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Old 08-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #15
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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My husband and I and two dogs are happy in our 17ft trailer, but the dogs have to leave their Legos at home

One man's cozy is another man's cramped!


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Old 08-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #16
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2005 25' Safari
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Hi, I guess this might sound harsh too, but after reading your story, I feel that you are just making excuses to justify a new RV. Storm, Legos, and a Harley. If you want a 50' long, 20' wide, fifth wheel toy hauler, with eight slide outs, just do it. Bigger is better right?


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Old 08-10-2012, 10:32 PM   #17
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1967 26' Overlander
Winston Salem , North Carolina
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I have heard this and it is true for Silver trailers:

Cocktails for 6
Dinner for 4
Sleeps 2
Winston Salem, NC
WBCCI 5218,
Corresponding Secretary Piedmont NC Unit 161,
1967 Overlander International.
1979 Avion 30ft rear bath
TV's 88 Chevy Suburban 454, 3:42, TH400
95 Cadillac FW Brougham, LT1,3:42, 7k tow pk.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:44 PM   #18
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2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
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Last week we camped at an indian casino surrounded by big class a buses. We visited for an hour in one with twin leather couches, 6 foot of tile floor between them, dining area, washer dryer, basically the works.

I loved it.

Tires cost $800 each. 8 tires.

I hated it.

My 2005 30' Classic will last 25 years easy. How long does a fifth wheel last? Do whats right for your family and your wallet. I too poor to be cheap.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #19
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Elk Valley , British Columbia
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My folks have a mid size 5 with one slide. It makes for a much more social space when we want to have my wife, baby and I visit. We never have guests inside our 22'. It's for eating, pooping, and sleeping.

If your camping experience is 90% inside the trailer, I'd say get a big-ass trailer... I'd also ask, why leave home if you are basically living the same experience on the road?

There is no wrong answer. Get what works for you, and that may change over time. We had a Basecamp... Groovy unit, but not so great with a baby. If it turns out we can't make our Intl work, we will get something else... Maybe that is another Airstream, maybe not.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:19 AM   #20
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2009 34' Panamerica
2008 22' Safari
Metro Detroit Area & Metro Dallas Area , Michigan & Texas
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Originally Posted by JimGolden View Post
OK, I've said it. Even though I have a 34' triple axle, my family of four was at the beach last week and a nasty storm blew up. It stormed from 10:00pm until 6:00pm the next day. My 7 year old boy likes to spread his Lego's in a 3' radius all around him. My 12 year old daughter was trying to find a place to hang out. Me and the wife sat wherever we could. The trailer felt....SMALL!

Yes, I know it's heresy to admit it on here. But we found ourselves wishing we had a big 5er. As I rode my bike through the campground (Camp Hatteras in NC...very nice place) I saw that for most of the week I had the only silver trailer there. Later I saw two others...but mainly I saw 5ers and big Class A's.

We've looked at a Raptor toy hauler. The last 10' is rubberized on the floor and has tie downs so that I can bring my V-Rod. When the Harley is out of the camper, you hit a button and TWO queen beds come down. The kids get to use the "garage" as their own space once we're set up and my son can spread his Lego's out all he likes.

Am I a traitor?

I like my trailer (it's actually an Avion, but the difference is very minor...) but the floorplan is basically laid out for a retired couple. We have the gaucho across the front that turns into a bed. But it's a pain in the rear to have to fold that out every night. As well, the little fold out table in the front is great, but when beddy bye time comes....I have to put away all the legos and then fold the table up, pull the couch out into a bed, and then and only then can they sleep.

I have been trying to think of mods I can do to help alleviate things. First I've designed a bunk bed that would replace the gaucho that would put the one mattress on the ground and the other one would basically slide down on the vertical rails and sit on it for a couch. You simply raise the platform up and it'd click to form a bunk bed or "rack" like we had in the Navy and each kid would have their own little area. It's be a lot less trouble than the gaucho.

But, what do I do about Lego Man? He needs room. Without a slide out, the trailer is basically like being in a B-17 fuselage where it's long and skinny.

I want to make a circumnavigation of the lower 48 while my kids are still young enough to enjoy it. But wifey says we'd kill each other being trapped in the long long tube for a month. What to do?????

Also, what do I do with the Harley? I could put it in the bed of the truck, but I really like the Toy Hauler idea.

I've replaced everything that's worn out on this trailer. She's in great shape. I just installed three new MaxxAir Deluxe Vents (not shown in this photo but they're the low profile type that you can leave on in the rain and tow with them open...very nice), it's got new a/c, new fridge, new water heater, new kitchen faucet, new toilet, and new DWV plumbing. I like it a whole big bunch and it even polishes up pretty nicely. It's just not made for a family

What do you guys think?
Well, for starters: Whatever you move to, it will be tight! You have a LARGE and GROWING family. It is not a "fault" of the trailer. My PanAm is just comfy for three -- maximum of four. If we ever go to full-time, I'd buy a 2007 Land Yacht or a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus (40ft QSP). However, I'd miss my PanAm! Once your crew is grown, maybe you'd return to a AS -- a SOB will not satisfy after having the AS. Maybe if you convert to a bunk house layout, or find a PanAm for the extra bedroom/playroom/toy area?! A big family may equal a Bus Conversion.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:24 AM   #21
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Perry , Florida
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Get the 5er, but keep the Avion,,, in a few years, when its just you and the Mrs. put the 5er in a nice semipermenent resort park and you will be able to still travel in a classy old Avion. JMHO
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:49 AM   #22
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Carolina Low Country , South Carolina
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whine, whine, whine...

I don't see you ever having enough.
I know two families, one w 9 kids, another w 7 that travel in Airstream, no slides.
They are organized, each child has his place and each takes only whatever fits in a backpack. They have made stacked bunks on the side and rear of the trailers, mom and dad sleep up front. They stay busy, even in the rain. Family stuff, games, movies, museums etc. together.

I have seen a white box on the road, totaled, in the road w pieces everywhere, strewn out as far as you can see. That won't happen w silver, ever.
Have fun whatever you do.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:55 AM   #23
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural , Delaware
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Originally Posted by Silverwanabe View Post
I have heard this and it is true for Silver trailers:

Cocktails for 6
Dinner for 4
Sleeps 2
HA! You just described our Bambi.
2005 Bambi
1968 Trade Wind
2007 Ford F250 4x4 Crew
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:18 AM   #24
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1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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Flame Away

I put this posting on here half jokingly, knowing I'd probably get flamed.

I guess you must never mention a 5th wheel on an Airstream board...

The replies have been interesting.

The idea of the tent room is actually a very good one and may solve my problem.

I really like the quote of cocktails for 6, dinner for 4, sleeps 2.

Urbanologist got what I was saying.
The idea of the PanAm with the cargo area in the back that turns into a separate bedroom is excellent.

Am I bringing too much stuff? I don't think so. I'm not bringing anything that anybody else I know with an RV doesn't bring. (small BBQ grill, bicycles, kid's toys, boogie boards, fishing pole) There's a reason I got a trailer instead of a tent that fits in a backpack... I even joke that this isn't actually "camping." It's "RVing".

StreamNThyme, I fixed up this trailer and I'll whine about it if I want to
(I wasn't whining...I was jokingly saying it was too small)
The idea of 11 people in a trailer living under military stringency does not sound like a vacation to me. If they're happy with it, more power to them. But that's not for me. A vacation should be FUN. 11 people in a travel trailer for a week does not sound like fun. It does sound like a great movie plot though.

So, in summary: Color me BAD because I'd like to bring my motorcycle and let the kids have a little space of their own. I guess all those people with trailers with slideouts and kid's bunkbeds must be bad too.
- Jim
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:40 AM   #25
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1974 25' Tradewind
1974 27' Overlander
Indiana , Pennsylvania
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Jim I can understand where you are coming from...we started 30 years ago with 3 kids in diapers and a Coleman pop-up. Quickly outgrew that and moved to a bigger pop-up (what were we thinking). As the kids grew and the space shrunk we moved to an Aerolite trailer and then onto a Bounder MH. The Harley sits at home. We still have the Bounder for those long trips but several years ago I picked up my first Airstream. The really cool thing is that our kids are now 21, 25, and 28 and they still want to camp with Mom and Dad. We look back on all rainy days stuck inside a pop-up and laugh at the camping memories. Now we find ourselves (less kids) enjoying the Airstream. There is nothing wrong with choosing the trailer that works for you and your family...after all, the time spent with your family is priceless!

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Old 08-11-2012, 09:36 AM   #26
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I don't think anyone has brought out the flame thrower. What you posted really was a question that only you can answer. It all comes down to what your preferences are. We all look at a "vacation" differently and when you mention "camping" there are a zillion different takes on that as well.

We raised our two daughters as we camped in a pop up. We hung out at state parks and almost never had hook ups. We live in the pacific northwest (not Seattle) and deal very little with rain. When we did get caught it was usually family games and or reading that helped us pass the time. When we went camping, we made it a point to enjoy the out of doors. Bringing toys or homey things along was something we worked hard at avoiding. Of course those were the good old days before everyone was attached to a cell phone.

My brother bought a toy hauler so he could travel with his Harley. Well, he has done that only a couple of times in the last 5 years. What he has is a very large box that weighs a great deal that gives him a lot of room when he camps. He also gets about 8 mpg pulling the thing but on those few occasions when he needs to stay inside, he does have lots of room.

I like my Airstream for a number of reasons. First of all, I do believe that they are built better in general than your typical big box trailer and will last longer with appropriate care. I also am a little bit green and would feel even worse towing a big box behind me as I travel the highways. I simply could not pull one of those huge 5ers that you see everywhere. But, this is my own personal position and I do not think it should apply to everyone. I also question those who go "camping" and expect to have all the amenities of home when doing so. Big screen televisions, washers and dryers, and fireplaces are now common in trailers. I also do not have lots of money so I try to make choices that I can afford in the long run. When people see the Airstream they think that I must be rich. Quite the opposite for me. I really do believe that I will save money in the long run by keeping my trailer for a long time.

Full timing is another issue and I understand that this is something different from camping. So, we all have our own standards and make decisions based on those. My advice would be for you to do what you want. Get the 5er if it fits your needs. You will be happier in the long run. There is absolutely nothing wrong with fifth wheel trailers, they are just something that I am not interested in. No flames, just my honest opinion that applies only to me.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #27
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Placerville , California
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Trust me...'Lego man' will grow out of that phase sooner than you know. Hang in there a bit. Wait until he discovers girls.....he won't even want to be SEEN with his parents let alone legos. I'm a great granddad....been there, done....

Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

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1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #28
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New Market , Alabama
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One should try backpacking and see how little you can get by with and then any camper is big.


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