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Old 01-27-2017, 12:39 PM   #1
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2004 28' International CCD
Cocoa , Florida
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Are we crazy?? Should we or should we not sell...

We are having a problem deciding if we should sell or not. We have an 2004 28' international and are considering going full time on the road. My problem is this, although I am only 51, my health has been on the decline for 20 years with sever diabetes. To much to list, but my injuries and conditions has got to the point where hooking and un hooking the trailer is sooooo painfull and I don't think I can pick up the sway bars and hitch any more. Sooooo, as we sit down here in key west, looking at all the gorgeous class A and class C rigs come in, back up, plug in and they are done. Yes, I understand you need to tow a car, but it sure looks easier than the anti sway bars we all deal with. We LOVE our airstream, but maybe it's time to move on. What do you think?? Do we become "one of them"??
I hope you all have a great weekend!!
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:49 PM   #2
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selling

Good Luck to you! do whats best for YOU
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:52 PM   #3
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We too are considering the move to a Class "A". It seems that many full timers; especially the most senior among us follow this path. The appeal of pulling off the road and dropping anchor is seductive. Not to debate the pros and cons of such a move but offer a suggestion. Rent a motor home for a week or two and see how you get along. A few thousand dollars now might save you "Tens" later on. Best wishes on your search.
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:58 PM   #4
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IMO, Towing a car behind a class A isn't any less work than hooking up the Airstream. And if you leave the dolly attached, you are limited to long pull through sites which usually are in the middle of the park and the worst views.

If say you go with a small Class C and no car, that will still be very hard to get around a lot of locations.

If lifting stuff is a problem, you could go with a high end hitch like the ProPride 3P and just leave the stinger attached to the tow vehicle all the time. Nothing to lift doing that. The weight distribution bars stay on the hitch head.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:05 PM   #5
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I'm 71 and looking ahead to our travel future as well, the ten year plan. We have been world-wide travelers and campers since for 50 years.

The easiest hitch I have used is our ProPropride, the head and bars stay on the trailer tongue and I just pull ahead a foot and slide the stinger back into the hitch head when unhooking, oppose when hooking up. There's some effort using the screw jacks to set the weight distribution, but that can be eased by raising the back of the truck and Airstream tongue with the tongue jack. Then use a portable drill/driver to turn the screw jacks.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to have power levelers on each side of the Airstream to level it side-to-side. Otherwise setting up our Airstream is pretty simple.

I see the motorhomes too and have considered it, but it's harder to maneuver. You can't back up with a car in tow. It is more difficult to drive, especially in or near cities or tight camping venues.

Our thinking has been when we no longer care to deal with the Airstream, go back to camper vans like we used for 35 years. Then there is nothing to tow, nearly as easy to drive as a car, it serves as camper and daily driver. The limitation is long term camping comfort. Maybe it's time too look into cabin rental when we arrive at destinations, see the sights and do short term camping in something like a Road Trek SS Agile as we move about the country.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:13 PM   #6
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Go on Amazon and buy a book Curing diabetes with dieting. Read the reviews to make your decision on a book. Find a dog and walk it 2 miles a day. If this doesn't work after one month or two...? I would rather see you healthier. It's not going to be easy changing your diet. I'm not a doctor...just a friend.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:36 PM   #7
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Maybe a motorhome small enough you don't need a toad.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:32 PM   #8
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I'm not sure what advice I'd give you. We've had a number of 5th wheels, two Airstreams and have looked/currently looking at Class As and Cs. I don't know of anything any easier to set up/break down than an Airstream, unless you are going to go without a toad. When we look at some smaller Class As, like a Winnebago 29R, it is with the intention of going without a toad. In that respect you could probably do ok. There are even smaller Class As and Cs that would suit the not toad travel method even better, as I'm sure you're aware.

Hang in there and keep up the good fight.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:33 PM   #9
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I never want to tow a car behind a MH because of the backing up issue. I recently help a couple who had accidentally gone into a dead end with a big diesel pusher towing a car. The man had already exhausted his small tool collection trying to get the bound up pins out of his tow bar. I loaned him the tools and helped him drive out the pins....No thanks.
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Old 01-27-2017, 08:23 PM   #10
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What about an Airstream Interstate? You could use that as a sole vehicle, although the interior size is considerably less than what you have now.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:43 PM   #11
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Well, I hope the best for you. Dr. Barry Sears and the Zone Diet is fantastic for diabetic patients as it addresses the one primary issue with diabetes. Secondly, if you like Airstreams , as others have said, the ProPride hitch does not require any lifting of bars; however, the stinger would require a plan to set up- perhaps a rolling stand. From that point an electric screwdriver could set the jacks. Only you know your limitations. There are power stabilizers and other workarounds for some of the work. You can get it to about the same physically as a Class A with a few additions. I am not sure you would save any money. They seem to be much more expensive to operate. I will say that the Winnebago View/Via is a nice coach if you don't need much space.
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zybane View Post
IMO, Towing a car behind a class A isn't any less work than hooking up the Airstream. And if you leave the dolly attached, you are limited to long pull through sites which usually are in the middle of the park and the worst views.

If say you go with a small Class C and no car, that will still be very hard to get around a lot of locations.

If lifting stuff is a problem, you could go with a high end hitch like the ProPride 3P and just leave the stinger attached to the tow vehicle all the time. Nothing to lift doing that. The weight distribution bars stay on the hitch head.
It's not necessary to use a dolly. There are any number of 4-wheelers that can be towed "4 wheels down."
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:38 PM   #13
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I did the plunge to class a and added a towable Toyota Sequoia. (Toad) it was a huge leap and an expensive one but I have no regrets. It's nice to pull off the road and can be in bed in 2 minutes on long drives . It's really nice when it storming out as there's no running back to the trailer .
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:53 PM   #14
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1983 34' Excella
Victoria , Texas
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Last spring I was breaking camp on the Texas coast with my Excella and watched something that fascinated me. Another, newer, about 30' Airstream came into the park and started setting up his trailer for a stay. He got out of his tow vehicle with a handheld remote and activated it. First off, his tongue jack came down then all of his leveling jacks came down automatically.

I got busy with my electric drill on my leveling jacks intending to go over and ask him about his rig, but by the time I got buttoned up and ready to roll, he had driven off in his tow vehicle.

Not wanting to hijack the thread but there was one response mentioning leveling jacks so I thought I would ask if anyone knows anything about those auto levelers?
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhkh226 View Post
We are having a problem deciding if we should sell or not. We have an 2004 28' international and are considering going full time on the road. My problem is this, although I am only 51, my health has been on the decline for 20 years with sever diabetes. To much to list, but my injuries and conditions has got to the point where hooking and un hooking the trailer is sooooo painfull and I don't think I can pick up the sway bars and hitch any more. Sooooo, as we sit down here in key west, looking at all the gorgeous class A and class C rigs come in, back up, plug in and they are done. Yes, I understand you need to tow a car, but it sure looks easier than the anti sway bars we all deal with. We LOVE our airstream, but maybe it's time to move on. What do you think?? Do we become "one of them"??
I hope you all have a great weekend!!
You can have your Airstream cake and eat it, too! Take a look at Classic (aluminum) and Land Yacht (fiberglass) motorhomes here and at
http://www.viewrvs.com/airstream-index.php. There's bound to be a length and floorplan that suits your needs, especially if you're not in a hurry to buy.

We went from a Classsic 345 gasser to a Land Yacht 360 diesel with one slide. The LY has more storage space and more living space than the Classic, which could be important considerations for full-timing. We towed with both and with two types of auxiliary braking systems: a "case of beer"-type brake pedal pusher and an Air Force One from SMI. The "case of beer" would be worse for you than what you're dealing with now, but the AF1 requires just connecting an airline and flicking a switch.

We've used Blue Ox tow bars on both rigs and swear by them. The binding up that CRH described does not require tools to deal with; in fact, Blue Ox says to never take that approach and has taught us how to maneuver out of that infrequent occurrence. It is true that you can't back up when flat-towing (because of the castor effect that will cause serious damage to your toad), but we've found that to be less of a problem with the LY because we can use the diesel lanes at trucks stops. Nor is it a big deal to unhook if necessary - we can do it with the LY in 5 minutes flat, with no heavy lifting.

We've generally found the LY much easier to drive than the Classic, in spite of its greater height and width. Leveling is also easier, and the slide-out makes a tremendous difference in living area.

Our Classic 345 is at http://www.viewrvs.com/motorhome/air...home-345-f.php

Some gasoline-powered Land Yachts (lower profile than the DPs) can be seen at
http://www.viewrvs.com/motorhome/air...land-yacht.php

Our LY 360 XC looks like those at http://www.viewrvs.com/motorhome/air...tream-2001.php
Ours has the dinette option and washer/dryer option. Note that some descriptions of these rigs indicate a 300 HP diesel, but it's actually a 330.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you can do it in good health.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:26 PM   #16
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Hi SJKW

Fairly new to the forum.

Some may think I am crazy but here is our story.

Have owned 3 class A diesel MH's. The last last two were Tiffin's. Actually we had one built last May 2016. Picked it up in June. Within the first three weeks of ownership we had over 12 pages of repairs. So you guessed it yes we spent almost 3 weeks at Red Bay to get this taken care of. There were at least 145 rigs there getting work done. Some new some older. This happens all year long coach's in coach's out.

Well in Oct. of this year we sold our brand new Tiffin and bought our first Airstream, a 30 j classic 2017.

What a relief. So much easier to take care of, no slides to deal with, no huge diesel motor to deal with, you just look at the ceramic floor and it scratched. O to clean the beast took days, make one trip around on a ladder to reach the top many more days to do the bottom. At my age 70 it was not my favorite thing to get on top of this coach.

Don't get me wrong is was am awesome coach. We did pull a Smart car and it did take time to hook up and disconnect. Storage great. Ride great.

I guess the point is for me was peace of mind in dealing with such an expensive rig to down size to the awesome Airstream and the simplicity of taking care of it. It has almost everything we had in the coach with just a lot less hassles. I don't lose sleep now over how many trips to Red Bay I would have to make and the time and expenses to do that.

Sure you do give up stuff for the Airstream, but it makes up for that with especially the new technology, Alde heat system, all the light pads, etc. and the beautiful interior, power awning, and the light that this trailer lets in is amazing, what views we have. Led lights. I did install a winegard satellite system and 320 watts of solar, and yes I felt comfortable getting on the roof of the trailer. I can clean and wax this trailer in a very short time, and the maintenance is nothing compared to a class A.

As usual it is a matter of opinion. Love our Airstream, don't miss the Tiffin.

At the age I am just didn't need all the worry's that came with coach.

Maybe this will help some.

SJKW
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:43 PM   #17
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We're full-timing in a 40' diesel pusher motor home that is now for sale. When we first started talking about full-timing we dismissed motor homes because they are so expensive to drive - 7 mpg is doing well, and 5 mpg isn't all that bad. Then we figured out that a motor home can tow a fuel-efficient vehicle for the daily running around.

We have a 2012 Jeep Liberty and a Blue Ox tow system. There is little lifting or dealing with heavy things. The ONLY heavy weight, and it isn't all that much, is the tow bar that attaches the Jeep to the MH. The two arms telescope, fold together, then the pair folds up and either left or right to stay attached to the coach. Jo Ann often helps with the hooking/unhooking, so neither one of us is handling much weight. Frequently, though, I do the hitching/unhitching myself.

True, when you are towing four down you can't back up, but a little bit of forethought takes care of that problem. In the three years we've been full-timing I had difficulty in unhooking only one time. I was stopped in a turn-around area while Jo Ann went in to take care of our registration. I couldn't get the first pin out, so I simply pulled straight ahead a bit. That took the pressure off of that pin and I could easily unhitch. Since then I've learned a few more tricks.

You mentioned your various health issues. How are you on climbing stairs? Many, if not most, other recreational vehicles require you to climb 4-6 steps just to get inside the coach. A fifth-wheel has you dealing with three steps to go from the main floor to/from the upper level. There is at least one model that has a front living room (up three steps) and a raised rear bedroom and bath (up three steps).

Then there is the question of how long you will be in one spot. Towables can stand staying parked for a longer period than motor homes can. How often are you going to be moving?

Motor homes have one other advantage - a generator. We generally run the generator while traveling. That keeps the refrigerator going and lets us run the rooftop a/c units when it is hot. That means that the coach is always at a comfortable temperature.

Only you can decide what best fits your needs.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:21 PM   #18
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I can relate to the temptation for a class A, but here is what I do. 1-keep the hitch head on the tow vehicle, I never take it off. (before I turned 74 I worried about the shin bumper). Now just use a white ball cover (McDonald's milk jug) and try to park backed in with the TV. 2-Leave the sway bars on the hitch (Equalizer in my case) I just balance them on the bar and leave them on the AS, not ground or TV.
3-like most, use a battery powered drill for stabilizers.
This free and easier. Good luck on your decision. Some great suggestions here
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:29 PM   #19
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Wife

PRIOR posters have all made useful comments. I have a Hensley hitch and an electric drill which really reduce all the lifting and straining issues, too

One REAL issue you may be totally not comsidering is - can the wife do the towing hookup chores?

As a now 68 year old woman who has been solo Aitstreaming simce late 2004.... well hmmm?
EVERY SITUATION IS UNIQUE but a large segment of both men and women never consider that the woman can learn and DO all of the hitching, towing and campsite setup chores herself.

On a rare warm day lately I decided I'd neglected the stabilizers far too long so I put down the rug, got the stiff brush and the silly-cone lube and slid my fat self under the trailer (note to self ... win a lottery woman! I can still git down, but gittin back up isn't all that easy!) Anyway I got the job done, got out from under the Airstream and flopped on a strategically placed stool when a neighboring woman at least 20 years my junior walked over to chat. Opening comments.... I would never be able to learn to do THAT! And it's astonished me that...(embarrassed pause) What? Lets say it out loud... that a fat old lady can do it? Blunt truth... look at some of the men who are still playing with their RVs who are in way worse shape! LADIES you may not know how to do the work, but if you don't have osteoporosis and you've learned to cook, you can learn.

I am adapting and finding easier ways of doing any chore I can. One day I will have to give up the Airstream.... But un the mean time I have accidently found a GREAT trick. I got tired of keeping my hair colored and I'd noticed the roots were silver instead of dirty charcoal. Guess what, silver haired ladies bring out the eagle.scout in a lot of guys... so... woopie! Accept the help if you need it!

Paula
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:13 PM   #20
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Paula, Here Here!!

Exactly.

We have an equalizer hitch as well.

Using a hitch grip may be helpful to get the hitch onto the back of the vehicle.
Don't avoid using a small stool to sit on if that helps. Use the "tools" you need to get the job done.

Equalizer bars are not that heavy individually.

If I liked the AS lifestyle and could no longer physically perform the tasks of hitching and unhitching, I would be raiding the savings for an Interstate in about 5 minutes. Life is TOO SHORT to not do what you want to do and can do.
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