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Old 01-31-2019, 01:20 PM   #15
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1971 31' Sovereign
pickering , Ontario
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Posts: 22
30' or 34' purchase

Hi Ross; either would suit your family, but its like comparing apples and oranges; pick the unit based on the best deal for its condition and year; I was pulling a 31'AS with a 3/4 ton Suburban in the 1980's; kids don't care what size it is; we started with a 21' camper and the kids thought it was one big adventure.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:59 PM   #16
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1981 31' Excella II
Florence , Alabama
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I'll second the comment about layout and thinking through daily living. We camp with an oldie, an '81 31ft Excella with my family of five and often a sixth friend that wants to sleepover. The 3 kiddos are 9 and younger. Our layout has rear twins, one bunk, center bath. This is wonderful for us because the area between the kiddos twin beds gives them a place to change clothes without having to stand in the kitchen, like they would with the newer 30' bunkhouses. It also gives them space to invite over a friend, let them sleep on the floor, and we can still close them off in their own bedroom so we have our privacy. With a rear bedroom for kids you can close off and let the parents stay up late/get up early, go to the restroom, etc. without waking up the kiddos. Well, I guess that depends on how loud you are with some of those activities. If I could have my exact layout in a 34ft, then I would do that, but I'd have to upgrade my tow vehicle.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:33 PM   #17
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1988 32.5' Airstream 325
WhereIam , Left Coast Proud
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Chris and I feel cramped after a while and we have a 1988 Airstream 325 Classic Moho, 32.5 feet. Of course I should mention that we have a Kelpie Dog and two Tuxedo Cats, plus we live in our Airstream for anywhere from 4 to 7 months at a time. In Texas. Where the heat is so bad that you can only live inside with AC fullblast 24/7and all the windows covered outside with tarp, and inside with cell shades and towels.

GO 34!
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:19 PM   #18
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2017 22' Sport
Salisbury , Maryland
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Watch the Movie the Accountant 34 Pan American ..
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:29 PM   #19
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Jackson , Mississippi
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Hi from a mom of 4!

We found the perfect model for our family of 6– a 2002 30’ Classic with a slide out. The slide out gives us extra wiggle room we didn’t realize we needed, but if we didn’t have it, we’d still have sleeping arrangements on the couch, the dinette, and of course the twin beds in the rear.

We bought ours when our youngest ones (twin girls) were 2 years old, our boys were 4 & 6. At that age, all of them could sleep comfortably together on the sleeper sofa. More often than not, the girls at that stage would crawl into the twin beds with us. That curve at the top of the mattress is a sweet little nook for a toddler to curl up in. Even my 6’1” tall husband didn’t seem to notice when one of the girls claimed that spot in his bed in the middle of the night.

Now that they are 10, 8, and almost 6 years old, they sleep wherever they want, including the floor. It doesn’t even seem to matter that the sleeper sofa is pulled out & comfy, floor palettes are still pretty fun, apparently.

Message me if you want to talk about this further! We’ve been so pleased with our decision. Good luck!
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:51 PM   #20
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Hamilton , Virginia
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Wow...blown away by the quality of the responses. Thank you all!

A few responses to the guidance you've provided:
  1. 1. Bunkhouse. An interesting idea to us, but with consideration to their pricing (even used)- it's unfortunately nothing more than that for us (this will be a weekend toy, so we're attempting to stay south of $45k)
  2. 2. "Road Test". 100% agree with that solid advice. Trouble is- we've viewed 3x M-30 Slide-Outs so far (our 30' choice), but have yet to find a 34' nearby. Colonial may indeed be the solution and we'll look into this. Thanks
  3. 3. 34' Benefits. Consistent with what we've read- towability(?), storage and real estate. All interests, but I'm still curious how these would compare with a tongue heavy M-30 Slide Out.
  4. 4. A/C. We live (and will likely travel a decent amount) in the South, so if 1x 13.5k is not sufficient for a 30ft+ trailer- that's a game changer and we're glad to know that upfront. Thank you, Jack.
  5. 5. WBCCI. Thank you, Dan! Won't make the superbowl party, but will most certainly reach out! Might solve for #2 above.
  6. 6. Sleeping Arrangements. I kept this to myself in my original thread, but our plan (regardless of 30 or 34) is to remove the rear bedroom furniture and custom build-in 4x bunkbeds for the kids. Sounds like Losfeliz and Nomadleslie have blazed this path already, so I'll be reaching out to you both shortly- thank you!

Sounds like most recommend the extra space and towing of the 34ft, but that the 30ft is adequate to house 5+ if needed; especially w/bunks. We no doubt need to find a 34ft to walk-through before making our final decision and will make that a priority. The pricing between two we've found to be surprisingly similar, so barring any "must haves" found in the 34- expect we'll be basing our decision on condition and cost.

Thanks all!
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:40 PM   #21
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterz View Post
Hi Folks,

We're ready to buy an Airstream! (Once we figure out which one to buy...)

Hoping that's where you come in. We've narrowed down the field to a 2000+ 30ft or a 2000+ 34ft for our family of 5x (2x adults and 3x children under the age of 6).

Our intention is to use it primarily for boondock vacationing, but it will get a mix of use, and from reading intensely on the subject- it seems that the length won't restrict us as much as we'd originally feared. Our 3/4 ton vehicle is capable of easily towing either, so that's not a factor.

That said, we're very keen to learn your thoughts/wisdom/experience/hearsay about a preference towards either of these trailers and hope to use it for making our purchase decision.

Thanks in advance!
Ross
IMO, go for the larger trailer. The biggest difference is in the additional living and kitchen space. That extra 4' with six people will be priceless, especially on a rainy day.

I have owned a 1999 30' and presently own a 1999 34', both Excella, very similar to the two trailers you mention.

As far as towing, there's not a lot of difference, except the 34' tows smoother. The difference in maneuverability is negligible.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:03 AM   #22
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2010 27' FB Classic
Austin , Texas
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I love my Airstream, but in my opinion, they are a poor choice for families. A pop up camper has more sleeping space in it. There are many good campers out there that will give you more space, more beds, more everything, weigh less and lighten your wallet a LOT less. Boxes are fundamentally more space efficient than tubes.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #23
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2002 34' Classic S/O
Monmouth , Illinois
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I have a 34 ft airstream and it is in really good condition. Has three axles and tows great. It is for sale, The back bedroom is twins, I added a queen matress and now it is king plus. big galley, five awnings. heat pump, ac, and added rv heater. If interested call me. Dave. 3093356368
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:38 PM   #24
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1991 34' Excella
2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
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We are a family of 2 parents, 4 children , and 3 dogs.
We are now 8 years fulltime in a 34.
4 feet is 4 extra feet, youll need every sanity inch...
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:35 PM   #25
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1984 34' Excella
Strathroy , Ontario
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family camping in Airstream

Hi there,
We have a 1984 34 foot 3-axle Airstream (named Stretch) purchased at Can-Am RV near London Ontario in 1996. They have set up 2 tow vehicles for me so far ('92 1500 Suburban, and '97 1500 Suburban) I've towed Stretch about 30,000 kms with these 2 vehicles including the prairies and Rocky mountains. At 300,000 kms the '97 the tranny died. Not a bad life though.

We traveled from London Ontario to Los Angeles in the year 2000 with 7 kids, oldest age 11. We didn't anticipate how much work it would be but still have tons of great memories and photos. (Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, etc) The 3-axle, narrow body, towed like a dream everywhere. Again, the combination was set up at Can-Am Rv, they had me use 8-inch rims and a shorter profile tire on the '92 Suburban.

For the '97 suburban we acquired a Hensley hitch and stayed with the stock rims with LT tires.

I felt that I had sufficient power and great handling with both suburbans (5.7 litre).

Stretch is a rear twin, with aluminum framed removable canvas bunks above the twins. We even had a 3rd aluminum framed bunk crosswise above the rear window above the foot end of the bunks made for us, again at Can-Am. My 13 and 19 year old boys still prefer the bunks!

Stretch is not as shiny as most Airstreams but sure has lots of experience and stories. We're planning a trip to Montreal and PEI this summer, with 2 adults and 2 teenagers now.

Family of 5: Go for it!!

Henry
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:25 PM   #26
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2018 30' Classic
Jacksonville , Florida
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Which one fits the parking space at home?

Note my 30 ft Classic is 34 ft nose to tail.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:42 AM   #27
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2002 34' Classic S/O
Monmouth , Illinois
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30 0r 34 for fanily of five

I would recommend the 34 ft. I currently have one for sale, 34 2001, excellent condition, king plus bed, give me a call at 3093356368 and/or contact me via email at dschonfelder@frontiernet.net.
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