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Old 12-11-2012, 08:33 AM   #15
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Simular story here.....in recent years we've gone from a vintage 23' to a 25' wide body, to a 28' wide body, to now a 31' wide body.

The move from the 23 to the 25 was what I would call "significant", but hardly noticed the other two increases.

My dad used to tell me, "if you're going to pull a trailer, it might as well be 40' long, because you won't know the difference". He was right, you won't know the difference in length, but you will notice the difference in weight.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:39 AM   #16
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The only issue I had was due to my inattentiveness and old habits. I had my "marks" when backing into MY DRIVEWAY with my 22'er. Thinking about something else while backing in my 30'er shortly after getting it, I went to hit my "marks" and the house moved!

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:40 AM   #17
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Simular story here.....in recent years we've gone from a vintage 23' to a 25' wide body, to a 28' wide body, to now a 31' wide body.

The move from the 23 to the 25 was what I would call "significant", but hardly noticed the other two increases.

My dad used to tell me, "if you're going to pull a trailer, it might as well be 40' long, because you won't know the difference". He was right, you won't know the difference in length, but you will notice the difference in weight.
Thanks, Steve. That's just what I was thinking (based on no real life experience!). To me, the big jump seems to be the move to a wide body and once you've done that, it's less of an issue to go to the 30'/31' AS.

John S.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:24 AM   #18
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JDS,
I'll be surprised if you notice the difference in length, or in backing maneuvers. But the wide body does have one instance where it can raise your blood pressure a point or two, and this in driving through construction zones.

My first trailer was a narrow SOB. I noticed when we got the AS 25 Flying Cloud wide body that in those segments of freeway construction which are guarded left and right by K-rail (we call it the "chutes") you can feel nervous when looking in the mirrors and seeing how close you seem to be to the K-rails. I know there is room, but it is an optical illusion of sorts of seeing that aluminum well out past your car body.

Of course 8'-5-1/2" does fit easily into 12' minimum lane, but when that 12' is bounded by concrete, it sure don't seem like it sometimes!

All in all, I don't think you should give it any concern. The day before we picked up our 25 FC I was really nervous about towing it. I had a lot of nightmares and concerns coming from a 17' x 7' SOB. I had not towed anything that big. 15 minutes after crawling out of the lot, we were rolling up the 4 passes out of Eugene on Interstate 5 and I was as confident as could be. It was towing far easier than our SOB and frankly, I could barely tell I had a trailer. My wife and I were smiling ear to ear.

Actually, had we known it was that painless to tow, we probably would have bought the 28 Int'l - which was our favorite trailer. Going in, we both wrongly correlated "length" with "difficulty of towing" as a criterion for selecting a trailer. We kept saying, 'yeah - but it's 28-feet and maybe that's too long to tow easily. We don't want to get in over our heads.' The salesman offered, "don't worry about that," but I figured it was just, you know, sales talk! We settled on the 25. We love it, but I know someday we'll be looking at a 28 or 30.

There's a few fair complaints people have about Airstreams, but towing is not one of them. These things really DO tow like a dream. Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #19
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JDS,
I'll be surprised if you notice the difference in length, or in backing maneuvers. But the wide body does have one instance where it can raise your blood pressure a point or two, and this in driving through construction zones.

My first trailer was a narrow SOB. I noticed when we got the AS 25 Flying Cloud wide body that in those segments of freeway construction which are guarded left and right by K-rail (we call it the "chutes") you can feel nervous when looking in the mirrors and seeing how close you seem to be to the K-rails. I know there is room, but it is an optical illusion of sorts of seeing that aluminum well out past your car body.

Of course 8'-5-1/2" does fit easily into 12' minimum lane, but when that 12' is bounded by concrete, it sure don't seem like it sometimes!

All in all, I don't think you should give it any concern. The day before we picked up our 25 FC I was really nervous about towing it. I had a lot of nightmares and concerns coming from a 17' x 7' SOB. I had not towed anything that big. 15 minutes after crawling out of the lot, we were rolling up the 4 passes out of Eugene on Interstate 5 and I was as confident as could be. It was towing far easier than our SOB and frankly, I could barely tell I had a trailer. My wife and I were smiling ear to ear.

Actually, had we known it was that painless to tow, we probably would have bought the 28 Int'l - which was our favorite trailer. Going in, we both wrongly correlated "length" with "difficulty of towing" as a criterion for selecting a trailer. We kept saying, 'yeah - but it's 28-feet and maybe that's too long to tow easily. We don't want to get in over our heads.' The salesman offered, "don't worry about that," but I figured it was just, you know, sales talk! We settled on the 25. We love it, but I know someday we'll be looking at a 28 or 30.

There's a few fair complaints people have about Airstreams, but towing is not one of them. These things really DO tow like a dream. Good luck!
Mstephens,

Intersting you should mention that. When we picked up our 23' from Colonial in August 2011, there was a LOT of construction on the highways with numerous stretches where there were what we call New Jersey barriers on both sides of the lane. I had never towed anything before and I was a little concerned, to put it mildly. Everything went well but I will say that the increase to a wide body did cross my mind. I did not know that lane width was 12'; that's reassuring in that I am fairly confident that I can navigate those restricted lanes OK. Just aim for the middle and go!

John S.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #20
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The second thing I ever towed was 34' triple axle, with a Cadillac sedan, too, and it was no different from the 28' FC I'd just run out with, towed with a Lexus SUV.

My width story, though, comes from construction work on the I59 between Birmingham and Chatanooga. It was in what we Brits call 'Contraflow', all traffic squeezed onto the Northbound side. The pavement had been extended slightly in the right hand lane to take two lanes in each direction but there was a step of about two or three inches down from the edge of the extended pavement to the original pavement and the door side wheels of my wide-bodied Airstream kept dropping down and back up again, causing all sorts of problems at 50 mph. Checking my mirrors, I noticed that all the semis were in the left hand lane, narrow though it was, tucked up against the concrete wall. I reckoned that they must have been having the same problem so I moved left, too, and whilst I seemed to be almost touching that concrete wall sometimes, at least I was running straight and true. That construction went on for 15 miles but we emerged unscathed and me with a better experience of judging that extra width.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:08 AM   #21
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Clearly an example of "Baptism by Fire" if there ever was one!

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #22
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John,
Yes - "Aim for the middle and drive" is exactly the advice I got when I relayed my story to an old-timer at the next rally. He said you gotta stop thinking about the sides and just realize that you have plenty of room if you just stay in the middle. It's a psychological barrier more than a concrete one.

We have a TON of such construction in California, so I am now somewhat accustomed to these chutes. There was a horrible one in Petaluma where it went up and down 10 foot swales as it curves in a couple of S's. If you got next to a big rig through that chute you'd come out with sweaty armpits. I really hated that one.

Backing up. We have developed a nice system that is fool-proof. Wife is the guide and she uses ONLY a prescribed set of hand signals - no talking whatsoever, no radios, etc. She knows exactly where to stand, and exactly how the TT/TV turns. So we get into any space in about 30-seconds with no drama, no shouting, no circus act. We've had to make U-turns in the street and so on, and we are able to do it very efficiently. I have discovered that backing and U-turns is about the TV - the TT length doesn't make all that much difference.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #23
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I had a widebody 25. If it had any downsides it was the width. Not 95 percent of the time on suburban roads or interstates. It was the 5 percent on narrow two lane mountain roads, or construction zones. Some of these zones were erratic in width and clearly less than 12'. I can recall one delightful drive on Interstate 80 construction, necked down to one lane with concrete barriers.

But in eight years of ownership I never scratched it. When I replaced it with a class C I bought another widebody, so I guess it wasn't that important to me.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:01 AM   #24
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John,
Yes - "Aim for the middle and drive" is exactly the advice I got when I relayed my story to an old-timer at the next rally. He said you gotta stop thinking about the sides and just realize that you have plenty of room if you just stay in the middle. It's a psychological barrier more than a concrete one.

We have a TON of such construction in California, so I am now somewhat accustomed to these chutes. There was a horrible one in Petaluma where it went up and down 10 foot swales as it curves in a couple of S's. If you got next to a big rig through that chute you'd come out with sweaty armpits. I really hated that one.

Backing up. We have developed a nice system that is fool-proof. Wife is the guide and she uses ONLY a prescribed set of hand signals - no talking whatsoever, no radios, etc. She knows exactly where to stand, and exactly how the TT/TV turns. So we get into any space in about 30-seconds with no drama, no shouting, no circus act. We've had to make U-turns in the street and so on, and we are able to do it very efficiently. I have discovered that backing and U-turns is about the TV - the TT length doesn't make all that much difference.
Mstephens,

Ah yes, backing up. My dear wife is also my guide but we aren't to the fool proof stage yet. A couple vignettes from the early stages (we have been at this for only a little over a year, so it's all pretty early stages):

* I'm backing up into a campsite and see my wife standing there, arms crossed, simply shaking her head back & forth!! Please say something - like stop, go right or left!
* I'm backing the TV up to connect the hitch, she's standing there and the next thing I hear is the hitch ball hitting the coupler! Question: maybe it'd be a good idea to say "You're getting close".

We are getting better at this, so there is hope. It's a process, after all.

John S.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:18 PM   #25
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JDS,

Yes, it's a process and takes a bit of time and practice and patience. Years ago I towed small boats and I watched countless horrors of couples yelling at each other, bumping into things, taking an hour to back into a space and all the rest. I didn't want to be the one providing circus entertainment! That's when I developed my "no talking - hand signals only" technique. When we bought the new AS last year, we drove to a mall parking lot and I practiced with the wife until we had it down pat.

I believe the key to it is for the wife to see and understand how the trailer transitions from the turn to the straightening. So, once the tail end is "on the line" she gives me the straighten signal and we glide right in.

Best of luck to you and enjoy the trailer!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:08 PM   #26
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JDS,

....... Yes, it's a process and takes a bit of time and practice and patience. Years ago I towed small boats and I watched countless horrors of couples yelling at each other, bumping into things, taking an hour to back into a space and all the rest. I didn't want to be the one providing circus entertainment! .....

Best of luck to you and enjoy the trailer!
I hate to say it, but one of my guilty pleasures in life is watching a boating couple trying to pick up a mourning line over at Catalina Island, or watching a couple back their trailer into a campsite... yes, I know I will be punished for this.... but I just can't help myself. That said, I know that we have been great entertainment for others.
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