make sense later.
More wide open windows for air flow. MH windows usally slide, so the available opening is halved.

MH Pro's
Fewer stops along the way, I sould not be saying this, but the co-pilot at any given time in our MH will use the bathroom, sleep or make lunch while we are traveling. Movement is done only when the driver feels that conditions are at optimum for safety.
Generator, big plus when traveling as it frees you from the campground in the summer for AC. This allows for stopping in places that might not be possible with a trailer.
If you overnight at a WalMart or truck stop and want to leave due to noise or a "bad" feeling you just start it up and leave, no having to exit the coach to go.
Drives like a big van, not much in the way of changing driving styles for in town cornering and parking.
If equipped with hydraulic levelers it is easy to get level.
No going out in the rain to setup. Get it close to level, park it and wait out the storm.

Trailer Con's
Hitching up to go
No generator. You can carry one, but that is additional setup and teardown.

MH Con's
Pain in the @#@$ to level on sloped sites without hydraulic levelers
More tires, and they are not cheap, to maintain
Additional systems to maintain. Generator, Airbags, engine transmission, etc. Maintence is not a big hassle, but this is not a daily driver so I seem to spend more time checking things that I do on my regular car.
Need a way to see the sites once you park. This assumes that you do not take the MH to the sites you wish to visit. Many people do, others tow a car. Toads saddle you with the hooking and unhooking thing again. A car is no worse that hooking up the trailer, but it is a task to do.


All that being said, I also own at this time 2 Argosy MHs. A 76 and a 78.

We love having the motorhome even more than we did the trailers. There is a feeling of freedom and saftey, I don't know why. The extra work that a motorhome makes does not bug me. we tow a Saturn, and find it is not a big deal to have it back there, unless you have to back up.

Diesels were available in the Airstream Classic MH for a few years, I am not sure what years it was offered. The sizes that had diesels were 29 and 31 footers. There were some rear engine pusher diesels made in the early 90's that were 36 footers. You may have to search for a while to find what you want. If you see one that fits the bill you have to buy it NOW. Waiting even a day and it will more than likely be gone.
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:05 PM   #4
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i have owned a tt and a mh and i have a mh at present. if i was going to just go camping it would be a tt. but if i was traveling a lot and sight seeing it would be a mh with a toad. the tt is less maint but is a little more convienent for traveling. wouldnt have a box airstream or sob mh.
lol
al
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:10 PM   #5
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As a person inclined towards impatience, one of the things I really expected to hate about trailer ownership was the hassle of hitching/unhitching and setup/takedown. To my surprise, I have found it to be a non-issue. I have developed a routine, take it one step at a time, take it easy, and it never takes more than 10 minutes, start to finish.

Having said that, although I have done it in the rain, I have not had to do it in a heavy downpour.

Also, unless you never leave the campground, it is a real pain to have a motorhome without a toad. And there you are, back to hitching and unhitching.

Mark
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:15 PM   #6
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Have had both...

We've had and travelled extensively in a '61 Bambi 16', a '70 Safari 23', an 85 32.5' motorhome, and recently bought a 34' Limited trailer.

Brett and the others did a fine job covering the finer points.

Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. I guess the main advantage I'd assign to trailers is that when you find one you like, you can keep it as long as you care to tow it, and just trade tow vehicles as necessary. Drivetrain issues in the motorhome always concerned me, although we really had very few. Our motorhome was excellent.

So, as Don so well put it: which of your children do you like better?

It's a tough call, but a goody 'cause you really can't go too far wrong either way!

Roger
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:29 PM   #7
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You know, I said earlier that it is really a personal choice, but after this last trip, I must have unhooked and reattached the Bambi 7-8 times. It does take a bit out of a person.

Eric
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:35 PM   #8
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mh fit my needs

Always have had boats and trailers, so towing was second nature and if you are comfortable towing the hitch/unhitch process is no big deal. Todays hitches and accessories are greatly improved for safety.

Now the the reason I switched to a motorhome.....I can drive any vehicle I like in real life...no worries if it is a tow vehicle or not.
I own a toad hitch set-up but never use it....like bikes and moving on. I will keep and replace my 310 motor and tranny if necessary and it will work out to being as cheap or cheaper than maintaining a low mpg every day vehicle now that I got over the hump of the original A/S purchase....lol...jem
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
You know, I said earlier that it is really a personal choice, but after this last trip, I must have unhooked and reattached the Bambi 7-8 times. It does take a bit out of a person.

Eric
True, Eric...but... you'd have had to off-load your dinghy that many times too. not too much less work involved, particularly if you're using a tow dolly; and you can back the Bambi up. Try that sometime with a 325, a Toyota pickup and a tow dolly that weighs 600lbs by itself!

All of the hitching and unhitching pretty much is a wash in the end. The convenience of being able to use the facilities while going down the road is a big plus for the MH side. The complexity of the MH systems is the negative. I am getting better gas mileage with the TT/Excursion then I did with the MH tho...

Roger
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:48 PM   #10
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Yea, they both have their good and bad points. Just a bit sore from all the connecting and disconnecting. The only reason for most of it was that we kept finding better campsites. Ususally, there is far less activity.

I put a few shots of the trip on this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...0210#post40210

Enjoy.

Eric
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Old 07-09-2003, 03:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie
Just a bit sore from all the connecting and disconnecting.
I put a few shots of the trip on this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...0210#post40210

Eric
Eric,

I looked at the photos. Very nice, but I see the problem: Manual tongue jack and stackable jack stands! I confess that the electric jacks are one of the most revered inventions of modern man, IMHO!!!

Roger
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by 85MH325
I confess that the electric jacks are one of the most revered inventions of modern man, IMHO!!!

Roger
Amen!

Electric stabilizer jacks are sweet too!
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:51 PM   #13
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Amen!

Electric stabilizer jacks are sweet too!
13 year old son and manual stabilizer jacks works for me
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Safari Tim


13 year old son and manual stabilizer jacks works for me
I had those too, once upon a time. The trouble is that they quit working as they get older, and eventually leave you altogether causing you to have to do your own manual jack and stands again! Unfortunately, the second time around, when you're pushing 50, the manual bit's a LOT more MANUAL than it was when you were 35 before your 13 year old. It's a terrible thing! The first solution to the manual jack problem, having more 13 year olds, is much more expensive in the long run than the more reasonable second solution of installing an electric jack and jack stands!

Roger

p.s. the electric jacks don't eat nearly as much as the 13 year old manual jack turners either!!!
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