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Old 11-30-2006, 09:01 PM   #1
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1998 30' Limited
garden Ridge , Texas
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airstream newbie needs advice

I am looking to buy my first airstream and I need some advice. I am trying to decide whether to purchase a 31 or a 34 foot classic. I have a new duramax diesel truck to tow with so that is not a real issue. However, some tell me that many national and state parks will not allow a 34 foot trailer. I have also heard that a 34 footer is much easier to tow as it has three axles and is usually more stable. I like the extra room in the 34 but wonder if it might just be too long and difficult to maneuver. I will be looking to buy a used trailer that is a real cream puff in the 1996 to 2000 model year range. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 11-30-2006, 09:13 PM   #2
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Inverness , Florida
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welcome to the forum, many parks don't allow the big ones,call a few and find out what size is allowed.check the classified section here. there are many units. how many are in your family that would warrant a big unit?. there are a few that will ring in soon and help with a few answers. but use the search button at the top of the page. good luck on your pick..

just want to camp happy
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:43 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums. Those with the big guys will chime-in shortly.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:29 PM   #4
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I haven't towed a large A/S, I've towed a double axle 25' Safari and a 21' single axle Globetrotter. Both tow great. From everything I have read here you won't have any problem with towability on either trailer you mentioned. The aerodynamics and the torsion axles will give you a great tow with either.
So the other part of you question becomes more important in my mind. How much room do you need, and will the parks that you want to visit let you in? Some won't, based on size. Some parks wouldn't let either one in, they have a 25' limit, it does vary by park.
For what it's worth,
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:52 AM   #5
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The difference in 31' and 34'10" isn't that much, but certainly enough to exclude the 34 in a few situations where a 31' would fit. From what I've observed, there are state parks where a many of the sites won't handle a trailer much longer than about 26'. They're trying to improve their sites to handle longer trailers, but if we had been buying an Airstream for primarily state park use, I wouldn't have gone larger than a 25' (really almost 26' long).
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:02 AM   #6
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Look at the Trailer length & state park campsites thread. States are tending to make new campground sites much longer, but they don't have many options with established parks. I hear that similar unimproved sites are common out west (California state parks & many older U.S. Nat'l Parks). We camped in one commercial campground this last summer -- no length restriction but packed in like sardines. The amount of campfire smoke was suffocating. Our most memorable this year was camping 5 nights in a small nat'l forest campground. Shorter is more versatile. There is a lot of living space in a 27' FB Airstream...

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Old 12-01-2006, 08:05 AM   #7
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Crawdad, welcome! You could always just get two Airstreams - a 34' and a smaller one, then just take the one that fits the destination best...

Good luck with your search!
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:27 AM   #8
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Crawdad--Welcome to the forums. As to length if you stretch your arms straight out from side to side that is about how much you add to a 31' to make a 34'. While that doesnt seem like much it makes a huge difference when living in one. Thats the up side. The down side is once you get past a 25'-26' trailer the number of sites available in most parks become less, in older Nationional Park Campgrounds significantly so. I would say what your intentions were would be the deciding factor. If you intend to live full time in one you wouldn't want a small trailer just because the are more sites available in Nat Parks. On the other hand if you were just looking for a camper to vacation in you might think more in terms of the places you intended to visit and the availability of sites. As to towing you have a tow vehicle that will work for about anything you choose. This is really good as many folks buy something to fit their tow vehicle only to find it doesn't fit their needs and end up trading tow vehicle and trailers again. Been there done that. Best of luck to you as you decide.---Pieman

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