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Old 01-27-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Joining the airstream family

Hello Everyone, My husband and I are close to buying our first airstream. We have 3 kids... 5 year old twin boys and a 7 year old daughter. Since we are a family of 5 we think we need at least a 25 footer, but wish we could go smaller. We are excited but VERY intimidated at the thought of towing an airstream as we have never towed anything ever! We are wondering ... how difficult is it? So any advice, cautionary tales, or words of wisdom would be most welcome!
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:56 PM   #2
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Hello Everyone, My husband and I are close to buying our first airstream. We have 3 kids... 5 year old twin boys and a 7 year old daughter. Since we are a family of 5 we think we need at least a 25 footer, but wish we could go smaller. We are excited but VERY intimidated at the thought of towing an airstream as we have never towed anything ever! We are wondering ... how difficult is it? So any advice, cautionary tales, or words of wisdom would be most welcome!
Welcome! Airstreams are great to tow and a few basics and you will be ready! Three years ago I was in the same position you are now (minus the children ) and you will do just fine. Just do your homework and ask questions and You will be towing in notime! If you are purchasing from a dealer have them take you on a test drive. Trust me its easier than you think.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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Yep, I agree with blmitch5, the Airstream will behave just fine. I just today helped a buddy set off with his first tow ever, a 27 footer. My advice to him: consentration. Don't let yourself get distracted while hitching/unhitching or navigating the gas stations/parking lots/campgrounds. Crusing down the road with a properly set up Stream is the easy part. It's pulling off the road for whatever reason that the adventures begin.

You'll be fine.

Before long you will be the one giving out advice.

John
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:05 PM   #4
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You'll get to love the towing!

I was a neophyte too, but recently towed the FaN along a narrow mountain road with big wind gusts and a snow flurry at the summit. I hardly knew the trailer was there. The biggest bit of advice I can give you is this: on the open highway/freeway, keep a sensible speed because you will feel the vortex of those eighteen wheelers when they fly by. The Airstream has never started to fishtail, but I did feel it through the steering wheel. Boy, that's when I really hold on tight!
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:22 PM   #5
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Welcome.

Be cautious about buying too small. Most people end up trading UP, more than down. A 25 is a nice trailer for a small family - I would think. If you are thinking small just because you think they might be easier to tow than a 25, that's a kind of false perception. A 25 isn't going to be anymore difficult to tow than a 20.

They tow like a dream. Our 25 was our first big trailer and frankly - like you - we had some concern about the size. But after 3 miles, that went away. If you can drive safely, you can tow. When your trailer is setup right with the correct hitch, it will be no more difficult than driving with a few simple cautions:
-leave extra room between you and the guy in front.
-Your right turns have to be a little wider than normal.
-Invest in superb side mirrors - a good mirror is a must.
-Get a GPS with "lane view" feature. It will make freeway interchanges a breeze

During the two months lag between our decision to buy one, and the actual purchase and pickup, I had plenty of time to sit and worry about whether or not I could tow such a thing. When I think of that now, I kind of laugh. It's really nothing to worry about. You will do fine. A little caution, a little common sense and some safe driving and you are there!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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A 25' will will just fit right now, you will learn to accommodate them as they grow. A great size for vacations and weekends.

Get a quality weight distribution/sway control hitch, properly set up. Don't drive fast (especially downhill), take wide enough turns to clear curbs etc, practice backing up before heading to the campground, allow plenty of braking space in front of you.

Enjoy yourselves, it's the best time of your life.

doug k
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:34 PM   #7
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A 25' will will just fit right now, you will learn to accommodate them as they grow. A great size for vacations and weekends.

Get a quality weight distribution/sway control hitch, properly set up. Don't drive fast (especially downhill), take wide enough turns to clear curbs etc, practice backing up before heading to the campground, allow plenty of braking space in front of you.

Enjoy yourselves, it's the best time of your life.

doug k
A 25 will be fine for about the next 3 years. As children grow up they take more space and don't double up on beds as well. I'd go with the 27 - and I'd seriously think about getting twin beds (Not that you're Desi & Lucy but simply because a twin bed is a good place for the seldom needed time out!. Mom or dad can supervise the activity from across the aisle. If you DO have two that get along - on rainy days a tray table turns the bedroom into a game room.

Snuggling? chloraform the kids and use the dinette bed or ... your imagination.

Paula
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:26 PM   #8
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I thought the dinette-lounge convertible bed furniture was identical on the 25' and 27' ?

doug k
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #9
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I thought the dinette-lounge convertible bed furniture was identical on the 25' and 27' ?

doug k
I think that is right, 66 inch convertible sofa and the same dinette. But don't worry about the kids growing up. By the time the boys are 9 or 10 they will want to sleep in their own pup tent outside anyway. And that is where they belong. My 4 year old grandson loves to sleep outside, as long as his dad or I join him. But I'm too old to sleep on the ground, that is why I bought the trailer.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Get a 30'. I went from a 23 to a 30 and never ever will regret it.

As far as towing, do things slowly. No sudden accelerations, braking or turning. You tow vehicle will thank you for it. Slow down, enjoy the journey. It saves gas and is safer.

Leave room and be aware of all the other idiot drivers. Unless you want everything in the trailer on the floor, leave double the space to stop as you would normaly.

Welcome!
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:35 PM   #11
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Welcome,
There are many great options out there to choose from and as some have mentioned think of what your needs will be 10 years from now and possibly 20. Our five (5) year old son grew to 6'2" by age 16, so they do grow up fast and a smaller Airstream could be out grown pretty quickly. The 25-27 lengths are high in demand, but there can be some great deals out there. It sounds like a few chapters are soon to be written on this new adventure.
Consider your tow vehicle you have right now as well and that can help to decide. Some of the V6 engines in SUV's and PU's have a tow capability of 6000-7500 lbs and that should put you in the ball park allowing you to learn as you use it in safe towing. We are on our first Airstream and fourth tow vehicle and we have owned this for 19 years, and don't regret our initial purchase. Plus it was in great shape and only had two owners with one owning it from 1972-1993. The older ones do weigh slightly less in weight, but may require lots of upgrades, such as new axles, plumbing, wiring so keep that in mind if there is sticker shock on new or even used Airstreams. Repairs can add up quickly and take some of the fun out of Airstreaming, but it also develops many camping stories.
Get a good phone road App for navigation and information and if it says for instance stay off a State road towing or vehicles exceeded a certain length, pay attention to it. There are many applications and still hard copy books out there for fuel, and road restrictions of scenic routes. For refueling, we use the truck stops that allow RV's to fill up or have the RV slots on the outer set of pumps. When you pull into rest stops, "Cars with Trailers" does NOT include towing a 27-31 foot airstream. Use the truck areas, some people may voice another opinion on this, but normally most folks I've seen towing spend no more than 15 minutes there as they want to get to their destination.

Good luck and have fun on your new endeavor.

SL4BLLT
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