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Old 04-27-2020, 10:25 AM   #1
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1967 30' Sovereign
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Help me find my Airstream

So we've outgrown the current camper we have, and I want something a little more durable than the traditional travel trailers that are out on the market. That being said, with so many airstream options, we are kind of at a loss for which kind to get. Here is what we'd like, and would appreciate any advice.

Tow Vehicle - Nissan NV Passenger Van, 3500 (9,800lb tow capacity)

Family: 2 Adults, 5 kids under 10 (I know it's a lot, but the last 2 were twins!)

Goal: Used airstream that I can add a bunk to somewhere

Vista view windows, and the kind that wrap around the front (more light the better!)

Exposed aluminum on the inside (wife likes that look)

Budget: south of 30k if possible

I'm aware that we will never sleep 7 people comfortably. That's not our goal. We are currently shoehorned into a 14 foot travel trailer, and kids sleep on the floor. We love camping - it is what it is!

I want to thread the needle between something more recent so there's not a ton of work to put into it, but old enough where I'm not "editing" something that I'd feel bad about.

As far as length goes, I'm open to whatever. Anything will be an improvement to 14ft, and so 25ft would feel like a dream.

Anything I am missing?

Appreciate the help!
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:49 PM   #2
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Hendersonville , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Towing with NV 3500

Nice van and a real tow horse. However, the 9800 LB tow rating is a bit misleading. In your case with all the children and associated travel stuff you need to load up the van just like you are headed out for your trip. Drive to the local CAT scale and weigh the van with full tank of fuel and all passengers. Take that figure and deduct it from the "Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating" for the NV 3500. That figure should be available from Nissan or it may be in your vehicle manual. That will tell you what you can really safely tow with your van. Example, Loaded up van weighs 7500 LBS. CGVWR is say 15,000 LBS. Deduct the 7500 from the 15,000 and you get a real world towing amount of 7500 LBS.
Also pay attention to the Axle Ratings. Should be a sticker on the inside of the drivers door that gives you Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) a front axle and rear axle weight rating.

These figure will tell you how much trailer you can tow and how much tongue weight capacity you have after loading the van for travel. Good luck in your search. Five kids. Your brave. Happy travels.
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Old 04-27-2020, 01:49 PM   #3
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Huntsville , Alabama
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This might work. 2005 Airstream Safari
https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=207777
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:00 PM   #4
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1960 22' Safari
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As always floorplan is more important than length.

Consider a 25 foot front bedroom. Table makes a bed 3 kids wide and the sofa also will sleep one large or two small to medium.

Best to you in your search.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:37 AM   #5
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1967 30' Sovereign
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping View Post
As always floorplan is more important than length.

Consider a 25 foot front bedroom. Table makes a bed 3 kids wide and the sofa also will sleep one large or two small to medium.

Best to you in your search.
Thanks! 25 foot seems reasonable.. 30 foot one is awesome but so long to tow.. maybe I'm stressing too much about the length
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:16 AM   #6
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Ontario , Ontario
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I think 143pm found your ideal Airstream at the price point you wanted. This rarely happens! Double check your payload, tow capacity and you are golden!
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:21 AM   #7
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2004 25' International CCD
Vancouver Island , British Columbia
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Couple of things ...

1. If you go to my Blog https://marriedwithairstream.com I have a detailed video on our 2004 International 25 CCD which will give you some idea of what a 25 foot looks like. The 25 Safari and 25 International have basically a similar layout. They can be found on the Airforum Classified. Average cost is 25,000 to 35,000 - have the "preowned trailer" inspected before you buy.

2. Also, I have a straightforward easy-to-follow process that we went through to ensure our tow vehicle could handle towing the Airstream. There is much more to it than simply the max tow rating of your truck. https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...-your-trailer/
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Old 04-28-2020, 09:42 AM   #8
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 5
I hope got the perfect airstream for you and your family!

It’s a 25’ Flying Cloud. LIKE NEW 2014 with everything gorgeous from inside to out.

Because of its year it’s a bit more than you planned to spend but so worth it. I just got it 8/2019 from dealer that gave an extended warranty, full point like 128 point inspection etc.

I can send pics and price

Please contact me
Audra
206-200-2888
Seattle WA
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:20 AM   #9
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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With five kids and two adults, you should really look at his model of Airstream.

https://www.airstream.com/travel-tra...ans/30fb-bunk/
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:30 AM   #10
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1987 32' Excella
Sagle , Idaho
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangekayak View Post
So we've outgrown the current camper we have, and I want something a little more durable than the traditional travel trailers that are out on the market. That being said, with so many airstream options, we are kind of at a loss for which kind to get. Here is what we'd like, and would appreciate any advice.

Tow Vehicle - Nissan NV Passenger Van, 3500 (9,800lb tow capacity)

Family: 2 Adults, 5 kids under 10 (I know it's a lot, but the last 2 were twins!)

Goal: Used airstream that I can add a bunk to somewhere

Vista view windows, and the kind that wrap around the front (more light the better!)

Exposed aluminum on the inside (wife likes that look)

Budget: south of 30k if possible

I'm aware that we will never sleep 7 people comfortably. That's not our goal. We are currently shoehorned into a 14 foot travel trailer, and kids sleep on the floor. We love camping - it is what it is!

I want to thread the needle between something more recent so there's not a ton of work to put into it, but old enough where I'm not "editing" something that I'd feel bad about.

As far as length goes, I'm open to whatever. Anything will be an improvement to 14ft, and so 25ft would feel like a dream.

Anything I am missing?

Appreciate the help!
Depends a bit on what kind of RV camping. I camp mostly in the Northwest USA and Utah and Nevada and northern CA. For example stay under 28 ft if you intend on state parks and national parks as many cannot take big rigs. I know as I have a 32 Excella. It is sometimes a stretch to convince the ranger I am really only 26 ft LOL.

How about a tent to put one or two kids in or a foam pad on the trailer floor. Use the Airstream couch that goes to a bed, often at the front of the trailer. A bunk is not a good idea IMHO. takes up too much space and then extra weight too as weight will be an issue with such a big family. How about a sleeping arrangement in the tow vehicle if tenting doesnt work.

And I would research long and hard to choose your Airstream. The newer ones I am told are not the great quality as those older but well maintained. And get the detailed checklists of what to look for if you never had an Airstream before.
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:36 AM   #11
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1976 31' Excella 500
Crewe , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 105
Here is one question I am sure you have heard before......."are all of those kids yours?"
We are a family of 8......we have 6 kids and was asked that all the time. We used to have a 98 Coleman Grand View SP and out grew it 5 years ago, but kept making it work when we wanted to go camping. That was until last March when picked up our first AS.....a 1976 Excella 500. It's not the prettiest thing, just a few dents, and unpolished, but the frame is good and no sagging. We found it locally and the price was our tipping point.....$5000.00 and it was something to start with. Our floor plan is the center bath with twins in the rear which have already been removed and we are in the stages of some minor floor work and building 2 sets of triple bunks for our kids and my smarter half and I will be sleeping on the front goucho. If you do YouTube, search under "dadofsix".....that's me with the respirator and glasses.
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Old 04-28-2020, 11:08 AM   #12
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 143pm View Post
This might work. 2005 Airstream Safari
https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=207777
Excellent advice. Get the size that fits the family. The kids get bigger ☺️. I have a 25í for 2. Unless you are going to just do short trips and donít mind hassling with picking up and storing bedding, a 25í could work...but why? If you pull a 30í what kind of tow vehicle would you get that fits 7 plus gear? Get the one that best meets your seating and storage needs.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:30 PM   #13
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
Huntsville , Alabama
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 18
I moved from a 27 SOB to a 30fbb and it tows better than the old trailer. The length does limit some places; however the lack of slides and height help in older campgrounds. I would check the payload of your van. I would expect ~1k on the tongue. I think the private bath might help when the kids get older. I believe you could strip the interior down to aluminum (double check me on that).
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:49 AM   #14
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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When size limits are mentioned, the SOB world measures just the box. Airstream measures from the front of the ball socket to the back of the last screw in the rear bumper. So our 31' Classic in Airstream terms is under 28' in the SOB world. Just deduct about 3' on any model to get the SOB comparison for length.
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Old 04-30-2020, 09:56 AM   #15
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1967 30' Sovereign
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 32
You guys have such great advice! Maybe I should rehab an older one and retro fit some bunks. Or give you some of my kids!
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:20 PM   #16
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1993 34' Excella
Barry's Bay , ON
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 65
34í would be ideal

Congrats on having such a great family! We have a 34í Excella 1993 with twin beds in the bedroom which I think is ideal for kids. Itís also not too difficult to remove some of the ceiling cabinets and be able to string up hammocks or a bunk.

We have strung up a sound proof curtain between the bedroom and rest is the trailer.

We used to have a couch in the front of the trailer but we removed it, put in a wrap around bench, and installed a table which can drop down to make a bed larger than king sized. We could easily fit two kids in there with us.

It sounds like ours would be longer than you want but if you have a floor plan with twin beds in the bedroom and a dinette that converts to a large bed in the front, I think youíll be very comfortable.
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:08 PM   #17
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2013 30' Flying Cloud
Kingwood , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Go to You Tube and check out “Tiny Shiny Home”. They did a rebuild in 6 months and have travelled for the last five years and have now purchased land in Arizona to build an alternate method self built home.
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Old 05-03-2020, 01:27 PM   #18
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2009 25' FB International
2018 27' Globetrotter
Hanover , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Some great suggestions have already been provided.

One bit of advice that may save you some money is to buy your second AS first. In other words anticipate what you think you would want in a few years. And with the kids getting bigger you may want to think bigger as well.

All the best in your search! Keep us posted on what you finally decide upon.
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Old 05-03-2020, 04:19 PM   #19
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1996 34' Excella
Roseville , Minnesota
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Send a message via Skype™ to Miki
1996 Airdtream excella 1000 wide body

We are contemplating selling Miss OLIVIA She is 34í with brand new Puffy queen size bed in the bedroom a queen size futon/couch in living room and the dinette turns into a bed She has been completely redone inside and new awnings... we have 50k into her and would sell for 39000.00 if interested let me know..she has a real shower with seat Brazillion cherry floors window treatments are perfect stainless steel galley dishwasher microwave/rotisserie oven 2 flat screen TVs
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