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Old 08-01-2015, 09:35 PM   #15
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
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Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
i now have a Ram 3/4T with a diesel and "...I ain't skeered of no hill." If I had this truck to begin with I might have gone with a 27' or 28' trailer, but I want twin beds, a dinette, and recliners.

Al... great post, my friend. And I love the "I ain't skeered of no hill!" Diesels are great trucks and "I ain't skeered of no diesel, either." (Buying new and getting an extended service contract removes any concerns, for me.)

For folks traveling just as two adults with pets, recliners AND a dinette is an awesome way to roll.

As retired folks, we subscribe to the "6-4-2" program. Six for cocktails (outside), four for dinner (outside), and two for sleeping (inside).

If buying a truck BEFORE trailer, I would go 3/4 ton and diesel. (We did this, and the truck IS our "daily driver", though we don't do any commuting.) 2015 3/4 ton diesel models will serve very well for 27, 28, and 30+ foot Airstreams. If you think a 25' will serve you well, and you subsequently decide that you need to go to a 28' or a 30'.... "You can keep your truck!" (And, unlike lies from the Govt., this is TRUE! )

The 2015 diesel models are remarkably comfortable, quiet, and reliable. Yes, you will spend some money NOW. But doing so will likely save you some money later, if you buy late model and get a service contract to remove any worries. Duramax, BTW, has an excellent service record and gives good mileage. GM continues to build for reliability and mileage, rather than pushing the envelope to have the most power possible. We couldn't be happier with our Denali HD with Duramax/Allison, as both a daily driver AND as the TV for our 30' International. But if need be, I'm sure I could be happy with a Ford or a Dodge truck, as well. I've had an F-150 and an F-250 in the past.

Another thing I like about the diesel trucks... you won't be tempted to dart about, in and out, dashing here and there, like the idiots do in the little passenger cars. You will quickly learn to go gently on acceleration, taking your good sweet time to go about your business. Diesels slow you down a little bit, which I thoroughly enjoy since these days, I am in no great hurry to get anywhere. My days of trying to zip here and there, dashing around like a busy bee are over. I take my time, drive my truck moderately, reasonably, and safely... and let all the busy little bees dash around like mad hornets around me. Diesels are good for your temperment!

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Old 08-01-2015, 10:11 PM   #16
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Our first 20' Airstream was too small for extended travel for two people, our 25 RB is just right and perfectly matched to our Ram 1500 Hemi with a Hensley style hitch.

With two kids and a dog we would have a 30' Airstream for the seating and sleeping, Ford Expedition Ecoboost for the full independent suspension, reasonable wheelbase and excellent towing power, and a Hensley style hitch for never having to be concerned about uncontrollable sway and absolute stability in crosswinds and semis blowing by.

You would regret a 27' for lack of comfortable seating for four (try watching TV sideways), the seat is unfortunately also the kids' bed, the seating is benches, and the dinette is also the lounge. That side bench seat is worthless as seating.

You would regret a Ram 2500 Megacab because of the long wheelbase which will make your daily driving, about town maneuverability miserable. Assuming it's your everyday family vehicle as well as now-and-then Airstream tow vehicle.

Shop for the Airstream or whatever travel trailer first, and then a tow vehicle to match. You'd be up a creek if you bought a Ram Megacab for the family car, and found a nice, clean Class B camper for the years with kids growing up.

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2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 08-01-2015, 10:34 PM   #17
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
You would regret a Ram 2500 Megacab because of the long wheelbase which will make your daily driving, about town maneuverability miserable. Assuming it's your everyday family vehicle as well as now-and-then Airstream tow vehicle.
Doug... is the RAM 2500 "Megacab" one of those "block-long" trucks? Like a full Crew-Cab with an 8' bed? Those are a bit "longish". If it's just like a Crew Cab with a 6 1/2' bed... I sure wouldn't say that would certainly be a "regret".

We have a Crew Cab with 6 1/2' bed, Denali HD 2500, and love it as our "daily driver." No misery whatsoever around town. They're easy to drive and park just as easily as a 1/2 ton parks.

We don't do "daily commuting" however, as we're retired... we just drive into Scottsdale three or four times a week for errands/shopping, going to the range, and such. For these purposes, the Denali HD is an awesome vehicle for us.

If I had to drive an extended distance to work and back, every day, I might prefer the 1/2 ton Sierra Denali gasser... they are like driving a luxury car!

But for dual purpose... go to town for shopping and errands 3x or 4x a week... and towing the 30' Airstream now and then... we totally love the 3/4 ton diesel. This isn't a Soccer Mommie kiddie bus, by any means, of course... for that purpose... another vehicle would serve much better!
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:12 AM   #18
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
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We purchased a 2014 Flying Cloud 27FB Twin ( our Shiny Pete) in late 2013 after 12+ years of frequent RV use. We tried to buy a 2008 Safari 25 FB queen that was on consignment but the owner wanted too much and we wanted to trade our MH. We didn't know it at the time, but the Tampa Airstream dealer was weeks away from selling their store and we ended up with a good deal on our new coach and a decent trade on our MH.

Our RV history is we started with a 24' light trailer, went to a 26' slide (full height and heavier), a 31' 2 slides (heaviest, went to 3/4 ton TV), and then a 39' diesel pusher with a slide (the most expensive way we found to camp ). While we enjoyed all our rigs, honestly, we enjoy the Airstream the most, and wish we bought it about 2 rigs ago. As you can see we did the kinda normal "bigger must be better" that strikes a lot of RVers and Boaters.

Bigger is not necessarily better........... as we now know after nearly 2 years with Pete. The 27 with twins has been great for us, and we've easily spent 100+ nights aboard. We often have our almost 5yo grandson with us and soon will start his almost 2yo sister on regular trips as well. For us the ability to tow with a properly spec'd 1/2 ton, ample storage, ample living space, and all of the attributes of quality, durability, and towability of the Airstream make it a very nice unit.

Hope our experience is somehow helpful to ya'll!
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:34 AM   #19

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Wink What do you regret about your first Airstream purchase?

The first.... A used 1963 22' regrets.

The second....A new 2003 25' Classic......that it wasn't a used 1963 22' Safari.

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Old 08-02-2015, 07:44 AM   #20
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2011 34' Classic
Sebring , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Regrets about our first AS?

That we didn't get it sooner!
David, Debbie, Jenna-Leigh
and our 2 dogs....
Meg and Rudy!
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:00 AM   #21
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2007 25' International CCD FB
Northridge , California
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The regret that I had with my first trailer purchase is that I didnt have it checked professionally. With my current trailer I sent someone out of state to check it out for me and close the deal.
The 30ft bunkhouse layout might be nice for you especially with the kids..that way you have your own bedroom and the kids have their own space.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:19 AM   #22
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Dan, no matter how much research you do before you buy, it is likely that you will choose the wrong coach first. Depending on how badly you misjudged, you will be trading in anywhere from a month to a year. Your second coach will be closer to what you need, and you will keep it for a year or two. Your third coach will be the keeper, as by then you know exactly what you need.

The general advice is to buy used for those first two coaches, as there won't be as much of a depreciation hit as with a new one. From what I've learned with my research, a 3/4 ton pickup will handle most Airstreams, and a one-ton will handle even the largest with plenty of capacity left over for the full-timer's other stuff.

We're looking at late 90's 34' coaches. Tow vehicle will probably be a late 2000's F340.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:35 AM   #23
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Corpus Christi , Texas
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What do you regret about your first Airstream purchase?

I agree about twin beds. Far more practical. Think of these things as sailboats. Space utilization matters. And that increases with the years.

As to how one will fare with first one, my folks had theirs 27-years. I don't recall feeling cramped as a 6' teenager. Hell, my air mattress on the floor was better than the foldout couch my two sisters slept on. Three and four week trips were the family norm. In a luxury car at that point. I'd seen 46 of the 48 states before college. Many of them more than once. And parts of Canada. Today, I see no reason to sacrifice on length or for practicality sake so much as I am divorced. But if I buy another trailer it may be a 28' like my folks had.

The rear bath and twin bed plan really cannot be beat, IMO. 27-28' is the magic size for full time and short trips. It can get by with one A/C as we'll. Barely, in some cases. Bedrooms not centrally located are pretty well forced into two A/C units. Besides, who wants to camp in hot weather? A screen room under the main awning warrants your time to read upon.

This A/C thing may not matter, but the functionality of the classic aero aluminum floor plan is hard to top. The trade offs start to add up with other sizes and other floor plans.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:08 PM   #24
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2015 28' International
Edmond , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Wink Regrets

should have bought 30' Serenity, not 28'.
Uncomfortable bench seat in front.
did not get awning on street side.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:10 PM   #25
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
Arvada , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2008
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That we did not purchase a 30' trailer in the first place. For the five years leading up to the purchase of our 2006 28' International we thought that would be the one. That is until we realized that nothing we did could improve the quality of the casual seating in the trailer. The "L" shaped, straight backed sofa was never comfortable even after spending many $$$ on new foam, pillows, etc. I suppose if we had not seen the Flying Cloud at our dealer during a maintenance visit, we'd still be uncomfortable, but fortunately that was not the case.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:59 PM   #26
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 260
We bought a 15 27 FB. Wish we had a second ac unit (it's been really hot this summer in the west, and one ac unit struggles when it's over 95) and I'm going to remove the dinette and the attendant bench seats to replace with recliners for watching the tele. Speaking of the tele, the mushroom shaped TV antennae is a pos, and will get replaced with something that works...better. And then there is the converter charger...

One might think that for over 70k Airstream would address all this, but...we still are absolutely in love with our silver bullet, and will eventually get it the way we want it.

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Old 08-02-2015, 02:25 PM   #27
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What do you regret about your first Airstream purchase?

Only regret is that we did not do it sooner. Spent 27 years having great fun with our houseboat on the Sacramento Delta, but the Airstream has taken us to many other places with many new and wonderful friends. It also allows us to stay in our own "home" at the many kite festivals we attend around the country.

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Old 08-02-2015, 06:06 PM   #28
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2016 30' International
Scottsdale , Arizona
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My biggest regret WOULD have been not being able to have recliners.

If you are the kind of person who enjoys spending time inside the trailer, as well as being outside, consider seating carefully. When test shopping Airtreams, you may sit on the bench sofa for a few minutes, but don't have the opportunity to sit for a few hours. For many people, sitting on the bench sofa or dinette for more than about 20 minutes becomes very uncomfortable.

If you've already bought the rig, it will be about then that you start wondering what you can do to make sitting/hanging out in the coach more comfortable. As mentioned above, you can try different foam cushion insides, pillows, etc. But these are not solutions that will make a big difference in your sitting comfort for an evening watching TV. Many people have spent big bucks replacing the bench sofa or dinette with recliners. This often involves having some utility equipment relocated within the coach. The result can be fantastic. You can relax in great comfort for hours on end, if desired, in recliners. But some trailers can't be converted to recliners because of the placement of utilites. The 30' rear bedroom is a good candidate for this and does not involve removal of the dinette. The L-shaped sofa is replaced.

We knew going into our Airstream purchase than if we could not make recliners work, we would NOT be buying an Airstream. We would have bought some other brand of RV (most likely an Arctic Fox with slide outs and two rear recliners - for less than 1/2 the cost of our 30' Serenity.

It turned out that we were about to have the factory make a 30' Serenity for us with their recliner "layout", but without providing recliners - we wanted to use recliners of our own choosing. And with the 30', there is enough room to have recliners AND a dinette. Though we don't often sit at the dinette, we use the dinette's table space constantly and would not want to be without it. So, if your in-coach seating comfort is an important factor to you, this is something to seriously consider, especially if you would be inclined to spend extended periods of time traveling in the Airstream, or living in it for any period of time.


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