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Old 03-12-2008, 09:34 PM   #1
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Question Help with what length of Airstream to buy

Hello Everyone,
My name is Stephanie. I'm new to this forum and have a ton of questions, but I'll start with just one. After going to the RV and boat show in Denver last week I think I've been bitten by the Airstream bug. I was first looking at Class C motorhomes, but when I saw the Airstreams, well there was no doubt in my mind which I'd rather have. Plus, I already have a Range Rover I could tow with. Since I am alone, I will have to be able to do the hitching, backing up, taking care of everything etc. on my own, maybe with a friend along from time to time. Anyway, I really like idea of a 19' Safari but I've been told it is actually easier to back up with a trailer that has double axles, which start at 23'. I was also told the 23' trailers tow easier. Your experience would help me a lot. I would also love to here from other women doing this solo. I hear many women do this, I just don't want to find out later there is way too much maintenance or something. Thanks for you help.
Stephanie
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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hi steph' and welcome to the forums!!!

you've come to the RIGHT STOP FOR 'STREAMing info...

which a/s, which era, which size, which model are regular questions and have been addressed in a lot of threads...

using the advanced search and limiting your question to TITLES of threads will give good results...

here are just a few.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ize-30863.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ing-29019.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ize-19035.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...size-7573.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...eed-31784.html

there are also a string of posts on length...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/sear...earchid=998125

how much money, how much time camping, where u plan to go, and so on...

all impact the decision.

the 23s are a nice little, yet open set up, sort of like a studio apt or dorm room.

it seems to be true that 2-3 axle units have a loyal following, but so do bambis.

which rover? unless you've got the long wheel base hre model (top of the line) a 23 will be TOO MUCH trailer...

i won't wanna tow with an older disco (the disco 3 might be ok with a bambi)

there are only a few folks here reporting about towing with rovers of any model...

over on the rover forum it's a different matter, LOTS write about using them for towing.

i still follow the notion of FIND THE TRAILER you really really love...

then UPGRADE the tow vehicle to handle it...

oh, and don't forget the budget!

cheers
2air'



in YOUR situation it
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #3
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Focus on going forward...
A very small percentage of time will be in reverse.

This is a link worth looking at regarding your question.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f395...tml#post455883

Unless you are going to change vehicles; my suggestion is to match the Airstream size to your vehicle's towing capacity. Include a margin of capacity that favors the vehicle.

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Old 03-12-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums!
As always, 2air is a wealth of info and I won't try to add to the trailer info he presented.
Here are some links regarding women towing and womens rallys, etc.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...8-a-38883.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...lly-37982.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ng-s-4152.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...man-21150.html

There are others, some related more toward towing, but I'm not finding them at the moment.
Dave
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:39 AM   #5
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The biggest difference for us in the 19 vs the 23 models was not the towing factor but instead it was that that the layout was turned around...meaning that the dinette area was in the rear of the trailer. For us, backing into a great campsite with a view and being able to enjoy it was important. With the 19 Bambis (which we still love, by the way), you are looking at the back of your vehicle. We ended up with the 25 FB and I can't tell you enough how nice it's been making the morning coffee and enjoying our view out those big, rear wrap around windows.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:04 AM   #6
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Smaller might be better

Stephanie,

I'm also a woman going solo most of the time and would suggest that smaller might be better as you will be hitching up by yourself etc. Also, the Rover may not handle the bigger units. My recommendation is stay under 19 feet and keep the weight down - you might consider looking at Vintage units to get even more weight savings - but that is a whole 'nuther search process. New or Vintage Bambi would be a good choice - or Vintage Caravel would be good. Check the Classifieds here, research the suggested threads, and keep asking good questions. Good luck, paula
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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Welcome Stephanie!

Be sure to join the Denver unit of WBCCI and, if you buy vintage, join the Vintage Airstream Club too. We have a very strong unit here.

Be careful how heavy you guy with the tow vehicle you have. If you will be traveling solo most of the time a smaller unit may be just fine for you.

I have a single axle and haven't had any problems backing up etc.....

Good luck in your search!
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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I go camping alone most of the time because my husband works out of town. Also I showed dogs for many years and pulled a 22ft Caravel by myself. I will admit that I can't back worth anything; however, I always found some way to make it in forward or look pitiful enough to get help. I sincerely feel I could master the backing if I practiced, which I really haven't. As far as hitching these trailers up with the WD hitch and sway bar, you can do it by yourself with very little practice. As long as you know the proper procedure, you can do it. Actually, I can do the hitching and maintenance of both our trailers better than my husband because I just take my time and don't try to "strong arm" it. Men have strength we don't have, so we women try to figure it out. I know you can do this and you will have such fun with an Airstream.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:36 AM   #9
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With a smaller tow vehicle, think about width of trailer.

3 basic widths, 7-1/2 foot, 8 foot, 8-1/2 foot.

The new Safari Sports 17 & 22 are 7-1/2 foot wide.
easy to see around while driving.

The new 16, 19, 20, & 22 are 8 foot wide.
not too bad if you have an american pickup that is 8 foot wide.
The mirrors need to be extended/flipped out to see around it.

With anything longer, they get 8-1/2 foot wide, that is 102" the legal limit.
standard truck mirrors that are extended are 102".
You can't see behind you unless you are going around a corner.
Or you have a backup camera system.
But then, backup camera systems are cool all by themselves.

Look into a camera system if you are doing lots of solo hitching,
it turns hooking up into a video game.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:54 PM   #10
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Well Stephanie I have to disagree with whoever told you a double axle is easier to back than a single and that a 23' is easier to tow. Simply not true, unless these people have some magic that defies physics. As pointed out by Druupy, you may find the 17' or 22' Safari Sport with the 7' 4" width suits you just fine with a minimum of fuss.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:20 PM   #11
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I have a double axle and a single axle trailer.
While they do feel a bit different, I've never felt like one was easier to back than the other. It's more to do with the different lengths - 21' and 25'.
Don't believe everything you read.
Dave
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions. You've given me more to think about, especially the width of the trailer, and also the location of the dinette window seems very important. I want to have a great view. I do have the big Range Rover but I'll have to find out more about how much weight it can tow. I think I could be very happy with a 19' if it is an SE. I have my heart set on that beautiful aluminum on the inside too. If I am correct the Sport doesn't have that. I'm very glad that most of you don't think the double axle is that important. Next question if you don't mind. I am wondering about the RV Park situation. Some people tell me its impossible to park without a reservation sometimes weeks in advance. That seems to take the joy out of being able to travel without a schedule. What are your experiences? Thank you again.
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:55 PM   #13
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Stephanie...backing up is an acquired skill, but with a little practice you will have it down. The first time we brought our 19' Bambi home I entertained the neighborhood for at least 45 minutes trying to get it into a double driveway! After a few more trips, backing up was easier...and now I can get in into a space with 2' on either side between the house and the fence in a matter of minutes. i think shorter trailers react (turn) quicker when backing them up because the pivot point is shorter...but it's easy to get used to how it behaves. You can do it!

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of Airstreams!

See you down the road!
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.noble
...Some people tell me its impossible to park without a reservation sometimes weeks in advance. That seems to take the joy out of being able to travel without a schedule...
really this depends on WHEN and WHERE you go...

holidays in major parks or desination areas or during a big festival...

often need reservations.

in 200 nights a year i make 1 or 2 reservations, for specific times.

i like winging it and hate being tied into a specific dates and times unless absolutely needed.

the land rover should have capacity for a 5-6,000 lb trailer...

in the tiny trailers floor plan is an essential part of defining 'space'...

then there is the issue of bed size, wet bath vs separate shower and storage space.

given the choice and with the means (money and tow vehicle) i'd select a 23 over a 19...

but the new 20 ftr is also a pretty slick floor plan.

go to the dealers and play inside ALL of the candidates...

one of them will grab ya!

cheers
2air'
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