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Old 10-29-2014, 02:32 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the great info, guys. Yes, the Birds are very cool. The very best thing about it is the WOG or Wanderlodge Owners Group. Without that very close-knit group of knowledgeable people it wouldn't be possible to keep one on the road. Based on the response to my question, this Airstream group is just as supportive! Thanks again.

The Birds are very complicated, as they were designed as rich guy's toys. One example is the fresh water system. On most RV's you either have two separate hose connections, one for the tank and one for the fixtures or you have one connection with a manual valve. Not so on the Bird. Here, you have one hose connection, but the valve that directs the water flow is an electrically controlled Sporlan valve like on an a/c system. You flip a switch near the hose connection, which sends voltage to the Sporlan, which opens the valve. The dump valves are air operated, as is the entrance step.

Don't even get me started on the Aquahot heating system! LOL

I'm really looking forward to simplicity, reliability, and the opportunity to be part of this fine group.


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Old 10-29-2014, 02:47 PM   #22
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No Airstream owner we know wants to experience hail damage. But one can't let what could happen interfere with enjoying your Airstream to the fullest. Otherwise we'd all be crazy. If it happened to us, we'd just have to deal with it like we deal with anything else that could happen...
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:43 AM   #23
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We travel in our 86 Airstream. It's still going strong. Maintenance is easy compared to your Blue Bird. It has standard RV appliances and systems (heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical.) I really believe an Airstream will last 50 years properly maintained. The aluminum shell is a major reason.

And the aluminum shell is rather fragile. A kicked soccer ball will dent it. So will a thrown baseball. You don't want to back into a tree limb. I hit a truck tire tread (road gator?) on the interstate and it did $2300 in damages to the belly wraps.

I stupidly drove into a thunderstorm and picked up hail damage while pulled off the highway. I could have delayed my journey an hour and missed the storm. They are usually small and intense storms. Like a good pilot, I now watch the weather radar and will adjust my route to avoid potential thunderstorms.

So an Airstream is easier and less costly to maintain than your Blue Bird in my view. But it is an order of magnitude more delicate. Being careful usually is all it takes. Heck, my 66 Trade Wind is still going strong too.

David
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:23 AM   #24
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I stupidly drove into a thunderstorm and picked up hail damage while pulled off the highway. I could have delayed my journey an hour and missed the storm. They are usually small and intense storms. Like a good pilot, I now watch the weather radar and will adjust my route to avoid potential thunderstorms.

So an Airstream is easier and less costly to maintain than your Blue Bird in my view. But it is an order of magnitude more delicate. Being careful usually is all it takes. Heck, my 66 Trade Wind is still going strong too.

David
It can be enlightening to go to other RV forums that aren't Airstream-specific, and see what SOB owners say about hail damage. Hail can really do a number on those supposedly leak-proof membrane roofs which are laid over very leaky roofing materials, and it's not really kind to fiberglass, either, causing it to delaminate. Aluminun skin over an aluminum frame is generally more forgiving than other trailer building materials, since a hail strike doesn't automatically mean leaks. At least you have the option of still using a dimpled trailer until you can fix the damage
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:13 AM   #25
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I have been looking at The Bluebird Wanderlodge RV's for 2 years now and have been reluctant to purchase due to the complexity and expense of keeping one on the road.
I am going the Airstream route instead.
The Bluebird is the best RV money can buy. And I believe The Airstream is the best trailer money can buy.
The Bluebird is a heavyweight to say the least. The Airstream is a lightweight and has to be treated with a bit more care, but Bluebird owners are perfectionists and will have no trouble with the difference. IMO.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:42 PM   #26
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I have been looking at The Bluebird Wanderlodge RV's for 2 years now and have been reluctant to purchase due to the complexity and expense of keeping one on the road.
I am going the Airstream route instead.
The Bluebird is the best RV money can buy. And I believe The Airstream is the best trailer money can buy.
The Bluebird is a heavyweight to say the least. The Airstream is a lightweight and has to be treated with a bit more care, but Bluebird owners are perfectionists and will have no trouble with the difference. IMO.
There are quite a few good units out there, problem is there is a lot more mediocre to poor, than good. One motorhome that has recently caught my eye is the Lazy Daze from CA. I got to see one the other day, the design, fit and finish are very good compared to what you see from the rank and file builders. Born Free is another one.

Aaron
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:59 PM   #27
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WE parked next to a newer Blue Bird this past Labor Day and then a week later by accident in Yellowstone. Nice folks great looking coach, BUT way too much work for me. Alarm went off and he blamed the park so they moved sites, electric connection blew something inside and he spent all morning trying to fix and moved sites. Then the water issues, the satellite challenges etc. Blue Birds have always had my interest until this past trip - no more. We like to stop, set up and forget it and the AS provides that for us.

Safe Travels
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:18 PM   #28
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Interesting reading for those concerned about hailÖ
Taken from "Hailstorms Across the Nation" (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/pubdoc/...SCR2009-12.pdf)
Hey! That's me! (howdee from Boulder CO)
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:52 PM   #29
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I have heard it said that about 70% of all Airstreams ever built are still out there doing what they do. If that does not say durability I do not know what does.
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Old 10-31-2014, 03:44 PM   #30
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I have heard it said that about 70% of all Airstreams ever built are still out there doing what they do. If that does not say durability I do not know what does.
That's convincing, and that so many folks refurbish old Airstreams to put them back on the road because they still look good. It's not as easy to be passionate about an old fiberglass or stick and panel trailer.
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