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Old 10-11-2014, 07:01 AM   #1
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New To Airstream.. Almost.

Hi Everyone, My name Is Larry and like my title states, I'm New to the Airstream world. I will be purchasing an Airstream in the Spring of 2015 and look forward to learning as much about these beforehand as possible. I'm Retired Navy and currently living in Lexington, Ky. I own a 2013 Ford F-250 6.7L Turbo Diesel so I'm not very concerned with towing. My New Airstream will be enjoyed most of the time by myself and another schedule willing. At this point I am unsure as to what size Airstream to buy. I don't want more than I need but at the same time I want enough room so I don't get homesick on my trips. Possibly something in the 19-25ft range. I will welcome ALL suggestions/advice from you seasoned camper's. Thanks again for having me...
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:06 AM   #2
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:31 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Larry. Not retired from, but ex Navy here also. About the size of Airstream to choose, I will tell you since '07 we have owned a 23', a 25', a 28', a 31', and now a 34'. None were bought new, and I always traded well, but I think the trend will tell you something about size. I would suggest you go to a dealer and not only look, but spend some time inside the trailers before you choose the size, and I would suggest you focus on the 25'. The more you use the trailer, the smaller it will seem.

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Old 10-11-2014, 09:28 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

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

As to your question, here is our experience. We have been avid Airstreamers for nine years. During this period, we have spent almost 1,600 nights (over 40% of our time) on the road in our Airstreams. For the first eight years, we had a 2005 Safari 25FB. It worked great for us. We towed with two different Suburbans and a Duramax Pick-up. We covered about 130,000 miles. In November of 2013, we traded the 25FB on a lightly used 2012 23FB, downsizing slightly. We spent about 150 nights in the 23FB and towed it about 15,000 miles. The 23FB just wasn't right for us. It was as much the layout as the reduced size.

We decided that we would go back to a 25FB. Last week we took delivery of our newest Lucy (we name all our Airstreams Lucy). She is a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB.

In our opinion, the 25 foot Airstream is the best compromise between living size and towing size.

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Old 10-11-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Hi Larry. Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your question, here is our experience. We have been avid Airstreamers for nine years. During this period, we have spent almost 1,600 nights (over 40% of our time) on the road in our Airstreams. For the first eight years, we had a 2005 Safari 25FB. It worked great for us. We towed with two different Suburbans and a Duramax Pick-up. We covered about 130,000 miles. In November of 2013, we traded the 25FB on a lightly used 2012 23FB, downsizing slightly. We spent about 150 nights in the 23FB and towed it about 15,000 miles. The 23FB just wasn't right for us. It was as much the layout as the reduced size.

We decided that we would go back to a 25FB. Last week we took delivery of our newest Lucy (we name all our Airstreams Lucy). She is a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB.

In our opinion, the 25 foot Airstream is the best compromise living size and towing size.

Brian
Thanks Guys for the warm welcomes. Brian, I am leaning towards the 25FB simply because I would rather have more room than I need than Vise versa, hence my reasoning for buying the F-250 Powerstroke. I hear the 2015's 25' also have the Ducted AC which is a plus considering how Noise sensitive I am lol. If you don't mind me asking what kind of a deal did you get on your New AS and what factor's did you have going with The FC verses, International and the other's? Would you mind posting some Pics of the Interior so I can get an idea. Thanks again for the warm Welcome...
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
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You probably allready have come across threads concerning the damage to your trailer that can be caused by towing with heavy duty trucks. If not you might want to look into it.

I personally think you should go into every size and configuration possible before choosing. List your priorities, living space, bathroom size, bedroom or in my case, no bedroom. The options are endless. Me personally I wouldn't look at a trailer below 25 ft (livable on dark rainy days) and no larger than 30ft (able to manuver fairly easily into cramped quarters).

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Old 10-11-2014, 10:33 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forums.

In a 25FB Flying Cloud, look closely at the twin bed option as the cross frame queen bed is not for everyone. Perch for a moment on the best seat in the house to be sure you have the necessary knee room when posed for action.

We started with a 2013 25FB International and the cross frame bed was an issue for me. We ended up trading it about six months later for a 2014 31' Classic model 30 with twin beds. My wife and I are very happy with the space, floor plan and the twin beds in our Classic

Spend lots of time looking, as signing a contract takes a few seconds but is an expensive decision to unwind or trade immediately due to unhappiness.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, where there are about as many opinions as there are members. (lol)

Many of us here like the idea of buying used, whether it's a lack of money, not wanting to spend the money, not wanting to take the depreciation hit, or a number of other reasons.

In the used market the mid size units seem to bring the most dollars per foot. They are definitely the most popular. The good news is if you are selling one of the mid sized units, it should sell faster than the bigger ones. (The bad news is if you are looking for one of the mid sized units, be prepared to move quickly.)

There are a lot of different floor plans. Some give you a large bath, some a large seating area, some a large bedroom. You have to choose the one that works best for you, and you can't have it all because the space is limited.

I started out looking for a 23 or 25 foot AS. Of all the floor plans that I looked at, none gave me everything that I wanted. I ended up with a 31' with no dedicated dinette. It's perfect.

Yes, it's a little heavier than the smaller ones, but the space advantage is worth it, to me anyway. Yes it's a little harder to park, but you get used to that pretty quickly.

The price I paid was less than what a comperable 25' would have cost.

And, you already have the perfect tow vehicle!
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:49 AM   #9
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Hey Larry. When you get on the road don't forget to check into the Military Bases for camping. Many have nice campgrounds and are retiree friendly. Google military campgrounds and it'll take you where you need to be. We have a 30'er and travel a lot. We the xtra space but I think a 25'er would be just as livable just a bit less storage.

Enjoy your travels and see ya on the road sometime.
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Old 10-11-2014, 02:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by silbull02 View Post
Thanks Guys for the warm welcomes. Brian, I am leaning towards the 25FB simply because I would rather have more room than I need than Vise versa, hence my reasoning for buying the F-250 Powerstroke. I hear the 2015's 25' also have the Ducted AC which is a plus considering how Noise sensitive I am lol. If you don't mind me asking what kind of a deal did you get on your New AS and what factor's did you have going with The FC verses, International and the other's? Would you mind posting some Pics of the Interior so I can get an idea. Thanks again for the warm Welcome...


Glad to help, Larry. Your new Diesel 3/4 ton would be ideal for a 25. We haven't weighed New Lucy yet, but the 2005 tipped the scales at 7,400# ready to camp. We towed old Lucy with a 3/4 gas Suburban. It did fine, but the Diesel pick-up was a vast improvement.

When we decided to go back to a 25FB, we definitely wanted a 2015 for the ducted air conditioning. The 2012 23FB with the ceiling mounted air conditioner was like being on a carrier flight deck while FA-18's are being launched. The television was not loud enough to be heard over the air conditioner.

As far as price goes, the current model year Airstreams are not going to be as good a deal as a brand new 2014. We were able to find several 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB's equipped exactly as we wanted. The best price that we could negotiate was 12% below MSRP. That was from Colonial in Lakewood, New Jersey. As it turned out, the new Airstream Dealer in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, matched Colonial's deal. We went with them as DeFuniak Springs is only 30 miles from Santa Rosa Beach.

As to going with the Flying Cloud vs. the Internationals, we were not really interested in most of the upscale features offered in the higher end models. The internationals sticker at ten to twenty thousand dollars higher than the Flying Clouds. For this, they give you those sliding door overhead cabinets which I do not care for. I much prefer the airline type overhead cabinet doors as found in the Flying Clouds.

There is one more issue that you need to consider, if you decide to go with a 25FB. That is the choice between the queen bed and twin bed configurations. Our 2005 Safari 25FB had the queen bed (in 2005, it was the only configuration offered). For the 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB, we opted for the twin bed configuration. You will read people say that the twin beds are better because of the extra floor space between the beds. That's fine and dandy, but the serious deal breaker for me is the significant difference in outside storage.

The queen has a single outside "storage shed" on the curb side. It is "L" shaped and about half of it is unreachable without some sort of grabbing tool. The twin has three separate outside "storage sheds" one on each side near the front, and one large one on the front behind the LP tanks. For the first time in my Airstreaming life, I am able to keep all my outside stuff outside. This is a big deal to me and I am thrilled with New Lucy's outside storage.

Her are a couple of pictures of New Lucy's interior.

Brian
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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Welcome Larry. My name is Bill and I also have a 2013 F250 just like yours and your correct you will not have any issues pulling any AS out there. I got my 2014 25 FC in march and just love it Click image for larger version

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Old 10-11-2014, 04:31 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard. We are also Navy retired. We started with 20' and two years later got a 25' Rear Bed/Front Dinette model. It's the smallest of the large Airstream, large storage tanks, and spacious with twin or queen bed optional.

We found the dinette uncomfortable for extended use so installed recliner chairs, fold up table and console, and storage cabinet at the Airstream factory service center. Only the 25' Rear Bed model can be converted in this way, and has a larger bath. We have the queen bed which works great for us, easily converted to twin beds if we ever need to.

So yes, look at the 25's if you plan on extended travel. Also learn about weight distribution, sway control, and sway elimination hitches, the third and very important component of a good towing combination.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:30 PM   #13
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Thanks guys and gals for all your input, it has most Def. helped this Noobie with a lot of questions. At this point after looking at several, I really like the 25FB layout. I like the idea of having my lounge area in the back and enjoying the scenery and sleeping in the front to keep an ear open in case my PSD decides to start up lol. You guys have really helped me out so I just wanted to say thanks to everyone. Once I bring her home I will share Pics and all my excitement with you. can't wait!
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:59 AM   #14
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I'm thinking about doing this Full time and how much it's going to cost. Can someone give me a Realistic opinion on approximately how much I would be spending each month. I understand everyone's driving habits are different, destinations, how frugal one can be, but just a ballpark figure would help. ie, fuel, maintanance, campsite prices and the like. I live on my Military income every month so I'm trying to sea if AS full time is even an option for me.
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