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Old 03-26-2015, 10:15 PM   #15
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 539
Couple of things to consider :

The airstream has a wide entry door , a flat floor , only 2 steps from the ground.

Fifth wheel has multiple steps to enter and multiple steps to the bathroom and bedroom.

Something to ponder as you age.

Glen & Jane 1969 Airstream 25' Trade Wind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe
2001 Casita 13' Patriot Deluxe
2004 Chevy SSR+ 4 other trailers & 6 other Cars & Trucks
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:29 PM   #16
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 539
BTW the 2016 Airstreams are rumored to have ducted a/c but unlike this years model the end caps will be the same height as the ducted portion, eliminating the bulge on the roof and returning the smooth lines of the classic Airstream.

Glen & Jane 1969 Airstream 25' Trade Wind
2014 Toyota Tundra
1998 Chevy Tahoe
2001 Casita 13' Patriot Deluxe
2004 Chevy SSR+ 4 other trailers & 6 other Cars & Trucks
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:41 PM   #17
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
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I'd get a fifth wheel now with the idea to sell upon retirement and downsize to a Airstream.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:21 PM   #18
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2005 30' Land Yacht 30 SL
Castro Valley , California
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Posts: 332
Try and find a 30' slide and check it out. It will be sized similar to our moho on the inside. Also, there are other critical designs that you both need to decide on. For instance, a queen-size (minimum) bed with walk-around capability was one of our "must-have" features, and some galley issues because we cook together.

A/S owners have all these great rallies and is a pretty great support group, so that is useful for first-timers like you and me. I have a few more years of full-time employment and only about five years of local camping so far, so we have similar plans for the future.

I like kscherzi's suggestion above, but more critical is who and how you will drive whatever it is: my wife is not real comfortable driving the moho with the toad behind so we may be changing in a few years. This may take some trial and error, so be patient and fins some local rallies and talk to people.
Cliff & Andrea,
2 cats, but they stay home
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:15 AM   #19
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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It depends on why you go camping. If you plan on spending 90% of your time enjoying the stuff to do where you are camping then what you stay in is not that important. If you are going to spend most of your time inside then why camp at all? I would camp to hike, bike, and take photos. If you want to stay inside and watch TV then get a 5th wheel and keep it in the driveway or just stay home. Airstreams are best when on the move. They have a low center of gravity and lower drag. They can also last decades if taken care of. Most of your white box trailers will last about 10 yrs unless you spend a lot of time sealing them up or keep them covered. The white boxes have wood walls that rot when exposed to water and then there is nothing left of them to restore. Anything with pop outs can fail in the open position and then you are stranded till you can get it to retract. Pop outs also tend to be leak points which accelerates deterioration of the structure. I grew up in FL watch all sorts of RV's and boats rot.

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Old 03-27-2015, 09:21 AM   #20
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2000 19' Bambi
mt. Prospect , Illinois
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Buy used, ask her to give the Airstream a try. If it doesn't work, you can sell it and move to a 5. That's an idea, but if she's already made up her mind......
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:23 AM   #21
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1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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Silver Fifth Wheel

You could always split the difference and get one of these.

Silver Avion Fifth Wheel. Silver aluminum just like their travel trailers, but in a fifth wheel configuration with a slide out. There are a couple folks on this forum that have them. A really neat rig. They didn't build many of them though, and I believe for only one or two years.

We have a 34' Avion triple axle travel trailer that is fairly roomy (it's actually 36' measured bumper to ball). Our family of four plus one dog spent two full weeks in it last summer and we didn't get too cramped up. With just two people, I think you'd be OK. Although, a big 5er would have way more room.

Best of luck,
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:53 AM   #22
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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Go try one of each out and let her do the driving? We like our 31' classic, 6 weeks out at a time, 4500 miles ,and my wife does drive and does very well,you don't need all the extra baggage!
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:58 AM   #23
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2015 23' FB International
Spotsylvania , Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 74
Well, the wife and I started with a 30' trailer, went to a 36' 5th wheel (she needed more space) and now we have a 23' Airstream.

I am retired, the wife has 4 yrs to go.

She was scared to death pulling the 30' trailer and the 36' 5th wheel especially when an 18 wheeler would go flying by. Pulling that 5th wheel down the road was like towing my house behind me and that made me do all the driving.

Since we have gotten the smaller and more aero friendly AS the wife will get behind the wheel of the TV and pull the thing for 5 to 6 hrs and then turn the keys over to me..............which I am really enjoying ;-)

Believe it or not we fit everything into the AS 23FB that was in the 5th wheel except for a 6' long folding table and a gas grill that we use under the awning, those ride in the bed of the truck.

Since she is not retired yet we have been going on 2 week vacations with a Chesapeake Bay Ret. that weighs 90 pounds and we have plenty of space because we really only sleep and she cooks in the trailer.

When the wife is fully retired we plan on spending 6 months in the trailer and 6 months in our retirement digs. Life is good ;-)

If I was going to be living in the AS full time I would probably get a 27'.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:06 AM   #24
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Colorado Springs , Colorado
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I love my Minuet but if full timing I would consider a tow vehicle from this man.
RV Haulers | RV Haulers
and a 5th from these folks.
bring lots of money and be ready to limit where I could go.
Even then selling the Minuet would be very difficult for me to do. It goes places I want to go.
Royce (K0RKK) 146.460 simplex
Web page
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'77' Minuet 6 Metre, behind a 2005 stock Jeep Rubicon with Equa-L-Zer hitch.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:11 AM   #25
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
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That is a Classic dilemma. We had a much larger white box trailer. It was such a headache with repairs that I finally got what I wanted to begin with- the Airstream-
Women will always want more room. Men will always want longevity, dependability, reliability along with style, nostalgia, retro, art deco-
My wife still laments the selling of the larger trailer. I'm so glad that thing's gone to a new owner.
Due to this dilemma, we may never get to full-time in the Airstream, although I could very easily full-time in the Airstream at the drop of a hat. My silver cocoon is my happy place.
2013 Classic 30 Limited
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:27 AM   #26
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2015 25' International
Anacortes WA , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Women will always want more room.
Not really. I had such a good time downsizing that I fantasize about downsizing more. When I unloaded my last rig I was appalled at the amount of "stuff" I had accumulated over the past decade (and lugged around the country).

Smaller is less to clean, easier to drive, and fits in more places.

Consider your destinations...not all of the awesome places that you may want to travel to will accommodate a huge rig.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:33 PM   #27
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2014 22' FB Sport
San Antonio , Texas
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My brother-in-law has a new 5th wheel, three slides, electric fireplace, enormous shower. Going up the steps is like going up a stairway in Amsterdam, very steep. The fit and finish is poor, and I cannot imagine what it will look like in 3-5 years. Oh, it is big, and they have filled it up with crap that is never used. Fondue pot, anyone? He has commented more than once that he wishes they had a group of folks like the Airstream crowd.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:47 PM   #28
3 Rivet Member
Dallas Center , Iowa
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Posts: 127
My guess is that this scenario is a 2 purchase process as your discernment, criteria and intended use will evolve over time. What is important before you buy may ultimately become the reason that you end up selling it. Once the dream and the romance settles, retirement arrives, the practical brain will once again save you. We have owned a 28 and 30 Airstream, then bought a 35-ft Montana 5th wheel with 3 bump-outs thinking that was the solution. Sold it and went back to an AS 25 Classic. The marriage was the same in all of them and I would suggest it will be the same for you as well. There is a widely known rule when camping and that is "no complaining". I am sure there is some sort of wise quote I should offer here but cannot for the life of me remember one. Consider the functionality of the space, the need at the time as opposed to the size; you will find this to be true. The 5th has way more storage and floor space, no question. However, when working for the next 2 years will it get down to working on the table space, for example the dinette or foldout tables? Well, that space is nearly the same in all of them. If you are looking for more breathing room and a bit of space between, go outside and work on the picnic table in your campsite from time to time. Go to a coffee shop if there is one. Get a nice quiet Honda generator and make your space bigger when needed. My vote would be an Airstream but that is just my opinion.

If you go 5th wheel you will need a 3/4 or 1-ton diesel. Not the case with an Airstream. Heck, buy a 2nd house somewhere and sell it when you retire; you just might make a few bucks.

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