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Lily&Me 06-11-2009 05:08 AM

Just depends on what you want, need and can afford. We really, really like the economy and space-efficiency of small, while still having the luxury of a beautiful AS. We can go and park anywhere, mileage is great, knew from the start that we didn't want to tow. Happy hunting! :)

nick6930 06-11-2009 05:16 AM


Let me first welcome you to the forums. You have picked to best place for opinions and info. No matter what size you get you will love every minute of it.

I am a first year newbie myself and had the same struggles. I was very nervous about pulling something more than 20'. However I went with a 28' and was extremely scared to pull i until I bought a larger tow vehicle and now I roll down the road like it is not even there.

Some questions that you need to ask yourselves about size:
-how much do you want to spend?
-What do you have to tow it? (this may be an added cost you did not expect. IE me)
-Where do you want to go? Camp grounds or boondocking (some national park only allow a certain size.
-How long do you want to go away for? The small the trailer the shorter the trip. IMO
-What type of people are you and your husband? Do you mind being extra close all the time of vacation? In our 28' I can go lay down on the twin beds and she can play on the computer in the front and not bother me or visa versa in the morning when I get up at sunrise and she sleeps til 8am, I can still cook my coffee and sit on the couch.

And last get what is going to make you two happy. Remember its vacation it is suppose to be fun not a fight. If larger is going to stress the driver out or living too close is going to cause a fight make the decision accordingly.

Good luck and let us know. We love photos.


Lothlorian 06-11-2009 06:26 AM

we have a 27' that has two couches that fold into double beds. We feel it is perfect for our needs. My wife loves the bathroom, where I am not so crazy about the bath tub. I like a stand up shower. I cracked my head on the bathroom counter taking a shower in my A.S. I put a nice bump on my head.

We take two dogs when we camp and we feel it works out really well for them and us. I could not imagine camping with two dogs in a smaller trailer. Also I am pulling my airstream with a dodge ram 1500 4.7L engine. It works great but you have to work that engine going up inclines (Tennessee mountains). I would not pull with anything under a 4.7L engine.


Steve & Susan 06-11-2009 06:39 AM

I like to use the cruise ship analogy. The staterooms on a cruise ship are VERY small (unless you are Daddy Warbucks and can afford a suite), BUT you really only sleep and shower in them (yeah, I know, there are a FEW other things). My point is that after a week or two at sea with the person you are traveling through life with and you love to pieces, small rooms tend to shrink even more and smaller rooms can mean shorter tempers and unhappy times.

All that said, you will have rainy days when you spend most of your TT time in the TT and this can come into play. We got the biggest TT we could tow for that reason and it is working out very well (even though I LOVE the 19 footers and the older 22 footers).
The more time your are going to spend indoors, the bigget TT I'd recommend.

LisaP 06-11-2009 01:43 PM

Lots of great information. We are having a blast shopping for one. This is all new to us . We have never camped in a trailer but have always admired the AS and the lifestyle. I love hearing everyones opinion. Thanks, Lisa

87MH 06-11-2009 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by LisaP (Post 708220)
Looking for our first AS.....Would love your input on size.

I have pondered this for a LONG time - 26' dual axle seems to be optimum for me.

76sovereign 06-11-2009 04:23 PM

Great idea!

Originally Posted by wayne&sam (Post 708332)
in our 20' safari, luke the border collie sleeps under the dinette and molly the jack russell sleeps here:

I took the door off one of the storage bins under a dinette seat and put her bed in there. She loves it.

ROBERTSUNRUS 06-11-2009 11:26 PM

25 footer.
:) Hi, the 25'er is the largest of the small trailers and the smallest of the large ones. Thus Happy medium. We started out by looking for the smallest "Class C" motorhome with an island queen bed; Then we re-thought our wants and needs and started looking for the smallest Airstream with an island queen bed. At this time the safari 25-B was perfect trailer for us. [wife and I, and two little dogs] Now it's just the wife and I. If I were to do it again, I would possibly consider a 23'er, not available at the time we bought our trailer.

blueiwahine 06-12-2009 05:07 AM

Hi LisaP,
Hubby and I have been researching AS for the last year religiously and we stopped by a dealership every chance we got... to walk through the different model sizes. I love the 20' model setup, but had my heart set on getting the Ocean Breeze decor...loved the beachy feeling it has. Hubby liked the Flying Cloud interior. Anyway we couldn't decide what we wanted, kept going back and forth between a 20' or 25', 27'. We ended up getting the 27' because we loved the floor plan setup, the microwave in the cabinet - so would have more counter space, extra closet space and of course the Ocean Breeze colors, fits our personalities perfectly. Like everyone else has said... go to a dealership and try out the different models for fit. We plan on being outside alot, but figured it would be nice to have more room for those not so great weather days and we're stuck didn't want to have to trade up, if we decided we were too cramped. $$$ wise it was just more feasible to get the larger size for us. It is just hubby and I and our little yorkie. Good Luck trailer will know when you find the right one.

flynaxos 06-12-2009 06:22 AM

I'm still a member of the working class (not retired), so my use is different from many folks in the forum, probably about 3 weeks a year. We just downsized from a 1983 Sovereign 31' to a 2008 Safari Sport 22'. We have about a week's use with it now and absolutely love it.

Our clan consists of my wife, me, a 90 pound dog and a 10 pound cat. Plenty of room but you MUST STAY ORGANIZED! That's the key. As we were moving things from the 31' to the 22', we realized we were hauling around a lot of things we never used. Now we are selective with what we take with us and keep everything in its place. The 22' is working out just fine. We just don't need all the closet space in the larger unit.

Our first trip was to bring it back from Florida to Virginia. The first thing I did when we got back to Virginia was to take Andy's advice and install the Reese Dual Cam 600# weight distribution hitch. The WDH made a tremendous difference I highly recommend it.

In short, go for the smaller unit, limit the things you take, and keep everything it its place. You'll love it.

BradS 06-12-2009 06:55 AM

Three years ago my wife and I purchased a 22' CCD International. It was affordable, my half ton truck could pull it comfortably, and we didn't know how much we would use it.
This past winter we fell in love with a 28' Flying Cloud. We both still work full time but we spend about 40 nights a year in our trailer. After looking hard at buying the Flying Cloud we chose to remodel our 22'CCD , because of the money involved. Now we have a trailer that fits us. The remodel gave us a Queen size bed and a pantry and our little trailer is still easy to put anywhere.
Look at the features you want as well as overall size. We like the 22's bathroom better than the 25's, The 22' has more kitchen counter space than the 28'. We don't know that having a separate shower and a smaller wardrobe are something we want.
Do your home work and keep in mind, the perfect trailer is 3' longer than the one you own.

tkowalyk 06-12-2009 08:58 AM

Again -- another welcome to the forums.

So.. there were a bunch of good comments. The comments related to tow vechicles are right on target -- before you consider what size of trailer you need to consider limits on towing capabilities. With this said, we had to upgrade our tow vechicle when we moved up to our 25' Safari.

We are moving to the next chapter in our lives where it will just be the two of us (plus a dog or two) and we lookd long and hard at what size would be best. We settled on the Safari because it seems to have the perfect blend of size, layout and ease of towing (and backing -- which is critical for us to get the trailer in our driveway!).

We have been happy with the decision -- the only drawback is the bathroom We did upgrade the head to a ceramic toilet, and offset it -- but it is still a "knee knocker" but tolerable. Still looking for a curved door.

Good luck and have fun in choosing --

BlueBelle 06-12-2009 10:03 AM

Hi Lisa.
My wife and I are mid 50's and just bought our first trailer. We decided on the Bambi 19.
I was really hot for a 16 but now I'm glad I didn't go that route. I can see after a couple of trips that it would have been too small for us. The 19 Bambi is just perfect for us. Not too small, not too big. (and the price was right... we bought a slightly hail damaged new 2007 model from Bayer in Dublin. Only a few small dings and a good discount.
They are very nice people there and would recommend shopping them.
What are you going to do? Live in it or travel and camp?
We're mostly taking "local" trips to Bluegrass festivals but will probalbly venture further out at least once in the summers to Colorado. We've gone there the last 10 years with a backpacking tent and had a blast. This is going to be a giant step us for us!
I was also attracted to the 23 but couldn't afford a new tow vehicle. I'm pulling the Bambi with a 2006 Toyota Tundra small v8 and it's working out great.
Our trips have been mostly weekends so I can't comment on long term stays in a small trailer but I can see that it would get cramped fast.
We're in Irving so if you want to come look just contact me.
(No dogs but plenty of guitars and banjos)

HOG-I 06-12-2009 10:28 AM

Another welcome to the forum and Airstream way of life. Once again, a voice in the wilderness. We have a 16' Quick Silver CCD and love it. Three dogs (one from each son - glad we didn't have more children) all small. We have had the QS for three years and have done the NE for 6 weeks, NW for 5 weeks plus many 3 day to two week trips. It truly depends on your planned use, i.e., are you traveling to see and enjoy our country or just to a location for weeks at at time. I will admit that cooking chef style meals would be troublesome but as my better half, so clearly explained, if I wanted to cook I can stay home. Planning to take off for a month in two weeks and can't wait. Good luck in your search.

tpi 06-12-2009 10:49 AM

What kind of camping are you planning on? Commercial RV parks, or are you looking to camp in mountainous public national forest campgrounds?

That and what kind of tow vehicle you have or anticipate will help answer the questions.

I have a 25'. What I like about it: large tanks and refrigerator will allow extended dry camping. It is easy to get into commercial RV parks. It can be squeezed into sites in many public campgrounds (sometimes with planning) It has plenty of space and storage, and has a conventional and microwave oven.

What I don't like: Large heavy duty tow vehicle , the trailer is 102" wide and cumbersome on narrow mountain roads, some forest service campground access roads, and some small campsites. Impossible to fit in some NFS campsites where a smaller trailer will fit.

Bottom line: Commercial RV parks I'd trend larger. Small forest campgrounds (at least out west) 19' foot could give more opportunities.

LisaP 06-12-2009 09:17 PM

how adorable!

Foiled Again 06-12-2009 09:41 PM


Originally Posted by tkowalyk (Post 708812)
We have been happy with the decision -- the only drawback is the bathroom We did upgrade the head to a ceramic toilet, and offset it -- but it is still a "knee knocker" but tolerable. Still looking for a curved door.

Good luck and have fun in choosing --

I have the 25 FB Safari, and I agree about the knee knocking thing in the toilet. Living alone allows one to leave the door open and as a result I've noticed that if the darn door were 2 inches wider It could work in place of the front fold away door. By eliminating that 3 inch wasted space the pantry could be wider.

Let's be honest - if two people are in the Airstream, even with the bath fan going full blast there's very little real privacy. The other party will probably know exactly what you're "doing" unless he's watching NFL or Nascar.:lol:

I do find that the awning tool stores nicely behind the strap that secures the rear folding door... otherwise I use it only when I have company... once or twice a year.


TBRich 06-12-2009 09:43 PM

Love our 19' Safari SE...two 60-year-olds and two medium dogs... It does everything we need it to do...we can tow with a smaller truck....we can get into any campground space, etc. This does not mean that at some point we might want a larger one, but for now this one is perfect for us. Take your time, think about what you need/want...and happy camping!

Whizzo 06-13-2009 02:47 AM

Welcome, and best wishes in your choice. As a couple, no kids, no pets, we were carefully considering the differences between the Bambi 19 and Sport 22. Those couple of extra feet made a big difference with interior moving, storing and cooking, yet didn't make it much tougher to maneuver (tow and back up) on the outside. Other factors include a bigger bed, though you must make it each night, and two dogs might take up the extra room!

John W

Frank's Trailer Works 06-13-2009 05:00 AM

BIGGER IS BETTER and all you women know it.
I have two kids and my wife in a 26 foot Overlander. We leave the dog at home. A trailer is no place for a Chesapeake Bay retriever. We consider our trailer our second home and treat it as such. We cook at home, we cook in the trailer. The space can get tight with the four of us. I would love to step up to a 31 footer. A lot of towing advice you have been given pertains to the newer models which are very heavy compared to the vintage units. The smallest trailer today weights as much as the longest trailer in 1958. I have moved a few trailers around and find very little difference in backing up something long over something short. If anything I find the smaller trailers harder to back up. For a matter of fact Wally's X251 Bubble (16 foot)is a pain in the astroid to back up compared to my Overlander.

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