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Old 05-14-2017, 02:52 PM   #1
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Evanston , Illinois
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Hope to be new owner, 25 vs. 34 ft.

Hi there,
After years of wanting a trailer or rv I've finally talked my husband into it and are looking to purchase an airstream soon! My question is about a 25 ft. Versus a 34. Being new to towing any more than a uhaul trailer, we would like to keep it on the smaller side but we also have a large family (4 kids under the age of 10) and the space would be nicin the bigger one.
We found a nice 1995 34 ft. As well as a 1995 25 ft.

We also need a new tow vehicle and I was hoping for a Ford Expedition but read it might be too small for the 34 ft.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-14-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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With 4 kids bigger is better. You may be pushing the Expedition beyond its limit though. Check the payload, I am willing to bet you'll exceed it. Good luck!

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Old 05-14-2017, 03:18 PM   #3
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I think the Expedition will be too small for the 34'. On the other hand the 34' would be excellent for a family of six.

For the 34' and the family, I would think a 3/4 pickup or van is in order.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #4
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Try to see if the tow vehicle and trailer will work with each other. The 34 ft will have 50% more axles, tires, bearings, than a 25 ft, so plan for more maintenance funds. Otherwise, very few people ever regret more space
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:30 PM   #5
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When I was growing we had a 32' Airstream. It worked for us family of five. At that time bigger is better for your family. Also you will need a 3/4 ton or 1 ton to haul you and your family around safely.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:59 PM   #6
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We have a 30 foot bunkhouse - 2 adults - 2 small kids - and a dog - we can cram in a couple more kids pretty easy.

A 25 footer? No.

Also - don't take 25 vs 34 at face value 1 compare tongue weights - sometimes those shorter ones can have hefty tongue weights - I may be thinking about newer units in the 27-28 foot range perhaps but with kids and all the stuff you pack - the weight adds up.

Adults alone plus my small dog is about 400 lbs.

Good luck!

Ps - I've seen a couple of the forum users on here and at a rally once with specialty made bunk setups that slept like 5-7 kids - forget their names now but these threads are easy to google.

Max I've slept in mine was last year:

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Old 05-14-2017, 09:37 PM   #7
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I think it depends upon what type of camping you are used to. I grew up camping in a 24 ft Airstream with 2 parents and 5 kids (custom added bunks over midship twins). We were OK with that until the older teenage years hit. Then the older kids elected to stay in either a tent or the back of the Suburban. We didn't haul a lot of gear.
The 34 ft'r is a lot of trailer (and tow rig) to park in a lot of older campgrounds. Our current 25 ft + longbed F350 is too long for quite a few campsites.
Things to consider. Best of luck! All camping is good, whatever the size. Good job on sweet-talking that husband into an Airstream!
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:04 PM   #8
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I would recommend the 34-footer, sell the Expedition and find a capable tow vehicle. You won't regret it.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:19 PM   #9
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I have a 25ft. It is at best a 2 adult 2 kid trailer.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:42 PM   #10
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Tow by the numbers. My 2008 Toyota Sequoia is rated to tow 10K lbs. Our 34' trailer has a GVWR 9995. Typically loaded the trailer weighs in the low 9K region.

Many so-called "1/2 ton" trucks today are well able to pull a 30' trailer. Most are better pulling machines than the best "3/4 tons" from a short while ago. These days "3/4 ton" and "1 ton" trucks have similar towing capacity. 1 ton trucks have significantly greater payload than 3/4 ton trucks, but their tow ratings are essentially the same. The biggest advantage you have with a 1 ton truck is that if your load is badly out of balance you won't feel it.

I sought long and hard to find the downsides of towing a longer trailer before we bought ours. The only difficulties we have are backing into small campsites. We've always found a suitable site, but sometimes being a little smaller would have netted us a prettier spot. And tight turns can be tricky. Otherwise I have zero complaints.

In addition to the obvious benefits of more elbow room and larger closets, the longer trailers often have a larger fridge. But as the as the man-of-the-house(trailer), I'm deeply grateful for enormous water and waste tanks. This is a major real-world convenience for me.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:53 PM   #11
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A wise RV salesman once asked us if we planned to use our trailer for 18 weekends a year, OR two-week vacations, OR extended periods of travel for months at a time. For the two of us he suggested <20' is a great weekender trailer. 20-26' is good for 2 or 3 week vacations. >28' serves for extended living.

Obviously your family's needs are far different than us middle age couples with no kids. A 25' trailer may suit you well if you spend many weekends a year at a nearby park with full hookups. But if you plan to spend time on the road, or boondock much, a 30' trailer may actually seem a little tight at times

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