Originally Posted by Gene T
We've had some less than pleasant issues with our 19' Bambi. Many I believe would exsist no matter what brand of trailer we had. I have been working on my wife to move to a 23 FB, thereby moving the bed away from all but one wall and for some other roomy issues. My question is what is the next best trailer other that AS. I don't plan on owing anything other than an AS but I have to impress my wife how far from the competition the AS models really are.
We had a 2006 23 footer, rear bed, and sold it in 2014, buying a 25 footer.
Why not another 23 footer?
- 14 inch tires, which are all Load Range C (all others are 15", D Loads)
- Small refrigerator
- Bed is a bit tight for space and difficult to... move around
Other than those the 23 foot is easy to pull. Six inches narrower than a 25 footer. Has two axles with four tires, although getting rid of the Goodyear Marathons for a better quality 14 inch tire is a MUST DO. An excellent size to tow, back up and has plenty of interior storage space. IF the new 23 foot Airstreams had 15 inch wheels, I might have taken another look at one...
The 2014 25 footer.
- More interior space, wider by six inches than the 23 footer.
- 15 inch wheels, Load Range D tires
- Larger refrigerator
- Larger Fresh, Grey and Black water capacity
- More storage, but most is located under the bed
- Propane access for exterior grill, power hookups in two locations
- More windows, but can be a blessing or curse if you do not need them
- Space around the RearBed model is HUGE compared to our old AS!
Negatives on the 25 footer
- Takes 10% to 20% more fuel to tow than the 23 footer
- Slightly wider and length does limit MY Boondocking just a little...
You can buy a USED Airstream. Many are well taken care of and used for less than 30 days a year. After three or four years... barely broken in by many individuals that decide a hotel room is preferred.
BEST OPTION: Make a list of potential SOB's you liked. Camp for a week at a campground. Watch for those models to pull into the RV Park. You will get the scoop about the trailer AND price paid.
The 19 foot will sell easier than a longer Airstream due to price. The 23 foot and 25 foot are usually the 2nd Airstream purchase from those with the 16 to 19 foot lengths. The 25 foot is as large as we would ever want. The others felt like a bowling alley to us, after eight years in a 23 foot (even shorter if you measure the interior length).
I did like the quality of the Arctic Fox 25 foot in 2006. About half the price of an Airstream of that length. The others seemed to be held together with cardboard with wall paper for strength (just my opinion, but I do look closely). The front section needs to be resealed to keep water out after a few years is a problem my friend had with his older model. Not cheap to have done.
The resale value of an Airstream EXCEEDS any of the others. If your 19 footer is paid for, you could SWAP and get a sweet deal with an individual. Unless you are not much of a haggler an Airstream can be sold at a reasonable price in the Spring and buy yours in the Fall when priced go back down. (Trailers have a seasonal demand. High in Spring. Lower in Winter.)
To add diversity. Depending on what kind of travel and interior you find comfortable... there are lots of ingenious trailers on the road. Had these been available when money was tight, these smaller well designed travel trailers can be found in campgrounds. We stayed several weeks at the Lake Meade campground near Boulder City, NV and even the smallest had great innovations, worthy of considerations... with owners six feet tall or taller fitting comfortably.
When I curse my Airstream when something needs fixing... I do it with a smile. I loved our 23 footer overall. The foam bed in the new 25 footer makes sleeping a real... snore.