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Old 03-27-2015, 01:06 PM   #29
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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Airstream or 5th. My marriage depends on it.

How much space do two people really need?

I am content in my little 31 ft narrow body.... If I cant fit it in without crowding, I don't need it...

Less space, less crap that does not get used, more space, more crap that just sits there... Just sayin...

1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 03-27-2015, 01:07 PM   #30
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1994 21' Sovereign
The high country. Black Mountain range. , North Carolina
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It is a personal decision. Our experience was growing up backpacking, tent camping, small camper, large 30' SOB. Same with boats; from canoe, to john boat to rather large outboard. We are fine now with our 21' Sovereign and a canoe. Our Airstream is a traveling base camp for our other pursuits and when we need to hunker down we have no problem. As others have said, if we were using our camper as a destination home we would have gone another route. We prefer to travel, stay a few days or couple of weeks and move to our next adventure. Again, that is just us, everyone has their own preferences. We also have a little flat screen TV while many others enjoy a large television with entertainment center etc.. It is all good. Enjoy!

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Old 03-27-2015, 01:17 PM   #31
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Apache Junction , Arizona
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Started with a 2013 25FB International Serenity purchased while out of the country (bad decision). After the first trip I knew I had made a BIG mistake. If I had initially acquired a 27FB International Serenity, we might still have it. But we then ordered a 27FB Classic and then realized that at the time of order, the uncharge to the Classic 31 was just over $3,000 whereas an intermediate stop at the 27FB would costs tens of thousands later to upgrade.

We are very pleased with our 2014 Classic which has been heavily modified to our needs along with a customized Dodge Ram 2500HD with Cummins power plant. We see it as just sleeping two, us. We like the really neat folks in the Airstream family we have met at rallies and on off road camp sites. It is all great.

I can safely get on a relatively short ladder to wipe the dust off the eight solar panels on the roof of our Airstream. That would not be the case with a fifth wheel unit.

There is much less to go wrong with a simpler trailer. We fortunately have a 2014 Classic with no power anything unlike the 2015 model (or push outs). We have space in the bedroom with twin beds for a person to sit and read, we have a dinette for eating and computer systems as well as built-in tables in front of the sofa to do paper work on when necessary.

The best advice above has been to rent one of each type for a relatively short trip and see which one rings the bells.

Good luck doing the research. My wife is over joyed with our existing unit so all is well in our world.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:13 PM   #32
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2015 16' Sport
Oakville , Ontario
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Originally Posted by Bluestar99 View Post
If you want to be happy, do what she wants. Reason and logical thought should not be part of the equation.

You know the old saying, If Momma ain't happy, then no one is happy.
It's a cute saying but I don't buy it. If momma ain't gonna be happy, she ain't gonna be happy anyways. And now you're both unhappy in an ugly box with a rubber roof. (which she'll probably blame you for knuckling under and buying anyways)

If marriage means doing *whatever* wife wants ... "Reason and Logical thought" be damned. Or your needs and wants and dreams be damned, or it's doomed,. Then you park that marriage outside and I'll die alone with my cats.

Keeping an open mind, maybe OP wifey actually has a point about space for home based business and all. Rent ? Get a park model ? I hate 5th wheels though.
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Old 03-27-2015, 02:56 PM   #33
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1984 31' Excella
Olsburg , Kansas
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for what its worth

I haven't read all of the posts to your question. I have spoken with several couples over the years that had bought 5th wheelers and returned to a Airstream. I don't remember all of their reasons. Most were because of the size of the trailer and weight. One of the posts did mention the slide out that was made only a few years. Some friends found one this past year and lover it. As you are aware of your tow vehicle is another quandry as you know.

Where will you be camping, remember big rigs can't go everywhere and neither do certain lengths of AS's. The slide out my friends found was 31 feet long. My wife and I have a 31 foot. We have towed in some pretty high winds and the trailer never felt like tipping over and swayed very little side to side. These winds were directly to the side of the vehicle and trailer. I am inpressed. The fifth wheel is a box on wheels. I use to tow an box race trailer with a dually. I never liked pullling in a side wind which is the case with my Airstream.

I am guessing you have already looked at both styles of trailers. See if you can find the slide out AS to look at.

No matter what you choose it is as always a decision that you will not make lightly. Enjoy what you purchase and camp well and long.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:49 PM   #34
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2014 28' International
San Jose , California
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We are full time in a 28 AS International and are happy, happy, happy. There are 3 of us --- him, me, and the 92 lb German Shepherd. I am part-time self employed and do the work at the dinette or on the bed ... or outside. We came close to a bigger unit but decided what we really wanted was the Ram EcoDiesel with great mileage. With a shell on the bed, we find we have plenty of room and storage. We even carry a propane fire pit.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:49 PM   #35
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Terra Alta , West Virginia
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After a few bumper boxes, then two Holiday Rambler 5ers (they were great quality and construction) now it's a 31 AS classic and we love it. We have had a diesel for years but pulling the 5th wheel was like pulling a parachute and low limbs were worrisome. Had the last 5th wheel for 12 years but as we begin to travel more, the Airstream is so easy and simple and we don't need all that room. Even putting the hitch in the bed was a pain . Nice to have the bed space. The low easy entry is another real pleasure with the AS. Fuel mileage is also much better. We love it and that comes after 40+ years of trying all types of campers. You just might have to do trial and error. We just are happy we found our home before retirement. Hope you find the right fit and have a wonderful time and enjoy the good council of these great forum folks.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:03 PM   #36
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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I never thought the fifth wheels were very attractive. I don't like all the steps to get in the house and then more steps to get into the bathroom or bedroom.
Having said that, the Redwood and Mobile Suites fifth wheels are very good quality construction.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:46 PM   #37
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Seattle , USA
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Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
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.

That's what we're waiting for. We love the new Classic but are concerned about leaks with the hump roof. We were told in Tampa by an Airstream representative that the hump would be removed and I started a thread when we were wondering if we should buy now or wait for the new models without the hump. We have decided to wait, but my thread was deleted for some reason without warning. I never did get an answer as to why.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:01 PM   #38
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The expression is, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Nuf said.
Marty Womer
Saco, Maine
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:16 AM   #39
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League City , Texas
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As the wife in a marital team that grappled with a similar question, my best advice on issues such as this is to just feel free to experiment. I think the mistake some married couples make is that they get deadlocked in their viewpoints, much of the time without any actual experience to support those viewpoints. Even if you have to buy and sell a trailer or two before you achieve what is right for you, what is the harm on the scale of a lifetime? You may lose a few bucks, but you'll save a marriage, and divorce is a hell of a lot more expensive than any trailer cost differentials.

In our case, I wanted an Airstream trailer and my husband wanted a motorhome. The obvious compromise for us was the Airstream Interstate, but initially I was extremely reluctant to even consider it because of the high-end cost and logistical burden of having yet another complex vehicle needing full maintenance (trailers are simpler with less to go wrong and no internal combustion engines, halleluja).

We chose to give the Interstate a try, but in part to reduce our financial risk, we bought an older model, so our realistic worst-case scenario if it proved to be the wrong choice was perhaps a loss of around eight grand (I assumed we'd lose several thousand on a re-sale plus we'd effectively also lose the sales tax we paid, which was no small number even on a used Interstate).

The potential loss of about eight grand would be nothing to sneeze at, but sometimes you need to take calculated risks like that in order to move forward on an issue. Call it a tuition down payment in the school of real life, perhaps.

Our case had a happy ending as we ended up concluding that the Interstate we bought was the right choice for us, but I was prepared to forfeit eight grand if that's what it took to confirm the answer to this tricky compromise.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:47 AM   #40
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
New Bern , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by Wycolo View Post
Please offer up any marriage advice you can. My wife and I plan to start the RV life in 2 years. We will not retire for another five years but instead continue to work while in the RV. We both work just need internet connection to do our jobs. We will keep our home and travel in the RV approximately 6 months out of the year.
Now here is where we need marital advice. I want us to get a 25’-30’ Airstream and she wants us in a 5th wheel. Main thing she is stuck on is the desire of more living/working space. I get it the 5th wheel is big!
My thoughts are since we are getting the RV before retirement and continuing to use it for many years into retirement, I want one that will handle years of use. Also I don’t want to have a RV that starts to look out of style in a few years.
How can I sway her that an Airstream is smaller but better? I’ve tried telling her she looks skinnier in an Airstream but not sure she’s buying that logic.
I think you are both correct. My wife wanted to downsize from a 37ft 5th wheel to a 27ft AS. I wanted to keep the 5er. Her argument was (1) the AS would hold its value better than the 5er . (2) less "stuff" to break down and repair/replace. (3) easier to maneuver in and out of campsites.

I still miss all the room and comfort we had in the 5er but I also see and agree with my wife's points.

Good luck with what ever you get.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:06 AM   #41
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Oakville , Ontario
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Originally Posted by MaineStreamer View Post
The expression is, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Nuf said.
Repeating it doesn't make it true.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:48 AM   #42
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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As a former sailboat liveaboard, I ask the question I always ask regarding this issue: What are you gonna do with all that space?? I mean, really. When we're talking about "space," in an RV, are we talking about storage space? Or seating space? Or sleeping space? The way it looks to me, it ends up being *floor* space. What are you gonna use all that floor space for? Plan on entertaining a dozen people, with room to dance? Maybe six or eight for dinner?

I know there have been a few women chiming in here on this issue, and I commend you for your sensible responses. But, with the risk of sounding a bit sexist, I think 5th wheels were designed for women. "Honey, if you want me to go camping with you, I won't go unless I have a double sink, huge fridge, full size bathroom, and a walk-in closet."

As a former liveaboard, retired marine surveyor and former yacht broker, I know a truism: "The man decides to buy a boat. The wife decides which one." He wants a simple sportfishing boat, she gets an aft cabin motor yacht with all the amenities. It's no different in the RV world.

Well, I say Phooey. Who needs all that floor space? It gives you the illusion of roominess, but at a price I'm not willing to pay (not dollar price, but frustration price.)

Appeal to her sense of style. The Airstream will win every time. My lovely spouse has a great sense of style. We love our AS. I'm a double-lucky guy.

Like the tortoise, travelin' slow with the house on our back
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