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Old 04-20-2015, 01:28 PM   #1
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Durham , North Carolina
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Smile What size Airstream should we get.

Hello Airstreamers!

My wife Amber and I are trying to buy an Airstream on craigslist and thought I'd come here to ask the simplest question of all.

What size Airstream should we get? We are a family of three. Amber and I, and our 4 month old. We are planning on full timing and we've never done with before. I'm going to be working on the road everyday, so we were thinking we need a big trailer so Amber has her space and I have mine to focus on work...but a 31' seems massive! Would a 23' work, or would a 27' be the perfect size?

Please give me your best argument why you think a certain size would be better. Thanks!

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Old 04-20-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
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It all depends on your lifestyle and need for "things". Minimalists can get by in smaller spaces. Storage needs will probably dictate trailer size.

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Old 04-20-2015, 01:54 PM   #3
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Here is a young couple with two children that travel extensively.

Adventures of Dave and Ann: Where Are We Now?

They have a 2006 25ss (six sleeper), with a front L lounge, separate dinette and a rear corner bed and bathroom.

The 27fb and 25fb late models share the same rear dinette living arrangement.

The later model 28 have the front couch, separate dinette and rear queen or twin sleeping area (Flying Clouds only have twin beds and cabinets over the dinette).

I would think a twin bed arrangement would work better for you. The child and mother sleep on the twin beds, the aisle between the beds offers more space to dress and the area can be used as a living area for the child while you work on the dinette.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:28 PM   #4
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I would recommend a 25, 27 or 28. The 27 & 28 are basically the same size but the 27 has the bedroom in the front and the 28 has it in the rear. The 25 has a little less on-board storage and the bed alignment may not be to your liking.

I would not recommend full-timing in anything smaller than a 25. Plenty of people do it, but it is tight and some of the smaller units have bed configurations that are a challenge for two people over a long period of time.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:47 PM   #5
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First step....go see the new ones at a dealer in person. The styles haven't change too much in the last few years, and it will give you a feel for the space even if you wind up with one that is different from the new styles.

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Old 04-20-2015, 03:51 PM   #6
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Read Watson's Wander. They have a 25' AS and he works in his trailer full-time. We have a 28' with 2 tables and no dinette. It works for us but we only play on our computers. Tim and Amanda are contemplating bigger so he has a comfortable work space and she is a wonderful cook.

Just got to weigh it but I think they are thinking maybe a 34'. Many guys on this forum love them. My advice is check them out. We never pulled a trailer and have an extended bed pickup so far with no issues.

Good luck!
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:17 PM   #7
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We have a 27, but honestly, all you'll get is opinions, only you can truly decide what's enough for you and your family at the end of the day. Everyone's needs, tastes and preferences are different. Listen to people's reasons for their particular model and use as a gauge in your decisions.

We are full-timing with two children.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:24 PM   #8
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what era or price range are you looking at ?

the newer trailers have better use of space than the older trailers.

If you are going older (1970s) a 31' would be great or maybe a 29' ,if you can go newer 2000s) a 27 would be fine maybe even a 25.

Otherwise its going to get small fast if you are living in it.
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:27 PM   #9
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The key for anything is storage and how your family deals with periods of time when you are confined inside due to weather. If you are full timing consider your travel locale and the amount of clothing you will need, especially coats which tend to eat up closet space.

Interior layouts differ and depending upon the vintage, the same size trailer can present different storage options. A good example is my 30' Airstream is the exact same length of a 31' model. Big difference was a larger bathroom in mine. On the downside that larger bathroom took half of the closet that is present in the 31'. So we gave up closet space for bathroom space. If I were a full timer I would have chosen the 31' model instead due to the double closet.

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Old 04-20-2015, 05:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pageandamber View Post


Please give me your best argument why you think a certain size would be better. Thanks!

If I were spending your $, I would go to an AS dealer and walk through/sit in as many as possible to get a good idea of what might work. After seeing many, we stepped in to the 27FB and knew it was for us (wife, hub, 70# bloodhound). We don't full time but for our use right now, it's the perfect size for us. Everyone's mileage varies - sometimes considerably. You are the only family who will know what works for you. Good luck!!
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:58 PM   #11
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Having lived a short while in a much smaller rig, where we had to convert dining areas into beds and back twice a day, it was important for each of us to have a dedicated sleeping space. I wish Airstream made smaller models with bunks, but for our family, the Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk is perfect for our family with 2 girls!
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:43 PM   #12
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:02 PM   #13
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10Smiles, the 34' is our first choice should we decide to go with an Airstream. To answer the OP's question, though, the advice to go visit a dealer is good. Spend some time in each coach and "do" the various activities of daily life in it. "Take" a shower; "wash" the dishes; "use" the toilet; "watch" TV. Give thought to where major items will go. Since you are going to be using the coach not only as your home but also your office you will need to figure out how you can do that. Your daughter will need her space, too. You might not think that she needs much, but consider a stroller, diaper space, playpen, toys etc. As she grows that stuff will only increase in volume.

I'd suggest that you start with the smallest coach that seems reasonable to you. Since you mentioned 23' I'd suggest you start there. Do the above in that coach, then move to the next larger one, and so on. At some point you will reach a coach that seems doable. Probably the next larger size will be right.

As full-timers, you need to be prepared to spend several days cooped up in your coach. Size is your friend on those days. You also will need to have everything with you, from cold weather/snow clothes to swimsuits and suntan lotion. Consider carefully where all of that stuff will go.

This isn't one of those questions that can be answered easily by others. Only you can decide what will and won't work for you.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:05 PM   #14
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You are about 70 miles from Out of Doors Mart in Colfax, NC. They are an authorized Airstream Dealer. Spend some time sitting, walking, lying and looking at storage space, in all different sizes, then make your decision.
We purchased our one-owner AS from this dealer and were pleased with the experience.


Remember its not the destination, but rather the journey.... its what's in the middle that matters the most!
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