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Old 07-11-2007, 12:06 PM   #15
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Mike -

The only limitation with the 28' is my TV - I could use a little more power and will be getting a new pickup truck in the next few years with just that, either a bigger gas engine or more likely a diesel. My current truck does ok as long as I don't try to get up hills too quickly. I keep it at 60 on the highways too.

Other than that, no problems. I used to think that 28' was HUGE until we started traveling with our AS and I find that we are among the SMALLER units in the places we stay. I've run into several 31' and 34' AS on the road and they pull just as easily, according to their owners. And some of those fifth wheels are gargantuan compared to our 'little' 28 footer!

Pulling and backing are no problem - backing takes a little practice and courage the first few times, but once you get the hang of it, it really is pretty easy.

The bed size was my wife's primary reason for the 28' - neither of us is small any more and it sure is nice haveing that extra room 8 hours a day.

One more thing - we're in our 50's and in retrospect, we wish we would have bought one of these when we were in our 30's with the kids - we tent camped when they were little and had a popup camper too - I think we would have used the AS more than those other two combined.

I hope that helps - my daughter's partner/roommate is from Regina and brings us Saskatoonberry syrup when she visits home! We learned all about Nanaimo bars and Poutine from her too! Of course I already knew about Molson's and LaBatts! They lived in Halifax for two years - we took our AS up there for a week - no towing or backing problems at all.

steve
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MG911
Hi Szy, thanks for the feedback. Syrup all over keyboard as we speak.

I've been looking at the NJ dealership (I really shouldn't be lookng at new) and a few of the others online. Do you find you have any limitations with the 28' trailer? I assumed 25' would be compact enough for easy towing and backing yet roomy enough. I know none of the bed sizes in the 25' seem very large however.

Anybody else having thoughts on 25' vs. 28' please share your thoughts!
We looked at a boatload of sizes and styles. From the first look at the 25 FB we had to have it. Perfect layout for entertaining, bed size and bath and shower layout. Perfect size for offroad (boondocking) camping in the desert and mountains.

Colonial RV has a killer website for information and comparison BUT you must see the trailers in person. A picture does not give you the real space.

In my opinion a F150 is not enough truck for 25 feet or longer. There are many threads on this so please look into that. Not enough truck is really a safty issue.

By the way have you looked into the new Safari Sports? Less wieght and money. Both can be pulled by your truck.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:45 PM   #17
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If you do find a unit on the web there are a number of folks who will go out and take a look for you if it's in their general area. It doesn't hurt to post a request for anyone in the area who might be able to validate to the best of their ability that the trailer is what the seller says it is.

The rig in Rathdrum does seem very well priced, and they say not perfect but still quite usable so one wonders if it's been in an accident or has a salvage title and been redone. One other place to try is the I think it's called Western Producer(?) out of Wpg that's targeted at the Western Canadian Prairie market. In their classifieds in the past we know of folks who found, by running an ad in wanted, a very rare '57 Pontiac convertible and several other items. I do not know if they have an on line version or not but suspect they would. I wouldn't hesitate to contact the folks at Airstream in Spokane and get info on what they have in stock used. Lot's of folks start with one rig, use it for a few years, then move into something larger (or smaller) depending on their changing needs. Importing a trailer into Canada is a piece of cake if you have the right paperwork - you will find all the detail many of us have posted on this forum, and it's way easier than importing anything that is self propelled. But glad to answer questions if you wish - just pop a PM to me.

Good luck with your search.

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Old 07-11-2007, 02:27 PM   #18
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In response to your question concerning a 25 vrs 28 footer, I can comment on the 25SS that we have borrowed several times from our friends. The plus is the sleeping capacity (3 beds), and we really liked the dinette. We eat there and usually play games after dinner. The two minuses for us are the potty leg room and the bed. The bed is small (full size) and requires that the outboard person (my wife) crawl over the other person (me) to get out of bed. It is also a little snug if the dog joins us.

The current owner hates the potty leg room and that is the major reason they are thinking of getting rid of it. It is tight.

Also the shower is a very adequate size.

Don't take these comments as a don't buy a 25SS, they are just our observations. We may end up buying our friends 25SS if we can ever get around to negotiating the right price.

There are tradeoffs for every size trailer.

We are in our 50s and sometimes the grandchildren may join us.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:09 PM   #19
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'06 F150 V8 with 7200lb. towing package - from everything I've read, I should be well within the towing capacity in a 25' or 28' AS. Correct me if I'm wrong...Mike
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:06 PM   #20
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It could be that the double bed configuation would work if you really like each other - put the small one in the empty and if things get to close, one of you could join the wee one. Also, you have the convertable couch for those "special evnings". Remember, if things get close, there's always a Hilton to chill out a little - -
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:10 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG911
My only hesitation in buying a vintage 'handyman' special is that we want to do some camping - yesterday. My wife (nor I) would not be impressed with some fixer upper sitting in the driveway all summer as I try to remodel it.
i can relate to your concern. i've had two houses under construction since feb. and haven't had a chance to work on my flying cloud much. i'm dying to take my wife and 11 month old camping right now, BUT it'll be atleast a few months before that'll happen.

your wife wouldn't like this either then,

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i bought it last october, here's a couple of threads on it;

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f411...oud-27533.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f411...ect-27719.html
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:06 AM   #22
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I can't remember which one of you brought my attention to the Spokane Craiglist AS for sale - thanks. I talked with the owner at great length this a.m. and he informed me that there were several creases on the front and rear corners, also a fist sized hole at the front somewhere. Apparently, all this needed was some "caulk, body putty, duct tape, silver spray paint and a hammer". Ofcourse, caulk and duct tape fix everything! Oh ya, then there was a seam coming apart and missing rivets....anyway, perhaps I caught the gentleman a little early in the morning but some things didn't make sense. Unfortunately there were also no photos and at one point I was the bad guy for even suggesting that photos be emailed at the price of $13K.

The look continues however I did put a (low) offer in on a 1999 25' Safari in Toronto but waiting to hear back. It's at a "RepoDepo" which I've never dealt with but the photos show the trailer in near mint condition. $250 airfare one way to Toronto, rent a truck, tow it home...might be worth it.
Mike
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:11 AM   #23
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Hi UF, I'll have to get my feet wet on a late model AS and see how I make out. The guy in Spokane told me all I need is caulk and duct tape to fix these things (yikes!) so maybe I will buy an old beater sometime soon...and guess where I'll be sleeping.

We take possession of our "new" house on Aug. 3 so our available camping window is getting smaller everyday. I'll be covered in caulk and duct tape after that.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG911
The look continues however I did put a (low) offer in on a 1999 25' Safari in Toronto but waiting to hear back. It's at a "RepoDepo" which I've never dealt with but the photos show the trailer in near mint condition. $250 airfare one way to Toronto, rent a truck, tow it home...might be worth it.
Mike
Make sure you check the repodepo out with BBB. Per our PM, as on the forum, probably start a new thread, asking if anyone is in this area that will do an inspection for you. Mind you, if the price is right and you think it's the right one if it is what they say it is, buy the ticket, get there, if it is what they say, rent the truck to haul it home. If not, a cheap return flight home has saved you a ton of angst. My past experience with the repo lots with cars at least is they have been very willing to send me as many photos as I want as long as I tell them what it is to take pictures of.

Barry
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:05 PM   #25
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You asked...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MG911
'06 F150 V8 with 7200lb. towing package - from everything I've read, I should be well within the towing capacity in a 25' or 28' AS. Correct me if I'm wrong...Mike
Mike-

I think your truck might be OK for Safari 25 used model, but it would be a push.. Your truck is not adequate for a 28' Airstream... Feel free to search the many threads on "tow vehicles" and "towing capacity" and make your own judgments...

Reasoning in brief:

Manufacturer "Towing Capacity" is for empty truck, excluding passengers, luggage, fuel and hitch assembly.. "Empty Weight" for trailer excludes propane, fluid in tanks, clothing, dishes, utensils, food, air conditioner and awning, and maybe a TV... These can add up to a lot of extra pounds or kilo's, and put you over weight on the Ford.

Sadly, trailer and truck sales persons are compensated often for being optimistic about towing abilities, and rarely volunteer negative messages... That said, we pull a ~6,600# 25' trailer behind a Ford Excursion, rated at 7200# as well, which is not much margin. The Excursion is built on 3/4 ton chassis, and brakes and suspension are pretty tough.. Towing capacity in our case limited by Triton 5.4L V8 engine power, and we can live with that..

As for overall size, 25 is pretty good compromise for smaller family, as it is relatively easier to store, tow and manuever in tight spaces... The downside is that Airstreams treat owning couple well (whether in queen or twin beds) and others (children, guess, infants..) must make do with folding couches or converting dinettes. There are threads on Queen v. Twin bed discussions - feel free to search and review...

As for sources of late model used, there are 4:

1. Classifieds here
2. rvtraderonline.com
3. craigslist.com (choose geographies)
4. airstream.net (Vintage Airstream Site..)

I personally wouldn't look earlier than 1990, unless you really want to do some fixing-upping before use. Do be aware that Airstreams got 6 or 7" wider in 1995, and heavier as well... Good luck in your quest..
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:34 PM   #26
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Hi Condo,

Thanks for your concern and I have to agree with you. I didn't want to be the new guy who asks all the questions that could've been answered with a simple search query but by the end of last night I was more confused than not. I did Google searches for GCWR, towing info, etc, had several spread sheets open at one point and 4 or 5 AS forum windows open on this topic and still had a hard time figuring it all out.

I've been tracking prices online through ebay, craigslist, RVtrader.com, etc and I think I have found an exceptional trailer in the Toronto area. The exact same trailer is on Ebay right now with a reputable New Jersey AS dealer and was told by a salesman they are asking $21K for this '99 Safari on their lot. It has a couple dings, stains on the interior, and other small issues. The Toronto version has none of those issues from what I can see.

If I can get it for the price I'm hoping, we can afford to try it out for a season or two and either keep it, upgrade or sell it for what we paid for it. I'm the new guy so what do I know??!! I'm just dying to get out there and the 6 sleeper is more what we've been looking for. Wish me luck, and before I move up to a 28' AS, I'll rethink my TV.

Again, thanks for your thoughts and concerns.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:45 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG911
Hi Szy, thanks for the feedback. Syrup all over keyboard as we speak.

I've been looking at the NJ dealership (I really shouldn't be lookng at new) and a few of the others online. Do you find you have any limitations with the 28' trailer? I assumed 25' would be compact enough for easy towing and backing yet roomy enough. I know none of the bed sizes in the 25' seem very large however.

Anybody else having thoughts on 25' vs. 28' please share your thoughts!
Hi, My two cents worth! With your tow vehicle a 28'er is too big and too heavy. You stated that your tow vehicle is rated at 7,200 lbs. My Safari 25-B [rear queen] is rated at 6,300 lbs. Many other 25'ers are rated at 7,300 lbs. [too heavy] My personal opinion is, that if you plan on having more than four people, get a six sleeper [25 SS] But you will have to put up with a corner bed next to the bathroom. [cramped] If you find a good twin, convert it to a queen; I was going to do that myself if I couldn't find a rear queen. Even at that, 6,300 lbs is a bit too much for your tow vehicle. My tow vehicle is rated at 8,900 lbs and I wouldn't want to tow a heavier trailer with it. Basically you need a bigger tow vehicle or a smaller trailer.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:20 AM   #28
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Hello,

Even if you want to go camping yesterday... I suggest you really give deep thought into what configuration you and your family will be happy with. Just remember, kids are very portable and adaptable, concentrate on Mom and Dad's needs. The kids needs will change yearly.

I would also suggest strongly you think about what kind of camping you want to do. Many state and/or national parks limit the size to 25 feet so a bigger trailer may not work, or you will possibly severely limit the spaces that can accommodate you.

There is a old thread, but a good one on considerations for buying an airstream you might want to read through.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...eam-22920.html

You might be surprised on how little room you will actually need. We go camping to get outdoors and usually aren't in the trailer unless the weather is crummy... it will all depend on your lifestyle!

Have fun, and keep looking. The suggestions on going to a rally is an excellent one. Check out the rally schedule and even if you have to drive a bit, it may be well worth it! Good luck!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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