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Old 10-06-2006, 07:42 PM   #15
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Janet, Thanks for the insight on the smallness of the 20 feet over time. I hear what your saying but the 20 is the choice right now for a couple of reasons. First, my wife seems to like the layout on the 20 a LOT better than the 22 or 23. She doesn't like the "sparten/modern" look of the International 22 with all the bright colors. As far as the Safari 23 goes, she doesn't like the single sink in the kitchen and the fact that the bathroom sink is out in the open. Plus she likes the head being on the far side away from the bed. She loves everything about the 20. I wouldn't mind going with a 23 myself but it would be a tough sell for her. Second, we did live on a small sailboat for quite a while and the quarters on it were about the same as the 20 AS. We didn't have a problem on the sailboat. We'll see but right now we're leaning toward the 20. Maybe the next model year will introduce a 22 or 23 with the same basic layout as the 20 -- that would be the best of both worlds....
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:09 PM   #16
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The upside of a tiny trailer is that you can take it anywhere and fit it into tiny sized spaces. Either way - you'll love an Aistream.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:33 PM   #17
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opinion only

Quote:
Originally Posted by TIMEMACHINE
outthere,

As for single versus tandem axles, they are both safe, but..tandem is safer and does tow forward and backward straighter. The additional brakes (2 vs 4) will make a difference in the hills and the extra axle does provide for a larger safety margin on the load carrying capacity.

John
Scott,

Sounds as though we differ on this subject. Generally, my opinion is based upon the physics of dynamic lateral rolling resistance and the effect on tracking. Of course the speed of the trailer as it corresponds to the drag coefficient will compound the analysis, but, the outcome stays true to the theory. The more tires you have moving in the same direction with the same alignment, the straighter you will travel. I hope this answers your question.

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Old 10-06-2006, 10:06 PM   #18
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Hello John ,
Well I did not ask you a question but,a single axle trailer is being towed ,
as is a tandem ,how could the trailer possibly not be tracking straight as it is being pulled in a straight line behind the TV? I don't use theoretical ideas as
a determination ,and the theory as you have stated doesn't make alot of sense ,drag coefficiant causing the trailer to not go straight ? when its being towed ?The trailer will follow the tow vehical wherever it tracks ,no way it can't ,lane change ,uphill around a curve no matter .It could be prone to sway more than a tandem I will say that is a possibility anyway .If the tandem trailer was loose from the TV it would roll on down the road straighter
than the single axle coming loose ,Ill say thats true ,not when they are mechanically attached to a fixed point (the hitch) and are in tow .What is true is that the new 20' airstream single axle will cruise along the road
behind the TV arrow straight ,mine does and so many others ,no reason
not to buy it unless a larger coach is desired .

Scott
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:17 PM   #19
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we are all right

Scott,

I agree that single vs tandem axle should be one of the last reasons to buy one AS over another. I am sure if we had the time we would find that our opinions are probably closer than we express. It is always kinda fun to talk counterpoints to keep us on our toes.

John
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:32 PM   #20
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Spent the morning over at the local AS dealer today. Looked at 19, 20, 23, 25 and 27. Based on the answers I received in this post, we pretty much decided not to take the 25 and 27 too seriously as empty weight on both was over 5500 lbs with GVW at about 7300 to 7600 lbs. Too much for the 4 runner... The 20 looked about perfect with empty weight of 4150 and a GVW of 5000. Well within the range of the 4 Runners 7300 lbs limit. The layout on the 20 also seems to suit what were looking for. We've asked the dealer to price out a 20 SE with the LE package. We haven't totally decided yet and we have some time since I don't plan to retire until the end of next year. Our thought is to sell the house and all the "stuff" next Spring/Summer. We'd also probably buy the AS at about the same timeframe and start using it on weekend jaunts. Getting Excited. Thanks for all the insight on this forum. You've given me a lot of good information and the best part is that it's not coming from someone who's trying to sell me something. By the way...I did ask about the Hensley hitch and from the look on the salesmans' face he has never seen one. He seemed to know they were expensive and he thought they would be overkill based on the $3000 price tag verses the standard anti sway kit at about $600....I'm going to spend more time researching the Hensley and if its that good, the investment seems small compared to the return.
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:15 PM   #21
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Here are a couple more hitches to research while you are on the subject

Equal-i-zer, Reese Strait-line, Blue Ox Sway Pro and the one you have already mentioned; Hensley Arrow. That ought to keep you reading and out of trouble for a while My personal choice has been the Equal-i-zer. But I know people who use the Reese and are very happy with it. I really don't need the Equal-i-zer any more with my current truck, and will be changing to an AirRide Hitch and probably the Blue Ox TC1000 sway control. The only one I have heard nothing about is the Blue Ox. One mistake people seem to make in the search for a hitch is to assume it is a cure all for towing problems that are caused by improper matching of TV and trailer. I think you have already got a start on this by watching your trailer weight against your tow capacity. Another issue that will come into play for you is the short wheel base of the 4 Runner. It gives the trailer a leverage advantage to push you around over a longer wheelbased vehicle. But it is not a deal breaker if you are aware of it and prepared for it.

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Old 10-07-2006, 07:40 PM   #22
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Question

How difficult is the installation associated with any of these hitches? Is this do it yourself or are there adjustments and should it be done by a professional??
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:06 PM   #23
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You could do it...but

outthere,

You could probably install most hitch systems, but, I would recommend that you have the dealer include the hitch and installation in your AS purchase. Most of us have been able to get the dealer to "throw in" the hitch in the deal. Of course, this depends on how much of a discount you get on your trailer and the cost of the hitch you choose.

Search the forum on the subject of buying and prices paid, you will find more detail as well as some guidelines on what to expect as a fair deal.

John
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outthere
How difficult is the installation associated with any of these hitches? Is this do it yourself or are there adjustments and should it be done by a professional??
It can be done by self, if you are relatively mechanically inclined and can follow directions. I did my own, but I have a history of being hard headed and a perfectionist IMHO most of the "proffesional's" are some RV tech that doesn't have a clue. But there are some that can and will do it right. I have seen hitches that were "setup" by the dealer, that were so poorly done that I am suprised the person didn't have a wreck on the way home. FWIW if you get the dealer to throw in a hitch it is going to typically be what he sells not necessarily what you want.

Aaron
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outthere
Not sure if this is the right spot to post this so if there's a better place let me know. This is my first post....

I'm in the market for a "retirement" airstream. Wife and I are getting ready to sell the house and want to travel the country for a year or two. We have towed boats in the past but never a travel trailer. After looking for a couple of months we seem to have settled on the Safari line. We both like the look. Problem is, we are not sure about some things. OK....here are my questsions:

1) Planning to tow with a 2005 Toyota 4Runner with a 270HP V8 engine. Hitch is rated for 7300 pounds.
2) What weight / size trailer should I go with if I plan to do a LOT of driving all across the country....Up mountains, down mountains, high wind, etc etc? Is smaller better? 20 foot Safari is 3900 lbs UVW & 5000 GVRW, 28 is 5500 pounds UVW (Unloaded vehicle weight) and 7300 GVWR (max weight).
3) My wife and I both love the layout of the 2007 Safari 20 footer but it only has a single axle. Is a double axle a "must" on a trailer that is going to be towed a lot or is the single fine on a unit as small as 20 feet?

We would get the 20 footer in a heartbeat if it was double axle but some folks have scared us a bit and told us we should stay away from single axle.

Can somebody who has experience with these issues give me some feedback on this? I appreciate your advice and insight!
"almost" OUTTHERE
Hi, If you and your wife like the 20'er buy it. If I thought you were way out of line, size wise, for your tow vehicle I would tell you. If you get the trailer and hitch together, let the selling dealer install the hitch. Then, like I did, you can fine tune it yourself later. As for the wheels, my opinion is: The amount of axles / wheels is in direct relation to size and weight of the trailer. If single axles were so bad, they wouldn't make them. As for the flat tire thing, I didn't buy a trailer to get flat tires, but if it happens, it happens. I only hope I don't get tire problems from my own neglet. This forum has lots of opinions, most good. Bottom line, it's you money, buy what you [your wife] want/s.

Bob
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:18 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
FWIW if you get the dealer to throw in a hitch it is going to typically be what he sells not necessarily what you want.

Aaron
The dealer will install what you specify. You may pay a little more for your choice than his, but he will do it. My dealer didn't stock the Equal-i-zer brand, but was an authorized dealer for them. That is what I specified I wanted installed and he oredered the size I told him I wanted and installed it the day I came for the walk-through. I might could have saved a hundred or so dollars by letting him install the brand he stocked, but it wasn't the brand I wanted.

Bottom line, tell the dealer the brand you want and he can get it for you. He may have to send the trailer out to a hitch shop to get it installed, but he can get it installed for you and with the purchase of a new trailer, it should be at a reasonable price.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:48 PM   #27
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We have members in our club that nearly full-time in a 16' Bambi and it works for them. We part-time in a 34' and sometimes it gets a little bit close. This is purely a personal choice, whatever works for you is the right one. If I were thinking about two sizes I, 0personally, would go for the larger one. Best of luck and go for it. Its not like if you buy it you can never trade up or down, just make your best guess and enjoy.
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:43 AM   #28
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Tarheel -- yup, I agree. We'll start with our best guess, get "out there" and than see how it goes. Like you said, we can always move to something else if the first choice doesn't "fit". Right now, we've pretty much settled on the 2007 20 foot with in the SE with the LS package.

Also, I did some research on the hensley hitch and talked to the service dept at the local airstream dealership. The service/parts guy there recommeded a Reese with a double cam setup as opposed to the hensley. He seemed to think the hensley didn't do any better of a job than the Reese and cost a lot less. He also mentioned the point I've seen on this forum that the hensley is very difficult to set up and more difficult still to hitch back up at the campground. I'll have to keep checking but I was surprised that he didn't recommened the hensley....I don't have any issue with spending the $$ for the right hitch, just want to make sure I'm getting the "best"....

Thanks again for all the helpful comments!!
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