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Old 08-19-2007, 08:03 PM   #15
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,573
I'll echo what has already been said, anywhere from 25' to 30' should be a good size. A couple of times we parked our 26' trailer where a 25' was supposed to go, wound up remodeling a tree at one place. But in the end, it's what you are comfortable with. We like our current 31' trailer, and the newer trailers 25' and longer are also wide body trailers, an extra 6" or so of width.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 08-19-2007, 09:21 PM   #16
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2005 30' Classic
Springdale , Arkansas
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Echoing what has been said, if you're full timing, the more room the better. We started out with a 26' AS and after a few months, it started closing in on us. The 30 footer we travel in now is just perfect for us. Pulls nearly like the 26 and has the dinette, a big plus. I'd vote for the 28-30 because of the campground issues. It always seems they tend to squeeze as many spaces into a park as possible, even if nobody can open their awnings. We've sardined into some spaces with the 30 that with a 34 we would have needed a shoehorn.


Sid and Becky
2005 Classic 30 "Twinkie II"
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:18 PM   #17
Winter Springs , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4
Thanks again for the warm welcome and the info. We have some time to think about this and make a decision then have to find what ever it is that we want. That may be a challenge also.

Regarding the state/fed parks campground issues that have been mentioned, do they restrict campers to a maximum length or is the issue that has been mentioned just a concern of being able to park a longer home in a small campground spot?

While the extra length and additional space of a 34' would definitely be good, I think a compromise on length may be in order. We intend to do some looking around and walk thru as many as we can to get the feel for space and such.

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Old 08-23-2007, 04:04 PM   #18
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2008 34' Classic S/O
1967 22' Safari
2005 30' Classic
Rockport , Texas
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Originally Posted by Dave1
Regarding the state/fed parks campground issues that have been mentioned, do they restrict campers to a maximum length or is the issue that has been mentioned just a concern of being able to park a longer home in a small campground spot? Dave
I've found both statements to be true. Some state campgrounds just had small pads for campers (like pop-up size!) and maybe a drive-thru or two. Sometimes, it depended upon who was at the gate at the time and whether or not the boss just chewed 'em out as to their mood... The problem with the 34' was simply the whole length of the operation and maneuvering within some of the campgrounds. Have had that problem to a much lesser degree on occasion with my 30' (& even in some private campgrounds!).

At this end of your journey, you've got plenty of time to check them all out - spend time in each of the ones you're interested in, moving from dinnette, living room to bedroom. Since one of them will be yours one day, make sure you're both comfortable in it and have room to entertain if so inclined. You may decide a 34' is best and will have to be a bit more careful where you go with more planning on trips up front. Make sure you've got plenty of headroom with your tow vehicle in terms of power to pull.

Gee... brings back memories of the hunt for the 'right' Airstream for us and the anticipation... enjoy the process!
Bill & Kim
34 Classic Limited w/slideout (Anabelle)
Chevy Silverado * 2500HD Duramax * LTZ
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:17 PM   #19
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1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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Triple Axles tow great!


I recently purchased a 34' Avion. It is similar to the Airstream, only a bit boxier. Well, it's actually about the same as the new Airstreams, but it's not as round as my old Excella. The Avion, like the 34' Airstream, is a triple axle trailer (although the Avion uses swing arms instead of torsion axles, you still get six wheel independant suspension.) This is my first triple axle trailer, and I'm here to tell you, it pulls like a dream. They are inherrantly stable and resist sway. You have to scrub two axles to make one sway. I pull it with a Ram diesel 4-door long bed so that's similar to your truck, and it does great. I get 13.5mpg on the highway if I keep it under 70mph. The triple axles will scrub ever so slightly when you make sharp turns, like when backing into a camp spot. But to me,that's a small price to pay for the stability you get out on the road.

Further, you have 50% more braking power available. This is a HUGE deal. I'm the biggest proponent of disk brakes you'll find. But, with six well adjusted drums, I can stop the trailer and truck by just using the trailer brakes. You can never have too much break. Six drums aren't as good as four disks, but they're pretty doggone good!

You also have 50% more rubber capacity. As in, you have six tires carrying the load instead of just four. So the tires aren't worked as hard. That goes a long way toward avoiding blowouts, which are bad on a white box but horrendous on a silver tube.

The only downside is you have 50% more tires and brakes to buy when the time comes, but you will only do that every five years or so. Big deal.

As for room, the 34 has SO much more room than my 31'. I don't find it to be any harder to pull or maneuver with either. Had to watch the tail swing on the 31' just as much.

My advice: Get a 34 footer with a rear bedroom and never look back. You'll be super happy with it!

- Jim
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:21 PM   #20
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2003 33' Land Yacht 33
Fort Myers , Florida
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Without a doubt, the 34 is easier to back and like other posters have said, it is extremely stable when towing while the 6 disc brakes make it an awesome stopping machine. I would not let campsite size affect my purchasing decision; look at the monster 5ers, toy haulers, Class A and C's that hit the state parks on a regular basis.

The 34 is very roomy but for the bathroom which is very small though one doesn't live in the bathroom unless you drink the local water in Mexico.

Storage space is abundant with a large wardrobe and countless other cabinets.

That said, four adults can do a week in a 34, but bottom line, in my opinion, any size Airstream is a trailer built for 2 plus the ubiquitous pet(s). And the 34 is the way to go.
Jan and Al
Sophia and Emilee, the Pugs
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:17 AM   #21
Winter Springs , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4
I just discovered there is a large Airstream dealer (Bates RV) a couple hours away from us over near Tampa, Fla that has a large inventory of AS trailers. We may take a cruise over there and walk thru a few to get a better feel for the length that we may be comfortable in.

Models? Floor plan??? Are there many different models and floor plans available in AS trailers? Do they come out with a new model name and floor plan every year like some other vehicles and trailers? Is there a preferred floor plan?

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Old 09-01-2007, 08:42 AM   #22
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Keymar , Maryland
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Congrats on retirement! Bates is the place to go and the model names have remain unchanged for the past several years. Floor plans: there is only so much you can do in a confided space.
THings to consider on trialer size: have you ever towed before? 34ft of trailer is a lot of trailer and requires extra attention. How long are you going to be in it? THe larger traielrs have problems at State and Federal parks. My 31 just barely fit in Yellowstone Madison campground with my truck.
Go to Bates and try eveything. Make several trips. I have not dealt with thier sales dept but thier service dept is good.
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:09 AM   #23
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2006 28' International CCD
Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2007
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My husband and I are in a situation similiar to yours. We very recently retired and wished to purchase a slightly used AS and see our great country up close and personal for the next few years. We have not owned a travel trailer previously. However, we have spent considerable time on a sailboat and this made me aware of some of our desires.

Here are some of our considerations and what we decided on:

1. We wanted a bed that you could walk around -- I did not want to crawl over someone to get out of bed. Also, the walk-around bed is much easier to make (sounds like a small thing, but important to me).

2. We wanted to be able to comfortably watch television -- my husband is a big sports fan -- SEC football is a big deal. The sofa seating across the front (with the big window, see #3) worked best for that. Also --

3. It's all about the view for me and I really wanted the big window -- at least on the front. I did decide that the extra storage in the bedroom area was worth giving up the big window there.

4. We wanted a dinette area that was always set up; not just for meals but for computer use, work space, board games, etc.

5. We wanted the shower to be in a separate area than the toilet -- just works better for us. Also we both hate damp toilet seats!

6. Less important, but still a consideration -- no carpet. I could have dealt with carpet in the bedroom area but would prefer vinyl or laminate. Just easier to keep clean and you can always have throw rugs.

7. We also want to camp in state and national parks so length was a consideration. We wanted to make sure that we chose what we needed to be comfortable but in as efficient a space as possible.

8. We wanted something 2-3 years old. We knew that we wanted an Airstream; nothing else was ever a consideration.

The Safari 28 and International 28 fit the bill. We just had to find the right one.

We found a wonderful 2006 International 28 CCD that fits the ticket -- we pick it up next week.

Oh, the places we'll go!!!

Good luck,

P.S. I'm still researching generators (this forum is a wonderful place).
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:33 PM   #24
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,870
Hello and welcome,

Lots of good responses here! The bottom line is do what suits your lifestyle best. There are some new models out there with rear door access. They are way "cool"... you get the view behind your trailer rather than having dinner and looking at the rear end of your tow vehicle. I am not sure what sizes they come in but seems like a nice feature to me.

Check out a rally near you and visit. Folks are always glad to share their thoughts on what their particular trailer has they like, or wish they had. Give you a good idea to look at layouts and really think about it.

We have a 16' Bambi that is vintage. Works well for my husband and I. We are retired and the size is perfect for us. We try, however, to spend a lot of time outside... well, that is what we go camping for... but even on rainy days or snow, it is cozy and lovely. [However, we supersized from a teardrop...]

Take your time and find just the right one for you. The newer, the bigger, the more electronics and maintenance... make sure it is something you want then go for it! You won't regret it. But, even if in a tent, your retired, and nothing can beat that!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:17 PM   #25
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2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
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I had never towed before and I bought a 34' in 2000. We don't full-time but do spend up to several months at a time in it. Just traded it in for a 34' widebody with a slide. I have been on two caravans and just last year I put about 25K miles on the unit and I have never failed to get it on a site. I do prefer pull-thoughs, but then who doesn't. There have been some parks that I avoid but if you call ahead to the state parks they will tell you if they can accomodate your size. A 34' is large is when you go to manuver in a tight parking lot or try to put it on a site that was laid out for a 25'. The interior room is nice as is the closet space.

Keep the shiny side up.
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