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Old 09-01-2011, 09:41 PM   #15
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Best length for newbie's

Greetings Desert Diva!

Welcome to the Forums!

There are a number of mid-sized SUVs that could handle a 23' Airstream with minimal trouble. The biggest determining factor regarding choice would be what you want to spend on a new tow vehicle. Late model 23' Airstreams have a GVWR of 6,000 pounds, and while most usually weigh less than the GVWR when loaded for a vacation it is a good place to begin your search. Some of the potential candidates with specific trailer towing packages would include:
  • Volkswagen Touareg
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Nissan Armada
  • Mercedes ML 550
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Lexus LX 570
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Infiniti QX56
  • Ford Expedition
  • Dodge Durango
  • Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Audi Q7
I am sure that you will enjoy the combination of a mid-size SUV and an Airstream. I have towed my Airstreams with automobiles, pickups, and SUVs . . . and for versatility, nothing comes close to a good SUV (IMHO). My least favorite of my tow vehicles was my one and only pickup . . . it was uncomfortable to drive under any conditions (it was a 1995 Chevrolet Silverado with premium leather interior, Z71, and 6,000 pound trailer tow package). My all-time favorite tow vehicle is a full-size American-made Convertible, but since those haven't been produced since 1976; I have really enjoyed my 1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer as well as my current 1999 GMC K2500 Suburban.

Good luck with your investigation!


You can check the trailer tow ratings of late model vehicles via this link.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:36 PM   #16
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1988 32' Excella
Bonita , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 325
Images: 16
Well, welcome. You will find much info on this site. Let me tell our story.
We started with a 16", had it 8 months and got an older 32". It really depends on your tow vehicle and what your wants are. We liked the 16", but wanted more storage. We found a 32" that needed a home, and its the end all be all. Tons of storage. Never a need to unpack and repack. Our unit calls it the Apartment. We love it. You may want certain floor plans. Different lengths have different floor planes that suit different people's styles. Please just remember, its camping and meant to be a good time. Get what you can afford and surround yourself with fun loving like minded people and you cant wrong. Enjoy the adventure. You only live once.........

Happiness only real when shared.
Christopher Johnson McCandless
2/12/68 - 8/18/92
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:02 PM   #17
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2004 16' International CCD
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 35

You will find all kinds of great information and advice here. It made a huge difference when we were trying to decide which size silver home away from home to buy.

The folks who have been talking about matching your trailer to your tow vehicle are dead on. We had a Land Rover Discovery II when we were looking. Based on advice for that vehicle's towing capacity - we bought the smallest trailer - a 16' CCD.

It has been great over the years. It fits 2 adults and one very big Newfoundland dog. We had a 3rd person as an overnight guest - once. Only once!

You mentioned 15' in your original post. The small trailers are great for 2 - but no more than 2.

Finally, we now tow with a Land Rover LR3 (as you can guess - we're Land Rover people) - it has been a great tow vehicle.

Good luck with your choice!

The People from the Pod
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:37 PM   #18
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2000 25' Excella
Danville , California
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 69
I used to have a 16 foot shasta trailer and when I got my 25 foot Airstream, I didn't notice any difference in towing. They tow really well. I let my husband do the backing up, though!! I wouldn't want much smaller than a 25 foot for 4 people. We have 2 people and 2 dogs and it's just right! 4 adults inside, really do fill it up! good luck on your search!
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:55 PM   #19
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2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I love to be contrarian on this subject so here goes:
Smaller, narrower trailers are generally easier to tow and handle than bigger ones. They're easier to maneuver into small sites, around tight obstacles, and common locations such as fuel stations. They can be towed with smaller narrower tow vehicles which themselves are more enjoyable to drive. They are easier to keep clean and maintain. Yes they're more touchy when backing so thats something you'll have to get used to. I've towed everything from single PWC trailers, medium to large boat trailers and travel trailers. A little single PWC trailer is a dream as long as you're in drive, and very snappy in reverse (as long as you can see it). Anyone saying pulling a 30+ foot 102 inch wide travel trailer is "easier" than a personal watercraft or very small travel trailer is full of beans lol.

Nevertheless in your post I see that you want plenty of room, large bed, and that you'll be sleeping four. So my only question is.. what kind of rigs are in the campgrounds/parks you tend to camp in?

If it is tends to the larger end of your spectrum, I'd go ahead and recommend one of the larger trailers on your list. You can adjust to towing anything and most people are doing it enjoyably and successfully.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:32 AM   #20
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1988 32' Excella
Bonita , California
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 325
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Oppps.. Ok stop laughing. Im not small minded just key board challenged. No really I do know the diff between inches and feet. See what I mean, laugh. Enjoy.
Happiness only real when shared.
Christopher Johnson McCandless
2/12/68 - 8/18/92
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:13 AM   #21
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2005 28' Safari
saline , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 408
I think an important point for you to consider is that a large trailer may seem overwhelming at first, but after a while it becomes smaller in terms of your handling it. I went from 18feet to 28 and at first, my impression was that I would not be able to handle it. Now it seems no more difficult than the 18 footer. I can't imagine 4 people in anything less than a 25.

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