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Old 04-06-2014, 01:38 PM   #1
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How big do I need to go?

Hi, I'm brand new to travel trailers and have been looking/dreaming of an Airstream for 3 or 4 years now. My family is my wife, myself and two boys that are 10 and 12 but pretty tall. We also have one dog. The only way my wife and I will be happy is if there is enough room for the four of us. I want to go big enough to be comfortable but no larger. What do you recommend for a family of four? Thanks in advance and sorry if this is covered somewhere else.

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Old 04-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #2
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The boys will be adult sized in the blink of an eye.
I think you need at least 27 or 28 feet…. and a tent!

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Old 04-06-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
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When I was a teen I wanted to, and enjoyed sleeping in a pup tent, not a trailer.

There are families on the fiberglass egg forum that are happy fitting into 16' trailers. A little small for most families but it is a personal thing.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:11 PM   #4
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What's your tow vehicle? I sure like my 34 footer (two kids and a dog) and have no interest in going smaller. The triple axles tow like a dream. But, they are tight for state parks that cater to pop up tent campers.

Where do you want to go?

If it's not super tight confines, get a 34 and never look back
- Jim
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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I have a 2014 F350 and am not sure where all we will go, we do have a pretty good sized ranch in northern Colorado where we will spend lots of time but will want to head out to the many great places all over the west, 34 just seems huge!
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:56 PM   #6
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Hello Colohunter:

When my children were young we towed the trailer with a pick-up truck. We invested in a small camper (not cab-over) for their own room. We parked them right next to the trailer and they came and went as needed. It was only a few steps for them to use the trailer facilities. Worked for us.

Enjoy your children!
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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Thanks, good idea, I also like the idea of a tent too as my kids love camping, just trying to make the whole camping experience nicer for my wife. We looked for years at pop ups and thank God I didn't buy one!
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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We have a 30' Classic with a slide out (for sale incidentally in Buda, TX) which has been really nice. My wife and I have used it for the most part by ourselves. You could sleep five - two in the queen bed, two on the fold out couch and one on the dinette (makes a twin bed). Our tow vehicle is a F350. We have a Hensly Hitch included with the trailer. The combination has been very stable. We have enjoyed using it. Good luck finding what will work best for you.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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Everyone's idea of roomy is different. I think that until you go see some trailers at your nearest dealer, you just won't know what will do.

When we bought our mistake trailer (everyone buys one) it was 18 feet, and I assumed it was plenty big. Then we got a 25 AS which I know think of as just big enough.

You know it's just like with homes. Some people do fine with 1200 sf, and some people can't do with less than 5000.

And of course, not to be crass, but it also has a lot to do with money. An extra few feet can cost $50,000. No problem if you got the 50 thou.

Go looking! It's a fun trip all by itself.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:46 PM   #10
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I agree, spend time in all sizes, models, layouts if you can to get a feel for what you and your family think.

There is no singular "answer" as has been highlighted already.

So then you have to sort through all the pluses and minuses of various lengths, models, and layouts.

My kids when we bought ours last year were all but babies, so the option of a tent for their sleeping was not one...but that is a definite possibility at those ages. My first trip to the ocean was to port st. joe FL at age 15 with a friend and his parents...they had like a 20 foot SOB camper and we slept in a tent...they prepared our meals in the camper, we would retreat there to eat...we would use the bath houses....we had a blast and cannot remember caring at all...probably we liked that more because we could talk about whatever without being directly heard by the elders - having said that it did not rain that week much, so we were not stuck inside much at not sure how families in that scenario would cope?

While it is true greater length will cost more for new and new used....once you get down to the early 90's and earlier models, I *think* it starts to not be as important to cost...we started looking at 80's-90's models 34 footers and they were often the same price as some smaller units like 23's or 25's.

There is a very long laundry list of pro's/con's of gretter or lesser length...most of them are pretty, parking, camping spot restrictions, weight and effect of tow vehicle choice, how many it can sleep, how livable it is for longer periods of time if stuck inside of it, manuverability, cost, etc...

Good luck in your search!
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 04-07-2014, 12:51 PM   #11
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A man and his wife have to agree on size. In general, men can get by with less space, but the wife wants more space. I like our 30 just fine, but my wife would feel claustrophobic in a 45' bus with 5 slides.
We live in a small (1,100 sq. ft.) house. I am OK with it. We drive a small car and I don't like it, but I refuse to get rid of it because it is dependable, economical, and most of all, it is paid for.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:56 PM   #12
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M.hony has it so right!
Gotta make the ladies happy cuz if mamma ain't happy ain't nobody happy!
Annie aka the family mamma
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:37 PM   #13
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Speaking from the point-of-view of one of the "little guys": You might also want to consider the size of each trailer's fresh, black and gray water tanks. How long can you go between service points? If you're going to be doing week-long boondocking trips a 16' trailer won't work well. If on the other hand you're usually camping at a park with full facilities, then a 16' would be great if you're kids hung out in a tent. In the event of torrential rains all 5 of you can very snugly fit inside the trailer for a night if absolutely necessary. You'll also save a TON of money that you might use for your kids' college fund and/or retirement.

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