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Old 07-26-2006, 11:38 PM   #1
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1963 28' Ambassador
Albuquerque , New Mexico
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Advice on best AS for family of 5?

We are in the process of looking for an airstream (older model, 1970s or before) which could be comfortable for a family of 2 adults and 3 kids, ages 8, 5 and 2. The little one can share a bed with mom and dad for now, but not for much longer. I am overwhelmed with all the different models and options, but I have seen occasionally some with a bunk option that might work, and I also like those with rear bedroom, but I don't want something so big it is unweildy and difficult to tow. Any help from old pros out there?
Thanks!
The Campbells
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by campbell
We are in the process of looking for an airstream (older model, 1970s or before) which could be comfortable for a family of 2 adults and 3 kids, ages 8, 5 and 2. The little one can share a bed with mom and dad for now, but not for much longer. I am overwhelmed with all the different models and options, but I have seen occasionally some with a bunk option that might work, and I also like those with rear bedroom, but I don't want something so big it is unweildy and difficult to tow. Any help from old pros out there?
Thanks!
The Campbells
Tired of tent set up!
Welcome to the forums.

We've found our '64 Overlander (26') to work for our family of 5. We looked for one with the bunk options, but those seem to be few and far between. If you get one with the mid twin option vs a double bed, then you've got a total of 3 beds to work with. A bunk can always be added during the remodel/retrofit/restoration process.
Anything smaller than the 26' and you don't have as many bed options. While 26' is the longest RV we've ever had, it hauls great. Anything longer than a 26' or 27' I personally wouldn't want as it would require heavier duty tow vehicles and would also limit the campgrounds you are able to stay in.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:32 AM   #3
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1963 16' Bambi
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Which model???? So many, so little time...

Hello and welcome to the forums!

The answer to your question will certainly be one you will need to decide upon. So many things to consider. There are some threads that cover this topic and you might want to surf and see what you come up with! There is one about things to consider when buying an airstream. I don't have the link right now, but I will try to find it and post it so you can read it. Many of the topics are about newer airstreams, but the issues are often similar.

Probably the two biggest items, will be cost and what will you tow your airstream with? Do you already have a truck, etc.? The load capacity of your towing vehicle will help you determine how much you can pull.

If you are looking for a 70's type year, then you will need to decide if you want to spend the money for one already in good shape, or fix one up....

The layout and design will be totally up to what your family likes. Many folks have created their own interiors or added things to their liking. I often suggest that you search everywhere and do your homework first! There are some excellent vintage airstream sites that list values, ebay certainly gives you an idea of what folks are paying. Often the pictures on ebay are a great place to print out things you like! Craigslist.com also has airstreams if you key it in the search box for different areas. Our forum site also has classifieds! Look at them all!

I would also consider what kind of camping does your family like? Do you like forest service campgrounds or RV parks with all the amenities? The size of your trailer will be a factor for some roads, parks, and campgrounds. Many places will not fit a trailer over 25 feet in length if you like the out of the way places.

If you haven't looked at many airstreams I suggest you check out the calendar of events and rallys link at the top of the page. Find a rally/event near you and attend. Folks are often really happy to show off their airstream. It will give you a great opportunity to talk to people and get their opinions and find out the pros and cons of their size/model. You can also go blurry eyed and read the forums and get lots of information!

I would make a list of things to check out, discuss them with your spouse/family and see what things will work for you!

I must say that the very best thing about airstreams are the great folks you will meet! The forum rallys are wonderful, fun, entertaining, and easy going!

Good luck on your search! Again, welcome to the forums and post all questions you have!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:35 AM   #4
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I found the link for considerations when buying an Airstream... here it is, might give you some ideas!

http://www.airforums.com/forum...eam-22920.html
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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1963 28' Ambassador
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Thanks!

Thanks everyone for the pointers! I'd been looking at some 31 footers but the issue about campgrounds is a good one. I'm off to search some more.
Wish me luck!
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Old 07-27-2006, 11:27 AM   #6
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Hi campbell--A/S beds (other than queens) that convert to a bench for day use are rather narrow (42" to 44") so it is doubtful your 2 year old could sleep with you and your husband. My suggestion would be about a 27' A/S with a rear bath and twin beds. The overhead storage over one of the twins could be easily replaced with a bunk, and you would have a sleeping compartment for all 3 children. You and your husband could sleep up front in the 44" x 76" convertable bed. This gives you a separate compartment with the TV, fridge, stove, and food, so you can stay up later than the kids and relax. If you stay with a 27' or shorter A/S you can tow it with a 1/2 ton pickup, or Suburban. Get that A/S, and get going.--Frank S
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Old 07-27-2006, 02:39 PM   #7
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1960 24' Tradewind
Exeter , Devon
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We were in the same boat....

Hi, Amanda here.
We have a 7 year old, 6 year old and 3 year old. We bought a 1960 Tradewind last May. It suits us really well although we had to have an extra bunk fitted. We use our daughter's folding bed guard (do you have those over there?) to stop her rolling off.
Take a look at the pics on the gallery or members photos section - there is one picture of the three bunks (I think).
It is illegal to tow anything longer than 26' including hitch in the UK without a 3ton truck so that helped us to decide. Plus, we fell in love with this one.
Good luck
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:09 AM   #8
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I am sure you can find a similar item to the folding bed guard at a good marine supply store. Ask for a lee cloth for a bunk. It is fabric, but will hold a full sized man in stormy seas... can fold up and be totally out of the way. Might check at some place like West Marine ~ I am sure you can view it online at their website. Really good suggestion.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddyGrn recommended
If you haven't looked at many airstreams I suggest you check out the calendar of events and rallys link at the top of the page. Find a rally/event near you and attend. Folks are often really happy to show off their airstream. It will give you a great opportunity to talk to people and get their opinions and find out the pros and cons of their size/model. ... I would make a list of things to check out, discuss them with your spouse/family and see what things will work for you! I must say that the very best thing about airstreams are the great folks you will meet!
Hi Campbell:

Welcome to the Forums. The Vintage Airstream Club Rally in Creede, Colorado, just up river from you (follow the Rio Grande north) has an Open House on Sunday, August 13th from 2-4 p.m. We will have about 60 Airstreams there, mostly from the 1950s to 1970s, so here's your chance to check them out and chat with the owners about their trailer's features and modifications, if any. The timing could not be better for you and you won't be able to efficiently view that many old Airstreams together in one place until our 2007 VAC Rally. For information on the Rally please visit our web site by just clicking on "2006 VAC Rocky Mt. Rally" beneath my name. Good luck in your search!
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