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Old 04-01-2019, 06:12 AM   #1
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Going to FT it, and need advice on how big an AS to buy

Iím a retired widow and Iíve decided to sell the house and hit the road FT. Iíve moved around a lot and years ago lived a couple of years in a 12 ft trailer with an ice-box, traveling all over Alaska. 18 years ago, my husband and I pulled a 16 ft. trailer (sadly, not an AS, just an old clunker) from Alaska to Belize (7K miles) We shared the driving in a Dodge truck but when we hit MX he refused to drive. So I drove that last 1100 miles. My point is I have some pulling experience, even though it was years ago, so Iím not just making a snap decision here. I need to work on backing up skills, but I think I can handle it if I practice a bit, what with all the backup cameras nowadays.

Anyway, I need some advice as to what I should buy. I want something big enough to be comfy, but I do live alone and donít have a pet. Iím also not a person that likes clutter so downsizing wonít be too hard. But I will be living in it full time, and I like to cook a nice meal in the evening.

I have enough funding to buy something used but under 4 or 5 years old. I was thinking 20 ft. would be nice but then saw some nice 21 to 23 footers. Is there much difference between pulling a 20 footer and a 23 footer? How much bigger a tow vehicle would that mean? (going to trade in the old Jeep Wrangler on something to pull with)

Iíd appreciate some advice. I donít want to bite off more than I can chew but I want to go as big as I can without going too far. Iím an old lady, but Iím fit and eager to hit the road! Thanks, everyone. This forum is a treasure!
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:22 AM   #2
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Aside from length/interior space you may want to put the holding and fresh water tank size into your decision process - especially if you are planning on doing some boondocking.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:26 AM   #3
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Are you close to a dealer? You would have the ability to walk into new AS and see all available floor plans. They have changed over the years but what you are looking at is general layout. Do you like front bed, rear bed, wet bath, etc

Some of those options start narrowing down your size. Considering you will be traveling solo, you get to choose what you can live with and live without. Also consider seasons. Are you going to chase 70 degree weather all year or are you going to end up in snow or freezing temps? Winter camping will also start to limit your options.

Your tow vehicle will be another point of contention. Are you buying the trailer first and then the truck to fit or do you have your mind set on a tow vehicle? All tow vehicles have a limit. My wife really liked her Toyota Hylander, I told her if she wanted to keep it then that puts us in the 16ft AS range. We sold it. Make sense?

When you get into the 25 ft range, you will need larger tow vehicles. If you look into the Nest or Basecamp, you may be able to keep your wrangler? Again, what do you want to sacrifice though?

I really like the 25ft trailers and if I was solo, I would likely be on one of those. Has all the space I would need to be comfortable and wouldnít be sacrificing anything. We full time in a 30 but there are two of us and a large dog.

Hope this gives more to think about. Youíre on the right path!
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:16 AM   #4
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Good points, all. No, I won't keep the Jeep. I bought it new with the big engine and tow package, and it's now 18 and never gives trouble but she has her limits. My thought was to decide on the AS first and then figure out what to tow it with, trading in the old Jeep or selling it separately.

I am near Athens GA and I don't think there are any dealers here, but I've been watching all the Colonial of NJ videos and looking at floor plans on the AS archives site. Last weekend I went over and looked at a 2018 16' Sport a guy was selling. It was a great buy (still had that new car smell) but I realized instantly it was too small for full-time.

I've thought about the bed. I want it in the back so that the nice big windows are in the living space, and it doesn't need to be bigger than a double bed. Even a twin would be OK. I'm not a big person and why take up living space for something you are asleep when using?
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:39 AM   #5
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So, with the newer ones, I may be wrong but I believe it isnít until you get to 25í that you start having the option for a rear bed with a big windows. Anything smaller than 25í you will have a rear bed with the bathroom right next to your head.

The other good thing about going larger ends up being that your holding tanks are larger.

We have 50 gallons of fresh water, 23 grey, and 23 black (I believe). That lasts the two of us about 1 week before we fill up our grey tank or we run out of water.

Just something else to consider. Do you plan on boondocking or staying on hook ups all the time? Holding tanks help free you from the hook ups longer.

You have a dealer in Atlanta it looks like. If youíre spending the money itís worth taking the trip to step foot on these things. Like the 16í, you want to step in to see if you can visualize full timing in it. Youíre not buying a new one, you just need that visualization training. We did it 3 times before we actually purchased. We started small and ended up going bigger because we didnít want to trade up in a year or two. Thatís the greatest expense with RVs, most people donít buy their last RV on their first try. They end up having to upgrade later and that exchange usually costs a pretty penny every time.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:50 AM   #6
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For me as a single full-timer, I was dead-set on a 27. But then I spent a day at a dealer lot, sitting in a few models for at least an hour at a time, pretending to live in them, and trying them on for size.
The 26 met all my needs. Two AC units, nice sized bathroom, 39 gallon tanks. Counter space for meals. Nice sized refrigerator. Towable with a properly equipped 1/2 ton pickup, but I went with a 3/4 ton for the extra safety margin. I got the rear queen and for the extra storage space, might have gotten the twin instead.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:13 AM   #7
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When you get to a dealer, take a good hard look at the 23FB and the 27FB. Rear bedroom units arenít the only good way to go.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:14 AM   #8
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Purchased a 2019 30 flying cloud FB Bunk

Hello!

I just went full time 2 months ago. I went with the Flying Cloud 30 FB Bunk for several reasons.

The flying cloud because it's a time tested interior. The 30ft because I wanted room. It has two bedrooms. One of them will eventually come out and I will make it into a den/computer room/ lounge. 2 AC units because if one of them fails I have a backup. 50 Amp service so I don't have to compromise. Big fridge and big tanks. Again for creature comforts.

At 30 feet I'm really not that long. I can get in to 95% of National parks etc.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:15 AM   #9
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4earth,

The Flying Cloud series offers the largest selection of size and furniture arrangements. I suggest looking closely. Then, visit a dealer to experience your favorite layouts in person. Caz.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:16 AM   #10
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Wife and I full-timed for a couple years while I continued working via internet... our 27FB was perfect for two of us and a dog. 27 felt like there were distinct areas for dinette, kitchen/pantry, bath (including the hallway), and bedroom gave us a generous sense of personal spaces and a ton of convenient storage. Landing in Oregon, new sticks & bricks and downsized to a 23FB and from an F250 to an F150. The smaller footprint has real advantages for maneuverability and fewer campground limitations, but the four fewer feet inside (and 6" less width) feels like moving from a 1 bedroom to a studio. As a single, maybe not an issue, but something to consider.
Al & Robin
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:30 AM   #11
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We bought from the dealer in Norcross, Southland RV. One hour away from Athens. Plan to spend the day, sit in them, by yourself for awhile, move to all the trailers. No hurries, then buy your last truck, or tow vehicle, first.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:34 AM   #12
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The 2017 30' classic with twins is what we went with for full timing. Lots of storage and flexibility. Might have to move to 3/4 ton or F250, but you will love all the windows.
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:19 AM   #13
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A friend was planning to go full timing and sell her condo . This being On the central coast of California, we and a bunch of her friends talked her out of selling her condo and to rent it instead while she full timed.

This gave her an income and a place to come back to when life dictated it was time to stop full timing. She was “on the road” for 5 wonderful years .

She says the best advice she ever got was not to sell her condo.
Had she sold she would not been able to return to the central coast and her friends as the housing market skyrocketed while she was on the road.

This is food for thought in you quest to full time , she was 66 when she hit the road and 71 when she returned. Today she is 81 and happily living in her condo with no regrets.

Now to you question, 25’ is the most popular size Airstream .
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Old 04-01-2019, 11:56 AM   #14
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Well we are full time, but there are two of us plus our dogs. My bride does not pull our 30' Classic but I don't think we would want anything smaller. So if you are fine with backing I'd go around that size, we also pull with our Chev Duramax.
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Old 04-01-2019, 12:08 PM   #15
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If I were single, it would certainly be a rear bath 23'. I'd make the rest work. I have had two 25'ers. I how have a 30', I miss the agility of the 25'. But that's just me. Good luck to you.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:23 PM   #16
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Full timing

30 foot Classic with queen sized bed. Dodge pickup with the Cummins.

We began our Full Time adventure in July of '17. Because I still work, we don't continually move around but are enjoying the lifestyle. We have one son still in law school and he sometimes comes for a while, so we can have as many as three adults and a geriatric husky. You won't miss a thing about your house. However, in the winter, we found getting an additional 100 gallon propane tank was very helpful.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:57 AM   #17
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A room with a view:

Rear twin 30 at Puget SoundClick image for larger version

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Old 04-02-2019, 07:35 AM   #18
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You're a retired lady. I'd select a size that allowed me to get in and out of bed without gymnastics.
I'd want a bath with a decent shower, and a toilet I could actually use (without gymnastics again)
I'd want a comfortable seating area for more than eating a meal. Remember, there's going to be rainy days too.
Lastly, I'd never think seriously about a single axle trailer. Having four tires to carry the load just seems like a necessity. (all my blowouts were on single axle trailers for no apparent reason.)
23'?

I wouldn't worry so much about rear beds because front bedrooms have big windows in the back too. It's not just flipping the interior.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:39 AM   #19
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I'm getting some really great tips here. Thanks to everyone posting. I'm getting closer to deciding what will work for me. I, like many of you, feel the FC may work best for me, and I'm leaning toward a 23' with that back corner bed, right now but that could change if I get a good deal and after I sit in one for a time. I just really like the idea of the bathroom near the bed. I also appreciate Mollydad's thoughts on the pros of a double axle. Makes sense to me! Now if I can just find one a few years old and in my price range, life will be good!
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.mileur View Post
A room with a view:

Rear twin 30 at Puget SoundAttachment 337112
Beautiful photo....my old stomping grounds! Thanks!
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