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Old 02-28-2014, 09:21 AM   #1
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Practicalities of 25' vs 30'

Hi all,

This is my first post. Great forum.

We are going to be full-time "part-timers" later this year. My DW is doing extended traveling for work and the boys and I are tagging along. Boys are 10 and 9.

It's full time in the sense that we will leave home and not return for months. It's part time in the sense that we will have some work-paid hotel nights and other reimbursed stays that will give us a break from the AS if we need it. Best guess is that we'd be in the AS 3 or 4 nights at a time, then a few nights in a sticks-n-bricks of some sort.

We are down to two floorplans -- the 25FB twins and the 30FB bunk. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Since we're only part-timing, the 25 seems small but doable. However, everyone having a dedicated bed in the 30 bunk is very appealing. Plus the extra square footage of living space and counter space.

I have never towed so I need some advice on if there is a real-world diff b/n the size of the 25 and 30. Specifically, if we are staying at a hotel, will it be easier to park the 25 vs the 30 in a hotel lot? Or am I going to be turned away with both? Will we have more options with the 25, or not really? Does a 25' connected to the TV (assume quad cab short bed 2500) fit in two head-to-head tandem spots? If we pull off the road in a suburban area, are we more likely to be able to park and go into a strip-mall Starbucks or restaurant in a 25 vs 30?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
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I think, for your plans of extended living, you would find the dedicated beds a huge plus. From my experience I'd advise the 30' bunk.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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For a young family like yours, there's no question in my mind. The 30 wins.

Yes, it's longer and a bit more difficult to maneuver, but with PPPPP (proper prior planning, etc.) in mind, it's not a big deal.

I've found that when looking for accommodations while towing, a look at Google's satellite view of the property you have in mind will pretty much tell you whether space is an issue; as well as a call ahead. Most of the hotel chains are pretty well off when it comes to extra parking space.

Same thing pretty much holds true when it comes to restaurants, WRT to looking at satellite views.

Of course all this assumes you've got continuous internet connection.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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With the two boys, having permanently setup beds will be a bonus in the bunk house plus they will have some "space" to call their own. Any other model, the bed area for the boys would have to be set up at night and taken down in the morning to have a place to sit for meals.

The 1,500 pound difference in GVW between the 25FB at 7,300 pounds and the 30 Bunk at 8,800 pounds will impact your selection of tow vehicle. I think you might consider a truck so the bed with a camper shell can house the grill with propane tank, the generator set(s) with gasoline, the sporting gear etc that would not fit into a sedan or SUV, outdoor table and chairs etc

We (just the wife and I) started with a 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel I had and despite the hitch modifications that were made at CanAm, the 25FB International Serenity became too heavy a load when the trailer was loaded for camping to 6,060 pounds of the 7,300 GVW. Thus we ended up with a 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD diesel with crew cab and short bed with camper shell that can seat five comfortably.

Good luck in your decision making process.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I think, for your plans of extended living, you would find the dedicated beds a huge plus. From my experience I'd advise the 30' bunk.
What he said...
Flying Cloud 30 Bunkhouse hands down.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:42 AM   #6
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I actually am looking at the Ram 2500 quad cab as the tow vehicle regardless of 25 or 30. I'm all for going overkill so that I don't have to worry about payload for the exact things you mention.
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:49 AM   #7
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We had a 28' and went to a 30'. We don't have children, but camp with a couple of dogs and a parrot. The extra space is a plus. We haven't had any problem parking as long as we do a bit of scouting before pulling in.
I think the bunk beds would win hands down with children. They would have their own space and on rainy days extra space is appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:01 AM   #8
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Started out with a 2009 25FB Classic. Moved up to a 2011 30 Classic which for me I didn't like the bath room layout, storage of the cabinets and felt in the living area with the couch and pull out desks that there was wasted space, etc.

2013 I went to a 27FB in Serenity (because I really like that look better than the “Classic” wood and vinyl interior siding covering the interior aluminum walls, etc. after four years) living with two Airstreams with the Classic motif.

In the 27FB, my bed is front to back vice sideways as in the 25FB and I have larger pantry and closet – I feel I have actually more storage in my 27FB than in the 30 Classic, and for practicality purposes, the use of space of the couch area in my 30 Classic never worked for me and I like having a door on my bathroom toilet area.

As in actual towing differences between the 30 and 27FB – I feel no real difference and the length differential between 28 feet and 30 feet is not really a factor once you get to that size. I tow with a diesel 2500....

Kinda like Goldilocks – Too Small, Too Big, finally Just Right & happy ever sense....
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:03 AM   #9
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Again - having owned all three sizes, good luck getting parking for your 30 at a hotel, you will have to be choosey in Hotel selection and hope the parking lot is not full, let alone navigate-able, it is easier to park the 25FB for sure and find space over the 30 and even the 27FB!
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:05 AM   #10
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John, what is the overall length of your 2500 + PP + 27FB combination? Too big for a long pull-through spot in a typical shopping center?
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:09 AM   #11
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I guesstimate our total length to be close to 50'.
It is a little long for Cracker Barrel RV/Bus parking.
It takes 6 regular spaces at McDonald's/Wendy's/Hardee's, etc.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:11 AM   #12
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I agree with getting an overkill tow vehicle if you don't currently own one and will be purchasing one.
On the other hand, if someone already owns a 1/2 ton truck, use it- it will be OK-
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASbeliever View Post
John, what is the overall length of your 2500 + PP + 27FB combination? Too big for a long pull-through spot in a typical shopping center?
2013 Ram 2500HD 4x4 = 231 inches (19 1/4 feet)
2013 Airstream 27FB Serenity = 336 inches (28 feet)
ProPride Hitch (measured from truck hitch to ball mount of trailer) = approx. 24 inches (2 feet)
Total Length = 49 1/4 feet or lets just round to "50 feet"
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:42 AM   #14
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Always go for biggest you can afford - you'll appreciate the space. Towing and even parking won't be a huge difference whatever length you choose. I've found that the biggest issue is the frontal area of the trailer and the drag it causes; the length behind the front isn't that significant.
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