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Old 09-10-2010, 01:47 PM   #15
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Our experience has been that our 25', 2002, Classic twin, is good for a few weeks but not for long periods. We are old (70 each) and with our dog and cat, the living area is tight.

We tried owning a membership in an Airstream RV Park for two years during what is called "the summer season" and it was extremely difficult for us. (We live in Tucson--RV park was in the White Mountains)

The 25' is good for travel--maneuvers well, backing up, etc. and can be "jammed in" to almost any site.

In our case, we would have to buy a new tow vehicle; our Expedition is taxed to the max with our loaded trailer....7,500 lbs.

Factor the age-of-the-owners/the time travelling/your money/how comfortable you are at home........

Airstream twins are very stiff and hard to make-up. Buy a Sleep Number for home use and travel in 25'.
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:04 PM   #16
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25 footer on the coast

well we started our trek down the Pacific Coast Highway, the first 44 miles from Legget to Fort Bragg and every inch and every switchbach and every 7% grade i tried to envision what the 30 footer would be like...on most of the sharp turn you could see scrape marks as you came out of the turn and i could see the 30/31 footer dragging where the 25 ft didn't....we continue on down and i am determined to drive every inch until i get to San Juan Capistrano...judging in my mind all the while.........what would the 30 footer be like
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #17
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With a long rig one just uses the center stripe differently . . a longer pause, so to speak while one has the steer axle out there. One has to judge oncoming traffic differently, and adjust the rhythm to that flow. (And this is also where a sway-eliminating hitch, again, pays for itself as a steering twitch or two doesn't send the tail out too far).

Nothing is what should be happening with the trailer direction UNTIL the TV drive axle begins its turn. (And why best shock absorbers and scale-derived tire pressure numbers are also an ideal: transient response). The driver of the TV's distance-to-the-drive-axle is where everything occurs, in a manner of speaking. What happens at the steer axle is secondary to where the drive axle is located at any given moment. From driver seat to drive axle is the crucial location. The drivers concern is with where the drive axle is located . . if that is right then the trailer will be fine.

Car drivers just follow the front wheels around (which is why they're so poorly-skilled and accident-prone).

Also, seating posture [steering control] is aided by an upright position so bring seat bottom forward so that feet can rest comfortably on floorboard slant -- adjust front seat edge for no dig into thighs -- shoulders are against seat back with hands at ten & two, and mirrors are adjusted that the very edge of the trailer rear is in view AND that the distant horizon splits the mirror at center). Sitting upright, and close, is, IMO, an enormous help.

Most folks have a bad tendency to lean one way or the other: right-foot brakers tend also to be left-hand steer'ers, so they are always out-of-whack when things start to happen. I come from the school where both hands and both feet have particular responsibility. Driving, done, well, is little different than dancing.

And, pickup trucks are notorious for poor steering feedback, so optimal visual "position" is critical to overcome this. There is also a tendency to use brakes as a steering aid . . watch what you do to see where your crutch[es] are. Compared to a 45' trailer behind a Freightiner you're way ahead in re maneuverability.

The trailer "swing" becomes intuitive on a longer trailer -- I think of it as a physical manifestation of "conciousness expansion" that I can feel where the trailer tail is . . but it is also easy to over-do or over-think it.

The trailer IS in charge, it is up the TV to do the daring things: There are no curves, per se, for a trailer, there are but short moments between long straight lines.

(In other threads about long trailers "trip planning" is mentioned: knowing where one's rest and fuel breaks are ahead of time. This is so that the driver is "free" to devote all mental/spiritual energy to the moment; your example of this road is ideal to that end).

.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:47 PM   #18
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Some times things can't be improved on. Well said and excellent advice.






Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
With a long rig one just uses the center stripe differently . . a longer pause, so to speak while one has the steer axle out


there. One has to judge oncoming traffic differently, and adjust the rhythm to that flow. (And this is also where a sway-eliminating hitch, again, pays for itself as a steering twitch or two doesn't send the tail out too far).

Nothing is what should be happening with the trailer direction UNTIL the TV drive axle begins its turn. (And why best shock absorbers and scale-derived tire pressure numbers are also an ideal: transient response). The driver of the TV's distance-to-the-drive-axle is where everything occurs, in a manner of speaking. What happens at the steer axle is secondary to where the drive axle is located at any given moment. From driver seat to drive axle is the crucial location. The drivers concern is with where the drive axle is located . . if that is right then the trailer will be fine.

Car drivers just follow the front wheels around (which is why they're so poorly-skilled and accident-prone).

Also, seating posture [steering control] is aided by an upright position so bring seat bottom forward so that feet can rest comfortably on floorboard slant -- adjust front seat edge for no dig into thighs -- shoulders are against seat back with hands at ten & two, and mirrors are adjusted that the very edge of the trailer rear is in view AND that the distant horizon splits the mirror at center). Sitting upright, and close, is, IMO, an enormous help.

Most folks have a bad tendency to lean one way or the other: right-foot brakers tend also to be left-hand steer'ers, so they are always out-of-whack when things start to happen. I come from the school where both hands and both feet have particular responsibility. Driving, done, well, is little different than dancing.

And, pickup trucks are notorious for poor steering feedback, so optimal visual "position" is critical to overcome this. There is also a tendency to use brakes as a steering aid . . watch what you do to see where your crutch[es] are. Compared to a 45' trailer behind a Freightiner you're way ahead in re maneuverability.

The trailer "swing" becomes intuitive on a longer trailer -- I think of it as a physical manifestation of "conciousness expansion" that I can feel where the trailer tail is . . but it is also easy to over-do or over-think it.

The trailer IS in charge, it is up the TV to do the daring things: There are no curves, per se, for a trailer, there are but short moments between long straight lines.

(In other threads about long trailers "trip planning" is mentioned: knowing where one's rest and fuel breaks are ahead of time. This is so that the driver is "free" to devote all mental/spiritual energy to the moment; your example of this road is ideal to that end).

.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post

Most folks have a bad tendency to lean one way or the other: right-foot brakers tend also to be left-hand steer'ers, so they are always out-of-whack when things start to happen. I come from the school where both hands and both feet have particular responsibility. Driving, done, well, is little different than dancing.

.
EVERYONE should be "right-foot brakers" unless only their left foot/leg works. Right foot is for accelerator/brake, left foot is for the clutch in a proper vehicle, and for filling your left shoe in an automatic.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:44 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
EVERYONE should be "right-foot brakers" unless only their left foot/leg works. Right foot is for accelerator/brake, left foot is for the clutch in a proper vehicle, and for filling your left shoe in an automatic.
No, respectfully, absolutely not with an automatic. One gives up important control possibilities by insisting on right foot for throttle and brake. An automatic -- with that torque converter slip -- is similar to a manual in MANY slow or stop-n-go scenarios. Being able to rev the engine fairly high and control TV movement with the brake has been a problem-solver countless times, towing or not, paved road or not. Etcetera.

Same for steering on the highway. There are times when judicious braking to overcome the throttle is appropriate. By moving the right foot from throttle to brake too much time is lost. Too many folks think of driving as "stab and steer" and such is not the case. At highway speeds too much distance is involved to be so slow in altering directions -- of which braking is an enormous part -- if steering control is to be seamless. I can think of a number of examples where I've wanted to maintain -- even increase -- engine rpm to get around a problem, and braking with the left foot is the only way to accomplish it.

One can look up "heel and toe" as the way of doing this in a manual transmission vehicle. The right footwear, proper posture, and some practice is what's needed. (I still like these old low-heeled Justin boots with leather soles for that).

Same division of responsibility for the hands: both hands are for steering, but the right hand is for the transmission, and the left hand is for the trailer brake. To maintain headway I may need to keep engine rpms high (downshift, and another possible upshift to follow [transmission type irrelevant]), and/or to straighten out the trailer use the left hand to accomplish such.

Coming to a controlled stop is akin to dancing across the controls in the proper manner, in the proper order with no time lost in changing velocity or distance. THAT is the test..

I'm sorry folks aren't taught this, but it is unquestionably superior. "Right foot only" may pass muster in a lowest-common-denominator public school drivers ed class, but it has no business in the school of rig control, IMO.

Others can do what they wish. Changing habits may be too much for some. For others it may not. If so, the advantages are clear as I see it and as I -- and many others -- have experienced it. Division of labor.

Now, what does this have to do, directly, with moving to a longer trailer?

In my first post above I recommended for a '34 over a 31' (I very much like the triple axle for increased braking surface on not that much more weight, also), and noted that my rig was 63' (two feet short of legal maximum), so I will say that there may well be roads that are not amenable to such a long rig . . more the way I feel that day; or the weather or daylight remaining; or the expected traffic, etc may cause me NOT to want to take on that responsibility. Driving is work, and folks should be comfortable with what rig they choose to hitch.

The "best" story I can tell on myself (in that truck driver incarnation) is the mistake I made one day in Northern California by ignoring my given routing -- too long, I felt -- and chose to go across country. The laughter among other truck drivers begins when I describe the road chosen as being "scenic" according to Rand-McNally. And narrow. And the punch line has to do with that I had no engine brake and was loaded to 78,000-lbs with redwood lumber on a road with flat-scary grades downgrades ahead . . . with construction, to boot.

I don't think of a 31" as being all that big, but it is my opinion that to move from a 28' to a 34' is a step worth considering carefully as the trailer swing is a real change. I don't think a 25' to a 31' is the same (even though the length increase is similar).

.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:05 PM   #21
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I've full-timed with my wife in a 1973 31' Sovereign and we now use our 1969 25' Tradewind for camping. So, I speak from experience on the sizes you are comparing. We would kill each other if we moved into the Tradewind full time. The extra length on the 30+ foot trailers is used almost entirely for extra floor space in comparison to a 25. The furniture is pretty much the same between them, only it's crammed into a smaller space in the smaller trailer. Not a big deal for a week, but it starts to close in on you when you're forced indoors due to bad weather etc.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:36 PM   #22
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Our experience mirrors a number of others here. we have owned trailers in 20, 27, and now 31' overall length and each step up has made the experience more enjoyable for us. Granted there is a trade off in the size sites you can get into but in most of the type of parks we stop at, it hasn't been a major issue.

We do like stopping at State or Provincial parks now and then, and admit that we are sometimes limited now, but the added creature comforts i our case outweigh that.

We are not full timers, and not likely ever to be I'm afraid as my wife just wouldn't accept that lifestyle. But I believe that if we ever were to give it a try it wouldn't be i anything less than we have now, in fact would more likely be in a multislide motorhome or fifth wheel.

We have met folks full timing in some pretty small trailers though so I suppose it is a very personal decision.

Maybe best to give it a try with what you have and then decide?


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Old 09-12-2010, 03:12 PM   #23
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We traded in a 30 foot SOB for our 25 Safari and couldn't be happier. The 30 footer with dedicated bunks was nice when the kids came camping, but they're off doing their own things now so most of the time it's just my DW and I. We LOVE our 25 footer....though there's really no difference when towing, it's much easier to manouver campgrounds and fit the 25 footer into the medium sized provincial park sites we prefer.

That said, I wouldn't consider full timing in anything less than a 35 foot fiver! ;o)
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:15 AM   #24
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Wow

REDNAX has submitted a textbook on the proper techniques of driving...I am still trying to move all these points around in my mind to see how I do it...I suppose as a driver of these giant log trucks one has the experience that I don't and I respect that. Yet, I have always prided my self on being able to compently drive anything that I sat on or in and have been doing so all my 65 years, well from 12 or so on....and never had an accident or moving violation citation of any type....

So I find myself more after digestation
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #25
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one point

My current TV has All wheel Drive that is alltime, fulltime and four wheel steering, so I am trying to put this in context with some of REDNAX comments such as .....

"Nothing is what should be happening with the trailer direction UNTIL the TV drive axle begins its turn. (And why best shock absorbers and scale-derived tire pressure numbers are also an ideal: transient response). The driver of the TV's distance-to-the-drive-axle is where everything occurs, in a manner of speaking. What happens at the steer axle is secondary to where the drive axle is located at any given moment. From driver seat to drive axle is the crucial location. The drivers concern is with where the drive axle is located . . if that is right then the trailer will be fine."

And I found my self particulary astute as I forged down the first part of the Coastal Highway...after reading here of its trecherousness...and to be concerned about it as I go down it...but it is just a road ; narrow, windy with steep grades ...but the greatest danger I will encounter on my trek down the 1 , as with any other road I travel...will be the traffic I encounter coming from the oppisite direction

and if My vehicle is in MY control, regardless if I am using right foot, right hand or what ever.....my greatest concern is the OTHER DRIVER
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #26
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A larger truck and trailer means not only less agility with the trailer hooked up, but also less when unhooked. Many full-timers spend considerable time at one place, then move on. Will the big diesel satisfy as a daily driver?

We have made many months long trips. No doubt more living space would be great, and there is no end to that reasoning, but it is maneuverability that makes travel (not on interstates, but the interesting out-of-the-way places) possible.

We have decided a bigger rig limits the reason we leave home, and have traveled lightly. The large expenditure to trade may also be used in other ways . . . a few days now and then at a nice resort to stretch out, a cruise, been to Europe lately?

It is unlikely a few more feet will greatly alter trailer life, one way or the other. They are all small. Adapting to what we have is the answer to successful travel life.

Doug
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:55 PM   #27
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The nail on the head

DKTTOUM...you have aced'd... it....put the peg in the hole....said everything that needs to be said...the more we talk about it the more we come to the same conclusion...a few more feet would afford a little more comfort...but for the expenditure of 20 or 30 thousand to trade up and the same amount to trade Tow Vehicles and the loss of my Truck now, that I love so dearly....the 25ft airstream is just the ticket for our exploration of this great land......

the dw just doesn't know it yet
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:32 AM   #28
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Thanks Kingfisher . . . just restated what you have been saying all along. We'll be in the Southwest this winter, and traveling up the west coast towards spring. Hope to see that nice GMC/Airstream combo of yours along the way.

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