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Old 06-12-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
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Bellingham , Massachusetts
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Hello, MoHo info needed

My wife & I are newly retired and want a something to travel up to 3 months each year. I am inspecting a potential new to me Airstream Motor Home. Any suggestions regarding items that can be judged as catastrophic when contemplating this purchase? I am thinking along the lines of when inspecting an old British sports car, whether the frame is intact must be considered. I know Airstream is not a British sports car, but the aluminum body mated with a steel frame makes me wonder.

Any advice at all will be appreciated?
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:47 AM   #2
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Well, at least you needn't worry about Lucas electrics! Welcome to the forums!
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120
Well, at least you needn't worry about Lucas electrics
I can't even imagine that nightmare!

Soon, someone will respond with useable info for you, I'm sure.

Welcome!
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120
Well, at least you needn't worry about Lucas electrics!
Since you won't have to worry about the Prince of Darkness, I can give you some basics. You didn't say what year, size, or powerplant, so it will be kind of vague.
Engine, transmission, rear axle, air bag suspension, generator, air conditioner, and refrigerator are all the biggies. As far as coachwork, floor rot, broken or missing windows, and plumbing are important to look over closely.
There are other items, but are more year and type of powerplant specific.
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:39 AM   #5
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We have a 30' motor home and love it. We have full timed in it for 6 months at a time. we never felt it as being too closed in. It is compact and you can't have much extra items in the aisle from back to front. It is as roomy as a trailer in my opinion. You can open the curtains to be able to see outside if it feels too close. I don't want a SOB with slideouts as that is just something else to service. I hope you find just the right MH for you and get to go see this great country of ours. Check out the posts of Lucy's great adventure for a taste of what retired traveling can be like. Moosetags had done a great job of sending great pictures and travelog.

Good Luck and Happy trails to you.

Kay and Roy
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:54 PM   #6
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Bob,
My wife and I bought our 1986 345 in the fall of '05. We have had it to Florida the last two winters.
The quality of these motor homes is fantastic. Our unit has 160,000+ miles. When we got it we had to have the transmission overhauled, new shocks and tires installed. I have since replaced the water heater, and installed new flat plate tv's.
Things to look for; an engine with 100,000 miles since new or overhaul, leaking or slipping transmission, leaking radiator, tires over 5 years old, water leak stains in the interior, soft spots in floor, fridge not working, roof a/c's not working, furnaces not working.
These are the high dollar items.
All the systems are the same as any SOB. It's the quality of the coach it's self that makes an Airstream an Airstream. The only place I have seen any frame rust is in the area of the rear tires. There is a sub-frame section that is made of 2" steel square tube. It can rust, but does not effect structure.
Welcome to the Forum!
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:14 PM   #7
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Hi, Bob, and welcome!!!

First of all, in the words of Joseph Lucas, "A true gentleman does not motor about after dark."

We have British sportscars AND and an Airstream 310 motor home, so we well know what you are asking about.

The above replies have been great, and have covered everything i would have said, except for two things:

1) Our 310 lived on both coasts, and despite being skinned in aluminum, other things DO rust. Check for rusty contacts on electrical connections, rust in frame/engine/suspension components, levelers, etc.

2) Wiring done by anyone other than the factory. Poor Brad had to rewire a lot of stuff (with more to come) after the PO wired in a bunch of stuff. Check to make sure things look right in the electrical boxes, etc. (correct size wire is used, etc.).

Good luck! I hope it works out for you!

Susan
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumatube
First of all, in the words of Joseph Lucas, "A true gentleman does not motor about after dark."
Those of us with British motorcycles (especially cafe racers) probably wouldn't have fallen within his definition.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:41 PM   #9
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Ha ha, probably not!

What do you have? The cafe racers are great!

Susan
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:44 PM   #10
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You can easily spend $5000 on brakes, front end, air bags (front and rear), shocks, suspension compressor, steering, and hydra-boost. That does not include tires and wheels.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:05 PM   #11
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And $10k will probably come close to getting a new crate 454 installed. The Allison overhaul will be an add-on. You don't mention what years you're interested in, whether it's a Classic aluminum or Land Yacht fiberglass body, but they're pretty much all built on Chevy P30 chassis. Brakes are an issue once they get older. Brake lines can be problematic as can the calipers. Glass on the Classics can be interesting to find and replace. Other than those items already mentioned in other posts, they're pretty straight-forward. Just be prepared to do a lot of mechanical work on your own, because if you don't it's pretty easy to end up spending on a Classic on repairs close to what a newer SOB will run you. They're great coaches though, and always head-turners.

Roger
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumatube
Ha ha, probably not!

What do you have? The cafe racers are great!

Susan
Right now a new Triumph Bonneville. In the past, Nortons and a Triumph Tiger. Okay...I'm done hijacking
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120
Well, at least you needn't worry about Lucas electrics!
One last hijack,

Do you know why the British like warm beer?
Lucas makes refrigerators also.....

Now bact to the thread
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
One last hijack,

Do you know why the British like warm beer?
Lucas makes refrigerators also.....

Now bact to the thread
I've not heard that one before!
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:33 AM   #15
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SOO what year, type motorhome are you looking for? we can probably give you some more specifics. Definitely do a lot of looking, we did a lot of research, looked at 3 and spent probably 4 hours in ours before we bought it and I was amazed when I went to look for a conventional oven we did not have one! The micro/convection works great for us, having an original built in icemaker and Nu tone kitchen system is amazing. They made a geat product and we love our 1985 345
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Old 06-30-2007, 03:43 PM   #16
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I don't think you understand the British climate...it has never been necessary to refrigerate our beer, it is enough that it is kept in a cellar. It would also be spoiled at under 5 deg C (not talking here about yellow beer). I would like to state here that neither of us actually drink the stuff! Also what is this about Lucas fridges? They also are not generally necessary, just a big umbrella.
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Old 06-30-2007, 04:52 PM   #17
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Brewers:

Hello (again) from Texas! I'm glad you found your way to the forums! You will find a wealth of information and new friends here. No matter what you end up purchasing you won't be disappointed as long as it's an Airstream. We purchased our '82 310 turbo diesel motorhome less than a year ago and know that we won't ever own anything but an Airstream.

We had never been camping before when we bought "Seymour" last July and didn't know if it would be something we would/could get into and enjoy. Two rallies later and 150 new best friends we came home and listed our motorhome on the classifieds. We now are ready to make a little larger investment for something newer - and you can bet it will be another Airstream.

We are by no means experts in Airstream motorhomes but we will be happy to visit with you about our experiences in the last year and some of the things we have learned. Give us a call.

Jimmy and Marque



I envy you the opportunity you have to spend some quality time out on the road. (Retirement is only 609 days away, but who's counting?)
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