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Old 10-30-2003, 04:41 PM   #1
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petite airstreamer

Hi all you smart airstreamers! Want to give me a little advice? I'm searching for my first airstream with an eye towards living in it full time. I don't have much, don't need much, so I'm looking for something in the smaller range, 19' to 23'. Because I'll be doing this on my own - and I've never done it before - I want to buy something that I can manage. I don't have the bucks for a brand new Bambi but have been looking at post 1973 Safari's, Globetrotters, etc., up to 1995 Sovereigns.

I guess my question is, what can I do to make towing less intimidating? For instance, double axles have been recommended. Anything else I should be looking at? Anything I should avoid?

Are there any women out there who have done this on their own, whether for a weekend or a year? I must admit to be a tad bit nervous about towing (wind gusts and S curves come to mind) but figure with practice I'll get over it.

Thanks in advance for any advice - towing and more! - you can give.
Annette
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Old 10-30-2003, 04:59 PM   #2
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IMHO

There's many out there that have been doing this longer than me but IMHO my focus would be:

The smallest trailer you can get with tandem axles.
A good sway control and equalizer hitch
A reliable, properly sized tow vehicle
A cell phone and CB
A good roadside service contract (AAA, THOR, etc)
A list of good campgrounds/parks with references.
A good tire gauge, a full tank and off you go.
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: petite airstreamer

Quote:
Originally posted by nettepdx
Are there any women out there who have done this on their own, whether for a weekend or a year?
I have it done it myself many times for weekend jaunts when hubby is working. Like you indicated in your post...it's just a matter of getting used to it. You can accelerate the process by practicing. I took my trailer to a large, empty parking lot and practiced weaving in and out of imaginary cars, backing up, turning, etc. It doesn't take long to get accustomed to towing. Hooking up alone is very straightforward too. I can do it in one - two backup shots now that I found a focal point that I line up on between my rear hatch and the front of the Airstream. As far as the order of hookup activities is concerned, just create a checklist the first time you do it -- after a few times hooking up you can frame the checklist and never use it again.

Good luck!
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:21 PM   #4
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Many thanks for the tips. I didn't know about roadside help until I read through some of the forum topics. I love this site.

And thank you yukionna for the words of encouragement. I like the idea of maneuvering around imaginary vehicles in a parking lot!
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:33 PM   #5
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a little help

There is an organization of and for singles you may want to check out.... www.lonersonwheels.com
lol...jem
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:35 PM   #6
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loners!

Wow, thanks for the link....I'm heading there right now.
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:38 PM   #7
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Isn't there also a singles Airstream intraclub? I can't think of the name of it...
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Isn't there also a singles Airstream intraclub? I can't think of the name of it...
Yes there is...it's called the Free Wheelers and there are several folks here on the forum that are members and will probably chime in.

As far as a trailer model to look for, I would encourage you to look for one with a full-time bed if you intend on full-timing. We have a gaucho (bed folds up to a sofa during the day) and it's great for a couple of days or a week...but if I full-timed, I'd definately get real tired of that!

I would suggest a Tradewind which is 24-25' long, has a full-time bed and also a double axle. As far as towing, it's not tough...you'll be a pro in no time!

Shari
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:53 PM   #9
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Hi Annette,

Go to yahoo.com and search on "women rvers" and you will receive all kinds of information.

Wishing you the best in your search for the right RV and your many new exciting travel experiences yet to come! -Sheila
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Old 10-30-2003, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nettepdx
Many thanks for the tips. I didn't know about roadside help until I read through some of the forum topics. I love this site.

And thank you yukionna for the words of encouragement. I like the idea of maneuvering around imaginary vehicles in a parking lot!
Another idea for someone towing alone, that I have done, is to place a large "blind spot" mirror on the front of your trailer, so you can see the very front of the tongue on the trailer when you are trying to hook up to it. You can watch for your hitch on your tow vehicle to come into view, without constantly getting out and checking, or waiting to hear the "crunch" of contact.
Good luck on the full-timer circuit!
Terry
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Old 10-30-2003, 11:19 PM   #11
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It's just a matter of getting use to the extra length behind you when driving and keeping it in mind when you making stops and and turns.

The only part that "Petite" plays into the equasion is the hitching up. Electric jack takes care of the worst. A longer pipe to use on the leveling bar tensioners is the next.

Once we get our coach restored I'm going to make it a point that my better half (Clili Pepper here on the forums) can hitch up and handle moving our coach. Already have her a nice 3ft peice of pipe picked out for the job. Chili is 5ft and 90lb.

Her biggest problem is going to be that idiot in the passenger seat. I'm a horrible passenger and I can't see the gages to monitor the engine from over there.
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:27 AM   #12
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keep the advice coming!

Hey all of you, thanks for the replies to my post. I'm at home and using dial-up so won't be checking in too often....much easier to get online when I'm at work!

------------
From Shari:

I would suggest a Tradewind which is 24-25' long, has a full-time bed and also a double axle. As far as towing, it's not tough...you'll be a pro in no time!
-------------

I may just have to consider going a little bigger. I'm with you that a full-timer needs a bed that's always set up, that's why I like the bed in the back, side bathroom models - a little more difficult to come by, it seems.

Thanks again everyone. I'll check in periodically over the weekend.
Cheers! Annette
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:40 AM   #13
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I agree with Shari

I think 25' is the absolute minimum Airstream that one person could full-time in and a bit larger is a lot better. Personally, I would choose at least a 28'. The rub is in finding space for everything. Even keeping your clothing to a minimum, it is daunting to see how much of the limited wardrobe space even one light jacket takes up. Finding a place for dirty laundry is also a challenge in a small trailer.

It is surprising just how little difference there is in pulling a trailer that is just a little longer. The chores of hitching and levelling do not appreciably change. On the road, the biggest difference is in finding places to maneuver and park a longer rig at service stations, restaurants, and the like.

Note that my feelings on this do not necessarily extend to the super long (34') size trailers. Most of the triple-axle owners in our unit wish they had something a bit smaller.
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:26 AM   #14
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Having currently a 19' Bambi, I can tell you first hand that it is a bit lacking in the storage department.

I have looked carefully at tow weights vs. creature comforts and my answer each time was the 25' Safari Six Sleeper....aka Safari SS.

The Safari SS has gobs of storage, more so than some of the similar or larger Airstream models. The bathroom is kind of a bummer as it is pretty tight, but the shower is very roomy. I liked the fact that I could have a couch and a dinette. In some cases you get one or the other. This one as well as a few others have both.

I agree with John that 25' would be the smallest for fulltiming and that 28' or larger even more comfortable. When raining outside, I got cabin fever pretty easy in the Bambi...it was really nice to have the awning so that even in the rain, I had more living space...sort of.

Eric
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