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Old 01-07-2015, 01:33 PM   #15
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Having followed various AS forums for several months its funny (at least to me) how little the 20ft FC comes up in these various discussions...although I think that most of us single-axle folk secretly wish we also had two axles/four tires for safety, I believe that the on-road handling (twice a year cross-country) and off-road maneuvering of a single axle trailer like the 20ft FC would be hard to beat. But the nicest thing is the layout...huge galley and sizable (read functional) bathroom (I'm 6'6") and bed, and large capacity tanks. We boondock a lot on Forest Service and BLM lands, and have found our 20ft just about perfect for a week or two in the boonies. But somehow the 20ft FC appears to gets (relatively) little attention. Shame. In any case, safe travels to all of you in 2015. And Ray...hang on to the thought that spring is right around the corner. jon
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:50 PM   #16
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Boomer... I think the dealerships are limited in their lot space for Airstreams, so order those that Airstream indicates is available. I suspect that 20 footers are hard to find if you were looking for one. They must be rare... like a 15 footer.

In Denver it seemed to be mostly 23 to 30 footers, maybe a 16 foot Bambi this Fall.

It would be interesting to how many 20 footers are built at random, and not ordered directly by a dealer with a paying customer.

On our way to the Southwest and to Las Vegas in a week. I am tired of holding my breath, so shoveled off the decks, snow shoed with the two Blue Heelers and may bump into you camped in Idaho this Summer. If I can find a flat spot not along the Columbia River...
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:30 PM   #17
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Interesting.... I'm following.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:56 PM   #18
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"PSYS Interesting.... I'm following."
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Do not follow too close. Objects in front of you look larger than they actually are.

In Wisconsin, would you not want something that can be pulled by a snowmobile? You may want to check out the Thread with the Red Lake Fish House posts.

Tell us what you plan to do with a trailer and get then know everything you would ever want to within a short period of time. Like 48 hours or less.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:57 PM   #19
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I have come to a conclusion that the 23 foot Airstream is the best all around back country Airstream. Only after getting 15 inch wheels. Not for clearance, but for the D Rated tires. The 14 inch C Rated Goodyears tires really do not make the "grade", but other brands I used were much more reliable.

The 23 foot Airstream is the lightest of the double axles. Reasonable fresh, grey and black water tanks. Two propane tanks. The design of the interior has easy access for storage (excellent design when using the table that folds and fits into a counter.) and in places that are easy to get to. This is after owning a 23 foot Safari for eight years. The windows have the hand knobs to open and close and the windows were not so large on the 2006 model, which I liked and the wife DID not. The BED... was the bare minimum and improved with replacing the original mattress as soon as possible. Ours had a 50 or 60 watt solar panel which kept the batteries within comfortable operating ranges in the 11v to 12v and degrading after a week to ten days, where moving locations attached to the tow vehicle would refresh the "sealed batteries" that came with Solar.

Our new 25 foot International is a beautiful trailer inside and out. More capacity in fresh, grey and black (grey and black capacity meant little to us, as we are comfortable in back woods shovel and hole plumbing). Excellent ventilation with front and rear fans and wide opening windows... that are a plus and a negative. At night... you had better remember which windows are open or you can get an abrupt head knocking... if you know what I mean. I figured it out quickly after accessing the exterior access to storage and did not see the window jumping out to catch the side of my head. Ouch...

Lots of windows to keep clean. Tinted so you do have a lot of privacy, as it is difficult to see into the trailer during the day. Wife loves the large windows. I am still holding my comments until we actually get into the back country and experience some real Boondocking. Right now it is trying to figure out the electronics and the awkward storage options in our rear bed model. Maybe after eight years in the 23 foot needs to wear off and I can find.... stuff.

The 25 foot without the microwave and having the refrigerator venting through the roof of the trailer IS THE ULTIMATE BOONDOCKING Airstream, without the fan for the refrigerator. It does use up your battery power to vent the heat out the side of the trailer.

We will make do with the microwave we never used in our 23 foot and the refrigerator fan.

My number one choice would be a 23 foot, 15 inch wheels, refrigerator venting through the roof. The narrowest and lightest of the double axle models.

My number two choice would be a 25 foot with the roof vent for the refrigerator and close to it, the rear bed with the side electric fan vent.

The 25 foot will give us more time with the larger refrigerator and fresh water tank in the back country. Those were the two most important items for ME. The wife... the interior with cushion covers made to cover the light colored leatherette, beautiful interior and large opening windows. The 23 foot had a easier shower shape than the 25 foot. The toilet in both would fit most any Airstream owner.

As you can tell, the 15 inch wheels and double axle is important for dirt and gravel roads... for me. I have never seen an Airstream off into the woods... so cannot comment from other owner's experiences, but... I hope to find someone and we can compare likes and dislikes.

After stepping into a new 16 foot Bambi in Tucson this month... this is one very compact and smartly designed interior... but now I wander.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:36 PM   #20
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I stopped by Gilbert Ray 1 day too late to see your ULTIMATE BOONDOCKING AIRSTREAM
Maybe next time.
Samb
Sam from eastern Oregon
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:34 PM   #21
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We love to booney camp and just could not find anything really suitable for us. We got the idea of getting a quality trailer we could renovate to our needs. The perfect booney camping trailer! We found and bought our 22' 1964 Safari single axle and stripped her naked and started fresh from the ground up. Reinforced frame and POR15, 2" lift on new axle with disc brakes, E rated 15" tires, 2-EU2000 Honda's, 200 watts of solar, 4-lifeline 6V batteries, 60 gal fresh, 40 each gray/black, 2-Large aluminum propane tanks, PT TwinTemp JR. for on demand hot water and cabin heat, I even added a faucet with H&C water in the rear bumper storage, Huge N641 refrigerator, large custom bed, Maple cabinets, everything new,new,new inside and out.

22/23 feet seems to be the longest I would want to maneuver in the woods.

To me there are a few advantages to a single axle.
1) single axle backing up turn radius is shorter than a double axle. Witch allows it to get into a tighter spots.
2) Gas mileage is better with a single axle.
3) only 2 tires to buy.
4) only 2 wheel-bearings to pack.

All that being said, I must admit, I too have twin axle envy.


-Dennis
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:56 PM   #22
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Batman's incredible setup is the winner for longer-term boondocking!

I had posted earlier that we thought our 2008 23' with solar and 6v batteries was a great setup for boondocking. But we have just added a 2007 Basecamp to the fleet which will allow us to get to places the 23' would not comfortably go.

So, it appears that a critical part of answering the question of "which Airstream is the best boondocking camper for you" is to first determine where you are going, and how long you plan to be off-grid.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:08 PM   #23
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Any 16 foot Bambi Boondockers out there?

Batman and Field & Stream. Looking forward to finding you out... EAST some day. A couple of true one percenters whom we can borrow a cup of sugar in the boondocks.

I have been asked how does someone learn to backup a trailer and maneuver a trailer in the back country? Easy. If you have a riding lawnmower, attach a small utility trailer that comes with one. If you can back it up with little difficulty... you can back up ANY trailer, anywhere, at any time.

Those of you who are towing and backing up a 16 foot Bambi... you ARE already backing up the most difficult of Airstreams. Not a 34 foot triple axle. The longer the trailer, the "easier" it is to back up. If you can see that far. (Correct me if I am all wet on this.)

I can back up a 23 or 25 foot trailer with little difficulty, while the trailer behind my riding lawn mower is a real challenge. Practice, practice and practice. You do not have to be perfect... just good enough to clear "obstacles".

Is there someone who does back country camping with a 16 foot to 22 foot single axle? Never thought about a single axle being more nimble when backing up, but it sure makes sense. My experience is with pulling a UHaul trailer and can make a funny video in the backing up process with a short one.
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Old 04-25-2015, 04:06 PM   #24
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I don't know about ultimate, but my 25' Eddie Bauer sure gets the job done. It's Airstream comfortable inside, so that's covered. It's got good aftermarket solar and that's a real plus. I get that thing up to planing speed on the Forestry Trunk Road west of Calgary and nothing shakes loose anymore (I made up velcro latches for the vanity mirror, and got a few extra turn-locks for cabinets after the first shake-down cruise where things did get a little wild back there). It cruises up to the Babine and along the Bulkley in Northern BC for steelhead season. Some rough roads. (I think the Eddie sits an inch higher than comparable A/Ss). When I've got to snake through trees or back into a particularly tight space, I drop the leveler bars and get 'er done. I've had the thing a few years now and have used it a lot over a lot of miles. I'd do it again in heartbeat and I'm thankful I did it when I did.




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Old 05-08-2015, 05:51 PM   #25
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New Mexico 2015 "Rockdocking TEST" for Boondockers

I rarely offer to take anyone to a place that offers camping and so many other things to do. This is in reference to a current thread for the Southwest and a true test of those who have thought of trying off the grid camping... but would prefer to try it with some trailer owners who... DO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

IF and it is a big IF. If you can survive this mild Rockdocking / Boondocking adventure... survivors will be invited to follow my wife, myself and two Blue Heelers to a Wyoming Adventure near DuBois, Wyoming in July/August 2016. This area is off the grid and the road can handle up to a 34 foot Airstream... if you can navigate a couple of stretches that are 1.5 lanes wide. Nobody has yet failed to get through, but it just makes the drive a bit more adventurous and you learn to look... way ahead for some dust from oncoming traffic.

Check the Western Boondocking Wyoming thread where I have posted pictures of the Double Cabin campsite. It is also the gateway to the Tetons and Yellowstone Park. You can catch this stop before or after going to the National Parks.

This Summer 2015 New Mexico "misadventure" is a great dry run for those who have never camped so far off the grid, as there is no grid. If you like this, you will love DuBois.
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Old 05-09-2015, 07:15 AM   #26
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The ULTIMATE AIRSTREAM for Boondocking

[QUOTE

Those of you who are towing and backing up a 16 foot Bambi... you ARE already backing up the most difficult of Airstreams. Not a 34 foot triple axle. The longer the trailer, the "easier" it is to back up. If you can see that far. (Correct me if I am all wet on this.)
.[/QUOTE]

Yes, as to vision being key. No question that the big ones are easy to control through a backing turn in comparison. But one needs far more elbow room to get into tight spaces.

The difficulty with the long ones is the distance to the TT bumper and the tail swing (distance from axles to bumper). Can be hard to see some types of obstacles due to distance, and the wide swing of the tail can magnify that. Then, the compound angle of TV going one way and TT another. Some spots take time to get into due to this.

TTL length on my rig is 63'. Not going boondocking, per se, but response in answer to question posed.

Weather, grades, and available light compound the problem.

Really need backing lamps as on the trailer of the shorter 18-wheeler I drive for work backing across drilling rig pads. Any TT would benefit and LED makes this easier to install and live with. A pair at the hitch area illuminating the trailer sides and another pair spread wide to cover from the bumper is how our tankers are set up. Have a look at the crude carriers you may see on the road. Trailer front fenders and on rear bumper above tail lights.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:53 PM   #27
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Test YOUR Ultimate in July...

Do you want to see The Ultimate Airstream, Camper or Tent?

July 13, Gila National Forest, just outside the Gila Wilderness. Grab a seat and watch.

For those who find Rockdocking... a bore and child's play. I will pull out my Atlas of this area of New Mexico and give you a couple ideas of where else you can go... to the Gila Wilderness area which is south about 50 miles or so driving. Less, if you can fly.

If you want to really push YOUR limits, come and tell us what a bunch of sissies we are... and I will give you some real, nice... options to find yourself. There are roads into the area we will be camped that I will not even entertain taking my truck any longer, since it is wider than our 2006 Tundra by a foot. Then tell us if the experience was worth it. Make sure you get a few photographs.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:31 PM   #28
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The consensus appears that the 16 to 25 foot Airstreams are preferred off the asphalt.

Hunters prefer anything BUT an Airstream as there is more clearance for Some Other Brands. I concur. The advantage of an Airstream old or newer models is that the resale value and market demand are always high.

I have a 2014 Airstream and when people ask me what year my Airstream is... I say a 2006. They do not blink. They all look NEW to the observer and they are always curious about an Airstream.

Although with the Airstream's low clearance compared to most all other full sized trailers (not pop ups with the motor scooter tires for eight year olds), the curved top has its advantages when on narrow roads with encroaching bushes and tree branches. You actually become an Airstream Pilot looking up, down, forward, left and right. It is just the one disadvantage, clearance.

The important thing you will learn is that you do not need to park AT the spot on a map you wanted to go. Find a decent camping spot and drive to the more difficult access areas after setting camp.

I ALWAYS have my locking system for the hitch when detached, so nobody is likely to borrow my trailer when I am not in camp. It is a must do if you are in an RV Park or back in the bush. Plates for a 2006 title stuck onto a 2014 trailer as it drives by would never attract attention.

I cannot think of a better trailer for Boondocking or RV Parking. You do pay more for a used or new Airstream, but if you hang onto it for a long time, the depreciation of the first three years of its life are long forgotten. I still miss our 23 foot Safari. But when I open the larger refrigerator... and the larger bed... it becomes a bit easier. And... you 23 footer owners know what I am saying, don't you?
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