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Old 11-01-2015, 09:41 AM   #1
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Does size matter?

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.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:51 AM   #2
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For a Subaru Tribeca with a tow rating of only 2,000 pounds, I'd go with a Casita or get a tow vehicle with more capacity.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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the tow rating is 3500lbs. The tribeca would do the 16 sport just fine. Depending how seriously you take those ''tow rating'' it would most likely do the 22sport decently also if setup properly by someone like Can-Am

But everyone as a different opinion on tow vehicle..... I have own subaru all my life and now a F150 ecoboost. What i can say is the best tow vehicle i have own was the subaru WRX. while the rating wasnt there...i was a monster tow machine that performed amazingly.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:28 AM   #4
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For a Subaru Tribeca with a tow rating of only 2,000 pounds, I'd go with a Casita or get a tow vehicle with more capacity.
Actually, they have not been making the TriBeCa since 2014 but are coming out again in late 2016-2017 and they will tow 4500#. My. Heart is set on AS more then the towing vehicle however.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:33 AM   #5
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I have an Outback now which I love but I assumed the insurance would be invalidated if the tow rating is exceeded. Outback has 3000# limit and the 16' is posted at 3500#.
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
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Just curious, what did u tow with WRX?
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Old 11-01-2015, 10:58 AM   #7
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Your tow vehicle not with standing, there are a couple of issues you should be aware of. A 16' Airstream has a wet bath. This is where the toilet is in the shower, so to speak. We have a wet bath in our truck camper and can speak from experience. I would not care to use a wet bath while full timing; it would get old pretty quick.

Also, a 16' Airstream has a single waste tank (Black and gray combined). I would also find this problematic for extended Airstream excursions.

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Old 11-01-2015, 11:44 AM   #8
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My question to you would be what is your camping background and philosophy. Have you done a lot backpacking or car tent camping? Do you take a minimalist approach to traveling and pack light? Do you see yourself as camping or do you want to watch TV and sit inside a lot? We got our Sport 16 in January and just returned from a two week trip in a National Forest which brought us up to 87 nights in the camper. We think it is a perfect fit for us. Right size for two people. So far the combined waste tank has not been a limitation at all. However we do not put any solids in it. If we use the shower it is outside. 85% of the time we stay where showers and flush toilets are provided. 99% of the time there will be water and toilets at least
I guess what I am saying is we see ourselves as campers rather than RVers and our trips tend to be two to six weeks in duration. The idea of hauling around a bunch of stuff we would rarely if ever use does not appeal to us.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:19 PM   #9
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the tow rating is 3500lbs. The tribeca would do the 16 sport just fine. Depending how seriously you take those ''tow rating''.

Tribeca
2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006: 3500lbs with auxiliary transmission cooler. Otherwise 2000lbs.
Hard towing (hot, uphill, no trailer brakes, no trans cooler) 1000lbs

http://www.cars101.com/towing.html
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:24 PM   #10
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Actually, they have not been making the TriBeCa since 2014 but are coming out again in late 2016-2017 and they will tow 4500#. My. Heart is set on AS more then the towing vehicle however.

There you go ... get the new one and a tiny AS (if a wet bath is acceptable).
Some will claim that tow ratings are relative. I prefer to err on the side of safety as I no longer get paid vast sums of money for pushing the limits, nor is the cleanup crew there any more.
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Old 11-01-2015, 02:52 PM   #11
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Agree that a lot depends upon your camping style. We spent 7 happy years with a 16' Bambi, and never felt cramped. We did have to pay attention to the diagnostics on the waste and fresh water tanks, but this wasn't any kind of limitation. When Bambi the First had to be replaced due to an accident, we decided on the 19' Flying Cloud due to its "dry bath" and slightly bigger kitchen: it also comes with more storage space. Now we're very happy with it.

So many people on this site urge newcomers to go for a larger AS, and yes-- they are so much more roomy and luxurious inside. But we find "small is beautiful" for the type of mountain and desert camping we like to do: often in old public campgrounds designed long ago for shorter camping rigs. Recently we just got one of the last sites available in Capitol Reef National Park's campground, and spent a wonderful 5 days camping there, and we would have totally missed out with a longer trailer.

On the choice of tow vehicle, if you drive much in the mountains it's not great to be under-powered. Your vehicle will probably be packing a lot of gear, besides. We towed our 16-footer with a Toyota Tacoma and it was fine, but we felt it on the up-hills. Our 19-footer weighs 4500 lbs, and we are happy with our V-8 Toyota Tundra, which handles the big passes like a breeze. The big advantage of a truck with a cap (canopy) on the back end is room for all kinds of luggage and camping gear. A lot of people also like the added stability of a longer wheel base.

This site may be of interest: http://www.canamrv.ca/towing/
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:59 PM   #12
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Some will claim that tow ratings are relative.
Part of that is because there is more than one "rating" for any given vehicle, and dealers will always tell you the highest one even if you'll never be able to achieve it in real life.

1 - Hitch receiver capacity.
2 - GVWR. When you add the weight of the vehicle, occupants, gear, and trailer tongue, you can't exceed the vehicle's GVWR.
3 - Rear Axle Weight rating. When you add the weight of all the gear plus the trailer tongue weight, you can't exceed the RAWR. This is probably the real limiting factor for most tow vehicles. You'll generally never reach the GVWR because the front axle won't be fully loaded, and GVWR = RAWR and FAWR.
4 - Gross Combined Weight Rating. The actual weight of the trailer plus the actual weight of the fully loaded tow vehicle can't exceed the GCWR.
5 - Drivetrain. Rated towing capacities are based on pool-table-flat terrain. If you tow in mountains, the engine's ability to claw its way up a slope, and/or the brakes' ability to stop you on a downslope can be the limiting factors, and these are never quantified in some manual; you have to learn by experimentation what your vehicle can actually handle.

When you compute towing capacity these many ways, the LOWEST one is the one you're stuck with.
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Old 11-01-2015, 06:02 PM   #13
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If you "have your doubts" after looking one over, then I don't think you ought to buy it. I can't imagine someone who starts out with a trailer they think might be too small becoming happier with it as they use it. There are no doubt people who love their 16' AS, some of whom have already responded to your post, but there are many more people who have found their first trailer to be too cramped and bought a larger one later.


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Old 11-01-2015, 07:09 PM   #14
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Your camping style will dictate your needs. But try to be honest with yourself, especially if full timing. We have several friends who have 16s and love them for their style of camping. But they do mostly shorter trips, not full timing. I'd at least look at 19' for 1 person and your dog. 3' adds more than you might guess. You can still tow it with a light truck or SUV. We have a 19' and tow with an 07 Tacoma. We are not full timing and find this size perfect for us and how/ where we camp. Look at them in person before you decide. And good luck! (And have fun!)
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