Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to field trial in style in an Aero Cruiser

I never really knows who reads this blog.  For 18 months I have posted many hundreds of pictures.  Most of them have pictures of Bailey or Chloe and some have other dogs.  I even add a few people from time to time.

 Our trusty "Buddy" has been with us from the very first post.  Our 1989 Aero Cruiser 23 foot rear bath has logged 8,500 miles from Portland to Nevada and much of Northern California over the last three years.  For my wife and I and our two Vizslas, it has been the perfect fit.

 But life changes and since we got "Buddy" three new grandchildren have either entered our lives or will soon arrive.  Most people, long in the RV world have told me, "You will want a bigger rig."   I didn't think so.  Our Aero Cruiser is perfect.   12 to 15 miles to the gallon and handles more like a pick up than an RV.  Climbs the Sierras to Reno trials just fine, and is comfortable to drive and live in while "out in the middle of no where."
 Now it is time to say goodbye to our 23 foot Aero Cruiser (less than 47,000 miles on it ) for our new additions.  1997 Lazy Daze 26.5 motor home (with 98,000 miles.)  Goodbye to 12 to 15 mpg.  With the Lazy Daze Ford V10, 8 mpg will be the norm.

  But instead of sleeping 3, it will sleep 5 and has the power to tow a horse trailer over the mountains. (Yes, I am thinking a horse is in my future.)
  The Aero Cruiser's 360 V8 just wouldn't be able to do that.
    The rig was made here in Northern California (Vallejo) just from 1988 to 1992 by the same company that made the Sunraider on a Toyota truck chassis.  These were the best of the best.  All real wood inside and quality everything.  Made with pride. 
Over the period we had it, I improved many of the original components for better performance or reliability.
 We had great adventures in this rig over the last three years.  It still has many adventures left in it.
You can e-mail me at: rodneymichaelson

More about our RV adventures in Buddy on the following blog post:

Aero Cruiser group page:

 Something I had written in 2008 for the Aero Cruiser web site after having my Aero Cruiser for a year:

What is a Work of Art worth?
Rodney Michaelson
I am now one year into owning our Aero Cruiser. Some of you might notice my enthusiasm on owning this 23 footer rear bath motorhome.
First of all I am a want-to-be: engineer and mechanic and a full-time car nerd.
In a motor home I wanted:

  1. Something small enough to fit behind my house (Max 26')
  2. One with a couch and separate bedroom.
  3. A rig that got better than 10mpg.
  4. Powerful enough tow my classic 1982 Malibu day cruiser boat.
  5. Under $12,000 so I could pay cash and not have to finance a toy.

The Aero Cruiser was one of the few machines that could fit all our desires.

Bringing our little coach up to good working condition did not take much money or time. To bring it all the way to excellent condition took more time.

With the internet to find supplies and some shared mechanical knowledge and the help from the folks on the Aero Cruiser Club's web sites we now have an excellent traveling machine.

These Aero Cruisers are works of art and engineering. Only a few hundred had been made in a city close by (Vallejo, California). The same company made the Sunrader. This was a 21' motorhome mounted on a Toyota one-ton truck chassis. These were the BEST small RV's made, and a restored 1992 Sunrader just went for $24,000 on eBay in June of 2008.
We have spent many weekends in RV parks and dry camping over the last 12 months. Some trips we are in parks with other rigs of all sizes and shapes. Our little Aero Cruiser holds its own with any of the expensive toys the others own, or more than likely, are still paying on. It wins in both the design and comforts that my wife, dogs and I want and need. It drives better than a large one ton pick-up truck.

These Aero Cruisers are works of art and engineering but they are not for everyone. I once loved Audi cars back in the 80's and 90's before they became so popular and main stream. These were wonderful cars, but had some issues that would frustrate the average car owner. The cars, at the time, were works of art and engineering that I believed were ahead of their time.

A 20-year-old Aero Cruiser is not for everyone but the parts are simple and the original workmanship is exceptional. Something to hold on to for a long time. The Aero Cruiser is a fine work of art that you can live and travel in.
Happy trails.
Rod, Joanie and Chloe (our year-old Vizsla)

Editorial Note: One of the advantages of owning a previously cared for Aero Cruiser is that all of those original workmanship problems you find in most new motor homes have been fixed.
Tom Heald, Webmaster and another enthusiast owner of a 23 footer.


Ken and Janet said...

Good luck Rod - It has been a very nice rig for you - I know it has had a "special place" in your heart. I'm sure you'll find a good home for your buddy!

Ruby & Sophie said...

Really enjoyed reading about your "buddy". We have "Frank" lol, he's a 21ft touring caravan which we drag around Scotland. Best thing we ever bought, which coincided when we got our 2 dogs (foreign holidays are just a distant memory now....).

I'm sure you'll have just as many fantastic trips in your new one.