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Old 07-15-2015, 11:26 AM   #15
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,266
We moved from a 27ft "Award" trailer to the 30ft Classic.

I didn't really want to go longer than the 27 footer as its size suited us quite well and I was afraid that our access to State/Provinvcial parks would be much more restricted.

We did buy the 30ft in any event because we neede to go to that length to get the layout we wanted - which is very similar to what we had before.

It has not turned out to be much of a problem. Most of our stops are at commercial campgrounds with full hookups and amenities, but we do also like to stop at times at state parks.

I am sure there are some that could not accommodate our trailer, but in 6 years of owning the Airstream we have stopped at state parks once or twice a year and so far never had a problem.

As for dragging the year end, I think it has happened once since we have hd the trailer, and probably only because I wasn't paying enough attention and watching the road. The trailer does have skid bars anyway.

There are not that man gas stations that will cause this problem and when I encounter one that looks bad I just give it a miss.

If I have no choice, I try to take the entrance at an angle and go slowly just in case.

It has never really been an issue for us. I do see some longer Class C motorhomes that really have a long overhang behind the back axle and wonder how they make out - although usually the last few feet are angled up quite a bit to minimize the problem.


Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:09 PM   #16
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1990 29' Excella
Stone Mountain , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 156
Most of the posters are saying that something around 30' is a very good area, and I agree. When my wife and I were young with three small kids and a St. Bernard dog we needed a 23' and were happy. Now that its just the two of us and a Siberian cat we really need our Excella 29'. We have a 7.4L gas TV and at 29' on the AS getting into and out of Pilots and Flying J's is something of a challenge. Since you are looking for diesel I suppose you could simply line up with the big rigs and not worry about someone backing their car up from getting their Big Drink inside.

34' has a triple axle, more tires to buy, more to monitor, a little extra help on dips. 30-31' and two axles is probably a very good compromise.


2016 GMC Sierra Crew Cab 2500 HD 4x4
6.6L Duramax + Allison, 3.73 axles
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:20 PM   #17
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1972 31' Sovereign
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Length handicap

We have a 1972 Sovereign 31. Have not traveled as extensively as others on the thread, but have owned the trailer for 15 years and gone whereever we have wanted to from Canada to Key West, and generally anywhere East of the Mississippi. We never thought we had an issue, when we occasionally dragged to rear skids. The trailer always followed perfectly, nothing ever appeared disturbed inside after towing. All seemed normal. A few years ago I decided to change the axles and add the reinforcement plates made for the 31' rear bath model, mostly as a precaution. I did not have the rear end sag yet, but figured it was a possibility so wanted to fix it. After the new axels were installed, we have not dragged at all. I did not realize how much of a difference it made. Now towing is still great, and no sagging. Keep this in mind on older trailers.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:31 PM   #18
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 206
We have had our "Pete", a 27FB Flying Cloud almost two years, and it's perfect for us. (Everyone says that about their coach right, being as they laid out the $$... )

Seriously, though, we came out of a 40' diesel pusher with a 38" deep slide and a basement full of stuff, so it was a downgrade in space and storage for us. But we have often said we wish we bought Pete 2 rigs and 10 years ago........ We eliminated 80% of the stuff we burned fuel (@ 8.5 mpg) to carry around, and equipped Pete with just enough for my wife and I, 1 or 2 young grandkids, and occasional overnight guests. Turns out you don't need dishes for 10 and lawn chairs for 8.........

One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned above my post - Airstream counts the tongue in the length, so in our case our 27FB (like 27'10" long, so almost 28') has about a 25' long living space, a 25FB has a 22+' long living space, etc. I think 25-30 is a really perfect length Airstream. If you need a 40' toy hauler with 4 slides, they're out there. But if you want a very well designed coach that tows better than virtually anything on the road, and one that can really and truly be passed down to the next generation with proper care, an Airstream is the way to go.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:38 PM   #19
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2005 28' International CCD
San Jose via Winnepeg, Toronto, Orlando, Saratoga and Groton , California
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73
Avoiding Tail Dragging

I guess the longer trailers are more susceptible to dragging the rear end while boondocking, exiting gas stations and driveways. There are rear skids that meant to alleviate this problem by taking the load instead of the rear of the trailer or catching the bumper. My skids are all bent up since I've done my share of dragging, and it occurs to me that once you drag them, its probably a good idea to restore them to original configuration (i.e. bend them back in place).

You could also try as some other folks are considering and debating to increase the clearance of your rig. Dexter Axles has a kit that I am considering since I like to boondock. Here is (one of) the thread:
2005 28' CCD International
2x120W Solar Panels/22A GoPower Controller
1200# Equalizer Hitch
2007 GMC Yukon XL SLT
"Where are my keys?"
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:40 PM   #20
3 Rivet Member
1978 31' Excella 500
Barrie , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 160
Welcome. I have a 31' AS and travel alone (well I take my cat) I was a long haul truck driver for 30+ years but was still nervous when I started pulling the AS.
One thing I could do was back up and with the longer trailer its much easier then with a short one. So if you haven't got the hang of backing,, practice a lot! find a Walmart or truckstop and practice backing till you can do it well from either side. I usually don't gas up at gas stations, I use the ones at truck stops usually much easier to get in and out of than regular in town gas stations.
Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:05 PM   #21
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Zanesville , Ohio
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2

The 34' 3 axle can be a problem entering and leaving gas stations (turning radius with tow vehicle), trailer sites with sloped entrances (scraping) scrubbing tires on slow tight turns and handling and stopping qualities in wind and rain. The 30/31' trailers also have some of these characteristics but to a much lesser degree. Have owned both, really love the 34' with the additional space and storage although prefer towing the tandem axle unit. All this depends on what your travel plans are or are not.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #22
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1973 31' Excella 500
Marysville , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 219
I've suffered from low clearance a few times but I've learned to watch for the trouble spots. I'm considering a couple of wheels near the back. On another note; Keep in mind that Airstream continues to use the "old method" of measuring which is Overall Length (bumper to ball). Other brands stopped using this method years (decades?) ago so a 28' AS is about as long as a 25 modern SOB (Some Other Brand). I refer to mine as a 31' footer in the AS community but as a 28' at the parks.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:56 PM   #23
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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Mounting wheels, dependent upon location can cause issues with the structural members. I remember someone putting wheels on the back that actually caused the aluminum panels to bow out when the wheels started carrying weight when encountering a dip. I would think the only suitable location for a wheel would be on the skid plate itself. Problem is those wheels would hang lower thus contacting the ground more often.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:48 PM   #24
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1996 34' Excella
Long beach , Mississippi
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 12
34 and so much more

We stared with a 28 and stopped in our local dealership to check out a Hensley hitch since we were considering one and bought the 34 footer it was attached to...We have been using our Airstreams since 2007.We are in Ms and wander to Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana etc. We love state and federal Parks and always have a spot. Florida State parks have a 2 foot rule, they short list. If there is no apparent spot on-line a pleasant phone call usually does the trick. Showing up , not calling does not do it....
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:00 PM   #25
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2008 27' International FB
1999 19' "B" Van Airstream 190
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 456
We have a 27FB and have traveled all over the US staying in state, federal and NP campgrounds. I think the 27 ft is great for us. Enough room but not too big. ( bigger pantry too). Occasionally I've found were not able to get into some national forest sites because some don't take lengths over 20 ft. But there are plenty of national forest sites that do and we often camp in them and other campgrounds with more natural settings.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:06 PM   #26
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2005 34' Classic S/O
1974 27' Overlander
Alexandria , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
I have a 2005 34" Classic with a Side out, pulled by an F350 and for the last 10 years of hauling the bride, two small kids and a dog, coast to coast for up to 3 weeks at a time.

The space definitely comes in handy on rainy days, more storage and flexibility when the grandparents or others want to join you for a weekend somewhere. The overhang has never been an issue as I have only been forced to drag twice (once at a NH campground (uncharted bulging rock on the road) and once exiting a fast food joint).

So you are bigger which really means you are slower, pay more attention to what is coming up ahead of you (or behind) and preplan your routes. Honestly you get use to the size which at first is intimidating (especially with a 350 as it is large in its own right) but you will get used to it.

Yes as previous poster noted you have to pay attention to some state parks as the roads and sites are smaller, so you may end of parking the Truck somewhere other than your site to give your some room in the smaller sites.

I think the biggest issue is refueling as you are forced to be selective and need to pay attention to the size of the gas station especially if you are Diesel. The highway signs have finally started to list diesel and designating which are just for autos which are almost impossible to maneuver in.

I should add we started with a '74 Overlander 26' so I could go on and on, but all are positive thoughts....

I hope this helped... Best to all and Happy Stream'in!
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:17 PM   #27
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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We're talking about going from our 40' DP to a 34' Airstream. Our Foretravel doesn't have slides, and neither will the Airstream. That means that all of the stuff in the basement will have to go in the bed of the pickup, and 1/4 of the stuff inside will have to go away. Actually, it is more like 1/2 of the stuff inside, since we have roof lockers on both sides of the salon area and both sides of the bed in addition to the lockers over the bed. Offsetting that somewhat is the underbed storage (a Detroit 6V92TA lives under our bed now) and the storage under the dinette seats (we have chairs around a sliding table).

A 34' Airstream is actually closer to 35' as I recall, and when the truck and hitch are added we would be somewhere around 60' overall, compared to 57' for our MH and Jeep. I can sometimes park so the engine hangs over the grass if I need to fit into a shorter campsite, and the Jeep is short enough to park crossways. Still, we haven't had any problems finding a site to fit us, and we prefer State or Federal parks to commercial campgrounds.

Our plan, should we get an Airstream, is to drive from campground to campground, unhook, then take the truck back in for fuel, groceries, etc. That should avoid the dreaded gas station issues.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:30 PM   #28
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2010 25' FB International
Lake Arrowhead , California
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 24
We hemmed and hawed between 23 and 27 and went 25 because a)it was the smallest with a walk-a-round bed, b)it was largest that still stayed at 30 amp, and c)because the size seemed to allow for options on places to camp. Pretty happy so far. 27 wouldn't have been bad, either.

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