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Old 11-03-2014, 12:52 PM   #29
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We (a couple) have a 2012 Flying Cloud and enjoy the layout. We do not full-time, so it would be hard to know what it would be like to live in it, but we seem to enjoy it for our short trips.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:59 PM   #30
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I am due for new wheels anyway, and am still not sure what a 5000GVWR trailer really needs -- how small is most FE and still safe. I figure a 20% margin (6000 lbs tow rating) would be enough, and so the Tacoma, but its FE is not very good. I don't have any experience with minivans or SUVs but thought a truck would give me utility storage and with an extended cab, some inside storage as well for a solo driver.

As for the 23, esp. the older front sofa model, I liked the sofa/desk area, but not the limited galley, since I prepare almost all my meals. The 20' galley seduced me!
I admit I would prefer a larger fresh water tank than 21gal for dry camping. Thought I would carry extra gallons in the truck, with cap. Does the 23 really have no fuel penalty at over 1000 lbs more?

Thanks for the comments.
-Myles

At speed there is no realistic difference in FE. I wrote 23 but it would be the same for 25 or more. There is no real advantage to smaller would be the point. I would counsel that until one reaches a size where two AC units are necessary (and the units become heavy) that increases in concentrated energy (propane) and water capacity should be more important as factors.

Mine is a 35. I'm single. A 29 of this brand and year range had the same propane/water capacity standard (35 had optional increase). How long one can live without external inputs can be a grave concern, not just one of convenience. Closed roads, being ill or injured, etc can make one glad for the food, water and fuel already aboard.

I might see a small percentage increase in fuel mileage were I to swap this 35 for a 25. But not enough to change my average fuel cost per mile significantly (currently 25-cpm). Get the size you want but weigh factors of food, water, propane and refrigerator space more highly for extended travel

One can show how an old Moho is more fuel efficient than a 20 AS due to not having to be restocked in all forms over a longer period of time

All of this is offered as perspective. A TT is or can be the most fuel efficient but only if well chosen. Extended travel is different than a three day weekend.


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Old 11-03-2014, 06:03 PM   #31
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This is a better title for your thread....what the heck was "T"?


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Old 11-03-2014, 10:01 PM   #32
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This is a better title for your thread....what the heck was "T"?


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"Trouble"
"Temptation"
"Trepidation"
"Theories" :roll eyes:
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:29 PM   #33
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This is a better title for your thread....what the heck was "T"?

Maggie
A simple oversight -- forgot to put it in place of the typo. Leaves a lot to
the imagination

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwf View Post
"Trouble"
"Temptation"
"Trepidation"
"Theories" :roll eyes:
How about Temporary?
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:31 PM   #34
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A simple oversight -- forgot to put it in place of the typo. Leaves a lot to
the imagination



How about Temporary?
Sure.. as in my Temporary Sanity..
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:58 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
At speed there is no realistic difference in FE. I wrote 23 but it would be the same for 25 or more. There is no real advantage to smaller would be the point. I would counsel that until one reaches a size where two AC units are necessary (and the units become heavy) that increases in concentrated energy (propane) and water capacity should be more important as factors.

Mine is a 35. I'm single. A 29 of this brand and year range had the same propane/water capacity standard (35 had optional increase). How long one can live without external inputs can be a grave concern, not just one of convenience. Closed roads, being ill or injured, etc can make one glad for the food, water and fuel already aboard.

I might see a small percentage increase in fuel mileage were I to swap this 35 for a 25. But not enough to change my average fuel cost per mile significantly (currently 25-cpm). Get the size you want but weigh factors of food, water, propane and refrigerator space more highly for extended travel

One can show how an old Moho is more fuel efficient than a 20 AS due to not having to be restocked in all forms over a longer period of time

All of this is offered as perspective. A TT is or can be the most fuel efficient but only if well chosen. Extended travel is different than a three day weekend.


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Is there agreement that size is not a first order factor in MPG?

Every experience I have has it that heavier is lower MPG. While it is true that once at speed, only friction burns extra fuel, that may not be significant. Any change in velocity including direction should cost as acceleration of some kind is applied. On a long straight road it may be small, but on secondary roads, more varied terrain, it must increase. Is there a thread for this?

I read accounts that for campsites on gov't land, small is more likely to be accommodated. . But the consumables capacity, particularly of water, is a weak point of 20 or less, so planning has to be more precise. For restocking food, propane, I was counting on the TV alone to do that most of the time, maybe naively.

As for tolerating being alone, that has been mostly my situation. That social weakness may be a virtue as a solo camper. While I hope to find friends to talk to occasionally, I can endure solitude if needed. Anyone for bridge?

-Myles
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:21 PM   #36
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Myles.. I think there are so many factors involved in your Fuel Economy (FE) .... we could write several 'white papers'.... and some folks have.

Regarding AS 'size' choice...
- The frontal area of AS are fairly standard. That big area will cause drag... while the underside of the AS is slicker than many SOB (Some Other Brand)... it still has drag..
- the AS will be lower than many TV's... so air moving from the TV may not move smoothly to the AS frontal area.. and may have increased drag due to the turbulence behind the TV..
- Next, the topside of the AS has the AC unit... and other things stuck there, may put further drag... all FE eaters.

Now, regarding the weight.. yes, that can impact FE... the biggest times you will notice is "accelerating" from a stop or any other time you accelerate. The same result as you drive up inclines... a natural feature in many roads as they rise/fall, but, for every foot the road rises, you lose more than you recover on the 'decline' side... This can be 'managed' by maintaining a steady throttle on the way 'up', then maintaining speed on the way 'down'.

Don't worry.. in the long run, having a trailer that 'fits' YOU is the right one.

Now, I have parked my 34' in every location I have encountered.. Yes, there have been 'snug' fits... and I have NOT seen every possible campsite... but, if they can fit the 'busses' I can easily manage.

If you find a 'stock' AS that fits your needs, you will be happy. If you find one you can make subtle changes to meet your needs, you will be content. We found that the 'tables' you can lift by the Gaucho suffice for all our 'desk' needs... and an additional 'folding camp table' supplements all we need... and you do not have to have it 'always' set up...

Modifying a bit of your comfort factor will be necessary.. but, that's camping.. that's Streaming'....
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:00 AM   #37
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Points well made, Channing.

Another motive for going modest sized is a smaller, less hungry engine in the TV when operated separately. For some of the frontal aerodynamic load among other reasons, I was considering a truck bed cap.. Would that help?

As long as the equipment is complete, size need only be enough to contain it.
I was going to try to get that double folding table in the larger AS's but the HW heater compartment under the dinette seat interferes. That table would have served for guest dining rather than for work.

My idea is to put a decent sized monitor/TV on the desk.. The TV on a bracket over the fridge seems awkward to me, and useless as a monitor..

Still I come from a smaller state (most do), so am used to smaller digs.
Maybe minimizing is just a bee in the bonnet?

-Myles

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Old 11-04-2014, 01:58 AM   #38
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We love our FC20 and, for us, do not consider it a "starter"unit. The smaller size allows us to tow with a fuel efficient vehicle and, of course, enjoy that good MPG when not towing. Size has never driven our lifestyle decisions - same small house for 40 years, always drove smaller vehicles - and this has given us freedom in many ways over many years. Although we could certainly afford the "bigger is better" pursuit, we just chose to put our resources to other uses. Not judging, just felt more comfortable and less stressful living differently than most peers.

After lots of research we chose the 20 over the 23 even though the tandem axle was pulling me toward the 23. For US, the layout of the 20 is a much better fit. I stress, for US. (I absolutely love Airforum, but I've noticed that there is a tendency for some people to present their personal choices as universal truth :-)

It WAS tough to find a lightly used 20 but after six months of looking and almost flying across the country a couple times only to lose out on the sale for acting too slowly, I found one at our home town dealer! A 2011 in just about perfect shape. Bought it the day after it showed up in Airstream classifieds. In spirit of full disclosure, the previous owners had traded up TWICE - 16 to 20 to 25 - so the "smaller units are starters" sentiment is well grounded. We were told by the dealer that the most popular unit for new buyers is a 19 and they are kept for the shortest time - average 24 months - of any new AS.

Love your conversion ideas! We are considering the "bed to sofa bed" mod as well. I'd like to have the lounging area that the sofa bed would create, but don't want to sacrifice the comfort of a real mattress...hmmm.

Good luck Myles! Sounds like you've put lots of thought into your decision and you're getting some great pointers here as well! Come see us in northern Michigan when you hit the road!Click image for larger version

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Old 11-04-2014, 09:39 AM   #39
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That brings up the question of TV for a FC20.

Maybe people with a Safari 20 or FC20 can post what vehicle they are towing with and how it has worked out?

Thanks,
Myles
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:53 AM   #40
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We love our FC20 and, for us, do not consider it a "starter"unit. The smaller size allows us to tow with a fuel efficient vehicle and, of course, enjoy that good MPG when not towing. Size has never driven our lifestyle decisions - same small house for 40 years, always drove smaller vehicles ...

After lots of research we chose the 20 over the 23 even though the tandem axle was pulling me toward the 23. For US, the layout of the 20 is a much better fit. I stress, for US. (I absolutely love Airforum, but I've noticed that there is a tendency for some people to present their personal choices as universal truth :-)

It WAS tough to find a lightly used 20 ...

Love your conversion ideas! We are considering the "bed to sofa bed" mod as well. I'd like to have the lounging area that the sofa bed would create, but don't want to sacrifice the comfort of a real mattress...hmmm.

Good luck Myles! Sounds like you've put lots of thought into your decision and you're getting some great pointers here as well! Come see us in northern Michigan when you hit the road!Attachment 225687


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It seems our ideas are in sync. My 2 BR townhouse is the largest home I have ever had, and it really is too big. Besides, I'm at the downsizing stage of life.

Finding candidate 20s is harder I agree. And the distance presents more than the
usual logistics problems for me. I can't keep it here -- against condo rules. I would want to tow it back myself, so a TV comes first, but even if it is delivered, there is the problem of where to put it and work on it. So I am looking for a customizer.

The sofa bed presents some questions. Could one find or get (from Airstream) the one they put in the old 23? It would have to open to 48" though. I also want to keep a full 48" width bed if possible. My tentative idea was described in post http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...ml#post1534645
The mattress is cut at 30" width enough so the remaining 18" can fold on top to form a sofa surface. The dinette cushions might just fit in the 10" slot between the pano window and the doubled mattress to form a back -- its only an idea at this point.

The remaining 18" plywood platform could be stowed under the doubled mattress, or maybe hang down on hinge -- to be determined. This would be deployed as before for the bed. The kinks need to be worked out of course. Another possible problem is that the sofa surface will wind up too high. I missed measuring the bed height, but it is probably standard, about 18". (Personally I don' t mind a higher sofa surface.) A solution is to lower the bed platform Of course all this reduces the under-bed storage, so that is a trade-off. Another solution is to use the 18" wide mattress section as the sofa back. So there will be some experimentation for the sofa. Sorry the ideas are not more concrete yet.

If you do it yourselves, maybe you could post about it.

Thanks for all info.
Myles
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:48 AM   #41
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On FE

For a lightweight, low CG, aero all Alu TT the function of weight is a stop/ go problem almost exclusively. The longer versions exert more drag and present more sail area

Now, unlike square boxes where wind forces pile up along the length, this type allows wind to pass over where a sort of vacuum is induced (and is much less strong thereby).

Yes, weight is a penalty but hardly so among this type. IOW not too much difference. It need not be concern as TV spec takes precedence for FE matters. Ergo some more weight/length won't change a monthly travel budget.

I can see where the thought of the shortest TT could mean parking it in places not usually thought of as RV spots. Etc. The OP should get the right one but the addition of a few feet won't likely change that either.

Potable water isn't always conveniently found. There is a current thread on Rv.net about not allowing a water thief to be used at some state/national parks. Etc. Transporting propane presents its own problems.

There are longer term workarounds for extended stays, but self-sufficiency is at the very heart of the matter of how to be independent for as long as possible. What are the reserves for a given consumption rate, etc? Alike to TV fuel range when towing. Let us consider extraordinary circumstances as when and not if. Prudence, examined.


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Old 11-04-2014, 11:11 AM   #42
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Hello Airstream Doers and Dreamers (formerly T)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BearScream View Post
That brings up the question of TV for a FC20.

Maybe people with a Safari 20 or FC20 can post what vehicle they are towing with and how it has worked out?

Thanks,
Myles


2010 Lexus RX350 w/factory tow option, reinforced receiver (by CanAm), Eaz lift hitch, dual Husky anti-sway controls, PS3 brake controller. Tows very smoothly, no sway - even at speed in high winds - brakes VERY quickly, comfortable and easy to drive.
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