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Old 05-22-2016, 12:44 PM   #15
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2014 25' FB International
Sherwood , Oregon
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Welcome to the forum!

We started 50 years ago with tents, then VW pop-top camper and finally a Winnebego MoHo that we sold 40 years ago when we were transferred overseas. After retiring in the Fall of 2010, a year ago we suddenly got the bug to camp again and we both decided the only way to do it was in an Airstream. We travel on coastal and mountain roads that I would not drive a Class A, although some people do, and as others have said, we do not like the gravel parking lot RV parks preferring State and National parks that actually have trees, hiking trails and space between campsites.

Why not rent one of each for some close to home camping to see what you feel comfortable driving/towing and camping in. Good luck in your decision process.

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Old 05-22-2016, 12:49 PM   #16
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2009 34' Panamerica
2008 22' Safari
Metro Detroit Area & Metro Dallas Area , Michigan & Texas
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If you're frugal...

Don't BUY either until you rent each type. A Motorhome's a MAJOR cost to purchase, maintain, and store. Check out the costs closely! Absolutely a great thing that you are professional accountant!! Buy used in either case; many a new RV purchase quickly is on the secondary market due to imprudent decisions. My spouse TOO wanted a MH until they saw the things that they'd have to trade away. We use our PanAmerica and wait for a 2014 Tiffin Allegro MH to match our $$.

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Old 05-22-2016, 12:55 PM   #17
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Sherwood , Oregon
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Originally Posted by markdoane View Post
Another consideration is, if you finance it you can deduct the interest. Unless you already have a second home that you are deducting.
There might be a limit on interest deduction if you go whole hog on the class A, but you're an accountant so you know more about that than I would.
Just trying to talk you into making your wife a happy camper.
A travel trailer's loan interest can also be deducted.
2014 25FB International Serenity, Blue OX Sway Pro,
2016 F350 4x4 Ultimate Lariat crew cab SRW, LWB, 6.7 PSD, 20" wheels, Ingot Silver Metallic, DiamondBack tonneau cover, TrailFX wheel-to-wheel step bars.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:00 PM   #18
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1997 31' Land Yacht
Mahone Bay , Nova Scotia
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Class A or airstream?

They are not mutually exclusive! We have an older (1997) class A Airstream, and yes we spent some money on repairs/renos, but much less than buying new.
This unit has no slides - we downsized from a 37-1/2' fifth heel with 3 slides - and we find it perfect for us right now.
We have had a large diesel pusher, 2 good sized fifth wheels, and now this one. It is not a classic all aluminum head turner, but it gets attention, and we are big on keeping her clean and waxed.
Don't be swayed by what others have. When we had our large 5th wheel, we travelled with friends who had a luxury coach complete with heated floors and dishwasher. Most meals were eaten in our rig as the set up was more comfortable!
We love the motorhome, and we love the Airstream friends we have met with it, although in any Airstream gathering we are the minority.
Try to look at some Airstream motorhomes. Keep an open mind - since they are older and less expensive, you can do a lot of interior mods to bring it up to your taste.
Most of all, enjoy the journey, whether it is across the country or just down the road.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:10 PM   #19
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2004 30' Land Yacht Gas 30
Langley , British Columbia
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We have an Air Stream Class A MotorHome (MoHo) and we have really like it.
2004 Land Yacht 30' gas. We tow a small Saturn behind it that is 2005.
It has been pampered so in great shape.

We are selling it because our municipal bylaws changed and it is now about 5' too long in thedriveway to be there (we chose not to store it). So we are going to buy a much shorter Airstream trailer.

Not just because we are selling ours, my advise is to buy a used one and see how that works. MotorHome versus trailer, etc.

We had a sway package added so handles beautifully and whether is is bad on gas, I have no idea when we compare ours to those with big trucks pulling trailers. Many many extras, such as a cover specially made for the rig and has a zip for the door so one can still get in and out, when covered.

Text or message me if interested Shelby 604-290-8778 Good luck
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:10 PM   #20
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2013 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Salado , Texas
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I have been all over the map on this. We have had two different motor homes and towed small cars across the country to provide transportation when we got somewhere. Before that, we started with a tent, moved up to a tent-camper, small travel trailer, etc. After decades of experience, we settled on and are delighted to be pulling an Airstream 27' Eddie Bauer.

The difference, in our experience, is whether one wants to be "camping" or have, quite literally, a house with all the relative luxuries of a nice house. On the road, traveling with the Airstream is a dream. Yes, as the prime driver, I am aware that we are now 47' long, but other than that, driving is a pleasant experience. Traveling in a class-A MH towing a car is akin to driving an 18 wheeler, or a bus. There is little room for error and in urban areas, it was a form of torture. Backing (with a towed car) was something close to impossible. It could be done, but was a truly major challenge. Getting that MH and towed vehicle into a fueling station was one of the more significant challenges.

The big plus to a motorhome is that people other than the driver can move about, prepare food, lay down, etc. That is indeed a big plus if strapped-in safety is not a concern. One of the most important issues that converted us from motorhomes to Airstream was the death of a friend in a motorhome accident. Tires do blow out. If you lose a front tire in a class-A motorhome, you WILL lose steering control. If you blow the left front tire, you will be crossing into ongoing traffic. Our friends had that happen in a motorhome with tires less than three years old while on a two-lane highway. Another class-A was headed the other way on the highway. Since he was drifting left with a full right-hand input into the steering, he swung left to cross ahead of the oncoming traffic. They sideswiped, and his wife/passenger was killed by flying debris. Anyone not strapped down would have been severely injured. Note that we acted from anecdotal information. The only study I could find suggested that the deaths per million miles traveled in a class-A were about 1/3 that of overall traffic deaths. Of course, the deaths per million miles in a 3/4 ton pickup are also very low! The bigger the vehicle, the lower the death rate. When deaths did occur, they were overwhelmingly collisions at highway speeds with other large vehicles (probably head-on).

Last, but certainly not least, the maintenance and breakdown time and expense using a heavy-duty pickup and an Airstream are minimal. If you intend to keep the motor home for a decade or more, and given the depreciation, I suggest you do plan on that, you are going to see the maintenance and repair costs rise exponentially. Large motorhomes are like aircraft in that you will need to exercise that vehicle regularly or it will turn into a maintenance nightmare.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:26 PM   #21
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Another consideration is ease of use. The floor of my Tradewind is only 17" off the pavement. If you or they think you will have trouble climbing in and out of the bus then go with a lowrider trailer.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:38 PM   #22
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I don't care who is asking this question but I always say. If you are not experienced in camping Never By New. You will never get what you need on the first purchase and that is a costly mistake.

Many first time buyers go to an RV show and see the place mats on the table with a long stemmed flower and champagne glasses. They buy it and then realize there is no place to store their shoes.

Rent or by used to start because you are going to change your mind.

You are sitting in the capital of the used RV market.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 05-22-2016, 05:26 PM   #23
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2009 34' Panamerica
2008 22' Safari
Metro Detroit Area & Metro Dallas Area , Michigan & Texas
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Yes, Indeed!...

As HowieE has implied: RESIST the slick marketing you'll see while at RV shows and dealerships. My first Airstream was a 2008 22' Sport. If was a dealer repo; nice but TOO small for the wife - just fine for me! Bought a 2009 34' Airstream PanAm - Perfect for her! Then, MoHo envy sets in - her! Stop the madness before it's too late! Look long before getting into this caldron of expense. Remember: My first was taken back from its original owner - his loss, my gain. Be patient.
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Old 05-22-2016, 05:31 PM   #24
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
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Wife wants a new class a motor home - I am interested in airstream

You posted on airstream forum - you have what is paradoxically called on this site "aluminitis" I suspect (it should be called aluminophilia but hey - I didn't coin it) and as such your affliction will overcome all obstacles!

Kidding aside - i have nothing of great value to say to you as I have only ever happily owned a new airstream travel trailer bought in 2013 and am having a blast along with my family unit (wife and 2 small kids).

I recommend buying used if you are able as well - We were fixed on my model and could not find one used and we became impatient..

So tough though....if it were just my wife and I - it would be a difficult decision!! I don't envy you!

What is your budget? How much per year can you dump into the longitudinal cost bucket? How small of an RV would your wife accept? How firm is she on a MoHo? Does she wear the metaphorical pants? Belt? Now I am just being annoying - good luck!

Bring her to go see "some other brands" (called affectionately "SOB's" on this forum) then to see some airstreams!

Don't show her that movie "the long long trailer" - it nearly scared my wife away entirely hahaha
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 05-22-2016, 05:50 PM   #25
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Scottsdale , Arizona
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We have had VW Vanagon Westfalia pop-up campers, a 5th wheel, a Class A Diesel Pusher, an Airstream International Serenity, and now, we're back to the Class A motorhome.

You can read up on our experience here:


We have found the Newmar Class A coaches to be remarkably trouble free, of course, over time, all RVs develop things that need correcting and motorhomes have more going on than trailers with no slides have. That said, we're much happier with the motorhome.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:01 PM   #26
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Fraser Valley , British Columbia
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If you want to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, these long-time Airstreamers recommend a Class A.....
easily distracted by shiny objects
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:17 PM   #27
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Funny. But an element of reality as well.

There is a certain advantage to not having to leave your driving vehicle when you want to use the rest room, kitchen, or to sleep. And, not having to leave your living quarters when you want to drive away from some type of situation.

Each RV type you might consider has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. There is no perfect set up for all people.

And... whichever way you decide to go... don't forget, all of us RVers should have a couple of great shotguns and a good stock of 00 Buckshot on board... just in case you should unexpectedly find yourself in a threatening situation. You would not want to find yourself completely defenseless and begging for mercy from a scumbag (or a group of scumbags). Been there, done that. Better prepared now; fortunate to still be here. (Shotguns are arguably the best defensive weapon for close quarters defense there is!)
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:25 PM   #28
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Walnut Creek , California
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What we did was to go visit what is available. We climbed into a CA and did not like he high steps to get inside. We were not happy with what we could afford. So we chose Airstream. It was a door into another world. A world of smiles.

If you have unlimited funding, or do not have the ability to deal with the issues of towing, a CA may be the right way to go. A bus is big enough to carry what you want to take along.

An Airstream is not a perfect solution. They can leak, have build issues, are not terribly high tech, and are over rated for what they are. However, the systems are reasonably easy to understand, no slides, an iconic image, and big enough.

If you do chose Airstream, understand what you are getting with a retro/restored vintage coach, a lightly used/well cared for used coach, and a new coach with a warranty. Also understand what tow vehicle it takes to handle the coach you want/need. A 3/4 diesel will pull most all AS. Smaller vehicles also do well and some folks have to have a full tonner. Understand where you fall in the range and do it once. It will save you money.

Read the tire threads, the solar threads, the hitch threads, the converter threads, the battery threads, the .............

Also, view the videos on U-tube. They help you learn from the experience of others.

Generally, finding a good dealer can go a long way to deliver a happy traveling experience. The alternative is to learn to do it yourself.

On the CA idea, there are interesting vintage coaches. Reference the AS, GM, and well converted bus coaches.

Good luck. We look forward to meeting you some day. Pat

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