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Old 10-06-2005, 07:42 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 88
Newbie Seeking Validation on 2005 25SS Safari

Howdy all,

First I'd like to thank you all for the excellent information you have made available in these forums. With out access to the experiences you all have shared here it would have taken us six months to do enough homework to feel comfortable making any sort of purchase decision of this nature.

Melissa, the better half, and I are 30 something corporate dropouts getting ready to embark on a seirous adventure. I've just stepped down from one of those management jobs that grind you down until you wake up one morning and realize you just arn't living any more. Some one has a great sig on here that sums it up pretty good... I'd rather have a trailer full of love than a mansion full of money. Anyhow so we're now in the process of un-burdening our lives from lots of silly stuff. Why on earth do I have 8 corkscrews anyway, etc.... You get the idea.

The plan is to travel the US and Canada for a while from a base camp somewhere on the Olympic pennisula, in Washingon state... likely around the port Ludlow area as we have family there.

Right now we're based out of Largo, Florida so we headed over to Bates RV on the other side of Tampa to check out the Airstream TTs. They seem like good folks. Anyone have dealings with them?

As former VW Westfalia van camper owners there's just something about the airstream that does it for us. So we picked out a nice 2005 25SS Safari trailer with a prodigy brake controller, reese dual cam sway control, equal-i-zer weight distribution hitch and electronic leveler jacks. The package out the door pre-tax is right around $37,000. Seem about right?

There's some conflicting information regarding the GVWR on the 25SS. Our paperwork from the dealer lists 6300# but Airstreams' site lists 7300#...

As far as the tow vechicle goes... based on the popularity and comfort of the Suburban we just took delivery of a fully loaded used Chevy 2005 3/4 Ton LT 4X4 with a Vortec V6000 V8, factory tow package and rear axel ratio of 3:73 last night for $36,000. She only has 1,900 miles on her. We just need some big 'ole outside mirrors. I'm meeting with the dealership accessories gal today to see if the telescopic ones they put on the trucks are compatible. Get this I traded in a 2003 E320 Mercedes. Talk about a change of pace.

Everything I've read here leads me to believe this should be a suitable tow vehicle for the 25SS that we'll also be able to use about town solo. We did seriously consider the 'burban 8.1L engine with the 4.10 ratio but down here in the flat contry those are a bit tough to come by and from the specs it seems the 6L would get 'er done with out the extreme fuel consumption of the 8.1L. Also looked hard at the 2500HD Duramax/Allison --- nice darn truck! --- but we felt more comfortable with the SUV.

We plan to do quite a bit of dry camping so I'm looking for a generator solution. The dealer said that all the systems on the 25SS should run off a 3000 okay so we're looking at the Honda EU3000is but at 134 lbs I don't relish pulling that sucker in and out of the back of the truck on a daily basis... or really driving around with the smell of gas from a jerry can, not sure what we're going to end up doing there. Any suggestions?

We're both major computer geeks and audio/video junkies so the plan to stay connected is to use the Veziron Air Card with a cellular router to create an ah-hoc WiFi network for both of the laptops, the iPaq/GPS and a small printer. We've already digitized all our CDs and DVDs - so we plan to use the laptp with the 17" monitor as our home theater jacking the audio into the trailers speakers somehow if needed. We'll also need to figure out how to watch/record the occasional cable TV show on the laptop when we're jacked in at a campground.

Any thoughts, suggestions, criticism, advice, validation or hey, even snide remarks that you could offer us first timers regarding the set up would be much appreciated. We haven't pulled the trigger on the 25SS yet so if I've screwed up too bad we can always back down to a 22' or 19' but the 25' seems the right amount of living space.

Oh, one more question a bit off topic... Has anyone tried brewing beer in the trailer while traveling? I'm wondering if the constant agitation effects the flavor or brewing process?

Thanks again for this awesome site.


Dave & Melissa and the cats... Casey & Ophie
Snappy Sig to Follow Shortly
2005 Airstream 25SS
2005 Suburban 2500 4X4 - Vortec 6000 - 3.73 RAR
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:52 AM   #2
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2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Hi Dave & Melissa! Welcome to the Forums! Talk about your major lifestyle change! Good for you! I did something similar at 33... only mine came about as the result of divorce... glad yours ISN'T!

My humble opinion is that you've chosen well... the tow AND the trailer. The 3.73 rear end will give reasonable tow ability and gas mileage with that engine. We tow a 34' tri-axle with an Excursion with the Reese Dual-Cam.

I'm a little confused on your hitch setup... Equal-i-zer is a different brand than Reese, and I'm not sure that their parts are interchangeable... unless you meant that you are looking at the Reese equalizing hitch with the dual-cam sway control... in which case you're fine. Reese and Equal-i-zer are both quality equipment, and either would do the job for you.

Regarding the gen sets, consider running two EU2000s in parallel. If you search on EU2000 here you'll find a bunch of info on that configuration.

Good luck in your endeavors! Have a ball. You've got the right ideas!


On Edit... I've never tried brewing beer... but I know that consuming it while stationary has been elevated to an art form by some of our members from Madison and Chicago!!! (names have been changed to protect the innocent... Eric? John? Sorry Dave... inside joke... you've gotta know this bunch!)
AIR 2053 Current: 2004 Airstream Interstate "B-Van" T1N Sprinter & 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:04 AM   #3
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,475
Dave I have the same rig and setup you have. It's gonna be great. I do have the 4.10s with my 6.0L Burb, but really the 3.73s are just as good for what we're doing. I got mine off the dealer lot at year end closeout and it just happened to have the 4.10s and I would have still been pleased if it had the 3.73s. I would have only worried a bit if I had a 31'+ unit.

As for the GVWR of the coach, about mid 2005 Airstream upgraded the axles on most of the line to increase the NCC (net carrying capacity) for stuff folks wanted to bring along. There is a small square looking piece of metal on the front streetside (driver's side for newbies ). On it, it will state the VIN, GVWR, etc. If you have the newer axles it will say 7300lbs, if you have the older axles as I do, it will say 6300lbs.

Also a tech head...I actually do it for a living. In regard to the generator, your perception is identical to mine when it comes to the 3000 series generator. For me getting away from it all is key, but the question you need to ask yourself is that when you are out boondocking and roughing it, do you really want to have air conditioning? If the answer is yes, then you should opt for 2 2000s and hook them together. If the answer is no, as I found myself saying, then consider just getting a 1000 or a single 2000 to run the fantasic vent(s) microwave, TV, etc to get you by and they weigh less than a 3000 and don't take up as much space. Moreover having a Suburban and not a pickup posed some serious questions for me on where to place the unit when in transit due to gasoline issues. I didn't want the gas smell in the camper or in the Suburban. I then came across this site from the forum:


Either way you go, 2 larger units tied together, one larger unit to do everything or just one small one for the basics, I feel better about placing the generator while in transit in the Burb or the Safari with no gasoline sitting in the gen tank or residue of gasoline with a propane powered unit. I have not done it yet, but I am going to get one of these since I don't want to modify a Honda or Yamaha inverter generator engine myself and don't want to have to lug around gasoline as well when I have plenty of propane that is easily accessible for use.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 10-06-2005, 08:07 AM   #4
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,475
Consume beer while out on vacation or boondocking in a remote location? Sounds like fun....I'll have to give it a try....and in 2007 I may earn a free case from someone in Iowa if I win the bet we can't talk about.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:15 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 88

I have to admit I'm pretty clueless on the hitch front. I've read on-line that the equal-i-zer is really easy to hook up so it's likely we'll go that route. Glad to hear either will work for us. Thanks for the warm welcome.


Thanks for the great info on the genny's. Propane sounds like the way to go and solves the gassoline issues completely. I'll check in to the 2000s.

On the beer front... I started brewing five or six years ago. My wife is a graphic designer and she make up some labels. I bottled in champagne bottles and we gave them for christmas gifts a few years. The first year was called Yule Fuel. Then we had to follow up with Dos X-Mas. All the kids wanted some so we attempted root beer the third year but it ended up with a about 6.4 proof which was interesting....
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:48 AM   #6
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
OlyPen , Washington
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Sounds like you've made some great choices - including your next location. Seattle is micro brew central. You have a valid point about not really needing 6 corkscrews, however losing a bottle opener can be a party ending event. We have taken steps to ensure this never happens...
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:21 AM   #7
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2005 28' International CCD
Las Cruces , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 176

Congratulations on your upcoming Aistream adventure, Dave, Melissa and cats! Your ambition/situation sounds very similar to ours. We sold the house in DC and "dropped out" into full-time life with our two cats and dog in April. We'll have to settle down and find a home base out west sometime in the next 6 months, but for now, we're having a ball!

We have a slightly different rig than you are considering (2005 28' International CCD/Chevy Silverado 2500HD 8.1L Allison w/cap--our "garage"), but yours sounds like an excellent choice for you. In no particular order, here's a general list of accessories/goodies we have and are happy with as part of our rig:

Equal-i-zer hitch (and two Cobra handheld radios to ease marital moments during hitch-up/parking)
Scheffenacker telescoping heated mirrors with signal indicators
Brakesmart brake controller
Magellan RoadMate 700 GPS
XM Radio (for those long, lonely roads out west)
2-Hondra EU2000i generators with harness (we spent the summer in the midwest-what were we thinking?-and they ran the A/C just fine, but you could probably get away with just one if you're staying in cooler places)
CordPro cord/hose managers (www.cordpro.com)
RotoChok tandem wheel chocks (www.rotochok.com)
DirecTV w/TiVo & Accudish satellite stand
Queens Cupboard spice storage containers (www.queenscupboard.com), fit great in A/S spice rack!

Everybody likes his/her own different stuff, but that's the stuff we've been happy with. Feel free to PM us if you want more info.

We have a T-Mobile aircard and cell phones, but coverage out west has not been very good--everybody else I talk to seems to be happy with their Verizon coverage.

Beer on the road--what a great idea! Haven't tried doing it, but we'll be happy to be taste testers for yours!

Congrats again!

Wes, Carol, and the critters
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:45 PM   #8
2 Rivet Member
1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 88
Janet - Love the bottle opener. Too cool.

Wes - Super helpful! Thanks. Nice set up you have. We love the CCD interiors. In fact we are planning to build a modular modern home out west.


Since time is now a major asset, the wife and artist and me a little bit handy... we plan to upgrade the interior with a modern TiKi theme and a "pro" kitchen with stainless backdrop, 1/4" granite and butcher block.

In fact we picked up the hula-girl bobble doll for the Burbon dash!

Mahalo & Aloha.

Dave & Mel
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Old 10-06-2005, 04:41 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 63
About the generator /s: Propane is the way to go. If you want the higher power The Honda 3000 has been touted as being very, very quiet. My solution for the weight of the generator will be a front hitch / rack for the TV. I will hoist it on and off after trips for storage (engine block hoist into garage, etc). By the way, among the items most often stolen are generators. This would solve that problem since it could be stoutly secured to the truck and travel with you when leaving the campsite for day trips.

Good luck.

2005 PS Excursion Diesel, name: "Private Excursion"
2006 28' Safari SE, "General Revelation"
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:21 PM   #10
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1960 24' Tradewind
Folsom , California
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This is the generator I want:


Might be a good solution (only 70lbs, propane, possibly enough power in just one unit)

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Old 10-06-2005, 05:29 PM   #11
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1980 31' Excella II
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Actually I think you are going to need the EF30iSEB model to get an A/C unit to crank. There a couple of members here that have them and use them.

....so many Airstreams....so little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:11 PM   #12
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1999 34' Limited
1962 19' Globetrotter
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Northern , Minnesota
Join Date: May 2003
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Looks to me like your rig couldn't be any better. The Suburban will have plenty of power for that trailer.With your trailer the 8.1 with 4.10 is overkill. Your hitch will keep you in control. You didn't spent too much money either. A friend of mine just bought the same unit as you and he spent almost the same.I have the Honda eu3000 and it has been great.There ae several links in the forums that discuss it. It's quiet and fuel efficent. You might want to consider a L/P conversion so you don't have to carry gasoline in your Burb or trailer. You can run it from the trailer tanks. Looks like you did your homework before you jumped in. Welcome aboard. Brad
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:00 PM   #13
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2005 25' Safari
North Las Vegas , United States
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 850
Rivet Just want to say Welcome Aboard

Hi Dave & Melissa! Welcome to the Forum! I, as all the others just want to welcome you.

You'll have more then enough HP to pull your trailer. Just be careful of information overload.

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2005 Dodge Dakota Quadcab 285 V8 (4.7L) w/jetchip,gibson exhaust, Airaid Induction System, AmsOil synthetics
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:51 AM   #14
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1969 21' Globetrotter
Seattle & Olympic Peninsula , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 88

I just found this post… that was a quick three years! Thanks to all of the great advice. We had lots of hassle free adventures as a result.

The Suburban and 25SS and sold are now we're looking for a 19' Bambi that we'll tow with our '08 Toyota Highlander for shorter excursions around the North West.

Thanks again.

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