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Old 07-05-2014, 11:06 PM   #1
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Too long? 30' Serenity 2015 & 21' Truck

We are considering a 30' Serenity 2015. We have a Ford 2009 350 Super Duty 1 ton, 8' bed, single axle. The combined length would be about 51.5'.

This is our first crack at towing. I realize the fact that one can ďget used toĒ the size and handling.

We are not planning to go to the state parks, or do much if any dry camping. We are purchasing this to avoid the hotels, and frequent stops to rest rooms, etc. We will be using RV parks in almost every case.


Question: Is this too long for RV parks in general, are we over sizing ourselves, and with some practice would I get used to the size. The next consideration is a 27', but I like the two air conditioners, and the 50 amp service.


We have a trip planned for August 1st and would like to purchase one right away. Can anyone give us some good advice. Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:10 PM   #2
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You're fine in all but the much older national park campgrounds. I've not had any issue with a full size PU and my 30'er at all.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:11 PM   #3
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But...how do you teeter that big truck on a single axle? Jus kiddin', you mean single rear wheel, as opposed to a dually?
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:23 AM   #4
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We recently stayed several days at Price Canyon State Park near Helper, UT, a campground I picked out on Google Earth. In the photo below, you can see that the road had length restrictions.

About 1/2 mile up the mountain, we discovered why: The road shrank to one lane, with tight switchbacks and a 6-8% grade. Needless to say, there were no pullouts to turn around.

The satellite view of this road showed that it was paved all the way to the campground, so I knew that our rig wouldn't have any trouble with the switchbacks; but the climb was a little intimidating. However, having previously tackled the 14% grade on the "Devil's Backbone" (on another roadtrip), I knew our Tundra would make it up the mountain.

In any case, we specifically bought a smaller Airstream, so that we could camp in remote places like this. And, Memorial Day weekend, when most other national and state parks were packed, we were one of only three campers in this campground; and we were the largest rig there. One site had a tent, and the other was a van conversion.

For us, our 19' Bambi has everything in it that the big ones do, except extra space. The times we have looked in larger models, it seems like there is just more air inside; and the two of us don't need a longer Airstream, if it prevents us from camping in spots like this.

This road would probably have been a real challenge for a larger travel trailer or motorhome, if it was able to make it up to the campground at all. So, for us, a 51' rig is too long. However, this doesn't sound like your kind of camping.

Just curious, did you purchase a 1-ton pickup without previously towing any kind of trailer? A TV that large seems more suited to a huge fifth-wheel, rather than an Airstream. However, you are certainly prepared to tow about anything.

Good luck, have fun shopping, and WELCOME to AirForums!
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:58 AM   #5
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Our short bed crew cab Dodge 2500HD plus 31' Classic ends up in the 51.5' to 52' range. On the road, it is no more difficult than our 25FB towing. I had to alter my mental pivot points when backing into spaces due to slightly longer overhang behind the trailer rear axles and the longer arm from the trailer axles to the truck. The 25FB was only about 5' shorter than our Classic.

We do pay attention to length restrictions when making reservations.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:25 AM   #6
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We spent four months last year out west staying in both private campgrounds (mostly KOA's) and federal campgrounds . At the public CG's We never had an issue with finding a site large enough to accommodate us.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:30 AM   #7
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I tow a 31' with a 1996 F350 crew cab long bed dually. My rolling length is right around 53'. I live on the east coast and seldom have problems getting a long enough camp site. Sometimes I may have to unhook to stay out of the road when parked. My biggest problem is the turning radius of the old twin I-beam suspension, it is close to 60' so I need some maneuvering room. Buddy of mine has a similar truck with single rear wheels, but his is a custom crew cab with a plus cab! Uses it for pulling a horse trailer. What a beast.

The newer RV parks in most cases can accommodate the large buses and they hit 45'+ and have slide outs.

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Old 07-06-2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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I am towing a 2012 30' FC with a Ford F250 Crew Cab short bed. Prior to this, we owned a 22 Sport (single axle). The Sport was wonderful, and allowed us access to many county parks. It was very light and maneuverable, but short on the comforts of the 30'.

The 30' is not difficult at all to tow, and does not feel much different than the 22' while driving down the highway. I do pay more attention when pulling into fuel stops, or backing into campsites, but almost everywhere we camp now easily handles a 30'.

I doubt that you will have much difficulty with a 30' and certainly, it's easy to get used to the minor adjustments you need to make.


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Old 07-06-2014, 06:55 AM   #9
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I have no trouble towing our 31 with our truck, which is about 20 feet long. I've even shoehorned the rig into a campsite with an advertised maximum length of 30'. What the website didn't say was it was 30' TOTAL, truck and trailer. So, you can do it, most campground websites state maximum rig length for a campsite, just select one yours will fit into.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:03 PM   #10
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Re: Advantages of shorter RVs

We recently camped for five weeks (with no campground reservations) all along the California/Oregon/Washington coast, which included several days at Kalaloch (pronounced "clay-lock") Campground, Olympic National Park, near Kalaloch, WA.

As you can see, this campsite was a pretty tight fit for our Bambi; and our Tundra was just barely out of the lane of traffic. If I hadn't jackknifed our rig, it wouldn't have fit in this space. As it was, one wheel was off the pavement, which is against the campground rules; but no one said anything. Luckily, this site was on a curve; so that gave us a little extra clearance from other RVs driving through the campground, searching for a good site.

The last photo is of the campground road, taken between campsites. We were parked in the bushes along this road, and this was what we saw when we stepped about 30 feet away from our doorway.

The prime spots along the beach were all taken; and if our rig was any longer, we would have had to park several hundred feet back from the shore. As it was, we were only about 30 feet away and could hear the ocean 24/7. In fact, my wife had a little trouble sleeping the first night, as the pounding surf was a constant reminder that we were in a tsunami zone.

From our experience, a longer rig would have prevented us from camping in a lot of prime spots, without advance reservations.
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:28 PM   #11
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The 51' length is essentially our setup - the only issue we've had so far was a tight squeeze in a Maryland state park, but we eventually got it in (the biggest issue was that I was backing up completely blind and not getting much guidance; it wasn't until I was completely screwed that I'd hear "you need to go left" - it really wasn't the length of the rig that was causing the problem, but it wasn't helping...we pulled out without a problem). Go for it if that's the trailer you want.


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Old 07-06-2014, 09:42 PM   #12
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I think you'll be fine with the 30' and full-size TV. We pull our 34' with an F350 full 4-door cab (thus extended wheel-base) and have had no trouble with length of RV parking spaces. As a previous poster said, we occasionally have had to unhitch to keep the truck from blocking the access road, but so what? Easy to do!

We have camped in a state park in Illinois (primitive, no hookups), Targhee Natl Park (primitive, no hookups) in Idaho, and many RV parks and have had no trouble.

Handling is no trouble, either. The longer trailers are actually easier to back because of the longer rig and a corresponding longer response time in turning. Harder to maneuver are the shorties, such as a horse trailer, in which the tiniest movement of the steering wheel seems to result in a sharp turn too far!

Get the trailer in which you can be comfortable "living," because it's easy enough to not use all the space, but impossible to add extra space to one that seems cramped. We lived in our 34' for 10 mos last year, and were very comfortable--there is enough space for each of us to do our own thing or to do things together. We also loved our 31', it almost seemed bigger than the 34'! Keep in mind that the weather may not always be good and you could get mewed up in your trailer for days at a time--space can be a good thing!

Happy hunting! (And happy camping!)

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Old 07-07-2014, 01:31 PM   #13
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Any crew cab truck and 30' trailer is pushing 50' in length. I haven't had any trouble in over 4 years of camping with a 50' combined rig.


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Old 07-08-2014, 10:58 PM   #14
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Thank you for the help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
We recently stayed several days at Price Canyon State Park near Helper, UT, a campground I picked out on Google Earth. In the photo below, you can see that the road had length restrictions.

About 1/2 mile up the mountain, we discovered why: The road shrank to one lane, with tight switchbacks and a 6-8% grade. Needless to say, there were no pullouts to turn around.

The satellite view of this road showed that it was paved all the way to the campground, so I knew that our rig wouldn't have any trouble with the switchbacks; but the climb was a little intimidating. However, having previously tackled the 14% grade on the "Devil's Backbone" (on another roadtrip), I knew our Tundra would make it up the mountain.

In any case, we specifically bought a smaller Airstream, so that we could camp in remote places like this. And, Memorial Day weekend, when most other national and state parks were packed, we were one of only three campers in this campground; and we were the largest rig there. One site had a tent, and the other was a van conversion.

For us, our 19' Bambi has everything in it that the big ones do, except extra space. The times we have looked in larger models, it seems like there is just more air inside; and the two of us don't need a longer Airstream, if it prevents us from camping in spots like this.

This road would probably have been a real challenge for a larger travel trailer or motorhome, if it was able to make it up to the campground at all. So, for us, a 51' rig is too long. However, this doesn't sound like your kind of camping.

Just curious, did you purchase a 1-ton pickup without previously towing any kind of trailer? A TV that large seems more suited to a huge fifth-wheel, rather than an Airstream. However, you are certainly prepared to tow about anything.

Good luck, have fun shopping, and WELCOME to AirForums!
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Hello:
Yes I did buy before getting a tow but it is not able to handle the New Horizon 5th wheel. I also bought two horse saddles before buying the horses, and that is the truth. The good news is I love the Airstream just sitting on the dealer lot, and look forward to owning the 30' classic. I was just a bit intimidated about maneuvering it. If all else fails I can use the last horst "Stormy" that is still with us for the rest of our first trip.
Thank you again for the help.
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