RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-24-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
28' Ambassador v. smaller size Airstream

We are committed to getting our first Airstream. Looking at a late 60s Ambassador (28') or a shorter 22' or 23' size. Is the smaller size worth the inside room trade off for better fuel economy, easier to park, easier to handle, etc?

We sold our 23' RV, love to camp, but this will be our first pull behind camping trailer.

Comments and advice appreciated.

Nigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 06:48 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
seldencove's Avatar
1963 28' Ambassador
Lyme , Connecticut
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 94
Images: 16
Our 63 Ambasador is the perfect size for us with 2 kids and 2 adults. Anything smaller would feel a little cramped to me. Good luck in your searching, its all part of the fun.
2019 Ford F350 Platinum
Gen-Y Torsion 10,000 lb Hitch
Rock Tamers
seldencove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
short MIGHT provide some advantage if using campgrounds with tiny spots...

but fuel economy isn't a factor, and handling is sometimes better with longer trailers...

and many folks find backing (parking) longer units easier.

sort out how much interior space is needed and what features (real shower, dinette, sofa, galley space) are important...

also decide if converting basic things (beds/tables/sofas/toilets) just to sleep cook or bathe matters...

depending on era HOLD TANK sizes may vary too...

IF the previous rig was a small class B moho, extra interior space may be a bonus or a curse.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
kevin242's Avatar
1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 393
Images: 15
The 60's models are fairly light to tow compared to the 70's+ models and the 28' is only a 4'-6' feet longer than the shorter models. In my opinion they all are viable choices - so look at whatever you can and see what feels right for you. We bought a 1977 25' Tradewind and feel a 23' or 27' in the same condition would have served us just as well.
Every home needs a dog, and every dog needs a home.

1977 25' Tradewind (with two ... three... FOUR dogs)
2011 Ram 1500 Quad cab, 5.7 Hemi, tow pkg.
kevin242 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #5
Rivet Master
tkasten's Avatar
1965 22' Safari
Vassar , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 848
Images: 6
We've owned a 66 Overlander 26' and now have a 65 Safari 22'. The Safari is easier to pull, easier to back up and gets better mpg with our 1/2 ton Silverado. We love the shorter Safari but sometimes miss the twin permanent beds of the Overlander. With our Safari we have to make the beds each night.

Everyday is a Saturday
tkasten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 07:29 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
61Ambassador's Avatar
1961 28' Ambassador
1975 31' Excella 500
Bladensburg , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 56
We have a '61 Ambassador. Anything smaller for the 6 of us would be too cramped.

Plus, it only weighs about 3800 pounds at 28' in length.
61Ambassador is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 08:08 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
tlavergne's Avatar
1978 28' Ambassador
Kenton , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 458
As a kid we had a new 1967 Ambassador that held 6 of us (mid twins with bunks above). It was great! We have had our 1978 Ambassador now for 10 years. We have mid twins. There are four of us (2 college age boys). It is a great size. They tow nicely and the length has not been a negative factor in regards to camp sites. They are large enough to spend a day or two inside due to weather if you have to. I think it is a perfect sized trailer and layout. If it were much smaller we might have issues with storage. Thumbs up!
"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid." -- Frank Zappa
tlavergne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 02:48 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Thanks for the great input. I should have mentioned it's only my wife and me and our Husky so we thought smaller would be ok space wise...the real issue is fuel economy...our tow vehicle is an Excursion 7.3 diesel. Sounds like the extra 5' won't make much difference in fuel comsumption. Nigel
Nigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #9
Site Team
Aage's Avatar
1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,219
Images: 25
Let me chime in with the "longer is better" crowd. Two items not yet mentioned:
  • Typically, the shorter ones are more sought-after, and will therefore command a higher price (hence longer trailers can be a bargain relatively).
  • The main difference I found was storage. There is usually a lot more of it in the 28' and up models than you see in the shorter ones.

If there is a difference in gas mileage between a vintage 28-footer and vintage 23-footer it's going to be negligible, especially if you tow with what a lot of folks do, a V-8 pick-up.

Good luck, and let us know how you make out. You're on the right path: keep asking questions!
ďCourage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.Ē
...John Wayne...........................
Aage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 12:05 PM   #10
Rivet Master
SteSpot's Avatar
Currently Looking...
1982 24' Airstream 240
Ventura , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,644
Images: 17
We agree with longer is better

We have a 68 Ambassador for the two of us and our boxer and we find it to be the perfect length for us. We have not found a place where we could not fit and we love the mid twins.......it is like having a cozy home....and room for our bikes to travel inside.....it is a great size for the weekend or 3 weeks....hope to go longer in it someday......paula
Paula & Ed
WBCCI # 8252 Air#13593
1982 24'Motorhome (82Ste P)
SteSpot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
Rivet Master
Silverfoxrae's Avatar
1957 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Saint Augustine , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 703
Images: 45
Blog Entries: 3
I can't speak of long towing mileage, but I have a feeling you might forget you're even towing anything with your TV. I have an Excursion deez and anything I've towed with it has been hardly felt. I haven't towed the '57 Overlander yet but I imagine it will be very easy.

I was looking at anything from 18' and up when I started. Just wanted 13 panels, vintage and something that I could do at least some work on to make my own mark. As fate happened for me, I ended up with the 26'. When I'm inside, I feel it will be perfect for me, ocassionally my husband, our two small-med. dogs and four cats. I wanted a trailer that I could feel comfortable spending a lot of time inside if the weather got crummy. Cozy is good; claustrophobic is not! It's really a matter of feel.

I'd suggest one thing:
Go to a rally near you on their open house day and check out everyone's trailers. You are usually more than welcome to stop by and introduce yourself. This is the best way, IMHO, to really get a feel for sizes. Most will be lived-in. They will have "stuff" in them and you can see right away what feels good.


Sent from my iPhone using AIR Forums

AIR # 42703
TCT Member
TAC # FL~6
WBCCI # 1464

'57 Overlander thread:"the end of the rainbow is silver"
Silverfoxrae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
Rivet Master
noreen&sal's Avatar
1981 27' Excella II
mays landing , South Jersey
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,179
Images: 9
Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
Thanks for the great input. I should have mentioned it's only my wife and me and our Husky so we thought smaller would be ok space wise...the real issue is fuel economy...our tow vehicle is an Excursion 7.3 diesel. Sounds like the extra 5' won't make much difference in fuel comsumption. Nigel
You can tow just about anything you want with that TV. Sal.
Sal & Nora
Let us live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
AIR 42483
TAC N.J. 17
WBCCI 24740
noreen&sal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 05:00 PM   #13
Rivet Master
mutcth's Avatar
2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,652
Aage was right about smaller Airstreams commanding more money. But that market premium seems to pretty much end when you get to a 20-21' Globetrotter.

Given that any Airstream will have similar aerodynamics to one another, and since you're towing with a massive Excursion, there won't be much of a fuel economy difference. In the era that you're looking, these are all mostly sub-4500 lb trailers anyway. (Of course, depending on the trailer, you could downsize the tow vehicle if you want.)

I'm an advocate for the smaller size trailers. I like being able to park in two "normal" back-to-back spots. I like slotting my trailers in little campsites - there are 2 campsites that I've really enjoyed where a bigger trailer wouldn't have fit.

But you really should tour lots of trailers before deciding. We did. It made the difference between buying what would have been too small (a Caravel or Bambi) and just right (a Globetrotter or the Argosy Minuet we bought.)

Finally, think about how you're going to use the trailer. Are you OK making beds every day? We are for now, but it probably will eventually drive us to buy a slightly larger 22-23' trailer - that length is where you start to find models with two fixed twins.

mutcth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
Jezzbell76's Avatar
1966 28' Ambassador
Mobile , NewOrleans
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 38
Images: 67
Blog Entries: 9
this is my first...it is 66 ambassador
they are EZ tow!
i have teenagers and friends who like boondockin
i dont think i could go smaller
Jezzbell76 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Considering a used Airstream purchase kmb1966 Buyer Guidelines 11 08-30-2011 06:09 AM
Airstream International Savereign Land Yacht, Airstream eBay Watch Airstreams on eBay 0 01-20-2011 09:50 PM
waterlines size qc1500 Fresh Water Systems 8 01-11-2011 07:04 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.