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Old 04-04-2019, 01:42 PM   #1
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Help me spend my money

We have an appointment with a potential buyer, so we're actively looking at Airstreams and tow vehicles. As you can imagine, there are LOTS of potential combinations. Again, here is what we're working with, followed by my questions.


We're full-timers with NO s&b, so we're going to be carrying perhaps more than most people. Our RV is our home, not a camper. While we do enjoy being outside, we don't plan on living outside. We're therefore considering anything from 28' to 34' with no slides as a possibility.


We originally started looking at trailers from 1995, as that's when the wide-body appeared. We learned that the trailers in the 90's had problems with the clearcoat that were solved in 2000, so we started focusing on the early 2000's. Those trailers seem to be rather scarce at the moment, or else their current owners think very highly of them. We are back to looking at trailers in the late 90's as well.


A year ago our Jeep Liberty started developing problems that could have gotten expensive, so we traded it for a Lincoln MKT, which Jo Ann really loves. A quick check told me that a Lincoln Navigator can tow 9000 pounds.


Now the questions:
1. I have four trailers (one 28', three 30') that have gross weights of less than 9000 pounds, which puts them in the range of the Navigator. The two 34' ones have a gross weight of 9800 pounds, which makes them too heavy for the Navigator unless we limit weight in it. Should we either eliminate those two from further consideration OR eliminate the Navigator from further consideration?


2. One of the 34' trailers has apparently been parked for over 20 years. The seller has already indicated that it will need tires. Might it also need axles, too?


3. Would an F250/2500 class truck, with 4WD, be a good tow vehicle choice for what we are considering? We would be buying a used truck, probably 2013-2016 range.


What else should we be thinking about? I'll be reaching out to some inspectors next week, as well as monitoring the various ads on a daily basis.
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Old 04-04-2019, 02:03 PM   #2
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You didn't ask about this, but if you're spending lots of time in the trailer, and if you will be where you need to use air conditioning, you might want a newer trailer with the ducted air. They are much quieter.
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:01 PM   #3
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If you are a full timer I would definitely go with a 3/4 ton and nothing less than a 30'. And in fact I would consider a 1 ton. You are talking about packing lots of stuff.

We have a 28' and it just doesn't have as much closet space. It's fine for a few weeks out. And I drive an F150, but we are never gone for long stretches. A dealer I talked to said a 28' is nice for a few weeks to a month on the road. Anything more than that and you want a 30'.

Also spend the money and get either a Propride or a Hensley Hitch if you are going to be full timing.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. Since I posted, Jo Ann has spotted a 30' SO that she likes. I've deleted the 28' from our short list, as well as a couple of others that simply are too far away.


The person selling the 34' that has been parked for 20 years apparently doesn't want to sell very badly. I called the phone number in the ad (and double checked that I dialed the right number) and talked briefly to the lady who answered. She had never heard of the seller and doesn't have an Airstream for sale. I then tried the email form on the ad - and never heard back. We've dropped that one from our list, too.


What we now have on our short list are the following:
2001 30' SO
1995 Excella 34
1997 Excella 30
1996 Excella 30


The truck will be an F250 or equivalent. We also may have a home base fairly soon, which would mean that we wouldn't have to carry everything with us. We'll know more on that maybe tomorrow.


Thoughts on pros/cons on these? $6000 separates the most expensive from the least expensive, and they are 500-1200 miles away from where we will be should the Foretravel sell. As I said, I'll be reaching out to inspectors tomorrow. Until then, any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
Thanks for the comments. Since I posted, Jo Ann has spotted a 30' SO that she likes. I've deleted the 28' from our short list, as well as a couple of others that simply are too far away.


The person selling the 34' that has been parked for 20 years apparently doesn't want to sell very badly. I called the phone number in the ad (and double checked that I dialed the right number) and talked briefly to the lady who answered. She had never heard of the seller and doesn't have an Airstream for sale. I then tried the email form on the ad - and never heard back. We've dropped that one from our list, too.


What we now have on our short list are the following:
2001 30' SO
1995 Excella 34
1997 Excella 30
1996 Excella 30


The truck will be an F250 or equivalent. We also may have a home base fairly soon, which would mean that we wouldn't have to carry everything with us. We'll know more on that maybe tomorrow.


Thoughts on pros/cons on these? $6000 separates the most expensive from the least expensive, and they are 500-1200 miles away from where we will be should the Foretravel sell. As I said, I'll be reaching out to inspectors tomorrow. Until then, any thoughts would be appreciated.
You want two AC units on that long of an AS. AS’s have lots of windows and that aluminum body will gather the heat.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:09 PM   #6
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Purchased a boat once. Went for the $1000 less expensive one. Money was tight and it seamed like a good idea at the time. However, the more expensive boat was twice the value for very little more initial cost. Lesson learned was to go for best equipped and nicest condition. Caution - look for hidden problems such as floor rot, bad axles and similar.

Good hunting. Pat
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
Thanks for the comments. Since I posted, Jo Ann has spotted a 30' SO that she likes. I've deleted the 28' from our short list, as well as a couple of others that simply are too far away.
. . .
Until then, any thoughts would be appreciated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
. . .
As you can imagine, there are LOTS of potential combinations.
. . .
What else should we be thinking about?
. . .
Reducing variables.

Focusing.



Happy trails,

Peter
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:03 AM   #8
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We like the rear twin arrangement in our '19 International 30 footer BECAUSE....It gives us the bathroom arrangement we find most appealing, it gives us a roomier feel inside with good room to move about in the bedroom for getting dressed, the twin beds can serve as couches if necessary, AND it gives FOUR outside storage compartments.

The twin beds have good storage underneath, AND, they are longer than the queens. I'm 6'1" tall and like the extra bed length.

We love the quietness of the ducted air, and having two air conditioner units is nice in the event one craps out.

We tow with an F250 that has a cap and keeps our stuff dry. Only change I'd make here is I'd go with the long bed rather than the short bed that we currently have, giving us more 'garage' space.

I think my wife and I could survive living full time in it, however, I know I'd be more happy full time in a larger rv with slides.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Reducing variables. -- snip --
Making choices can take time. (A) seems to work until you think or learn about (b). (C) addresses that issue, but raises a ($) issue. (D) solves those, but Good Guy buys the unit before you can get there and the (E) model alternative needs lots of work, which totally moves outside the schedule expectations.

The process is a spiral of inquiry and consideration that moves toward your primary focus but often phase shifts as new information, realization (learning) and opportunity develops.

Not everyone is same, which is obvious, but the key is understanding the compromises you can and can not accept, the issues you can resolve, and the unknowns that will be less of a problem with respect to your RV lifestyle.

If you can't figure it out, don't. Tomorrow is another day. If you can figure it out, try it. Visit, imagine how the solution will work, ask about other's experience, study the parameters, and maybe the spiral will tighten to a clear in focus picture.

However, you don't want to reduce variables. You want to expand them until you understand your personal RV Lifestyle and how you can support it best. That turns them into your constants = focus.

The sun is starting to lighten the sky. Enjoy the day. Lots of smiles out there. Pat
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:18 PM   #10
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We're trying to focus more and more. We initially decided we didn't want slides - until Jo Ann saw that 2001 30' SO. Then she thought that would be a good choice. Talked to a neighbor who had several Airstreams, none of them with slides, and he said the slide-out models had more leak problems than the others. Since I know from reading other forums that slides are common issues, which leaks leading the list, that makes sense, and is the reason why we've not wanted them.


Since there is only $6000 difference between the most expensive and lease expensive unit on our short list, price isn't really an issue. More important to us is which one will have the fewest issues. We're expecting to replace batteries, tires, and probably axles fairly quickly. We know about looking for water damage, and we'll have an inspector go over any trailer that works up to first choice BEFORE we drive anywhere to see it.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:37 AM   #11
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The AS slides are supposed to be a very good design. Do some research before you drop the idea. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f278...ues-91276.html

We too went for no slides to dodge the leak issue, so you have some firm logic, but it may be short sighted with respect to the ASs. We have learned a bit since purchasing ours. The slides do increase setup complexity, but being happy with your choice is primary. I suspect you can do that with a non-slide AS. Just be sure. Pat
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:46 PM   #12
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If you are still looking to purchase I have a 2005 Classic 31 foot that we are going to list soon. PM me if you are interested.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:16 PM   #13
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Based on the headline, I was planning to send you my wife. She has done an excellent job spending “my money”!
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
...We're therefore considering anything from 28' to 34' with no slides as a possibility.

Reconsider the no slides decision. That two feet in the aisle makes a big difference. A/S built a sturdy slide mechanism that seldom causes problems. Mine has been untouched for three years except for an initial adjustment when I bought it.

...

Now the questions:
1. I have four trailers (one 28', three 30') that have gross weights of less than 9000 pounds, which puts them in the range of the Navigator. The two 34' ones have a gross weight of 9800 pounds, which makes them too heavy for the Navigator unless we limit weight in it. Should we either eliminate those two from further consideration OR eliminate the Navigator from further consideration?

With TVs in the "half-ton" range the problem is typically a lack of payload. Given that you will be Ft'ing and Airstreams aren't know for a lot of storage, I'd recommend a minimum of a 3/4T truck and maybe a 1 ton. Often the 1T single rear axles are close to or less than the price of the more popular 3/4T units.



2. One of the 34' trailers has apparently been parked for over 20 years. The seller has already indicated that it will need tires. Might it also need axles, too?

IMO it will definitely need new axles. Sitting is bad for the torsion rubber rods. My Classic 30 was towed twice a year for a couple hundred miles and the axles were shot after 10 years.


3. Would an F250/2500 class truck, with 4WD, be a good tow vehicle choice for what we are considering? We would be buying a used truck, probably 2013-2016 range.

We have a 2013 Ram 2500 Diesel and love it.


What else should we be thinking about? I'll be reaching out to some inspectors next week, as well as monitoring the various ads on a daily basis.

With a 30-footer, I'd look for one with disc brakes or convert. My 9100# Classic 30 slideout was seriously under-braked. Converting to discs doubled the stopping power.
Good Luck with the sale and the acquisition.

Al
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:22 PM   #15
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Update:


We start planning and God starts laughing. We've been on the Active Waiting List at the Escapees' co-op in Hondo, TX for some time. We visited their co-op at Lakewood, NM, two years ago, and went back again in March. Long story short, we got a lot there, so we now have a home base, which means that we won't have to have so much stuff with us all the time.


We were supposed to be in Nebraska to show the coach the week before Easter, but weather forced a one-week delay. We showed the coach to the prospective buyers, and they say they like it, but want to check out a couple more before committing to ours. They are aware of our plans, and there is a fairly short window still open to allow us to trade the MKT for a pickup and get an Airstream.


Keep praying for us and our search for an Airstream. I've talked to several people about various things, so I hope I have a reasonable handle on things, but I'll probably call for help when we need to go looking.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:31 PM   #16
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Call Patrick at Colonial Airstream and talk to him about models and pricing.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:46 PM   #17
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My husband has driven F-350 diesels for 20+ years and had one F-250 diesel. With all the changes to the diesels regarding DEF, etc., he ordered a F-350 gas this time around. The truck pulls our FC 19CB likes it’s not even there. Husband wouldn’t consider another F-250 because it lacks the beefy suspension of its big brother 350. We’ve owned 4 Airstreams: motor home, 31’, 25’, 19’. I can honestly say whatever y’all choose, y’all love it. The twin bed options are great for storage and space for both partners. Best wishes.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:20 PM   #18
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Dave, here is my $.02 worth on Airstream slides. We bought an '02 Classic 30' w / slide in 2008. We had no problems with leaks or the mechanism of the slide. After retiring in 2009, we stayed in this trailer for up to 3-4 months in FL. The slide only moved the dinette - and then only about 20" out - but that was enough to keep the feeling of openness that we needed for extended stays. We changed out the original AC / heat pump for a single purpose AC. The original was way too noisy and didn't cool nearly as well as the replacement. We have since sold this trailer to friends in our Nebraska unit. It seems to be performing very well for them also.


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Old 05-29-2019, 08:11 PM   #19
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Well, our potential buyer liked our coach, but wanted a different floor plan, which he found, so we're out of the Airstream market for a few more months.
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