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Old 11-03-2004, 11:01 AM   #1
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Safari 25' questions

I’ve been lurking for a while and collecting information about AS. We’re now close to deciding which trailer is for us and have some questions I know the forum can answer. Typically our trailer will be used for two adults, one small dog and one large dog. Occasionally our daughter or another couple will join us for a weekend without the dogs. At the top of our list is the Safari 25 with the queen bed. To get the queen bed and the larger bath you sacrifice the dinette. We don’t think we’ll miss the dinette because we feel that most of our meals will be taken outside. What does experience say? Will we miss not having a dinette? The second issue we’re dealing with is storage. There’s practically no outside storage in a 25. Where do you store items like tools, lawn chairs and grills? The third issue is we’ve found a quality-built SOB (Sunline T2499) that has a floor plan we like better than any of the 25s from AS. Although we like the Sunline better the one thing that Sunline doesn’t offer is a flourishing owner’s community. We really like the active forum, clubs, rallies AS parks and caravans that are available to AS owners. We live in Indiana and the Midwest looks like it has an active group. Any comments are appreciated!

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Old 11-03-2004, 12:00 PM   #2
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We have an older 25' coach, but the floorplan you are looking at is very similar. We have the folding table and use it extensively - we seldom eat outdoors.

lawn chairs are a problem for most any tongue type trailer in your proposed size range. Most people carry them in the back of the truck/van/suv tug. Grills have been discussed extensively elsewhere on these forums and there are several good choices that are easily stowed. We use (extensively!) a Weber Go-Anywhere charcoal grill. Tools I carry in the truck, because I always am needing tools almost anywhere I am, with or without the trailer. I do have a few trailer-specific items in storage bins in the coach.

Like you, I tried hard to buy something other than an Airstream, but in the end it was what I had to have - and I am glad I did.

Mark
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:33 PM   #3
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We have the Safari 25 SS. We solved the lawn chair issue by stashing them behind the couch. There is ample space between the back of the couch and the front wall - even a ledge to rest them on!

We didn't think we would eat many meals inside the trailer, but now that we have it we eat almost all our meals at the dinette. Wouldn't buy another trailer without one.

By the way we are a family of 4 (2 Adults & 2 teens) and one Cocker Spaniel and we fit quite comfortably in the trailer, although the rear bed is a little tight for my wife and I.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:46 PM   #4
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We also have a 25' six sleeper. We love having the dinette. A few reasons. One it can be hot, cold or bug heaven outside. Inside provides a nice calm place to have a meal without all the overhead that can happen sometimes.

Bottom line is that it's a personal call. We love having the dinette as it provides more sleeping capacity so to us it serves a dual purpose.

We bought some collapse type chairs and we keep them in the dinette seat storage area when not in use.

If you like the queen (which I admit is more comfortable than the 25' six sleeper's bed), yet find that you'd like to have a dinette, the best of both worlds can be found in the 28' Safari. This floorplan, though a bit larger (approx 3 feet) isn't that big of a jump in weight (non slide out). The 28' also would make it easier with a few dogs or another couple. We ourselves find that the 25' coach is just right for a couple, a dog, maybe a little more. Though it has lots of storage, I could easily see a few dogs or two couples being a bit more comfortable in a 28'.

As for going with an SOB, though you might like the floorplan, being on this forum and all, you can only guess most of our suggestions there.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:49 PM   #5
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Safari 25 questions

Greetings Daryl!

Welcome to the Forums!

While my experience is with a Vintage Overlander (26') and a Vintage Minuet (20'), I have never missed the dinette feature - - in fact one of the reasons that I sought-out the Airstream after owning a Nomad was that I found the dinette to be wasted space that was rarely useful. The dinette issue, however, is very much a personal preference issue - - there tend to be two camps with few "fence-sitters" as one either has a strong preference for a dinette or a strong preference to have a coach with lounge(s) and either a credenza table or free-satnding drop-leaf table. To me, the absence of a dinette means more comfortable seating available that is condusive to entertaining (with the dinette in my Nomad there were always at least two people with their backs to those sitting on the sofa) and I have found either the free-standing drop-leaf table (Overlander) or credenza table (Minuet) to be my ideal dining arrangement. Another issue is the comfort of the sleeping arrangement - - the dinette (at least in my Nomad) produced a bed with twice as many cushions to manage when compared to the two or three cushions in the convertible lounges found in the Overlander and Minuet.

Regarding the built-in storage, my Overlander actually has more available storage compartments than my former Nomad of comparable size. In both coaches, I have a storage bin devoted to the "coach-specific" tools that I might need for the trailer - - I carry a large Sears tool chest in my Suburban that doubles as an outdoor seat when camped (in the Cadillac, I have an abbreviated tool kit that is smaller and contains basically a socket set and driver set as well as an assortment of adjustable wrenches). Lawn chairs and other camp items are carried in the tow vehicle - - selective packing is necessary with a tow vehicle such as my Cadillac that has modest trunk space but it can be accomplished. I don't carry a grill, but do carry a dutch oven that I often use in the campfire rings found at many campsites.

I agree with your identification of the "Airstream Community" as a desirable aspect of selecting an Airstream product. I have enjoyed every Airstream function that I have attended having joined the WBCCI shortly following the purchase of my Overlander in 1995. The rallys have been fantastic, and the caravans can't be equalled for value in terms of what can be seen and enjoyed (IMHO). I have also enjoyed each of Midwest AirstreamForums events that I have attended.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 11-03-2004, 01:36 PM   #6
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We have a 20 foot minuet - tiny compared to your intended purchase. We use the dinette extensively and I would not consider a trailer without one. We store chairs in the shower for transport or in the tow vehicle. When we arrive - we put the chairs under the trailer or set them up asap.
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Old 11-03-2004, 02:20 PM   #7
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We bought our 25' Safari for only the 2 of us & have found it perfect. The couch & fold-out table in front get a lot of use, we do not miss the dinette. The twin bed set-up gives you another hanging closet, more floor space for dressing, & extra external storage over the "queen/dbl". The twin bed decision was the hardest to make, seemed too old fashioned, but many of our friends that have gone with the 'queen/dbl' bed wish they didn't. The front couch opens into a dbl. bed, but not unless you really need someplace to sleep would I use it. The 28' twin has even more closet space.
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:26 PM   #8
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Welcome!

I use to own a 25' Safari with the queen. Meals were eaten on the folding table. Matter of fact, the folding table was never put down and made for crowded living room. I stored tools under the sofa. Chairs in back of truck. And that outside storage does hold a lot.

But I know have a dinette in the 30' Classic. Love eating on the dinette. Love having the table for extra counter space. Love that people can eat and still be out of the way. Love having the dinette.

I would also suggest you look at the 28'. It has the best of both worlds.

And, yes, this forum can not be beat!
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:29 PM   #9
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I almost bought a Sunline, too. The T-1950. Decided on the AS for a couple of reasons:

Quality, quality , quality. The fit and finish of a Sunline is nothing like an AS. Cheap fabrics, ugly colors and cheap fittings. I decided on AS about this time last year. The T-1950 I looked at had a broken kitchen faucet and a broken shower head. Both were cheap to begin with. What about the Sunline rubber roof? AS has a fine, solid aluminum roof.

Value, value, value. The T-1950 retailed for about $17,500. The time of year I was looking, you could get one as little as $14,500. Drive it off the lot and it is worth nothing. After having a fun filled spring, summer and fall of camping, I could sell my Bambi for close for paid for it and units like mine sell quick.

I think dinettes are over rated, which is one reason I liked the Sunline, which has a sofa and a chair instead. When I found out the Bambi has a sofa option, I was sold. Got it in leather. Sweet. I keep two TV tables behind the sofa for eating in doors.

Go for the big bed. Friends in my WBCCI Unit (DelMarVA) have it and is nice.
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:50 PM   #10
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We too own a 25' Safari and have two dogs, a bolognese and a wheaten terrier.

We have the twin bed configuration. I enjoy the storage and the extra floor space between the beds for dog crates. Our little dog sleeps in her crate on the night stand between the beds and the wheatie gets the floor.

The lack of a dinette is not a problem. I like to be able to fold up the table for more floor space when we want it. It gives you three options, table down, up at half size, or full out. We also store chairs behind the sofa. We bought our trailer used, so didn't have a choice of configuration but we are very happy with it. Have never gotten close to using up all the storage available.

I don't think you would ever regret an Airstream purchase.

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Old 11-03-2004, 09:53 PM   #11
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I have to agree with Big Dee. The 28' is one of the most sensible units out there. Pleanty of space and storage. I was looking hard to find one but stumbled on a 34' first. I enjoy the 34' but there are times in state parks (read tight places) that something under 30' would be a plus. 28' and up can be easier and more economical to purchase than units 25' and under.
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:34 PM   #12
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My first Airstream was a 27' Safari without the dinette. It was the first trailer I ever owned without one. Bottom line we missed it. Eventually this was one of several reasons why we we upgraded to our Classic after 3 years of ownership. Keep in mind that the dinette unit can also turn into a bed for young'ins.

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Old 11-04-2004, 09:35 AM   #13
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We have a 28' CCD and the 28' Safari has the same floorplan.
We typically camp with 3 or 4 plus a dog.
I personally wouldn't want anything smaller.
My wife and I take the queen bed, one daughter on the front couch, one daughter on the dinette. The dog sleeps anywhere he wants (usually with us).
Storage has not been a problem with all of the things we want to take. Actually it's more of a problem of taking too much. Especially if you're new to camping like we were this year, you tend to take too many things that you never really need or use.

Good luck with your decision.

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Old 11-04-2004, 01:00 PM   #14
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Thanks for the comments. The 28 would be perfect but we'd need a new TV. The extra $7000 for the 28 and a new TV is more than we want to handle right now. My daughter and my money are going to Indiana University. The comments about the available floor space in the 25 Twin has us thinking about taking another look at it. We're tent people and this will be our first TT so you can imagine how luxurious and spacious a 25 looks to us.

Thanks,

Daryl

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Old 11-04-2004, 01:36 PM   #15
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Daryl,

Take a look at this 28':

http://www.colonialairstream.com/newinventory/7490.html

Now look at this 25':

http://www.colonialairstream.com/newinventory/7512.html


Thie 28' unit is pretty close to the cost of a 25' unit (far less than the 7k you are looking at. The listed sale price I am sure is negot. Of course there are some feature differences in the two. Additionally these are not the exact floorplans we've been talking about, but the prices will be very similar based on installed options. Moreover, these prices would not be limited to the dealer in NJ. You could very easily get these prices or better from a dealer that is closer.

At any rate, either way you go (25' or 28'), you won't go wrong.

Eric
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Old 11-04-2004, 02:46 PM   #16
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Thanks Eric. I took a look at the two examples. The sale price of the 28 is 14% off list and about 9% off list on the 25. I'm convinced that I can get a 25 for at least 14% off list which brings me right back to the difference of $7000. Actually I may be able to get even a larger discount if I order one or catch a deal before it hits the dealers floorplan. Time is an ally right now. I'm not in any hurry and units will not be flying off the lot in the Midwest during the next four months. All comments are greatly appreciated! Listening to the voice of experience is a great way to learn.

Daryl

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Old 11-04-2004, 03:18 PM   #17
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By the way...when looking at "local" (ha ha meaning local is usually a hundred or so miles away in most cases), stay clear of the dealer in Illinois. Nice people, know jack about the product. Second time around getting the Safari going to trade the Bambi, there was a fair amount of BS that dealer gave me cause I was shopping 'em.
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Old 11-04-2004, 04:34 PM   #18
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We decided we wanted a 25 for several reasons. Big but not too big. More easy to tow than a larger unit. less cost than a larger unit. Can fit into more NF campsite spaces.

However I've never liked queen size beds so we bought the twin layout and are in love with the twin layout. The open floor from sofa to back gives the impression of a large trailer. The twin beds are 2-3 inches longer than a queen. My wife and I don't keep each other awake with tossing/turning.

The twin floorplan has 3 outside storage compartments, one of which goes full width on the back. Yes I miss the dinette but we eat most all meals outside, and the twin does have a fold out credenza table.

That's my 2 bits worth.
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Old 11-04-2004, 08:01 PM   #19
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Dinette too small for 4..

Our Excella 25 w/rear queen bed is essentially same coach and floorplan as Safari 25, with fold-down table across front couch... We upholstered a good folding chair in matchin fabric to sit 1 comfortably across from couch, and could thus sit 4 at table, though it's generally just the two of us... I'd borrow two friends and try sitting 4 in the dinette, as I doubt there's enough shoulder and hip and leg room to fit all of you in dinette at same time anyway... Eating inside (even to confirmed former "tenters") is going to become popular in rain or coolth or buggy areas, so you should find a layout you're going to be happy with...

We keep small grill and several fold up chairs that collapse into vertical bags in rear street-side storage compt under bed. It's pretty large and deep, and grill is petty small and flimsy (basic bowl disposable, with a few small sealable bags of match-lite charcoal at the ready). Big comfy folding chairs ride in back of Suburban.. Zip-Dee brand chairs are much sturdier than flat-folders at places like CamingWorld, and several can be stored in very little space. It's possible the Safari has slot in cabinet housing foldup table that can accommodate a pair of ZipDee's along the side wall of the inside of the trailer...

While the 28 is nice, every extra foot means pounds and challenges in manuevering and storing...

John McG
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Old 11-04-2004, 09:32 PM   #20
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One other consideration.....isn't the black tank in the 25ss only 18 gal. Not an issue if you always camp with sewer hook up available, but dry camping could possibly become an issue with a smaller black tank. I think the twin or queen configuration has a 30 something black tank.

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