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Old 11-05-2016, 05:56 PM   #1
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From 19' Bambi to 23' double axle

Greetings
We have a 19' Bambi and are thinking of moving up to a double axle 23' Flying Cloud FB model. The tongue weight is about the same because the front bed model has a lighter tongue weight. Will I notice a lot of towing difference going from a single axle to double axle and adding 4 feet? I tow with a VW Touareg, towing capacity approx. 7000LB and hardly notice the Bambi on the back when I tow now.

Thanks in advance for your valued opinions.

Cameron
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:44 PM   #2
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Greetings
We have a 19' Bambi and are thinking of moving up to a double axle 23' Flying Cloud FB model. The tongue weight is about the same because the front bed model has a lighter tongue weight. Will I notice a lot of towing difference going from a single axle to double axle and adding 4 feet? I tow with a VW Touareg, towing capacity approx. 7000LB and hardly notice the Bambi on the back when I tow now.

Thanks in advance for your valued opinions.

Cameron
That's a nice move up. Double axels are safer and tend to back up easier. Your VW will be well within the 23FB's 6000 lb. GVWR. You will have noticeably more room.

We had a 2012 19', moved up to a 2014 23D and last month to a 2017 25FB (26 feet), after 3.5 months on the road. We towed the 19 and 23 with a RAM 1500 Hemi. The 25FB is pulled by a 2016 RAM 2500 Diesel.

Hesitant to say this.....but knowing what I know now...we'd of bypassed the 23D and gone straight to the 25FB. If you are going to spend a good amount of time in your Airstream and intend to explore the country, a larger trailer with a beefier TV have their advantages.
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:50 PM   #3
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The 23 FB weigh's more and that will be different. The dual axle has scrub, so that will be different. We tow with a similar vehicle and have no problem with the FC23FB, but we never towed a smaller coach and therefore have no frame of reference. Glimmer is our first RV. She backs well, turns around in a very reasonable space and seems a great match to our TV. We think the 23 is the best coach for two folks.

We have ~ 30K towing Glimmer so far. We have crossed the Continential Divide through the IKE tunnel and in Canada. We shot Smuggler's Gap on our Leaf Peeping trip to the East. We also have done HW1 here in CA a couple of times and ran down HW 550 South out of Montrose CO, which is a beautiful drive. Yes, Glimmer tows well.

Tongue weight - the FB model will grow the tongue load quickly if you do not manage it. Assume that keeping the TW at a 600 lb weight will require close attention to loading the rig. It's not hard to increase the weight to 700-750lbs, but I believe the TW capacity on your VW is about that value.

Issues with a 23 - the wheels are 14 in except on the very latest model. Plan on shifting to 15 in. The dump valves need all the clearance you can give them and there are more 15 in tire choices. The bed is not a walk around. Plan on climbing over. It is full size queen capable. We did it and will not go back. Some folks do not like the dinette. Spend some time sitting in it and decide for yourself. We find it works for meals, trip planning, games....we like it. The seat cushions need an upgrade, but it seems most AS models need same.

Good luck with your investigation. Travel safe. Pat
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:58 PM   #4
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The 23 FB weigh's more and that will be different. The dual axle has scrub, so that will be different. We tow with a similar vehicle and have no problem with the FC23FB, but we never towed a smaller coach and therefore have no frame of reference. Glimmer is our first RV. She backs well, turns around in a very reasonable space and seems a great match to our TV. We think the 23 is the best coach for two folks.

We have ~ 30K towing Glimmer so far. We have crossed the Continential Divide through the IKE tunnel and in Canada. We shot Smuggler's Gap on our Leaf Peeping trip to the East. We also have done HW1 here in CA a couple of times and ran down HW 550 South out of Montrose CO, which is a beautiful drive. Yes, Glimmer tows well.

Tongue weight - the FB model will grow the tongue load quickly if you do not manage it. Assume that keeping the TW at a 600 lb weight will require close attention to loading the rig. It's not hard to increase the weight to 700-750lbs, but I believe the TW capacity on your VW is about that value.

Issues with a 23 - the wheels are 14 in except on the very latest model. Plan on shifting to 15 in. The dump valves need all the clearance you can give them and there are more 15 in tire choices. The bed is not a walk around. Plan on climbing over. It is full size queen capable. We did it and will not go back. Some folks do not like the dinette. Spend some time sitting in it and decide for yourself. We find it works for meals, trip planning, games....we like it. The seat cushions need an upgrade, but it seems most as models need same.

Good luck with your investigation. Travel safe. Pat
The 2017 23s now have 15 inch wheels and Never Lube bearings and ducted AC, and much firmer foam in the dinette cushions, all great improvements over our 2014 23D.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:21 AM   #5
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Hi! This summer I went from a 19 ft. Bambi to a 25 ft. rear bed. Like you, I was really concerned about towing with the extra length and also weight as I am approaching the limits of my tow vehicle. Happily, I found that the dual axle more than makes up for the extra length and it is actually more stable to tow than my little Bambi that I loved. Just assure your hitch is rated for the extra weight.
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:41 AM   #6
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2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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We tow our 23D with a 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI V6 diesel that has 160,000 miles on it. Our real world weights after extensive modification are:

Camping Ready - my scales 9 May and free standing with the Hensley hitch head attached

Tongue………928
Front….1,280……1,246 - total front axle 2,526
Rear.…..1,376……1,233 - total rear axle 2,609
Total Axles………………………………….5,135
Total Trailer….6,063

Modifications & Repairs to 23D

The 2015 23D came with no "AIRSTREAM" name on the back of the trailer, plastic protective film still attached to interior aluminum panel, defective installation of toilet and shower, bathroom door stops installed on wrong side of door, one eye brow shade had broken strings. Replacement required both since ½" folds were now 1" folds.. One wheel bearing set scored when checked with less then 2,000 miles due to lack of grease. Other three were marginal on grease so all were repacked during the modifications. Replaced countless rusted screws from salt air. Repairs to shower, toilet area and pantry drawer. Replaced defective cabinet door hinge.

Installed 15" SenDel T03-56545T wheels and Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires with Centramatic wheel balancers #200-221, Dill 1506-453 TPMS
Installed Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake control head on front of now empty battery box.
Installed auto adjusting drum brake upgrade and four sets of Timken bearings (#4 and #17 bearing sets and #441151 seals) built a larger spare tire carrier
McGard 24138 Chrome Cone Seat Wheel Locks and McGard 64010 Chrome Bulge Cone Seat Style Lug Nuts

Maxim skylight with white frosted lens installed
Two MaxxFan 00-7000K fans installed
Truma "AquaGo comfort" instant on water heater installed with custom external door hatch
Installed 10" Rocky Mountain mattress with their fitted sheets
Installed all available Airstream stainless steel parts
Flooring replacement with Marmoleum Vivace (hole worn by dinette table leg in stock flooring in 2000 miles)
Brass wear plate installed under dinette table leg
WiFi Ranger, XM/Sirius and Verizon MiFi antennas installed
Voyager wireless rear camera installed with lighted power switch
Winegard Rayzar autotune TV antenna replaced crank-up TV antenna
Installed Rigid Industries LED reverse lights
Rewired all electrical outlets to Hubbell 20 amp GFI
500 watt solar system with Magnum MSH-3012 inverter, Blue Sky 3024iL solar controller and 300 amp-hour lithium battery, Magnum ME-ARC control, Blue Sky IPN Pro remote control
New main 30 amp circuit breaker panel and new six circuit sub-panel
Power outlets added to rear storage area, both hanging closets, in furnace air return space under dinette, rear of trailer
12Vdc outlets in hall and front under dinette
Special 12Vdc power outlet behind refrigerator for Viavir 450P portable air compressor
Special blocking plate w/3 fans to cool refrigerator
Added front outside power inlet with automatic transfer switch
Custom Hickory panels for ship's clock and solar controls, converted to a Hickory dinette top and added a Hickory lift up side table by the sink, made Hickory spice rack like in Classic
Custom curtains made by a friend
Replaced all plastic cabinet catches with brass ball catches
Power on/off switch for subwoofer
Installed Dometic CU434 stove and Vitrifrigo DP150i refrigerator
Modified center support web under bed to make more accessible storage plus LED lighting for that space
Installed fold-up cup holders on both sides of the bed
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:20 AM   #7
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We did the exact same swap. 19' Bambi to 23FC FB. We were pulling with a Toyota Landcruiser at the time. I think the 23FB pulls easier. Seems like less weight on the hitch. I felt the presence of the 23 less that I did the 19. Didn't seem that different coming down mountain passes either.
Sure like the bed in front. Much better view from the dinette, and no corner bed! The much larger bathroom is nice also. Double sink, etc.. 23FB is a good one.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:04 AM   #8
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Bandera , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKI View Post
The 23 FB weigh's more and that will be different. The dual axle has scrub, so that will be different. We tow with a similar vehicle and have no problem with the FC23FB, but we never towed a smaller coach and therefore have no frame of reference. Glimmer is our first RV. She backs well, turns around in a very reasonable space and seems a great match to our TV. We think the 23 is the best coach for two folks.

We have ~ 30K towing Glimmer so far. We have crossed the Continential Divide through the IKE tunnel and in Canada. We shot Smuggler's Gap on our Leaf Peeping trip to the East. We also have done HW1 here in CA a couple of times and ran down HW 550 South out of Montrose CO, which is a beautiful drive. Yes, Glimmer tows well.

Tongue weight - the FB model will grow the tongue load quickly if you do not manage it. Assume that keeping the TW at a 600 lb weight will require close attention to loading the rig. It's not hard to increase the weight to 700-750lbs, but I believe the TW capacity on your VW is about that value.

Issues with a 23 - the wheels are 14 in except on the very latest model. Plan on shifting to 15 in. The dump valves need all the clearance you can give them and there are more 15 in tire choices. The bed is not a walk around. Plan on climbing over. It is full size queen capable. We did it and will not go back. Some folks do not like the dinette. Spend some time sitting in it and decide for yourself. We find it works for meals, trip planning, games....we like it. The seat cushions need an upgrade, but it seems most AS models need same.

Good luck with your investigation. Travel safe. Pat
I am looking at the same move-up, but to a 2012 23D. What is "scrub"?
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:32 PM   #9
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I am looking at the same move-up, but to a 2012 23D. What is "scrub"?
We absolutely love our 23D! Coming from a 17' Casita, the thins seems enormous!

After nearly a half-century of sleeping on a king-size bed, I'm afraid that no RV bed is going to work for us. So, the factory bed back in the back of our 23D is "The Queen's Chambers," and I sleep on the front couch. I figured a way to go from couch-to-bed and vice versa quickly and easily and without doing a major dance with backrest cushions... here 'tis: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...3d-158474.html

Also, I found that a bit more 'counter space' in the kitchen would be nice, so I did this: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f38/...3d-158887.html

The 23D suits us perfectly!

Rob
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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We did this move up in 2013

We moved up from a 2001 19' Bambi to a new FC23'FB in March of 2013. Lots of nickel and dime warranty fixes until warranty expired. Now just normal maintenance and small repairs I can do myself (with help from Forum posts). My TV is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma V6 4wd and we are close to its rated capacity. I have towed it all over the west (about 35,000 miles worth) and slept in it nearly 300 nites. It tows smoothly, is noticeably heavier than Bambi, but we love everything about it. Spend some time in one, especially at the dinette. We love the bed and great bathroom. My wife and I travel with 2 small Schipperke dogs who also seem to love the queen bed. We can still fit into the majority of Forest Service and BLM campsites where every foot length seems to make a difference. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I am looking at the same move-up, but to a 2012 23D. What is "scrub"?
When a dual axle coach turns, the front and rear tires are pulled/pushed sideways. That is the scrub. Pat
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:04 PM   #12
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I was very pleasantly surprised recently when we drove our 18 ft retro trailer, 2800 lbs.,to the Airstream dealer as a trade in for a 25 Flying Cloud FB. The surprise was driving back home with the Airstream in a strong cross wind and feeling more comfortable pulling the Airstream than the 18 ft Retro. Our TV is similar to your VW, we have a 2016 Mercedes 350 GLE diesel. CanAm beefed up the factory installed hitch, added weight distribution bars and anti sway bars and it was easy to drive. And easier to back up into our driveway. I returned the trailer to them this weekend to store it there, on the drive back, the highway was closed due to an accident. I had to drive hither and yon, on gravel roads, around cars at intersections and I actually forgot I had a trailer behind me.
My vote, go for it.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:34 PM   #13
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McMinnville , Oregon
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Thanks for your supportive responses. I think I heard unanimously to go for it! Sounds like I just need to sell my Bambi and find the right 23ft FB. Just posted the Bambi in classified section and on Portland Craigslist.

Cameron
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:25 PM   #14
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You'll be fine with your Touareg pulling the 23 because we have the same setup! We originally were going to get the 16, then maybe the 22, but wanted additional options and safety so we decided on the 19 and after touring the 23D, we fell in love. Unfortunately this is our first AS so I can't provide much feedback towing between the two models. We just got back from short weekend trip today and here's our 2016 VW Touareg TDI and Lilly Belle (23D).
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Old 11-10-2016, 09:05 PM   #15
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Thanks for your confident reply. We posted our Bambi, and will see what happens. It looks like you are just up the road from us. Hillsboro?
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Old 11-10-2016, 10:46 PM   #16
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Thanks for your confident reply. We posted our Bambi, and will see what happens. It looks like you are just up the road from us. Hillsboro?
Yep We decided to take her on one more voyage before we winterize her next week! It was a spur of the moment and was lucky to find a spot so were heading south of Tillamook tomorrow since I have a nice 4 day weekend. I hope that Bambi sells quick and as soon you get that 23D we should meet up for a photo shoot
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:21 PM   #17
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That would be a good plan. Got a couple of offers, close but not quite what we are wanting for the Bambi. We go out to Netarts often to camp and do a bit of crabbing. Would love to meet up. Enjoy your weekend.
Cameron
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:43 PM   #18
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We have a similar situation: a medium-sized German SUV first towing a single axle (Sport 22), them upgrading to a 23 FB.

All jokes about "two foot-itis" aside, those two additional feet made major differences in livability for us. Two closets versus one, a large bed, much more storage space, and still very nimble when towing and backing. I find the dual axle backs up a bit more predictably, not quite as "twitchy" as the single.

I think you'll be pleased with your choice.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:46 AM   #19
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2010 23' FB Flying Cloud
McMinnville , Oregon
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Thanks for all your encouraging words. We brought our 2010 23FB home from Ashland Oregon to McMinnville yesterday. We towed it behind our Touareg with no issues up or down the hills. We slept last night in Medford, and love this trailer. The bed is very comfortable for both of us, and it is warm, and bright.

I hope you see many of you on the road in the next couple of year.

Cameron
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:24 AM   #20
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We did the same upgrade, from a 2007 19' Bambi to a 2015FB. Our problem is that I have made no effort to try to sell the 19'. We are reluctant to part with it. I would be curious on the level of interest you experienced when selling your 19'.
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