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Old 11-01-2015, 08:45 PM   #15
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Most people always want bigger ,were the opposite we started with a 19 footer and downsized to the 16 footer and were happier , there are more campsites available to smaller trailers , I m a minimalists so I enjoy the smaller trailer, less to wash and wax ,less on insurance ,easier to sell as more vehicles have 3500 lbs tow rating, hold there value more then larger trailers, better fuel economy And as others have said most campgrounds have washrooms and showers, I have used the shower many times in our 16 sport it's functional, the worst thing is the combo grey ,black tank , it can fill quickly if not careful ,we can go four to five days without emptying the tank as long as we're conservative. We love our 16 footer !

Don
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:30 PM   #16
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Buying the right trailer is very rewarding. Buying the wrong trailer can be costly, both financially and emotionally. An opinion from a newbie may be of some value. My opinion is based on 2 weeks of ownership and 2 nights in the AS. The emotions and feelings of the purchase are still strong. After the first night or two out you quickly decide if the decision was the right one. You get an immediate feel of satisfaction or need for more room. I will tell you can not get the real feel for the camper by simply viewing it or sitting in it in a show room. There's some risk if you hadn't had camper experience. We fell in that category. Finding out what you can live with or with out is crucial.

For us it was the bathroom first. Even if I was camping alone, I would not be happy with a wet bath. Although I have spent much time in the wilderness in a tent, I can't imagine spending good money on a travel trailer and not having a stand up shower separate from the toilet. If its on wheels and I'm paying high dollar, I want a few camping luxuries. A well laid out bathroom is one of them.

Secondly, the separate gray water and black water tanks will make things much easier. The more the better. Although emptying the tanks is somewhat easy, it isn't always convenient. Having bigger capacity will be very important , especially if you go a few days with out sewage hook ups.

Thirdly, Storage and walk around room. Not the top on our list but a few extra feet makes a big difference for two or perhaps even one with a pet.

Just as important as anything is the proper tow vehicle/trailer ratio. I strongly advise you don't push a vehicle to its maximum. Adding transmission oilers and after market options can be tricky. Flat travel is entirely different than continuous hills or mountain passes. The wrong tow vehicle can be extremely costly in several ways.

If possible, rent what you think you want to purchase if possible. Your year ahead planning should allow for this. Visit a local airstream club and visit one of there rallies, people love to share information and you'll have a chance to see several airstreams all in one place.

Owning a 16 foot can be as rewarding as owning a 30 foot.
Airstream builds a variety I sizes for a reason, all of us folks have different needs and ideas on what size is best.

Good luck on your adventure.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TexasVine View Post
For us it was the bathroom first. Even if I was camping alone, I would not be happy with a wet bath. Although I have spent much time in the wilderness in a tent, I can't imagine spending good money on a travel trailer and not having a stand up shower separate from the toilet. If its on wheels and I'm paying high dollar, I want a few camping luxuries. A well laid out bathroom is one of them.
A dissenting opinion, if I may… Space is limited in any RV, and especially so in a small one. You spend less time in the bathroom, both toilet and shower, than any other part of the trailer. So it just makes sense for the bathroom to take up the least space practical, so you have more space in the rest of the trailer to use for the things you spend more time doing. A wet bath accomplishes that.
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:56 PM   #18
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We've never full-timed, but we have spent 6 weeks at a stretch in both of our Bambi's. Once you've figured out what features you actually want in a RV, space is a state of mind. Having said that, some people do feel claustrophobic in small spaces, so that could be an issue.

We did use the wet bath in the 16-footer, but usually only on dry sunny days, as the condensation of moisture throughout the little Bambi is an issue. Solution: CG showers. One advantage of the 19-footer is that the separate shower stall doubles as a good place to stash damp items until they can be dried out.

Our real secret to enjoying life in a small unit, though, is to spend most of the time outside. This isn't a problem for the hikers, cyclists, paddlers, birders, &c, who are probably most attracted to the smaller campsites, anyway. Whatever. You get the idea. It's a base camp from which to explore.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:14 AM   #19
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I made this point in another thread but maybe it is relative here. Over the past three months I have been invited to tour three different Airstreams in three different campgrounds. All three had separate shower stalls and all three were being used as storage closets. All the owners said they rarely if ever used them anymore. The reasons were what you might expect...condensation, difficulty getting them dried out completely, in one case a leak, concerns about mold and mildew, and the convenience of campground showers. Now I do really like the outside shower option on our 16 for boondocking situations. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:30 AM   #20
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I am planning one year in advance, newly single lady retiring from Corrections. I have had my heart set on a Sport 16' but after viewing in person rather than brochure I have doubts. I plan to travel the US for 2-3 years then settle near grand children. The closet space is very limited but how much vehicle do I need for one? I will be pulling with a Subaru Tribeca. I do love comfort and plan to bring my dog. Any advice or tips from those with experience is very appreciated.
Welcome to the forum Lule! In addition to the good advice here, you may want to read the 20-footer thread from the beginning, as it deals with many factors you are considering. We just got a Flying Cloud 20' because she has the following features:

-- great corner galley with 2 sinks
-- LP gas oven and cooktop (not micro/convection oven)
-- stall shower in dry bath
-- more counter space for food prep
-- great opening screened windows hinged on top
(Suggest careful research on windows you want)

In my opinion our 20' is a better trailer for our needs than anything longer until you get up into the 25' to 28' range. She condenses the features of my old 25' into an acceptable compromise. The weakest link in the chain is the small front bed, but we have workarounds for this when the two of us travel together, including a desk area and bed in the tow vehicle.

Ditto to others about the smaller trailers being more useful to those who want/can use the outdoors for cooking and relaxing. An early morning cup of coffee prepared outside on a portable butane burner is great!

Good luck in your search!

Peter

20-footer thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...rs-127845.html
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:57 AM   #21
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I made this point in another thread but maybe it is relative here. Over the past three months I have been invited to tour three different Airstreams in three different campgrounds. All three had separate shower stalls and all three were being used as storage closets. All the owners said they rarely if ever used them anymore. The reasons were what you might expect...condensation, difficulty getting them dried out completely, in one case a leak, concerns about mold and mildew, and the convenience of campground showers. Now I do really like the outside shower option on our 16 for boondocking situations. Different strokes for different folks.
I would really be surprised if this was the norm. Traveling six months a year, we put a clothes hamper in the shower and sometimes drinking water bottles when on the road but it's not a storage cabinet. Can't imagine boon docking in the back country, state park or an overnight stop at Walmart without it.

We are at an RV resort right now a wonderful activity facility and showers across the street. We use either spending on what we're doing, but prefer our Airstream shower in our own little house for convenience.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:28 AM   #22
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The best advice a received when buying my first AS was to go one size bigger so I went for the 25' Flying Cloud. I am essentially a full timer and have since moved up to a 30'er. Just more room and comfortable.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:15 AM   #23
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A dissenting opinion, if I may… .
Protagonist, thanks for adding humor to this post
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:53 AM   #24
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I must also disagree with the opinion that Airstreamers never use their shower. We are now approaching 1,700 nights in our Airstreams. SuEllyn and I have never showered, even once, in a campground shower. We always shower in Lucy. That means that we have used our Airstream shower approximately 3,400 times in the last ten years.

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Old 11-02-2015, 12:31 PM   #25
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We travel full time with kids. And we do use the shower as a place to store things, but I can guarantee you that we take stuff out on the regular and use the shower, ALL THE TIME. Although it does make a good broom closet and place to store bottled water and backpacks.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:08 PM   #26
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We use our shower unless we're worried about filling the grey tank too quickly. It's cleaner than most campground showers and more convenient than any of them. We also hang wet towels in there to dry. We run the shower fan as needed, which pulls moisture out of the trailer.

On long trips (such as our 8 week journey earlier this year) we do use campground showers when we find a particularly nice one - once in a while we want the extra space and unlimited hot water.

Oh, and we also store our broom in our shower when neither item is in use.
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:27 PM   #27
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Does size really matter? We started with a 20, now have a 25, it's a trailer-for-two as we use it.

Yesterday we stopped at the local Airstream dealer to look at a new Classic 31 and a Flying Cloud 30. Same space, same shell but $40,000 difference in price.

We loved the Classic for all it's luxuries and comfort but thought the larger FC offered only a little more than what we already have, a foot here and there and a dinette, which we would seldom use because we have a center table and swivel our recliner chairs around to it. Luxuries aside, same with the Classic. Not to mention the $.

And larger trailers not only carry more baggage but they also come with more "baggage". More to squeeze into a nifty camping spot or gas station, can our truck still handle it, can a SUV handle it, can I handle it in later years.

We left the dealership with a renewed satisfaction with what we have. As well as a couple of ideas we may add to our Airstream.

There is a point where size does matter, but it doesn't matter much. Find that sweet spot for you, the first time.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:29 PM   #28
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I must also disagree with the opinion that Airstreamers never use their shower. We are now approaching 1,700 nights in our Airstreams. SuEllyn and I have never showered, even once, in a campground shower. We always shower in Lucy. That means that we have used our Airstream shower approximately 3,400 times in the last ten years.

Brian
I would never use a sample of just three Airstream owners to state or imply, which I don't think I did, that "Airstreamers never use their showers". I suppose my point was that sometimes people, myself included, buy something and later realize it was better as an idea than as a thing.
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