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Old 03-28-2008, 09:34 PM   #1
LJS
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New to everything Airstream

Hi,
We will be on the retirement road in November and have decided to purchase a 20' Safari.
I'm searching forums for recommended tow vehicles. As this is a rather small trailer I want enough power to make it through the Colorado mountains on our journeys across the nation. We took a long time deciding to purchase an Air Stream and have several months to choose just the right tow vehicle, new or used. Mileage, adequate power and safety are all critical issues. (Rumors of a Ford F150 with diesel are like catnip to me.)

I'd like to hear from those who can recommend a dealership from their experience. There seems to be a big difference in the discount available.
No problem in our traveling to pick up the unit and bringing it home to CO. if there is substantial savings elsewhere.

Looking forward to making new friends on the road.

Happy Trails,
LJS
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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Welcome, and congrats on your most excellent decision to buy an Airstream! You will LOVE it. And congrats on your retirement! That is a major accomplishment.

I HIGHLY recommend Gene at Airstream of Arkansas. The level of service, attention to detail and quality those guys show is amazing, not to mention good prices! Most of their trailer sales come from out of state, so there is definite precedence. I think a couple of folks from CO just recently got a trailer from them.

Good luck!

Susan
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. With a 20 foot Airstream, a 1/2 ton truck or SUV should do just fine.

Brian
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Old 03-29-2008, 06:43 AM   #4
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Hi LJS and welcome!!

You may want to check out Intermountain Coach in Colorado Springs...they are just down the road and are nice folks to work with. Good luck and let us know your progress.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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Had a dealer offer to sell us 23' for price of 20'. How much more difficult is the 23' to tow? Being new to all of this we are proceeding cautiously.
Larry
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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A good rule of thumb is that the tow vehicle should have a tow rating that is 20% greater than the GVWR, (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of the trailer.

The Airstream dealer can tell you the GVWR of the 23' or go on the Airstream web site. Then start checking TVs that you might be interested in for their rated tow capacity. Once you have that list, it will be a matter of personal preference.

John
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:53 PM   #7
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LJS,

It's too bad Airstream's beds are too small for many couples to share in anything less than a 23 or 25ft. Can you and your mate actually FIT in a boxed-in, 48 inch bed? Is there any couple out there who can? Are you going to have to make up the dinette twice daily to sleep? At least the International 23FB is 53 inches (true double bed, but still boxed in), and the new 23FB safari is 60 inches (true queen, NOT boxed in). Buy the unit you can relax in and not be frustrated, especially since you'll be retired, taking loooonger trips with the unit. Others can chime in on towing.
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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Hi LJS, welcome!

IMO, you won't see much if any difference in the towing between those two models.
I have a 21' and a 25'. While they do feel somewhat different, I think it has more to do with the weight difference due to their ages than anything. Even then, it's mostly just on hills, where the 25' will slow me down sooner than the 21'.
Dave
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:13 PM   #9
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Oops. I got bed size wrong on the International 23FB. It's only 48 inches.
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for advice

Great advice on both forum and PM; like picking a puppy, if we all thought the same we'd all want the same one. We've decided to go back to a dealer and hang out in a bed for a while to see if the double is actually going to be big enough for the two of us. If not, then it will be a 25' or nothing at all.
I am guessing the tandem axle would be a easy tow despite the increased length. Keep sharing with us, this is a big time financial decision and we don't want to err on it.
Larry
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #11
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We have an '05 25FB with the queen bed, named Lucy. In the last 20 months we have 220 nights in Lucy and towed her almost 30,000 miles. The layout and the queen bed really works for us. We tow Lucy with a 2500 Suburban. A half ton could work, but it would be approaching marginal.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:52 PM   #12
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I don't want to get into an argument about TVs but we are towing our 25 with a 2006 Ford Expedition which is, for all intents and purposes, a 1/2 ton. We live in an area that is pretty much surrounded by very high mountains. We have gone over them several times with no problems. So, a 1/2 ton will work very nicely with a 25' Safari. I'm mentioning all this because of your stated preference for a 1/2 ton Ford.
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:47 AM   #13
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LJS,

That's a great idea to really spend time in that bed. Try to imagine yourself getting a restful night's sleep in that bed while enjoying your retirement travels. Actually, 48 inches is not even a double. A true double would be 54 inches. So, the small Airstream 48-inch beds are really something between a twin and a double, maybe good for a single person, IMO. Also, the fact that it's a boxed in corner bed makes it even smaller than one with space around because all body parts are confined within that box. See bed size chart:
Bed Sizes
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:16 AM   #14
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Well... it's cold in AZ @ night

and small beds aren't bad (until May).

Thanks for everyone's input!

cheers,
lindap
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