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Old 03-26-2015, 02:07 PM   #1
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Airstream or 5th. My marriage depends on it.

Please offer up any marriage advice you can. My wife and I plan to start the RV life in 2 years. We will not retire for another five years but instead continue to work while in the RV. We both work just need internet connection to do our jobs. We will keep our home and travel in the RV approximately 6 months out of the year.
Now here is where we need marital advice. I want us to get a 25-30 Airstream and she wants us in a 5th wheel. Main thing she is stuck on is the desire of more living/working space. I get it the 5th wheel is big!
My thoughts are since we are getting the RV before retirement and continuing to use it for many years into retirement, I want one that will handle years of use. Also I dont want to have a RV that starts to look out of style in a few years.
How can I sway her that an Airstream is smaller but better? Ive tried telling her she looks skinnier in an Airstream but not sure shes buying that logic.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:11 PM   #2
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That's tough, because our friends have a fiver, and you could pretty much fit our Airstream in their living room once the slides are open! If I was going to be living in it, I would want all that space. There are some Airstreams with slides, maybe you need to hunt down one of those?
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:14 PM   #3
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For me the question is how many miles will you travel in that 6 months. If you are staying in just a few spots, then I may be in your wife's camp. If you are going to be very nomadic, I'd probably be in your camp....30' MINIMUM, IMO.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:14 PM   #4
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If you want to be happy, do what she wants. Reason and logical thought should not be part of the equation.

You know the old saying, If Momma ain't happy, then no one is happy.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Wow, what a question!

We have a 25ft and love it. Although after 5 nights or so in a row we do want more space. I agree 30ft would be better.

A fith with slides will give you so much space. If you are going to be in a spot for a while that could make a difference.

I love our airstream and we will have it for a long, long time!!!
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:28 PM   #6
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You know what they say, " happy wife- happy life".

I would suggest renting an rv a few times. Ease into it. She may realize that one doesnt need a lot of stuff living this way. One thing I've realized since having the trailer is how easy it is to use it as long as we keep it simple. Mines a 23, too small for what you want to do but a 28 with the dinette converted to a work table might be perfect for you.


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Old 03-26-2015, 02:50 PM   #7
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We've had and looked at them all for over 45 years. We've had three AS and tried others because they had "more room" - "easier to set up" so on and so forth. Our last was a 38' motorhome, great unit, hated the ride. Very easy to set up and take down, minutes actually. BUT, sold it after a 7,000 mile trip and bought another 30' AS.

Don't like 5th wheels - way to high, one has to be careful, very careful where one goes with the height. One has to be careful with an AS too, but not even close to a 5th. 5th moves in the wind, a lot, not as much as a MH, but more than an AS. Obviously we would advise a 30' AS. We travel about 5-6 months a year, have kept our home but most important don't work - retired full time.

Only real suggestion is sit in them, for hours. Picture what you would do with one. Go to a campground and walk around, talk to people, lots of people. I do it every campground we stay at and learned some valuable lessons about motorhomes after we bought ours. Simple things like cleaning the windshields, it's over 12' up there, need a high step ladder etc. So ask lots of people for the pros and cons. And good luck
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:20 PM   #8
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My husband and I both worked in our 27 ft before we retired. Not for extended periods of time - we worked for a days to up to 2 weeks maybe 4-6 times per year. He worked at the dining table and I worked on the bed. We needed that separation as we needed to take phone called periodically. Was it ideal? Not really, but we kept the periods of time short and knew our working days were numbered. I'd say the size was not ideal for working but it's ideal for us now that we're retired. I don't think we would have lasted for 6 months with us both working in the trailer.

On another note, we were very grateful to have the opportunity to work while we traveled but had a somewhat romantic notion of how it would be. At the end off the day you're still working most of the time with limited time to do outside things. Some days you can be so sucked dry when the workday is over that it's hard to want to go out and do things. And depending on the time of year you're out, it may be getting dark right as the workday end.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:21 PM   #9
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Airstreams are better travelers because of their size, and fivers are better homes because of their size. The compromise may be a big Airstream or a small fiver.

And part of the overall rig is the tow vehicle, also known as your daily driver. Airstreamers have choices including some capable SUV's, fivers must have a heavy duty pickup. This I would not care for.

A truck pulling an Airstream can have a bed topper for carrying gear while a truck pulling a fiver will have little bed space, but much more storage space in the camper.

We travel half-time and do well with our medium-size Airstream and truck setup. Full-time would be a 30' Airstream, but we don't work in it and most of our days are outdoors.

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Old 03-26-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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Hi, if your wife loves cleaning a big house and likes to bring a 47 piece cast iron cook set with her, you might want a fifth wheel trailer. But if you would like to keep things simple, get a travel trailer. Our 25'er works great for us and for ten years we unhooked and went all over the place in our Lincoln Navigator tow vehicle. Soon we will be traveling with an F-150 tow vehicle. [A bit harder to park in town than our Lincoln] I would not want to cruise around the town or sights in a 350/3500 dually. Also you might want to show your wife a few videos of fifth wheel trailers going under low bridges.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:09 PM   #11
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I have work-timed for the past several years. First in our 31' Airstream (pre wide body), then briefly in our 25' Avion, and currently in a 32' Holiday Rambler 5er. There is no comparison when it comes to space, the 5er wins hands down. It doesn't have the cool factor of an Airstream, nor will it age as well, but it's very comfortable, which is what we wanted. We picked up a steal on a used 5er a couple of years ago and love it.

The big issue is that 5er's generally require heavy duty tow vehicles unless you get a small rig which sort of defeats your Wife's desires. A quality hitch (B&W Companion) can set you back more than you'd expect, but hitching up a 5er is a piece of cake.

And of course there's always the multiple RV owner option. We started off with one... then another... and another.

The Avion is our travel (Fun) rig and the 5er is resident for the most part. If I were traveling alone and relocating frequently I would lay out the money for a 31 to 34 foot wide body Airstream and not look back.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin245 View Post
The big issue is that 5er's generally require heavy duty tow vehicles unless you get a small rig which sort of defeats your Wife's desires. A quality hitch (B&W Companion) can set you back more than you'd expect, but hitching up a 5er is a piece of cake.



Hi, Sometimes that piece of cake looks like this:
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:55 PM   #13
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Get the 5er if she will tow it.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:35 PM   #14
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Get the 5er if she will tow it.

Hi, and park it.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:15 PM   #15
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Couple of things to consider :

The airstream has a wide entry door , a flat floor , only 2 steps from the ground.

Fifth wheel has multiple steps to enter and multiple steps to the bathroom and bedroom.

Something to ponder as you age.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:29 PM   #16
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BTW the 2016 Airstreams are rumored to have ducted a/c but unlike this years model the end caps will be the same height as the ducted portion, eliminating the bulge on the roof and returning the smooth lines of the classic Airstream.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:41 PM   #17
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I'd get a fifth wheel now with the idea to sell upon retirement and downsize to a Airstream.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:21 PM   #18
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Try and find a 30' slide and check it out. It will be sized similar to our moho on the inside. Also, there are other critical designs that you both need to decide on. For instance, a queen-size (minimum) bed with walk-around capability was one of our "must-have" features, and some galley issues because we cook together.

A/S owners have all these great rallies and is a pretty great support group, so that is useful for first-timers like you and me. I have a few more years of full-time employment and only about five years of local camping so far, so we have similar plans for the future.

I like kscherzi's suggestion above, but more critical is who and how you will drive whatever it is: my wife is not real comfortable driving the moho with the toad behind so we may be changing in a few years. This may take some trial and error, so be patient and fins some local rallies and talk to people.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:15 AM   #19
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It depends on why you go camping. If you plan on spending 90% of your time enjoying the stuff to do where you are camping then what you stay in is not that important. If you are going to spend most of your time inside then why camp at all? I would camp to hike, bike, and take photos. If you want to stay inside and watch TV then get a 5th wheel and keep it in the driveway or just stay home. Airstreams are best when on the move. They have a low center of gravity and lower drag. They can also last decades if taken care of. Most of your white box trailers will last about 10 yrs unless you spend a lot of time sealing them up or keep them covered. The white boxes have wood walls that rot when exposed to water and then there is nothing left of them to restore. Anything with pop outs can fail in the open position and then you are stranded till you can get it to retract. Pop outs also tend to be leak points which accelerates deterioration of the structure. I grew up in FL watch all sorts of RV's and boats rot.

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Old 03-27-2015, 09:21 AM   #20
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Buy used, ask her to give the Airstream a try. If it doesn't work, you can sell it and move to a 5. That's an idea, but if she's already made up her mind......
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