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Old 06-25-2013, 08:14 AM   #15
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 85
Replace a roof every 5 years for $5000? That might happen but certainly isn't the standard. The quotes of terrible mileage and huge trucks, low bridges simply don't hold water either. I have a 06 35 ft fifth wheel I also am rebuilding a 59 overlander. Many fifth wheels can be towed by a 3/4 ton truck, which also pulls a lot of airstreams. I get 13 mpg in my diesel pulling the fifth wheel. Mountains and winds are valid complaints but if your full timing, just wait till the wind dies down. For mountains, stay on the freeways. If the semis can do it, so can a fifth wheel. That applies to bridges too. I bought the airstream as a secondary camper, hobby and something lighter to hunt and fish with. I have no doubt that after 30 years, my fifth wheel will be in a land fill, but cant imagine living full time in the airstream.

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Old 06-25-2013, 08:55 AM   #16
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a , wanderer
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 50
We fulltime in our 34' Airstream (three of us and a toy dog) and have enough room, both for living and for what we bring with us. The truck bed serves as our garage.

Yes, a fifth wheel can have a lot more living and storage space, but a good many don't have the windows that our Airstream does, so they end up feeling much more closed in to me. Yes, it's psychological... but living in the Airstream makes me happy. I just don't see a fifth wheel giving me the same feeling. But they obviously work well for a lot of people.

I think it really comes down to creating a balance between what you want and what you need. For us, the Airstream strikes that balance. For others, a fifth wheel, a motorhome or a sticks-n-bricks does it. Different strokes...

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Old 06-25-2013, 10:39 AM   #17
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2013 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Spearfish , South Dakota
Join Date: Dec 2009
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I've lived FT in my 40' Alfa toy box for 9 years now. I went from a 3/2 stick house to the 5er. I'm hauling stuff that I haven't used in that time, and I'm downsizing to my new EB for ease of use, fuel milage and Nat/state park visits.
I have had 3 tire blowouts and the fun of changing tires on the freeway shoulder. The interior steps have gotten to be a chore. I pay a fortune for insurance/ registration on my class 6 Freightliner.
So, I have hit most of the points on the 5er except leak/roof issues so far. The Alfa is one of the best, full time, heavy, quality built rigs. I hope the EB proves just as reliable.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #18
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
No clue what the advertised life expectancy of the typical RV rubber roof is, however I have helped several of my guys replace them with high end commercial/industrial stuff that has a life span of 30+ years. Helps that we are a professionals We have one guy that works for us that is still hauling a 15 year old high end fiver and probably will for several more years. If you purchase a gently used high end fiver and do some strategic upgrades you will come out pretty well over the years. I know that my Airstream will eat up close to $10,000 before I am done, but that is a lot cheaper than a new one and should last me until the end of my days.


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