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Old 12-10-2015, 12:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by B00merang View Post
Take a look at the 20ft FC..for no other reason than the exquisite galley...in my humble opinion one of the best no matter the length. The fully functional bathroom (and I'm 6'6") is another plus. I agree with how cute and easy the 16ft is...its a gem ...but I don't those wet baths. Maybe look around for a slightly used one? jon
The 20ft FC is a delightful floor plan. Great galley and a full time made up bed.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:46 PM   #16
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Go Big

This is a very personal decision. The layout, appliances and space or lack of it all matter to some and are of no concern to others.

Start with the axle configuration. If you are good with towing a single, move to the appliances. Do you need an oven, a single or double sink, a microwave? Do you need /want a full, queen, or singles? Do you need, want bathroom space or just the minimum? Do you want dedicated bed or a convertible dinette? The answers to these questions and others you develop will lead you to your new toy.

Do not underestimate importance of the difference between the wet and the dry shower. The enclosed AS showers are great. I thought the shower would not be something I would use. I was wrong. Biggest mistake a relative made with a SOB purchase was a shower curtain configuration. They don't like it and don't use it. Figure out what you like and make the decisions based on those preferences. And if bigger is better, consider used. There are a lot of folks who fall for that twoftit'is bug.

Hookup - the hitch may be more of an issue than the trailer size. But in any case think cameras. They make a big difference.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat

PS - some of the older models have layouts that may include a feature that is no longer made. Worth checking them out.
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:46 PM   #17
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Now here is my reason my wife and I went with the 16' Bambi. We have had in our 20 years of pulling different trailers from 20 footers to 27 footers. Then we realized with all of the baby boomers retiring that we could not just stop at any R.V site and find a space for a trailer under 20' without reservations. So for the last 2 years we have had a 16' Bambi. Yes, it took some adjusting to a small space but we can always find a space for a small trailer. Even at the most popular places. I am 6'1" and have no problem getting around inside. Just a thought that it's not going to get any better with more and more people taking to the roads and camp sites.
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:55 PM   #18
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We started out small, really small, then considered amenities... went with a 25FB, no regrets, just returned to Wyoming from Virginia and points east. It towed like a dream, he could get up first, let me sleep in, have his coffee, never wake me. We recommend more space over less, water over no water, fixing meals with our foods.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:40 PM   #19
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I agree with CRH, though we didn't even consider a 16. Our 19 is pretty much adequate for the two of us, though without question storage is the major issue when we are out on 3-week ventures. The challenge is having to be inside during poor weather....at least there is space to turn around in the 19. Never towed a 16, but would say that the 19 is nearly like it isn't there.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:11 PM   #20
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KellogKidd: Love that Cummins. Winter use in Idaho? Have heated storage? All the comforts of home? Hitch and go? Are you handy? Nice state to off road in !!! I could have spent up to $150,000. Towed thousands of miles in 31' Int Sov in USA and took same to Germany where for 5 years made parts and modified systems as necessary. Lived in the 31'er for 6 months over one winter. Learned Airstreams are luxurious, unreliable, poorly designed and overpriced. Countless problems in the forums proved all the former. Bought 1958 22' Caravanner for $4,100 and gutted it. Redesigned floor plan and bought what I needed. Now at $11K all in. Wood or kerosene heat, 40 milk jugs (water), dual fuel electric start 3500 watt generator on tongue, point source propane ( refillable 1 # bottles), heat water in turkey fryer ( pressurized for shower) , house window A/Cs, inflatable couches open to queen beds and much much more. Chopped spindles off axle, added swing arms to each side with an air bag. Can do full kneel to ground or up to 11" freeboard under the belly for off road. Rig has no temperature limits, no tanks, no need to winterize. Sleeps 6 and can cook for 20. All contents can move outside under the huge poly tarp awning. I store all supplies etc in my Cadillac Escalade EXT. Much more to share. Larry @ 402 594 5161
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:20 PM   #21
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We owned a 22 and loved it. Being a woman ready to retire, i hitched it up by myself and drove it many placed. I had no issues in backing up and fitting it offers great flexibility. We have upsized to a 25 because we will be traveling extended miled and months. I have hitched and driven the 25 all by myself. The 22 was less intimidating the kitchen area and bath with horseshoe table really worked. We even had 4 adults in it for sleeping. We got a great return on the value on our upgrade
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:30 PM   #22
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Richardson , Texas
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We love our FC 20. Where it really reigns superior is the galley area.. There is a lot of counter top space with an extra corresponding upper cabinet.
This model has a great layout and plenty of storage.
Also, I agree with other posters on the bath - having a separate shower is more important than it might seem when standing in the showroom.

Also, when looking at price consider the extra expense of adding bumper storage. This does not come standard on the sports and you really need a good place to put those dirty, greasy towing items.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by HAschner View Post
We love our FC 20. Where it really reigns superior is the galley area.. There is a lot of counter top space with an extra corresponding upper cabinet.
This model has a great layout and plenty of storage.
Also, I agree with other posters on the bath - having a separate shower is more important than it might seem when standing in the showroom.

Also, when looking at price consider the extra expense of adding bumper storage. This does not come standard on the sports and you really need a good place to put those dirty, greasy towing items.

x2, love our 20!
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:11 AM   #24
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19' er Great for Us

We made the jump (tenting to an AS) last year so not as much experience as many others...but we love our 19' Int'l. The 16' was way too small for the two of us and while we very much admired our good friends' two larger AS's we did not want the extra size, and we still don't!! I am not wild about the wet bath but my wife is, so I guess I am too. However we did recently swap our beloved Toyota Highlander for a Ford F-150 to better handle things and am anxious to dewinterize it and head out...
Actually it tows vey well, but I think that is the cas for virtually any AS, just get enough of a TV and drive smart. That said I am an experienced tower and my wife isn't and she feels very nervous when (quite rarely) she is behind the wheel.
The comment about the better galley in the 20' makes me wonder a bit but I like cooking outside when possible and while our kitchen is tight is is nicely designed. For us it is just about perfect, but we are all different in what works best.
Good Luck, Marc
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:47 AM   #25
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Go for a 30 more room and you will eventually want to use it more

think 10 times and buy once, buying and trading up is a very expensive lesson

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Old 12-11-2015, 09:05 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by KelloggKid View Post
Thanks Doug. All good points.
There is no substitute for going to a large dealer and seeing the different sizes in person, even if you have to fly there to do it.

A good investment for an INFORMED decision. You will get used to whatever size you buy, if it is the right one for you.

Good luck.

Peter

PS I would also suggest two crucial decisions which will help define parameters:

-- wet bath vs. dry bath with stall shower
-- window size and configuration (operable screened opening size)

We went for the Flying Cloud 20' because it was the smallest model with stall shower, large opening windows hinged on top, and an LP gas oven (vs. convection oven microwave) with a great galley configuration. Most Sport models have I believe dinky little sliding windows which are useless IMO for boondocking in hot weather. Useless may seem a strong term . . . But check them out and imagine a 95 degree day in the sun with no wind.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #27
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There is one concern I have about the 20' Bambi with a 5,000 pound GVW and a single axle. Airstream installs the GoodYear Marathon ST225/75R15D tires that are rated 2,540 pounds @ 65 psi and are 28.3" in diameter. So a fully loaded trailer, not hard to do, would put the tire's load at their maximum load rating.

Many on the forums that are towing out West in the summer have migrated to the 16" Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tire that is rated 2,680 pounds @ 80 psi and is 29.2" in diameter which raises the trailer about 1/2" so there is more road clearance. There are many tire threads one can read on this forum and the Michelin tires have had a very good service history when compared to other brands.

while overseas, I made the mistake of ordering a trailer without ever being in one. I initially was thinking of a 19' and switched to the 25FB. I thought I would have no issues towing with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. Loaded for camping and with both my wife and I in the car, we were exceeding the axle ratings of the car. This caused the acquisition on a Dodge 2500HD with Cummins.

We had issues with our 25FB and moved to our 2014 31' Classic. We are completely satisfied with all aspects of the Classic after spending lots of time and money fixing and modifying the unit.

We added a 2015 23D that the 2007 Mercedes can tow so we can take trips into the older RV parks out West near us where the Classic just will not fit into the smaller spaces. The 23D has the narrow body and has two axles. With the 6,000 pound GVW, it is a perfect match for our existing car and could also be towed by the Dodge.

So while looking at all the Airstream models, please keep in mind the proposed tow vehicle and it's limitations as those specifications dictate the maximum tongue weight and total combined weight that the tow vehicle can safely handle.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
There is one concern I have about the 20' Bambi with a 5,000 pound GVW and a single axle. Airstream installs the GoodYear Marathon ST225/75R15D tires that are rated 2,540 pounds @ 65 psi and are 28.3" in diameter. So a fully loaded trailer, not hard to do, would put the tire's load at their maximum load rating.

Many on the forums that are towing out West in the summer have migrated to the 16" Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 tire that is rated 2,680 pounds @ 80 psi and is 29.2" in diameter which raises the trailer about 1/2" so there is more road clearance. There are many tire threads one can read on this forum and the Michelin tires have had a very good service history when compared to other brands.
[snip]
Thanks, I have been wondering about this. I will check the other threads when I have time, but does the switch to the 16' Michelins require any modification of the wheel well or exterior skin? Thanks.
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