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Old 10-21-2010, 01:37 PM   #1
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Can't Decide

For the last year I have been giving serious thought to buying an Airstream to use in my travels in pursuit of the wily trout. Since I plan on doing most of my boondock camping in national park and national forest campgrounds, and I understand many have size restrictions, I made the decision to try to keep the trailer as small and maneuverable as possible.....without giving up all my creature comforts. Most of my trips will be solo or with one fishing partner.....and even more occasionally my wife..... so I have decided a trailer smaller than 25' would be best.

My question to any one who wishes to answer, what are your thoughts about a 23' trailer vs. a 20' trailer?

Thanks
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:09 PM   #2
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My wife and I love our 20' Safari SE because it is so manuverable and has a great floor plan for us. With that being said, you can probably get a 23' into almost any place that the 20' will go. The big difference between the two is that the 20' is only a single axle, while the 23' is a tandem axle. Plus the floor plans are very different. I think that you would be perfectly happy with either one. If you check out the "rockdocking" threads in the boondocking section, you will find that the 23' trailer has been taken into a lot of remote areas, so I wouldn't worry about the size difference too much. I would suggest that you try and look at both of them and then decide which floor plan suits your anticipated needs the best. Best of luck.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Size Does Matter

We too love to camp at the state and national parks. One of my most favorite spots is Housatonic Meadows here in my home state. Cheap, no hook-ups, a dump station just up the road and right on the river. I can roll out of bed and be in the river before the sun is up and then back in time to cook breakfast! Both our 22' Safari and the 24' Tradwind are perfect for this type of camping. What we found that changed big time was our TV. We used to have a Tahoe with an awsome turning radius. We have since traded up to our 2500 Crew Cab. There are two site we used to be able to get into and can no longer due so becuase of the wheelbase and shorter turning radius of the 2500. So it may not always be the trailer length to think about.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:25 PM   #4
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Another thing to consider if you will be off the grid is tank sizes. You can get the largest tanks available from 25’ on up. With 55 gals fresh on board…you can last quite a while…
Anything under 25’ does not offer the large tanks…

We camp in SP, NP, NFL all the time and have never found a campsite we could not get into…the few times we went to private campgrounds, we found the sites even smaller…so don’t get too hung up on the size of the sites; SP, NP, NFL are usually larger in our experience.

Bill
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:33 PM   #5
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Also 25 and up have bigger propane tanks and an extra battery. zz
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:46 PM   #6
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Been half-timing now for 5 years with a 31' and have never been shut out of a NPS or USFS campground due to size.

If I were you I'd be thinking 25' or so to get the big tanks/dual batteries. The larger trailers tend to be more reasonably priced on the used market as well.

My 2 cents...

mike
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:03 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!

Another question, when the dinette is made into a bed, how comfortable is it for a man 6' tall? My fishing partner is a good guy, but I don't like him enough to share my bed. LOL. I see it listed at 76", but I'm sure some length is lost because of cushions and back.
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:08 PM   #8
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This is a good reason for twin beds

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishsim View Post
Thanks everyone!

Another question, when the dinette is made into a bed, how comfortable is it for a man 6' tall? My fishing partner is a good guy, but I don't like him enough to share my bed. LOL. I see it listed at 76", but I'm sure some length is lost because of cushions and back.
Twin beds offer an excellent solution to the possibility of having different camping partners.....and no one has to climb over the other......look at the 25' or 27' FB twin bed models. Our 68 has twin beds with a dinette that converts to a bed as well......just another thing to think about.....paula
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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Heres a few pictures of some interiors...

http://service.airstream.com/files/l...4febdf7c99.pdf

WE have twin beds...he makes up his, and I make up mine. I am five eleven and I can stretch out very well. But we do not like the hard type foam mattresses so I have a large featherbed under me and he has something like that. Can't stand foam!!!
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:14 PM   #10
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Welcome. I also enjoy chasing those wily trout. You may want to also consider a vintage unit. If you are a handy guy, you'll be able to get on older unit and fix it up the way you want. We have a 24' TradeWind with the twin beds so it doesn't matter whom I travel with, they have their own bed. I'm 6'4" and the bed can be a bit snug but I fit with a bit of room to spare. I always sleep well in the trailer.

Brad
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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I just want to cast a vote along with rickandsandi. Ironically, we also love Housatonic Meadows; the site we like is a tight little site among lots of trees. Our smaller trailer (which allows us to tow with a smaller tow vehicle) can tuck right into there. There was a wonderful campsite in Theodore Roosevelt National Park ($6 a night!); it was the only shaded grove campsite in the place, and we could only fit with a small trailer.

There are other merits to a small trailer too. They're easy to maneuver in tight spots, like gas stations or when you turn around because the stupid GPS gave you wrong directions. Sometimes you can fit in a 2-deep parking spot, rather than hanging out the ends.

Best bet? Go to a dealer or rally where you can see lots and lots of trailers. (Ironically, we started out looking at 16 or 17-foot trailers, and that process helped us decide that 20 feet was where's it's at for our weekend/2-week vacation use.)

I won't say that I'm immune to looking at 23'-25' trailers and coveting their two fixed beds (in twin models) and more space. But there are assets to going small.

Good luck and have fun searching!

Tom
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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From a long time AS user.......twin beds is the answer.......the only way to go!
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishsim View Post
Thanks everyone!

Another question, when the dinette is made into a bed, how comfortable is it for a man 6' tall? My fishing partner is a good guy, but I don't like him enough to share my bed. LOL. I see it listed at 76", but I'm sure some length is lost because of cushions and back.
Hi fly

When I take my parents out for a few weeks, I sleep on the dinette. It's not as nice as the queen, but its better than the sofa. I am 6' 200lbs, and I find it comfortable. I'm sure the quality of the dinette cushions is a factor.

Good Luck
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:42 PM   #14
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Maybe a Base Camp would work for you?

Ken
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