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Old 12-17-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
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AS or Motorhome?

We are not AS owners yet, but we are wondering if anyone owned a motor home or bus conversion and changed to an AS? What are the real benefits of an AS over a motor home? We plan to do some major full timing and are trying to make a smart purchase. On another post I noticed someone said it was a mistake to buy a motor home. I'd love to learn more on why it was a mistake or maybe the pros and cons. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Mike Robertson
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:50 PM   #2
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I'm sure you are referring to an AS trailer, not an AS motorhome. I've had both, go with the trailer. Others will chime in with reasons.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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Yes, I'm referring to an AS trailer. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:41 PM   #4
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We have both.

Each have pros and cons.

If I had to choose one, I would choose the trailer. I find that with either, one is towing something.

In the case of a MH, one needs a car. It must be a car compatible with being towed, even if one chooses a car dolly, which is even more to tow and deal with.

But, traveling is fun in the MH. Everyone but the driver can move around some, get a drink, make a sandwich, etc....

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Old 12-17-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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Maybe the grass is greener on the other side, only those with or had both can give you their take.
From a MH user for the last 40 yrs, but not as a full time living, mh satisfied the need to have convenient facilities while travelling. When in a permanent place a trailer probably makes more sense, only two mh the vw and the coachhouse van could be used as a daily driver but living space was sacraficed to convenience to park anywhere. Start a pro and con list to make your decision.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:56 PM   #6
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Typical motorhomes are larger inside due to slides. You can carry more stuff.

Gas Class A's are more thirsty (7mpg). Diesels are more fuel efficient and powerful but are much more expensive. Then you have to bother with the engine/drive train maintenance plus the normal RV maintenance. A tow vehicle can be serviced/repaired anywhere vs a motorhome. A trailer is less complex to maintain.

A motorhome construction is like most SOB and delamination can be an issue if a leak develops. The Airstream theoretically will last longer since there is no wood used in the outer shell but its shell is more susceptible to hail damage than a motorhome.

As mentioned above you'll end up towing a car with a motorhome. The upside is a small car is more fuel efficient for day trips away from the campsite.

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Old 12-17-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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We turned our AS into a guest house and travel twice as much in a Mercedes-Benz based MH. We've had two class A motorhomes and find that the LTV Unity TB is easy to park and a very comfortable ride. After two years and 11,000 miles with zero defects, the need for a toad has proven to be unnecessary. The AS now has a permanent parking place on the banks of the Animas River.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:43 PM   #8
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Mike, by major full timing I presume that what ever you buy will be your full time residence. I've owned three motor homes since 1975 & now an Airstream we use part time. We full timed in our MH for half a year while building our current home almost six years ago.
Aside from the tremendous expense of maintaining a 4 slide 40ft diesel motor home it was a total joy. Fuel back then was double compared to today's cost, a 20 qt oil change cost $200+, just about every service appointment cost a thousand dollars or more getting incidentals & systems repaired. If you have unlimited funds I strongly suggest you go the motor home route as the comfort level is unsurpassed. If not & if it were me I'd buy a Classic AS & a heavy duty diesel truck & be happy ever after. Just my 2cents.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:54 PM   #9
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Not sure it qualifies as a MH ( ) but we just sold our Class B Roadtrek Sprinter that we did 2 years extended travel in.

What were we thinking? It sounded good, easy to drive, all in one, fits in any space, everything you need in one 22' package.

Did I say 22'?

At the end of this summer, we were done. Connecting/Unconnecting everytime we wanted to go somewhere, noisy inneffective AC, living in essentially 8' of space; we'd had enough.

We will be starting out in our 27' AS this spring. We spent 3 days shakedown in Cedar Key FL and loved it.

My brother has a Unity TB and THAT is a great unit. Big enough to be liveable, but small enough to get in most spaces.

We don't have any experiences with a larget MH, but I understand the toad comments, for sure.

One suggestion I have, is buy used, at first. It can be expensive for depreciation if you don't like your rig.

Good luck, Rich
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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We own a 40' diesel pusher with no slides and are considering switching to a 34' Airstream TT. The choice of which type of RV is up to you, but most people look at several factors. In no particular order, they are:

1. How often will you move? Generally, a towable is considered the better choice if you are going to stay put for more than a month at a time on a regular basis. A MH is usually considered the better choice if you move at least monthly on a normal basis.
2. A towable requires some sort of truck as a tow vehicle, while a MH can tow a vehicle. If you are going to have only the RV and the other vehicle, a MH towing a small, fuel-efficient car will usually use the least fuel overall.
3. When it is raining, snowing, or just plain nasty outside, the MH lets you pull into the campsite and level from inside. You only have to go outside to attach the electric cord.
4. You don't have to go outside to use the restroom or get a snack/lunch when you are in a MH.
5. A DP will usually have a fairly large CCC, while an Airstream has a much smaller CCC.

So, why are we considering switching from our Foretravel to an Airstream? Simply put, our original plan was to stay anywhere from a few days to a month at any one place. Since we've gotten involved with Laborers For Christ we are finding that we are staying for 2-8 months at a time in one spot. Regardless of our decision, we're still working on getting rid of some of the stuff we're carrying around that we probably don't need.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:47 PM   #11
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I've always been a big diesel pusher fanatic (have mine finally and I do love it and have even been mulling over going bigger...if only AS would get back into the AS business) but I've recently been turned on by ONE B+ manufacturer...LTV Inc...I really do like the new Interstate GT, definitely more livable looking than the Lounge, which to me cannot be more than a weekender...well, maybe for a solo traveler who knows how to pack better than I...but that new Unity Flex.....boy, gotta say, I never in a million years thought I'd EVER seriously be considering a B Van, till I saw that. But deep down I still really love AS and it's that love that's kept me in my rig longer than I normally keep one.
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Typical motorhomes are larger inside due to slides. You can carry more stuff.
That is actually a fallacy. Slides only give you more floor space, not more storage space.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:01 PM   #13
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"Typical motorhomes are larger inside due to slides. You can carry more stuff." Actually, if one compares a coach with slides and the same one without slides, the non-slide coach will have a greater CCC and (usually) more storage space. The reason is the slide mechanism takes up space and weight.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:18 PM   #14
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I find it interesting that most of the posts above indicate that if you move around a lot the MH is the way to go and if you stay put the TT is the way to go. We've spent about 12 months in our 27 foot AS TT over the past two years (moving fairly frequently) and I believe that the TT is much easier to move around in than the MH, you also generally have more choices of places to camp provided the TT is smaller than the MH. If we were to spend an entire winter (say three or four months) in one place we would probably get a 35 to 37 foot MH which would provide more interior space during inclement weather which seems to occur in the winter almost regardless of where you happen to be. The 27 foot TT can feel a bit confining after a few cold or rainy days.
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:46 PM   #15
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I have to respond to this one. My first experience was a motorhome as a renter then as an initial shopper. Later AFTER I ended up buying an Airstream "trailer" my father and I bantered about for now nearly three years over his thoughts about trailer vs. motorhome. Here is what I/we have found:

The obvious is that both have advantages and disadvantages. What is less obvious is that comparison of class C and class A to trailer UNDER 30' the trailer has the advantage of more storage space inside and in most cases outside too- especially if the truck bed is considered. Let me explain.

For the longest time we bantered back and forth over comparing class A to trailer. What we finally realized we were doing was making unfair comparisons like Winnebago Journey to Airstream 25'- no contest, the class A was a rolling condo to a "camper" per se.
When we started applying similar size to the comparison we came up with a few vehicles like the View, Via and various other C-class variants- few Class A - Flair, Vista 26E, etc. In each case to me, it became obvious that the trailer had advantages that were important to me- more storage, more inside floor area, lower cost, easier maintenance. Naturally you have to allow for preferences so consider points. Things like where you want to camp. Length is a limiting factor but so can height impact where you can go or even gas up. Stay under 30' for maximum choice in National and State Parks. There may be some larger spots but they are in the minority and reserving is more difficult. The truck cab is a large chunk of the considered living area of a Class A/C motorhome so what is inclusive to that area is important. It varies. Storage, bunk entertainment center. My measure of living area minus truck cab is about 16'-17' of living area on a 26' or so motorhome. A 25' AS is about 22' 6" interior length. Width is another story. The View and Via, for example are 1' narrower than the AS 25. Their slides open 1.5' so you gain only 6" in slide out areas which are mostly limited to dinette and sofa or bed space. The Vista class A? has around 117 cu ft of exterior stowage; however, interior cabinetry is quite limited.IT does have size potential but would need additions. My AS, for example has 41 cu ft of trunk space (twin w/3 trunks) plus my truck bed offers a total of 94 cu ft. I could go on, and on, but after doing this you have to consider your needs/preferences to make your selection. Towing, backing etc are pretty much a wash as most motorhome peeps have a toad! I went with a trailer primarily for initial cost and ongoing cost factors followed by preference pros/cons. My RV show investigations are not exhaustive but, there ya go. Everything seems to change though above 30'.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:37 PM   #16
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Excuse my posting again but after re-reading your post and the responses I missed an important piece- major full-timing. This factor alone asks for an answer to an important question- how much time will you spend per day in inside? Livability is important. People vary on comfort level- some live full-time in a van and others need an opposing slides behemoth. If I were going to live in my RV I would be MOST comfortable in around a 33-35' motorhome. They now include W/D and other features that make them like a home. I would sacrifice some wild camping for my home's size. I could also live in an AS but I would want a bigger one. That's just me.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:51 PM   #17
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You can have your cake and eat it too......

I own a 1983 Airstream Classic 310 turbo diesel motorhome, an Airstream and a motorhome.

Pro's

Wife can go to the bathroom without having to find a place to pull over and stop.
Can make a coffee on the go.
Pull into a campground in the pouring rain, start the generator, make supper, watch TV and go to bed WITHOUT stepping foot outside and getting soaked.
Overall length of unit is quite compact for the living space if not towing a car.
Don't have to worry about trailer sway or trailer passing you on a downhill stretch.
My coach's value is allways increasing not decreasing.
Can't steal it as it stands out like a sore thumb.
20 mpg on the flats with no wind.
Can drive a smaller car for the rest of the year as opposed to having to drive my TV.
Meeting great people that are interested in a Classic motorhome.
Built stronger and better than trailers.

Con's

Unless you tow a car, have motorcycle on a trailer, or bikes on a rack, it takes some forethought on getting around once at the campground. Do we walk or pack up and drive?
Maintanance on another engine that sits for most of the year; however diesel is the way to go over gas, if it's sitting for a while.
Can be expensive to purchase and initially restore.

Trailer

Pro's
No pro's

Con's
See the opposite of the pro's for motorhome.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-17-2015, 08:04 PM   #18
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I also debated this question and ended up with a 345 MH. I think most of the pros/cons have been covered, but one I'll add is this: We plan to hire a driver from time to time and invite two additional couples for various side trips/events/etc. We'll be able to relax in the MH on the road, have our favorite beverages, and enjoy the day trip. Not possible in a TT.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:37 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=Isuzusweet;1724282]You can have your cake and eat it too......

I own a 1983 Airstream Classic 310 turbo diesel motorhome, an Airstream and a motorhome.

Pro's

Wife can go to the bathroom without having to find a place to pull over and stop.
Can make a coffee on the go.
Pull into a campground in the pouring rain, start the generator, make supper, watch TV and go to bed WITHOUT stepping foot outside and getting soaked.
Overall length of unit is quite compact for the living space if not towing a car.
Don't have to worry about trailer sway or trailer passing you on a downhill stretch.
My coach's value is allways increasing not decreasing.
Can't steal it as it stands out like a sore thumb.
20 mpg on the flats with no wind.
Can drive a smaller car for the rest of the year as opposed to having to drive my TV.
Meeting great people that are interested in a Classic motorhome.
Built stronger and better than trailers.

Con's

Unless you tow a car, have motorcycle on a trailer, or bikes on a rack, it takes some forethought on getting around once at the campground. Do we walk or pack up and drive?
Maintanance on another engine that sits for most of the year; however diesel is the way to go over gas, if it's sitting for a while.
Can be expensive to purchase and initially restore.

Trailer

Pro's
No pro's

Con's
See the opposite of the pro's for motorhome.

Cheers
Excellent comments, right on target! If I had to do it over again I would go with an AS Classic mh.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:21 AM   #20
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We have owned a number of other brands of trailers through our 45 years of RVing and we have had three Airstreams and one MoHo.

We had a great AS, 30' FC but had always dreamed of owning a MoHo so we traded the AS and the F250 for a 37 foot Newmar - GAS. We travel and or stay in the units we own since retirement for about 5-6 months a year total, not in one stretch.

The MoHo was terrific, we towed a Jeep Wrangler, simple hook up and unhook and easy to tow. Once parked the MoHo was a great place to stay - two slides, two 40" TVs - Sat etc. However, after about 1,200 miles we realized (actually I realized) that I hated the ride. Keep in mind this is a top end GAS MoHo. GAS MoHos are relatively light in weight - ours was a gross of 24,000 pounds - 37' long and 12'9" high. It actually was a sail going down the highway especially out west. I have a CDL, I've driven almost every type of vehicle there is available on the road today and this was far and away the worst handling piece of equipment I've driven. I have well in excess of 2 million miles driving plus over 600,000 on motorcycles, just for some background. By the time I'd driven it 7,000 miles we had already worked a deal with the selling dealer to trade it back in, he would buy an AS we ordered from our AS dealer and we would trade the MoHo in on the AS. We also traded the Jeep in on an F350 Diesel. Expensive yes, mistake for us, no. We spent three months in the AS last summer again out west, did 10,000 stress free miles often covering the same area and roads we (I) struggled with driving the MoHo. We love our AS.

Now, a caveat, if you are thinking of full time, like space and have the resources I would go and do a MoHo again, but it would be a Tag Axle Diesel only and probably a 43' Newmar Dutchstar. Otherwise we will stick to the AS, and enjoy it.

One last point, the maintenance on a MoHo is significantly more than on and AS Trailer, there is the diesel engine, there is the diesel generator both of which when in storage it's recommended be started and run at least once a month for an hour of so. Again recommended, I know many who do not and have no issues. Our AS I winterize, do some minor repairs and she is in storage until we head out for FL after Christmas, pretty simple and easy to do.

Good luck in whatever you select and enjoy.

Bud
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