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Old 07-15-2007, 01:33 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Cherrylog , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Hello from SteamboatCat, met a member @ Bates RV

my husband James and I are thinking of getting our first trailer. We have a farm we are selling in the North Georgia mtns with the intention of hitching up a wagon and heading west.

We've taken several scouting trips out west to look at small and bigger towns we might like to live in, camping with our two dogs, Ginger (50#s and ready to kiss anyone she meets) and Tosh (40#s and ready to bark at anyone she meets unless I'm close enough to calm her).

I think I've gotten to really like just being on the road (we went for 7 weeks, 10 weeks, and 5 weeks IIRC) but am ready to have a better setup to deal with cold rainy weather, more room for the dogs to be able to walk around when they have to be in the vehicle parked for a bit, and boy would it be nice to have a kitchen setup all the time and a place to hang a wet coat. We've been using a tent (first) and then a sleep platform we built into the cap on the back of our 1999 Ford 250 Super Duty Diesel 7.3L (Long bed with Super Cab). James took the back seat out of the cab and built two dog cubbies in there that they absolutely love.

So on to the aluminum. We bought our Ford intending to tow something, and have looked at quite a few things but I couldn't imagine living in any of them. I'd always thought airstreams were super cool, but the few airstreams we went into didn't seem as cool on the inside as those fantastic exteriors so we waited. I thought maybe I'd go for a vintage one that was re-done on the inside but couldn't find any online for sale except some in California (this was in the late 90s) so I kind of tabled the idea for a while.

This winter I taught snowboarding and skiing in Steamboat, Colorado and met a fellow instructor who was spending her 7th winter there in SOB and it rekindled my interest (and my respect- it got down to 20 below). With our farm for sale and our next house or even our next town a little up in the air, I reopened the idea of an AS. Plus, I'd really like to make time for some more slow paced travel or plan to work in the summers near water.

I started the process on AS's website, then we took a trip to three dealers that I found on the website. Sagon in Jackson, GA; J.D. Sanders in Alachua, FL; and BatesRV in Dover, FL where we ran into a couple with a Safari 23 SE who told us about the forums.The Safari SE, CCDS, 75th anniversery Bambi, and Design within Reach trailers that we looked at were finally what I had in mind. I loved the real wood in the Classics too if I could have that with polished aluminum on the wall.

So now I am doing searches here and reading so much. So far I've read considerations when buying a trailer, what length is your trailer, quite a few threads on TVs as we have some concerns about our brakes in the mtns, tips for newbies, Boondocking in Mexico, Winter Living, etc...Wow, this community is a gem! I will post some specific questions if I still have any after all the searches- ha.

Whew! Thanks for reading if you made it all this way!

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Old 07-15-2007, 01:47 PM   #2
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,726
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Rivet Hello

Hi Catherine,

Welcome to the forum. I firmly belong to the bigger is better camp, having recently upgraded from 24’ to 34’. Now I need to upgrade my TV. I found my “new” 34’ in the classifieds here and have had no problems other than the Coleman AC is underpowered. I will replace that soon.

Good luck in your quest.


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Old 07-15-2007, 02:55 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
Cherrylog , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5
Hi Vaughan,
Thanks for the welcome. You've actually touched on the biggest question we have right now- getting a feel for how we are going to use it, and what size makes sense. With a history of road tripping, two medium sized dogs, and at least a moderate interest in full-timing for a bit or going on extended trips I am drawn to larger trailers (25SS, 28 have a really roomy feel in the LR/DR/Kitchen space that I really like but actually the 23 felt surprisingly roomy also).

But even the smallest Bambi gives us the ability to stand up, have a bed thats made up all the time, a kitchen, toilet and a place to hang a wet coat- all more than we've had so far. I like to think of it as the modern equavalent of a TeePee. I also wonder if we would be more willing to take a small trailer on dirt roads, or on a ferry (and if it would be cheaper to buy a ticket), to Mexico, Boondocking, etc. Or is it the case that the difference between a 16' and a 25' (really a 26) is not significant when trying to park or drive on rugged roads, or in terms of camping fees and tolls, etc, especially since our TV is about 21' long by itself.

thanks for your input,
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:29 PM   #4
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2003 22' International CCD
Whittier, California , Depoe Bay, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 358
Steamboatcat----You're doing the right things in reading and asking questions. Keep in mind that the first purchase doesn't have to last forever. Many folks here have moved on to a different size as they calibrate their needs. Other folks have more than one to deal with sometime full timing and then another for weekend stuff. Good luck.

2003 22ft CCD Int'l
2005 GMC Yukon Denali
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:55 PM   #5
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2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
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Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Welcome to the Forums, Catherine. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 Safari 25' Front Bedroom, and have found it to be perfect for the two of us. We do not have any pets, though. We call her Lucy and we have had her a little over a year. We bought her new in Alachua after she had been on their lot for sixteen months. In that time, we have spent 155 nights in her and towed her 20,000 miles. We are very satisfied with the layout, and woulldn't consider going either larger or smaller. We just returned from a 42 day trip out west, and we're still married. If you have the time, take a look at the string, Lucy's Great Excursion. It's a diary of our recent trip.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
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2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:18 PM   #6
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Montreal , -
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Hi and welcome.
We do have 27' and if we are not full timer we spend a lot of month in it even at home we stay in the AS. We also have two dogs.
But we have a rear bathroom, so not a real bedroom. To tell you that the length is not enough to figure out your need.
Take a close at the layout...
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:02 PM   #7
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1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
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Rivet Configuration

Hi Catherine,

I live in mine, and don’t get around as much as I would like, so the big trailer makes sense for me, even though there is just me. The points made about layout are spot on. I like having a bedroom after sleeping across form the kitchen in the 67 Trade Wind. An old friend from the Art Show circuit sometimes spends the night as she passes through, and it was strange for me having someone else sleeping in the front. Kept me from sleeping well. The enhanced privacy will help in the future. She hasn’t seen the 34’ Excella, but then again, I haven’t seen the 19’ Bambi she and her other recently bought.

Whatever you decide, you will have a good time.

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Old 07-15-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Suburbia , Sunny So Cal
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Hi Catherine and welcome to the forums.

Keep looking and you will find the perfect one. We have a 25 FB. It has the bare aluminim walls inside. We love the layout, look and the living area. We share it with an 85lb dog.

Good luck.

I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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