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Old 02-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Paul Ouellette's Avatar
2002 34' Classic
Windsor , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 88
Images: 15
To C34...or not to C34...THAT is the question...

Group :

I asked this question on another forum...but as feedback was modest, I thought I'd put this question out to everyone here too...

Mary & I are intending to make our next trailer "the keeper" & as
much as I'd like to go for "the biggie"...I've got some reservations
about getting the Classic 34 rather than the Classic 31.

As far as the tow-vehicle, let's just say that my T/V will be just fine & leave it at that...since it's the other issues I want to address...

My purpose in starting this thread is to (PLEEEESE) ask for opinions
& thoughts from those that have C34's regarding "why" you chose that
model & to address the following issues...


*Getting into & out of RV park spaces...

*Ease (or lack) of ability to park in truck stops...

*The availabliity (challenge) to find RV park sites to fit...

*Any issues with regard to the length while towing...(lane changes,


*Do you ever regret not staying bigger really better...

*Are you happy to "maximize" the RV site with more sq ft'age for the
same price as others pay...for less space than you have...

*Does "your Mrs" like the C34...(that's an important one)

*Do you ever have regrets about going for the big one ??


For those of you who are "Senior folks" you ever think about
downsizing & if what model, or have you downsized already ?

My thanks in advance to all those who respond.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:39 AM   #2
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Stream 1529's Avatar
2004 34' Classic S/O
San Antonio , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Images: 19
34 is fine

We have a 34' with the slide-out and lounge. You can see the rest in my sig.

So far we haven't encountered any problems - space - in RV parks or truck stops. If possible, I try to fuel up while unhooked, but if driving a long distance I take the first truck stop at 1/4 tank level. State and national parks do have space limitations and they are generally noted on their websites. Private RV parks that have pull-thrus can accomodate the 34, and most will have back in sites that you will fit into. The problem arises in the park's layout. If the roads are narrow you will be able to back into a slot, but it will take time.

Our previous trailer was a 31' Classic. We moved up for the additional space, and better cooling options. Most 31' AS come with a 13.5BTU a/c, and it just really does not cool the trailer in the summer where temps exceed 85. I have personal experience here that isn't a part of your questions.

The tri-axel tows just as well as the 31'. Turning is a bit wider, but you learn that after the second turn. You will need to get used to the trailer in your mirrors for lane changes. At first, I made sure that I had way more distance between me and the other vehicle before I changed a lane. After towing for awhile I was noticing where the cars were behind me when they changed, and was able to fine tune so I have a better idea now when I can start my lane change. Backing up the 34 takes more patience, but it is not all that hard. I can do it solo, but I prefer it with the help of my darling wife.

Oh, the wife loves the 34 and the layout that we selected. I don't really anticipate a need to move to a smaller unit when I'm older. It handles really well and fits us fine.

Whether you get the 31 or the 34, I'm sure y'all will enjoy it. Just check the different floor plans offered and get the one that fits you.

'04 34' Classic S/O lounge, dome king, twin a/c, faux fireplace to keep the wife warm , equa-li-zer, prodigy, 4 birds, dog - no kids allowed!

'05 Excursion 4x4, 6.0 PSD, magnaflow, helwig anti-sway, air lift springs.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:58 AM   #3
Rivet Master
1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 945
bigger IS better...

Paul -

Good thinking on asking all the questions NOW, BEFORE you jump in with both feet. However, I can only offer the the C34 perspective - and even that is a bit limited as this is the only camper I have ever owned, as such....

I Love it!!!

Since the TV issue is handled, I'll move along.

Have 3 kids and wife that travel along. Most the 3 kids and I on longer trips. There is plenty of room for all, their stuff, and etc... Full-timing might be more of a challenge, but that would be on the packing side. For us, the majority of our camping (2+ years) has been with E/W/S so those attendant issues haven't been a problem. Did boondock for the 1st time in AZ with the 4CU, and I have to say that it was a GREAT experience. We were in a SP and access was NO problem.

In fact, there have been NO access problems at any of the RV places we have been to. A few with tight turns (trees, curbs close) but nothing that a well driven TV/TT combo can't negotiate. Only got stuck in a gas station once (daughter had a RIGHT NOW!!! emergency) and had to get her there NOW!!! There was enough room - after I made everyone in cars/trucks come out and move - to get around, but no one else is thinking in the big sweeping turns like I am/have to. As long as you don't turn into anywhere you can't see an out of, you'll be AOK.

On the other hand, don't kid yourself that this is anything but a long TV/TT combo. Not sure of your TV, but I have a k2500 Burb/ '92 34' Classic and between the two it is about 55ft bumper to bumper to bumper. No U-turns with this combo! Had to back about a 1/3 mile when I missed a turn in Jacobs Lake at the NR of the GC. Very do-able. Took it slow and steady - 10 minutes. All better.

As to towing, be sure to get a very quality WD hitch (I have the 1000/ 10K Equal-i-zer) and have every confidence in the trailer staying where it should under nearly all conditions. Haven't had an emergency manuever yet (knock wood!) but think I would be OK there too. Tows like a dream! Other than the weight of the unit, all else is negligable in a straight line. Turns, as above.

Backing is actually easier on the bigger units since the moment arm/ distance to the axles from the hitch is so long. Movements are gradual, predictable and easily damped/ exagerated depending on the need. Saw a lot of shorter trailers that were back and forth several times at the last rally while mine was a 1 time back in. Your experience may, of course, vary.

For me and mine, the 34Classic was an EXCELLENT choice. Wouldn't change. Period.

Hope that you come and join the deep end of the pool, where the BIG ones play!

If you think of more questions, fire away! There aren't too many shy ones here, especially those of us with the AirStream that EVERYONE see's! BTW, get ready for LOTS of waves in the highway/byway and everywhere you stop - cause it's gonna happen!

All the best!

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Old 02-26-2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
Joshua , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 548
Images: 2

Go ahead and get the 34', you won't regret it. We are on our second 34' and love them. We have been in some pretty tight RV spaces and haven't had any trouble at all getting in or out, but we also have a Hensley Arow hitch. The triple axle will pull easy also, with the third axle it seems to act as a keel on a sail boat and it helps to keep it going straighter down the highway.
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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2017 27' Flying Cloud
2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Altoona , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,644
As a senior and having done all the things you mentioned, I will tell you my experiences. During my working years, I contracted at power plants and was required to spend lengthy times away from home, I started living close to the job site in a 30' Holiday Rambler and found it a huge improvement over motels and such. After about one year I upgraded to a 34' Avion and this worked out well and my personal life changed so I became a full timer. Did it for over five years and the 34' Avion was perfect. My travelling pretty much was restricted to moving from job site to job site.

After I retired and travelled more to see the country, I found the Avion to be inconvenient for the reasons you mentioned. I tend to stay at Federal and state camp grounds and so many are size restricted. Also the big Avion was hard to maneuver in tight places.

I then down sized to a 28' Argosy and had a base camp in Florida. This worked well and I would still have the Argosy but a opportunity presented a 250 Airstream Classic motor home to me and I got it. Couldn't be happier. No hooking up and unhooking, and because of it's short size it goes anywhere I want. It has the amminities of a larger class A motor home but not the size restrictions. I guess I should add that I'm single and traqvel with a dog.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:28 PM   #6
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1984 34' International
1977 Argosy 24
Central , Georgia
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Other Threads discussing this subject

There are posts worth reading in these two threads:

I think there may be another thread with similiar discussion. Will post if found.

Travelers by aluminum roadships, loyalists to one species,
masters of convenience, herdsmen steeped in maintenance and restoration.

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Old 02-26-2007, 02:36 PM   #7
Rivet Master
1992 34' Limited
Falls Church , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 945
Be the ENVY of the place, wherever you are!

Paul -

If you have the $'s and the TV, then go ahead and get that big 'ol 34. You'll be the ENVY of anyplace you go - even the Newell & Prevost owners come and look!

I had that experience in Michigan in South Haven. Had to pull past "Millionaire Acres" to get to my back-in spot overlooking the lake - KILLER VIEW! Merc's, BMW's, Caddies, LOTS of crystal chandeliers and such, in front of 3 Prevosts, 1 Newell and 2 BlueBirds. They made a 'group' calling (safety in numbers!?) that evening during their happy hour and Oh'ed and Ah'ed all over SilverToy. For some reason, the ZipDee's all the way around & the remote entry, was what they fixated on the most that evening.

Me, I was the proud owner! I couldn't have been more pleased.

Funny, but I didn't get invited over to look at theirs - and why would I even want to go, what with that killer "SilverToy" to appreciate....

Paul, you'll get to where you like 'seeing the green' on everyone's face when you get that 34 all set up. Good stuff that!

Not that I got that everywhere.... but every now and then it's good.

Do it. You won't regret it. My .02 cents.

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Old 02-26-2007, 03:34 PM   #8
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Hello Paul -- and welcome to the Forums!

You should see fewer problems with trailer length at commercial campgrounds -- depending on how much they're geared to transient vs. leased sites. I can speak for state & nat'l park sites -- reserve as far in advance as possible. That's 90-120 days for a lot of states. Longer sites can go early. Online reservation websites can be helpful about length restriction (but not always). Having a 31' or 34' won't make much difference in this equation. Fitting in short sites only improves as you go down to the lower 20' range -- but you'll see much less closet space and exterior storage bins (not telling you anything new here).

For over 30' you might want to give the Hensley Arrow some consideration.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 02-26-2007, 04:33 PM   #9
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Marietta , Georgia
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I don't think I have much to add - the 34 Classic is just a superb machine. We are actually on our second, and the reason we changed is because we wanted a slide out and we wanted the second A/C unit in the bedroom. I can't think of a single negative.

We are much more prone to staying in state and national parks versus commercial campgrounds, and while some sites are not appropriate for that size rig, we have had only one time (White Mountains, NH) where we could not fit in any sites. But that campground was mostly focused on tent campers anyway.

If you do go with a 34', and you are going to go with a slide out, you may need to stiffen your TV suspension, but again that is easily accomplished and inexpensive.

My wife ADORES the closet space and the closed in bathroom, amongst other features.

The bigger issue you may run up against is my belief (you need to check this out) that Airstream is no longer making the 34'! You may need to either have one built or buy used.

Net net - Wouldn't change a thing, and I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
The Slowsky's
2008 Airstream 27FB International Ocean Breeze
2014 Ford F250 King Ranch 4X4 w/6.7L Diesel, Hensley Hitch
WBCCI #1271
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2007 classic

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