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Old 03-20-2013, 07:58 AM   #15
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East Falmouth , Massachusetts
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Messages like yours are inspiring and deeply appreciated...thank you! In April, I will be visiting the New Jersey Colonial Airstream dealer that has been given high marks via the Forum. BTW, I have heard of America's Great Loop as one of my close friends talks about doing it all the time. I will post a report after my April visit. In the meantime, thanks again for your kindness. Kristine

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Old 03-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #16
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Fort Worth , Texas
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I don't think anyone is better at matching up the best TV for a given trailer than Andrew Thomson of CAN AM RV in London, ON. Looks to be about 650-miles. They keep demonstrators of different vehicles matched to trailers. Would be the way I did it as purchase of either TT or TV is quite expensive.

A pickup is not required, much less the best choice due to it's inherent flaws.

With a certainty a trip there would be how I would have the expert do the lash up between the two vehicles for best performance no matter the details of each vehicle.

Good luck.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #17
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1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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Those of us

who are (ahem!) in our middle sixties and above are all about Airstreams mostly because they are so darned towable and easy to manage. That said, they all do need maintenance, so pick/find a dealer you can live with over the long run unless you want to do the maintenance / repairs on your own.

My biggest suggestion is this: find a Forums rally near you as soon as there is one, and go visit. Drop in on Saturday afternoon and almost everyone there will INSIST on giving you a tour of their coaches and in discussing the pros and cons of various models. (They'll almost certainly also invite you to stay for the potluck dinner, where there'll be more food than can be eaten in a week!) You will learn more about the nitty-gritty of Airstreams that a dealer will ever be able (or willing?) to impart.

Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:37 PM   #18
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1979 31' Sovereign
Charlotte , North Carolina
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YES. Stop thinking and just do it. Worst case scenario, everything goes totally wrong- so what, you sell it and laugh about it. That was my [eventual] philosophy when my boyfriend told me he wanted to buy one. WE knew NOTHING (still don't really) about RV's except for a 2 week rental in New Zealand which was another leap of faith and learning experience. At the time I was so against the purchase for many reasons. My questions to him were constantly: Have you done enough research? How will you tow it? How will we insure it? Can we insure it? Where will we park it? How does the toilet work? Etc... His answer was always: We'll figure it out.

A year after the purchase, all I have to say is... I love it. To be perfectly honest, there is a lot of work and mystery involved and somedays I feel overwhelmed because I don't understand how everything works. (Keep in mind we bought a '79 needing TLC). But every project has been a total learning experience that leaves me feeling so pleased with myself and so much more confident in the purchase than ever. I have yet to drive/tow it by myself so I can't offer any advice on that. Ours is 31' long and honestly, if we could do it over I'd buy a smaller one because the size intimidates me and the interior is much bigger than we'd ever need or fill. I don't know what size you're looking at but if I were a single gal (or even doing it all over again) I'd go small. Bambi small. It's all based on personal preference, but depending on where you plan to haul it and camp, you may or may not need the extra space and bathroom. Then again, our 31' basically feels like a full sized vacation home which is super nice with two dogs.

Bottom line, all I am really trying to say is take the leap. Before our purchase everyone told us we were crazy and it was a stupid idea. I wanted to wait until I had time to do "proper research." After our purchase, everyone now tells us how they envy us, and "I wish I was brave enough" or "That's my dream." It's an empowering realization to know you're taking control of your happiness, freedom, and following your dreams. It really does just come down to courage, and if you've taken the time to do research and look at them in person, YOU HAVE THE COURAGE. Bottom line, I could have waited 10 more years diligently researching everything and still not been prepared. The best way to learn is by experience. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:07 PM   #19
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portland , Oregon
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most of my friends thought i was crazy 18 months ago when i bought a 1957 22 foot flying cloud that had been sitting for a couple decades. i hauled to straight to brian morrow of brians vintage trailers for a complete restoration. i had to buy a tow vehicle before i could pick it up! i am a solo mom to 2 kids under 11 so i do all it all by myself- back, hitch, park, load , unload. its been a blast. we spend most weekends last summer camping and loved every trip. this year we will be in glacier national park for 2 weeks. my goal is to take my kids to as many western national parks as we can manage until they fly the coop. i've met some fantastic folks since having an airstream. its not well known, but airstreams are man magnets! i cant go anywhere without an admiring crowd- seriously! i would have gotten one years ago had i known!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #20
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Nellysford , Virginia
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As everyone has said, Yes! is the answer. We bought ours just two years ago, never having owned an RV. It's been all grins - 39 states and 2 provinces later. Don't be shy about 25-27 feet. Many have bought too short and regretted it within the year.
Linda Heuer. Past President Shen. Valley Unit
Greg Heuer, 1st VP Shen. Valley Unit
2011 31' Classic Ltd. - The Silver Otter III
2013 GMC Denali 2500HD 6.6 DuraMax - Sierra Blanca
TAC VA-18 | WBAC 1927 - Shen. Valley Unit 149 | AIR 53869
with Corey, the Norwegian Forest Cat
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:32 AM   #21
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2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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Ah! The beauty of hindsight.

Last October, I got the "idea" while out of the country to acquire an Airstream. Thinking about the tow vehicle in hand (2007 Mercedes ML320 diesel), I thought a 19' Bambi would be great. I joined this forum and discovered that others with my TV were towing even 31' Airstreams.

I looked at the "drawings" in the brochure and thought a 25FB would be even better (I was told the 25' length is the sweet spot in the product line). What the factory literature floor drawing did not show was the reality of the bed going cross wise to the direction of travel has a barely shoe size width at floor level between the bed frame and the front of the metal of the trailer nor did it show the overhead compartment. That is my side of the bed, so that is my punishment for rushing things. Also making the bed is great exercise!

The order was placed sight unseen while out of the country (another dumb action on my part).

After towing the Airstream home, I drove to the CAT scales at a truck stop and I discovered my TV was overloaded when the trailer was full of our stuff and water. Thus the new TV in my signature had to be acquired to properly carry the weight. The original TV motor and transmission were adequate, but the front axle weight rating and gross vehicle weight rating (both on the door label of the car) were exceeded.

The 27FB models have the bed in line with the trailer and then access to the bed would have been easier.

Like others have mentioned, by going to a full line dealership and hedge hopping between models, you will be able to discern those quirks which might reduce the happiness factor.

There is a tidbit that 25' to 26' length units are the longest that will be allowed into the really older parks out West because the spaces are smaller and the access roads are narrower. Also there is a length restriction in Glacier National Park to drive over the mountain.

A solo person can drive and park the trailer. It just takes a little longer backing into a space by doing it very slowly and getting out to check progress.

Go for the adventure!
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

2014 31' Classic model 30 twin beds, 50 amp service, 900 watt solar system, Centramatics, Dill TPMS, disc brakes, 16" tires & wheels
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:52 AM   #22
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Of course you will; just take it slow and easy ...
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:48 AM   #23
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2016 30' Classic
Apache Junction , Arizona
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Same situation here. After a year of thinking about it I just went and did it. Lots of apprehension about the first trip. Plan on stepping out around mid June for a 3-4 month learning experience.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:01 AM   #24
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Another YES from Virginia

I agree with other posters - Go to a dealer who carries virtually everything in the line and "test" the various models and configurations with your (A) brain and (B) backside.

If you can't close the bathroom door because your knees bang it, or the mere idea of changing the sheets on a corner bed gives you the heebie-jeebies then you can eliminate those models. You'll probably NEVER want a 34' tri-axle, but the 25-27 footers are the sweet spot if you plan to spend a lot of time on trips. You might consider a 30 if you're fulltiming. I fulltime in a 25 FB, and look with longing at the 27' Eddie Bauer and the 30' International Serenity with dual recliners. BUT I'm still happy enough with the 25.

I had a Suburban 2500 and traded it for a Silverado 2500 diesel pickup. The 2500's (3/4 ton) are both PLENTY of tow vehicle for a 25 footer, especially since I haven't done a lot of western states towing. I will say this... I hated the gas mileage on my Suburban, but overall it was a more convenient tow vehicle than a pickup truck. More secure inside storage, Easier access with 4 side doors and the back door. NOT so good for carrying spare propane tanks or gas tanks. On a truck need to buy a bed cover, etc. If you go 25' or smaller look at half ton SUV's as well as half ton pickups. One thing I'd look for on a used vehicle - a backup camera - though they aren't that expensive to add. Just makes hooking up so easy.

Happy Trails - Paula Ford age - celebrating my 43rd anniversary of my 21st birthday!
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:30 PM   #25
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2007 Base Camp
Santa Ynez , California
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In response to your initial hesitation, here is some good advice from your neighbor Henry Thoreau: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:21 PM   #26
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I also say go for it, but be careful. Driving a TV towing a 6,000 lb trailer is not to be taken lightly. Do your due diligence as you have been doing to date and you will be fine. Just take one step at a time. Just like everything else.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing more about your Airstreaming adventures.

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:08 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
In response to your initial hesitation, here is some good advice from your neighbor Henry Thoreau: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
One I love is "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." (Taken cautiously and carefully, of course.)

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:30 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
One I love is "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." (Taken cautiously and carefully, of course.)

Or Jean-Paul Sartre…

“People are like dice, you throw yourself in the direction of your own choosing. People are free because they can do that. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but no matter how small the choice, you can throw yourself. It's not chance or fate. It's the choice each person made.”

WBCCI #1105

My Google-Fu is strong today.
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