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Foretravel vs Airstream

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We bought our Foretravel a little over two years ago. At that time we thought we would be moving around more, staying anywhere from a week to a month at one place. Since then, though, we have signed up with Laborers For Christ, which has us on-site for anywhere from a month to a year, with most projects running 3-6 months.


In December we spent over $9000 on repairs (air compressor, hydraulic fan motors, and pump). While we think that major repairs are behind us, we realize that we're driving a 1993 coach.


As a result of those repairs and working with Laborers, we're starting to talk about switching from the Foretravel and Jeep to an F250/350 and Airstream 34' combo. Of course, each of those forums thinks that we should go/stay with their brand. We have come up with several good arguments for each one, starting with the fact that we already own the Foretravel and like it.


One factor to consider is that I need to have my own tools for Laborers projects, and having a truck to carry them might be an advantage.


I'd like to hear your thoughts. I know of one couple who went from an Airstream (not a 34') to a Foretravel. Anyone out there who has gone from a Foretravel to an Airstream?

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As good as the Airstreams tend to be, because of the streamline shape they are very short on storage space. We are not familiar with "Laborers" organization but have several friends who are members of SOWERS, Texas Baptist Men, Campers on Mission and also NOMADS. Those are all Christian service organizations but none have missions as long as what yours seem to be. Even so, all of them also carry their own tools with them and most seem to travel with either fifth wheel trailers or with motorhomes. We do know one SOWER who travels in a truck camper.


It would seem to me that with the investment that you now have in the motorhome, it would seem that staying with it would make the most financial sense. Of course, part of the question is how recent an Airstream and how big? Since your Foretravel is now more than 20 years old, there is risk that you have only begun to spend on it's repair. Only you can assess that question.

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Kirk, you hit on my big concern with your last two sentences. We understand that going to an Airstream from the FT will cost us in storage space. Having lived in the coach for 18 months now, and on the road since October, we are recognizing that we have kept some things that we should have gotten rid of. Those things we got rid of that we should have kept have been replaced.


One thing I should have mentioned is that we planned to replace the RV refrigerator when it died, and we now have a residential refrigerator. We also planned to replace the old battery boiler and inverter with new, more efficient units. Two tires are now five years old and will need to be replaced fairly soon. The other four were replaced when we bought the coach. The house batteries were also replaced.


When we were researching we decided on the MH because we thought we didn't want to be carrying tools, chairs, grills, etc. with us all the time. Well, I've got the Jeep kind of filled with tool boxes, so what's the difference.


Oh, before someone suggests that we ought to get a 5'er, we've decided against them. The choice is strictly between a late 90's 34' Airstream or our 93 Foretravel.

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Don't overlook the bad thoughts we get when something we own starts giving us problems. Then we start thinking maybe we should get rid of it and get something different. Sometimes that is not the best decision.


As I see it, you spent XXX dollars to buy the Foretravel, and maybe the jeep and then $$ to set the jeep up for towing. Then you have spent $9000 on repairs. Repairs you may not have needed to make if you had spent, what $50,000 to $100,000 more for a newer model. So you could look at this as you are still XXX dollars ahead since you didn't spend the large amount of money to buy a newer model.


Do you now sell the Foretravel for less than you paid & the extra dollars for set up. Then you are out the money you already spent for the repairs.


Then there is the thought of buying a 3/4 ton to 1 ton pickup truck. New they are in the neighborhood of $50K to $60K. While you can buy a regular cab (2-3 passenger) gas pickup for $30-35 it doesn't have so of the nicer things we expect in our vehicles. Or, do you buy a 10-15 year old p/u and risk the cost of engine/transmission repairs as well as all the little things which go wrong. Think air conditioning for $500 to maybe $1500 at the worst case. Other things wear out in older vehicles, suspension, shocks, alternator, power steering.


How much are you going to spend on the Airstream? I haven't looked at their prices, but as I understand it, they aren't cheap. Even used they aren't cheap.


Do you also plan on spending the money on putting a residential refrigerator in the Airstream like you now have in the Foretravel?


I guess bottom line, only you can decide if you are having bad feelings which could influence your thoughts of buying a different RV rig. Would you be thinking of buying the Airstream if you hadn't spent the $9000 on repairs.


Is some respects, think of this as a pure business decision. One that is not influenced by the bad thoughts of the repairs.

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Is some respects, think of this as a pure business decision. One that is not influenced by the bad thoughts of the repairs.

This is very well put and is exactly what I was driving at with the comment about financial choices. But there is more in that since you already love your Foretravel, won't you always be comparing it to the Airstream that you anticipate. And with the trailer you will still have most of the same possible issues. A tow truck can breakdown in any way that the motorhome can and the tires will cost less but you will have more of them. How will you feel if you change to the Airstream that is just as old and then need another refrigerator, perhaps an air conditioner or two, you will have to buy a generator while your motorhome has one builtin, and on and on. With either one you will still have an older RV that is going to need repairs at times. In addition, I believe that you will find that the tools now in your Jeep will not be alone in a tow truck if you change because that Airstream will not have room for much of what is presently in the Fortravel. Even if you get rid of things that you do not use now, your storage is going to be far less, perhaps 40 - 50% less than now and you will also have weight limits to deal with that are restrictive as well.


I would be very slow to make this change and to run the risk of starting the process you have been going through all over again. It could very easily cost just as much to fix up an old Airstream & used tow truck as it has to get to where you are now.


I think that you need to wait for a time before you make any decisions so that you can get the emotions out of the picture and make this based upon both business aspects as well as future living comfort & happiness. It could be a difficult change with such different RVs.

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