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Old 04-15-2004, 09:33 PM   #1
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Cool Why did you choose a trailer?

Airstream trailer owners, why did you choose a trailer over a motorhome or other RV type?

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Old 04-15-2004, 09:49 PM   #2
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For us, just getting into RV'ing, it seems the most logical choice.

A motorhome required some other vehicle to tow if you want to setup at a camp site and not have to pull-up to go somewhere.

A fifth-wheel requires a pickup, limiting your choices of tow-vehicles.

A pop-up or tent wasn't even a consideration (ask my wife ).

So, that really only leaves travel trailers. And when you compare the Airstreams to SOB's, well, there you are! Logical!

I'm certainly no expert in RV's, but it seems to me that the quality of materials and construction design is unequalled by any other brand, plus much of what other brands consider options is standard on the Airstream.


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Old 04-15-2004, 10:07 PM   #3
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My reasons

1. I live in the country and need a healthy-sized pickup anyway plus a passenger car with enough heft that I feel safe in city traffic.

2. I'm not interested in maintaining still another powertrain.

3. Classic motorhomes, (the only ones that interest me) are maintenance nightmares compared with a trailer.

4. Class Bs are, IMHO, cramped and generally uncomfortable and impractical.

5. Since I am alone much of the time, I can back out or manouver out of situations that would be impossible with a toad behind.

6. I simply like trailers better. I think they look better and are more comfortable.
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
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Trailers and Motorhomes are separate religions...

We started looking for an RV in mid 80's, after renting Motorhomes, tent camping, van camping and trying Motel 6 travel path... Actually owned and lived in VW Westfalia camper in 60's, as college student for 3 months across Europe..

After 15 years with Nomad Trailer, we've finally concluded that Motorhomers and Trailer-pullers are like Catholics and Episcopalians.. Each have strong faiths in their beliefs, and can't imagine changing... (Fifth-wheeling is another religion altogether, sort of like Methodists, perhaps..

We discovered that hooking and unhooking MH to tour local area, run to store, movie, etc was huge hassle. Accordingly, most MH owners evolve to pull car behind, which creates whole new set of issues... Trailer gave us choice to unhitch and leave "home" connected to utilities, A/C etc while we drove off in tow vehicle (Bronco or Suburban..) and make local outings.. Choice of tow vehicles range from small SUV's (Bronco/Jeep Grand Cherokee/Taureg) to large (Suburbans, Tahoes, Expeditions..) or pickups or vans. We could use Suburban when not camping for skiing, pulling sailboat or other utility/bike trailer, and hauling items to college, etc.. One other subtle benefit of trailer is avoidance of dedicated engine/drive train/electronics in camping unit, which require their own more expensive maintenance than similar drive train in truck or SUV, which can easily be worked on by regular dealer or independent mechanics..

Motorhomer's do have advantage of cooking, eating or using restroom while driving, or even sleeping on beds, though some would suggest that risks of being out of seat and unbucked during motion is not OK... Many of Motorhomes also have advantage of built-in generators able to run roof A/C units, and other 110V appliances, which trailers can not...

Once tent trailers were ruled out, for similar reasons noted in post above (by spouse, for lack of A/C, flushing toilets, showers and hot/cold running water...) it was going to be some form of box (or silver) trailer. We found bunkhouse model Nomad worked well with small children, and many Airstream trailers are really well set up for couples, which works for us now..

Figure this will offend someone (though not intended to..) and maybe get debate going. As noted above, we don't argue relative merits of religious choices any more, and have given up trying to "convert" RV'ers from one religion to another.. Life is just too short!

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:32 PM   #5
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I have to give John's list a strong 'second' and move to vote! I only like the classic moter-homes with the Airstream finish or 'look', but I wouldn't own one for most of the same reasons.
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Old 04-15-2004, 10:47 PM   #6
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i went the trailer route because sleeping on the ground next to my harley was getting old!

you call them ferrets, i call them weasels.
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:56 PM   #7
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Many of my reasons have already been mentioned. I believe that someday, in the future, a motorhome would be nice. But, presently, with my limited use (my total trailer useage averages about 5 or 6 weeks per year) it doesn't make sense for me to maintain another self-propelled vehicle: engine, transmission, tires, etc. for this purpose.
I also like the idea of setting up camp and having the tow vehicle available to motor around.
Too, I've gotten used to pulling the Airstream and...what's that saying about 'old dog and new tricks'?
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Old 04-16-2004, 12:44 AM   #8
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You may find this ol' thread interesting... TT vs MH

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Old 04-16-2004, 05:44 AM   #9
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I have always thought the a MH would be nice, so on long trips I could get up and stretch out, instead of hitting every other McDonalds, then I have to buy a soda, then I end up overweight. That wouldn't happen if I had a MH...


I forget to change the oil on my truck, I sure don't need another engine to take care of. Oh, and although I haven't really traveled with these yet, It must be nice to drop the trailer and go sightseeing without the added length behind....

Just my two cents
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Old 04-16-2004, 06:00 AM   #10
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The one issue that didn't come up is safety. Outside of the Class C's - and most diesel pushers - I would no longer allow my family to ride in the typical sticks and staples motorhome. We had a Winnebago that we updated and maintained to "like new" standards - but the more I learned and read about motorhome crash survival, the greater my haste to make a change. I did spend the better part of a year studying older Bluebird motorhomes - but ultimately I decided that I didn't want to retire saddled with maintaining a beast as complicated as the Bluebird - and I couldn't afford any other motorhome I felt safe in. As for the motorhome lifestyle, I loved driving that Winnebago and it was great to pull in to a campsite and be set up in a matter of minutes. Stopping enroute was also great because, with the onboard generator, we could keep the A/C running along with everything else electric. I do miss it - but I love the Airstream and, with the pair of Honda generators, I'm not lacking for much of what the motorhome offered. As for 5th wheels ----- well, let's just say that there's nothing out there that, IMHO, can come close to the Airstream. That was the route I was initially following after we sold the motorhome - and we even bought the dually in preparation - but after a frustrating summer of looking at 5th wheels we came to our senses.

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Old 04-16-2004, 06:01 AM   #11
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been there

I have had both,
I will say that the frustration level is much lower with a trailer but...........


If you ever went to the basement storage it is hard to go back. I no longer have to pack my exterior camping articles in and out of the trailer, Chairs, tables, grills, swim floats and kid toys, extra drinks, groceries, maintenance tools and items, mats, and all of that other stuff that was sitting in my trailer hallway and on the living room floor and the bed and every other nook and cranny I could find.

How many trailers have parked in the parking lot some where and fired up their Air Conditioner and watched TV while eating a fully prepared lunch? I know some have but they had to get out and hook up the Generator. I never stepped out of my MH, I hit generator button, turned on AC and cooked a Pizza in my convection oven, while watching the Masters in the living room and my kid watched his favorite DVD in the bedroom.

When I pull into campground, no more, pulling up on leveling blocks, no more cranking jacks, no more cranking stabilizers, I simply set parking brake and push button, levelers do all of the work, Voila!

Guess what else, When I pull into overnight spot or just feeling clammy, I dont have to light water heater and wait for it to heat up the water. I already have hot water, without using LP. The water is heated by engine while driving.

When ready to leave. I do not have to reverse process of setting up. I dont have to line up tow vehicle to trailer, I dont have to set up hitch assembly.
I simply hit button, levelers retract, release park brake and pull away and wave good bye to all those friends that are still cranking up their stabilizers and storing their leveling blocks some where in their trailer.

Even with all this said, I still love my Airstream trailer and often find myself considering going back to it.

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Old 04-16-2004, 06:34 AM   #12
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Had motorhome returned to trailer...

Like Ken, I've also had both. I confess that I enjoyed the very conveniences he mentions; a/c anywhere... TV on the road for the kids, etc.

However, I returned to trailering because of the issues surrounding maintaining the motorhome chassis. We had an excellent coach, and the drivetrain was in good condition, but on-the-road breakdowns were always a concern, and I had several during the time I owned the coach despite trying to stay on top of preventative maintenance issues. Steven Webster's thread on his recent trip is a perfectly illustrates those kinds of issues. I am a competent shade-tree mechanic (not nearly up to Steven's level), and I can do most mechanical work, but I don't enjoy doing it. I certainly don't want to be bothered with it while I'm on the road, and shop rates in truck service centers aren't inexpensive.

Tow vehicles are easier to maintain and don't require that you live in them on the road while being repaired. Any (Ford/Chevy/Dodge insert brand choice here) dealer can work on them wherever you may be, you don't have to find a truck service center. We use ours for the 'family bus' too, and it gets used much more frequently than did the motorhome, or than we use the trailer.

We also get 30% better gas mileage towing the 34' with the Excursion than we got with the 325... a small, but interesting side benefit...

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Old 04-16-2004, 06:37 AM   #13
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A lot of it comes down to how you use your coach - which is why they come in different sizes as well. I, too, need a truck for work and farm, and a motorhome is just one more mouth to feed. We are seldom on the road with the trailer more than three nights at a time, so basement storage is not an issue. However, a place to keep the bikes IS an issue, so I need the truck bed free from impediments like a fifth wheel hitch.

Then there is comfort and convenience. The trailer seems so much more like home than something with a steering wheel up front ever could. Perception, I know, but its MY perception, and I'm the one who has to deal with it. The Airstream usually requires one step, and at most two to enter. I can't see going up and down a flight of stairs everytime I want to check on the bbq grill. And I hate the inconvenience of split level houses - and split level fifth wheels.

But certainly other people's needs, phobias, and wants are different.


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Old 04-16-2004, 06:42 AM   #14
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Has anyone mentioned the difference in the cost of fuel? I dread adding 30+ gallons of diesel to our Ford F250 but I would much rather do that and get 16+ miles per gallon than add all the fuel it takes to fill a MH and then get only 7 miles per gallon.
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Old 04-16-2004, 07:45 AM   #15
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We loved Airstreams for years, and caught the fever for the Classic AS motorhome after seeing several on trips. We still love the look of the Classic MH, but reading this Forum convinced us that we didn't have mechanical skills to maintain one. In addition, we decided that we didn't like the idea of providing the Toad behind the MH, so logic led us to the AS trailers. In time, "Gypsy," our trailer, found us. Perfect fit!
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Old 04-16-2004, 10:59 AM   #16
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And don't forget the insurance - It's a whole lot cheaper to insure an unmotorized trailer than a motorhome.
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:25 PM   #17
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There is a certain vibe with a trailer, that motorhomes can never come close to. Romantic, perhaps. Much more Americana, vintage travel whatever........
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:41 PM   #18
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Bad Link ?

Inside Out I cannot access the link you posted above.

Don't know if any one else has had problem. Could you check it.
and possibly give url?

TT vs MH

I have never considered a MH. The only ones I have ever been taken back by are the silver tube looking ones and the Silver Streaks or Streamlines with the rear porch like a rail coach.
Trailers seem to be more practical in my circumstances. But I admire the abilitiy of many MH re-furbers. I do worry about the golden agers ( or the wild eyed youngsters too) coming at me on a two lane in something that size with little or no driving experience in large wind catching vehicles. I just pray they are heart healthy, sober and am always relieved when we clear each other.

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Old 04-16-2004, 04:21 PM   #19
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Why did you choose a trailer?

I must admit that there are several reasons that I chose an Airstream Trailer (or maybe it chose me) over a motorhome of any brand. While I enjoy visiting in motorhomes owned by friends, I never really had any desire to own one. I agree with JBMcG that the preference between motorhomes and travel trailers is a strong one for most, and for many it may be somewhat difficult to quantify the precise reason(s) for the strength of preference. My reasons for choosing and staying with my Airstream/Argosy trailers include:

(1.) The GMC G20 Vandura that I owned was one of my least favorite vehicles due to its driving position (similar to the motorohome only lower), and the cost of dealer servicing - - I disliked the additional hour of labor charge (30 min on each end to remove and replace the doghouse cover) added whenever engine service was needed <<even for oil changes if I wanted the air filter/pcv valve and filters inspected>>.

(2.) I also knew that I couldn't tolerate the notion of having to disconnect utilities every time that I wanted to go sight-seeing or be required to tow an automobile for that purpose - - tried a similar setup with a slide-in truck camper from the late 1960s and realized that the only way a motorhome would make sense was if I towed a car along for destination transportation.

(3.) I wanted to be able to combine hobbies - - Vintage Cars and an Airstream (didn't realize that Vintage Airstreams were becoming collectable until several months after I purchased the Overlander in 1995). I still like towing with a big mid-1970s or earlier automobile with the big block V8 for power - - but I am realistic and maintain my Suburban as the tow vechicle for the larger share of my excursions.

(4.) I just couldn't bring myself to leave the owner's yard after looking at what would become my '64 Overlander. The trailer seemed to have some kind of strange attraction and it wouldn't let go until I made the deposit to purchase the coach. It was only several months later that I learned that it was the same coach that friends' of my family had owned when they took me for my first camping trip in 1964 when the trailer was new and I was five years old. The Overlander had migrated nearly 400 miles North through the two owners that separated me from the original purchasers who were friends of my family.

(5.) My perception has always been that driving a motorhome would be a bit more stressful as the control panels, driving position, relationship to road and traffic would all be less familiar than in a tow vehicle that is familiar (that in my case is my daily driver most of the time). I won't discount, however, the fact that towing a trailer does change the handling characteristics of the tow vehicle as well as creating issues with adequate rear view mirrors.

(6.) The fact that it would be possible to own and have two trailers restored for about the cost of doing the same thing with one motorhome also played a role in my later decision to buy the Argosy Minuet. This increased my travel flexibility considerably as the Minuet can be towed by a larger number of Vintage automobiles, and is small enough to have access to virtually any campground that I may care to visit. The Overlander is my coach for most extended getaways when pure comfort is the deciding factor.

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 04-16-2004, 05:14 PM   #20
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Inside Out I cannot access the link you posted above.
It's been fixed...


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