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Old 09-16-2016, 03:11 PM   #15
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One thing to consider about all RVs

Airstreams aren't so easy to work on. The nature of the aircraft type design.

But I tell you what, most RVs are manufactured to be able to come off the assembly line QUICK, to keep costs down. Being easy to repair or work on DOES NOT seem to be a priority AT ALL.

Keeping weight down is another priority, and quality tends to suffer.

I've worked on a few SOBs….just shoot me. I'm sure some are way better than others.

I'm not an engineer, but the bones and guts of some RVs left me scratching my head, like …." WHAT WERE THEY THINKING !!!!!"
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:01 PM   #16
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Dear Snuff,

Congratulations on your doing your homework before laying out your dollars. I wish I had reviewed Air Forums before buying my 5th wheel. My story:

My sweetie (81) & I (74 next month) are both retired & financially independent. Between the two of us, we've had a number of RVs, from my old 8 ft Lance camper on a F-150 to my sweetie's & her ex-husband's Winnebago and then 45 ft Prevost motor coach (at approx. $1.5M), so we wanted the next one for both of us to be "our last RV." Furthermore, numbers of dealers told us that RV owners typically "trade-up" after several years, and we wanted this RV to become "our last RV." I regret that did not obtain.

Without the benefit of Air Forums, we wound up getting a 32 ft Forest River 5th wheel (approx 10K lbs) & a Ram 2500 diesel to tow it. On the afternoon of our 5th wheel's "maiden voyage," we looked at each other & said, "This isn't working." We turned around, drove home, & eventually traded in our "towed one day" 5th wheel for our AS. Whoops, but I'm getting ahead of the story.

Several weeks later, we went to our local RV Show. There, we saw our local AS dealer's display, looked at each other, & said, "Let's look into this more." After going to our local dealer several times & spending time in lots of ASs, we traded in the 5th wheel for an AS 27 FB (actually 28 ft long). (We didn't like anything larger, primarily because we didn't want a dinette across from the galley.) This may actually be "our last RV." Huzzah!!!

As for the 5th wheel, for me, it was just "too big, too much" to tow (& also got lousy mileage relative to the AS). I just didn't feel comfortable towing it (& she didn't feel comfortable riding in the Ram while towing the 5th wheel). My sweetie didn't like it because if you wanted to take a break while driving it, you had to slide out its main slide-out to access its galley & to sit down comfortably in it. Also, although it was supposed to be a "nice, classy" 5th wheel, neither its materials nor its manufacture were of the quality that we desired. The only circumstance in which a 5th wheel might work for us would be to park it permanently on a pad somewhere in the southern US & use it as "our escape" from the wet & cold of Seattle in the winter. As long as I wouldn't have to drive it, it might be OK to live in for a while. Admittedly, with its two slide-outs out, it would have significantly more interior space than the AS.

When we got the AS, we added the dealer's recommended Blue Ox anti-sway hitch, which I installed in less than an hour. What I can say is that the combination of the Ram, the Blue Ox, & the AS 27 really works for us; I have no problem driving it 500-600 miles/day --- it's like the trailer's not even there (except for the extra weight, which the Ram diesel handles uneventfully).

We use the Ram primarily to pull the AS (secondarily, to haul building materials from Home Depot & yard waste to the dump), as I have an Acura & she has Lexus as a "daily driver." If I had to do it all over again, I'd likely get a Ram 3500 (non-duelly), as many Ram/AS owners have told me that simply for trailer pulling, the leaf springs in the 3500 work better for towing than the coil springs in the 2500, & the extra cost of the 3500 over the 2500 is only several hundred dollars.

This summer, we've gone on two trips:

1. 9K miles, 6 weeks to the natl rally & then to the NW rally.
2. 2K miles, 2 weeks to two OR rallies & thereafter to the N. Calif. coastal redwoods.

And we're going to another OR rally at the end of this month.

The best compliment I can offer are two responses from my sweetie to the Ram/AS combination:

1. Given that what she was used to with her ex (a $1 million plus, 45 ft Prevost coach), "Our AS 27 FB is everything I want in an RV."

2. "I feel safe & comfortable riding in the Ram while it's towing the AS. I hardly know it's there. I couldn't say that at all with the 5th wheel."

My best to you in your search.

Sincerely,

Richard Wills

An addendum re slide-outs.

1. In the short time that we had the 5th wheel, our main slide-out got stuck out, & we had to get professional help to get it back in.

2. In the redwoods, we camped three nights in Jedediah Smith State Park. The family next to us had a new 32 ft 5th wheel & were on its maiden voyage. After settling into their space, they slid out their slide-outs & found that they could get one of them back in. That was on the Saturday of the Labor Day weekend. Bottom line: They had to wait until the following Tuesday to get professional help to get the stuck slide-out back in.

As Mies van der Rohe said, "Less is more."
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Old 09-16-2016, 05:22 PM   #17
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I also traded in a Forest River trailer on my Airstream.
There's a world of difference.


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Old 09-16-2016, 06:17 PM   #18
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Here's a link to the ULTIMATE Real Man's Guide to Tow Vehicles.

http://www.hhrvresource.com/

Anything less is just a LGT (Little Girly Truck).
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Old 09-16-2016, 06:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnuffySmith View Post
Greetings,

As we enter our 60's (me a little further into it than her) the Mrs. and I would like to spend the next 7-10 years satisfying our wanderlust. We would expect to spend 6 months in warmer weather climes; perhaps settling in at a location for the winter. We would also expect to spend a fair share of time on the road seeing the country throughout the remainder of the year.

We are exploring the AS lifestyle and are impressed with the wealth of information on Air Forums. Are there any suggestions on how best to navigate the site? Are there key post archives or FAQ's for the newbies?

My primitive male instincts are to go big or go home. I counter that with the Robin Williams guiding principal; "Men have a p***s and a brain, but only enough blood to run one at a time".



We're leaning towards a Classic, but don't know exactly why just yet; top of the line, more space. A 28-30 foot rig seems right.

A one ton diesel with dually's would mollify my machismo, but my early research suggests that one can safely and comfortably tow even the larger AS with considerably less TV.

As a general rule, safety has not been at the top of my list when it comes to vehicle selection. However, when moving 50 feet of equipment worth $150-200k through the mountains, I do not want to find out the hard way that I cut corners on safety to save a few bucks or because I mismatched equipment.

The challenge is to right size the AS to satisfy our daily living desires while balancing that with a relaxing and secure "rolling down the road" experience. I have no desire to white knuckle my way across the country.

I recognize these are garden variety questions that have been discussed ad infinitum on the forum. We'd be grateful to anyone who can help us shortcut a bit with recommendations or point us in the right direction.

Having said all that, here is a question. We recently road tripped to Tablerock Lake in the Branson area from the Twin Cities. We saw perhaps 3 or 4 AS' on the road compared to dozens and dozens and dozens of 5th wheel and SOB's. Why is that? Other than the size thing, what attracts people to 5'ers vs AS?

Thank you. Glad to be here. Looking forward to the journey.

Vaya con Dios;

Snuffy
I traded in a 2015 25' Flying Cloud in for a 2016 30' FC. because it's roomier, and the bed is more comfortable, and there's more storage space; more than I need for the two of us.
The 30' was an excellent choice, comfortable to live in, and more important; the wife likes it. (finally).
The Classic is a lovely trailer, but more heavy, and expensive.
Choose your purchase carefully.
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Old 09-16-2016, 07:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I also traded in a Forest River trailer on my Airstream.
There's a world of difference.


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Don't even get me started on forest river!


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Old 09-16-2016, 09:43 PM   #21
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Forest River is generating sales for Airstream...


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Old 09-16-2016, 10:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
but there is no Tundra with an 8' bed anymore.
Are you sure? You can still build 2017 model standard cabs and double cabs with a 8 ft bed on Toyotas website.
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:22 PM   #23
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Where do I start?

Let me put a qualifier:
There are no Tundra CrewMax with 8' beds.
There may be no Limited, Platinum, or 1794 Edition with 8' beds.
At least I have never seen one.
The only ones I have seen with 8' beds are DoubleCab base models.
The is a CrewMax 8' bed on Desert Kar Kings on Velocity channel, but they built it themselves.
There was a conversion company several years ago that would build you one, but it was very expensive and that payload thing.
I guess it really lacks the payload to have a big cab and a big bed.


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Old 09-17-2016, 06:44 AM   #24
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40 years of RVs. We went from our 5th wheel to nice used 03 AS Classic for simplicity. We have a 15 year old F250 diesel that still performs very well but a properly equipped half ton will do when the time comes. The "stuff" I carried in the 5th wheel was excessive. Now the AS is easy to tow...fuel mileage is great...and it's so cool for a part time retirement home. Happy happy happy.
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Old 09-17-2016, 07:47 AM   #25
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Owning an AS is a lifestyle choice. Don't think we realized that until we took delivery and attended a rally (Canopener 2016). What great people! We strongly prefer camping with other Airstreams. Earlier in the thread, someone noted that Airstreamers "travel." That fits us to a tee; we have always had wanderlust.

DW and I spent years researching AS; cancer striking a son and SIL delayed our purchase for three years. During the three year delay, we considered the 25FB and then focused on 27FB, but saw several complaints on the Forum about lack of comfort in the dinette/sofa area. We decided on the Classic 30 because of the real wood cabinets and other aspects that just "spoke" to us. Ordered it July 15 and picked it up the last work day of '15. We have been very happy with the AS; have had a Class A DP in the past; quality is much better with AS. The layout of the Classic is just perfect for us. Had we purchased the 27FB, we would have just pined after the 30 until we traded. Didn't you say "go big or go home" in your OP?

Whatever you choose, be sure to also select a TV with sufficient excess capacity to tow the trailer and carry your stuff. We chose a F250 diesel and love it. Going down a steep grade without using brakes (exhaust brake) is great. As someone who grew up on a ranch driving/towing equipment and then drove big trucks in college (delivered/transferred equipment for a freight company), I can tell you that towing ability is nice, but stopping ability can save your life.

Whatever AS or TV you choose, add a WDSC hitch system (we chose ProPride). You can certainly tow even the largest AS with TVs smaller than ours, but without WDSC you would be at serious risk on the road even with an F450 or equivalent.

Good luck with your search and selection process; take your time and continue to read the Forum. The Forum was our primary research source; we made several decisions based on info obtained here. We have also gotten great info from other AS'ers at rallies.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:15 AM   #26
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Welcome

My wife and I have owned other travel trailers and a fifth wheel and I can honestly say that we feel more at home in our 30' 2003 Classic than any of the others...new or used. It is solid...It has everything we need and it doesn't shake apart going down the road. We always dreamed of having an Airstream but felt we could never afford a new one. Ours is 13 years old and just like new....Why aren't theremore on the road???? I suppose Airstream builds enough to keep their quality at it's peak and doesn't compromise for numbers. Goid luck on your journey....Do it in an Airstream.
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:36 AM   #27
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I also own a 30' Classic because it has been a lifetime dream.
After 32 years of tent camping we got a white box travel trailer.
All those years I thought I could never afford a camper of any kind.
Then I thought I could never afford an Airstream trailer.
I owned the 2009 Forest River Wildwood 28RLSS 2 years and 4 months till I got the Airstream.
Nearly 4 years later it is still surreal.
I own a beautiful American icon.


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Old 09-17-2016, 09:43 AM   #28
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Welcome to the fun.

As a comment on tow vehicles, if you do feel that a Tundra can meet the payload needs for your situation, then I will pine on about mine for a line or 2.

I drive a 2014 Tundra 5.8L V8 4x4 extended cab short bed as my daily driver. It is a very comfortable ride. We have owned 2 suburbans in the past, and the Tundra is much easier to drive around the city. More comfortable seats, better shifting points for the gears (it's easy to keep it at 35 mph around town. That was not easy with the Suburban). It has great AC, and the back seats flip up to create a huge area there.

But my #1 favorite feature is that on my trim level, the back window rolls completely down. That is just so awesome for highway travel on days with nice weather. You get that fresh air feeling without the wind in you face/blowing hair into your eyes. And unlike a sun roof you don't get cooked or need to worry about sunburn

I belive the 2017 model also offers a 35 gallon fuel tank. That would be a nice to have also.
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