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Old 04-14-2016, 12:02 AM   #1
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martinez , California
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Best Size Airstream for National Parks and Alike?

I was thinking a 27/28 would be ideal, but would love the space of the 34'. We will be touring the entire country, lots and lots of national and state parks Canada, Mexico.

Thoughts? Stories?


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Old 04-14-2016, 05:47 AM   #2
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Many National and State parks have very few if any sites to accommodate a large unit. Virtually all can accommodate 25' and under. That said there are sites available so advance reservations would be a must in my opinion. We generally stay in commercial parks nearby National and State Parks for hook ups and actually seek out those with fenced dog parks so our two Labradors can run a bit.


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Old 04-14-2016, 06:56 AM   #3
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We like our 25' a lot. I am comfortable pulling it and we have covered a lot of NP campgrounds, state parks, and provincial parks. I make the occasional routing mistake and have proven to myself that I can turn it around in tight spaces if I have to. We also have a 32 that now resides on a lot in Fl. I like pulling the 25 better, mostly because of the long overhang and lack of ground clearance on the 32. There are just the 2 of us and a small dog. We travel fairly light and do not carry clothing for every occasion. I carry a ton of fishing stuff and golf clubs but that stuff stays in the truck. I have only looked inside a 28 and have not pulled one.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:25 AM   #4
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If you like a 34', get a 34'. We have traveled national parks extensively with ours and never had to turn away. Obviously there are camping sections where only smaller trailers will fit but so far there has always been a spot we could grab. Gran Tetons is an example, very few folks can fit into Jenny lake but Coulter Bay and Gros Ventre can hold the Largest RV's. Yellowstone is the same way.

If your mindset is driving toward staying in one particular campground with a specific site in mind, and it will only fit a 22' trailer then by all means buy a 22'.

For us, seldom is the campground the destination. We find a camp that is a good launching spot for the area. With RV's getting larger and larger over the years, most places have adapted or commercial venues have stepped in.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:33 AM   #5
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We have a 28' and long bed TV and have stayed in Natl Parks with no problem.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:05 AM   #6
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I guess it depends on the park. We haven't stayed at a lot of national parks, only Glacier, Zion, North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Looking at each campground at Glacier, Fish Creek Campground has a lot of sites where my 25fb would not fit or if it did would be on a hill and difficult to level. Many Glacier has a mixed bag of sites to support different length RVs, St Mary has lots of sites for larger RVs, Two Medicine has a good mix of sites as is Apgar.

Zion Watchman has a good mix of sites as South Campground. Bryce North Campground has a loop for RVs and I've seen lots of rental RVs in there and even a diesel pusher HM, the other loops its a mix. Didn't see Sunset campground at Bryce. North Rim can support longer RVs.

We decided the 25fb was not to short or long but the 27fb is only 2 foot longer. While I would be comfortable in setting up a 27fb I think a 34 would cut down the available sites you could choose.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:07 AM   #7
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There is a saying….

Trailers are usually too big while on the road, and too small at the campsite.

I have a 20 footer, and don't spend much time in it while camping. ( Sleep, and shower ) How many people and pets will be coming is a big part of the equation. Because you said, " the entire country " and," Between Canada and Mexico", makes me think you will be doing lots of miles and lots of mountains.

I think 34s are better suited for the second home type situation. ( parking all summer at one location ), or spending two weeks in one spot

You might want a smaller trailer for touring, but I'm sure many use a 34 for that purpose.

My personal thoughts are that, I don't know why someone would spend so much time towing, then sit in a camper all day… I don't NEED a big camper.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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25 will be the easiest from my experience. The larger ones are hit or miss.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:14 AM   #9
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We have had four AS's and now have the smallest being a 25'. We love it and much easier to move around the mountains than the bigger ones. A 27' may be OK, but I promise you a 34 will not be fun in the mountains on a daily basis.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:21 AM   #10
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Over the years, we have had two 25's and a 23. We have camped in many State and National Parks. We have never been turned away because we were to big.

That being said, there have been several occasions where we have had some trouble getting into a site. Had we been any larger, it would not have been doable.

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Old 04-14-2016, 10:29 AM   #11
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i do a lot of camping in smaller provincial and national campground. those are often the nicest and most ''into the wild'' campground available.

In bc and alberta....the smaller the trailer, the more choice you have. when going to places like Banff and jasper, there is always room for big rig but you end up with more basic parking lot style campground with low privacy. The nice spot with trees, privacy etc are for the smaller unit.

i have argosy 24 and i been in spot that were very tight. while i see the good side of a big rig for long term travel....i m happy with the smaller argosy and sometimes wish i had a even smaller one. my idea would be a airstream 19 with bunks
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:33 AM   #12
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Park camping spots

A 20' or under will allow you to park in almost any National Park, National Forest or State Park campground - especially California. As noted above, the next limitation is usually 25" in special sections or parks that provide for RVs. Anything larger and yes you can still park in a very few of the larger National Park campgrounds but there are not very many of those. The question is whether you want to have the flexibility of being able to stay almost anywhere in any campground or the convenience of a larger trailer. As noted in earlier emails, there are some very nice full-service RV parks near National Parks that cater to large RVs and trailers - but then you are not in the middle of nature.
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:36 AM   #13
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Do they Make a 34?
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:40 AM   #14
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I have a 31' and I have not fit into exactly one campground over the past 10 years (we half-time, so roughly 1800 nights...).
If you are concerned, make reservations or use Google Earth to look at a prospective campground. I really enjoy the extra elbow room and storage of my rig.


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