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Old 04-10-2014, 01:52 PM   #1
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ogden , Utah
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Confused newbie

I' ll try this again last post got lost is the ether. If this a duplicate I apologize
I'm itching to pick up a new AS. I just cannt seem to find the right one. My problem is bed size and limited driveway space at our house. We like to hike around the western US and are tried of staying in fleabag hotels. We've looked at the 16 foot sport up to the 25 foot FC . Seems like you need to get to the 25 foot to get into a "queen bed". I,m 6'3" and my wife is 5'8" . I've have a 07 burb. So towing isn't an issue with the 16to 23 footer problematic with the 25 FC. Leaning towards the 16 sport. Anyway it's a good problem to have

Just wanted to introduce myself

Thanks rad1
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #2
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Well, it seems size does matter. Almost everyone I know who bought a "cute little" trailer ended up trading up in fairly short order. Storage is an issue in the smallest units and, basically, elbow room is in short supply as well. Once you are at 25', you at least have two separate living areas.

I am no Chevy expert but I suspect your Suburban could handle a 25 without too much difficulty. Certainly worth looking into.

Enjoy the journey,

Mike
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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Rad1 --

Welcome to the forums! I've also only recently jumped into the boat; but had looked at different models and floor plans for well over a year and a half before I took the leap.

I am 7' tall even -- so I feel the pain you are working with. While I went with the 28' model, I did so knowing I would have the storage space - and also wanting a unit I could easily host family and friends as guests in. If I was looking solely for myself, the 22FB Sport would have been my choice. The bed is sideways so in a relationship, one party may be climbing over the other in the middle of the night to hit the head, etc., but I could lie perfectly flat (ok -- slightly angled) and be perfectly comfortable in that bed.

maybe if I get a second airstream I'll get that one one day....
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. There is a new dealership about 30 min. from our house been down there several time that have a limited number of trailers ( about 8) to look at. I've fallen in love with airstream. I just don't want to be to impulsive. They have a 25 FC bed forward , what a sweet unit. But I' m think maybe start slow and see how it goes for a few seasons,I don't know.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:55 PM   #5
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Easeing into AS

The cheapest and lowest risk way to ease in to this lifestyle is to buy a camping-ready used unit. Make sure that it does not need a lot of work, unless you are especially handy and like that kind of stuff. Good used AS' are not very common (at least in my part of the country) so be prepared for a lengthy national search. But, if you can buy right, you'll get a good low risk way to see if the lifestyle appeals to you and if you decide the unit you bought is not right for you, you should be able to sell it fairly easily with a minimal loss. Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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rad1 --

My last piece of advice is one given by many folk here. There were four types of airstreams I was looking at when I first began to look:

(a) -- vintage, restore myself
(b) -- vintage, pay someone else to restore
(c) -- new, off the lot
(d) -- find someone selling one a year or two old for whom RV'ing seemed a good idea at the time but they later changed their mind for one reason or another

I am not the expert, but all my research suggested that A-B-C all could wind up being about the same costs. Ultimately, I was lucky and with the help of some forum members was able to go with option D -- on an airstream that is pretty much brand new, three years old and half off MSRP.

Start reviewing the classified section of this site as well as ebay -- and get an idea of the slightly used market pricing and your ability to stave off impulsiveness and wait for the proper one to come along slightly used.

Oh -- finally -- call around the the KOA campgrounds in your area. Here in Virginia, some of them have airstreams permanently placed in the campgrounds you can rent, ala a cabin of sorts. It's a good way to get experience in the systems and the experience of what it will be like for you. Most of them in Va are 25FB and 27FB models; but still...

Ian
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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I towed a 1978 31" AS with a 1996 Suburban 4X4 with a 350 engine without any problems. The newer ones have more horsepower so I think they should be able to pull a 25'.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:11 PM   #8
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For reference. I have a 25FC and have towed it with two Suburbans. An '07 1500 with 4WD and a 5.3L and now currently an '06 2500 2WD with 6.0L. Both are no problem with a 25FC.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanPoulin View Post
rad1 --

My last piece of advice is one given by many folk here. There were four types of airstreams I was looking at when I first began to look:

(a) -- vintage, restore myself
(b) -- vintage, pay someone else to restore
(c) -- new, off the lot
(d) -- find someone selling one a year or two old for whom RV'ing seemed a good idea at the time but they later changed their mind for one reason or another

I am not the expert, but all my research suggested that A-B-C all could wind up being about the same costs. Ultimately, I was lucky and with the help of some forum members was able to go with option D -- on an airstream that is pretty much brand new, three years old and half off MSRP.

Start reviewing the classified section of this site as well as ebay -- and get an idea of the slightly used market pricing and your ability to stave off impulsiveness and wait for the proper one to come along slightly used.

Oh -- finally -- call around the the KOA campgrounds in your area. Here in Virginia, some of them have airstreams permanently placed in the campgrounds you can rent, ala a cabin of sorts. It's a good way to get experience in the systems and the experience of what it will be like for you. Most of them in Va are 25FB and 27FB models; but still...

Ian
I'm Ian's friend Paula. We met on the forums and will meet in person next month at a forum rally. Good work Ian - Pay it forward. He said everything I would have, but with a lot more efficiency I'll add just this - your Burb would be fine here on the East Coast. Even our mountains are more like hills. It might get a bit hairy in the Rockies... but it could be done.

About bed size - it's probably a turn-off, but don't exclude twin beds. In a TRAILER they've got a lot of good points. More open floor space, easier to make, easier to access stored items under the beds. Company friendly - on a rainy day two people can play cards in the bedroom sitting on the beds, while up front to others can work on a project at the dinette. As for in an Airstream, well ONE of you gets to go to the empty bed and fall asleep on sheets that aren't all sweaty! And there are always other options that aren't quite so horizontal. .... and the dinette does convert to a full bed
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:32 AM   #10
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Ditto on Ian and Paula's advice. We bought a 3 year old (at the time) 2008 27FB Safari on eBay. We did drive 400 miles to inspect it before we bid. The first owner never camped in it, the second owner we bought it from used it 5 times. His wife wanted it gone and we were the beneficiaries. If we wanted to sell it today we could should be able to recoup most of our original investment based on prices we see in classifieds.

Fortunately we got the right size and floor plan (for us) the first time so we have no plans to trade anytime soon. If Airstream ever decides to make a 30FB with recliners in the rear and a side dinette we could be tempted!

We've spent some money on fixing floor rot, upgrading tires, adding a street side awning, new electric jack, and routine maintenance. Last year we spent 105 nights in the trailer so we are definitely enjoying it.

When we bought the trailer we expected to be traveling the country on our own. We had no clue about the social aspect of Airstreaming. We attended an Airforums rally in Florida (Canopener 2012) soon after buying our Airstream. We made new friends and started attending other rallies. Today we enjoy attending a few rallies per year, plus meeting some of our Airstream friends occasionally at state parks in the region for a few days, in addition to our long road trips traveling the country. Another pleasant discovery has been the Virginia Highland Haven Airstream Park where we like to stop and relax for several days at a time.

Definitely consider buying a late model, lightly used Airstream. Cost of entry will be lower and you should recoup most of your investment if you decide to trade or sell it. New Airstreams are like new automobiles. The depreciation hit is huge in the first 2-3 years.

Once you buy, sample everything. Talk to your local WBCCI unit and attend a rally as a guest. Go to a couple of Airforums, independent rallies, and commercial rallies (like Alumapalooza) you'll see discussed or listed on Airforums. Visit one or more of the Airstream parks. Try camping in state parks, national parks, Army Corps of Engineers parks, local parks and fairgrounds, boondocking in national forests, private campgrounds, and overnighting in a Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lot. The Airstream lifestyle can be a great adventure and each activity brings something new. For us the investment in aluminum trailer has changed our lives for the better and the experience has vastly exceeded our high expectations.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:04 AM   #11
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Thanks all. Going to spend some time looking at all my option . I quess 1/2 the fun is in the process of looking and deciding. As I get closer to making my decision I'll keep you posted. I appreciate any future advise . I looked at my suburban , it has a 7000 lb towing max . However , has almost 90k miles on it . Might have to look at getting a new vehicle . I quess one thing leads to another
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:53 AM   #12
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We admired Airstreams for years and then bought our dream, a 19 Bambi, in 2007. Retired in 2008, camped a bit while working part time and loved our Bambi. However, we moved west in 2011 and spent 6 months in the 19 and came to dislike the corner bed( and we are 5'9 and 5'6!). Traded to a 25 FC Twin in January 2013 and love the extra space!

Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by OregonVista View Post
We admired Airstreams for years and then bought our dream, a 19 Bambi, in 2007. Retired in 2008, camped a bit while working part time and loved our Bambi. However, we moved west in 2011 and spent 6 months in the 19 and came to dislike the corner bed( and we are 5'9 and 5'6!). Traded to a 25 FC Twin in January 2013 and love the extra space!

Good luck!
We looked at the 19 international at the local dealer . Really don't think the Conner bed will work for us. I think the the 16 foot sport bed has more room but such a small bathroom. Also the problem with the 16 sport no bumper, we want a bike rack and no stainless rock guards . I know you can add the rock guards , not sure the cost. I think you can add the bumper. The 16 foot has the advantage I have room to park it at our house. Larger units I would have to store. But that woundn't be a deal breaker. But might violate the KISS principle
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:25 PM   #14
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We recently imported a 2006 16' CCD (Lil' Al) into New Zealand. We didn't get to inspect him (scary!) but some friends on vacation in the US did (by the way - there are folks on this forum who are willing to inspect trailers for you). I think the advice to buy lightly-used instead of new for your introduction to Airstreams is sound. And there's loads of advice on this forum about what to look out for.

The 16 footer has a very efficient floor plan. My wife and I are both under 5'8'' so the compact bed is not a problem. Our model has the full-size stone guards and the rear bumper (including the super-handy locker) which I wouldn't want to do without but I don't think you can't get these on new 16 footers. But if I ever replaced Lil' Al, I'd go for a slightly larger unit to get an oven and separate shower - that's it.

Storage of our Airstream at home is real important to us. We do short weekend trips as well as longer vacations and I think if we stored the trailer off-site we might be less inclined just to hitch up and go on a Friday evening. With the trailer at home you can effortlessly get everything packed up and ready to go the night before. That maybe something to think about for you guys, depending on your expected usage. After all, the most important thing is just to get out there exploring in your Airstream!

Cheers and welcome to the forum, KiwiAs.
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