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Old 12-15-2013, 06:12 PM   #15
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Smile 2014 Ram 1500 with tow pkg seems fine for International 27FB

We just acquired our first Airstream and are towing it with a 2014 RAM 1500 with a full towing package,crew cab and short bed. It's rated to tow 9,900 pounds, well over the max weight for our 27FB International Signature. The load capacity of the truck also significantly exceeds the normal tongue weight for this trailer. We went with a truck because we couldn't find an SUV that met our criteria for towing capacity (max trailer weight + 20%), though we would have loved to tow via the new Jeep Cherokee with its diesel engine.

For the small amount of towing we've done so far, this truck seems to have plenty of pulling power and plenty of stopping capacity that syncs well with the trailer's brakes. We live on a very steep hill and had no worries at all going up or down. The truck itself also giving us a great ride. We'll see what happens over the "long haul", as we hope to keep and enjoy both vehicles for many years. The one thing we've since decided to add is a canopy over the truck bed to give us more externally accessible secure dry storage, because Airstreams suffer from such a paucity of that very thing. We'll put our bikes and other fun things in there!

We dropped one of the normal vehicles from our "fleet" of two cars to replace it with a TV because we can't stand the idea of more than two drive trains in our household, though the gas mileage on short trips around town is admittedly atrocious. Because of the short bed it's relatively easy to park, but as first time truck owners we're very glad to have the front and back sensors and reverse camera, all of which help us park and drive more safely.

BTW, we found the Costco car buying service to be extremely helpful as we shopped for a truck. It was really nice not to waste hours and hours haggling, and still get what seemed to be a good price.

Happy shopping, I hope that helps.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Don't want to sound too negative here, but if you don't want to "worry about repairs", you might reconsider even getting an RV. Seems like there's always something to fix, but mostly minor stuff.
Steve, you so right. Trailers are like boats - they break sitting still. There is always something to be done. It does not seem to matter if it is new trailer or used.
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SchuHouse View Post
My wife and I have started the process of deciding to jump into our first RV. I have been attracted to the airstream mystic for years.
We are two to five years away from me retiring and are intrigued with the ability to explore and move around the country. Her passion is long distant road biking and mine is golf, an rv seems like a great solution from trying out different locations for both addictions I mean hobbies. Funny thing is we started our married life out (37 1/2) years ago in a tent, it's all we could afford for a honeymoon but camping was so etching we enjoyed and continued until kids became prez-teenagers.
So here we are back looking at an upgrade version of how we started our life together.
Being the analytic type I'm driving her crazy with all my "research" Over scoured this extremely helpful forum for last two months, have read everything available on airstream website, visited BTCamper in St Louis who were very helpful and searched all available dealer websites I can find .
Any input on my lingering questions would be appreciated.
Cool

Quote:
1. We actually prefer the Flying Cloud line, weight and the more mid-modern look. Is the 27' too large for first timer? I would prefer to avoid the buy, trade, take the depreciation road that I've read many forum members have taken.
I have, in several years on airforums and rv.net, never heard of someone new to RVing trading down to a smaller RV than the one they originally purchased, though about 10% of people new to trailers get out of it because they can't back up a trailer of any size, and there are a substantial number of people who quit doing it just because they don't like the lifestyle.

Quote:
2. We don't have a tow vehicle (mine is Porsche booster hers is honda odyseey). If we get a 27' it appears that we will need more than half ton, is that true?
The various opinions out there can be better understood when you realize that there are two ways to ask the question:
i) "I already have a half ton truck, can I pull a 27' with it?"
ii) "Is a half ton truck the ideal choice when shopping for a tow vehicle for my 27'?"

I would suggest that perhaps a 3/4 ton truck might be a better choice, if you do not already have a tow vehicle.

Quote:
3. Would prefer not having a third motorized vehicle, what is adequate tow vehicle that can also be good daily driver? Not used to commute but to transport bicycle, groceries and long distant road trips?
You will receive many recommendations. In general, anything capable of towing a 27' comfortably will be a compromise as a daily driver, but it can be done.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:55 PM   #18
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SchuHouse,

My wife and I, this last winter, were in the same position, nearing retirement, wondering. We ended up ordering a new 2013 Intl Serenity 27 FB. We figured it would be good to have to practice. Not to mention at the rate Airstream is raising their prices we better get one before they become unaffordable. It arrived early summer, so far we've travelled about 2,500 miles. Retirement is still a few years out. The 27FB is really nice. We really like the bedroom arrangement and the kitchen area.

I'm towing with my existing 2003 Ford Expedition. Its essentially the shortest wheelbase F-150 turned into a SUV, except it has independent front and rear suspension. Its a gas V8, 260 HP. It tows the trailer just fine. My last trip to Death Valley we crossed five passes over 7,000 feet and two over 8,000. We camped below sea level. Sure, it was slow up some of the steeper grades but it made it. My Expedition is 11 years old so I'll probably replace with a new F-150 in a few years and gain 100 more HP and 50 more ft/lbs torque while getting better mileage. To my mind a 3/4 ton diesel truck is overkill and unnecessary for this trailer.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:06 PM   #19
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Schuhouse,
Our first trailer was our 2012 30 Flying cloud. Not too big at all, pulls like a dream. Maybe takes a few trips getting used to backing up the long cigar, but that would be the case for shorter unit to. We love the Flying Cloud also, some of the reason was price but the other was the added storage as compared to the international. Sometimes I wish we didn't have the mini blinds, but then other times, I'm glad they are there. I started pulling with a 1/2 ton Chevy 1500. It did the job, but I was always stopping for gas. TV now is a 2500 Chevy Duramax, I now have to check the rear view mirror to be sure the Airstream is still there. Just love the combination. I need to say that I also love the truck for a daily driver. I've driven pickups for the last 30 years and use to them as a daily driver. This diesel is comfortable, quiet and with 6 ft bed, not really a problem to park most places.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:38 PM   #20
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In September of 2012 while I was overseas and had never been in an Airstream, I did all the paperwork to acquire a 2013 25FB International Serenity. When I arrived at the dealership to pick the unit up at the end of October 2012, I suddenly realized that the illustration in the 2013 factory catalog floor drawing of that model that implied walk around space around the cross frame queen bed did not reflect the truth of the matter. I was reminded of this oversight daily by my wife. After our first trip, we realized we needed to do something different as this floor plan did not work for us.

I stopped by the new local dealership in May 2013 and on their lot was the last (#25 of 25) made 2011 34' Classic in a used state. I looked inside and saw all the space and wood interior. I went home and brought the wife to see this unit. We both liked the wood look, so now we had to discuss the floor plan. So last May we ordered the 27FB Classic with twin beds. By October after another camp out and the Ballon Festival where we viewed many models of Airstreams, we switched to the model 30 Classic with twin beds. The up charge to go from a 27FB to a 31' Classic while still in the "on order" stage was only another $3,008, a bargain.

I am currently in Ohio watching the unit be built (today is 4 Jan 2014). Our unit is sandwiched in the production line by 16' to 31' Airstreams of every trim line. It is a memorable experience to see how some flat aluminum sheets are turned into the masterpiece of design in five days or so.

Our existing 2500HD Dodge diesel is adequate for the 5' longer and 2,700 pounds heavier Classic trailer. However, it lacks the GCVW ratings to tow a 11,500 pound GVW 34' Classic.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:39 PM   #21
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We did it

We went to chicago rv show today. We promised ourselves only yo look...we thought we liked the 25' but the east west bed was a concern...then we sat all afternoon in the 28', it's a model that fits our needs

We got a heck of an offer and took the plunge. Our new 28' flying cloud will be birthed April 1st 2014.
It will include the Awnings package, black ultra leather with golden night interior, two air conditioners which includes 50 amp service, 1000 watt inverter, factory installed bike rack and convection microwave oven.

The factory rep was there, both he and the staff of Chicago airstream were all very helpful.
We are very excited, now onto search for that tow vehicle. Just happens that car show is also in town!
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:02 PM   #22
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Our first of any RV was a 2014 30ft FC AS, with a 3/4 diesel GMC. Go with what you can afford, the key is use what you get. New stuff has two year warranties, used stuff is always used, presenting their own problems. I just did not want to trade up I just wanted it to only hurt once. Join WBCC, go on campouts, attend rally's , go slow and learn your equipment. As they say, " the more you know the better it gets.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:29 AM   #23
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I have my first ever full-size pickup- 2007 Tundra
I have my second travel trailer-
2013 Classic 30
I am happy with both and can see adventures with this combination for 20-30 or more years into the future.
I can also see (and dream and fantasize about) full-timing with this combination.
I am sure you will find many adventures with your new rig.
I am happy and excited for you.
And, by the way, welcome to Airforums- the place where everyone is OCD about silver trailers-
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchuHouse View Post
We went to chicago rv show today. We promised ourselves only yo look...we thought we liked the 25' but the east west bed was a concern...then we sat all afternoon in the 28', it's a model that fits our needs



We got a heck of an offer and took the plunge. Our new 28' flying cloud will be birthed April 1st 2014.

It will include the Awnings package, black ultra leather with golden night interior, two air conditioners which includes 50 amp service, 1000 watt inverter, factory installed bike rack and convection microwave oven.



The factory rep was there, both he and the staff of Chicago airstream were all very helpful.

We are very excited, now onto search for that tow vehicle. Just happens that car show is also in town!

This is why I haven't gone to any shows yet! Haha

In all seriousness, congratulations! That is a nice Valentine's day present for the both of you.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:00 AM   #25
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This is why I haven't gone to any shows yet! Haha

In all seriousness, congratulations! That is a nice Valentine's day present for the both of you.
Thank you...I can't blame the show. I think it was all the reading of this forum, pouring over the colonial website and re-reading every possible detail on the airstream website that put me over the edge.

Funny thing was when I tried to have my wife look at the SOB's fifth wheels and motor homes she walked in, turned around and said no way.
When we walked in the airstreams she didn't want to leave.

In all seriousness the show was an excellent way to see the different models and trim options up close, and warmer than lots in zero degree weather. We had talked via phone with Brian ahead of time so he knew what we were looking for. A nice surprise was having the airstream rep there who answered all my OCD questions.
Now for trucks, we went to Chicago auto show following day...talk about heaven for someone who likes to get information ( that's me) or hell for someone who gets overloaded with information ( that's her)

We think we are ready to pull the plug on a chevy 1500 LTZ if the dealer can find the max towing option.
Any opinions on this truck?
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:18 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchuHouse View Post
We went to chicago rv show today. We promised ourselves only yo look...we thought we liked the 25' but the east west bed was a concern...then we sat all afternoon in the 28', it's a model that fits our needs



We got a heck of an offer and took the plunge. Our new 28' flying cloud will be birthed April 1st 2014.

It will include the Awnings package, black ultra leather with golden night interior, two air conditioners which includes 50 amp service, 1000 watt inverter, factory installed bike rack and convection microwave oven.



The factory rep was there, both he and the staff of Chicago airstream were all very helpful.

We are very excited, now onto search for that tow vehicle. Just happens that car show is also in town!

Aaah....so it was YOU who was locked inside the FC in Saturday afternoon! I was at the show too & saw you & your wife inside penning your deal :-) I did get to peak in the other trailers (just for fun for me!). It was, of course, the highlight of the show for me. Congratulations to you both!
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:24 AM   #27
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The Winter 2013 issue of "Airstream Life" (next to last one- Spring is current) had an article on Load Capacity and towing vehicles. Basically he argues that several non-truck tow vehicles are actually better than some of the trucks for towing the Airstreams. Don't know if I'm convinced he is right but he presents an interesting discussion. We tow our 2012 Flying Cloud 27ft FB with a 2500 series turbo diesel GMC and I have no intention of switching tow vehicles. Driven in paint blistering west Texas head winds, gusty strong cross winds, and every now and then, even with good tail winds. Never any handling problems, the trailer is a minimum tax on the truck. The truck gets about 20 mpg unloaded and around 15-16 mpg with the trailer. Less with small town stop and goes, head winds, and up hill pulls (truck hardly notices the trailer is behind) and better with no wind, tail winds and loooong down hill runs.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:33 AM   #28
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There are many stories going around about towing with a small vehicle and saving gas etc. When I was still working I towed my 25 ft. Airstream with a half ton Chevy pick-up. As I neared retirement and trips got longer I found that the 1/2 T would need a rebuilt transmission and/or differential about every couple of years. So I bought a used 3/4 T Suburban and then two 3/4 T pick-ups. No problem. Replaced the first PU at 125k because of a bad injector that would only be partly covered under a recall. Second one has about 75k and runs fine. Just remember the dealer will tell you what ever he needs to to sell you something. You could pull an Airstream with a lawn tractor but that doesn't mean it would be safe. Consider the factory towing limit as an exaggeration so use 80 percent as a safe guideline. Better to have too much truck then not enough.
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