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Old 02-24-2017, 11:02 AM   #1
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Basecamp, Sport 16, Sport 22, FC 19?

Hi there. Brand new to the Airstream Forums. Wanting to get into an Airstream by summer 2018. Doing lots of homework. Typically overthink things then freak out. I'd love some thoughts about a good entry point for a complete newbie: Basecamp, Sport 16, Sport 22, or FC 19? I do wish to take along my special needs cats so that I don't have to board him.

Thanks much!
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Old 02-24-2017, 01:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Twitterpated View Post
Hi there. Brand new to the Airstream Forums. Wanting to get into an Airstream by summer 2018. Doing lots of homework. Typically overthink things then freak out. I'd love some thoughts about a good entry point for a complete newbie: Basecamp, Sport 16, Sport 22, or FC 19? I do wish to take along my special needs cats so that I don't have to board him.

Thanks much!
I am on a similar journey with a similar time frame. I have almost ruled out the 16 because from time to time it would be nice to allow my granddaughters to stay with us in the trailer.

Things I like about the 19 are that it comes with rock guards, ducted air conditioning, 30 pound propane tanks and a rear bumper with storage for chocks and blocks etc.

Lately I have been lusting after a 23D.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:40 PM   #3
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Welcome!
We started in 16' sport because that is what we could tow. In a year, we jumped to a 25'. Out of those listed, I think the 22' would have lasted the longest before the jump. A nice sized bed and bathroom area with decent storage. Of course the 19' has nicer upgrades, but as far as space goes, I don't feel like it offers much over the 16'.
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:55 PM   #4
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I am on a similar journey with a similar time frame. I have almost ruled out the 16 because from time to time it would be nice to allow my granddaughters to stay with us in the trailer.

Things I like about the 19 are that it comes with rock guards, ducted air conditioning, 30 pound propane tanks and a rear bumper with storage for chocks and blocks etc.

Lately I have been lusting after a 23D.


Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2017, 03:56 PM   #5
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Welcome!
We started in 16' sport because that is what we could tow. In a year, we jumped to a 25'. Out of those listed, I think the 22' would have lasted the longest before the jump. A nice sized bed and bathroom area with decent storage. Of course the 19' has nicer upgrades, but as far as space goes, I don't feel like it offers much over the 16'.


Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2017, 05:44 PM   #6
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We purchased 16 Sport and went to a FC23D Bunk within 4 months. Here's my take, I would have started with a year old 22 Sport if I were to do it again, I think we'd still have it. It's bigger, but you can still get into nearly all spots, it's priced right, it's nice an light, and it really holds its value.

The 19+20FC are great options, but IMO you may as well go for the 23 at that point based on price alone.

FWIW the 23D Bunk is amazing, my only complaints are minor: I wish the bathroom was just 2 inches longer, and I wish the windows on the side / back opened to increase airflow. I also wish they did a special edition or at least a 23D bunk serenity

We were up at the dealer a few weekends ago and looked at the new basecamp, i dunno, I think that's a trailer for single guys with mountain bikes: it's fun...not comfortable.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:21 PM   #7
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We purchased 16 Sport and went to a FC23D Bunk within 4 months. Here's my take, I would have started with a year old 22 Sport if I were to do it again, I think we'd still have it. It's bigger, but you can still get into nearly all spots, it's priced right, it's nice an light, and it really holds its value.

The 19+20FC are great options, but IMO you may as well go for the 23 at that point based on price alone.

FWIW the 23D Bunk is amazing, my only complaints are minor: I wish the bathroom was just 2 inches longer, and I wish the windows on the side / back opened to increase airflow. I also wish they did a special edition or at least a 23D bunk serenity

We were up at the dealer a few weekends ago and looked at the new basecamp, i dunno, I think that's a trailer for single guys with mountain bikes: it's fun...not comfortable.


Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:36 PM   #8
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Twitterpated - you're wise to plan a year or more in advance. My wife and I have been at it about 18 months and are finally close to making a purchase. We started out looking at the Sport 16 because my wife thought it was cute. We still think it is but I really like the trim out of the FC better than the Sport so we were then really leaning toward the FC 19. Then several folks on the forum suggested we look at the FC20 due to the increased counter space, double sink, etc. We do like to cook so that makes sense. We spend some time in a FC20, thanks to the generosity of the folks at Desert Autoplex in AZ. While we were there we also spend quite a bit of time in a FC23 and FC25. I really liked the latter and am convinced a dual axle is the way to go. These things are just like boats, "onefootitis" sets in. We are like you, however - newbies, so we have decided we should do an FC19 until we decide if we even like the RV life. So about a month ago we started looking for a used 19. There are a multitude of folks on the forum who talk about having purchased a 19 only to upgrade to a longer unit later. That coupled with all the 2015 & 2016 FC19's that I watched get sold, led me to think that finding a used 19 wouldn't be too difficult. Boy was I wrong. There are very few 1-4 year old FC19's to be had.

So now we are back to square one trying to decide if we buy a new FC19 or a longer, used FC. As others have wisely told me, go spend time sitting in as many as you can. It has been our experience that when you go to an Airstream dealer and tell them your are new at this and not planning on purchasing for a while they totally understand and are more than accomodating. Seems to be rather typical of a first time AS buyer.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:44 PM   #9
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Twitterpated - you're wise to plan a year or more in advance. My wife and I have been at it about 18 months and are finally close to making a purchase. We started out looking at the Sport 16 because my wife thought it was cute. We still think it is but I really like the trim out of the FC better than the Sport so we were then really leaning toward the FC 19. Then several folks on the forum suggested we look at the FC20 due to the increased counter space, double sink, etc. We do like to cook so that makes sense. We spend some time in a FC20, thanks to the generosity of the folks at Desert Autoplex in AZ. While we were there we also spend quite a bit of time in a FC23 and FC25. I really liked the latter and am convinced a dual axle is the way to go. These things are just like boats, "onefootitis" sets in. We are like you, however - newbies, so we have decided we should do an FC19 until we decide if we even like the RV life. So about a month ago we started looking for a used 19. There are a multitude of folks on the forum who talk about having purchased a 19 only to upgrade to a longer unit later. That coupled with all the 2015 & 2016 FC19's that I watched get sold, led me to think that finding a used 19 wouldn't be too difficult. Boy was I wrong. There are very few 1-4 year old FC19's to be had.

So now we are back to square one trying to decide if we buy a new FC19 or a longer, used FC. As others have wisely told me, go spend time sitting in as many as you can. It has been our experience that when you go to an Airstream dealer and tell them your are new at this and not planning on purchasing for a while they totally understand and are more than accomodating. Seems to be rather typical of a first time AS buyer.


Thanks for your thoughts. We are lucky enough to have an AS dealer down the street from our house.
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Old 02-24-2017, 07:53 PM   #10
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Go for the FC20 ...great galley; efficient layout / space.
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Old 02-24-2017, 08:05 PM   #11
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When I bought my first boat many years ago, I bought a 27'. After 1 year I traded it for a 34'. One year after that, I traded it for a 38'. Lost a bit of money on those trades.

So when I decided to go Airstreaming, I didn't even look at any other size but their largest.

Some people are quite happy with their smaller Airstreams. Others fall into the same trap and trade often.

Only you can answer that question. I'd suggest you get the largest one you can afford. But that's me. YMMV.
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Old 02-24-2017, 10:47 PM   #12
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Here is a thread from a couple of years ago when we were deciding on which one to get.

FWIW we got a 22 sport and like it very much.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...es-120231.html
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:41 PM   #13
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Have had a 28 34 and 25. Just got my new Basecamp, me and one 50lb Heeler... I adore it.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:55 PM   #14
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I have never once heard an Airstreamer say they wished they had bought a smaller trailer. In fact quite the opposite. For example on rallies where we visit an AS dealer, more than once we'll be walking or driving back to the RV Park and hear a couple say they put money down on a longer model than the one they currently own. In the end, it comes down to how you plan to use it and what you can afford. The good news is, while an Airstream does depreciate like anything else, they tend to, relative to other makes, hold their trade in or resale value pretty well. Personally I wouldn't spend too much time freaking out about it - the reality is you are buying a product with great value and quality and if you change your mind you shouldn't have to take too much of a haircut on it.
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Old 02-25-2017, 01:55 PM   #15
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Just went over to the Airstream lot to look through the 22 Sport again. Noticed all the screws on the window hinges are rusty and the hardware on the stairs is rusty. Brand new trailer and already rusty parts. Kind of disgusts me for that kind of a price tag.
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Old 02-25-2017, 02:46 PM   #16
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Just went through the same process. We have opted for the 22FB 2017. Among other things : Separate shower; Lower hitch weight than the 19 Flying Cloud (we will tow it with a Volks Touareg); Slightly wider bed. We took the rear view camera option as well as the solar panel option (and added a second AGM battery). Waiting for the Spring to use it and see whether we made the right decision...
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:04 PM   #17
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I'm certain buying a new trailer is a difficult decision... at least it would be for me and it sounds like the OP and others are grappling with all the issues involved with said purchase.

I'd like to suggest you leave price and to some extent tow vehicle out of the equation initially. Sounds odd I know.

Give serious consideration to how/when/where the RV will be utilized. Short weekend trips, close to home, longer duration trips, how many nights in a given campsite before moving to next location, are you the outdoors type, want all the amenities of home... the list(s) go on. After evaluating how the RV will be used it will likely become obvious which size, floor plan and model fit your needs.

Now figure out how to tow it and how to pay for it. Both of those factors may lead you to the gently used market. If so, you'll get lots more bang for your buck and it's likely the bugs will be worked out by the previous owner so you'll have less shop time, less aggravation and more camping time.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:09 PM   #18
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Just went through the same process. We have opted for the 22FB 2017. Among other things : Separate shower; Lower hitch weight than the 19 Flying Cloud (we will tow it with a Volks Touareg); Slightly wider bed. We took the rear view camera option as well as the solar panel option (and added a second AGM battery). Waiting for the Spring to use it and see whether we made the right decision...
Forgot to mention. Also having a composting toilet (Nature's Head) installed instead of the regular one... but this is a different story.
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Old 02-25-2017, 03:27 PM   #19
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Mario,

Would love to see pictures of all of your changes once you get the unit.

Are you somehow going to re-plumb to connect the existing black and gray tanks to get a larger gray water capacity? That would be a nice addition.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:45 PM   #20
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Mario,

Would love to see pictures of all of your changes once you get the unit.

Are you somehow going to re-plumb to connect the existing black and gray tanks to get a larger gray water capacity? That would be a nice addition.
The good news is that it is very easy to connect the two thanks. All you have to do is put a $50 valve at the end of the system (where you plug the sewer hose) and open the valves of the gray and black water thanks. Water will raise at the same level on both sides.

The bad news it that at least on our model, the black water thank is placed higher than the gray water one (not sure to what extent). And of course one cannot raise the water level higher than the top of the lower thank. So I am not sure that it will make a big difference in that respect.
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