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AZVicki 07-24-2006 08:06 PM

Newbie with lots of questions
 
Great forum, thanks. We're currently an owner of an Alpenlite fifth wheel but we've found an "Airstream Only" Park and fell in love with it, so I'm here to educate myself. Will be putting the Alpenlite on the market soon.

We can't afford a new one; I figure we're good for a 1995-2002 model and we'd like a 31-34'.

I see so many different names, i.e.: Soverign, Classic, Limited and Excella. Where can I get more information on them? How are they different? Floor plans or quality? What's up with the "widebody" designation I've heard mentioned. I haven't noticed any that are wider than another, or have I missed something? I'm also interested in a front kitchen...is it possible? Is there particular model number, i.e.: FK, that I should search for to eliminate the others?

Thanks for your time. We appreciate your responses.
Vicki

CanoeStream 07-24-2006 10:53 PM

Hi Vicki! And welcome to the best sharing site of Airstream information -- anywhere!!

Model names tend to change with the times; e.g., "Classic" is a more recent top of the line with nicer windows and home-like interior hardwood cabinetry. Browse the Vintage Airstream Photo Archive site and you can draw some conclusions -- although it cuts off after 1979. Airstream was owned by Beatrice Foods in the 1980s -- Beatrice was out of their league and infamous problems with frame flex and 'rear end separation' marked longer units of this period. The 1990s fared much better. Just guessing -- but trailers 25' and longer became 8'6" wide in about 1993-1994.

Front kitchen? I'm not the best historian but that may be a stretch. Airstreams have been fairly consistent with either a foldout couch/bed (gaucho) or dinette up against the front windows.

Some of the most experienced folks here have 1990s era Airstreams -- a good compromise on fewer repairs and lower prices. When box trailers get 'tired' they are recycled at the landfill. Any Airstream rewards your labors with long years of usefulness. I hear longer trailers are occasional good finds in Florida and the south as retirees depart to spend their last years closer to home and family. Either way, browse the ASForums classifieds or at the Vintage Airstream Club to get an idea of what turns up and how often. Avoid eBay like the refuge of lost causes that it often becomes -- that is only for the very savvy Airstream hunter.

I'm sure you are trying to search on topics of interest -- keep at it for the occasional nugget you'll find. Please feel welcome to ask any and all Airstream questions!

2airishuman 07-24-2006 11:10 PM

hi vicky and welcome...

try the airstream.com site and to this page...
http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...intenance.html

these are the service/parts manuals for the more recent years. see the models listed....in the parts manuals there are schematics for many units...

in the 34 size there is a "basic floor plan" a/s has used for years....it's the same as the floor plan shown for their new classic trailers...so again go to airstream.com and models and classics and floor plans....

they did do a front kitchen model....i've got a pic somewhere....i'll post.
also did a front 'fireplace model'......and a model with a breakfast bar/stools.
most of the floor plans that differ from the 'basic floor plan' you just viewed....are uncommon, so not many are found available...

soverign was the longest model for awhile...followed by excella? now 34classic. limited is an upgraded trim package...with other extra features available in the later years...

if you are only looking after 95 they are all wide bodies, but more recent years have higher payload capacity...and are heavier.

happy looking
2air'

2airishuman 07-24-2006 11:25 PM

3 Attachment(s)
'vicki.....

here are 3 shots of a front kitchen/mid lounge model...i think this was a 97 or 98 year trailer, parquet floor up front. these are much heavier up front so they have a higher tongue weight...it is an interesting set up...i liked it.

there is also an option now for 2 sofas up front in an L shape...
'hookedonclassics' has one of these...and pics in his file i think....

cheers
2air'

click on pix for LARGER view....

2airishuman 07-24-2006 11:29 PM

2 Attachment(s)
since you are coming from a 5th wheel
ya might want to look at slide models too....

here are a couple of shots of a 2002 slide model....

happy looking.
2air'

Chaplain Kent 07-25-2006 07:22 AM

Welcome to the forums. Smart choice to trade the fifth wheel for romance and aluminum. I would suggest visiting Fred's Page which has a wealth of pictures showing different years and models of AS trailers and motor homes.
Good luck with your search.
http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/

AZVicki 07-25-2006 08:06 AM

Thank for the welcome. I'll be checking out the links. so much to learn and it's very exciting.

Vicki


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