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Old 07-03-2010, 12:07 PM   #1
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Question Newbie ?? about 25' vs. 28' Trailer

Hey there:

Hoping to venture into the land of Airstream soon - and I need some advice on trailer size. I am looking at the '05 Internationals.

I have not had an Airstream before, but have driven a 40' RV through Canada for 3 months and done some utility trailer towing.

The layout of the 28' works best for long term use, but my questions are this:

1) If I want to camp some in State and National Parks, and not just commercial RV sites, am I making a mistake going with the 28'? Will I be turned away or asking for trouble getting into a site?

2) I don't just want to park in a big parking lot all the time with big rigs - I do enjoy the quieter spots. Will the 25' allow for more intimate parking?

3) Is the 28' a lot more difficult to tow and maneuver than the 25'? How much trickier will the extra 3 feet prove to be?

Thanks for any advice you can give me on the pros and cons of both sizes.
Pinky
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:14 PM   #2
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Three feet certainly won't make or break your ability to fit it into most campsites.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:19 PM   #3
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i traded in a 19 and went up to a 27FB intl which is actually 28. I think a longer trailer is easier to deal with because of the dual axles. When backing it it doesnt get away from you so fast. Weve not been turned away from any site yet. Get the trailer thats right for you long term is my advice.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:21 PM   #4
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Hey Journalist:

Will the towing be different with the 3 additional feet? The dealer near my house is saying the longer trailer is actually easier to tow and back up.

I'm looking at tow vehicles like the 3/4 ton Suburban, Expedition or Nissan Armada with the longer wheelbase for either size Airstream.

Whatcha think?

Pinky
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
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I share your concern, and I bought a 27FB which is actually 28 feet in length... Sold it because I wanted a bigger living space that allowed more choices as to where to sit to view TV etc. so I bought a Classic 30D which is actually 31 feet in length...I have no doubt that I can take it into any National or State park campground I wish to go to...Yea!!! Yea!!! I hear lots of folks say you can't, however my exp. in a 39 foot Moho And taking it to many National parks I was able to get it into most campgrounds...With that being said I feel very confident that the 31 will do jus fine... So let your level of liveability be your guide and go enjoy...I find that folks who say you can't are really jus trying to get a travel trailer whetever the lenght into a tent site...LOL Oh and I find it very helpful to tell the campground host the number they wanna hear as to your trailers length ie. if its posted only 25 footers max say your 25 feet long... Worked for too many times to mention and what I was in, be it over the max, fit jus fine in the sites...

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Old 07-03-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
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Hi Randjg1 -

Thanks for the info. Do you have to reserve far in advance for a bigger site, or do you just do the first come first serve thing when you get there?
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #7
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I think once you've hit the 25' size you have already jumped to the widebody and ruled out some small campsites and narrow access roads. I think, as owner of 25' unit, a 28' foot trailer would not have been a handicap in any of the sites I've camped in to date with the 25. Basically 25....28 not much difference.

I can also say there are times I've borrowed my sister's Scamp to camp in sites impractical for my 25.

Check out the campgrounds you want to camp in and see whats parked there. There are some National Forest campgrounds here in CA where you'll not see anything much bigger than 16-18 ft. Others the sky is the limit.
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Old 07-03-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky65 View Post
Hey Journalist:

Will the towing be different with the 3 additional feet? The dealer near my house is saying the longer trailer is actually easier to tow and back up.

I'm looking at tow vehicles like the 3/4 ton Suburban, Expedition or Nissan Armada with the longer wheelbase for either size Airstream.

Whatcha think?

Pinky
Shouldn't make much difference at all. As a general rule, longer trailers are easier to back up than shorter ones, but to really notice a difference, it takes more like 10 feet of difference in trailer size.
Any of those tow vehicles will pull pretty much any size Airstream you decide to buy. I personally prefer the Suburban to the other two, but I'm just partial to Chevys.
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Old 07-03-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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We have a 2004 28' CCD and have camped in several national parks.
We camped for 5 days in Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite last summer. It was very primitive but we were able to squeeze between the trees and get level.

If you like the 28's I wouldn't compromise for national campgrounds sake. There aren't that many compared to all of the state campgrounds which tend to be better groomed.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:20 PM   #10
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I have a 25 ft and a 32 ft. (old ones) I tow with a 3/4 ton Diesel. Both pull extremely well. We have used the 25 for a lotta miles and the 32 is to stay on a lot. With the truck I do not notice much difference, except that the heavier trailer does not feel like it has as much braking. I do not think you will have to pass up many spaces with the 28 that you would have fitted in with the 25. With the TV's you are considering you will notice no handling or millage difference. The 25 is just a little to short. It has everything you need, except about 3 feet of space around the door and tables for two people to pass withou interference, and it is very cramped if you have another person or couple for a visit. and the shower is tight. Most of the people on the caravans that we have been on that have newer trailers have the 27 or 28 foot model. They pull them very successfully with many different tows. I think that is the way to go. We stayed in forest service campgrounds for a three weeks this summer in the Idaho, Montana area. We found a lot of sites that we could have fit a 28 in. We passed up some that would have required a very short trailer. Forest Service has pretty much wised up to RV's in many areas.
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:09 PM   #11
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The number you are looking for is 30, from my reading some SP, FP, BLM, and COE use 30 ft as upper limit. From what I have seen the copilot director is the most important element for getting into a site for a trailer. It won't make any difference on height or width and the length will depend on the angle of approach, and the ability of the driver to be able to translate what the director is saying. LOL
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:53 PM   #12
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Always translate the director and then get out and look.
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Old 11-20-2010, 06:42 PM   #13
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Reality v. Regulations

There are state and local park campgrounds that do set limits on maximum length.. Some in CA are 25', some are 27' and some are 30'.. That said, it is up to a Ranger to explain and enforce the regs, and often impractical to stop, get out of booth, and measure trailers with a tape measure..

In addition, Airstream Marketing sizes aren't usually same as your own tape measure.. Our Excella 25 is actually 25' 11".. The 30's are closer to 31' and so on...

We've found it is as much a matter of practicality and negotiating ("Yup, it's a 25 sir...") than formal regulatory compliance at public parks... The practical max for a lot of roads and access and sites is often close to 30', but the difference between a 25 and 27 and 28 is likely to be insignificant over a few months of camping, in terms of access..

Similarly, the empty weights and towability are within a narrow range, and as likely to be affected by water and holding tanks and packed stuff... Anything 25' or longer will have double axles, and will trail about the same, though a 3/4 ton or higher-powered truck with longer wheelbase would be better suited to the 28.. (Wally himself claimed in 1960's that tow vehicle should be at least as heavy as the trailer, and that's not bad advice..)
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:22 PM   #14
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Camp Ground Length Restrictions

There are a couple rv campground guides that list trailer and motor home length restrictions. I have one for state parks--"RV Camping in State Parks", national parks--"National Park Service Camping Guide', and a "Trailerlife Directory" guide for private parks. They're available on Amazon and from RV.net. They're pretty cheap and very complete. Some have gps coordinates, phone numbers, info about reservations etc.
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