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Old 06-16-2006, 12:17 PM   #1
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Need Advise

I'm looking at Airstreams and wondering what kind of advise the experienced folks can give as regards: 1. Best length to pull with adequate space; 2. What are good tow vechicles; 3. Is it best to buy new or used; 4. What activities do the Airstream owners participate in.

Thanks for letting me be part of the group and I'll look forward to learning more about your adventures.

B.H.
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Old 06-16-2006, 01:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhammond
I'm looking at Airstreams and wondering what kind of advise the experienced folks can give as regards: 1. Best length to pull with adequate space;
25 foot trailers provide good space, medium weight, and are easily maneuverable. My preference goes to dual axle trailers for better road manners. The question sis somewhat subjective, as we do not know your needs. Will you camp for weekends only, long trips, short trips, state parks, with or without hook ups? If you can be more specific, then you will surey get to the point information on this.

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Originally Posted by bhammond
2. What are good tow vechicles;
Depends entirely on your trailer's size, weight, and your personal needs.
Even though some are better suited than others for towing, it seems that the top contenders are pickups by Ford and GM, and of course Suburbans.

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Originally Posted by bhammond
3. Is it best to buy new or used;
It is probably overall best to buy new, unless you want to tinker. Another option is a late model used traielr in like new condition. The Vintage arena is a whole 'nother thing, sometimes having little to do with camping,and more to do with the challenge of camping comfortably in a 50 year old vehicle...
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Originally Posted by bhammond
4. What activities do the Airstream owners participate in.
You name it - sports, culture, business, travel, exploring the country, a very wide spectrum.

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Originally Posted by bhammond
Thanks for letting me be part of the group and I'll look forward to learning more about your adventures.

B.H.
Welcome to the forums! use the search function, it is invaluable to find opinions, even some facts here and there, on whats best for the individual.
Good luck with whatever choice you make!
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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My 27' Overlander is "kinda long," but it is well laid out. I have looked at vintage 25' Airstreams and although I like the shorter length, it does something weird to the layout that makes it way less comfortable (you'd think 25' was big enough for a permanent bed, for example).

I definitely second the 2-axle recommendation. I love my 18' Caravel (which has a permanent double bed of my own design), but the single axle really jumps at every pothole, which beats the trailer and contents to pieces.

I actually get about 1 mpg better performance towing the 27', something about its "fineness ratio", I'd guess, or maybe the smoothness of 2 axles. Despite the fact that it weighs considerably more than the Caravel.

If I could just find a 22' with 2 axles like the one that used to sit outside Zion Park....
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:01 PM   #4
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If you are into state parks the 25 fits nice for weekends. For doing the Tex or FL thing for over the winter a 30 with a permanent dinnette is what the women like. If you haul bikes or other gear a truck with a cap may be better than a Suburban. If you are into people the WBCCI may be an option for you. They like to have four seats in their trucks so couples can double up when going out to eat or site see. Set you goals for what you want to do for the next 5 years and that will determine what kind of a TV and trailer you buy. If you are just going to tour all the time a B van style or big A may be your ticket to fun.
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:47 PM   #5
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My opinion is rather biased. We asked the same questions when we started looking at Airstreams. After months of looking and talking and more looking and talking, we settled on a new 25' Safari Front Bed Special Edition with the LS package. It is small enough to fit in almost every campground, yet is large enough to be comfortable including a split bath and queen bed. It has large fresh, gray and black water tanks and good carrying capacity. The twin axles make it a safer towable and adds to the reliabilty of getting there intact.

We matched it with our Ford F250 Crew cab 4X4 with the Power Stroke Diesel engine and an Equalizer hitch. It is a bit overkill, but it adds to our margin of safety. We get about 12 mpg traveling between 65 and 75 mph giving us a range of about 400 miles per tank. That is an average including all types of roads and elevations.

Airstreamers do have a International Club, the WBCCI, which has many groups that have organized caravans, rallies and get togethers. You can read more about the club in these forums. Of course, you dont need to be in a club to enjoy your Airstream, most owners are very friendly and will be helpful if you take the plunge.

How you would use a travel trailer is the key to what to buy. I hope our thoughts are helpful.
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:25 PM   #6
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I have a biased opinion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhammond
I'm looking at Airstreams and wondering what kind of advise the experienced folks can give as regards: 1. Best length to pull with adequate space; 2. What are good tow vechicles; 3. Is it best to buy new or used; 4. What activities do the Airstream owners participate in.

Thanks for letting me be part of the group and I'll look forward to learning more about your adventures.

B.H.
Choose a trailer that will fit your needs. Depending on where you live you might also want to consider your storage options. Do you have a garage it will fit in? Do you have a yard where you can store it? Will you have to pay for storage. Often paying for storage is determined by size... How many folks in your family? Everyone has given good suggestions. You might even want to attend or show up to an airstream rally before you take the plunge and ask the good folks to let you see theirs and discuss pros and cons ~ 99.9% of the Airstreamers love to show off their streams no matter how old or new... might give you ideas as well. Some of the really cool older ones don't have gray water tanks, etc., and some might find that a bother.

You can find out a great deal here on the forum...as long as you have hours and hours to read the information! It is all here somewhere!

We have a 1963 Bambi, and I think it is perfect! But there is just my husband and I. We have had a lot of SOB over the years at various sizes, but I like the small ones. (We also have a 1946 teardrop, had for over 25 years and we still love it!) I can help drive easier. I was very uncomfortable with a big fifth wheel we used to have. I could drive straight down the road but was terrified! So, do you want to share driving duties as well?

I am afraid, however, when it comes right down to it you will probably find (like the most of us) it is a pure emotional decision! I want THAT one!

No matter what the age, you will spend extra money... it just happens. Explore, look a lot, read all about it, and then go for it! Airstream folks are just plain great! Good luck on your search.

Mrs. Nor Cal Bambi
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