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Old 07-05-2003, 08:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Why not a 34' or a 31' ?

Do certain things get a LOT harder at certain lengths?

For instance:

Is backing harder?
Is towing harder?
Is access to certain national parks, etc. harder?

Are heating / cooling harder?

I'm not quite sure how to ask this question... Is there a 'sweetspot' in the longer lengths? Like is 34' just too long for bad roads?

How about asking it this way...

Any significant downsides to jumping from 28' to 31' ?
Any significant downsides to jumping from 31' to 34' ?

just starting to search!
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Old 07-05-2003, 10:07 PM   #2
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Villa Ridge , Missouri
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Location: 1964 24' Tradewind
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As the owners of both a 31' Sovereign and a 24' single-axle Tradewind (and, for a brief time, a 17' Caravel), we have had experience with both sides of the coin.

Our Sovereign is a joy to own and extremely comfortable. In fact, we've often noted that we could live in it comfortably for a period of time if we ever decided to build a house or were caught between houses. We could not say that for the Tradewind. However:
- we wouldn't consider pulling the Sovereign with anything but a 3/4 ton truck or SUV with a long wheelbase - we have a crew cab long bed Ford truck for our primary tow vehicle
- we can't park it in our driveway before trips and have to back it all the way down our dead-end street. It stays in storage except for trips.
- there are several state parks in Missouri at which we can't camp with it due to its length
- everything is a consideration with it - i.e. what gas stations we can use, what exits and streets we can take in larger cities, where we can and can't turn it around
- backing is a learned art and isn't all that bad with the larger trailers. In fact, it can be easier than the short single-axles that are prone to jackknifing
- it's more prone to sway in high winds
- it tends to drag on dips

But the Tradewind:
- fits in the driveway
- isn't even noticeable behind either of our trucks, even the single-cab
- is really easy to back
- fits in nearly any campground, even most state and national (though the cut-off for some is 22 feet)

The bottom line is that a 31' or 34' is manageable with the proper tow vehicle, a good hitch system, and attentive driving combined with practice and experience. But know going into it that there's a tradeoff. For the extra room you get inside (and you'll undoubtedly use that extra room), you'll have to put up with a certain amount of challenges and limitations that you wouldn't have with a smaller trailer. If you're taking shorter trips (less than a week) to state parks, go with the smallest trailer you can live with. If you're taking longer trips or staying in private campgrounds, go with a more comfortable trailer. Just make sure your tow vehicle and hitch system are up to it.

Ben & Molly (but Ben never types, so it's always Molly )
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Old 07-06-2003, 01:39 PM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
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We started big, with a 31' SLY. I tow with a 1 ton (9200 GVW) pickup, with big block gasoline engine. Being a "farm boy" I have no problems backing it in anywhere. Have not been to a campground yet, that it would not fit into. (Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania). Wife likes the large coach. If we ever decide to get something different, it may be a 34' tri-axle.

The tent campers next to us, this weekend, said we had a "Cute little trailer".
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
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