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Old 03-26-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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Glenmoore , Pennsylvania
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New Wanna-be Airstreamer


My husband and I are currently looking for our perfect Airstream. We're recently married, under 40, and we're hoping to full-time starting this summer and ending... who knows?

Any tips on size for two newbie fulltimers w/no kids or pets would be appreciated! I'm reading through relevant posts but I'd really like to hear other people's experiences/thoughts, because we've never towed anything before so we're thinking smaller (the 20' FB Flying Cloud) but we keep hearing that bigger is better the more research we do.

(Oh and we're buying our TV later to match the Airstream, so no worries about TV limitations!)

Thanks everyone!

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Old 03-26-2010, 03:48 PM   #2
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Hello! We have similar demographics - envious of you being able to full time!

Forgive me an obvious question - have you been to a dealer to look at a lot of trailers? Your thoughts and feelings change a lot as you tour the trailers.

Rather than "bigger is better," I'd say that you could find a sweet spot inbetween. (Ours would be a 25FB, although a 28' has a darn nice floorplan.) Got to say, I don't see many couples posting here that full-time in less than a 23'...


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Old 03-26-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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2008 23' International CCD
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Welcome to the Forums! You'll get a ton of information here - this is definitely a great resource. My husband and I started full-timing last summer and love it! We have two dogs and a baby on the way. We travel in a 23' International CCD and it fits us perfectly (talk to me later this year when I have a baby and I may feel differently about space/size). But, we are currently very happy with the size. We still find ourselves doing the "shuffle" to move around at times but space has rarely been an issue. The only advice I have is to really consider storage space/closet size if you are full-timing. You'll be surprised at how little stuff you truly need but it doesn't mean you won't use every single bit of the storage space. A smaller Airstream may have less storage space and may present more challenges. That being said, there are plenty of folks out there who full-time in tiny trailers so it can be done.

Good luck and, again, welcome!
Lani Pokrana
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:25 PM   #4
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If you full-time, will you be travelling the continent much of the time or is it going to be on an established lot somewhere where you build a porch and a tool shed? Do you have similar sleeping and daytime patterns?

Little things like that can make the difference. If only one person is a night-owl, it's nice to have a gaucho or dinette at the other end of the trailer to sit and read or watch T.V. at without disturbing the sleeper. If I was just going to full-time at one location... I'd buy a 34' in a minute, but I personally would not want to tow a 34' around the country (others do so quite happily - I know). Even being in areas with lots of rain... I'd rather not have a small trailer if I'm stuck inside a lot.

Lots to consider.
Every home needs a dog, and every dog needs a home.

1977 25' Tradewind (with two ... three... FOUR dogs)
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:50 PM   #5
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Welcome - as a recent newbie to this community - you will learn quite a bit here just doing "searches" on many topics you have in question with almost immediate responses to direct inquires!

That's how it went down with me...
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:14 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Forum.

What size trailer is somewhat individualistic. Some people feel claustrophobic and others travel so minimally, they don't want much space. Some spend a lot of time outside and the size inside doesn't make a lot of sense to them. Some are taller and must have a queen sized bed. Some are large and don't fit well on the toilet or through some of the bathroom doors in some models.

So the advice to look at a lot of trailers is a good advice. Go to an RV show or a dealer where there are a lot of Airstreams and sit in them, lie on the bed, check the toilet. Think about how much stuff you'd need for fulltiming and ask yourself where it would fit.

There are rental Airstreams at a few KOA's and that would be a way to check them out. They don't move—they are more like a motel room with a kitchen, but they are real Airstreams. I don't know if there are any of those near you (I've seen them in the Fla. Keys near Key West and there are some in Las Vegas), but check the KOA website.

Take your time. Picking the wrong one is a very expensive mistake.

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Old 03-26-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Alexander City , Alabama
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Gene's point is a good one. You must spend time inside whatever different models you are interested to get a good feel for how the space works for you.

We decided on a 28' Safari. It is not too big (towing wise) for us and it had the perfect floor plan we wanted. Keys to our existence included the separate living area off the kitchen with the central dinette, which provides two separate sitting areas. It also has a north/south bed so you can walk around both sides and provides additional storage space on either side. It's up to you, obviously, but the best thing you can do is research and spend some time in them. Good Luck!
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:49 PM   #8
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy. In the past 3 1/2 years, we have spent almost 600 nights in Lucy. We have towed Lucy over 50,000 miles and visited all of the lower 48 states. This floor plan works very well for us. It has a separate living area and bedroom and a separate shower.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Happy medium.

Hi, there are so many choices and so many reasons people made those choices. keep in mind that the 25 footer is the largest of the small trailers and the smallest of the large trailers. [happy medium] Same with the tow vehicle; You won't be able to tow it with a Pinto, but you won't need a Kenworth either.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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The 25' FB is probably the most popular Airstream in the past several years. The 27' FB is very similar but has a bit more storage and the bed is easier for both people to get into. It's also pretty popular. Either can be towed with a 1/2 ton pickup with a tow package and a big engine. Personally I thought the 27' with our truck was pushing it a little, but our truck has performed so well with a 25', I think it could pull the 27' just as well. We had a tough time decided between the two.

Just because these are popular options doesn't mean they are good for you. Lani (post #3) does quite well in a 23' with a husband and two good sized dogs, but they are generations younger than us, so maybe they have less stuff that's important to them.

It's important to think about where you want to go. The longer the trailer, the harder it is to park, back up and maneuver in remote places. Some public campgrounds are designed for short trailers and 25' is about the longest trailer you can get into many spaces.

And then there's cost. When we were looking, a 27' cost about $4,000 more MSRP than a 25'. Longer is more expensive. Longer also may mean a 3/4 ton truck and maybe even a diesel. Diesel engines last forever but cost so much more than gas that it takes many, many years to come out even. Modern gas engines are plenty powerful to tow most any Airstream.

Let us know how your search is going.

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Old 03-28-2010, 06:55 PM   #11
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It is a real phenominon that you may consider moving up in size after your intial orientation. It happens quickly for many, though they doubted that possibility in the beginning. Towing longer and adjusting to size and deciding the size of the current tow vehicle is THE deciding factor often relagated to a lessor consideration once you have experienced and enjoyed Airstreaming. I still have not gone as long as an experienced Airstreamer did, when she told me , "you will go bigger." But we have gone bigger in stages through the years...8' Jayco pop-up, 14' Jayco pop-up, 21' Towlite, 26' Towlite, 25' Airstream, 27' (28'actual) Airstream, 28' (29' actual) Airstream. Think of it as a learning experience and expect you will possibly want to have more room and storage and possibly a different floorplan, regardless of your time in new units or other trailers. You almost have to "live it" to really know what is important to you. Buy gently used and lose nothing to change about.

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Old 03-30-2010, 03:29 PM   #12
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Glenmoore , Pennsylvania
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Thanks everyone!

What warm welcome! The support and sense of community we're finding here has just strengthened our resolve to get out on the road. I don't have pc access and i can't type well on the phone i'm using to post this reply, but I wanted to post a brief thank you to everyone and we'll have an update on the buying process soon (taking trips to Colonial Airstream and another place in western pa within the next week). We're leaning toward the 25' right now...
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:11 PM   #13
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Glenmoore , Pennsylvania
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Ack! We spent hours at Colonial today and looked at everything from the 20' Flying Cloud on up. Now we're seriously considering a 30' Flying Cloud they showed us or the 28' FC or Serenity.

We had never imagined those sizes, we thought 25' tops. Are we nuts for trying to go so big w/no towing experience? Sooo confused now...
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:39 PM   #14
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1991 25' Excella
Salt Lake City , Utah
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We started with a 16ft Bambi and then went to a 25ft, we now want a 27 or 28ft... it seems easier to tow the 25ft compared to the 16ft, certainly is easier to back up as it has two axles. I have often thought about full timing when we are able to and personally wouldn't want a trailer smaller than 28ft, but that is just me and as others have pointed out, some do just fine with a smaller trailer. Good thing you are looking at several trailers. Good luck!!

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