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Old 09-29-2016, 11:16 AM   #15
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Holly Springs , Mississippi
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Posts: 331
All the above views are with merit, but especially Doug Kottum's.

I likely will be the counterpoint. When we started Airstream shopping we started wanting the 22' Sport, but quickly upscaled to the 23D, then settled on the 25' FC. If I had it all to do over, I probably would choose the 23D. Here's why.

As a new person to RVing, the width and length (especially the width) is intimidating. I know the 23D is only a half-foot less width, but that's appealing, as is it being 3' shorter. The 23' is the longest of the narrow (if 8' is narrow) trailers, and the 25' is the shortest of the wide trailers.

Maneuvering in smaller NP campgrounds can be challenging; some even the 25' won't fit (one campground in the Tetons comes to mind).

We insisted on a lounge; the 23D and up have that.

We insisted on double axles--these are really handy if you have to change a tire on the side of the road, and axle weights are less.

Both the 23' and 25' models now have 15" wheels.

The 23D will work well if you aren't thinking of full-timing or protracted overnights. In my opinion, the 25' is the shortest trailer that ought to be considered for full-timing. The 23' black and gray tanks are significantly smaller than the 25'; that's a limiting factor if dry-camping.

And then there's price; the 25' is $10K more, and about a 1,000 pounds heavier, than the 23'.

The deciding event for us was the, as Doug put it, sub-optimal bed in the 23D. If you are both small/light people, it may work. You should both lie down in the 23D bed to be sure you're not making a mistake. We opted for the 25' with twin beds for that reason. There are lots of other reasons to prefer twins that aren't relevant to the current thread.

If your style is to take long, long trips, a larger trailer is persuasive. For long week-ends or even week trips, the 23D is very appealing. For multi-week trips, longer and wider are better. In fact, the 27' is the best of all worlds for long trips with lots of nights in the TT, balanced against ease of towing, maneuvering, parking and storing. If you zero in on the 23D, be sure about the bed; only 48" wide is mighty narrow for two people.

This is such a personal decision, opinions of others matter, but only as suggestions to consider. YOU are the ones who have to live in it. Some thrive in 16' Sports; for others 30' is barely enough. So try to find both sizes and spend some time trying both out at a dealer. It will be invaluable and educational.

Good luck!


2016 FC 25' FB twin
2013 F-150 Lariat CrewCab 3.5 EB 4X4 3.55 axle
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:40 AM   #16
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Davenport , Iowa
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We down sized from a 30 to 25 and liked it better for our style of camping (2 of us). We are not full-timers. Next considerations: Front or rear bedroom; queen or twins. We converted from queen to twin and the twin appears to have more room.

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Old 09-29-2016, 11:47 AM   #17
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1969 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
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Having been in both also my choice would be the 25 FB. It seems to be the most popular model these days. Just save yourself additional decision making agony, time, and $ and don't venture into a 27 or 30' ...
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:03 PM   #18
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2016 27' Flying Cloud
Woodinville , Washington
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If you're seriously considering a 25, I would encourage you to spend 5 minutes in a 27 before making your final decision. We found the 27 to be a lot more trailer than the 25, with only a 2 ft increase in length & a 600 lb increase in weight, both of which have so far for us been inconsequential.
Alta & Richard, Seattle area --- WBCCI 8873
"Aurum": 2018 Ram/Cummins 3500
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:05 PM   #19
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Long Beach , California
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We started with a 19' and, in a year, upgraded to a 27'. Just yesterday we were discussing the main reasons. For me, it was the corner bed (which I despised) and the small kitchen (lack of counter space and small, shallow sink).

The 23' with a corner bed was a deal-breaker. The 25' with the sideways bed still had the suboptimal set-up with one person having to climb out. We're quite happy with the 27' and, I have to say, it's been a breeze to tow and park. I used to be quite frustrated with backing the 19' into spaces, but the 27' is actually a lot easier.
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:13 PM   #20
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san jose , California
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23' if you want a nice view when you use the restroom.

25' if you want a nice view when dining or sleeping depending on configuration.
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:39 PM   #21
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2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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Ah, this is why Airstream makes so many lengths/floorplans. Most everyone has hit the nail on the head. Very personal decisions when making a tough (and potentially very expensive) call. When I was getting ready to buy my first Airstream, I was fixed on a 25. What I read here on AF multiple times was: "pick out the trailer you like, then buy the next larger model." I followed that advice and bought a 2012 28' Intl CCD. Then, two years later I bought the 30' Classic. As far as parking goes: the length of my trailer has not kept me from a single campground or boon-docking location. (Yes, I know some National Parks, State Parks, Corps of Engineers do have size limits.) I don't think "non-availability of a campsite" would be a reason to limit the length of a trailer -- for me, anyway. What I really like is having larger water, gray and black tanks. A bathroom and separate shower. (If I'm in an Airstream, WHY would I use a campground shower??) Decent storage. AND (this is a big one), if you plan to use it a lot -- and you should -- think about what it's like if you and your mate are stuck in there for 1-2-3 days of solid rain. We were camping in a SC State Park this week (Hunting Island), it had 50 amp service and water. This campground was built in 1935 and I lost track of the huge 5th wheels, genormous toy haulers and MoHo's that were parked throughout the 150+ spaces. This summer we also did two lengthy trips where we had NO hookups at all. The best part of an Airstream is that it's a TRAVEL trailer rather than a campground queen with 4 slideouts, an outdoor kitchen, outdoor wet bar and outdoor flat screen TV! Something for everyone, right?
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:41 PM   #22
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Gatineau , Quebec
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Thanks for your help !

I am looking to change my fifth wheel since I think it is too big for travelling - Yes we have a lot a space in it but when we do camping we are mostly outside anyway and we had a lot a problems with it - a lot - and now I hate my fifth wheel. We do want a best product, better quality, easy to tow and we want a smaller unit. So I went to de dealer in order to change it I saw some airstreams - Do not ask me why but, we do love them... We now feel that other trailers are just ... ordinary .... white box with no personality. I think I will go with the 25FB with 2 ac - I do not mind when it's cold but we can't handle when it is too hot particularly when it is time to sleep ( we are Canadian so ...) ...
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:44 PM   #23
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
Rancho Murieta , California
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While I agree that it comes down to personal preference, I would go with the 25' with the panoramic windows on each end. That single feature alone makes the difference for us with our 27FB. Go to an AS dealer and mill around. Make a list of what you like / need.

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Old 09-29-2016, 06:51 PM   #24
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by BAB View Post
. . . The best part of an Airstream is that it's a TRAVEL trailer rather than a campground queen with 4 slideouts, an outdoor kitchen, outdoor wet bar and outdoor flat screen TV! Something for everyone, right?
Absolutely, understanding this is a basis for putting up with these tiny houses that tow so nicely (even when wind keeps the fivers and Moho's off the road) and look and feel so good when tucked into their campsite.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:53 PM   #25
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Sacramento , California
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We are only 2 (retired couple) who sometimes have a grandchild on board. We have a 23' FB FC. #1 smaller & easier to pull & park - #2 queen bed - #3 double sink (boon docking) - #4 bathroom w big window & separate shower BUT!!! BIG BUT!!! We took out the dinette & put in a couch that makes into a bed (adequate for 1 adult or 2 grandchildren) LOVE it. (BTW, Storage in the FC is more than we need.)
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:46 PM   #26
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2007 25' International CCD
Grand Haven , Michigan
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You are asking valid questions. That's what this forum is all about. Sometimes responders get short I guess.

My (three year) 10,000 mile experience in towing my 25 international is always pleasurable. Can't wait to hook it up and go. Very stable behind my 1/2 ton TV. But I occasionally second guess why I didn't go 27-28.
So I agree, spend time in one at dealer, but remember, compared to a 5th wheel you will be leaving big things behind. There is Plenty of small storage. the AS philosophy is to travel light so you can Always travel, and leave those "house" things at home.
Good luck
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:02 PM   #27
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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We have had three Airstreams over the Last ten years. We have spent 1,800 nights in them, and have towed the over 150,000 miles.

We started off with a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new. We used it extensively for eight years, and enjoyed it immensely. We decided to downsize and bought a slightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB. We camped in it for ten months and towed it 15,000 miles. We also enjoyed this Airstream, but found it just a little too tight with the 6" thinner body. We also found the 18 gallon black tank too small for our camping style. We decided to go back to a 25fb. We bought a new 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. We have already spent over 250 nights in our new Airstream. We are back in the right Airstream for us.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:15 PM   #28
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2014 31' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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We started with a new 2013 25FB International Serenity acquired sight unseen. Cracked my head sitting up in bed on the roof lockers. Had to climb out of bed as there is no walk around floor between the bed the and the front wall. Towed with a 2012 RAM 2500HD Cummins.

Traded in the 25FB in less than a year for a customized 2014 31' Classic. We absolutely love this trailer and spent the entire summer in it on our lot in an Airstream only RV park in Lakeside, AZ that was 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix.

We added a 2015 23D International Serenity for our weekend camping fun and tow it with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. While the bed is cozy, at least it is inline with the flow of the trailer. I think the 23D, after our extensive modifications, actually has more accessible storage than the 25FB. We have five 100 watt solar panels and a 300 amp hour lithium battery for off grid camping. The achilles heel is the rather small capacity black and grey tanks. The fresh water capacity is the same as the 25FB.

Spend lots of time looking, sitting on the toilet checking leg room, lying on the bed, sitting at the dinette and looking at the TV screen (straight on or twisted neck), visualizing where everything you think you need will be stowed. There is a huge dealer (Airstream Adventures at Gladstone in northern Oregon) I visited that has at least one of every model floor plan on premise.

I did tow the new empty 25FB home from Los Angles with the Mercedes, but it was not happy after we filled it up with the fully loaded camping weight of 6,900 pounds. The car does well with the loaded 23D at 6,068 pounds camping ready.

The 31' Classic is easier to reverse and park for me than the 23D.

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TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

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