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Old 05-16-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Lifetime Camper New to Airstreaming

Hello everyone,

Iíve been lurking here for about a week and have seen many of my newbie questions answered, and realize some could be discussed for a few years! Great resourcefulness and community in this group.

Iíve been longing to take to the road again, and as I approach retirement Iíve got a serious case of aluminitus. As a Texan living in upstate New York I appreciate the natural beauty here. I grew up camping and canoeing on the Guadalupe, Brazos, San Marcos and Neches rivers and enjoy being outdoors.

Have car camped, backpacked and tent camped as an adult. My most recent long trips were going cross country in a Skamper truck-mounted popup in í88. We visited many of the National Parks and a number of State and County Parks. We boondocked without knowing what that was; we couldn't pay for campgrounds every night and stayed in rest areas and truck stops some of the time. Itís hard for me to say which I enjoyed moreóthose trips or times camping with family as a child!

When looking for a silver home, floorplan tops the list for my partner. When we traveled cross country, the tiny bed over the cab was not a problem. Our 50+ year old knees now protest and having a walk-around bed is non-negotiable. We donít have children at home so it will be the two of us traveling.

Now weíre researching and have tentatively settled on FC23 or 25. We donít plan to purchase until next year, though we are open to good fortune smiling on us!

Iíve read about leakage problems on the forums and am seriously concerned about the panorama windows. Is there any indication that the 2010, 2011 or 2012 FCs have similar problems? Is there a better configuration or floor plan that is less prone to leakage?

Weíre very much at the beginning stage. We have yet to buy a towing vehicle, locate winter storage, a parking spot, or even a dealer, though we did visit Colonial to get a first-hand look. No doubt, AS are definitely the coolest ever and we will get one. Trying to go about this in a smart and thoughtful way and the forums are awesome. Would appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank you!
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:58 PM   #2
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Firstly, welcome to the forums! Good luck in your search, there are plenty of people here who can definitely help you out on questions about the newer A/S's (I'll refrain from my personal opinion as I'm in a 1971). When you do find what you're looking for, please be sure and share will all of us!
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
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Hi Scooter,
You are in the right place, lots of knowledge here!
I also will refrain from remarking on the newer AS also, since I'm in a 2000. Just wanted to say hello and Welcome.
Alan
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:53 PM   #4
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Hi exthemius and A W Warn,
Thanks for the warm welcome!
Yeah, I have read enough to know that AS quality has taken a turn for the worse in the last decade. I wish I had the garage, time and money to invest in a restoration.

I hear I can save 40% over Mrsp if I buy a two year old, and probably 50% or more on slightly older. Is that generally true?

Wish I had started looking for my dream stream in my 40's instead of approaching 60. But I'm thrilled to have this "problem"; better than no dream at all!

Seriously, go ahead and tell me what to watch out for! I know it's not going to be as solid or well made as a 2000 Safari, or as gorgeous as a 71 overlander, but if I can avoid the worst of the issues and correct the correctable ones, I may still have some good travelin' ahead!
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:58 PM   #5
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Oh...it wasn't a knock against the current ones at all -- I just don't know anything about them! You know, the 70's have their issues as well (well documented all around these parts -- do a search for "rear-end separation" and prepare thy-self for a little light bedtime reading). The only advice I can give is to not rush it and do lots and lots of searching. We looked at a few newer ones, but felt that they just didn't offer as much storage as the vintage ones. Between that and the cash perspective, that's why we chose what we chose -- but everyone has their own specific requirements.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:12 PM   #6
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I did not mean the new trailers are lesser quality, actually I think they are great. I wish I had one. I just do not have any experience with them.

Those first years of depreciation are too much for me. I have always bought used for just that reason. I'm on my fourth used trailer. Looking for #5, a 25' excella wide body or a 40-50's model to redo.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:54 PM   #7
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We are in a 2010 FC23FB, that we got new a year ago, and so far (kow) it has been fine. Since we got it, we've spent a lot of time traveling and hope to continue. If you'd like insight as to our choice: It was the smallest we could get that had dual axel, walk around queen, and double sink. We spent a lot of time going back and forth b/t it and the 25 footer. Sometimes I think we should have got the bigger, that is usually when we park somewhere for a week or so, but I'm very happy with the smaller when on the road. I've been in and out of some tight spots with it. Our previous TT was a 17' fiberglass, that we loved, but it did get close at times. The decision to get new was also weighed carefully. I'd like a vintage, and I'm openly covetous of some of the older restored rigs that I see. But, I'm passed the age where I can do that kind of work. A man has got to know his limitations. All told, we are very happy with it, but truth be told, I think we'd be happy with anything that said Airstream on it. Let me know if'n I can answer any specific questions.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:48 PM   #8
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welcome Scooter, I'm also planning on a AS in my future... I've been going back and forth between the FC23fb and the International corner bed/bath. I'd prefer to pull a smaller camper but can't decide if larger Bed room space or a larger living area is more important.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #9
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Hi Snedwid and everyone, I didn't take your responses as a slam but it's clear that at least some new AS have "issues"! Still better than the other...(quick somebody tell me what the acronym SOB means)!

Another dumb question--why did you find a dual axle desirable?
Hadn't thought about the double sink but I see that washing dishes and conserving water is a science. We used a plastic basin in our skamper and never hooked up the grey or black water. which was challenging at times. We were too near the weight limit and didn't want to invite trouble. I really look forward to the luxury of water and sewer hookups!

Since we'd be new to towing should we start smaller? What were your considerations in a tow vehicle? I've had a ford 150 before and wondered whether a v8 with a tow package would be adequate for the 23FC or whether I'd have to get a 250. I have a Vespa 150 and would love to bring it along sometimes so I'm hoping for a truck as a tow vehicle.

Lastly, are there any rallies within a few hours of Ithaca that we could drop by and admire the rigs?
Thanks again--my head is not quite full yet--need.more.aluminum.
Kathy
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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Mhenry, wish I could consider the International but the corner bed/bath is a dealbreaker. I do love the rest of the floor plan--putting the bed and bath in the corner really opens the rest of it up. We had a small dining area in our skamper and often dined outside in good weather. Bad weather could be stifling. What do you find appealing about the FC23fb?

Keep me posted on your quest. What sort of tow vehicle are you considering? Are you searching the forums or thinking of going through a dealer?

I'm open to whatever brings the magic!
Kathy
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:20 PM   #11
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Scooter,
Lin and I are 65. We had the same issue, i.e., walk-around Queen was a requirement. We searched the classifieds and found ours in March. We're off to British Columbia from Virginia in a few days. Welcome aboard. Your PERFECT 'stream is out there.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:55 PM   #12
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We bought a 2005 Classic 25' when it was 3 years old. It looked like brand new and had very little use. Buying used saves a lot of money if you choose wisely. This was our first trailer and it has proved to be the perfect size for a couple retirees. We weren't interested in anything but an Airstream. It is very well made. We live a few hours from Jackson Center, so any service we need can be handled there. They seem to very accommodating. We love our walk around queen bed, nice shower, oak cabinets, Korean counters, dual axels, awnings all around. We pull with a Lincoln Blackwood, which is equivalent to a Ford F150 with a big engine. Pulls like a dream. Keep searching and good luck.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter241 View Post
Hi Snedwid and everyone, I didn't take your responses as a slam but it's clear that at least some new AS have "issues"! Still better than the other...(quick somebody tell me what the acronym SOB means)!

Another dumb question--why did you find a dual axle desirable?
Hi there Scooter, and welcome to airforums.com!

OK, SOB is "Some Other Brand" or "Square Old Box" depending who you are talking to.

TT = Travel trailer, TV = Tow vehicle while I'm at it.

One thing twin axles do give you a softer landing if you have a blowout. I have also heard that they are easier to back up, but I can't confirm that since I've only owned one TT, a 31-footer.

Take your time, go out an get into them and sit in them a lot, you never know, it could change your mind!

Don't forget that the longest bed in an AS is the twins... At least from what I've seen.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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Might I suggest the 25' FB Twin floor plan? Guess what we have? It is ideal for having the feeling of spaciousness and the ability to use the bedroom to actually stand up in and move around, utilize the front storage compartment, the beds double as two couches in bad weather. We also gained a storage compartment because of it.

Just a thought...

TK
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