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Old 06-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #15
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1953 25' Cruiser
Hamilton , Texas
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55neal I wouldn't worry too much about the 24' limit in some older state and federal parks for two reasons. 1) Unlike most trailer manufacturers, Airstream measures their trailers from trailer ball to rear bumper. Most others measure just the box or living area. Therefore a 30' Airstream becomes a 27' when measured against most other brands; a 25' becomes a 22', etc. 2) You will always be able to find a private park nearby to an attraction you want to see. Yosemite comes to mind as do the Redwoods.

We have the 30' and have used it extensively putting on tens of thousands of miles each year. Last year we toured throughout western Canada and the US. Only one time in all those years and all those miles were we unable to find a site for our 30'. In Washington State near Mt. Ranier we pulled through a US Forest Service campground set among giant trees and decided it was just too close for comfort. Our solution was to drive four more miles into town and stay there in a private campground with all amenities for not much more money @ $20/night. We then went back and toured Mt. Ranier the next day leaving our Airstream in town. If we don't have problems with a trailer much longer than you are considering, I don't feel you will have those problems to the extent you fear. Granted, didfferent people use their trailers differently, but that is our experience.

As to tow trucks, here is a little different perspective. I've ranched all my life. We currently own four trucks that we use daily in our operation. A 1960 1 ton, a 1971 three quarter, a 1996 1 ton and a 2004 3/4 ton. We've owned all these trucks since new. We tow a variety of trailers with these trucks from feed wagons to hay and livestock trailers, to our Airstream. Over the years we've owned half, 3/4 ton and one ton trucks. The half ton trucks don't stay around. We wear them out in short order. They don't have the brakes, bearings, transmissions, radiator capacity, etc. to handle working for us, but primarily they don't comfortably handle the towing chores we subject them to daily. For example, front end alignment is a constant issue with the half tons traveling our dirt roads while we have a complete absence of this issue with the bigger trucks. Tires are another issue. The half ton tires are constantly being replaced often at less than 10,000 miles in our conditions while the heavier tires of the bigger trucks routinely get 40,000 plus miles under the same conditions.

There is little question that you can safely tow a 25' with a half ton especially with the Hensley hitch you are considering, (By the way I love the Hensley. It is the best money I've ever spent.) but if as you state, you want to keep any purchase long term and not trade every few years, the heavier trucks are the answer from that perspective. The added bonus is that you don't have to then worry so much about carrying too much "stuff" around with you like you would with the half ton rigs and that will become an issue when you start full timing. You will accumulate a variety of items that are just nice to have with you. With the larger capacity trucks, it won't be such an issue and your towing experience will be the best it can be.

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Old 06-20-2008, 08:59 AM   #16
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We recently traded from a 30 foot SOB to our 25 SS Safari because it was more suitable for my DW and I, and our teenage kids decided they'd rather stay home with their friends than go camping with us old geezers! But we still bought the SS (Six Sleeper which really means it will sleep 4) for when the kids do want to come along.

We thought we were being smart at the time (last October) buying a smaller, more aerodynamic trailer easily towed by a half-ton (in fact I'm planning on trading to a V6 ASAP), but given the recent explosion in the cost of fuel I'm beginning to wonder if the 25 footer will be the largest TT we own from here on out.

But at this point I all I know is that we would not consider anything less than 25 feet. Maybe the 30 footer spoiled us, but we think a sofa and dinette is essential even when it's just the two of us, and its certainly nice to be able to sleep 4 in relative comfort when needed.

Besides there's really not that much difference between towing a 20 foot or 25 foot anyway.


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Old 06-20-2008, 09:11 AM   #17
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In a real hurry, we have a 28, a 08 f150, towed twice across the country and just an incredible experience. Please review all of my past postings. The 28 is a perfect balance of size and weight. You will never regret it. Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2008, 09:32 AM   #18
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Hi Neal,

I own a 2008 F150 and, although it is a great truck and most comfortable I have ever owned, I would have to say that it is not the best choice for any trailer over about 22'. The reason is that the largest engine you can get (at least through the 2008 model year) is the 5.4l and it just doesn't have the torque or horsepower to pull a trailer that size with any degree of comfort (peace of mind) for the driver. For a 28' trailer I would suggest moving up to a 3/4 ton with a minimum of a 6.0l engine and 4.10 rear end.

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Old 06-20-2008, 10:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by 55neal View Post
Lynn, I have heard occasionally about such limits. How often do you find this? Not that it matters much, even the 25’ that I like would exceed their 24’ limit. Bummer for sure.
Well, it's basically a function of how far off the main highway you want to travel, as far as I can tell. For example, we enjoy tooting around the four-corners area and always try to look carefully at ruins of the Ancestral Pueblans. Ok, so if you go to Mesa Verde or some such, you'll have no trouble at all. These are very popular places, and site sizes will swallow you whole. Then try someplace like Navajo National Monument: It's not far off the beaten track (all paved road, but about 8 or 10 miles off the main highway) and has exactly one site that will fit our rig. Since reservations are not possible, it's a crap shoot. But then try Hovenweek National Monument: All paved highway, but a good deal further off any main highway, and, whack!, nothing but really small sites, way too little for a 30' rig.

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Old 06-20-2008, 12:10 PM   #20
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Neal, Sandi and I wish you all the best to keeping a clean bill of health and many, many years on the road with family and friends. My Dad beat colan cancer and lung cancer and he still is on my case everyday! Living proof that cancer can be beat with the right doctors and most importantly the right state of mind. What can you tow with what...... a subject well beaten here on the forum as noted by my fellow members on your thread. The one thing that always continues to amaze me is that while everyone is crunching numbers, stats and he said she saids there is always one large factor missing in everyones math. Cargo & passengers. If you read the very fine print on all the truck specs thier towing numbers are based on only the driver of the truck. Their numbers do not include any passengers or cargo in the truck. You will be amazed at the amount of junk you end up with in just your truck. Then on top of all that add what you have placed into your Airstream. I don't know about most people but our Safari is always packed and ready to travel in a moments notice, so you can only imagine what is in there. Now I am not a number freak only a safe Airstreamer.... I suggest that everyone should take their rig to a truck scale someday while on the road. You will be amazed at the weight you actually have combined. It's simple to do and is a real eye-opener! In the last three years we have traveled over 13K pulling with a Tahoe with the heavy duty towing package (current truck the second one). We are boarderline and that's with only a 22' AS. Next year we will be trading up to a crew cab Silverado Duramax.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:05 AM   #21
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Thank-you everyone for your replies.
2air, am I blaming my ‘need’ for a bigger trailer on my defenseless grand-kids? I deny! No way! Not me! OK, but I really do love the 20’ SE, and I think as a hermit I could live happily in it forever, but I’m not a hermit. I do like visitors, friends and family alike. And Mike, my son, is right, I do need to make it not just possible, but comfortable and even attractive for them to do so.
I have read enough now that I have no fear of using an F150 for pulling any of the trailers I am considering. The decision now, I think, is between the 25’ and the 28’.
As to the issue of the lav sink, well, with my family (Mom = nurse, older sister = nurse, older brother = doctor) my upbringing bordered on the paranoic with regard to germs, especially after using the toilet. I can’t see being comfortable opening and closing a door before washing my hands. I know, not normal, but then again I have only rarely been accused of being normal. Actually, would a normal person even consider living in an aluminum tube? Anyway, no big deal, as you say, many floor plans with sink+toilet together.
ZarZac; holy moly, are the hitches really that heavy??? Now I understand what everyone is saying about payload capacity. I was thinking what’s the big deal, hitch weight is at most 1000# even with full tanks of propane and a bunch of heavy stuff at the front of the trailer. Now I get it. Thanks.
Gstephens; I clearly understand the value of a heavier duty truck. I would prefer an F250 regardless of tow capacity, simply more longevity and durability from any perspective. It is a matter of cost. For a few grand more, sure. For ten grand more, stretching it. But good grief! The reality is that, for any real difference in capacity, the difference is more like $17 - 20K. Not sticker price, real price. The F150s are heavily (!) discounted, the F250/350s much less so. I have set myself a budget, not cast in stone, but still a guideline I would prefer to adhere to, and if I’m going to stretch that budget, I would prefer it to be because of the trailer’s cost, not the truck’s. I will be living in the trailer, the truck is merely a tool to me. Having said that, if I do decide to special order an F250, I will need to wait a couple of months for the ‘09s to come online. At this time, I can neither order an ’08 nor an ’09. And there are nothing but 4X4, which I don’t want or need, Crew Cab, which is OK, diesel, which is a whole other discussion. I could also step down to a regular cab and save a bunch, and it would become affordable. So I have not ruled out a heavier truck altogether.
I may need to special order the trailer too because I don’t really care to have audio/video packages in it, I rarely watch television and have all the music and radio stations I want on my computer. If I special order one, I may just special order both, and end up with exactly what I want.
Safari28; well that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?
Lynn; I think that campsites are pretty much a crapshoot from some perspective. Hookups? Wifi? Size/length? Road in? Trees? Pool? The list goes on, for some longer than others. Probably best to get a decent guidebook, read the blogs and websites of fellow travelers and have some fun figuring out the next day’s destination!
To Rick and Sandi and others who have sent messages of support with regard to my history with cancer; thank-you! I am beginning to feel a part of this ‘aluminum village’, scattered throughout the continent as it is, and look forward to sharing my journey in the months and years to come. And to any other cancer survivors, and any still in the battle, you are not alone. Share the load, PM me freely if you need to vent.
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Old 06-21-2008, 03:43 AM   #22
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What a great attitude..maybe you do over think a bit (don't most of us), but no matter what AS you end up with, you have the makings of a very good Airstreamer. I will offer no advice on the selection due to my bias which is only being subdued due to the late hour...see you on the road!

Travel is in my blood, adventure is my passport, aluminum is my favorite construction medium, and therefore, an Airstream was my destiny.
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:54 AM   #23
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Question Tow vehicle & Trailer matching?

My wife and I are currently looking for the right tow vehicle for a soon to be purchased 25' Safari SE. Each dealer gives a different story. One won't sell me a half ton as it is much too light weight, the next says that the half ton is perfect. The issue, once we get past the towing abilities which many 1/2 ton models will handle, is the truck's capacity. It seems that the 1/2 ton trucks, even the ones with the greatest capacity, don't have much left over for weight in the truck. As someone just mentioned, pounds in the truck add up fast. We did a little math and found that even the GMC and Chevy maximum trailering package with the 6.0 V8 and a 3.73 rear will easily pull the trailer, but leaves only approximately 300 lbs for available cargo. Remember the number starts higher, but after you remove the pounds for tongue weight of #720, two adults and the basics, I only can put about 300 lbs in the back of the truck. I think that seems way too little for generators, grill, chairs, table, etc. Even the 3/4 ton only adds 500 lbs for thousands of dollars more.

We want to do this right. Help!
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:57 AM   #24
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It sounds lke your on the right track, I would really suggest looking at the 28, lots more room and having a isolated shower really helps in the morning.I work out of mine when on the west coast and every little bit helps.

Another suggestion is looking for a 2-4 year old unit that has seen little use. We found our 04 with one local trip by a paranoid doctor that only towed a wagon behind his trike as a kid. I bought it for over 50% less than he paid new and have done nothing major to it. Yes, some little problems but none more than couple of hundred bucks, and less troubles than some new units. Huge savings and most of the depreciation is gone.

I have stopped trying to justify my 08 150. I would never want a 250 series, and if needed one would go with a diesel bus instead. The new series 150 set up for towing is a great balancing act of engineering. Perfect, no, but I leased it and now thinking of buying it. That should speak volumes for you. Good luck and I put my rig away for the summer for boating and she comes out in sept for 2 trips to the west coast through march. keep in touch.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:25 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by me4us View Post
My wife and I are currently looking for the right tow vehicle for a soon to be purchased 25' Safari SE. Each dealer gives a different story. I think that seems way too little for generators, grill, chairs, table, etc. Even the 3/4 ton only adds 500 lbs for thousands of dollars more.

We want to do this right. Help!
Maybe it's time to lighten the load or re think the packing process.

We load very little in our vehicle and load all our stuff in the trailer in the location of the axles where the weight is handled best. This works great for us and allows us to tow with a smaller, fuel efficient vehicle.

Note.. in our case we buy fire wood at the camp ground and have no need for a heavy gererator.
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:28 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by GStephens View Post
As to tow trucks, here is a little different perspective. I've ranched all my life. We currently own four trucks that we use daily in our operation. GStephens
Gs... Here is an interesting article about your State and the delay of the new F150 launch date. Ford's F-150 cutback hits heart of Texas | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News
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Old 06-21-2008, 12:35 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by 55neal View Post
The decision now, I think, is between the 25’ and the 28’...
IF that is the choice now, i'd go with the 25...

imo the 28 is the odd duckling size on 2 axles and would only consider a rear bed/front door version.

25s offer the best 'bridge between the baby trailer and the fatboy units...

then look for a 2005-2007 f-250 for towing...

the used prices on these babies are VERY appealing right now, if shopping tow vehicles.

(for example my 05 250 with >60,000 miles towing can be had for mid 20s and need NOTHING done to it...

since the fords have great receivers and mirrors and built IN brake controllers,

and correctly wired 4 and 7 pin connectors, and so on...

AND with a 250 at hand u will NOT be limited IF u decide on a bigger 'stream next year or the year after...

u are right about the wimpy payload issues and the phony 'towing capacity' inflation on many half-ton things...

the newest ford 150s have a pretty good capacity, BUT ford is delaying release of the new models AT LEAST 2 MONTHS...

since dealer inventory of 08s is 2-3 times higher than ideal or typical...

it will take more effort to find a small cab version of the 250, but they are out there, if u really want one.

but bear in mind my view is tainted, traveling SOLO in a 34 footer and the long, long truck...

and the combo is not ONE FOOT too much space, EVER!

so another issues are how far, how often and carrying how much stuff will your rv adventures take you?

if u mostly camp within 3-5 hours (one day) of home,

the needs can be very different than going on a 4+ week trip or traveling 200+ days a year...

Originally Posted by me4us View Post
...We want to do this right. Help!
hi me and welcome to the forums!!!

what is 'right' isn't always obvious or the same for all...

know thy self and know your needs when working out the right stuff.

there are MANY examples of folks here who have used baby trucks and then moved to 3/4 or 1 ton versions...

virtually EVERYONE that does confirms the improved towing, space, capacity, up hill oomph, and so on...

IF buying your first trailer and ALREADY looking at 25s as the minimum size, get a 3/4 ton or larger beast...

because it is very likely the 25 will be 'just 2 feet small' very soon...

trading UP in trailer size gets VERY EXPENSIVE if you need to trade the tv too...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #28

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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Back In The Dark Ages

Just an observation.

We started Stream'n back in 1988.

Just joined the Forums last June. readreadreadread, learned a lot.

Boy, I can't believe how many things we done rong back then. I guess it

was just common sense that got us thru the next 20yrs.

But ya' know what, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

What's important..........GET STREAM'N!!

Enjoy the trip.


“After all these years the reason I continue to love Thanksgiving.....I still sit at the kids table.”

Sandra wanted to go to Cleveland on vacation,
but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland.
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