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Old 01-30-2019, 08:20 PM   #1
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Arrow 30ft vs 34ft for Family of 5?

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
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:28 PM   #2
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As a 34 owner myself, I say go all the way....get the 34. You will love it. John
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:06 PM   #3
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As a 34 owner myself, I say go all the way....get the 34. You will love it. John
Thanks, John- appreciate the feedback and would be interested to learn why you chose the 34 given the same option?
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:19 PM   #4
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Not how long, but how well the space is arranged

While I don't own one, I understand the 30' bunkhouse was designed for just such a family, with one master bedroom up front, and a double bed with overhead bunk in the rear.

The 34 footers have more "space" but much much of it seems to be open, unusable space in the "living" room" and will require making the couch and dinette areas into bedding at night.

You might want to look at the floorpans to see the layout, but again, the main thing will be spending some time inside each and imagine how the trailer will work out for you. That will be the real test. Best of luck, you'll have fun no matter what!

PS (Sadly, all only have one bathroom!)
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:44 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Masterz View Post
. . .
. . . We've narrowed down the field to a 2000+ 30ft or a 2000+ 34ft for our family of 5x . . .
. . .
Welcome to the forum, Ross, the adventure begins!

Have you actually been inside each unit under consideration, or at least inside similar nearby Airstreams?

It will be very difficult to make a fully-informed decision unless you have done so IMO.

You are not too far from Colonial Airstream in NJ, so it might be a good idea to take the brood up there to inspect whatever they have in stock in the 30' to 34' range. Patrick Botticelli, and the rest of the sales staff, are experts at putting families in the right trailer IMO. He may know of used units nearby or en-route to NJ.

There is no substitute for being inside your future home, with everyone there, and imagining being inside for a week of terrible rainy weather!

A good "road test" of one's dreams, don't you know . . .



Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Good comments so far, especially about the 30' bunk layout vs. open space of the 34' .
PS2 -- There is an AS dealer in VA, but their inventory can't match Colonial IMO, and recent comments about them have not been exactly glowing.
PS3 -- The new search function in the blue box above [using the desktop version of AirForums, not the App] works great.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:20 AM   #6
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You have to really spend some time in the trailers to discover what's right for you and your family. Also you may want to think about how you will be using the trailer. The larger the unit the less flexibility you have in where you can take it and park it. Not a show stopper but something you need to think about. You will discover there is no perfect answer, so we adapt and get on with creating wonderful memories!
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:22 AM   #7
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Remember, your kids will grow quickly. The 30 bunkhouse is a great choice for kids.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:30 AM   #8
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30 or 34

I second the comment about visiting Colonial. We traveled all the way across the country from California to buy our 2018 30 Classic there because they were the only dealer who had our choice in stock and they matched the price of our local dealer who would have ordered one for us.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:45 AM   #9
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Having owned and used both the 31' and the 34', I have to say that the extra length is well worth it. I find that there is a lot more room with the twin bed option. As far as pulling the longer trailer, I find it pulls as easy as the 31'. It is marginally more difficult to park, but it is only 3 feet longer. Like any long trailer you have to pick your fueling spots and where you can park. We love our 34' and would have a hard time to go back to a smaller trailer. Yes, we carry too much stuff with us because we can, and you will appreciate the extra closet space with kids. JMHO
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:49 AM   #10
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I've had the dealer and owners of the tri-axle 34' models tell me that the 34' models really do tow well. That extra weight of the trailer is spread across 3 axles which puts less load on each tire. Storage is better on the 34' model vs some of the 30' units. My 30' unit with the center bath does not have the double closet. That 30' center bath is nice but you lose that double closet. The 30' and 31' models are almost 31' long. The difference being the position of the bathrooms and interior layouts. While some say all you get is more air space, I could tell you that air space becomes important on a lengthly trip or when you get trapped inside in inclement weather. The downside of the 34' model means 6 tires and 6 sets of brakes, so understand there will be extra expense to maintain. Also be aware that those older 34' units and 30' units were equipped with one 13.5K air conditioner as standard equipment. Those 13.K units are woefully inadequate in hot weather and hopefully if you go with that 34' model, you will find it equipped with two air conditioners. My 30' slide out came with a 13.5K unit and I opted to have it built with the 15K unit instead. That size works just great for me, but if you are in a hot full sun environment, you probably should have two units also.

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Old 01-31-2019, 11:13 AM   #11
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Masters

Welcome to all things Airstream. Owning an Airstream will change your life- in a good way. Lots to learn and this is the place.

The bunkhouse layout would be nice, but the 34 has more room and tows better. Now it will weigh about 10% more than the 30 but you have 50% more braking and tire capacity. This makes it much safer to tow.

You might reach out to the northern Virginia WBAC club (www.wbcci.org) for their assistance. I know they are having a super bowl gathering this Sunday. Check out their newsletter. They may have members that have a 30 and a 34 that you could see in person.

Dan
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:48 AM   #12
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As in anything Airstream my answer is "it depends"

I have a 25 and a 34. I use the 25 for shorter trips and trips off the beaten track on dirt roads in the woods etc. I use the 34 for longer trips where I am going to be parked for a while and to RV parks with hookups.

The primary concern for using the 34 would be it is more complicated (and sometimes impossible) to maneuver in small spaces, tight turns etc. For example if I need to turn around on a 4 lane undivided highway with a smaller trailer I can do a U turn. With the 34 I need to go around the block. The 34 is also more difficult to back up especially without a spotter.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:54 PM   #13
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You haven't mentioned weather the 30or 34 you are looking at had the rear Queen or twins . With the 5 of you regardless of where everybody sleeps you will be making 2 places to sleep each night . If you have the rear Queen 2 adults can sleep there or maybe 3 kids if small 1 adult on the couch and 1 on the dinette .If one has the rear twins then what ? When we take our grand daughters 7and 11 they get the rear Queen I get the dinette and wife gets the couch . We get up earlier than the kids so we can make up the couch and dinette before they wake up and have a cup of coffee. Good luck with your search I'm sure you can make it work.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:09 PM   #14
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30ft vs 34ft for Family of 5?

Welcome to the Airforums. I just saw 2 custom Airstream 30 bunk house trailers on eBay. They are late models built by an authorized Airstream customizer. I would check them out.
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