I wanted to sit and write a bit more today reflecting on my experiences of the past year; since one year ago, I was writing posts much like the one you asked here; and today I am the owner of a very nice unit.
A lot of what I am going to write comes from the combined wisdom of others, and my own reflections -- others being my father, Paula (FoiledAgain,) Sk8ter and CATallGuys posts, and PharmGeek -- check out PG's threads as he also was looking last year and didn't have an unpublished thought (that's a good thing, PG - you asked alot of the questions I wanted to right before I could
First, look at the longer trailers -- if you are going to spend a considerable amount of time in them, do look at them. While I could have taken a 22FB Sport nicely (love the longer bed and the larger head in it,) I often travel or meet up with friends when I camp so the triple bed combination in the 28' of the L-Lounge Couch and Dinette converted to a queen and double respectively held alot of sway for me. Also, the idea of the L-Lounge queen being a guest bed and not impacting the dinette usability as a dinette held alot of value as well. Oddly, the 28 is, in the specs at least, one inch shorter than the 27FB models - I assume the difference is only in the floor plan separation.
Re fear of backing up -- don't. My father's wisdom comes in here. As you may know, many Walmart stores allow for overnight parking on permission request. No matter what length you buy, use the feature locally and head off to their parking lots with your partner in the later afternoon and practice backing up, in daylight and at night. And repeat this routinely, every weekend you aren't camping at least. The practice my father set me up with was to align myself evenly in a set of parking spaces, then back up and learn to divert, steer-through and straighten the trailer/truck out so that I could shift once space to the left in parking row directly behind me; rinse, repeat. What I learned quickly are that minute adjustments are all that is necessary -- I wouldn't turn the steering wheel any more than 180-degrees from zero point in my maneuvers. backup to the left; backup to the left, run out of rows, pull forward, repeat. And when you're tired or aggravated enough for the day, pull forward to a nice space, and go to sleep for the night!
So after I bought, we had a rally up at Virginia Highland Haven and on the way home, I got caught on the wrong direction of the blue ridge parkway. Pulling into a pullout to turn-around, I discovered I pulled into the only single-exit pullout on the highway system... meaning I had to back up the unit, uphill, on a 90-degree right-hand turn back to the parkway and even out without blocking lanes to head north. After this, I have no fear of backing up any longer.
Finally, in backing up, at a campground especially. You're allowed to put the car in park and step out to check above, below, around every few feet if you want to -- anyone you block are at a campground and they can wait the 10 minutes it takes you to back in and clear the path.
Now... the purchase itself...If you go looking for my earliest post in the forums (well - actually it's here --> http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...air-98194.html
). I am going to copy a paragraph from that original post below,
So I figure there are four ways I can proceed -- I can (a) find a good stout vintage airstream for a good price and make her my own; (b) find a refurb opportunity and locate a competent company to do the work for me; (c) buy new at the dealers or (d) find someone who bought new within the past few years but for whom the reality of a trailer didn't quite click. Oh… and I need a tow vehicle… a Mini Cooper probably won't do it.
(d) is a reality, and a good one across the nation -- be it airstream or another trailer brand, lots of people are buying into the program and then realizing it doesn't truly jive with their lifestyle or for some other reason it's not for them; and they get rid of the unit. In January this year, I cold emailed Paula (FoiledAgain in the forums) and was asking her opinion on the different dealers on the east coast with intention of buying new and after discussing pros and cons of EBs, Internationals, Serenitys, 27FB, 28, 25FB, etc., she went hunting for a bit and returned back to me within 30 minutes with a slightly used find two hours south of Richmond in N Carolina. The 28' Serenity I now own, I am the second owner. The first put maybe 650 miles towing onto it and slept in it maybe four nights. Some aspects of the trailer were never used -- and they bought the extended warrantee which is still good for another year and a half. So I bought essentially a brand new, virgin airstream at HALF the MSRP within two weeks of the email conversation.
Finally, make contacts in the forums today, FOD or not, with others in your area. You'll find quickly that, like Paula, there are many people willing to help you out on opinions, some may even show up to review used trailers with you, helping spot issues or benefits you haven't considered. And finally, once you HAVE the trailer in possession, just say the word 'rally' and you'll be off on a near immediate adventure to a campground for an enjoyable weekend with new found friends and vistas to explore.