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Old 11-11-2006, 04:54 AM   #1
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SS or FB

We were ready to buy a 2007 Safari SS SE and then I saw that it had an 18 gallon black tank. It seems I would be emptying it out every other day. Is that about right? I also was concerned about the lack of any counter space.

So then we thought we would go with the FB SE model. My concern there is the comfort of watching TV sideways from the extended sofa and overall comfort of the living area.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:02 AM   #2
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Hello tport40 -- and welcome to the Forums! I'm not sure exactly which Safari you're looking at -- the 19', 20', 23' & 25' SS have 18 gal. black tanks. [on edit: sorry, you did say SS]

I tend to prefer state park and national forest campgrounds. Only a handful of times have I actually had a water hookup at such campsites -- water hookups are much more common at private campgrounds. With a full fresh water tank I find that 80-90% of it ends up in the grey tank. It is advised to put at least 2 gallons of water into the black tank before use to help avoid the brown mountain problem. One should put some water in the bowl before doing #2, but otherwise there's just not that much water used in a flush. It's more like I have to add water before leaving a campsite and tap the brakes several times to stir things up on the way to the dump station. The longest I've been parked in one spot has been 5 nights and the black was still barely 1/2 full. I do like to see different sights and move on.

Of course not having a water hookup means I have to move or refill with plastic jerry cans within 3 days or so -- and when I refill it still is the grey water tank that is too full. Running grey water on the ground is more and more a no-no, so a Blue Boy may become necessary. Me? A lot of times I have moved on by then.

However you replenish your fresh water, the grey tank fills much much faster. A lot of folks will shower in a campground facility and steer some of their 'business' to the campground bathrooms when they can. It all comes to budgeting -- and the tightest resource is fresh water and grey water volume.

Now don't ask me how a 25' Six Sleeper can get by with only an 18 gal. black tank. The answer may be that every SS I've seen looks pretty crowded after two adults and two teens are inside.
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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HI Bob...got your AS put away?...snow is coming.

What about the television/relaxing question? I just read Wheel Interested's great post about 27' Classic FB (vv Safari FB) and it brought up that same question to me. I like to relax and watch TV in the evenings...what is that rear lounge like to spend time in...other than at meals?

The BIG question is...does a "couch potato" need a couch for comfort?...or is the rear lounge in the FBs comfortable for TV and internet time?

Thanks...Tom R in Two Harbors

P.S. Going to Split Rock Lighthouse today for the Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial...TMR
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:57 AM   #4
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I've got a 25' SS with the 18gal black tank. I have yet when boondocking to fill it to capacity or even hit 3/4. The longest I've had it out has been about a week ranging from 2 to 4 people. 18 gallons sounds like a small size, and you do have to use some common sense like not filling the bowl regularly, yet still using it as needed. I've used 2 variations of the 18 gallon tank since 2003. One in a 19' Bambi, and for the past 3 seasons, the 25' SS. I would estimate that with 3 people, being smart, you could in fact go perhaps 7-10 days, give or take a day or two depending on acutal use.

As for the TV positions, keep in mind you are usually camping and unless you are full timing in (meaning living out of the trailer) then either way you go, it's not going to be a great setup. The FB can have the limitiations you've described, yet the 25' SS, where it's mounted, the best place to view would be from the couch. I could not see sitting still in the dinette seat for more than say 45 minutes and it is fairly close to the screen.

One last thing, whichever way you go, make sure to get the LS upgrade at a minimum as it comes with some great, useful stuff...one item is the black tank flush. To date, I've never pre-filled my black tank with 2 gallons. I drop 1 or 2 packets of deod/breakdown solution to the tank, use, flush and we're good as new.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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First off, Welcome to the Forums. There's a lot of good information here.

We have a 2005 25' Safari FB. This model has a 39 gallon black tank. We have gone as long as 5 days without a dump. We can make the 37 gallon gray tank also last 5 days as long as showers are eliminated or severely limited. Half the capacity would be difficult for us.

We also like the FB for several other reasons. The biggy is the walk around queen bed. It is amazingly comfortable. We have spent 67 nights in Lucy since June of this year, and still love the sleeping arrangement. We also like the layout of the FB because when you get a nice lake-front site, the living area has the view.

As far as watching TV, we find the FB arrangement very workable. We watch TV from the dinette seats. If you put a pillow or cushion on the back walls, it make a very comfortable lounge chair.

We have spent 33 consecutive nights in Lucy, and didn't want to come home. We have been very comfortable in our FB

We are now planning to purchase 2 LP-powered Honda 2000's which will make us totallly self-sufficient. We figure that we will then be able to do 5 days in the boonies with all the comforts of home.
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:44 AM   #6
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We have a 25 Safari SS and the black tank has never been an issue. There are two other issues that are leading us to a 28 foot model (haven't decided between CCD, Safari, or Safari SE), namely the bed and the bathroom. The corner bed in the 25 SS is a pain to make. The easiest way to get the bottom sheet on, and stay on, is to take the mattress off the bed and stand it up in the hallway. The bathroom is a little tight if you are over 5' 8" (I am just 6'. Hard to close the door when sitting on the throne - no knee room!!
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
One last thing, whichever way you go, make sure to get the LS upgrade at a minimum as it comes with some great, useful stuff...one item is the black tank flush.
Good for you, Eric. I'm glad you posted here about your SS. We were camped in a small state park last spring and in rolled another 25' FB SE. It was brand new and they'd just picked it up. The fella admitted he hadn't done his homework when I asked why he hadn't gotten the LS package -- it also includes the electric jack, spare tire and a 2000 BTU larger A/C with heat pump. I would never do without an electric jack on a trailer this heavy. The hand crank on my Argosy was always pretty easy though.

My Argosy had a 12 gal. black tank and I never had a problem with its capacity. (I'm meeting a potential buyer later this morning ...)

[on edit: I'm not committing to a TV arrangement yet. Still enjoying nights by the campfire -- besides nothing ever on on weekends. I am looking more at catching up with no-miss shows by using my laptop and wireless internet when on the road. You can buy any TV show at iTunes for $1.99 -- way cheaper than satellite. Tho I haven't done the full analysis & decision yet.]
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Old 11-11-2006, 08:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamadeca
The bathroom is a little tight if you are over 5' 8" (I am just 6'. Hard to close the door when sitting on the throne - no knee room!!
I know of one 25' FB SE owner who says the same about his bathroom. I'm 6' tall and yes, fitting a bathroom along the edge of any Airstream will result in a closed in feeling. Most days I work with it just fine but some visits seem awkward -- only a problem if I'm trying to avoid unwanted guests.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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Most common RV toliets use about 3/4 gal per flush if you fill it with water up to the full mark. 18 gal. capacity divided by 3/4 gal per flush equals 24 flushes.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:41 AM   #10
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Thanks for the welcome and all the replies. We've only seen the 25SS so we're going to the factory this week to take a look at the 25FB. I kind of like the idea of setting the dinette up as a bed for tv watching in the evening. Just need lots of pillows!

Teresa
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:44 AM   #11
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The BIG question is...does a "couch potato" need a couch for comfort?...or is the rear lounge in the FBs comfortable for TV and internet time?

There is nothing like an overstuffed couch for a coach potato, cushions on boards are just like... well ... cushions on boards.

As far as positioning for tv (mounted on the wall behind dinette on the SS?) or mounted on the refrigerator wall from the dinette in the FB, I think the distance in the SS would be further away. The 19" is super from the dinette and we pull it forward and over a bit. As far as the positioning of the viewer, we always sat sideways with our legs up on the couch rather than squarely seated anyway. You can put the table down and make a huge L-shaped couch for lounging. But it still isn't a real couch. We have been comfortable enough with the seating and the compromise.

I sometimes pull the divider (and leave the bathroom door ajar) as the larger models incorporating the center isle for a larger space. It is tight when locked up but then I am not moving around much . My hubby did hit his kness on the SS bathroom door as it is mounted at an angle giving you a triangle of space in front of the toilet when the door is closed.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:45 AM   #12
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Tank

I have never had a problem either with using the Black tank.I have gone a week with out dumpimg it but it was almost full though.I do have a blue boy but never had to use it either.I expect I will be using for the first time this year when we leave for a few weeks to St.Augustine again here shortly.Besides...Personally if you plan on boondocking get the larger tank to be safe.If you plan on going to parks with bathrooms and showers get the smaller one.Either way it works out great depending on how comfortable you want to be.I like what I have but I have the Base '25SS with a few options attached.Since I plan on keeping this one for a while I have and will still be upgrading everything to make it more user friendly.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfm37
Most common RV toliets use about 3/4 gal per flush if you fill it with water up to the full mark. 18 gal. capacity divided by 3/4 gal per flush equals 24 flushes.
So, with 3 folks taking care of business (real business) 1 per day (each), you'd have about 8 days, more if you used less and 3/4 of a gallon. I must not use 3/4 gal per flush, cause last trip, 3 guys, 7 days and not near 3/4 full.

I'll admit the rear bed can be a challenge, as can the bathroom, but we're 5.7 or less. The one thing that I REALLY like about the 25 SS is that it has a detached couch and a dinette. I also love the storage space. Of course, keep in mind I came from a 19' Bambi.

Two suggestions I almost forgot. I upgraded my 13.5k AC unit that was part of the "LS" package to the 15k BTU unit with heat pump and comfort control system. My 25 SS was a special order unit. It was about a $250 upgrade and I can tell you first hand it's worth it, well worth it! I like the fact that it cools the inside perfectly on a 25' unit and it shuts down when it reaches the temp both in heat pump and cooling mode. I had an old manual type on the Bambi and it would run and run and run, only cycling the compressor when needed.

The other one to consider a second fantastic vent w/ rain sensor be installed in the second open vent. I found that when boondocking, and no A/C, those two fans together can create one heck of a great breeze. I also love the rain sensor feature. Was out on a farm and a storm snuck up on us and downpoured. Thought the inside was gonna be soaked. Made a mad dash for the Safari and the vent doors closed automatically as designed. Saved me a bunch of cleanup!
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tport40
We were ready to buy a 2007 Safari SS SE and then I saw that it had an 18 gallon black tank. It seems I would be emptying it out every other day. Is that about right? I also was concerned about the lack of any counter space.

So then we thought we would go with the FB SE model. My concern there is the comfort of watching TV sideways from the extended sofa and overall comfort of the living area.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
We spent considerable time reviewing the same option, SS or FB. Although the black tank size may be a question, it's the gray tank that is always the first to fill for us. We need showers to wake up so those and the kitchen clean up fill the gray tank in 2 or 3 days. The black tank will last at least a week without any extra dilligence. So don't let the 18 gal gray tank sway your decision.

As for the interior design, the queen bed, or for that matter the twins in the FB are hands down more useable and comfortable. The lounge makes into a HUGE "kick back comfort zone when the table is dropped and the full lounge is employed. XLNT for watching a movie on the LCD, will easily accomodate four people. And don't forget the split bathroom, having a separate shower is very convient when more than one of you is getting ready in the morning. And of course, the rear view thru the pano windows on the FB is to die for when backed into a view location.

We have the FB and have zero regrets. Take you time and choose what fits you best.

John
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