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Old 03-22-2009, 12:44 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
23' vs 25' Airstream

I am looking for a used airstream currently. I am debating between the 25' and the 23'. Problem is, I get different answers from dealers depending on which one they are trying to sell me.

My main consideration is of course price. After that....

Im wondering how important the bigger bed is. Me and two small dogs now.. but you never know.

I have a newer Yukon Denali. The guy offering me the 23 said it would be harder to pull the 25 and I would need to install big long mirrors. etc.. is this true? Would my Denali be able to pull a 25?

I am wondering if the 25 is just too much for me to handle, and if it would make it harder for me to go in certain places?

Any advice between these two lengths before I take the plunge?


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Old 03-22-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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1982 31' Limited
1953 25' Cruiser
Hamilton , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I don't have any direct knowledge of the Denali's capacities, but if a 23' is on your radar and if you don't mind a slightly used newer model vs. a brand new one, there is one for sale by one of our unit members. He was asking $30,000, but now I understand would take $27,000 for it. He is a married rancher and his wife wants a 30' or 34' Airstream. Send me a private message if interested and I will provide you his name and phone number. The trailer is located in Wimberly, Texas northeast of San Antonio between Blanco and San Marcos.

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Old 03-22-2009, 01:46 PM   #3
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2008 23' International CCD
golden , Colorado
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Too funny... I was about to post a very similar question, asking for input from someone who has owned both. Consider both layout and size. I really like the long couch connected to the dinette layout that both have with the CCD layout. So I'll contrast the 23' CCD with bed/bath in back, and living up front, with the 25'FB - basically opposite. If you were considering those two, here are a couple thoughts:

Bed - my wife and I are 5'-8". The bed is comfortable for us, but slightly tight (okay we are used to a king at home). If we were any taller, or larger (she's 4 months pregnant, so I'll let you know after the summer) I think the bed would feel too small on a long long trip. On a cold night, someone is sleeping on the wall side, and when your arm hits the cold aluminum, you wake up.

Living area - very similar in space. However you're likely to spend a lot more time awake here than in the bed. Often the better view is out the back of the trailer. In the 23'CCD your panoramic windows look into the back of the truck. In the 25', you have panoramic windows in both areas. So the living area looks out the back of your campsite rather than at the truck. There might be some security benefits to having your bedroom face the truck, so if you hear anything you can peek out the window rather than get up.

Bathroom - The toilet sits high in the 23' and I keep our step stool in there as a foot rest. It's a bit tight. If I were an inch taller it would be a real challenge.

Refrigerator - For long trips the larger and dual compartment 25' Fridge/Freezer would be a big plus. If you are using ice trays, the freezer in the 23' is a bit small for other items.

Storage - I think there is a bit more storage room in the 25'FB, but I think it's adequate in the 23'.

Dogs - We have one dog. He's usually not permitted on couches. However, the airstream can get cold at night, so we allow him on the couch where it's warmer on a cold night.

Initially I was thinking the 16' or 19' would be good but I'm glad my wife talked me into bigger. She thinks a trailer is like a diamond ring. bigger is better. I'm curious to hear about the differences in how they handle. good luck.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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1976 25' Tradewind
. , AZ to Maine
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 544
Check The Capacities, Weights

Check the towing capacities of the vehicles and the loaded weights of the trailers.
80% of max capacity is the sweet spot in my opinion. A 6,000 max cap truck is good for around about a 5,000 lb loaded trailer, 4800 lb if you are mathy.
You call the tune, you pay for the fiddler.

That said the driver, equipment and driving conditions are huge variables.
I know a vintage dealer that tows 30's w a 4 cyl p/u. I think he is crazy.

A 23' is good for a weekender or a single, a 25' is good for a couple for a couple of weeks.

Get a dog bed for the dog, keep them off the couch.

Go for a queen sized bed, babies do very well snuggling with their parents.
MelissaM, I still say go for a queen sized bed.
"Talk is cheap, Airstreams are expensive," Wally Byam.
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:21 PM   #5
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2001 25' Safari
London , Ontario
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A properly-set-up-for-towing Yukon Denali should tow both a 23 and 25 over hill and dale with no issue -- it will work hard in either case but not overly so. In the big scheme of things the length and weight difference...from a towing negligable. In other words your Denali (and you) won't know whether it's towing a 23 or 25.

As far as campsites are concerned, I've ever seen one that couldn't take a 25 footer if it can take a 23. Length issues start with ~28' and above.

Bottom line: buy the trailer that you like best.

Layout is a personal I prefer not to give advice in that area...other than to suggest reading everything you can (pro and con) about each model, and then if possible, go and sit in each one of the for several hours to see which "feels" better.'s a personal choice.

Good luck!
Gary & Debbie
2001 Safari 25 SS
2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD • Hensley • DirecLink • McKesh
Set-up by Can-Am RV
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
It says my Denali can tow 8,100lbs in the book. I do not have the XL. I do have AWD. Dont know if it makes a difference.

It will probably come down to price, and what my payments are. I dont have any debt currently and not looking to add a bunch.

I am looking at moving and will be using it in the Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming area most.

Thank you so much for your answers. I am excited! I will pm you GStephens, thanks.

My dogs go anywhere, couches, beds, etc. They are nice and let me sit on the couch also. They are small and dont destroy anything most of the time. They are also the big reason I am looking into this, its SO MUCH easier to travel with the pooches in this style than hotels.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
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there is very little difference in weight and even less difference in price. Choose the one that has the best layout for you. Your trailer will out last even the best tow vechicle on the road today. Buy what works best for you, if the truck will handle the 23' comfortably it will do good with the 25'.
Keep the shiny side up.
WBCCI # 348
Past Region 3 President
Past President Tidewater Unit 111
Rick Bell in "Silverbell"
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:44 PM   #8
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 25FB, and have seriously looked at the 23FB. Both have a nice queen bed. The 23 has a single door fridge. The separate freezer on the 25 is a really nice feature. The 23 has the bath facilities all in one room. the 25 has the shower across the hall. This is a big plus for more than one person.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:51 PM   #9
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Melissa, in recent years there have been 3 different 25' models in the Safari line, all with different weights and different tongue weights. The Internationals weigh about the same. The Classics are much heavier. So, some may work with a Denali (I have no idea about Chevy's or GMC's) and others may not.

The smallest trailer with a queen bed is the 25' FB. Note that RV beds are shorter than regular beds, so check that out and see what fits you. Also sit on toilet and see if you fit—knees can hit doors, the space can be too narrow. So far as the dogs are concerned we find the light colored cushions in ours pick up dirt very, very easily and are hard to clean.

The problem with some 1/2 ton trucks and SUV's is not how much weight they can tow, but the payload of the truck or SUV. Payload must include about 2/3 of tongue weight, the weight of the propane and probably good to thrown in the spare tire, then add the passengers in the truck, possibly gas and coolant in the truck (check owner's manual as different manufacturers do this differently), optional equipment on the truck, all other cargo. A lot of people recommend to stay at 80% or less of the limits for a safety margin for all the different weights you have to consider. Also check gross combined weight rating—GCVWR (loaded truck and trailer together). Different versions of the same model will have different weight ratings—they can be hard to find in the owner's manual. Check manufacturer's website or ask the service dept. of the dealer. Someone will know.

As for the weights for recent model Airstreams, check the company website and look for specifications. I don't think they've changed lately, though the company will post different things for the same year at different times, just to drive us crazy. What is now called Flying Cloud was a Safari a year ago and is the same trailer.

Figuring out weights and what trailer and truck go together can be daunting for a while, but check out the various subforums on these issues and read all you can.

Don't believe what a salesman says. It sounds like you have the proper amount of skepticism.

The one who said you need tow mirrors is correct. There are cheap add ons, some are liked, many not. You can get nice mirrors that slide outward for towing and inward for not, some are electric and some are manual. There may be a GM one for your Denali. More important, do you have the tow package for your Denali? The packages vary, but usually include weight distributing (WD) hitch receiver, heavy duty alternator and battery, transmission cooler and temp. gauge, tow mirrors, tow/haul setting for automatic transmissions—that's all I can remember now. If you don't have tow mirrors, you may not have the tow package and that will reduce what you can do buy a lot. If you don't know about that, a dealer can tell you from the VIN what it has (maybe some other numbers too). A Safari 25' FB fully loaded would be at about 90% of the towing capacity you stated.

Also, how much HP and torque does your Denali have? It takes a lot of engine (and gas) to tow a 25'.

It's important to find the trailer that fits you. It's harder to find and harder to sell or trade if in a few years you feel you need a different one. Get the trailer right. The truck is easier to buy and sell and will probably be outlasted by an Airstream. I'm sure you don't want to buy a truck and an Airstream, but sometimes to get the right Airstream, you have to consider a different truck.

Don't let all this stuff put you off. It's confusing to everyone at first. Good luck and welcome to the Forum.

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Old 03-28-2009, 10:01 AM   #10
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Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Well I hit my first roadblock. No financing. I found a 23' I wanted, and I pretty much decided on that size.

The banks gave me a big thumbs down.. I have good credit, a high credit score, but not enough credit. They are holding it against me that I own my car, ( a new car) my house etc. I could afford to buy it outright, but I would rather keep that money where it is. Apparently just having one am ex on your credit and a ton of assets is not enough.

INSANE! The rv industry is hurting, I can see why. The banks wont take ANY risk.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:22 AM   #11
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1973 23' Safari
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
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In Canada asset backed "power lines" are very popular.

We pre qualify for a set amount and that amount is backed by ones assets, ie home/property.
Because it is so secure the interest rate is lower than a normal loan and we also have the benefit/option of paying "interest only", a minimal amount. It can also be paid down at any time. Another benefit is that we can spend the money as we, boats, RV's, trips, whatever.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:22 AM   #12
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Dexer , Michigan
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 311
What a bummer! I've been in a similar situation. (Both looking at the 23' vs 25' and deciding if we want to pay 'cash' or finance)

Most of us don't have that amount of cash in the checking account so we'd like to leave our investments in hope they go up, put down a good chunk, & finance part of the AS.

Have you thought about a home equity loan? Perhaps after consulting a tax accountant/expert you might want to go that way and be able to have a bit of a tax advantage. Just a thought on a beautiful spring afternoon in Michigan.

Good luck. Have the fun is looking they say
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:29 AM   #13
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1999 23' Safari
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2006
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My wife and I purchased a used 23 last summer and love it. It's perfect for us. The only negative is the toilet is angled and not the most comfortable configuration. Other than that it tows nicely behind our F-150. Ours is a 1999 model that we found on line and moved quickly to purchase. The 25 and below go quickly in our experience. Good Luck
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:41 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Thats just it.. the stock market is FINALLY showing some life, I hate to take anything out. Since I am about to move, I really hate to let go of huge chunks of cash.

Just a road bump, not a dead end. Working on Plan B.

I knew I shouldn't have named it before I got it. HAHA

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