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Old 02-22-2003, 11:37 PM   #1
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Need advice Classic vs. Land Yacht

We'll be buying an Airstream motorhome this spring for pulling racecar and cart trailers on 100-200 mile weekends and sleeping at the track. Parameters are 28-32 feet (we live in the twisty hills), rear full or queen, and under $35,000. I'd like a later Classic (88-91), but the money seems to exceed a 30' 93-95 Land Yacht. Is there a thread exploring the pros and cons of the two bodystyles? I have restored my share of vintage cars and think aluminum is wonderful but it sure needs attention. But I used to live in a 28' Airstream trailer and have always had a sweet spot for a classic Airstream motorhome. Is there a later model diesel, like a 90 or 91, for under $50,000 that would make my decision easier? Is the only Classic diesel the little Isuzu with the BAE turbo? Thanks in advance. Andy
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Old 02-23-2003, 09:13 AM   #2
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Check out my site for the motor home models available.

As you have seen, the list prices for the Land Yacht models is below the classic models. The classic aluminum motor homes continue to be in demand. The fiberglas units don't have the novelty. The newer units are bigger and have more basement storage. Some of them have electronic fuel injection and overdrive transmissions which improves gas mileage.
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Old 02-23-2003, 09:45 AM   #3
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Technically the newer style land yatchs are better, in terms of features, cost, milage, maintainance etc. The trouble is if you have your heart set on a classic "silver bullet" Motor Home them all that becomes secondary. You can certainly get a newer classic model(85-93) in your price range. In fact you can get a darn nice one for 50K. It sounds like with the shorter trips/stay times you are talking about that extra storage and better milage of a diesel don't really matter that much. I do believe that they where offered with another type of diesel package, but I don't know the details. You mentioned towing, the classics are not that big on towing heavy loads. You may have some issues to work through, setting one up for towing duties. That said the classic motor homes handle very well on the twisties, handle side winds well and are in general a pleasure to drive compared to the "box" motor homes. They have all the creature comforts you would desire unless you are the kind of person that has to bring along your "whole house" with you on a road trip! As far as maintainance the classics have the same issues as the land yatchs, no more no less. The only exception being the finish, the aluminum skin does require more attention, but you know that. Then there is the "cool" factor to consider. There is nothing else on the road like these classic Airstream Motor Homes. They really get the attention of people wherever you go. You don't see too many on the road so you don't feel like one of the "herd", you feel like you are part of something unique. In the long run I do believe the classics will hold their value better. There is collector's value to them, combined this with the scarcity hence the higher prices you are seeing. Sometimes your heart and your head are saying opposites things. Weigh it all out and get what you really desire. You really can't go wrong with either of these rigs. Reading through this forum will gain you valuable knowledge and also take a visit to Fred H's website below.
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Old 02-23-2003, 01:54 PM   #4
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I recently saw a 31 footer with a isuzu diesel advertized in the Memphis Tenn area. asking 16500......I havent inspected it but it looked nice in the picture(they usually dont show you the side with the big dent). If you are interested I could try to find the ad.

The reason I bought the 31 is that my wife thought it was cool...she didnt want to stay in a trailer.....not one of those white tin looking ones...... vbob
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Old 02-25-2003, 01:02 PM   #5
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diesel for sale

Hi, If the coach you saw has a center bath, I'd be very interested in pursuing it.
Thanks, Andy 310 455 3149
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Old 02-25-2003, 05:39 PM   #6
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You may want to check the total loaded weights on your race trailers. The Classics are only rated for 2000 lbs total trailer load with a maximum of 200 lbs of tongue weight. Even though your trips are relatively short, the huge overhang behind the tag axel could contribute to a towed becoming squirrelly behind the MH.

The older I get, the more attention I pay to specs, I figure the engineers put a cap on the numbers for a reason, especially in today's litigious society. If your primary use of the MH will be racing weekends, you might consider having someone drive your
existing tow vehicle with the trailer in addition to taking the MH. If
not, you'll be stuck using the MH as a "run around" vehicle.

At any rate, if your consistently pulling anything more than 2500
pounds or so, you may want to consider a Diesel Pusher -- really sweet for towing, and the pass through bays are great for parts, tools, tents, and tires.

I drove a 5.9 liter Cummins Airstream Classic, and really couldn't tell the difference from the 454 Chevy, but I did not put a stopwatch to it.

There is no substitute for common sense or cubic inches.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
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Old 02-25-2003, 06:46 PM   #7
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There were only 13 of them made and I know one is not for sale, but there is a Classic AS motohome Diesel pusher. It was built on the Spartan Chassis and may meet your needs more closely than a front engine 454 model.

I have no way of knowing where they are or who to contact, but I wanted you to be aware it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 02-26-2003, 02:18 PM   #8
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OK I did not know there was a classic diesel pusher made ever? What year was this puppy made? What is up front the gen set? Just curious...
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Old 02-26-2003, 03:50 PM   #9
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That's what you get for not monitoring my site! Check out 1995 36DP (B). Note the single rear axle. That's my guess for the 2005 model!
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Old 02-26-2003, 06:01 PM   #10
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Fred how many Isuzu diesels did they make ours is the 1983 310 turbo.
Dave and Louise
Finally Retired
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Old 02-27-2003, 05:57 AM   #11
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I don't know how many of each year/model were made. We have tried to guess-timate based on production capability at the factory. Some models have limited productions of 12-15. Others seem to have been producted in larger quantities. Variations like diesel engines would be even harder to nail down. Only Airstream knows and I've never asked. Some people on the forums are much closer to the factory and understand how they work better than I do. That might be a good topic for a new thread.
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Old 02-27-2003, 10:46 AM   #12
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My 1995 Land Yacht LE w/454 & overdrive has been outfitted with a Banks Engineering Power System...she really hums along & has more than enough torque to pull a trailer with my MGB on it over the steepest mountains without strain
1995 Land Yacht LE
towing 1979 MGB on trailer
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