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Old 03-26-2008, 08:45 PM   #1
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Wink Contemplating what size to get???

Hi!
My boyfriend and I are planning on purchasing an airstream to travel/live in this summer. I am a bit concerned about 2 things.

1) We are currently looking at a 28ft. Ambassador. Is this to big of a trailer to drag around to travel?? There are two of us...PLUS two dogs, one is a good sized Austrailan Sheep dog. The other, a wonderful 20 lbs. heinz 57. I am concerned that with any smaller we might go nuts...any advice is much appreciated..

2) I just found out from a fellow airstreamer that length of trailer can boot you out of certain state parks. We are both pretty non-traditional, and prefer the simplistic life and picture being at sites that have a little seclusion, not a big cement pad. Is this unrealistic..

3) We don't have a set agenda, but want to head towards the Redwoods then up into Oregon/Northwest. If it is better to find a spot and stay PUT, does anyone know of any good boondocking sites, or ideal sites that we would be contempt at for a month or so....

Thanks!!
LucyP
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:53 PM   #2
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Obviously I think 28' is a great length. The length has not been a problem in any state park or COE, etc. Some places are older and the space itself as well as the access are tight. Just take you time and use all 4 of your eyes, you will do fine.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:00 PM   #3
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In the older parks anything over 25 can be a problem. Galcier and Yellowstone are two examples.
I would chekc with the Oregon state parks. They have a good website. The longer your trailer the fewer sites you will fit into.

You did not mention what Tow Vehicle (TV) you have or plan to get? That will drive the trailer size decision as well.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:03 PM   #4
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The 28 is a good size. Not too big, not too small. What kind of TV do you have? A 28 really needs a 3/4 ton TV.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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Couple of thoughts...
There are compromises that have to be made.
Space, price, ease of towing, ease of parking... these are all things we have to deal with.

Personally, I prefer bicycle touring, because it fits in the basement, costs very little, and I can park anywhere I want (for the record, I don't want to park at RV only places - and we don't).

But my compromises involve family members who don't see the appeal in being outside all day, packing everything you want into a very small space, and living with that level of inconvenience...
So we compromise.

Yes, some parks might not like longish trailers, some might not take older trailers, and some won't take RV's at all.

This isn't a big deal. Find a trailer you can live with - one that won't make you nuts to be in, and only you know what you need (vs what you want).

Example, when I was a kid, we lived in South America. We took a several day trip in the Andes to visit some Inca ruins & other places. There were 8 of us in a 1971 Datsun station wagon. Not a big deal. And yet, sometimes I feel cramped with just four of us in our mid-size car.

I can imagine being pretty comfy in a 28' trailer, but I've no idea what your expectations are. Some people would use a tent and have a grand time of it. Other people - and I don't ask you to believe this but I'm told it's true - put up 3000 square ft houses for just two people. Sounds bizarre, I know.

One other thing, the Airstreams typically measure "ball to bumper" meaning a 31' Airstream isn't as hard to park - given a little practice - as a nominally smaller SOB. In fact, vanity compels me to once again attach the following example of how to stuff a 31' x 8' trailer into a 12' slot including the right angle turn:



So my advice, worth twice what you've paid for it, is to get a functional trailer, and figure out the details about where and how as you go. You won't be able to stay everywhere in anything. Part of the game, I guess.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:18 PM   #6
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My wife and I have racked up some 28000 miles over the past 2 years in our 31' Soveriegn. While there are some parks that can't accomodate us, they are very, very much in the minority.

After your first week, towing (and backing) will be second nature.

Enjoy it!

mike
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:39 PM   #7
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here is a fresh thread with many LINKS to other threads on the 'length/size' issue.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...buy-40383.html

floor plan matters almost as much as length.

of the 500,000+ camping areas in the lower 48 only a tiny fraction have length issues...

staying long term (more that 14 days) at ANY boondocking, state park, forest campground or other public/rustic site is virtually impossible.

FORMAL rv parks, trailer parks and relatives' back-yards are for this...

camping and campsites can be EXPENSIVE when full timing UNLESS you opt for the monthly rates these commercial parks offer.

another option for long term parking in a state park is to become a camp host or park worker...

it might save you a LOT of frustration and time to buy ONE of the many beginners books on rv'ing or full timing...

'rv for dummies' is pretty good, so is the 'idiots guide to rvs' and there are dozens of other books that cover most basic issues.

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:44 PM   #8
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We just bought a 1986 Ford F250 Diesel truck to pull. We had a 98 4-runner, but decided that is just won't be able to pull much of anything we are looking at. We are a little concerned about the "age" and possible break-down of the vehicle, but it seems to be in pretty good shape. We are also concerned about the gas consumption and are thinking about converting it to run on veggie-oil. We have ALOT of things to think about. Any wisdom or ideas..If we do the conversion we are also considering getting a newer truck since the conversion alone costs about $2,000. Any thoughts???
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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A story of sizes.

We have a 3 and a half year old and a small boston terrier. When we got into Airstreaming we bought a 68 Safari that was 22 feet. While working to restore it we bought a 24' tradewind. The tradewind would have had enough room for all of us, and given us seperate sleeping areas that the Safari wouldn't offer us. We ended up getting rid of both of these for a 22' 1956 Caravanner. This had separate sleeping areas like we wanted, but had no AC, no kitchen, no LP, no fridge, and boasted an 18 square foot bathroom we nicknames the "Party shower". We ended up selling this trailer for a 19' CCD from 2006. This trailer offered the dual sleeping areas we liked, but I could take two steps and be from front to back. We now have a 1975 29' Ambassador, and we couldn't be happier. Our son has room to run, and we can take two steps without hitting the trailer edges.

I think you will be happier with a bigger trailer. THe small ones are cute, but I wouldn't trade my new found "Palace" for anything smaller (Well maybe one of the new 27 Front Beds)

Steve
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:59 PM   #10
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the member here who owns frybird.com can give you great advice on the ideal tv for conversion...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/265303-post33.html

you are wise to think about repair and maintenance, upkeep and breakdowns of whichever tow vehicle is used...

because repairs and breakdowns happen, and sometimes they can break the bank...

just follow this sequence to get a little idea...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f125...ind-24365.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ore-24448.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ack-28700.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...uck-31194.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f458...lle-31993.html

of course most of us never have problems...


cheers
2air'
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:04 PM   #11
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Rivet The View from a 34

I live in mine, so I really appreciate the space. I am parked for a while since my current Tow Vehicle (TV) is not up to the task. When I finish paying for the Excella, then I will trade in my F150. I anticipate retiring in about 12 years and then traveling then. I will become a true full timer.

The wrap-around windows in my ’83 Excella’s living area make the “view” much better from the inside. There is so much more light inside making it more cheerful inside that my ’67 Trade Wind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
In fact, vanity compels me to once again attach the following example of how to stuff a 31' x 8' trailer into a 12' slot including the right angle turn:


Nice boat handling!
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedSHED
... In fact, vanity compels me to once again attach the following example of how to stuff a 31' x 8' trailer into a 12' slot including the right angle turn...
nice parking red' but porky pig still has the trump card, and with a w i d e b o d y 34 !

and chris's pic in post 51 is pretty tight too....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...fit-17405.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:25 PM   #13
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our trailer

we have a 28' Ambassador.. a 1967.

I wouldn't trade the size for anything. Bambis are cute as hell BUT we've been married 33 years and I don;t want to be sitting on top of each other if we don't have to :-)

I like to read, he likes TV. And we have two dogs.

Our 28' has a living room and mid-bunks.. PERFECT for tv and reading at night.

Picture this, too.. sometimes you'll be trailer-bound due to weather.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:27 PM   #14
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Hi LucyP,

My wife and I bought our 25 footer almost one year ago in preparation for living in it for the entire summer of 2007. We spent the summer primarily in Oregon and Washington and loved every minute of it.

We only encountered one Oregon state park for boondocking that listed the maximum trailer length as 23'. We pulled in anyway for a night and had no problems. There was plenty of space, and a 28' would even have fit.

Like others have pointed out, get what you can live in comfortably, and don't worry as much about which parks won't have large enough spots for you. We started our search thinking a 16' Bambi would be completely large enough (we were coming from tent camping). We took our time with the purchase, poured ourselves into the research, looked at the floor plans, and realized that 25' was our best size. We went with the Front Bed and are really happy with the decision. It places the dinette in back, and for those days that you feel like hanging out in the Airstream you get to look out over your campground and not at the back of your tow vehicle as you sit reading or having a cup of coffee. It's especially nice having the dinette in back when you back into that absolutely beautiful spot!

Feel free to send us a PM if you want specifics of where we stayed and our favorite spots in Oregon and Washington.

Enjoy!

David
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