Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-22-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
New Member
Currently Looking...
Scarborough , Maine
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2
28' vs. 30' Asking for your input on which to purchase

We have found a 28' International Serenity that we like very much. The question is, should we go for a 30" unit? The MSRP difference is less than $ 10,000.00. The 30" has greater storage and a higher carrying capacity. GVW is 7,600 vs. 8,800. (We are not interested in the Classic in part becuase of its heavier weight, GVW being 10,000lbs.)
I realize that the 28' is a little less than 28' in length, and the 30' is closer to 31' in length.
We are planning on doing a lot of traveling, with grandchilden. I'm thinking that the extra weight that we would be hauling around, based on GVW, should be under a maximum of 1,200 lbs. The trailer would be 2 feet longer. Would these difference ultimately prove to be negligible in terms of mpg towing, and in overall operating costs, including the cost of campsites, etc...??.

If the 30 foot unit would have about the same operating costs as the 28 foot unit, my goal would be to get the 30 unit.

We are looking to travel to all the National Parks, and other important places of interest such as Washington DC over the next 5 to 10 years.

We would greatly appreciate hearing from experienced folks on this matter so that we might benefit from your experiences.

Thank you.

Dave E.

dearly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 05:05 PM   #2
nvestysly's Avatar

1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,623
Hello dearly. Welcome to Air Forums.

Well... you've asked the age-old question - does size matter?

In my opinion, it depends. We currently have a 29' and that's all we've ever owned. Never had another RV. The 29' was intimidating but we mangaged and now couldn't imagine traveling with much less.

The 27' Serenity would be the minimum we're interested in. We like the 30' too and I'd say go for it if you think the extra storage/space/amenities are in your favor.

I agree the Classic is heavier but it comes with a significantly larger fresh water tank and this can be important when traveling. I don't know why Airstream doesn't put the larger fresh tank in the Serenity - from what I see on the floor plans the fresh tank should fit. I'm sure there's some reason - maybe just cost. So for us... we will consider the Classic to get the larger fresh tank.

Back to length. If you're not shying away from the 30 it seems like it makes sense to go with the larger (longer) size.


Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
nvestysly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
Rivet Master
A W Warn's Avatar
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,787
I have had three different 30' Airstreams, but never had a 28'. So I cannot give you a comparison. Though, I really liked the extra space in the 30'.
I can tell you that you should be considering the tow vehicle along with the trailer. My opinion is that you will need at least a 3/4 ton with a tow package if you are going in the mountains with either a 28' or 30'.
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
rd tighe's Avatar
2007 25' International CCD FB
We are , Relaxed
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 60
Images: 12
when I talked to people that have owned many Airstreams they have always said 25' is ideal. Also the National Parks are very tight.
rd tighe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
fmrcaptevil's Avatar
Currently Looking...
Weldon Spring , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 456
Hello dearly, and welcome. My vote is for the 30' floorplan. After living full-time in a 28' for a year or so, we traded it for this 30' a few months ago, and we're still spontaneously commenting to each other about how well they utilized those additional 3 feet. Here's a few of those differences:

1) Assuming you order the L-lounge (a more versatile choice than the recliners), the shorter section is 10" longer, which is much more comfortable, by comparison.

2) The area beneath that section is available for both interior AND exterior storage, (not available in the 28' floorplan due to the location of the converter, which moved to beneath the fridge in the 30').

3) More precious countertop space to begin with, and its location next to the entry door allows the use of a fold-down countertop extension, not able to be used in the 28'.

4) The "hall" closet is almost twice as big, by comparison.

5) The lav is also bigger; allowing more clearance in the toilet area. (At 6'4" tall, I could not close the lavatory door completely while sitting on the toilet in the 28').

6) The fresh water tank holds 15 gallons more than the tank in the 28'.

7) 28' models have a plastic floor register in the entry area just forward of the dinette; I broke it twice by accidently stepping on it...sorry, but it looks like something you'd find in a park model (or a "double-wide").
You mess with me, you mess with the whole trailer park.
fmrcaptevil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
Rivet Master
dznf0g's Avatar

2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9,791
Images: 5
We originally thought we wanted a 28'er, but the 30'er "found us" and we definitely do not regret having the 30'er.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Foiled Again's Avatar
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6,083
You could easily be happy with either - but you said plural "grandchildren" - so to me that makes the 30 a no brainer.

The forestry parks are getting more big RV spaces every year. East of the Mississippi - virtually zero problem. In the west, esp in the mountains you might have a few problems, but most times you'll find a space. Truth is that "25 feet" generally means 25 feet Plus the tongue. You might have to unhitch to fit in a few places.

Oh - and if you get tired of it within the next two - three years - PM ME!!!!!!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
Rivet Master
dkottum's Avatar
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
When traveling I want a smaller Airstream.

When parked I want a larger Airstream.

The greatest difference may be in type of tow vehicle required.

doug k
dkottum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
Rich of SCal's Avatar
2012 16' Sport
San Bernardino , California
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 438
Images: 2
Sounds like money is no object if you think $10,000 is insignificant. So the answer is simple. Go with the one whose floorplan you like better. But it seems like you are talking yourself into the 30 footer. Go for it.
Rich of SCal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 07:40 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
UAPachyderm's Avatar
2004 28' International CCD
Birmingham , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 323
I've only had a 28' and our family of four LOVES it. We've made so many memories, I don't see us ever letting the one we have go. Having said that, if I could go back and start all over again ... I might choose a 25'. We'd have adequate amenities in a 25' yet we'd tow a little lighter and fit (and store) in many more spots.

... and, as Doug K said, it does always seem to cross my mind when I'm rolling down the road that my trailer does not need to be so big.
UAPachyderm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #11
Rivet Master
MrUKToad's Avatar

2011 28' International
Chatham , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,376
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 13
The 30' Serenity wasn't available when we bought our 28' and I think we might have been tempted had they been. We're happy with the 28' Serenity but I think if you have the budget then the 30' might be the one to go for.
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
MrUKToad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 08:02 PM   #12
Rivet Master
ASwifey's Avatar
2010 30' Flying Cloud
Bakersfield , California
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 662
Images: 6
We love out 30 footer! Had a 25 CCD before, and it just didn't have the storage or the space we wanted. If your looking for comfort, and storage, I'd recommend the 30. Have you seen the bathroom??? True that there are a few (very few) campgrounds we can't fit it, but it's really worth it to us. The best advise I can give is just don't buy anything you're gonna regret. Happy shopping!
ASwifey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
Sodbust's Avatar
1972 27' Overlander
Penokee , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 339
Welcome,, and you are with a bunch of great folks for advice about Airstreams.

My wife and I have a older 27 foot Overlander and for the 2 of us,, it works just great... But we can also tell you the moment you toss in 2 grand-kids the game changes real fast.. They seem to need more personal items each than my wife and I need together.. So look at the larger trailer for sure just too have the extra storage.. Reason below..

We found out by luck that if they each have a drawer,, or shelf for just there items,, it makes them feel better as being part of the team,, and not just tag alongs for the trip.. Then if they tend to battle,, having each a spot for the stuff keeps problems of who's what and where. And who got into my things battles..

2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman Hemi, 4x4, 6 speed

20mpg empty, 14 mpg with 27' Overlander.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
Sodbust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #14
4 Rivet Member
cms4140's Avatar
Birmingham , Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 264
Images: 1
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
I agree the Classic is heavier but it comes with a significantly larger fresh water tank and this can be important when traveling. I don't know why Airstream doesn't put the larger fresh tank in the Serenity - from what I see on the floor plans the fresh tank should fit. I'm sure there's some reason - maybe just cost. So for us... we will consider the Classic to get the larger fresh tank.
The 30' Serenity has a 54 gal fresh water tank - just like the Classics. The 28' Internationals have only a 39 gal fresh water holding tank.


cms4140 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.