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Old 04-10-2016, 03:15 PM   #1
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Widebody Worries

Hi all,

Sorry if this topic has been discussed before, but I couldn't drag up anything with search.

I'm looking at a new Airstream, but am hesitant to embrace the widebody design. Our previous Airstream (95 21') was 8' wide. We didn't have much trouble towing it, other than rear visibility. Our tow vehicle was a Jeep Grand Cherokee, so it was a pretty narrow vehicle.

This time around, I figured we would go with a Pickup with proper towing mirrors for the tow vehicle. Even so, adding 5.5" to the width of the trailer seems like it will bring up the same visibility problems, with the additional potential for making it difficult to navigate narrow roads. We like to venture off of the interstate system. :-) Our current 8' 3" motorhome seems pretty tight when we get off the beaten path. I'm worried that it is more difficult to "internalize" where the sides of the trailer are, when compared to a motorhome.

For what it's worth, we'd probably be looking at a 25', possibly a 27'.

So, I'm wondering if folks that own widebodies find them easy to live with. Are they a problem? If so, what are the struggles.

Thanks in advance,
Ken
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:19 PM   #2
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I had no problem going from a 7.5 foot wide trailer to an 8.5 foot wide body. It was a non-event.
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:26 PM   #3
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I don't think you'll notice much difference towing on open roads, even twisty ones, but you might in certain campgrounds. With my 23', 8' wide Flying Cloud, I've had some nervous moments jockeying around trees conveniently planted at the apex of hairpin turns, backing in or pulling out of tight spaces walled by paint scratching shrubbery or boulders, etc. Just limits your options in certain places, just like I limit mine when compared with a 16 footer.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:45 PM   #4
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Reflective snow markers placed inside the rear bumper and stick out so you see them in your mirrors works well at night too.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:59 PM   #5
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It's never been an issue for us, although we don't go off the beaten track. You get used to the width quite quickly.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:05 PM   #6
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We've had both, neither have great rear visibility but you get familiar it with experience. I think you'll notice a greater difference in maneuverability of the Airstream caused by a longer wheelbase pickup than your short wheelbase GC.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:33 PM   #7
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Welcome M3kend. It's exciting to plan your new Airstream. The wide body gives more interior room. The new trailers are very well designed. You're going to love it.

Some folks use these wireless rear view cameras and have good luck with them. Use the google search feature in Air Forums and you might find some information on them. I think soon our "rear view mirror" will be nothing more than a display screen showing the rear camera view of where you have been.

It might be the view directly behind the trailer is the least important consideration while towing. The following drivers are responsible for not plowing into your trailer if you have to make a quick stop. And use a spotter when backing into a campsite.

David
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:41 PM   #8
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On some of the lanes we drive on in the UK, the Mercedes E320 station wagon has both side mirrors in the weeds. A Trailer would be scratched down both sides.
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:57 PM   #9
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I had three narrow trailer before I had my first wide body. I have had three wide bodie trailers since. To me, the additional width has no negative affect on the way it tows.
However, the addition interior space seems huge.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
On some of the lanes we drive on in the UK, the Mercedes E320 station wagon has both side mirrors in the weeds. A Trailer would be scratched down both sides.
Driving in Devon last year and I think our 28' Airstream would not only have touched both hedges at once but wouldn't have gone around some of the corners!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kl3606gz7i..._9220.JPG?dl=0
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:48 PM   #11
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In the US, going from 96" to 102" is pretty much a non event.


Superat stultitia.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:08 AM   #12
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In Devon, the challenge is on one of those very narrow lanes with both mirrors touching the hedges and a farm tractor pops out of the hedge headed in your direction with manure spreader on behind the tractor. Guess who has to back up to the first available opening.....

The only time things get a little intense for me with the wide body Classic is in the narrow lanes of construction zones with concrete barriers on each side. Sometimes the 25 mph posted speed limit seems too fast.....

The narrow body 23D is non-event behind the Mercedes with auxiliary mirrors. Even with the tow mirrors flipped wide on the Ram 2500HD, the view does not include the rear of the trailer. There is a significant blind spot with both trailers that gets filled by the rear view wireless camera system on each unit.
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:09 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for the input. It sounds like I should put my worries to rest.

Cheers,
Ken
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