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Old 08-09-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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2009 25' FB International
Vancouver , British Columbia
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stuck on size - need help

howdy - not sure if I am posting this in the right area, could someone point me where if that is true....


We are currently really stuck between the 19', 23' and 25'FB

the trailer is for just my wife and I (and hopefully a baby in the next year or two) .

My wife loves the "cuteness" and layout of the 19' - thinks its perfect for us
I do not like the single axels and "small" corner bed.

I have read as much as i could find on the corner beds, nothing definitive really, but would it be safe to say most everyone would prefer the bed to be a bit bigger when more then one person is sleeping in there?

the 23' has the same layout as 19' except it has a sofa (which would be nice for lounging in, cards, etc) expecially with a freind or two (who would sleep elsewhere) and the 23' also have the dual axels (which i like). but it still has the small corner bed ... alas

the 23' FB has the bigger bed, dual axels, but very narrow between galley and dinette, almost feels too crammed (from what I can see on the pics).

If we go with the 23'FB i figure why not just go up less than 2 feet and get teh 25'FB - then we get the Queen bed, double panormaic windows and the sofa, the trailer is wider in all areas ... it really is teh best of both worlds.....

I know this is complicated to read, we really are stuck here, each is good, each has a downside...25' might be too big to haul around (mentally) but after a couple trips would most likely feel right.

if we can get some solid input on the small corner bed that would really help, as well as peoples thoughts between the 3 models. Is the 25' really bigger in feel than the 19 or 23 ...

anyways, i decided to sign up and ask this quesiton because it seems people on here are truly helpful, and we need some help...

thanks,
stefan
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum. Your dilemma is a common one. You might read this as a start: Choosing The Right Size Airstream

I can only offer you our own personal experience - but based on what I've read it's a common one..

We went from tent camping to a 19 foot Argosy and it seemed like the Taj Mahal - for a while... When we added a 50 lb dog to the mix it got crowded. For anything more than a weekend it got crowded and now we are restoring a 24 footer. Keep in mind that as your family grows the amount of stuff you carry and the space you need may change. Try to imagine how you will use your trailer in 5 or ten years. This is a long term purchase for most folks.

The corner bed is an efficient use of space - but IMHO a deal breaker comfort wise, but others may disagree. Is either one of you tall or wide? Who will sleep on the wall side? Have you tried it out?

As far as 23 or 25 feet.... this might depend on where you think you will be camping. Old national parks have small spaces - the 23 might be better. But again, many would disagree. Have fun deciding though and try to make the process of choosing part of the adventure
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:50 AM   #3
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

I would go with the 23FB for the following reasons:

- it is tandem axle; this is something that you really want to have if you do any amount of traveling. You will have tire problems on the road and two tires on each side of the trailer is a must-have as far as I'm concerned.

- walk around queen bed is another must; corner beds are for little tiny people with high level acrobatic skills.

- the FB's have two separate areas, a bedroom and a living room. This is a giant plus when doing a lot of traveling (we have spent 439+ nights in our 25FB). It's like a one bedroom apartment vs. a studio.

Whatever you choose, you're gonna love Airstreaming. Good luck in your search.

Brian
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
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Strange, I posted a reply to this thread and it showed for a couple minutes and then dissappeared!? Anyway, I agree with Janet. Can't give you any advice just some things to take into consideration. Although the 19' is small and only a single axle it will be easier to tow, park in tight spots, and less costly in fuel because it is lighter. On the other hand, if children are in the future even if it is only one, the amount of extra stuff you bring camping will amaze you. Speaking as a father with two kids. I agree with you that why not just go to the 25' rather than the 23'. My opinion may be bias there because my Airstream is a 26' but it has turned out to be the perfect size for me, my wife, and 2 kids. Not too big and not too small. Good luck with your purchase and welcome to the forums!
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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Figured it out, it appears that you have three or four of the same thread going and I replied to one of the others LOL. I thought I was going crazy for a minute.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate3172 View Post
Figured it out, it appears that you have three or four of the same thread going and I replied to one of the others LOL. I thought I was going crazy for a minute.
The perils of tabbed browsing....
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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We purchased our first AS last year. We had no idea what size to go with - my wife loved the cuteness of the 19' Ocean Breeze - airy and really cool! We decided a 23' would be much easier to live in - especially on rainy days, etc.. We didn't like the way the big round sink took living space away from the 23' and decided to look once again at the 25' but I had insisted all along, that a 25' would be that much tougher to haul and to maneuver. We purchased the 25'. We hauled it through six states last year and we've been out with it five or six times this year so far. We have a couple of ten day trips yet to come this summer and fall and I can honestly say that hauling and maneuviering has been absolutely no problem. The 25' is only two short feet longer than a 23' and if a 23' fits, a 25' is likely to fit also. And the difference in living space is amazing. We are very happy with our choice and often think what it would have been like sitting on top of each other in the 23' on those rainy days and evenings when we've stayed inside. Each will have their own thoughts on this choice and I can only pass on what we discovered and have thought about it. We couldn't be happier with our decision. Good luck with yours.
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:12 AM   #8
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Nate3172,

I shut one of the threads down, and moved your original post from the other. I will look around and see if there are any others. Sorry for the confusion.

Brian
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:06 AM   #9
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We purchased our 25FB last year and it's just the two of us. We gave much thought to a 19 or 23 footer, but the 48-inch bed in a box was a total deal breaker for us.

The 25FB floor plan and queen bed work out very well for our camping style and comfort. We even have storage space to spare. Our preferred camping is national forests and we have not had a problem finding sites or stretching our water supply. Consider if your family grows you may appreciate larger water tanks, more storage capacity and floor space for rainy days or long vacations.

If you purchase the right trailer for your needs now, you'll save yourself a lot of money in not having to trade later. Good luck. You'll have a blast!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:31 AM   #10
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I had the "original" corner bed in a 1970 Safari Special 23' about twenty years ago. I'm 6'5" tall. I will never have another corner bed. I bought the trailer I have now because it has an 80" island queen in a 25' trailer. It's an excellent floorplan for me. The corner beds are a deal breaker, and I've seen them in many different brands. They're hard to make, and harder to sleep in. If there's a wall at both ends of the bed, there's no way to stretch out. In most of the newer units, not only is that the case, but the inboard side of the bed is cut off and angled for bath access. They're great to look at, bad for sleeping... and if you don't get good rest while you're using the trailer, nothing else really matters!

Roger
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:41 AM   #11
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We have a 19-foot Bambi, and it's great for two older people with no kids.

We take our two granddaughters (10 and 8 years old) with us on National Park roadtrips several times a year, and it is a little cramped when the weather turns bad. It's OK now, but when they get to be teenagers, it'll be marginal. However, we anticipate that in the next few years, they won't want to go on these cross-country jaunts with their grandparents (let alone with their own parents), preferring to go the mall with their friends. So, this may not be a problem that we have to face.

Your situation is much different with a growing family and (in the future) teens traveling with you. Personally, I would go with the larger Airstream; you'll definitely need it. And, these are pretty expensive compared to other trailers; so I'd try to pick the model that you will grow into, rather than planning on upgrading in a few years, which can be an expensive proposition.

Regarding relative size, the 19-foot is smaller, lighter and probably a little less to costly to maintain and tow. It only has two tires to replace, a trade-off between safety and economy; and it probably has less drag (with half the rubber on the road). And, and if you have a tire failure, many people recommending replacing the remaining tire on that side since it has probably been overstressed, which will probably double the cost for tire replacement after a blowout or flat.

The corner beds are fine for most mid-sized people. My wife and I are under 5'9" and on the husky side (aside to my wife "Just me, dear, you are perfectly proportioned"), and we don't feel crowded. If one or both of you are 6' or more, or are generously proportioned, this setup may not work for you.

The dinette-converted bed is fine for our granddaughters now, and will suffice for two younger teenagers; but it will be a tight fit as they get older. We have an alternate plan to put one on the converted bed and one of the floor, half in the cubby hole under the table top when it's down.

As for the length, 19 feet is perfect for boondocking. Some of the smaller two lane roads in the southwest have 40 foot restrictions on combined tow vehicle/trailer length, so our 20 foot Trundra and 19 foot Airstream have no problems. And, the Airstream tracks perfectly behind our pickup. If the truck will go there, the trailer will follow almost in the same tracks. About the only limitation is our Tundra is two-wheel drive. We purposely did not purchase a 4WD vehicle, because we don't go down roads that require it; and we didn't want to beat up our Airstream. In forty years of towing travel trailers, we haven't needed 4WD; and it only seems to encourage one to get back in places where you probably should attempt to go. We have seen some 4WD rigs so stuck in sand or mud that it was nearly impossible to get them out; and we knew not to even attempt to go in there.

In short, our 19-foot Bambi give us the conveniences of a larger Airstream in a smaller package that fits our lifestyle.

In any case, welcome to the forum; and have fun picking out your "vacation home". (By the way, check with your tax advisor; your purchase may qualify as a second home, and the interest you pay on the loan may be deductible.)
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:03 PM   #12
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I think it would depend a lot on your size (we have the 23'CCD). My wife and I are 5'8" and 5'6" and my biggest concern was the bed. She just had a baby and we camped up till the 8th month. The bed is not too small for us and we're used to a king at home, but the one person does have to climb over the other. On cold nights we use the thin strip pillow from the couch so that person sleeping against the outside wall does not get too cold.

For two there's more than enough hang-out space and storage even for longer trips. After dinner, we often fold down the kitchen table, move the pillows to the front (behind our backs) and enjoy a huge L-Shaped sofa for watching a movie, reading, or playing a game. The toilet is very tight on the 23 and 19' and not comfortable to sit on and do a crossword puzzle if you're so inclined. If you're much taller than 5'8" it'll be tough to sit on the toilet and shut the door (try it out at the dealer). The 19' would feel awfully tight without the extra couch area.

In the 23' the living area faces the tow vehicle, while it faces the back for the 25'FB. Usually in capsites the view out the back is going to be a little nicer. We have a pickup and no cab so the TV does not really block the view out the living area. My ideal 25', which I have not seen yet, would be a FB with a small/non-wrap around window. There is a lot of heat loss through the wrap-arounds and I think it would make cold weather camping more efficient. Consider looking for lightly used still under warranty. A lot of people probably buy too small and trade up. I guess the 25' is wider. I get by fine with the standard mirrors on our F150 but would need tow mirrrors if the trailer was any longer. I did not like the 23'FB layout much at all. Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:12 PM   #13
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Stefan,
I purchased a 25 SS used. It was a good choice for me. I can't imagine a smaller unit with a wife and child. Presuming you will keep the trailer for several years, I would encourage to "go bigger" reather than smaller. If I had purchased the unit new, I would have purchased an FB model. The corner bed is a bear to manage. It would be a deal breaker for me if I wasn't alone. Welcome to the "Good Life" and the best to you and your family.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:16 PM   #14
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By the way, we use our Bambi for "camping" and use sleeping bags; so making up beds is not an issue.
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