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Old 09-30-2004, 11:06 AM   #1
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newbie needs advice

Hello,
My family and I have been camping in a popup for about one year. Wife, me and a 2 1/2 year old. We camp at least one weekend out of every month in remote locations with no power or water hookups. I am tired of setting up the popup and am set on placing an order for an Airstream. I am torn between the 19' and the 16'.

I am leaning towards the 16' mainly because the shorter length would be easier to back into tight areas. But having only one battery concerns me. Also, the wife likes the idea of the shower in the 19. WHat do you pro's think? also, how would you outfit the trailer? Solar?, Safari or ccd? I live in Georgia, any ideas on a good dealer close to me?

Any advice is much appreciated!

thanks,
Chip
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipw
Hello,
My family and I have been camping in a popup for about one year. Wife, me and a 2 1/2 year old. We camp at least one weekend out of every month in remote locations with no power or water hookups. I am tired of setting up the popup and am set on placing an order for an Airstream. I am torn between the 19' and the 16'.

I am leaning towards the 16' mainly because the shorter length would be easier to back into tight areas. But having only one battery concerns me. Also, the wife likes the idea of the shower in the 19. WHat do you pro's think? also, how would you outfit the trailer? Solar?, Safari or ccd? I live in Georgia, any ideas on a good dealer close to me?

Any advice is much appreciated!

thanks,
Chip
Greetings Chip,
I recommend the larger trailer, especially with a child. 3ft can make a world of difference on a rainy day, plus the extra storage will come in handy.
As for CCD or Safari, it's a matter of taste. I would much prefer the CCD for it's clean lines and uncluttered appearance, others like the warmer feel of the interior of the Safari models. I believe the CCD's would age more gracefully, as there are less foam and plastic materials inside, as in headliners etc.
Safaris, however, cost less.
Both would be easy to pull and park, with the 19 having larger waste tank capacities.
Definitely visit a dealer and spend some time in each of the models. Aslo, go to www.airstream.com for a dealer locator, and additional information.
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:49 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums. We also made the change from tent or rented pop-up to an A/S. We have an Argosy that is about 20 feet long and we have a 16 year old son...

Expect your Airstream to be a lifetime purchase. Get the bigger one. Your adorable 2 year old will get bigger and so will his/her stuff! What part of the 16 foot trailer will your child sleep in when 9 years old and with a friend in tow? (Consider a spare tent around this age)
You will appreciate the extra space when you are trailer bound during crumby weather.

We have a shower that has never been used but if we were traveling w/ a little kid it would have been used long ago - dirt happens. In the meantime we store all kinds of big stuff in the shower space - guitars, lawn chairs and most importantly, the table - when not in use. The extra few feet have not been an issue in tight camp sites. We have parked it in tent sites at national parks without trouble. Have fun shopping!
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:58 AM   #4
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The only dealer in Ga is off of I-20 just west of Atlanta off the Thornton rd exit (i believe 46 or so). It is approx. 2 miles North of the Interstate on the left called Atlanta Auto Brokers in Lithia Springs...I just bought from them. They were good to deal with...Their phone number is 770 745 1115. I believe they still have some 04's in stock that might be reduced in price.

Scott
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply's!
one other question. The dinette on the bambies does convert into a bed right? what if you went with the sofa option(rather than the dinette) does it pull out into a bed?
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Old 09-30-2004, 12:26 PM   #6
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In addition to Atlanta Auto Brokers, the next closest is probably Dandy RV Sales in Birmingham. The seem to have a more complete service center. AAB seems to be primarily a high end luxury used car dealer. While I know nothing about them, you might also consider Middle Tennessee Airstream in Cookeville, TN.

If you plan to purchase a new trailer, I would contact all three, tell them what you want and get prices from all three. It wouldn't hurt to let them know you are price shopping to get competative prices. It appears a good deal on a new Airstream should be about 12-15% below list. Financing is available through a variety of sources including through Thor Industries (parent company of Airstream) for 10-12 years. The interest on the loan is deductable in most cases because the TT qualifies as a second residence under the mobile home rules because it has a bathroom, a kitchen, and sleeping accomodations.

I would recommend the longer trailer for the reasons recommeded earlier, plus, believe it or not, the longer trailer will actually be easier to back than the shorter trailer. Especially with your wife spotting for you. This knowledge comes from my Dad who had way more experience with RV's, boat trailers and other trailers than I have.
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipw
.... WHat do you pro's think? also, how would you outfit the trailer? Solar?, Safari or ccd? I live in Georgia, any ideas on a good dealer close to me? ...Any advice is much appreciated!

Chip:

Welcome to the Forum:

For what it's worth, there will be a Forum gathering in Cloudland Canyon Oct. 22-24. An "Open House" walkthrough for participating trailers and Motor Homes is loosly scheduled for "noonish" on Saturday, the 23td. You and the family are most welcome to attend and get a "feel" of the units and ask questions of the owners. There will be older and newer, and larger and smaller trailers there - along with some good folks.

See this thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=12091

Also, you may want to do a search for "WBCCI", a popular but admittedly "older" group who regularly get together for camping rallies. The WBCCI people, for the most part, are also prone to be happy to share their tales of what is "right" and "not right" about various AS models - it may give you some valuable "Sunscreen" prior to visiting the glitz and glitter of a showroom full of "new" units.
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Old 09-30-2004, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipw
... But having only one battery concerns me...
Don't let 'one battery' get you down - You can add another. Although I have room inside my Overlander for another battery, I figure that if I needed yet another, I would simply buy a female 7-pin connector, wire it to the battery, and feed the power through the tow vehicle umbilical leaving the battery outside the trailer.

While the length of the trailer will be determined by your current sentiment & what size of tow vehicle you don't mind driving, if you plan on more children, I highly recommend you consider the longer Airstreams.

Tom
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Old 09-30-2004, 03:35 PM   #9
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I would also recommend a larger trailer if you have a child. You might even have more in the future, so having plenty of space on rainy days will provide a more tranquil environment for all. Plan ahead because an Airstream is a big investment. Trading up as your family grows will cost you alot of extra money compared to getting it right the first time! I have a 22' CCD for me, my wife and the 2 daughters (ages 12 and 9). I looked at the 16 and 19' models and ruled them out quickly for my family. When the kids are grown and on their own, my wife and I will have even more room! Just make sure that if you opt for the larger trailer that you make sure you have a tow vehicle that can adequately pull it in the mountains.

The 19' CCD only has the dinette/bed option. The 19' Safari model offers the optional sofa/fold out sleeper bed. This is great for watching TV on top of the 4CuFt. refrigerator. The 19 CCD and Safari use 2 Gr. 24 batteries which are adequate for short "Boondocking" trips. If you live in Georgia, I'd rule out the solar, unless you camp in wide open spaces with lots of direct sunlight. I'd recommend a small quiet generator like a Honda EU-1000 0r EU-2000 to recharge your batteries.

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Old 09-30-2004, 03:48 PM   #10
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BTW, we are planning the purchase of our first travel trailer, too. We have decided on an Airstream Safari 30' because of the bunk beds. We have two young boys, currently 4 & 7, and don't want the hastle of making a bed every night and un-making it every morning...that's not how we want to spend our vacations. We also want them to have their own beds when they get older. We also want the option of one or maybe two of their friends coming along for a week end when they get older. On those occassions making the dinnet into a bed won't be such a biggie. Also, the dinnets and gouchos usually are at best 3/4 beds not real doubles.

I currently have a Ford F-150 and it will be time to replace it next year. That is what I am waiting on as far as ordering my AS. I have decided to bite the bullet and get the F-250 crew cab in 2006 with the powerstroke diesel so there will be plenty of towing power.

I know for this size of trailer, even an Airstream, will require a sway system of some sort. I am leaning toward a Hensley. It is expensive, but I haven't heard anyone say they thought it was waisted money. I will be the sole driver of this rig and as our children get older, we will take longer trips out west to such destinations as Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Red Rock, Rockies, West Coast, etc. A lot of time for me behind the wheel so I want it to be as easy and as little stress by the end of the day as possible so I can enjoy the vacation, too. Unlike my wife who is a teacher, I will have to return to work at the end of the vacation without a vacation from the vacation to rest up! So for me, it will be worth it.

If anyone out there thinks there is a better alternative or better value, please let me know.

What about the Reese dual cam? Others?

Equilizers? Do either of the named hitches have equilizers built in or are they additions to the hitch? If additions, what is the best brand to get for either of the mentioned hitching systems? Anybody know anything about the "Air Hitch"? Saw it at the RV show in So. Atlanta last week end. Didn't have a chance to ask questions but it looked like more for 5th wheels and commercial rigs.
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:00 PM   #11
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I agree. With your family, I would clearly go the 19' unit. We had the 19' with just the two of us and our pooch. It had enough room, but we got sick of kicking the dog dish and wanted a bit more closet space and went with the 25' after the 19'. I would say 19' is as small as you want to go. The 16' is a very nice unit, don't get me wrong. Keep in mind that 16' and 19' are from the tip of the hitch to the end of the bumper. The actual interior space is about 3' less. So a 19' actually has approx 16' of interior space. The 16', approx 13'. The 25' unit about 22' of interior space. Doesn't sound like much, until you have to stay in on a rainy day.

Be it a Safari or CCD, that is a personal pref. I like both. The CCD does cost more and to some it's hard to justify, but both are very nice. We like having the actual dual kitchen sink, one of the perks of a non CCD. However the windows in the CCD are far better and you get wrap around windows and vista views with the CCD. The 19' (CCD or not) will have dual batts and a non wetbath shower, which we also liked in both our 19' and our 25' unit. I do not think the 19' CCD gets vista view window though, but don't quote me on that one.

One last thing to consider is your tow vehicle. If that can tow about 5000lbs (weight of the 19' units) you are in good shape, if not, you will need to evaluate your tow vehicle ability and make some choices.
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Old 09-30-2004, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I will be the sole driver of this rig...
Your wife should at least know how to hook-up and tow by herself, in case of an emergency.

"Can you do it if you have to?"

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Old 09-30-2004, 06:14 PM   #13
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My two cents

Not a lot to add, but I also bought from A.A.B., and they were easy to deal with. I actually bought from their lot. I was surprised at how many trailers they had in stock. I fell in love with the CCD. Check it out.
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by InsideOut
Your wife should at least know how to hook-up and tow by herself, in case of an emergency.

"Can you do it if you have to?"

Shari
I plan on making sure she can drive it at least on the interstate or in emergencies. But I have ridden with her in her Expedition and trust me, I'll do all of the driving!

I taught her to drive a stick when we both had Honda Civics just in case of an emergency. The only difference between our cars was her's was an auto and mine was a manual. On her final, and I mean final lesson, we would have wound up out in front of an on-coming car if I hadn't grabbed the emergency brake. I guess that's why it's called an emergency brake and not a parking brake! BTW, she bakes with her left foot. So you can visualize what happened with her feet.
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