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Old 12-15-2007, 11:19 AM   #15
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Hey Ken, we recently saw an older used model that looked like it was in great shape, just needed some TLC, but I was worried about being able to put the solar panels on the roof.

With the roof line of the A/R being so curved, putting 3 solar panels up there would really hinder the looks of the unit.

As for now, I think we are set with the Sunline, and if we ever move up, it'll probably be to a toy hauler so we have more room for all the Must-Have's that are hanging everywhere off each end of the camper

Thanks for the ideas though
Pat
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:39 AM   #16
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Airstream, the symbol of American vacationing... My family has had Airstreams exclusively in our family for over 40 years. We recently sold my dad's 1970 model for almost what he paid new for it (upgraded to a 1985). I currently have a 1994 34' that I bought from my brother about 5 years old. He made the switch to a Mountain Air 5th wheel. He wanted slides and a bigger trailer (40'). I am putting my 34' on the market for sale this week since I have ordered a 38' X-Aire toy hauler.

I only thing I disliked about my current Airstream was the cooling and not as more space as a trailer with slides. More insulation would help I am sure but I switched out A/C to 15,000 BTU unit and helped a bunch. It is not a problem cooling here in Houston in the hot summer now. The dislikes are few and the good points are major comparing to other travel trailers. We looked at buying a new one several years ago and I agree they are not like the older ones in the quality. In fact, about 90% of the trailers out there are no way near the quality of an older Airstream. The biggest benefit is they do hold there value and will go down the road year after year and stay together. My parents 70 model had over 500 thousand miles on it and still going. I estimate my 94 has over a hundred thousand and still looks great. One thing Airstream can brag about is towing. My 94 only weighs about 10,000 pounds loaded and tows like a dream. A 1/2 ton truck can tow with no problems...

My opinion is I would buy another Airstream as long as was not a real late model. I don't think they are the quality of the older ones.... Especially since a single slide 34' costs about $90,000 now. You can buy a very nice 5th wheel for that....

Also, anyone interested in buying a good one, let me know...
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:40 AM   #17
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jody Miller:
I know that Airstream has been in business many years. are they a great product? do they sale good? is there a huge market for them? do they have any problems getting service? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, Airstream has been in business many years, about 80 or so, and as a result are quite set in their ways. I guess you could say the same thing about many Airstream owners who are also approaching 80 years on this earth.

They are not a great quality product, although they are certainly stylish. I spent a lot of time working in an around Ferrari's, and also owned a 2004 30' Airstream Classic Limited. In many respects they are similar products - great styling, very high priced, and will turn people's heads as you pass by when they are running, which (unfortunatley) isn't nearly as often as most less costly cars and RV's.

There are many people, myself included I suppose, that have more money than good sense, and would rather be seen in something that looks great than something that works great. As a result there is a large market for Airstreams, especially the older ones. And, as Airsteam and Thor continue to price gouge anyone willing to part with between $50,000 and $100,000 for a new one these days, the market for used ones is especially strong. (We recently sold our 2004 model at near our asking price within a couple weeks of listing it for sale, and had a dozen or so seriously interested prospective buyers.)

They don't have any more problems geting sericve on them than other RV's, generally speaking, with a couple exceptions: There are relatively few Airstream dealers, a number of whom are pretty bad as far as service. But, there a a handful of very good ones too (or, so I'm told). Airstream management does not treat all it's customers fairly, legally and ethically as far as providing warranty service, and may require a customer to transport their trailer to the factory in Ohio at the customer's expense in order to obtain a warranty repair, as they did my wife and I on numerous occassions (as a result, I'll never buy another one). Lastly, getting repairs done to the aluminum shell can be more difficult and costly that getting repairs done on other RV's. Plus, some dealer's simply won't touch an Airstream for one reason or another.

John
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:38 PM   #18
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Jody,
If you are looking for a well built TT from the PNW look at Western RVs (Alpenlite)- Yakima WA. Extreme RV - Kalispel MT, Komfort - Portland OR.- Northwood (Arctic Fox/Nash) - LaGrande OR. Keystone and Forrest River also have plants in Oregon even though they are IN based. I have owned a Komfort and an Arctic Fox along with a Kit and a TrailLite. The two best rigs were the Komfort and my current Arctic Fox. I would put either of them up against an Airstream for overall quality. After owning the TrailLite, I swore that my next TT would be made in the PNW.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:04 PM   #19
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One of the overlooked advantages to an all-aluminum, aerodynamic low-center-of-gravity travel trailer is the inherent safety of the design. Rounded edges do not "trap" the wind, as do all square-shaped RV's, but allow it to slip past. High winds and heavy gusts simply don't affect the trailer much.

This is a deal-breaker for me, but, then, I'm from the Tornado Alley and a former truck driver. I've seen what happens, and I know that few drivers can feel the effects as they start. I am speaking of OTR drivers, the pros. RV'ers are bad enough at being irresponsible (overloaded, too fast for conditions, etc) and I wouldn't give a nickel for what I've seen in 90% of drivers.

An aerodynamic tow rig is simply better design. One time is all it takes, so investigate the safest tow rigs.

And leave the junk at home. We just finished 7-months full-timing (no home) and didn't lack for room in our Silver Streak (a former competitor, along with Avion and Streamline). A vintage trailer, of higher build quality is cheaper to buy and own than most used units out there. Any time you cruise the campground, remember that those older units were at that same place 30-years ago, and the rest have long been trashed. As will most of the RV's you see today will be within ten years. We had plenty of storage (a pickup truck I also use for business can carry some of the junk.)

I, too, am dismayed by the high prices of the Airstream not offset with commensurate build quality at present. But they are also wider and a great deal heavier than years ago. There are even slide models now, and some promos about a possible toyhauler. There are plenty of reasonably-priced used ones out there.

See www.airforums.com for a large, dedicated and friendly group.

An A/S has probably the best shape and lowest C.O.G of the aluminum trailers, as well as being equipped with fully independent suspension. You might have a look at the corporate site for the video on taking an A/S vs SOB (Some Other Brand) through a slalom course. The handling, safety, is impressive.

And don't forget fuel economy. Up to 20% better.
I average 15 mpg with my rig at 63 mph with my 34' trailer.

One can easily haul some of these units (ck weights) with a half-ton or large car. After all, that's what most of us were doing 30 or 40 years ago. Can Am RV has set up hundreds of Airstream owners to use their Lexus, 300, Crown Vic or other to haul their TT.

As for us, a lightly used 1983 34' Silver Streak has only needed cosmetic and minor repairs to be fully functional. I'll be making improvements as I go along, but my initial outlay and zero depreciation make it easy.

My parents recently sold their 78' 28' Silver Streak after twenty-seven years of use. Just did the normal maintenance along the way, with only two tow vehicles in that time.

These trailers, my point being, are safe, economical, and very long lasting.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:30 AM   #20
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Rednax, see you are a recent newbie to the forum. Glad to have you here. As a Silver Streak owner, glad to find another one. See my signature.

It is 29 years old and going strong. One big plus is NO LEAKS....still as solid as the day it was new.

We bought ours from the Father in law and it was used, but gently. The traielr has been to all of the lower 48 states, Alaska twice and Canada and Mexico. It has been towed over 200,000 miles.

Have you found Tom Patterson's Silver Streak List?

Ken
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:29 AM   #21
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Jody, I have owned many A/S & Argosy TT over the past 25 years. Models from 1961 to 1999 and found they are as problem free as can be expected as compared to other brands. Resale always seems to bring minimal loss if not bought new. The service support system is a plus as most techs are long time A.\S mechanics. The National Org., WBCCI keeps the membership active and somewhat informed if one chooses to join. I strongly recommend joinjing to get the full benifit from your A/S ownership.
The only drawback from my experience has been the limited interest in the design - it's not for everyone. However, in a wind storm & with 18 wheelers passing you it can put a smile on your face as you pass other TT having difficulty with control. Yes, I would buy another A/TT and wish they continued making MHs with as much attention to detail as they construct TT.
Currently I am selling my 95 30' TT and purchasing a 1998 A/S MH for a second try at motorhome ownership. My first experience was a disaster.
Hope this helps.

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Old 04-22-2008, 03:28 PM   #22
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I guess you could say the same thing about many Airstream owners who are also approaching 80 years on this earth. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I guess you haven't been to one of our gatherings lately.

it is interesting to see the put downs and rationalizations in this thread.

For me, the Airstream was a cost effective RV solution that met my needs and preferences in RV lifestyle. I bought used and got a lot more than if I had spent the same money on some other brand.

I agree that the Silverstreak, Avion, and Argosy, all built in the same manner as Airstream can also be cost effective used RVs.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:02 AM   #23
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I agree with BryanL (it had to happen). The put downs and rationalizations are a hoot. Unless I am mistaken, none of the put downs come from someone with REAL experience in the AS.

I have had a 29', 31' and a 34' triple axle. I don't understand the "space" thing. I suspect it grows out of the "curved cabinets cut storage" myth. It is true that the upper cabinets have a curved back. It is hardly a problem, just put the tall square stuff in a lower cab. We put over 20 years in our AS and never had a "space problem." There is storage under the couch, under the beds, closets, cabinets etc.

As for why to spend that much money... you either understand or ya don't. There are reasons why people buy a top notch sports car; they are fun to drive and that experience is worth the cost of the vehicle. Once you've towed an AS with a proper set up and TV, everything else will pale. I wish I had a copy of a film I saw playing on a loop in a dealer. A shorter unit, (perhaps 25') was being pulled through a cone course and thrown into 4-wheel drifts on the corners. Big 'ol black marks. I would'nt want to do that, but I doubt seriously that any other trailer made can do that. Nice for emergencies. An AS can be driven 50 miles at 50 MPH on 3 wheels. Can yours? An AS shell is built and then everything is put inside. This means everything inside will go back out through the door. That is not so with many SOBs. Keep a chain saw handy for repairs.

The insulation comment is interesting as the AS has as much insulation as any other that I have seen. We've stayed in snowstorms in CO at below 0 temps. It takes a bunch of propane, but we were fine. Admittedly, the later 34' had only single pane windows and because of the size it cooled quickly.

There are some legit problems with AS. The floorplans are for two adults. Recently they've added more family friendly FPs, but I don't think the AS is optimum for a large family. I bought a Holiday Rambler as my current TT because of the family issue. But, if fuel prices ever stablize, I will be looking for another AS. It gets in the blood. The HR is considered top of the line for TTs and it is no better than the AS I've had. Just different. No more storage space that we have noticed.

I have always advised that if a person is buying just to take the TT somewhere and sit out the season, there are better choices. If you plan on towing, nothing will touch the AS.

One last thing, having OWNED two units made pre-Thor and one post-Thor, I can state with some authority that the comment about post-Thor being lesser quality is bunk. You can get good units from cheap makers and bad units from great makers. It happens.

Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:23 AM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BryanL:
[QUOTE]

For me, the Airstream was a cost effective RV solution that met my needs and preferences in RV lifestyle.

I agree that the Silverstreak, Avion, and Argosy, all built in the same manner as Airstream can also be cost effective used RVs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, the similarity is in all-aluminum construction, zero wood. The differences are that Silver Streak, Streamline and Avion were all built on a heavy steel framework ( Argosywas a lower-priced Airstream) and thus need, when one purchases a vintage unit, very little in the way of major work; unfortunately an A/S may need frame-separation issues addressed depending on the decade of manufacture.

Of the three alternate trailer brands above, the Avion in the later years had independent suspension, where the others still utilized leaf-spring/shock absorber suspensions.

What should be emphasized is that all of these trailers are far more road-worthy than any fifth wheel or conventional travel trailer. They are ideal for the full-timer who actually travels, in contrast to other types which are about good enough to go from Point A to Point B if all conditions of weather, road type and traffic are mild.

Not to mention 20, 30 or 50% better fuel mileage. After all, my trailer is 34' in length, has all amenities, plenty of storage but only weighs 3.5 tons compared to the 5,6 and 7-ton trailers I see listed.

One can get into one of these trailers quite reasonably, and spend not a lot to bring it up to date. I have less into my trailer and truck than most here have in their tow vehicle alone.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:18 AM   #25
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What is really kind of sad about all of the aluminum trailers is that of them (Silver Streak, Stream line, Avion and Air Stream), the poorest built trailer of the group has survived. Air Stream has survided due to the marketing.

My 29 year old Silver Streak has zero leaks, doors and windows are tight and has very few problems. Peoplel are amazed at the amount of storage we have in a 28' trailer and some of the things it had. Back in 1979, the Silvers were not cheap. You paid a good dollar for them, but you got a quality product.

So if you want a good older trailer, look for the Silver streak, Streamlines and Avions. The pre-Thor Air Streams are pretty good, but it would be my last choice.

Rednax, do you ever get up toward Houston? We bought our SS from the in-laws and the trailer has a lot of miles on it. I estiamte it was pulled close to 200,000 miles since they bought it used in 1981.

On a side note, your link to Tom's site is not working.
Ken
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:35 AM   #26
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No, we have been meaning to attend the "faithful remnant" of S/S Owner Club at Coushatta [sp?] but have been tied up. Bought the trailer from friends of Ashby, near Montgomery. Beautiful condition.

Back to the original; I'd be pleased and proud to own an Airstream, one need only look at some of the gorgeous renovations done by owners on vintage units purchased used.

The lighter weight of the older (say, pre-1985) units is a huge boon to economy as one can use a better TV than a heavy pickup; when any structural problems are addressed (they are known, the fixes are understood, and there are kits for some types), the superiority of all-aluminum, low-center-of-gravity, independently-suspended (with upgrade to disk brakes) travel trailer is clear.

Can Am RV of Ontario has tested their trailers, big ones, with high-zoot European TV's and run slalom courses in excess of 80 mph.

One may say that this is beyond my needs, but remember that in roadability there is no trailer currently available that is superior. High winds, passing traffic, road hazards, etcetera, are all handled better by this type of trailer, ESPECIALLY when hooked to a well-sorted TV with a superior hitch.

I, for one, would never consider one of the "boxes" that handle poorly, and are built with, it seems, a low mileage/10-yr life span.

One gets what one pays for, and in an Airstream (and its late competitors) one gets the best.

And, with fuel prices the way they are, let's not forget the fuel economy advantage.

With my LARGE TRAILER (34'), I travel the Interstates at 15 mpg behind a diesel engine.

Compared to some of the fifth wheels around here, my fuel consumption is reduced by 50%.

For a rig traveling from, say, Ohio to Florida for the winter, all this may be irrelevant. For someone who actually travels, it may be the difference between going somewhere or leaving the rig parked.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:05 PM   #27
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I just wish they would make a new model with a fulltimer floorplan: Large LCD TV, two recliners, freestanding dinette table, bigger tanks, etc, just like the nicer fifth wheels have. I would love to have an Airstream for fulltiming, but none of the current models is set up for that. We cannot relax watching a small TV from the booth dinette!

If they made a 34' fulltimer unit, I'd get a tow vehicle with a bunch of storage to make up for the lack of storage in the trailer. The AS stuff is cool, but I wish they had something for us to choose from!

Roy
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:15 AM   #28
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Coushatta </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Rednax.

We have been trying to get to Coushatta, but always have something come up. We will try for the fall months. The in-laws were very active in the club in Houton and the trailer knows it way to Coushatta without the truck. They gave us a whole stack of the SS National Rally stickers that they attended. Plan to mount them on a nice mount to display with the trailer.

Ken
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