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Old 03-28-2013, 08:32 AM   #21
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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!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:52 AM   #22
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Of course you will; just take it slow and easy ...
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #23
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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, 10:01 AM   #24
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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.

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Old 03-28-2013, 11:30 AM   #25
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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, 12:21 PM   #26
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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, 01:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
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.)


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Old 03-28-2013, 01:30 PM   #28
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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.)


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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.”
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #29
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You can do it all sister! I'm nearing retirement and looking for an Airstream as well. I've got the truck and a guy at work taught me how to tow my last one. I'm also going it alone and nothing will stand in my way. See you out west. Just look for the tall drink of water!

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:51 PM   #30
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Colonial Airstream in NJ - purchased two Airstreams from them, great peeps who are willing to teach & educate with best pricing in North America. Worth it to purchase first Airstream then took it to Cali!
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:56 PM   #31
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Think you'll find that there is nothing "lonely" about going solo. I'm 68, bought my new trailer 18 months ago, have taken about 5 trips so far -- including one that was 2 weeks in duration. In a couple of weeks I'm heading "west" -- and except for a stop to visit friends in San Antonio I have NO CLUE where I'm going (except for that one stop), or how I'm going to get there, and how long I'll be away. All of this goes completely against my normal way of doing things (planning everything). My experience thus far with my trailer has always been this: I'm sad when I bring it home and have to park it. I've learned that there is something very independent about pulling my trailer. I stop when I'm hungry or tired, I have all the conveniences i need, it takes minimal time to prepare a meal, I sleep incredibly well, and IF I am lucky, I'll get rain at night....there is nothing more wonderful than hearing rainfall on my trailer! Just do it!
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:48 PM   #32
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You will find the mechanics and logistics of travel very doable. Getting a TV with a back-up camera really helps hitching up.

For 8 years I traveled with my two dogs. I never felt solo. They were great travel companions.

Do you have any pets? If not maybe time to think about getting a pooch.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:06 PM   #33
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You've done your research and gotten some good advice here, so now it is just a matter of connecting with the right dealer. Sounds as though Colonial in NJ is a good bet. Don't wait too long to fulfill your dream. We bought our first AS when I turned 63 and, although I love my wife dearly , when it comes to the AS she is along for the ride and I may as well be solo for the intent and purpose of towing, parking, setting up etc. She is great company, but not so much help with the rest.

good luck and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:39 PM   #34
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Kristine,

I don't know how familiar you might be with traffic patterns in & around NYC, so, if you're not, let me warn you to stay away from Interstate 95 through Westchester + the Bronx + Manhattan! instead, head west on I287 to the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Garden State Parkway south to Lakewood.

next, come visit with us, with or without your new Airsteram, in April at the combined 'Go-Fly-A-Kite / Pets & Paws Rally 2' - more info here - http://tinyurl.com/pets-pawsrally2

and lastly, we're along the way in NJ, so, if we can help you at all, send us an email or pm! and say hello to Patrick B. for us!

best,
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:56 PM   #35
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Some encouragement from some other Babes in the Woods...

We are a couple, not a single, but had never owned an RV or really towed anything in our lives prior to buying the Bambi, although we had a lot of tent-camping experience. If you are just starting out like we did 6 years ago:

1. Pick a time for your initial purchase date when your sales person can go every inch of the Airstream with you, and take copious notes about how everything works.

2. Camp on the dealership lot overnight after your purchase, and have your first real camping trip be close-at-hand, so that if you have a problem, you are close to your dealership. (We bought ours at above-mentioned Can-Am in London, Ontario, and this was their very valid recommendation.) We did phone them with questions.

If possible, practice backing up with the trailer on an empty parking lot before you seriously hit the road.

3. If you are also buying a tow vehicle, consider one with a camera in the rear-view mirror that activates while you are backing the truck into position for hitching. (Our Toyota Tacoma has one.) A truck is good if you also get a cap/canopy on the back for extra gear storage. With a bicycle in the back, for instance, you may not need to unhitch just run out for a short errand.

4. You can also buy inexpensive devices (whose name I forget) that help with the hitching process. Basically they are little poles that mount on the trailer hitch and car hitch, that you can see from your rear-view mirror that are either day-glo plastic (Camping World's) or that are metal with colored balls on the tips. You can match these up fairly easily by siting them in your rear-view mirrors, compared to eye-balling unaided. But if you can travel with a friend or family member at first, they can help with the backing process.

5. During your first camping trips, ask for pull-through sites.

6. Never feel too shy to ask fellow RVers for assistance. They are normally helpful and friendly. You will probably make some retired guy feel like a hero for helping you.

7. Just came across a motto in a review of a book by a top female CEO: "What would you do it you weren't afraid?"

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:13 AM   #36
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the above link didn't work for me.

this did:
http://capecod.wbcci.net/files/2010/...s-and-paws.pdf
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:19 AM   #37
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Hey thanks for your comments -- especially regarding the 25ft bedroom. I will be visiting the New Jersey dealership in a couple of weeks (300 miles!) to spend an afternoon to walk through and evaluate the various sizes. At the very least, I know that I like the Flying Cloud. As to what length....what that is the challenge. It sounds to me like you like the 27ft bedroom arrangement. I an hoping that in time, I will be able to narrow things down. Safe travels. K
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:20 AM   #38
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Kristine, I am right where you are but I am 67 and just widowed in Jan this year. I am buying a vintage Argosy and my son and I are going to enjoy fixing her up. She needs very little. I will then hit the road, we can do this girl! Blessings to you on finding just the right one, you are at least smart enough to want an Airstream, they are the best. Judy
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #39
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Make it easy on your self and get a small trailer to start. A 19 is easy to pull and easier to keep up, and you can always trade up if you need more room. We find it perfectly adequate for one or two. With a family or grandkids to accomodate, you may need more room. Maybe rent a motor home for a trip ans make sure that you enjoy yourself. I see too many trailers for sale that were purchased, pulled home, and never used again. That's heartbreaking.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:27 AM   #40
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I/we kick ourselves for buying the FC25fb queen. After seeing the same in a twin, wished we would have purchased that model. This model appears longer on the inside and the beds are easier to get in and out of. Thinking of having the conversion done to twins. Queens are of an advantage on the cold nights though.
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