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Old 07-20-2010, 07:31 PM   #1
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livonia , New York
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what to buy

The Mrs. and I want to do a 2 month tour of the U.S.A. in a Airstream, never owned a trailer before, budget of up to $14,000, I'am a tall gut 6'4"" so bed is important. What should we buy? length? do we need an inside shower? how difficult to tow? trailer vs. moterhome you drive? what options are essential? what do you do if need repairs on the road? etc. etc. thanks for your imput Dan

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Old 07-20-2010, 07:39 PM   #2
Birdie Momma
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1957 26' Overlander
1956 22' Flying Cloud
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Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
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Posts: 904
can i ask your age? this may be a factor to many people. i am relatively young still (29) so we dont mind stuffing ourselves into a tiny 19ft 1962 globie. we don't have a/c or heat, which may be 'roughing it' for some. we have a vintage awning, which is more time consuming / not as easy to roll out as a zip dee (just finished reading that thread).

on our 1 month road trip in sept, we are towing our trailer and will have to unhook daily for local excursions. compare this to a moho (motorhome) where you might want to tow a small car or can you go visit everywhere you want to see in a big ol bus?

with regard to what options are essential... this is something YOU should decide. are you ok w/ 'roughing it' a bit, or do you need the works?

I personally prefer my own bathroom, which you will find in most trailers.

if you are tall i wouldnt recommend a trailer with only a front gaucho (sofa / pull out bed) because it makes you sleep perpendicular to the trailer, as opposed to something newer like a 70's model with twin beds - then you sleep parallel to the trailer which means more room for tall people.

do you have time to do a reno? are you handy?

maybe an early 90's 28 footer - in the budget and probably less to renovate.. might be more 'cosmetic' stuff.

'57 Overlander | '56 Flying Cloud | '51 Spartanette
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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Browse the archives as these questions have been asked and answered many times

Originally Posted by dross66 View Post
The Mrs. and I want to do a 2 month tour of the U.S.A. in a Airstream, never owned a trailer before, budget of up to $14,000, I'am a tall gut 6'4"" so bed is important.
Your feet are going to hang over the end unless you sleep on the sofa which is longer than the bed in some rigs.

What should we buy? length? do we need an inside shower?
For $14,000 you're looking at used rigs or rentals.

For two people any but the shortest rigs will work. The best thing to do is look at some rigs and imagine living in them. A visit to a dealer helps. Even if they don't have 'streams you can look at other brands and get an idea what it means to be in a 20', 25', 30' trailer.

how difficult to tow?
Easy with the right equipment but you will look like a fool when you try to back up until you've done it a lot.

trailer vs. moterhome you drive?
For a trip like yours you're going to want something to use for local trips without the RV so either way you'll be towing something

what options are essential?
Most 'streams come with everything you actually need as standard equipment. Other brands, you might be missing the awning or the air conditioner or the oven on a rig with no options

what do you do if need repairs on the road?
If something goes wrong with the trailer you take it to somebody who can fix it. There are RV places in major cities that can fix stuff, and most have overnight parking on site. On my trailer there are very few things that can go wrong that will immobilize it completely and most of them I can fix myself.

On the pickup well it's no different than driving across the country in a car. If it dies on the road you call a tow truck and get whoever the local repair guy is to fix it in the morning.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,644
Dan, what do you have to tow with? That will impact how big of a trailer you can get. Also, do you plan to keep the trailer when you're done with the trip, or will you sell it?

To be honest, a big part of me thinks that you should consider other makes of trailers, especially if your main goal is to do this trip simply (with little working on the trailer) and economically and then sell the trailer. (Given your criteria, a Trailmanor folding hard-sided trailer comes to mind - big beds, good resale, easy and light to tow, strong resale - but definitely not sexy, shiny aluminum.)

Mind you, I love our Argosy (a painted Airstream.) But we did a trip similar to yours - 5 weeks cross-country - and it was great to do it in a almost-new trailer (a tiny 2007 T@B teardrop.) Nothing major broke, it was basically ready-to-go upon purchase, and it was fairly easy to resell with little depreciation. Going almost-new was great for an RV newbie like we were at the time.

Back to Airstreams. Your budget means you could indeed find a thoroughly-gone-through vintage trailer that could be little hassle. (An almost-new Airstream will start around $20k.) They're out there, but you need to know what to look for, and you need to be patient enough to find such a trailer.

The bed issue: There are a few options:
- You could get a trailer with a fixed "queen" bed. This will require at least a 25' trailer, given your budget.
- You can get a trailer with a dinette that turns into a bed that spans the entire width of the front of the trailer.
- Or, there are ways to modify floorplans to work to give you what you want. For instance, we looked at a 60s Globetrotter with a fixed bed across the entire front of the trailer.

Hope this helps.

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