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Old 06-10-2015, 04:14 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 8
Our long, strange journey (to a 2015 Flying Cloud 27FB Twin / F-250)

Step 1: Wife decides she wants an RV. Laugh; tell her she's crazy -- and there's no way we're getting an RV.
Step 2: Buy an RV. (Itasca Navion 25' motorhome)
Step 3a: RV for a year, and LOVE it.
Step 3b (during same year): Everything on motorhome breaks (except chassis). Rig spends 7 months in shop in one year.
Step 4: Borrow RV from shop (seriously) to go RVing Easter weekend. Realize that our 2nd a/c unit just crapped out again. Also find new leak (making 3 currently). Wife notices all the nice travel trailers in campground. Wonders aloud if we'd have better luck there. Laugh, tell her we're not buying a travel trailer.
Step 5: Buy Airstream over internet. (Wanted to at Step 1 but didn't have a tow vehicle.) 2015 Flying Cloud 27FB Twin.

Step 6: After (yes, ONLY) a few hours of research, buy 2015 F-150. Enjoy smug satisfaction of owning Perfect Tow Vehicle. Customize with camper shell, bedliner AND bedmat. FINALLY: Done. (Any fans of foreshadowing out there?)

Step 7: Caravan family from Texas in truck and motorhome (to trade in) to Colonial in New Jersey. Motorhome does its best to break down along the way. We stopped using appliances for fear of letting it get its way.
Step 8: Pick up Airstream.

Step 9: Freak out *just* a little.
Step 10: Realize that the Airstream is perfect.

Step 11: Realize pretty quickly that the F-150, while an amazing truck, does not fulfill our needs as a tow vehicle, especially as newbies. Dynamically it was a bit of a mess with the 27 footer - I finally realized what "the tail wagging the dog" meant. (By this time, I had done an embarrassing amount of research. Wish I had done it in the beginning.) Also, after weighing we realized that we were right at payload capacity, without the dogs (or a generator). Truck would be fine with smaller crew and more experienced driver, but we are neither.
Step 12: F-150 begins to break down. Somewhere in Tennessee I decide it is no longer safe to drive. Local Ford dealer suspects trailer brake control module is overheating and taking out power steering, abs, traction control, etc., etc., resulting in, shall I say, a unique driving experience (e.g. turn wheel quarter turn to go straight -- oops now turn it the other way, also to go straight). Ford and dealer say they can do nothing until the problem happens again (which I can't do because it usually happens after 4 hours of towing). PS I'm barely using my brakes at all - tow mode works great.
Step 13: Test drive F-250 while waiting for service to diagnose problem. Dealer lets me borrow it to tow the AS.
Step 14: Trade in F-150 for F-250. A completely different towing experience. Truck by itself is not as nice as the F-150, but towing with the F-250 was the way we imagined it would be, if that makes any sense. Connect Airstream to Truck. Drive. Easy as can be.
Step 15: During a SLOW day at the office, finally document our travails in the hopes that it can be a cathartic experience and perhaps a cautionary tale for others.

A little background:
There are 6 of us (wife and I, two little kids, and two dogs). We have fantasies of full-timing. It may happen, but we're going to start with smaller trips for now, probably do Colorado in July, and then planning a big trip for 1-3 months in the fall. Hopefully California to as high up the coast as we can get and then back to Texas (probably will come back). Pesky little job is holding me down right now, but we are working on options that will enable us to work remotely. Currently in Austin.

In conclusion:
-It's funny that this ended up being a tow vehicle post, mostly. That is because the Airstream is P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I mean, it really is perfect. The 27 was absolutely the way to go. Everything works as it should, is well designed, durable and beautiful. What's not to love?
-This forum has been invaluable in correcting so many of my mistakes, and now I'm using it properly to attempt to at least limit future mistakes.
-I am officially out of money.

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Old 06-10-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
tvketchum's Avatar
2008 30' Classic
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 619
Images: 1
Welcome to Alumaholics Annonymous! Not sure why the F150 turned sour so quickly, but could be that first year of the new model that had so many internal changes. Glad to see you stayed in the Ford family, with the F250. Hope all your travels are pleasant, you create wonderful memories for the kids, and that you recover financially and can consider full time.

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AIR 71620
WBCCI 5809 Reg 5 Unit 041
2008 Classic 30'
2013 F150 Ecoboost
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:31 PM   #3
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2006 19' International CCD
Denville , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,003
Images: 2
Wow oh wow what a story, I love you moved fast once you decided Airstream. Enjoy every moment, your children will have very happy memories.
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
Tomball , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 30
I have to say, I like the way your wife thinks!
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:01 PM   #5
Rivet Master
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 504
What a great post!!!!
Mad Astrophysicist turned sales guy that works to fund his dirty snowbaording habbit, mwah-ha-ha . . .
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:30 PM   #6
New Member
Taylorville , Illinois
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1
Singha, what a terrific post! As a long time lurker, you've given me confidence to make my first official post congratulating you on your odyssey. A cautionary tale to be sure, and one which we first timers will remember when it comes to these decisions. Again, great story.

Kindest regards,
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Old 06-10-2015, 08:55 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
2015 27' Flying Cloud
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 8
Thanks for all the kind words! It's been an adventure already, for sure.

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Old 06-10-2015, 09:37 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
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2016 28' International
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 121
Oh, this cracked me up! Thank you for a great read on which to end the day!

We basically did the polar opposite of what you did. We researched Airstreams for I don't know how many years, and then as it got closer to reality we spent a good eight months researching tow vehicles before we even sat in the first candidates! I am a tad embarrassed to admit that I created more than one spreadsheet comparing Airstream floor plans and potential tow vehicles.

I must confess that I admire your brave, adventurous spirit because you're already out enjoying your Airstream! Meanwhile, we are still waiting for ours (it's getting close though, and the truck arrived last week).

Originally Posted by Singha View Post
Step 9: Freak out *just* a little.
You are most definitely not alone on this one, whether you "freak out" in a moment of panic, glee or both!

I hope you and your family enjoy many, many happy years of travel in your Airstream and create nothing but great memories!
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:38 PM   #9
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2015 25' FB International
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 168
Images: 3
Great post!
and that from a non-truck person!
Persistance is the path to happiness
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:29 PM   #10
Some Guy
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Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 172
What a great thread. You also helped confirm my decision. Selling an LR3 and purchased an F250 yesterday (Petrol as my work commute is too short for a good diesel experience). Will be towing a 25' Eddie Bauer. Looking forward to it. Great looking rig, great looking family. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-10-2015, 11:38 PM   #11
3 Rivet Member

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 178
Thanks for sharing your journey. Great information. I appreciate your honesty!

I'm sure your travels will be rewarding and memorable!
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Old 06-11-2015, 02:16 AM   #12
Rivet Master
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
Images: 2
Most excellent journey! As you can see on the left side of this post, we are 'up' north of you.... While our 'kids' are grown and mostly gone, our GrandKritters now have enjoyed Mjolnir (the AS) as much as we.

Get yourself a place to 'write' this stuff up.. a notebook (or a dozen), seem to be more reliable than 'digital'...and you can paste stuff like clear bags of bugs, rocks, flowers, etc... into it... Seeing your post above, it is obvious you won't be challenged by the technology ... whether 'manual' or 'electronic'...

Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:33 PM   #13
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2010 27' FB Flying Cloud
Fraser Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,604
Images: 10
Great story!
easily distracted by shiny objects
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:29 AM   #14
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Vintage Kin Owner
Good Ol' , USA
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,566
Images: 49
That was a great story. What memories you are making with your family!!!

Beautiful AS, and in my biased opinion, a great truck! (Is that a PowerStroke emblem I see??)

Excellent choice on both. That truck makes all the difference in the world, huh??

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