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tlwood99 03-06-2007 02:17 PM

Confused in Texas: what size trailer is best?
 
Hi everyone and thanks for reading my first post!

I am new to travel trailers (but not new to trailering). I have a 3/4 Yukon with the 8 liter engine and 3.73 gears for a 12,000lb towing capacity. I want to haul around a total of two adults and one child. Room for guests would be nice but not necessary. I want to take it to the beach "boondocking," and up to Taos Ski Valley as a kind of portable ski chalet. In addition I would like to take it camping in places with or without hookups. Most times we will be in the trailer 2-3 days, occassionally 4, rarely more than that. Finally, if the idea turns out that it doesn't work for us, I would like to be able to resell the trailer in a year without losing my shirt. So ideally I would like to find a 3 or 4 year old trailer if at all possible. On the other hand if we enjoy this as much as I think we will, I intend to keep it for many years. So with that as background, could you please give me thoughts on what is enough, and what would be too much trailer?

Thanks in advance, and also thanks--this is a great website for information!

rickandsandi 03-06-2007 02:24 PM

Welcome to the forum and a great place to meet people and learn all you could possibly want about Airstreams. Check out the classifieds section of the forum to get an idea of what used AS are going for. There are many models that wold fit your needs all depending on what your needs are. Some people feel cramped with just one couple and a dog in a 28', while others find a 23' perfect. Just like any large purchase, an AS looses much of its value once it is towed off the dealers lot. A good place to start your search would be a local AS dealer. See what they have in new and used and then come back with your questions. You will also find a search function on the top bar. Tons of info to be had. As for your TV, you have a good sized truck to pull many models with. Good luck and keep us all posted on your adventure!

LI Pets 03-06-2007 02:40 PM

I thought in Texas everything was LARGE :D

Welcome, 28-31 is nice space

GStephens 03-06-2007 02:52 PM

With that truck, you can safely pull any model Airstream produces from the Bambi all the way up to the 34' Limited. We have a 31' with two adults which we routinely pull to Taos and beyond every year. I love the room of the 31' which allows us to invite guests for a night here and there. Personally, we'd feel cramped in anything less than a 25'. The smaller trailers have corner beds or beds that are difficult to make up as one or more sides are against the wall while the larger trailers usually are equiped with island beds that you can at least walk around enough to make them up.

If you get an Airstream, then contact either the North Texas Unit or the newly formed Camping Unit of the Airstream travel club also known as the WBCCI. Both of the units mentioned serve folks in your area. Get out and go camping with them to a rally of other Airstreamers who share your same enthusiasm and who would have the knowledge to help you get the most enjoyment out of your trailer.

GStephens

ljmiii 03-06-2007 03:04 PM

Hi..and welcome to the forum.

First, your idea of buying something 3-4 yrs old is spot on if you really are concerned about the ability to resell your first airstream without losing too much money. Many people find that their first trailer is too small or too big (though having said that, the airstream we fell in love with wasn't offered before 2006...so we ended up buying new).

Second, go to an airstream dealer and walk around in a bunch of them. Even airstreams that have the same length can feel very different based on the different floorplans.

Third, (and this is a very personal opinion) if your really intend to use it as a 'ski chalet' that you just sleep and eat in give the 16' CCDs a good look. Myself, my wife, and our two kids love ours. It is great to sleep in - you just wouldn't want to try to spend a day in one. The new 20' Safari is also very nice with a great floorplan. That said, I know someone who has a 34' Classic, is about to get a new one, and wouldn't consider anything else. Your mileage will almost certainly vary.

enjoy,
leo

tlwood99 03-06-2007 03:06 PM

Getting there
 
Dealer seems to think for the three of us, the 25' SS or FB is the way to go. Like I said, flexibility is important to me, and I figure that being in the trailer for just a couple or three days I don't need more and I really need to be able to maneuver the trailer up those tight mountain roads (although the road to Taos Ski Valley is not that bad). Pricing being what it is, there isn't that much savings in a smaller trailer, so if the 25 goes where the 19 and the 23 goes, well then that's settled.

Now for this: A guy has a 4 year old 28' s/o for sale. Hardly used, but parked outside and never moved the entire time. He assures me of a great price. Do I pursue it, or is it simply the wrong trailer for us for what it is we want to do?

tlwood99 03-06-2007 03:07 PM

...and thanks alot Leo,
 
just when I think I have it all figured out...

dwightdi 03-06-2007 03:20 PM

If the price is truly right, go for it. It will likely fit your needs for now and the forseable future. It gives you the opportunity to take some two week vacations when the comes. Does it have the dinnette? Alot of the people who spend quite abit of time in their like the option of just sitting down and chatting at the table instead of having to put up and down the table.

tlwood99 03-06-2007 03:44 PM

Right now I don't know anything about the 28' other than it is a 2003 model, and was moved from the dealer to a site next to a lake where it was set up as a kind of cabin. Supposedly used a half dozen times in the last 4 years.

I also like the 25fb offered in the classifieds but price seems way too high compared to a new trailer and what NADA suggests.

mandolindave 03-06-2007 04:48 PM

I don't like the ski chalet idea for three reasons
 
#1 Keeping the water and waste from freezing would be a hat trick.

#2 Condensation ( people breathe out a gallon per night a piece )

#3 Towing on snowy roads is no fun

Just my opinion.....................Dave

davidz71 03-06-2007 08:40 PM

I saw a 2003 28' Classic last year with the rear bed (queen I think) and the split bath. It sure was sharp. The 25FB or SS would be a good choice also and that is what I would go with for the lighter weight.

GStephens 03-06-2007 09:48 PM

The 28' will be a heavier trailer than the 25' simply because it is three feet longer and because a slide adds about 800 to 1000 lbs. to the overall weight. Other than being a little heavier, both trailers should pull well behind your tow vehicle and I doubt you'll be able to actually tell much difference in the two trailers in how they pull. Longer trailers actually are easier to back and will pull anywhere the shorter ones pull. The only limitation to the longer trailer is that you may occaisionally be put into a spot that won't accomodate your longer trailer as well and you may not have sufficient room for your tow vehicle to park easily once set up, but that hasn't happened to us more than twice in the past 5 or 6 years so it isn't that big of an issue.
GStephens

Goin camping 03-06-2007 11:14 PM

Buying used is a savy idea.

Before you buy anything. Go sit on the throne. Some models like the Sleeps six and others just don't have any legroom.

Go sit, lay and meander around your buddies trailer and if all fits verify the price is as good as he thinks. Also repack the bearings and have the brakes checked.

If you are towing the trailer to the slopes and bringing it home with you the furnace should keep all your fluids thawed. Propane is a lot cheaper than burst pipes.

Good luck.

Fyrzowt 03-06-2007 11:17 PM

One further thought that I may have missed, if someone said it. If you camp at state or fed campgrounds, there are often length limits at 25' or under.
Dave

GStephens 03-07-2007 06:40 AM

The length limits in state parks all seem to be in California that I've heard anything about. I've never had that issue in Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming or Colorado.
GStephens

ljmiii 03-07-2007 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GStephens
The length limits in state parks all seem to be in California that I've heard anything about. I've never had that issue in Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming or Colorado.

A number of east coast parks have the same 25' limit for some or all of their sites. In a few weeks I'll be at a state park beach site in South Carolina that was 25' limited.

tlwood99 03-07-2007 09:36 AM

First, thanks again to you all for your observations. I see I still have a lot to learn.

Based on some responses here, I did some more checking about towing over snow and ice. Looks like my "ski chalet" idea isn't so "cool." I will do more reading up on that, but if it doesn't work its not a deal breaker for me (but definitely a disappointment).

I also appreciate the state/fed park observation. I do intend to do use those parks, and that would be a deal breaker for me, but I rarely if ever will leave Texas and its contiguous states, so I will look in to that but if GStephens is right I should be ok.

I am not too crazy about the 28' s/o, but then, I haven't heard the "great price" yet. Will see.

New question re used: Assume I can buy new at 20% off. At what price can I look to sell that same trailer back to the dealer on average? I am looking to understand the depreciation progress on one and two year old trailers. Right now, checking NADA and classifieds, I am sensing that buyback is greater than 20%. For example: New MSRP $57k, purchase price $47k, buyback: $35k, meaning I should find one year old examples from private sellers around $40k. A similar, but a little lesser dep. for a two year old trailer. Your reactions?

fastrob 03-07-2007 10:03 AM

Winter/Prices
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tlwood99
Based on some responses here, I did some more checking about towing over snow and ice. Looks like my "ski chalet" idea isn't so "cool." I will do more reading up on that, but if it doesn't work its not a deal breaker for me (but definitely a disappointment).
...........

New question re used: Assume I can buy new at 20% off. At what price can I look to sell that same trailer back to the dealer on average? I am looking to understand the depreciation progress on one and two year old trailers. Right now, checking NADA and classifieds, I am sensing that buyback is greater than 20%. For example: New MSRP $57k, purchase price $47k, buyback: $35k, meaning I should find one year old examples from private sellers around $40k. A similar, but a little lesser dep. for a two year old trailer. Your reactions?

We camped out in ours during the winter and did not have a problem but for charging the single battery to run the heater overnight. We were snug as a bug in a rug. Just keep the vents open to exaust your people's moisture (we exhale 1-2 liters per day).

As far as prices goes I hear they are higher out west. I have seen 33% off list new, I just Googled up what I was looking for and they popped up.
Why not buy off a private party and save the money?
Smaller trailers are now selling better than bigger units. Any chance of you getting a smaller tow vehicle in the future? Maybe an older, lighter trailer will fit your bill.

R

tlwood99 03-07-2007 10:14 AM

I hope to buy off of a private party, but to do that I want to know how much the dealer is offering on a buy back. Helps me find a win-win price (and gives me an idea how much I am at risk if I find I bought the wrong trailer for us, don't like trailering, or whatever).

I have 55k on my TV and runs like a dream. But when towing it gets a whopping 7-9 miles to the gallon. So yea, hope to buy less TV (or hopefully a hybird) in the future.

JimGolden 03-07-2007 10:32 AM

A 28 foot with the slideout is a sweet rig! If you can get it reasonable, I'd look hard at that over the 25 foot.

Also, Airstream measures bumper to ball whereas the white boxes measure the box part. So a 31 foot Holiday Rambler is 3 feet longer than a 31 foot Airstream.

You could probably call the 28 footer a 25' and the ranger would see it's the same length as a 25' Prowler and let you in. I would guess. I know some parks have 30' restrictions. My Excella is a 28 footer when I go there :brows:


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