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Old 03-16-2007, 11:23 PM   #1
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Full Time Size

Hey all!

Me and the Boss (aka Wifelette) are curious to know something from any of you Streamers who have either full-timed or gone on trips ofextensive duration.

We were wondering what is the minimum size AS you would consider full-timing in? Keep in mind I'm only talking about two adults here...no kids.

Thanks!

Bill
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:29 PM   #2
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We've done six weeks continuous in our 25' Safari, and never felt cramped. It depends somewhat on how often you plan on moving around. If you are going to go to one place and stay, you might want larger. If you plan to travel a lot, smaller is easier to deal with.
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Old 03-17-2007, 05:35 AM   #3
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WE are still fixing so have not even been able to sleep for one night in ours. But, we down sized from a 40' motorhome - now I am not sorry for that as I could not help with the driving - but I am nervous about the size. We will be leaving in June to Oct. - and will probably move at least 3 times.
We bought a 99, 28ft. It feels like it will be roomy enough but until we use it for that long I have some serious questions.
I know we will miss the under -storage.
I do think however, that the inside has enough storage, although not a lot of 'flat' - no curve storage. As we are still cleaning, fixing I wonder where to put things - like plates, pans, etc.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:04 AM   #4
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I full timed for about five years and it was great. I had a 34' Avion and I can't really imagine doing it in any thing smaller and that was just the dog and me. The really hard thing was only having the essentials with me. I was always acummulating "stuff" I rarely used. I made a rule if I didn't use it at least once a week, get rid of it!
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:11 AM   #5
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Bill -

My wife and I spend about 4 months at a time (summer and fall) in our 30' Airstream. This year will be our 4th.

While we have plenty of room to for all of our stuff, between the trailer and my truck with a cap on the back (and believe me, we do take LOTS with us) we've concluded that there isn't an Airstream travel trailer made that is COMFORTABLE enough for us to spend several or months at a time in. (Before our Airstream, we had 2 other comparably sized SOB's that we did feel comfortable spending several or more months at a time in.)

When I say "comfortable" what I'm referring to are basically two things, and it centers on the interior design and the furniture.

#1 - We have lots of friends who camp, and the interior layout of Airsteams that I've seen aren't particularly conducive to having 4 adults socialize in them. I know others will probably feel different, but that's how my wife and I feel.

#2 - Even though we have customized foot stools made to prop our feet on when we are sitting on the couch at the end of a long day reading, watching TV etc. the couch isn't a very comfortable design, and we never really feel comfortable as we do at home in our chairs/couches that recline with built-in footrests. Many other RV's have reclining chairs or couches that have footrests, but not Airstream as far as I know.

Another factor that may influence how we feel is that my wife and I are both pretty active, and are regularly out and away from our trailer on most days, and when we get back to it after a long day outside, we really need to have a place to just sit back and relax. (For example, I'm often on the Yellowstone River all day, rowing a boat, wading and fishing until dark or later, and after being outside in the sun, wind or whatever, it sure would feel nice to kick my feet up and recline in an easy chair at the end of the day.)

I'm sure there are others who spend more time each year in their Airstreams, and feel perfectly comfortable. So, you should match everyone's comments with your own lifestyles to determine what might best suit you and your wife.

John
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
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Flyfisher, this end of day comfort is one of the issues I am concerned about.
What kind of custom stool have you found? What do you do to deal with this? I know I will miss the recliner and I have to get my feet up.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:35 AM   #7
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I agree with Flyfisher

I agree with Flyfisher's comments. The couch/goucho in an '83 31 is as uncomfortable for me as anything I have ever sat on. Recently we purchased a swivel recliner & ottoman, oh man - comfortable plus. I am considering doing away with the couch and put two of the swivel recliners in but hate to do away with added sleeping space (grandkids still young and would like to take them camping over the next few years). We will give it a trial run this summer May - August cost to coast trip.

I can deal with the long days as long as I have a comfortable place to kick my feet up and relax.
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Old 03-17-2007, 07:46 AM   #8
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A lot comes down to your style. Where do you like to stay? If that answer is state & national parks or nat'l forest campgrounds, traveling in the summer will require more reserving in advance if you have much over 25'. And I read at Forums that state parks in California will give you trouble if you have a 25-footer. Our regional parks have not been able to modernize for extra length if the campground is hemmed in by terrain. See http://www.airforums.com/forum...tes-24793.html.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:23 AM   #9
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Flyfisher, Mac,

Thanks for your input here. My wife and I have not bought yet, and we really like the 28W floorplan. We have looked at the new floorplans like the 28W, 25 and 27 FB models. We feel that the 28W and the 25FB are the best options for us in terms of tow-ability and interior size. The 28W, while big is not a massive 3 axle tow monster, and the 25FB is not too small inside. The 27FB is actually larger and heavier than the 28W, it is also more expensive. So we figured that between the 27FB and the 28W which are similar in size the 28W wins we like it best, and the 25FB is a good second choice for us.

We are both concerned about comfort quality in an AS. Frankly I think the designs of their seating areas is horrible and uncomfortable. Sure it is kind of cool looking in the International models and the Safari SE's and standard Safaris, but I've sat on them and they are flat and broad and the cushioning feels like a cheap piece of foam (probably is). For the money I think these seating areas should be more substantial in quality and comfort.

Canoe,

I believe that even the 28W AS will qualify as a 25' trailer when visiting a national park. AS includes the 3' of hitch in their measurement and the national parks are looking at size of the enclosed area of the trailer and use a measurement standard based on total size minus hitch. Kind of like the way that SOBs are measured. I understand that AS is different in the way it states the measure of its models. So just telling the park ranger that it is a 25' body length should suffice. Yet this is a concern to us since we would definitely visit national parks so we'd want to be absolutely sure about this matter. Although, I would not see us boondocking much, if ever.

Bina,

Maybe for my wife and me the storage issue would not be as much of a problem since we've never had a travel trailer or motorhome of any type.
We won't have the previous experience that you've had with lots of storage and then moving into a smaller unit. For us we won't know any different if we go with the AS from the start.

Basically, my wife and I are people persons and city lovers. I see us in nice RV parks meeting new people and seeing the local sites. We would not be interested in taking a bunch of toys with us like scooters, four-wheelers, etc. Since I doubt we'd boondock a generator is not a need. I can see us having a couple of bicycles with us, a couple of fishing poles and gear. I can see us having a small portable grill, and a few folding chairs, etc. Of course we'd have clothing, and kitchen pots, plates, etc. Am I missing anything else? Don't know for sure, probably am, but I sure do appreciate hearing from all of you with experience in this matter.

I hope to read some more responses from others too.

Thanks so much for the replies so far.

Bill
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:55 AM   #10
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WE bought - at a really good deal - a escalade so we will have storage there but it will not be as easy as pulling out a under slide and having things at your finger tip. I am trying to tell myself that the minor loss of that easy will be made up for with the lack of constant repair and maintaince of a motorhome for my DH.
We have a grill and several chairs that a plan will have to be made for. no easy solution.
I paint so I like my supplies with me for the summer and my husband got into looking for foscils etc. and actually hauled a huge tub of gravel home. Don't think that will happen in the AS.
WE did a lot of boondocking at first in the MH but as time went on it became clear that with the price of fuel, running a generator was far more expensive then plugging into a campsite.
I hate campgrounds with lots of fire pits, as I am allergic to the smoke. With this in mind I don't know if we will be going to a lot of state parks. We have been to some that we will return to as they were wonderful, without all the smoke. With so many parks around size of your AS is really not a issue unless you only want to use state parks.
As was said, it depends on how you will use it and a lot of that will take time and use for you to determine. We do change our minds it seems.
I like the lay out of our 28 ft wide body.
good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
I believe that even the 28W AS will qualify as a 25' trailer when visiting a national park......... So just telling the park ranger that it is a 25' body length should suffice. Yet this is a concern to us since we would definitely visit national parks so we'd want to be absolutely sure about this matter. Although, I would not see us boondocking much, if ever.
Bill
Bill, I think you would live to regret this philosophy. It isnt a matter of where rangers will let you park, it is a matter of where you will fit!


Flyfisher brought up a good point about the interior not always being the most comfortable situation imagineable. Having said that, I prefer to be outside most evenings anyway. Invest in good lawn chairs. Some swear by lafuma, I have a $50 walmart recliner that I hope to buy another copy of this year just to have an extra. To my way of thinking, it is FAR better to have a smaller rig that I can reliably get into the fun places and spend my time outside enjoying what the location has to offer than to get a larger unit with all sorts of features that wont fit where I want to camp. But then again, I guess all those features are nice when you are forced to spend the night in a walmart parking lot because you cant find a campsite that your camper will fit in......

Oh for what it is worth, I full timed from April 1 last year until Feb of this year in my narrow body 24ft Trade Wind. Was it small some days? You bet. On the other hand those days were days I confused it with a house and not a tool to use for enjoying being out there in the woods. If you are worried about comfort, perhaps you would be better off with hotels or renting cabins. Good luck with what ever you decide!
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannastream
Canoe,

I believe that even the 28W AS will qualify as a 25' trailer when visiting a national park. AS includes the 3' of hitch in their measurement and the national parks are looking at size of the enclosed area of the trailer and use a measurement standard based on total size minus hitch. Kind of like the way that SOBs are measured. I understand that AS is different in the way it states the measure of its models. So just telling the park ranger that it is a 25' body length should suffice. Yet this is a concern to us since we would definitely visit national parks so we'd want to be absolutely sure about this matter....
My experience has been that online reservation sites are getting better but that the phone operators often have the best lists of maximum rig length for each site. I don't have a problem with my 46' GMC-Safari rig in listed 40' and 42' sites -- I can make it fit with the trailer wheels backed right up to the limiting back curb. It gets dicey if there is a tree right behind the curb. I feel I can prune the odd intruding branch even though they'd probably prefer I didn't. When unhitched I often will park the truck at a small diagonal so the truck's back corner overlaps with the A-frame or even the corner of the trailer -- but the front corner of the truck is frequently right at the threshold of the campsite. There usually is some overflow parking "down the way" but I've never had to resort to that.
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bina
Flyfisher, this end of day comfort is one of the issues I am concerned about.
What kind of custom stool have you found? What do you do to deal with this? I know I will miss the recliner and I have to get my feet up.
They are (maybe 18"-20" square - I'd have to measure to be sure) and filled with a material like those peanuts that are used for packing, and are very lightweight. My wife made covers for them to match the interior fabrics/colors of our trailer. The covers easily slip off so they can be cleaned as needed. There are also zippers on them so you can get to the peanut-like stuffing material, and I intend to add some more to mine this year -- I like mine a bit harder, and to sit a bit higher, than my wife does. We use these all the time when we're sitting on the couch, but they still aren't quite the same as those Euro chairs, or an extendable Lazy Boy type of footrest, and of course the couch doesn't have a back that reclines.

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Old 03-17-2007, 09:29 AM   #14
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Bill ---Lot's of advice from many points of view found here. What a lot of it boils down to is personal taste and needs. Like I've said in threads before ,if you make the right choise the first time you will be one of the very few! As to full timing: we are fulltiming now in an 06 30' classic. We find it more than enough trailer for just the 2 of us. We will spend 2-6 months at a time in one place each year. We find it a good balance between something that tows well, fits in most national parks, and thought limited in storage it is adquit for us. Unlike flyfisher we do little entertaining and feel like the interior is comfortable. Some of course is expectation. We do not expect to have the same comforts we do at home ,same storage, same space, etc. We didn't enter this blindly having traveled in Rv's trailers Motorcycles all our lives we knew what to expect and are willing to make the sacrifices that come with this life style. Everyone has different ideas of what is "minimum". --pieman
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