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Old 03-27-2008, 02:55 PM   #1
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Question Is this what I really want to do?

I am recent retiree and for the last several years have been pulling a 32' 5th wheel with a Ford F-250 (V10). It is great for pulling someplace, setting up and staying for a month or two. Unfortunately, it also keeps us from going a lot of places we would like to go. Many, if not most, Forest Service campgrounds in the west are simply off-limits to a rig of our present size. I have always been intrigues with the Airstream trailers and have been considering purchasing one with which to replace the 5th wheel. We have pretty much settled on a 25' Safari SE as being small enough to get us into most of the places we want to go, yet large enough for the month-long stays at the Gulf. My biggest concerns relate to having a comfortable place to sit (I have a Lazy Boy now) and finding places to store the stuff in the "basement" of the 5th wheel. I would put a topper on the truck and that should take care of most of the storage problems, I think. Do you veteran Airstreamers think we could the 25' trailer is a good compromise?
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and the Airstream way of life. We have learned over the years less is more. Meaning the less stuff you haul around the more room you have. Going from a fifth wheel to a TT will be an adjustment no matter what and forget about your recliner unles you get into a larger Airstream. The 25 is a wonderful trailer (all Airstreams are wonderful) but you may want to consider the 28. You certainly have the towing power for any sized Airstream. With just the two of us and sometimes my daughter we survive quite well in our little 22' Safari. We have traveled thousands of miles and have stayed in every type of camping location and have always felt at home and comfortable. Yes, there is something to be said about boondocking in a state forest and out 22 does it really well. Well aboard and take your time looking carefully at what Airstream has to offer.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:45 PM   #3
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have an '05 Safari 25FB, named Lucy. We have spent over 225 nights in Lucy, and as many as 50 consecutive nights. We have been quite comfortable, and have never missed home. We both sit at the dinette in the evening and watch TV or play on the computer. To streatch out in the dinette, we take the back rest cushion out and turn sideways with a couple of pillows. It's nice enough to put me to sleep.

As rickandsandi said "less is more". our overhead storage in Lucy is not even half full.

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Old 03-27-2008, 04:57 PM   #4
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We towed Airstreams (23' and 25') a total of 21,000 miles last year-two times coast to coast and north and south and can't wait to get started this year. The FB 25' is as close to perfect as we can imagine. We stow extra stuff in the rear seat of our Avalanche or in the bed of the Av. We have a bedslide in the back of the Av, which makes the storage accessible.

Our 25' is easy enough to tow that we will take it 365 miles one way, stay two nights, and then back home. Just a short trip where many would stay in a hotel, but we like to take our home away from home with us. We did this three weeks in a row last December.

My husband props a couple of pillows at the end of the long bench seat, and finds it to be comfortable enough.

If you do go with the 25', remember that you have to choose between a gas oven or a convection/microwave. There is no good spot to put a microwave, that I have found. We are considering having our gas oven switched out for the combo when we go to Jackson Center next month.

What ever you decide, I am sure you will like it if it's an Airstream!
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:33 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums!

We camp regularly in a 19' Bambi...no room for a recliner there!

But we do have a comfortable sofa up front and nice outdoor chairs to use under our awning.

Most of our extra storage is in the cap of our pickup truck because the 19' trailers don't have much space.

Let us know what you end up buying!
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #6
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Recliners

I have a 25' FB with two recliners. You can see them in my photo's.

Gunny
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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Going from a large 35' 5th wheel to a 25' Airstream will definitely be an adjustment, especially getting used to what you "used" to have in things, space and conveniences. You're right that with a topper on the truck, you'll have more space for stuff... Probably what will happen is that over time, because of space constraints, you'll re-evaluate just exactly what it is you really need (which $$-wise is a good thing!). As was said, less IS more...

And judging from what you said about the 5th wheel limiting where you can go, you're already re-evaluating your reasons for going camping in the first place. While it's nice to have all the conveniences of home, it's not so cool if you can't go where you want to with it.

Spend some time in the unit you're interested in (w/o the salesman there with you) and check everything out. Bed (and making it up), bathroom, sofa, etc.. We had a 22' International which we loved but with dogs, friends, we wanted something a little larger. The 30' Classic has been great for us and we haven't had any problems with either state or federal parks. You might also look at 'Streams that have slide-outs, which do give you a little more room.

Besides, none of the other box trailers have got the character of an Airstream, so you're headed in the right direction... and I'm sure that in this forum, you find plenty of fair, open, honest and unbiased agreement with that...
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:17 PM   #8
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Gneiss...we're in your boat! Scaling back to a Safari 27FB from a 34' triple slide with TWO leather recliners. It took a whole year to work up the nerve, but we're taking the plunge. The FB "Front Bedroom" floorplan has a great feature -- if you drop the dinette table and rearrange the cushions, you have a u-shaped pit group of sorts. We looked hard at the 30, but really missed the living room feel of our monster SOB. The 27 was a better fit...we're just a little leaner and shinier. Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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My wife and I recently got rid of our 2004 30' Classic Ltd. and F250 PSD after 4 uncomfortable years of spending summers and falls in it.

One of our major reasons for getting rid of the Airstream (among about 100 other reasons) was that, quite frankly, our Airstream wasn't very comfortable to sit in -- exactly the same concern you have.

I wanted a lazy boy type of chair, or two, where one could sit back, put his feet up and his head back, and feel comfortable. My wife made 2 hassocks, and they helped some but they weren't the same. I guess we could have gotten rid of that uncomfortable couch and installed 2 lazy boys, and then our list of issues would have only been 99 items - but why bother. We're ungrading to a 40' 5th wheel (with 2 lazy boys) and an F450.

John
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisher
My wife and I recently got rid of our 2004 30' Classic Ltd. and F250 PSD after 4 uncomfortable years of spending summers and falls in it.

One of our major reasons for getting rid of the Airstream (among about 100 other reasons) was that, quite frankly, our Airstream wasn't very comfortable to sit in -- exactly the same concern you have.

I wanted a lazy boy type of chair, or two, where one could sit back, put his feet up and his head back, and feel comfortable. My wife made 2 hassocks, and they helped some but they weren't the same. I guess we could have gotten rid of that uncomfortable couch and installed 2 lazy boys, and then our list of issues would have only been 99 items - but why bother. We're ungrading to a 40' 5th wheel (with 2 lazy boys) and an F450.

John
Does that mean you are getting rid of your Airstream for some other brand? Good luck with that...
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:54 AM   #11
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"Lazy Boy" is it me or is that name just wrong? I know that vast segments of our population view the "Lazy Boy" as a part of their culture, but for some reason, I feel very uncomfortable by the name, or the "lazy" part of it. Personally, I am always so busy, that sitting in a chair, in a near laying down position, just does not fit into the cards. If I want to lay down I just go to bed. You could probably tear out the front and put in the Lazy Boys if they are important. Those things are just like a bed any how. Well to each his own... enjoy your recliners.
Also you are not making a "compromise" you are making an improvement.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:13 AM   #12
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Welcome Gneiss Guy!!!

I have a Vintage 22 foot Airstream. There is plenty of room to stretch out when we want to. You can either prop up some pillows in the dining area (which also converts to twin beds or one large bed), or, stretch out on the sofa (gaucho) area. The window in that area is much wider than any window I have seen in a fifth wheel and it's a great place to stretch out and read a book.

When I need my "lazy boy fix", I get out my reclining fold up chair I bought at Camping World and go outside to recline under the trees, stars...whatever and enjoy the fresh air.

Good luck in your search!!
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:29 AM   #13
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We have a 31' (no dinette) with a pretty decent couch. The back of the couch folds over the top of the seat at night so that it makes into a bed. The couch is actually fairly comfy but something just didn't feel really good about it. So I picked up a footstool on clearance at Target and we really enjoy it with the couch. The footstool is not huge but two people can share it for putting up their feet and the bonus is we can use it for an extra chair at a table when needed. One of our (many) favorite things about our A/S is the living area.
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander
Does that mean you are getting rid of your Airstream for some other brand? Good luck with that...
Yes. We are buying a Newmar Kountry Aire. It is being built right now and we'll pick it up at the dealership in several weeks.

For those who've read a number of my posts over the past several years, you'll know my entire Airstream ownership experience was very trying -
hopefully, we'll get back on track with Newmar to where we can actually enjoy owning an RV.

Incidentally, although I used the word "lazy boy" I didn't mean to imply that anyone enjoying such a chair is lazy. Many of my "camping" days, for example begin before 6:00am, and I can be rowing my boat and fishing on the Yellowstone River until "dark-thirty". When I return to my trailer it is often close to 10:00pm. A "lazy boy" chair would sure feel good to sit it then for awhile before going to bed.

John
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