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Old 08-10-2006, 11:21 AM   #1
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Trailer length standards

I just listened to one of the VAP podcasts and the comment was made that in earlier time, travel trailers were measured by the length of the body. Today we measure from the tip of the hitch to the bumper.

So while we talk about a 25' model today, at one time it was considered a 22' unit. Did Airstream subscribe to the old standard, and when did it change? Is this something to be careful of when one is looking at purchasing an older vintage unit?


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Old 08-10-2006, 12:07 PM   #2
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As far as I can tell, in 1959 Airstream started to include the lenth (ball to bumper) in the VIN.

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Old 08-10-2006, 03:26 PM   #3
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I've seen a brochure for 1951 Airstreams, they call out the lengths, and it's from bumper to tip of tongue . . . I don't know about earlier
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Old 08-10-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
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I was gonna say...I thought it was just the opposite. My 31' Excella's shell is only about 28' long. A 29' Holiday Rambler is about 2' longer than my 31' Airstream.
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Old 08-10-2006, 06:16 PM   #5
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I know this has been discussed here before, but as far as I know, Airstream has always used the bumper to hitch length, generally rounded down to the closest even foot. For example, our '66 26' Overlander was actually 26'8" long and our current 25' Sovereign is actually 25'11" long. Sometimes the "round down" may only be 4" or less as noted in the specs for current trailers on the Airstream web site.

This is a general rule of thumb. There may be a few cases where Airstream rounded up (although I am unaware of any at the moment) and there are a few cases where they rounded down 12" or more. Supposedly a 28' trailer from the 90's and newer are actually 29' long. And a similarly dated 30' is actually 31' long. And I believe there may have been some 34' trailers that were actually 35'1" or 35'2" long.

But in any case, I believe Airstreams were always measured bumper to tongue, while at least some other brands do specify the trailer length as just the length of the body excluding tongue and bumper. I think my buddy's 22' Prowler is about the same length as my 25' Sovereign.
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