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Old 02-08-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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2010/2011 Sport 22 FB Questions

Hi, first post here - lots of good information so far

My wife and I are leaning very heavily towards a Sport 22FB, and have our eyes on a 2010 closeout and a 2011 with minor light hail damage. I have a few questions that hopefully folks could help us out with.

We will be towing with a Jeep Liberty diesel, so the smaller and lighter (and less expensive) sport model is appealing to us. Plus we love the floorplan!


1) single axle - is this a major concern? Does the ride and/or frame suffer from having just a single axle? We will likely be doing more boondocking - would a single axle be a limiting factor?

2) has anybody put a rear bumper on a sport? I haven't looked at the frame of the sport, but I would sort of expect that it has the capacity for a bumper. As fragile as all that pretty aluminum sheeting is and as often as my DW has demonstrated problems backing a trailer - that is somewhat of a concern for me.

3) OSB floor - is this durable/protected? I think I read somewhere that the sport models don't have a bellypan? If so, wouldn't that be a problem for the floor?

Anything else we should know or be thinking about?


TIA!
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle.

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your questions-

1. a sigle axle trailer is usually more maneuverable than a tandem, but has a disadvantage if you experience a tire failure.

2. I believe that a rear bumper is an available option on a Sport from Airstream. Even with the bumper, if you back into something, it's going to do some damage

3. I don't know the answer to that one

you should also start researching weight distribution/sway control hitch systems. You are going to need a good one of these with such small, short wheel base tow vehicle,

Brian
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeghead View Post

1) single axle - is this a major concern? Does the ride and/or frame suffer from having just a single axle? We will likely be doing more boondocking - would a single axle be a limiting factor?

2) has anybody put a rear bumper on a sport? I haven't looked at the frame of the sport, but I would sort of expect that it has the capacity for a bumper. As fragile as all that pretty aluminum sheeting is and as often as my DW has demonstrated problems backing a trailer - that is somewhat of a concern for me.

3) OSB floor - is this durable/protected? I think I read somewhere that the sport models don't have a bellypan? If so, wouldn't that be a problem for the floor?

Anything else we should know or be thinking about?


TIA!
The single axle isn't really that big a concern, though it's nice to have a second axle for ride and stability (it tends to sway less). Bear in mind the Sport doesn't have a lot of CCC (cargo carrying capacity), so load carefully.
The Sports really don't weigh or cost that much less than comparable Airstream trailers. You save maybe a thousand or so pounds, and maybe a few thousand dollars, but neither is all that much in the grand scheme of things. It's more important that you like the trailer. The fact it's 6 inches narrower than a regular Airstream is a plus for towing and backing.

I hate OSB. That said, most, if not all, Airstreams that have OSB floors and no belly pan have a barrier to protect it. The quickest way to verify this is to slide under it and take a look. If there's a belly pan, no worries. If there's not, you should see a black vinyl-looking thing between you and the bottom of the floor.

Bumpers are an option, but it tends to be something of a PITA for the dealer to order all the stuff and put one on. It's better to invest that money in a good wireless backup camera and mount it on the license plate bracket of the trailer, so you can see where the rear is going.

Good luck, and remember, these trailers were made to be used.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smeghead View Post
Hi, first post here - lots of good information so far

My wife and I are leaning very heavily towards a Sport 22FB, and have our eyes on a 2010 closeout and a 2011 with minor light hail damage. I have a few questions that hopefully folks could help us out with.

We will be towing with a Jeep Liberty diesel, so the smaller and lighter (and less expensive) sport model is appealing to us. Plus we love the floorplan!


1) single axle - is this a major concern? Does the ride and/or frame suffer from having just a single axle? We will likely be doing more boondocking - would a single axle be a limiting factor?

2) has anybody put a rear bumper on a sport? I haven't looked at the frame of the sport, but I would sort of expect that it has the capacity for a bumper. As fragile as all that pretty aluminum sheeting is and as often as my DW has demonstrated problems backing a trailer - that is somewhat of a concern for me.

3) OSB floor - is this durable/protected? I think I read somewhere that the sport models don't have a bellypan? If so, wouldn't that be a problem for the floor?

Anything else we should know or be thinking about?


TIA!
1) No, in fact less rubber on the road means less resistance and better fuel mileage.

2) We don't have any problems without the bumper.

3) Don't know about the new models. Ours has the belly pan.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

...

you should also start researching weight distribution/sway control hitch systems. You are going to need a good one of these with such small, short wheel base tow vehicle,
Thanks for the info. I am looking into a weight distributing system right now. I checked the manual for the Libby and it said that a weight distributing system was required for tongue weights over 300lbs - and the 22FB is 350lbs dry/unloaded.


Quote:
The single axle isn't really that big a concern, though it's nice to have a second axle for ride and stability (it tends to sway less). Bear in mind the Sport doesn't have a lot of CCC (cargo carrying capacity), so load carefully.
The Sports really don't weigh or cost that much less than comparable Airstream trailers. You save maybe a thousand or so pounds, and maybe a few thousand dollars, but neither is all that much in the grand scheme of things. It's more important that you like the trailer. The fact it's 6 inches narrower than a regular Airstream is a plus for towing and backing.
The libby is only rated for 5000lbs, so 1000lbs makes a big difference for us. Plus the difference between the flying cloud and the sport is about $10k (!) The main concern I have is longevity - if by saving money now, how much shorter will our trailer's lifespan be. E.g. in 5 years are we going to have to replace the floor.

But yeah, we really like the trailer - I think it will be an excellent fit for us all around. We are really excited about it so I am looking for some folks to dish out some criticism to counter our enthusiasm

TIA!
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
1) No, in fact less rubber on the road means less resistance and better fuel mileage.

2) We don't have any problems without the bumper.

3) Don't know about the new models. Ours has the belly pan.
#1 - that is what I was thinking. Also, I am not sure what an axle weighs but surely that drops the weight a couple hundred pounds at least.

#2 - My wife likes the look without the bumper, but it kinda gives me the willies. If it is not super expensive I think we will try to retro one

#3 - cool, thx. I believe I saw a thread you started a couple years back when you were buying yours - that was helpful. We will be sure to crawl under and check before we buy.

Thx!
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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We compared the Sport 22 and the Safari 20 SE (now Flying Cloud 20) side by side. Very close in layout, but the 20 seemed to have an edge on every feature and same build quality and features as the large models.

These features, plus the double windows over the dinette, made up the cost difference. The practical difference was two batteries rather than one, a very large advantage without hookups.

Called around the country and found new year-old models for about the same price as the Sport, so the dealer met those prices and we bought the 20. There are times when we wish we had a 25, or a 28, or a 30, but I suspect everybody experiences that, and our trailer works really well for us.

Doug
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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Oh, don't be concerned about the single axle. It tows just fine and is no more difficult to jack up than drive a tandem axle up and down ramps to change tires.

That front bed concept of the 20 and 22 is pretty nifty. With a couple of tv backrests from Target, it doubles as a very comfortable lounge within the living space in the evening.

Doug
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:33 AM   #9
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We spend a lot of time looking at Airstream's smaller trailers as a possible upgrade to ours. No current Airstream is built with OSB floors - and we were told that at a factory tour back in 2009.

We have a similar-sized trailer, a narrow-body 20' long Argosy Minuet. The narrow width reduces stress when towing through tight places. While the single axle sits in the back of the mind (we use tire pressure monitors to address the flat tire worry), it has never been a stability-while-towing problem.

It's a nice floorplan and the newer 22' Sports are very nicely finished inside. My wife and I liked it very much. Big bed, long galley, swanky bathroom. My primary dislike of the trailer is that it doesn't have the "classic" full-opening windows but rather windows with a smaller opening area. Owners have said that ventilation is fine, but I admit - I wonder if AS would custom-build one with the uplevel windows.

I'm also very fond of the 20' Safari SE/Flying Cloud floorplan. It has full opening windows. There are leftovers priced around $43k, IIRC that's a few thousand more than I've seen 22' Sports advertised for. Gross weight is 5000 lbs, but the tongue weight is more than the Sport.

Tom
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:51 AM   #10
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As a newbie wannabe I have been looking at the Sport '22s and really like the layout and interior finish (shiny and light). I have the same concerns as the original poster, and appreciate all the information that's been given.

One other thing I wonder about is the dinette. It seems a little narrower than on other models. Can a couple of (reasonably fit) adults sit around it? I was guessing you could rotate the table top outward to gain more room?

Also thought it would be nice to install rock guards on the front corners. Anyone know roughly what that would run?

Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
We spend a lot of time looking at Airstream's smaller trailers as a possible upgrade to ours. No current Airstream is built with OSB floors - and we were told that at a factory tour back in 2009.
...

I'm also very fond of the 20' Safari SE/Flying Cloud floorplan. It has full opening windows. There are leftovers priced around $43k, IIRC that's a few thousand more than I've seen 22' Sports advertised for. Gross weight is 5000 lbs, but the tongue weight is more than the Sport.
GREAT info - especially about the OSB.

Also, I found a leftover 22FB that would be a tough deal to beat - am going to have to pull the trigger!

Thx
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #12
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I did some searches and wasn't able to find a more appropriate sub forum, so... one more (perhaps slightly off topic) question for the towing gurus -

Is it unwise to get a 1000lb max tongue WD hitch for a trailer (the 22 sport) that is unlikely to ever have a tongue weight over 500lbs?

I figure if the max towing rating for the libby is 5000 lbs, and the tongue weight should be 10-15% of that, I should never need a WD hitch beyond 575lbs.

However, I have a line on a 1000lb Curt WD hitch for a reasonable price. Would it be unwise and/or adversely affect the behavior of the WD hitch if I get the 1000lb hitch and just don't crank down on the torsion bars as much?

In short, will a 1000lb WD hitch work properly for a <=500lb load?

TIA
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:29 PM   #13
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hello,

I have a 2011 22FB Sport that I pull with a Land Rover LR3. I most likely out weigh and out power the liberty but I pull it with no problems at all.

I don't use a WD hitch due to the Rover having load balancing air shocks.

ALl I use is a friction sway control and I've never had an issue with it.

Love the Sport 22 it is great for the two of us and yeah the storage is limited but what do you really need to take.

I did have it upgraded to a dual battery setup and use a solar panel and charge controller to maintain the batteries while it is in storage.

Happy Streaming...

Tony
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:34 PM   #14
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Do not get a 1000 lb hitch for your trailer. The hitch mfg may say it's okay, but they're not concerned with the well being of your trailer, only that it will distribute the weight.

Here's why. The bars are too stiff. Not only is it more likely to transmit more road shock between tow vehicle and trailer, it will put severe bending forces on the trailer A frame and front body attachment whenever you encounter a nose-up situation with the tow vehicle, such as off-road or driving into a dip in road surface such as a gas station entrance. Flexibility of the bars is needed.

Try to get the smallest rated hitch you can that will distribute your particular tongue weight, and pull your trailer weight.
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