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Old 05-18-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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newer and smaller vs. older and bigger

Hello Airstream world.

I have a question, I am looking for an Airstream to live in for about 4 months straight every year. My job keeps me away from home and living in a trailer. I won't be towing it that much, mostly just parked in one spot In my price range I can find a newer (2004ish) 25 foot Safari, or an older (1990ish) 34 foot Excella. I know the Safari is a lighter trailer, but is it a lesser quality? I like the idea of getting something newer, but not sure which is the better route to take. With a 20000 dollar budget its a tough choice.

Thanks for any help/ideas.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:23 PM   #2
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Yes, size does matter ! When pulling a trailer, smaller is good, when you arrive, bigger is better. Since you won't be pulling much, I would opt for the bigger trailer, condition of both being equal.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:03 PM   #3
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How do you plan to move the 34' trailer? I agree that towing smaller is easier. I would hate to have to maintain a heavy duty tow vehicle just to use it a couple of times a year. A smaller unit would not require as heavy a tow vehicle and in many cases may be the one you already have.

Aaron
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
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I have a truck to use for towing, its a company truck, so I don't have to worry about paying for it year round. I just borrow it for a few hours to move the trailer when I need to.

My question is, being a lighter trailer, are the newer safari's built as solid as the older bigger trailers? I was very impressed with the space in the 2004 25 foot safari I looked at. I'd have no problem living in it. An equally priced 34 footer might need some updating.

Thanks again
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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I was very impressed with the space in the 2004 25 foot safari I looked at. I'd have no problem living in it. An equally priced 34 footer might need some updating.
And there is the rub. If you can find a 34 footer that is in livable shape, you will find it more comfortable in the long run than a 25 footer in the same shape. Obviously, an older unit is more apt to need updating and repair than a newer unit. I have a 25 foot unit and find it perfectly comfortable for one in all situations, comfortable for two on boon-dock trips up to one week or when plugged in, and only inadequate if more than 4 people want to come inside (rain, cold, wind, etc.). That has never happened, but who knows?

For what it is worth, if I were to live in an A/S for 4 months at a time (plugged in) and not have to tow it much, I would go for the size. Get as much A/S as you can afford assuming livable conditions.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:39 PM   #6
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The difference between the Safari and Excella is the style of interior buildout. The Excella buildout is more traditional and includes "stuff" omitted from the Safari for reasons of weight and cost.

The difference between 25 and 34 feet is mainly in the addition of a living space that is completely separate from the galley/dinette area.

I don't think you'll see a great difference in the "solidness" of the trailers. A 20 year old trailer is probably going to show some signs of age though.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:44 PM   #7
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A conventional white box trailer would make better sense for your use. You can get a newer roomier trailer that still fits your budget. As you are not towing it much the Airstream advantages of light weight, streamlined design and easy towing are practically irrelevant.

As you will be living in it full time it would pay to buy one of the better built, better quality brands.

An Airstream would be a waste of money in your case.

This is not a knock to you or to Airstream, just a matter of choosing the best tool for the job.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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Oh, I've thought about a regular new trailer, but whats the fun in that? I can't bring myself to spend 20 or 30 thousand on a trailer that is made out of sticks and staples. I recently sold my class C motorhome, and would never go back to one.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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Hi,

Have you looked at BIGFOOT? Its a quality rig.

Louis
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #10
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Get a 34!

Dear Tagalong,

I have a 34' triple axle and wouldn't consider ever going smaller! They tow like a dream, are easy to park, and have ROOM!

If you really like the 25 footer, then go for it. But in all honesty, if you buy a new one, you will eat the huge depreciation and have a 25' trailer when it's said and done. Buy a nice used 34' trailer and the previous owner will eat the depreciation and you get a good deal on a roomier rig.

I have owned both a 31 foot and a 34 foot. I don't see a dime's difference in towing them, other than the triple axle tracks better than the tandem axle. But neither one was bad.

The 34 footer is LONG to be sure, but what they hay, you're going straight down the road anyway so it doesn't matter much at all. And, when parking, I find the longer trailers easier to park than a shorter one (like my 20' flat bed).

My vote is get you a nice 34 footer and have a blast! Room is room. And, even a 34 footer isn't like having a Biltmore House by any means....any decent 5th wheel will trump a 'stream (or an Avion) in room. But a 34' pulls nice, tracks nice, and has enough room that you don't find yourself climbing the walls!

See ya on the road,
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:53 AM   #11
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Just figured I should let you know, I ended up getting a 1997 30 ft Excella, with a dinette. It has all the space I need and so far I love it.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:51 AM   #12
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Congratulations! It sounds grand.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:21 AM   #13
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Just figured I should let you know, I ended up getting a 1997 30 ft Excella, with a dinette. It has all the space I need and so far I love it.
Hurray for you! Yer gonna luvvit!

Now, how about some PICTURES!?
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:42 PM   #14
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My new and my old home. The old one was a little on the small side, but filled in great as a temporary pad.
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