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Old 03-18-2019, 05:55 AM   #1
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2019 20' Flying Cloud
somewhere , West Virginia
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Growing up from Casita to FC20FB

We pick up our Flying Cloud 20' tomorrow. Any tips for inspection would be great. We have had our Casita for 10 years and love it, but always say we wish we had just a little more room. The floor plan on the 20' seems to meet our needs.

For the past 5 years we have spent about 6 weeks each year as campground hosts in Shenandoah National Park. This past year we made two long trips, September 4800 miles to North & South Dakota and February 4800 to Big Bend National Park. We love the easy set up and towing of the Casita and hope our new Airstream is just as easy. It will be hard to give up the Casita as I really do love it, however, as we ease further into retirement we are taking more and longer trips. In the Casita we have to take turns doing everything as there is not enough room for two people to move around. In nice weather that is fine as one person goes outside, but when it rains and is cold its not so much fun.

We have looked for several years for a new trailer. We visited the Oliver factory twice. We decided on the Airstream because we still want to stay as small as possible while getting the room we deem necessary for us. Our first trip will be to Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park on March 27th where we will live for 5 weeks.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:02 AM   #2
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Congrats on your new FC!
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:23 AM   #3
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Congratulations on your purchase. We too moved up from a 17' Casita to a 25' Airstream. I miss many things about the Casita, such as ease of towing and maintenance. But we are by far more comfortable in the larger Airstream. You will always have fond memories of your Casita, but you won't want to move back down in size.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:26 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. Congratulations on your new baby. May you have safe travels and many great Airstream Adventures with her.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:33 AM   #5
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Great choice! We do extended trips in our 20 and love it. Did Utah for six weeks last Fall, Florida for ten weeks right now, planning on Maritimes/East Coast this Fall and Alaska next year!
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:47 AM   #6
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2013 20' Flying Cloud
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We love our FC20. The FC20 has a relatively high tongue weight for it's size and weight. The three big takeaways from that for me were first, take time to dial in the weight distribution. We tow with a Tacoma and after slowly increasing WD porpoising was eliminated and towing is very stable in all conditions.

Second, the fresh water tank is behind the axle. Since the tongue weight starts out on the heavy side it does not hurt to travel with a full tank and it may even improve towing. Third, the best storage inside the trailer is up front under and on top of the bed. Unfortunately, adds to the already heavy tongue weight. So we try to store large but light items like clothes and bedding up front and heavier items in the middle or slightly behind the axle like tools, a portable solar suitcase, etc.


Have fun, it's a great trailer!
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:37 AM   #7
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2017 20' Flying Cloud
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We love the layout of our FC 20' in all regards and actually prefer the functionality over several of the larger AS we evaluated. A big plus is that our GMC Canyon tows it easily (with weight distribution a requirement though) which required a hitch change, so just make sure your TV hitch has a weight distribution rating (not just weight carrying).

As far as inspecting, perhaps allocate an hour before you leave with the trailer to going over all appliances, HVAC, opening and closing all storage areas, checking gaskets and latches, folding leg on table, everything you can think of. Apparently sometimes the details get missed by QC. Some switches are not labeled (like awning light and outside light) so check all switches out too of course.

Once you get it home, you will find adding hooks, racks, dispensers and acquiring the most space efficient storage bins can be a fun project, probably nothing new to you.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:45 AM   #8
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I love your title: "Growing up!" Same for us... We grew up from our 2010 Casita SD to our current Airstream and have been absolutely delighted ever since. From a lot of "exposure" over on the Casita Forum, our Casita was a pretty well-known trailer ( it's FLICKR album has nearly 22,000 views!). Even though we felt our Casita was something special, the Airstream is on a whole other level. I'm sure you will enjoy yours! Have fun, be safe!
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:52 AM   #9
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Welcome to the forums. Great group on the 20 thread. They have a lot of ideas to make the 20 even better for your adventure. Enjoy the smiles and the miles. Pat
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:53 AM   #10
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Welcome and congratulations! I absolutely love my FC20 and it's a great sized trailer for getting into just about any size of camping space. It tows easily and has plenty of storage capacity. The galley is perfect and the bathroom is a good size as well.

Check the age on the batteries and find out if the dealer has maintained them during the time they have had the Airstream and people are looking at it. If it sat on the lot without being re-charged and maintained, you might see if they will give you new batteries. Open all the drawers, pull out the pantry, look for hinges that may have disconnected so they can be fixed before you take possession. Be sure the awning rolls out properly and the lights under it work. If they can have the hot water heater filled, check to be sure it fires properly on propane. Have them teach you how to winterize the unit. Go through the unit front to back, top to bottom and try everything out.

There is a FC20 sub forum here....please join us.

Again, congratulations and enjoy your new Airstream!!
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:12 AM   #11
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2019 20' Flying Cloud
somewhere , West Virginia
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Thanks for all the great feedback. We're trying to put together a list for tomorrow. They are going to install weight distribution hitch for us so we will be there 3-4 hours. We tow with a 2012 Toyota Sequoia.

RFP - we have seen you over on the Casita forums. We will keep our Casita for a little while. I have read some negative things about QC on the Airstream and am nervous that it might have some issues. As we have a commitment for the month of April that I need a trailer I will keep my Casita in reserve. Once I am confident of my Airstream I will need to sell the Casita. Last year we spent 98 nights in it and hope to spend more time in the Airstream.

Centennialman - one of the 20' we looked at had dead batteries and we told them they would need replacing. We actually ended up purchasing the other 20' and don't know how the batteries were maintained. Good question for DH to follow-up on.

Charlie & Martha
2019 FC20FB
2012 Toyota Sequoia
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:36 PM   #12
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Hello from Colorado: Welcome to the Airstream owners community. I think you will find these Forums valuable as you learn all about your new Flying Cloud. Folks here enjoy helping others learn, so ask questions.

And post a picture or two after things settle down.

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Old 03-20-2019, 05:17 AM   #13
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2019 20' Flying Cloud
somewhere , West Virginia
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Thank you. We picked her up yesterday. It was a long day, but everything went well. What a learning curve we have. Even though we had the Casita for 10 years there is so much more about the Airstream to learn. We realized when we got home they forgot to review leveling with us. Pretty easy to figure out. Also had installed a weight distribution hitch so a little different than before. Today we will play and try to figure out where we want things and how to use things.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:12 PM   #14
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Leveling - same as your Casita. Mostly.

The refrigerator needs to be somewhat level to function correctly. Traveling down the road moves the refrigerant around, but parked, not so much.

Do not use the stabilizers to level. They are not strong enough for that function and can twist the shell enough so the door will not close easily. Use blocks under the tires and the tongue jack to level. Chock the tires securely. Drop the stabilizes and snug only firmly. Note, the drill drivers can over tighten. Use them with care.

You should have received a startup package. It may have included lego style blocks. If you want to use them to level, you need a few more. Buy them now to match or pass your free ones along and buy a matched set to use. There are other style levelers as well. Black is a good color. Lots of folks build their own from 2x8 board stock. Makes a nice first project.

Don't forget that on soft ground, being able to spread loads. A set of 16x16 3/8" or 1/2" plywood can be a good solution. They can also be stepping stones when it gets wet.

The interior of your coach will have components that are not true to each other. The sink, seating, stove, floors and beds will differ. Define your level driver and make that your measurement to set. The jack bubble can be quite helpful to make initial level positions. A phone or level can help with the status of the interior.

Good luck with your new toy. Please, post some of your impressions on the Casita vs AS differences. Is the Casita good experience for folks who want to stick their toe in the watter, or should they just take the risk they won't like it and go with an AS? Pat
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