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Old 12-03-2005, 02:51 PM   #1
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Why so few A/S slideouts?

After 6 Winnebago motorhomes, we are thinking of trying an Airstream. The Safari 28 SO seams to be a nice model. Does anyone have one? What do you think of it?

I notice from the specs, that the slide out is quite a bit heavier. Does the frame have to be beefed up to handle the slide? Also, it has larger water tank, which is good! I am wondering if the tanks are still enclosed and heated.

Will the Safari 28 SO be available in the SE series?

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Old 12-03-2005, 03:30 PM   #2
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Moderator Jack Canavera has a 30' with slideout. Weight does make the slideouts stand apart. Slideouts increase complexity and who knows what effects that has on longevity when it should be nearing vintage status. (Yeah, I won't be around then either ... )

You can expect heated tanks in all Airstreams -- certainly one that is operating as originally equipped. Provisos about must run with heat on, only good in approximate terms -- who knows how good when hitting a storm that drops down to 15 or 10 degrees.


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Old 12-03-2005, 06:46 PM   #3
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We looked at the slideouts before we purchased our 31' classic. We considered the weight with the extra room provided (not much) and the additional maintenance required not to mention the whopping price tag. We went back and forth from the one we bought to the slideout and really couldn't tell the difference. We’re going to a RV show next week to look at what's new including slideouts. Should be interesting.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:07 PM   #4
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I believe that there is an extra 400 lbs involved. The first ones were in 2000 and they had some problems but worked thru them. The 28 is a Safari where the 30 and 34 are the limiteds. We have looked at them and if we found the right one would consider buying it.
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Old 12-03-2005, 09:10 PM   #5
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"Look" yea right!!!!!

Originally Posted by Tinsel Loaf
We’re going to a RV show next week to look at what's new including slideouts. Should be interesting.
Thats like the Fox going in the chicken house to just "LOOK" at the chickens!!!----Pieman
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tinsel Loaf
We looked at the slideouts before we purchased our 31' classic. We considered the weight with the extra room provided (not much) and the additional maintenance required not to mention the whopping price tag.
We felt the same way before buying our 30' Classic Limited.
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Old 12-04-2005, 09:17 AM   #7
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Slide rooms in our estimation are way over rated, We have had 4 SOB motorhomes with either 1 or 2 slides. The space is nice when they are extended, but there were times in the wilderness of Yellowstone we couldn't run them out for the trees.
The extra weight they add affected how they handled, the maintenance they require, the leaks they can cause (retracted or extended) etc. They are too cumbersome for us. Our 5th motorhome has none. To get this, we had to go backwards in model years to adchieve a non-sliding coach. Structurally in the long haul, I wonder how they will hold up. That is, cutting holes in a perfectly good airstream???
We will never have a slideroom equipped airstream. We like the coziness of our '67 Globetrotter and our new 2006 16 ft Quicksilver Edition Bambi.
That's my 16 gallons worth.
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Old 12-04-2005, 09:56 AM   #8
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Here’s my take on Airstream slideouts. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong. They add a tremendous amount of weight, complexity and cost for very few additional square feet in actual living space. It’s the length of the dinette, about 6 (by about two ft. in actual slide. So 12 additional sq. ft for an extra $10,000? Because of engineering considerations, the dinette is moved forward encroaching on lining room space, leaving only enough room for the fold up table. Now there is no place to put a TV except on the wall midway down the coach. It seems to be one compromise after another to say you have an Airstream with slideout. I think Airstream jumped on the slideout band wagon just so the could feel that they didn’t miss the boat and they could offer their customers something that every other RV manufacturer offered. I don’t think that they are going to have the resale value that some think they might. Ten or twelve years down the line they’re more then likely going to be more prone to leaks and malfunctions. I know that they seem to add more kitchen counter space and if you do a lot of cooking in your Airstream that could be a plus but you give up storage over the dinette. I could go on but I think everyone can see that I’m not a big fan of slideouts. At least not the way Airstream has done it. I would like to hear from owners of slideouts who really feel that they got real value both in terms of living space and quality for the money spent.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:12 AM   #9
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I am in the genral consensus that slide outs can/are a PITA. I have looked at several mid to high end 5'vers in the 5-10 year old range and most of the issues are from the slideouts. FWIW Coachmen seems to have had the worst problems with them. They are a maintenance item but most dealers and owners seem to forget that. As far as the Airstream ones I have looked at them but would rather live without. I just feel they are not worth the weight or complexity and they are contrary to the monoque construction used in a "normal" Airstream.

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Old 12-04-2005, 02:11 PM   #10
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I saw too many leaking and mechanical problems with slide-outs on SOBs when I was an RV tech, and there were two 34's at Jackson Center for slide-out problems when we had ours there. They were there when we arrived and still there when we left. Slide-outs can add hundreds of pounds to the TONGUE weight and much more than that to the total trailer weight. That extra weight (some from reinforcement to make up for the strength lost by putting a big hole in a monoque design noted for high strength with light weight), is loaded on the tires on one side of the trailer.

All for a few extra square feet, and no additional wall space for cabinets, furniture, etc. It's not worth it to most Airstreamers, but to a few, it's very important.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:13 PM   #11
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Well I guess I'm the odd ball, but we love our slide out. We appreciate the extra room and if we had to do it again, we would do it in a heart beat. I think my slide is well engineered and probably better than what's out in the SOB world. Yes there is a weight penalty but nothing that a 3/4 ton tow vehicle can't handle. I'd be pulling with a 3/4 ton truck even without the slide.

I also bought the slide for resale purposes. When you head to the local RV show note the number of trailers without slides. Quite honestly I think that having the slide will be an asset when resale time comes in the future since folk buying SOB's are buying slides. I'm even seeing slides on pickup truck campers and pop ups. Times are changing and the resale of my trailer may not be to another Airstream owner. When an SOB owner who has a slide out wants to upgrade, I would bet you that a slide Airstream might have an upper hand....who knows only time will tell. Check back with me in a few more years and we will see how my slide out fares.


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Old 12-05-2005, 01:15 PM   #12
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slide out floorplans

look very good to me. For now the hitch weight would be out of the question but if we decided to go larger, it would definitely be an appealing option. Some things are just worth putting up with even with possible increased maintainence in the future, they are just too enjoyable to pass up. I think we all carry a little extraneous weight for comfort, no?

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Old 12-05-2005, 02:23 PM   #13
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welcome to the forums dtomlinson

your question "Why so few A/S slideouts?" has many linked issues as the answer.

you've read some of the thoughts related to the slide models and i agree with everyone who's posted. there are valid issues pro and con well stated already.

i think mainly we see so few slide trailers and interact with very few s/o owners here are....
-airstream has moved much later into this feature than every other brand trailer and rv.

-most folks who have a history with airstream and are potential repeat buyers seek out the brand for reasons other than maximum square footage or space added by a slide.

-every new airstream trailer on a dealer lot has been purchased by the dealer. the factory (for the most part) builds very few of anything that isn't pre-purchased by a dealer or ordered by a customer with a firm deposit. so airstream is really relying on the dealer base to promote slide models.

-dealers are likely to order very few of the most expensive models (maybe one 34 or limited) to have sitting on the lot. and except for customer ordered units....that same dealer may not get another high end unit until the one they have sells.

-few folks are currently ordering a model they may have never even seen first hand. how many of us have even seen a slide model at an rv show?

-special orders take longer to get to the customer than buying from dealer waiting on a special order limits the customer pool further.

-the slide models add significantly to the price....of what is already the highest "dollar per ft" trailer on the market.

-so customers brand new to the airstream buying experience...and those most likely to look toward the slide models because they've come to expect it from their other trailers....have to dealer with the ISSUE of price on 2 levels and longer waits for the unit....

-most likely the dealer that order slide units in as inventory are dealer who have already sold a few and understand how that unit fits their lineup.


the models where 10 sq ft or so added from the slide becomes a significant relative space gain are the mid size units....28-30 ft. and these ride on 2 axles.....but with higher tongue weights even than a non slide 34....also the price with a slide may actually exceed a 34.

a 25 with a slide would be a great relative space gain...but again expensive.

beside the towing needs for slide models, their gear carrying capacity is reduced (ncc) compared to their non slide same size relatives....

a 34 without slide can be had for less than a 30 with.....and the extra space can be enjoyed without effort....and some buyers view 3 axles/6 wheels as a bonus....on heavier trailers.

the 34 with slide tops 100k$ and really needs a full one ton t.v .....imo. i camped with a couple who had one this summer and it really is a nice unit.

some folks see the complexity issues added by the slide as a negative others while others like it....

i fall into the group that has virtually no interest in the current slide design. i am open to airsteam designing expansions that are more unique however.

an important reason one might consider a slide.....the home trailer storage space has a limited length and the buyer wants to maximize for that given length.

regardless what you choose airstreams are fine huts and we here love ' buy something and join the fun.

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Old 12-05-2005, 03:16 PM   #14
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We bought a leftover 2003 28' Safari SO one year ago. Got a GREAT buy on it to get it off the dealer's lot. It's still has relatively low miles (appx 6 thou),and is going strong. We love it and have absolutely NO regrets, or complaints.

The TV is a diesel Excursion. IMO this is a perfect package. No problems with setting things in motion, keeping them there, and bringing the whole thing to a halt.



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Excursion 6.0 4x
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