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Old 12-29-2013, 05:27 PM   #1
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Going From Motorhome To Airstream Trailer

I am looking at going from a 27 foot Class C Motorhome to a 30 foot AS trailer. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has done this and how it has worked out for you. My reasons for making the switch are:
1. I use my rv for work travels and having a full size truck at my destination will be a big plus.
2. Gaining the extra interior room.
3. Maintaining one engine instead of 2 (Motorhome and toad).

The advantages seem to be great except for one disadvantage that really bothers me. I live in Georgia and travel a lot in Florida. I will really miss being able to pull over, fire up the generator, and air conditioner, and fix lunch or rest, etc. during the hot months. Having to pull generators out and hook them up and put them back in the truck for short times sounds like a real pain. Otherwise, the only other disadvantage would be not being able to walk around the Motorhome while traveling. I drive all of the time, so this isn't an issue. Also, slides have never been a big deal to me.
If I am missing something here, please let me know. My only experience so far has been with motor homes.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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I use a 2800 watt (3100 serge) generator in the back of my truck - truck has a canopy cover and I open the back lid, start it up and forget it. Less noise, don't have to lift it, just plug it in. Now I use a 25' cord to the rear 120 plug. This year's winter project is to wire a plug in the front of the trailer to plug directly into the front of the trailer. Also to make an exhaust riser to point upward.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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I thought about running the generator in the truck bed, but wasn't sure if that was a good idea. I want to go with the dual air conditioners and 50 amp. I wish AS would put a 30 amp connection on the front of the trailer (like they do with 30 amp units), so you could run one ac unit.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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Somehow, we make due with just a 3000w unit in the very rear of the truck ... open up the bed topper and fire it up ... connect to front power inlet on the AS ... enjoy!
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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We went from a 34' MH to a 29' Airstream, not by choice but because Katrina ate the MH.

It didn't take long before we realized we wanted a walk around bed and moved up to a 34' Airstream.

We thought we would miss the MH, about the only thing that still isn't as nice is the non-stopping bath break and rolling kitchen. But we have learned to slow down and enjoy stopping when we need too. Traveling days ALWAYS include a stop to make a sammich. The microwave/gen set never get started even though we could. We will fire up the stove top and use a pan to warm leftovers.

I do not miss the maintenance that the MH required.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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The air conditioning is the issue when stopping. We are dealing with 100 degree+ temps. It is difficult to stop and fix lunch when you are dealing with that kind of heat.
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #7
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I have a top the both side windows open like a door open up . I put the 3000 watt generator in the front of the bed run a 30 amp extension cord. There is plenty of air flow around the generator. I have a remote for the generator. I can have the air on as quick as you can check your tires and bearings.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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With a bit of planning, you can overcome anything.

My last trip was at the tail-end of a hot summer. I made my first day lunch/snacks at home before leaving. The subsequent ones were made at the RV park the night before. My lunch/snacks would go into the fridge with a couple of those ice packs.

All I had to do was find a shady spot, pull over, and grab my lunch.

Picking-up regional delicacies, then making your own healthy meals along the way is one of the best things about Airstreaming/RV'g......IMO.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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You can still make a sammich at a rest stop when the weather is mild- you just have to stop, get out of the truck, and get into the trailer. Even when the weather is a little warm you can make a sammich then eat outdoors.
I have never owned a motor home, but we went from a much larger sob trailer with more storage and walk around room to an Airstream trailer.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
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We run our generator in the covered truck bed when necessary. All I do is extend the exhaust to the outside. I have some stainless steel flexible hose and using a fitting welded to the exhaust I can extend it to the rear. It makes it much quieter so it's less likely to annoy neighbors. We stop along the road for lunch all the time. If the weather is good we eat outside and if not, inside. Have never missed having use of the AC for these roadside stops.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:46 PM   #11
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Having owned four motorhomes (27', 40', 42', and 25') before buying our Flying Cloud, we can honestly say that we actually enjoy the Airstream most of all. We thought we'd miss the generator and being able to stop as you do, but so far we've worked around it by making/packing sandwiches or simply stopping at a restaurant/fast food place. We were never able to easily do that because of the poor maneuverability of the larger motorhomes especially when pulling a vehicle. We seldom find a place that we cannot take the trailer and tow vehicle (Ford Expedition).

We pleasantly miss the extra maintenance required for the motorhomes. The insurance on the trailer is MUCH less than for the MH's. I find access to the outside storage to be much easier on the trailer. The floor plan is extremely efficient, so that we do not miss the slides (and extra maintenance and potential for leaks). Setup and takedown is much easier with the trailer.

We also thought we'd miss the rolling bathroom breaks, but the driver would have to stop anyway. Plus, we simply use the rest stop restrooms most of the time now. On the occasions where we just "had" to stop with no rest stop, it is still convenient to use the trailer's facilities, (or if you simply do not like to use the public facilities). To do that, we've pulled into vacant parking lots, picnic areas, or even stopped on wide road shoulders. Again, that was not much of an option with the large MH's.

We have not boondocked often, and it would not be very practicable in hot weather, but we have done the occasional overnight in a WalMart, etc. parking lot with no issues at all. We simply forego anything that requires AC power. I wouldn't want to try that for multiple nights, but one or two has not been a problem at all.

As you noted, perhaps our biggest downside is the heat buildup in the trailer on hot travel days since we do not have a generator at all. We try to minimize heat by closing all the blinds and having as much ventilation while traveling as is practicable.
Bottom line we wish we had switched to the trailer sooner than we did. Our biggest fear before doing it was the lack of a generator and, so far, we have not missed it--especially considering all of the "pluses" that we have discovered with the trailer.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:06 PM   #12
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Edistobob: Thanks, great to hear from someone who has gone from motorhome to Airstream trailer. You confirm that I am making the right decision. It is interesting that your main concern was like mine, the generator.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:28 PM   #13
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Roadtech-we too just did the same thing in November. We went from a 38' Diesel Pusher to a 1/2 ton-towed Flying Cloud 27FB. Like Edistobob we don't miss the high costs of the MH, and he stated exactly our same findings for rr stops, etc. MH was nicest to us when setup, and really was more work to drive than our new rig (size and all). Our 27FB is just right for us and we couldn't be happier with our choice!
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