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Old 09-05-2007, 07:31 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
sumsmug's Avatar
1985 25' Sovereign
1966 17' Caravel
Philly , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 45
Wannabe newbie fulltimers

Hi there!

First off let me say what a great resource these forums are! I've only been seriously researching Airstreams for about a month and have gleamed so much useful info from these pages.

So let me introduce ourselves, my girlfriend and I are scientists at a large research company. Our work involves a considerable amount of moving between sites within the US, usually for several months to a year. Getting sick of throwing money away on rent and clearly not being in a position to own and live in a house, we have decided to start looking for an alternative. We have always been AS fans (who hasn't ?) and now we have an excuse to own one. In addition I have spent many months on boats so have some idea what I'm getting into by giving up the bricks & motor.

So we have started 'the process': long evenings pouring over laptop screens, searching craigslist, RV dealers, ebay and this forum.

I wonder if the forum has any wisdom to impart to us. Things I worry about are:

a)headroom. I'm 6'5''; I been in new AS's and they have raised shower stall floor, making it very uncomfortable. I wonder if there are any other tall full-timers out there that can relay some of their experience?
b)Trailer length. I'm a bit of newbie at towing and I worry that towing at 34 footer would be a nightmare, so my upper limit is 30ft.
c) Rear bedroom. We are looking at 60's and 70's trailers (cost considerations), and I think I would really like to have the permanent double bed , rather than put it down every evening. However, these seem quite hard to come by in the shorter models.
d) A permanent desk space (dinette), we both spend many evenings working on other projects, and need somewhere to write, type, etc...

Does anyone have any thoughts on choice of trailer or nuggets of wisdom to impart to us?

Looking forward to being a contributor, rather than a leach, on this forum.


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Old 09-05-2007, 08:15 PM   #2
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,369
Images: 64
Hey SumSmug...welcome to the forums and good luck in your search for the perfect Airstream for your needs. You're in the right place to get the answers and do your research....and get personal input from folks who have been there.

I'm only 5'8" so I can't help you with the height thing. I'm fine in the AS, though but I think most have to duck just little going in and out the becomes 2nd nature, though.

30' and under is a good length for 2 people...heck, ours is only 19' and we are fine, of course we are not living in it, which makes a difference. You can find a layout with a permanent bed in that length and you are right, having to bring down the bed every night can get old real fast.

And you should even be able to find a model with a desk...I know that's possible with newer AS layouts...not so sure about older ones...but certainly you can have a dinette at the very least...

I wouldn't automatically rule out a newer unit if I were can find some good buys out there, and if you perisist, you can find a well-treated lateer model AS...less to redo, less refurbishing money, and may have ammenities you will enjoy...unless, that is, you want an older or vintage rig.

But I do know the perfect AS will find you! Part of the fun is the hunt...good luck with it!


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Old 09-06-2007, 04:37 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari SS SE
Belvidere , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 49
Images: 1
Hi Sumsmug.... Welcome to the forums!

My boyfriend and I live full time in a 25' Safari LS (it's an '06.) We have been in it since March and have had no troubles as of yet as far as space is concerned. We do have a cap on our F250 and we stow all our "stuff" in the bed of the truck so as to free up more storage space in the trailer itself. The layout of our Safari is great because it has the banquette (dinette...whatever you want to call it) and is a more open floor plan inside than some. I myself don't care for the hallway/tunnel feel some AS's have dividing the sleeping area from the kitchen... the more open the better for me. It's all personal preference there though. We also have an extra table that folds out in front of the sofa so I usually sit with my laptop at the dinette and Billy uses the table at the sofa giving each of us an exclusive workspace.

I know you said cost is a major consideration but I know for us being new at this and not being mechanically inclined a new trailer was the way to go. We started out looking at older models and got spooked at the idea of the maintenance that may be involved. Not that there is not stuff that has busted and needed repair on ours, we have quite a list actually... but so far it has all been under warrenty which is great.

As far as towing goes... we had never towed a thing in our lives before this and were totally freaked out about doing it. The reality is this... I sometimes forget the thing is even back there now while driving on the interstate. In town and on skinny country roads it can be a bit more tense but it really is way easier than I ever imagined. I am sure there are different levels of towing ease depending on the age and condition of the trailer itself as well as the towing vehicle... but rest assured, you can do it!

The only suggestion I have on the shower situation and your height is this... our shower has a really decent sized seat/ledge in it... you could always shower sitting down as weird as that may sound. Although, everything about taking a shower in your AS will be a new and weird experience, nothing luxurious about it... so sitting down is just one more thing to add in there I guess.

Good luck in your search! Keep a sharp eye on eBay... some really interesting stuff passes through on there.

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