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Old 11-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #1
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single mom needs advice

Hi,
I currently own a 17 ft Casita that I tow with my Nissan Xterra. I want to upgrade to an Airstream (my dream camper!!) that is bigger than my Casita. I have had the opportunity to look at a few Airstreams at campgrounds where we have stayed. I love the layout with the couch in front, the full bath in the middle, and the two twin beds in back but that may be too big for me. I need to buy a new vehicle but prefer a small to mid-size SUV. I don't want to have to buy a truck or a huge SUV to tow with. What kind of SUV can I get to tow a small Airstream? Also, I am familar with fiberglass travel trailers but just starting to learn about Airstreams. What type do you recommend for a single mom with a 10 year old daughter? We sometimes like to bring a couple of friends with us.
Thanks in advance for the info and advice.
(Am I on the right forum??)
joy
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:12 PM   #2
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Hi Joy and welcome...

Yes you are on the correct forum. We hope you find the environment welcoming and receive useful information. You will find many experienced members here who will gladly share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences.

In the mean time here is a link to some helpful tips for the site.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...ics-44928.html

Best of luck,

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Old 11-02-2010, 12:16 PM   #3
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Right forum! Look at the Bambi model, they come in 16' and 19' versions. We have a 19' Bambi and love it. It is big enough for 2 large people and a German Shepard, and tows behind my wife's 4Runner.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. A Bambi should be just right for you. IMHO.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Bambis and Sports are doable with a mid size SUV. Do your research. There's an Airstream out there for you.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:06 PM   #6
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If you have a 17 footer then you want to upsize, right? I'd look for something in the
low 20's and vintage(pre 80's) as they are lighter and more likely towable with your Xterra.
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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http://www.colonialairstream.com/airstream-sale/sport/9011/index.html?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4cd06113f35070cf,0
Welcome to Airstreaming !!
Above 22ft Front Bed Bambi sport is new for 2011 with a GVWR of 4500 Lbs. Any Mid size SUV will tow this plus sufficient room for you, your daughter and a friend (you never know ). Check it out if it fits your need & budget ( Like I said, it's going to be available soon according to the dealer)
You might want to keep your Xterra as TV ( provided it's in good mechanical shape) for your new Airstream for a while before you upgrade if need be. It has enough tow capacity ( Xterra Max GCWR is 9658 Lbs with a Max towing capacity of 5000 Lbs). Best wishes.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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Hi Joy,
I originally towed my 27' (vintage) Overlander with my Xterra. Though I never expereinced any difficulties (during my short tows on flat land), I just couldn't shake the unease it caused me by being very close to it's limits. I received varying responses on this site regarding my truck - from "it's okay" to "your crazy" and I finally found a more suitable SUV. I absolutely needed a SUV so that I could accommodate my large dog crates and found a 2000 Yukon XL - a 1/2 ton truck. It does the job but I still feel myself wishing I'd gotten the 3/4 ton!

Do some searches on this site about "what size is right" and you'll see lots of responses. Basically though, it's whatever you're comfortable with! I got a 27 footer and like it fine - though I could have done with less. Easily done with less. It's a dual axle which makes it easier to handle!!!

So, you can probably do a smaller Airstream with your Xterra. But if you're wanting to change it up, the larger trucks (longer wheel base esp) will give you more options.

Good luck on your search. Laura
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
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The 24' Argosy that RicharT has for sale in the classified section looks like a nice one. That should tow OK behind an Xterra. I do not know what the maximum towing capacity of your Xterra is. According to the Nissan website the max towing for a 2011 is 5000#. I also do not know the weight of a 24' Argosy. These are items you would need to know before deciding on a trailer, Joy. One thing which made a big difference in our towing experience was the purchase of a hitch which eliminates sway. The two major choices are the Hensley or the ProPride. Our tow vehicle is a full size truck (2009 F150), but our trailer is also a 34' Airstream. The shorter the wheelbase of the tow vehicle the more you will notice the trailer sway. Especially when you get passed by semi's and other large vehicles. The PP runs around $2500 and the Hensley around $3000. The addition of the hitch made our towing experience much more pleasant. My recommendation is that if you can, factor in a hitch of this type into your total cost. They can also be found used on craigs list and ebay as well as this site occasionally. The ProPride is adjustable to different tow vehicles in case you should decide to change in the future. I hope this helps.

If you are willing to share your budget with the forum, it may help with suggestions. I believe you will find this group very willing to share information and suggestions. Sometimes to the extent that it is overwhelming at times.

Please keep us posted on your progress and decision.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoymccalla View Post
Hi,
I currently own a 17 ft Casita that I tow with my Nissan Xterra. I want to upgrade to an Airstream (my dream camper!!) that is bigger than my Casita. I have had the opportunity to look at a few Airstreams at campgrounds where we have stayed. I love the layout with the couch in front, the full bath in the middle, and the two twin beds in back but that may be too big for me. I need to buy a new vehicle but prefer a small to mid-size SUV. I don't want to have to buy a truck or a huge SUV to tow with. What kind of SUV can I get to tow a small Airstream? Also, I am familar with fiberglass travel trailers but just starting to learn about Airstreams. What type do you recommend for a single mom with a 10 year old daughter? We sometimes like to bring a couple of friends with us.
Thanks in advance for the info and advice.
(Am I on the right forum??)
joy
VW Touareg TDI is a great TV and has LOTS of power etc. Here is a link and you will be suprised how much they can tow.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-er-17371.html

Good luck. I have the 19' Bambi and love the size for trips under two weeks. But a 25 International would be the only move up I would make. It has a great floor plan. Good luck!
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoymccalla View Post
I love the layout with the couch in front, the full bath in the middle, and the two twin beds in back but that may be too big for me.
Trailers (at least that are easy to find) with that floor plan started in the mid-1980s. They at least 25' long and weigh at least 4900 lbs unloaded, so you'd be over the weight of the Xterra, and for that matter, most small or mid-size SUVs. But then again, you said you were going to get a new tow vehicle anyway...

F450Harley had an interesting suggestion - the 22' Sport (the 2011 22' Bambi is a rebadged version of this trailer) can be towed by your Xterra (or other mid-sized tow vehicles with a longer wheelbase like a Ford Flex or Chevy Traverse.) Airstream has been building versions of that trailer since 2008. Since it's their "budget" line, a used one is among the more affordable newer Airstreams.

Otherwise, vintage would save you a bunch of weight. That also sets up the potential for needing to fix lots of stuff, depending on the trailer you buy. Older Airstreams are subject to problems like axles that lose their shock-absorbency ($500-$1000 each) and floors that rot due to leaks (every rivet hole is a potential source of leakage.) There are some advantages to the way your Casita is built...

Hate to say it, but the budget is going to make a big difference here. At least your Casita should have strong resale. Personally, balancing all things out (and there are a pile of ways to go here to balance budget vs. fixing-old-stuff hassle vs. ease-of-smaller-trailer towing vs. floorplan), I'd get something like a Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia/Acura MDX/Nissan Pathfinder and find a used 2007+ Safari 20' trailer.

Tom
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoymccalla View Post
Hi,
I currently own a 17 ft Casita that I tow with my Nissan Xterra. I want to upgrade to an Airstream (my dream camper!!) that is bigger than my Casita. I have had the opportunity to look at a few Airstreams at campgrounds where we have stayed. I love the layout with the couch in front, the full bath in the middle, and the two twin beds in back but that may be too big for me. I need to buy a new vehicle but prefer a small to mid-size SUV. I don't want to have to buy a truck or a huge SUV to tow with. What kind of SUV can I get to tow a small Airstream? Also, I am familar with fiberglass travel trailers but just starting to learn about Airstreams. What type do you recommend for a single mom with a 10 year old daughter? We sometimes like to bring a couple of friends with us.
Thanks in advance for the info and advice.
(Am I on the right forum??)
joy
Funny seeing you here Joy. We met you and your daughter at Wall Doxey a few weeks back. Welcome to the Forums. We aren't far from you and can help if you need it.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:39 PM   #13
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I reread your post , Joy. Originally I missed the part about buying a new tow vehicle. One thing you might consider is something like our 2009 F150. It will tow about any size you may want, it rides better than most cars, and with four doors it is very roomy. We travel as a family of four (children 10, and 12yrs of age) plus a 57# Weimaraner. There is room for five adults comfortably in the truck plus space for gear in the bed.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:48 PM   #14
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Thanks so much for all the info and advice! I am very grateful.
My Casita is a 2007. I haven't posted it for sale yet but I think it will sell pretty quickly. I hope to get $11-12,000 for it so that is my budget. I might be able to add some to that if I absolutely have to. I realize I will have to look at older models to stay in that price range.
I was able to find a table that listed the towing weights of all Airstreams. I'd like to stay at around 5000 lbs so that I can tow with a mid-size SUV. I am considering a Toyota FJ Cruiser (max towing = 5000 lbs) or something similar. My Xterra also tows 5000 lbs but it has 150,000 miles on it. I could consider a Pathfinder (max towing = 6000 lbs) or a 4Runner ( max towing = 7300 lbs) if I need to go up on towing capacicity.
I'm going to continue to research Airstreams for a while before I buy and I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice.
Do y'all think it will be possible to find something in my budget?
Thanks, thanks, and thanks again for the help!
joy
p.s. Hi, my fellow camper from Wall Doxey! You and your friend with the other Airstream were my inspiration to start this process!
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