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Old 03-05-2015, 11:01 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1987 34' Limited
New Orleans (for now) , Everywhere
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 6
Your Opinion On a 34' Airstream

Hello! We in search of an Airstream to travel in full-time and had a few questions. This weekend we are going to check out a 34' trailer for sale and were looking for advice on a trailer that size.

We have been looking into 30'-31' models and have found a seemingly perfect 34' recently that has got us thinking. My partner needs a large enough work space for 2 big monitors and we would also like the luxury of being able to have a dining area completely separate from her work space.

Now our concern is, mainly, that we are inexperienced with towing and wanting to hear any opinions on traveling in a trailer that large. Do you all think going with a 30'-31' now while we are getting used to towing will only have us wishing we would have gone a bit bigger later? Have any of you had any trouble with an extra 3' or is it nearly the same?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

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Old 03-06-2015, 03:10 AM   #2
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1993 34' Excella
York , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,247
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Going down the road, they all look the same in the rear view mirror.

The 34 tows beautifully.

2 extra brakes for stopping

2 extra axles/tires to share the load

2 more tires, brakes, axles to maintain but well worth it for their added benefits.

You will love the 34. And if you buy it, and then don't like it, there will be folks that will want it and you will likely get all your money back.

WBCCI #3892
Region 3 , 1st VP

Go often to the house of a friend, for weeds choke the unused path........Emerson

Never pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight he will just kill you........a wise old man.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:28 AM   #3
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1999 34' Excella
NE Central , Kansas
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 319
I agree, the 34 tows like a dream. I've never had an issue, and was a total newb when I bought mine. The '34 is possibly the most stable platform in the Airstream fleet.

You can use the dinette for two large monitors, or the fold out table by the sofa, depending on your 34's configuration. Works for me, anyway, when I need to change from one space to the other.
AIR 57698, TAC NM-9.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:27 AM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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We have a 26, a 31 and a 34. For full timing the 34 would be useful, but would limit you on the places you can stay. It is more of a apartment on wheels. Great for Snowbird retreats to Florida for the winter. Not so good moving every day in the mountains. A real problem getting in and out of little streets in New England that were built in colonial times. Some Federal Forest campgrounds have limits on length.
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:13 AM   #5
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
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I wish I had a 34.
For the extra room and larger wardrobe you can't beat a 34'.
The Long, Long (Beautiful) Trailer-
2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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1987 25' Sovereign
Oregon , Ohio
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The only thing I can see with a 34 is if it has horizontal propane bottles. I have heard that the horizontal bottles are no longer made should they need replacement.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:01 PM   #7
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1999 28' Excella
New Orleans , Louisiana
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We are full-timers in a 28'. As stated before it will limit where you can stay. Would be nice to have the extra room but I do not like the limitations in traveling all year..just me!
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:36 PM   #8
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Having owned both 30' (three 30'& one 31') and 34', I like the 34' better overall. Though, at an earlier time I would have advised the other way.

The additional living and storage space in them is why I like the 34 better.
There is not a lot of difference in the way they feel while towing, though I think the 34 rides slightly better. The 30' would porpoise (harmonic up/down motion due to road conditions) more readily than the 34. There's not enough difference in the tongue weight of a 30 to 34 of the same year model to require a larger tow vehicle. Though, there are substantial gross weight differences between newer and older year models that you might need a 3/4 ton rather than 1/2 ton tow vehicle. I find the 34 is easier to control when backing up than the 30, though the 34 needs more space to turn and backup. Some people have reported not being able to find long enough campsites, but I have not found that to be true where I have been. My 34 is actually 34'-11" rear bumper to front coupler.

The down side of a 34':
2 extra tires to maintain
2 extra brakes to maintain
2 extra sets of bearings to maintain
1 extra axel to maintaining
Tires have more tendency to slide sideways when turning sharply.
Maneuverability in turns when in downtown narrow lane situations due to the extra length.

The down side of a 30':
Less living space and storage.
The tires, wheel, axel assemblies bear a heavier load per axle compared to the same year model 34' trailer. There is more stress/load on each.
2014 Silverado 1500 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:36 PM   #9
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2004 34' Classic S/O
Pahrump , Nevada
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Thumbs up

We have a 34' SOL and it is great. It has been towed to Alaska as well as all over the west coast. Our configuration has the computer desk and credenza in the front end that worked well for me. Unfortunately age and medical conditions have made us start getting it ready to sell. I will really miss it after 11 years of full timing use.

Dick & Carole Martin
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:45 PM   #10
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1995 33' Land Yacht
Tempe , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Long Boats

I own a 33' Land Yacht Motor Home. "I need forty acres just to turn that bus around." I would assume that will also be true of a long trailer. If you are not certified to drive a semi-truck or City bus, You will be Kicking yourself in the head." If plan on driving down your back 18' back alley and parking it in a fenced backyard will never be able to maintain enough fence/gate clearance to clear the gate, even if it is 30 feet wide. If you are planning to park it at a storage facility for the winter then go for the gold. Lonnie:
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:49 PM   #11
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1995 33' Land Yacht
Tempe , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 35
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Check it out.

When I bought my Land Yacht I discovered the engine wasn't acting correctly, someone had turned the computerized mileage back so it read 33,000 miles, and all most every thing had gone to pot. Before you buy have a mechanic check out.
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:15 PM   #12
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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Nothing to say about the size itself. I know my dealer notes that the triple axles really make this a nice towing trailer. Previous posts have noted the expense of having 3 axles to maintain. Tire loads as noted are less than many of us have to deal with our tandem axles.

A couple of things to look out for. Some of the 90's era 34 foot models had head ceiling liner adhesive issues which lead to the liner detaching itself in various locations. Check this out carefully when inspecting a used trailer and look for bubbles or other signs of the ceiling detaching. Also note that Airstream equipped some 34' foot models with a single 13,500 BTU air conditioner. This is woefully inadequate. You need as a minimum a 15,000 BTU unit or ideally two AC units. If you have 2 units you will need 50 amp power or you will only be able to run one unit at a time. Some owners added the extra air conditioner but are limited to 30 amp service which means running one at a time.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:17 PM   #13
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
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See our 34' in my avatar. Love it.
Yes, bigger, more space and it is 6" wider than some as it is a "wide body" a full 8' 6" on outside. That means 6" more inside... Huge diff in "long term" use.

I have diesel 2500 (3/4 ton) and it manages well.

Peace and blessings...
Channing and Phyllis.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:04 PM   #14
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 389
You did not indicate what you are planning to use as a tow vehicle. That said, we went from a 28' to a 30' (actually 3' feet more) and the difference in that length to us, is amazing. I can imagine a 34' would add a good deal more comfort. We did find however that we had to trade our 3/4 ton Suburban for a Silverado 2500 HD Duramax to handle the extra weight. Though the 8,800 lb GW of the Airstream fell well within the the capacity of the Suburban, we found that it really struggled. So, my only suggestion is that you consider any limitations you might have or experience with your tow vehicle in terms of what you buy in an Airstream. Good luck!

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