This is the place to learn all things Airstream! And, I agree they are wonderful! The suggestion of going to a rally and checking out different ones is really an excellent suggestion! Folks will talk to you and explain what they like best and why. Start making a list of what is absolutely the most important to you, and then add the "wish" list following.
We have a 1963
restored Bambi (16' from tongue to bumper ~ cabin is 13 ft' inside) But our sweet little Bambi
is self contained and we can entertain 4 to 6 people inside rather comfortably! Imagine!
Here is a thread I suggest you check out:
Here is a thread my husband posted when restoring our Bambi. He has lots of photos and such you can scan through to see what kind of labor is involved. (Ours is the smallest one made)
There are several women who restore their Airstreams and do a wonderful job! The guys and gals will be great and when you run into a question or need help, those who have been there can give you a bit of advice!
There are lots of fairly good medium size Airstreams (22' Safari, Flying Clouds, etc.) that might be a good compromise. Some folks "gut" theirs or find a vintage one that has been gutted and create a "moderne" interior. Some of them are awesome. Check the classifieds here, and keep a eye on ebay to see what is out there!
Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)