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Old 07-06-2002, 08:56 AM   #1
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First Time Buyers

Hello, we are first time buyers currently doing lots of research between truck campers, trailers and camper vans.

We have always wanted an Airstream, but yesterday, someone (who has a Winnebago for sale), who just came off the road after 1 year told us that we would have trouble finding places in National Parks or other campsites pulling anything over 20'. I find this a little hard to believe considering the enormous vehicles I have seen on the road and from all the great postings on this and other Airstream sites.

We would love to hear opinions on all types of vehicles. We will be living in ours full-time for one year. Any info would be grately appreciated.

Sheri
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Old 07-06-2002, 09:43 AM   #2
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Longer trailers

It is a rare park that will limit you to 20', however, many state parks were built by the CCC back in the 30s and you may well have trouble with something over 30'. I have travelled in about 40 states with longer trailers and have had very few problems.

Until I bought my 22' Airstream about 45 days ago, I towed a TrailManor which was 28' when raised. I never had a bit of touble, although I had to look for longer sites and hang the end of the trailer way out past the pad in some places. This is usually only a problem when the park is pretty full; otherwise, there is most always at least one suitable space available.

I can think of only two places I've visited that something over 20' would be a major problem. One was at Fort Pillow in Tennessee where I had to weave around tight curves, between pines, to get to a site (I had a 19' Scamp 5th-wheel then and even that was tight). The other place is the basin at Big Bend where there is signage advising against taking trailers over 20'. Having been there several times, I have observed many bigger trailers up there and I personally wouldn't hesitate to take my 22' International up there.

To sum it up, I would expect very few problems in state parks with a something in the 25-foot range. Up around 30', you may very well run into a lot of limits on older state and national parks and be pretty well limited to newer parks or commercial parks.

Just my opinion.
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Old 07-07-2002, 05:33 PM   #3
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First time

Thank you so much for your response. We just returned from a beautiful overnight up in the cool air! The information is really helpful to our decision making process.

There is great info on this site. It's a wonderful network of people. I saw the photos of yours and you have done a fantastic job!

Sheri
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Old 07-07-2002, 09:52 PM   #4
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When we full timed in our 31 ft Airstream we only had trouble when our overall length was over 45 ft. Truck and trailer connected. This was not due to the parking for the trailer so much as being able to get both the truck and trailer on a site. The examples that Pahaska gave do hold true, but if you can persuade the camp host or ranger to let you try and if you can't fit you will leave, most will let you try. I have had only a few just say no. These were ones that had written limitations or a host/ranger that was a rules are rules type. I am not condoning breaking the rules but bending is allowed?? We always asked nicely and gave the management a way out. You need to decide how much space you need and storage that you require to really determine the size unit you need. There is a book that we used as a reference that I highly recommend. Fulltime RVing by Bill and Jan Moeller. It is not Airstream specific, but has tons of great recommendations and tips on how to do stuff.

Good luck
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Old 07-08-2002, 08:59 AM   #5
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First timers...

Hi Brett,

Thanks you for your helpful post. We are about to go to the library to find JD Gallant's Rating Book. There is so much to think about we have moments of overwhelm to say the least! Just narrowing down the options between Motorhome, Van or trailer is the first big step!

We too are in the ask nicely category and see what happens, but most people seem to feel the length can be dealt with. For both of us we are trying at this moment to go smaller just for ease of driving.

When did you full time?

Sheri
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Old 07-08-2002, 09:09 AM   #6
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We fulltimed for 2.5 years from late 97 to 2000. We did tours of civil war battlefields and state and national parks. We found a HUD house on auction if Fl and put in a low bid and we won it. So we had to give up the nomadic life and get jobs again. It was enjoyable but being in our 30's we became restless. Not quite ready to retire.... It was fun and I want to do it again but I would not have wanted to do in it in something smaller that the 31 we were in. Our 28 ft Motorhome would be a bit cramped, but works great for weekends and vacations. The book I suggested also talks about what kind of rig with pros and cons. Good luck!
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