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Old 08-19-2015, 01:52 PM   #43
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Although I like our FC cabinets and partitions of laminate over plywood, only the solid wood of the Classics can be sanded and refinished to fix a scratch. Or when the laminates surface wood design finally wears through and the wood print disappears from years of use.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:58 PM   #44
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It seems to me you have 2 decisions to make.
1) the trailer
2) the two vehicle

I have pulled thousands of miles with trailers. And slow is fine but if you choose a tow vehicle that does not match the tow weight of your trailer... you are risking your family for a fist full of cash. And I have to suggest... could you live with yourself knowing you did not maximize their safety if anything happened.

The other issue is... if there is an accident insurance won't pay if your vehicle isn't adequate.

It's not just the hills that you have to consider, it's side winds and wet roads. If your TV isn't heavy enough you will get blown all over the place.

If you want to keep your current vehicle get the smaller trailer and get tents for the kids.

If you want a bigger trailer get a vehicle rated to tow it fully loaded.

It is not worth risking your family for a few thousand dollars.

My 2 cents. I wouldn't tow anything larger than 20' with the land cruiser
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:54 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Reckon that's why they make different models and trim and decor-
I like the old hickory wood Classic. Others find it hideous
I love it, looks durable, but layout is useless for us. My parents bought a new 34' classic, limited, whatever in 2000 with slide out. Nicer than many homes people live in and it's why 15 years later I'm hell bent on buying an Airstream.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:16 PM   #46
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I want yo mama's trailer!


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Old 08-19-2015, 08:30 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
Hello all,

I was bitten by the Airstream bug 6-7 years ago but am finally in a position to pull the trigger on one now that the kids are getting a little older (2 girls - 5 and 3). My wife and I are strongly considering six months of full-timing in order to take a trip out West to hit up various national parks before our older daughter starts kindergarten. If we end up doing that (which I'm give a 20% chance), then my questions are pretty much moot. However, given that we most likely won't do the trip, here's my dilemma.

I'm having a really hard time deciding between a 25 ft and 30 ft Flying Cloud. This would be used for weekend camping semi-regularly and ideally the occasional 1-2 week trip a few times per year. Currently, our planned tow vehicle is a 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser - which is a phenomenal vehicle, but I'm gathering not the best TV. It has an 8,200 lb. towing capacity but is hindered by its short wheel base (112") according to previous posts I've found on here. I think it's payload is just under 1,600 lbs. Long story short, it definitely can't tow the 30 and I'm beginning to wonder if it could even do the 25. If anyone has thoughts on that, I'm all ears.

Here are my pros/cons of the 30 vs. 25. I realize it's our decision, but I'd especially love to hear feedback from other young families that have either length and any rationale you used to make your decision on size.

30ft
Pro - if we do the six month trip, I think this is a no brainer
Pro - two nice sized bedrooms which would provide ample space as the kids got older
Pro - The ability to sleep 6-8, meaning we could take friends and/or other family members on trips
Pro - not that much more expensive than the 25
Con - From what I've read, most people suggest a HD truck to tow it. That's a fairly big con since, outside of towing the AS, a big truck would not be very convenient

25ft
Pro - could MAYBE be towed with our existing TV
Pro - a little more nimble. I'm a towing newbie so every foot counts.
Con - I feel like we could potentially grow out of it as the kids got older
Con - We'd have to make up/tear down a bed every day since we'd have to sleep on the lounge

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you all have!

PS - I wasn't sure whether this was the right section within the forum to post this...

Eric

Eric,

Noticed after reading again you are talking about 25' and 30' with little mention to the several 27' and 28' offerings. For that matter, the 26U is coming out with twin bed option as well. Huge U dinette makes bed nearly size of king for your daughters, big family area when in dinette form. An interesting love it or hate it layout perhaps.

To me, the dinette in back of the 25' and 27' is a major drawback. Just couldn't get comfortable sitting in it, tried again yesterday in a 25' Signature. We thought of how we could sit around at night, movie night, etc with two adults and two small kids, and German shepherd. Tough nut to crack, but we were trying as this is the size Airstream I'm willing to tow with an Escalade that I would love to buy.

Only way I thought of was to break down the dinette into a bed (couch), which we would have to do every night for kids anyway. But we were thinking of 1/2" or so foam enveloped in a durable silky fabric, outdoor type stuff, and having a custom formed pad the exact size of the bed. Then a lot of throw pillows. Basically, making the dinette a couch for us to hang out on with kids, with side bench for one kid. Maybe bean bag on floor for a kid.

Issue is at our size, we wouldn't want to sit on top of table portion of 'couch', so we would be on outside and kids in center basically. Another drawback, when getting up in morning, kids have to get up, move linens/sleeping bags, pillows, etc and then bed turned back into dinette before we can hang out, prepare breakfast and such. We will avoid using a dinette as a bed on a regular basis. PIA.

The 28' has a shorter and narrower version of the L couch than what is found in the 30', but still is quite preferable to me than the 27'. If the 28' catches your eye, be sure to compare the FC to the Serenity and Signature. I was amazed how open the Serenity was due to cabinets removed over dinette, port windows in their place, sky lights, and the white washed wood. We saw the 30' FC bunk just minutes after spending time in the 30' Serenity. Staggering difference.

One other thing we liked about the 30' over the 28' is the longer side leg of the L shape sofa. It alone is big enough for a 5-7 year old kid to sleep on. My wife is 5'8" and layed on it with back against couch, slight bend in knees, very comfortable spot. She has already claimed it. There are many differences in 27', 28', and 30'. Our main focus at this point is on sleeping area for the kids, and a layout that is conducive to family time, games, puzzles, movie night, etc.

My opinion, the 25' will be too cramped for you guys. If not now, at some point in near future. A 27-28' would be ok, but a 30' will offer the best space available in an Airstream and you won't be second guessing yourself down the road.

With that train of thought, also comes in a 3/4 ton truck thought. One we have had a hard time wrapping our head around. But buying a big truck to go with a big camper just seems best to us. After having exhausted the patience of half the folks on this forum, I can say with certainty, to buy anything less would be swimming upstream. Salmon do that just prior to dying, which bothers me as analogies go. Hah.



Dan
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:22 PM   #48
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Thanks all! The wife and I talked through the 25 vs. 30 dilemma (first world problems, I know) over a few beers tonight. I think we should do the 30'. That's the easy decision... I'm having a HARD time coming to grips with buying a HD truck.

First off, I had NO IDEA how expensive they were. We'd have to buy used although Ford's 0%/72 month financing is tempting. I really like the Denali's - they'd be my first choice... but even used they're ridiculous. Kind of like an Airstream, may as well just buy new if you're looking at one a couple of years old.

My wife brought up another concern. She doesn't think we need a big honkin' truck and a Land Cruiser. And she's not interested in my Subaru Outback. So this purchase may launch a chain reaction of turning over both of our cars. Lovely.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:36 PM   #49
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Same here man, on all accounts. Agree 100% on the 30' Airstream. Also agree on not wanting to buy a big truck to haul it with.

One thing to at least look into, the basic trim trucks. For example, a new Ford F-250 XL crew cab with 6.2 L gas engine can be had for under $40k, easily. The ones on the lots are the white work trucks, but I built one on Fords site in silver, 4x4, electric doors/windows and nicer door trim, cruise control/radio controls on steering wheel, many other features. The dealer will swap out black center on front grill (XL) with chrome for a few hundred bucks. Seems a similar truck using Autotrader search feature was advertised from around $35-37k. I test drove a F-350 white work truck. Loved it.

As we did the same with Chevy 2500 with gas engine, we noticed their stripped down model wasn't nearly as much so as Fords. It had carpet rather than vinyl floor, nicer door trim standard, among a host of other things I've forgotten in last 6-7 weeks. This or Ford, if not both, had rear view camera in rear view mirror. But again, custom order color you want, add on some nice options available, but never seen on the 'white work trucks' at dealers lots, and you can have a very nice brand new truck for under $40k.

The one thing not available in basic trim trucks I did want was leather interior. Talked with a few guys that have Katzkins leather seats. Higher quality than factory leather I'm told. Order for $1900 from Katzskins and go to one of their many authorized installers. They cut cloth off factory seats and install this very nice looking leather. My local installer wanted $900 to do the work. But for about $3k you can have leather interior in a brand new truck that it can't be ordered with.

As for the wife, good luck. You need advice I'm not in a position to offer


Dan
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:54 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
Thanks all! The wife and I talked through the 25 vs. 30 dilemma (first world problems, I know) over a few beers tonight. I think we should do the 30'. That's the easy decision... I'm having a HARD time coming to grips with buying a HD truck.

First off, I had NO IDEA how expensive they were. We'd have to buy used although Ford's 0%/72 month financing is tempting. I really like the Denali's - they'd be my first choice... but even used they're ridiculous. Kind of like an Airstream, may as well just buy new if you're looking at one a couple of years old.

My wife brought up another concern. She doesn't think we need a big honkin' truck and a Land Cruiser. And she's not interested in my Subaru Outback. So this purchase may launch a chain reaction of turning over both of our cars. Lovely.
I think your answer is easy...........don't buy the Airstream, then you can keep the Land Cruiser and the Outback. I don't think kids that are 5 & 3 really care if they are in a $100,000 RV. They just want to go camping. The best camping trips I ever had with my kids were in a Jayco pop-up.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:00 PM   #51
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You guys are worrying me, we never bought anything we couldn't easily afford and it has paid off now in our retirement years. $130,000 debt for a few camping trips each year, plus insurance, maintenance and severe depreciation is troubling.

Do balance budget and value with the desire for the best of everything in these campers and trucks.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:17 PM   #52
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The best camping trips I ever had with my kids were in a Jayco pop-up.
Me too. Except mine was a Coleman which I still have, my wife bathed both my baby girls in the sink, I can't bare to sell it.

Airstreams are nice, but in my opinion not worthy of financing a lot of money. It's just a camper, you can buy a real nice Jayco for well less than 1/2 the money, with plenty more space. If you are new to the RV world I would start small and see if you like it. There's a reason you can buy less than 1 year old Airstreams that have never really been used.

From a financial point of view, an RV is a terrible investment. So in my opinion it should be bought with discretionary income. Don't get hung up on the Airstream. Go see if your family is up for RVing first.

And one thing to keep in mind, the bigger the RV the more your are apt to stay in it. By that I mean you are supposed to be outside.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:25 PM   #53
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2015 FC 25FB vs. 30' Bunk

Ted, all great points and I don't want to be found guilty of " thread drift" (probably too late), but I've always been told, "If it fly's, floats or f........(nevermind)" it's going to be expensive. I suppose RVs also fall into that category. I like to think of automobiles and RVs more of a divestment. However, they are enjoyable.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:31 PM   #54
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Divestment...that works!
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:39 PM   #55
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So this purchase may launch a chain reaction of turning over both of our cars. Lovely.
It doesn't stop there we are now looking at buying an RV lot at Tiger Run RV Resort in Breckenridge CO. We are quite excited after 20+ years of enjoying the park to think we might just be owners. If all goes well we will rent the spot in the winter and keep our Bunk there most of the summer.

We do not regret the investment in our kids, family time, love shack time, and I take it with me on most business trips. I much prefer staying in my own luxury home away from home.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:15 AM   #56
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We do not regret the investment in our kids

Glad to hear someone say that.

It's why we are buying an Airstream.


Dan
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