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Old 09-01-2019, 05:52 PM   #1
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North Augusta , South Carolina
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Best Airstream layout for full-timing?

I知 purchasing an Airstream to live in full time. I知 looking for any advice or experience on a couple specific concerns I知 having. More details about my situation are below if that helps answer questions/clarify anything.

Concern 1:
I was sold on the 25FB Twin, but I致e seen a few comments on how cold it can get with the beds that are next to the wall. Any advice on that would be hugely helpful!

Concern 2:
I知 apprehensive on the 25F/RB Queen because when my partner is with me in the Airstream one of us will have to crawl over the other to get out of the bed (which is less than ideal in the middle of the night). And your head is right next to the bathroom.

Concern 3:
So now I知 considering a 27FB Queen because of the bed orientation. This is bigger than I wanted, but it solves both of the problems I知 concerned about. Is there much difference between the 25 and 27 ft (camping accessibility, living space inside, maneuverability, etc)?

More about me:
I知 moving into an Airstream full time starting in 2 months. I値l be in Northern Virginia mostly for work for the next 3 years, but will travel the east coast on weekends and vacation (both dry and campground camping). After I知 out of N.VA I plan to be all over the country with the Airstream. I値l be alone most of the time, but will have my partner with me regularly on weekends/vacations.

I just bought my TV a couple days ago. A Silverado 1500 with the Max Trailering package. Now it痴 time to buy the Airstream.

I知 looking at anything 2014 and newer (for the ducted AC and more accurate tank reading) 25-27 ft in length.

Any experience or advice on any of these points would be much appreciated!
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Old 09-01-2019, 07:20 PM   #2
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26 RBT or so called "U". We just traded a less than two yr. old FC 25 twin for this so we speak from experience. My feeling is that the FC 25 is more suited for folks who plan to have guests. The FC 25 bench is otherwise useless, for us was just a place to throw coats! The 26 RBT has a huge table which can be setup as a single table or two and swiveled either direction (one table not two). Also, the bathroom is a huge upgrade and last not least the "U" couch is fantastic for racking out and reading a book. Since it is a RBT you get a rear over the bumper outside storage locker which for me is also a huge upgrade.
From a towing perspective it's a wash but do pay attention because there is a bit more tongue weight.
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:02 PM   #3
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26 RBT or so called "U". We just traded a less than two yr. old FC 25 twin for this so we speak from experience. My feeling is that the FC 25 is more suited for folks who plan to have guests. The FC 25 bench is otherwise useless, for us was just a place to throw coats! The 26 RBT has a huge table which can be setup as a single table or two and swiveled either direction (one table not two). Also, the bathroom is a huge upgrade and last not least the "U" couch is fantastic for racking out and reading a book. Since it is a RBT you get a rear over the bumper outside storage locker which for me is also a huge upgrade.
From a towing perspective it's a wash but do pay attention because there is a bit more tongue weight.


@too tall, thank you for the reply and insight! The 26 繕 is a model that I had not really considered because I didn稚 want to spend all of my time sitting at a table. But I guess if you store the table tops you池e left with a pretty nice sectional. I知 definitely adding it to my list of models that I search for daily. Thanks again for your advice!
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:09 PM   #4
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A north -south bed is the way to go.

People with twins have a lot of justifications. I don't need excuses. I just like my queen , in the queen, just like at home.

Most of the east westers I know want a n-s bed.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:51 PM   #5
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30 foot rear twin is best for full timing.

Best bathroom, best outside storage, best bedroom storage access, get the stove, oven, and microwave, dinette, couch to stretch out on. Bigger wardrobe, easy water pump access, HUGE storage under couch. No doubt the best Airstream for full time livin'.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Did I mention the twin beds? They permit a 6+ foot guy to sleep without his feet hangin' over the bottom of that short queen
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:57 PM   #6
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So this is what the sales guy told me. If you want to spend a 5 to 6 weeks out on the road then a 30’ is the way to go. I have a 28’ and that extra 2’ does give more space for storage.. My wife liked the 30’ but it was much more expensive. Plus I would have to get a bigger pickup to handle the tow weight. We went to the 28’ because of the lounge area in the International. And my F150 would handle the weight. But we have less storage. You should check out the new 30’ Globetrotter by the way. The floor plan looks very interesting.

I just read the end of your post where you already bought the TV. Since you have a 1/2 ton I would stay under 30’. My F150 handles the 28’ just fine. What I didn’t like about the 27’ was the layout of the couch and table. I think the “U” would be a good option though. We really like a lounge area to sit and relax.

If you are single it may not be as big of an issue. Also you will probably have adequate storage without going to a 30’. I would not go less than 25’ and the 27’ Flying Cloud is very popular.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:09 PM   #7
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We full time in a 30 classic. We enjoy the layout and heating system. We have been on the road since February 2018 and we could probably make it in a 27ft rig. Something else to consider are the holding tanks and what kind of living you池e gonna be doing on the road. The classic has the largest tanks I believe, we can boondock comfortably for about 6 days before we have to fill water or dump grey tanks.

Obviously the larger you get the more likely you are to be sized out of your tow vehicle. I believe the 30ft rigs will all be at or near your max payload number when they are dry.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:50 PM   #8
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Since you already have an 1500 size TV you are probably already limited to a 26-28.

That being said, keep in mind that along with all the other issues it is important that there are individual 菟ersonal spaces.

- a tv in the main living area and the bedroom
- a way for one person to rest in the bedroom while the other can be comfortable reading on the couch.
-one person wants to sleep, or is sick, and a partition can separate the areas.
- one person wants to read, the other wants to......
You get the idea.

In a house there is always somewhere to go, a way to get some separation. Full timing in a trailer limits you to about 200-300 square feet.

Just another factor to be added to the mix of considerations.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:48 AM   #9
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Airstreams are great for what they are made for but full timing, especially in cold winter country, is at the opposite end of the scale. You've already purchased the truck so that limits your choices but there are still a lot of options. Do yourself a favor, put your biases and dreams aside for a weekend or two, and look at a few rigs rated "four season" and with thermopane windows. Airstreams do not like hot or cold and the condensation problems will be large and more annoying than you can imagine. You can buy a much more live in friendly rig a few years old for under $20K. When you are done working and living in VA you can move on the an Airstream for the on the road experience if it's still on your bucket list.
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:11 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for all the advice! I think I知 going with the 27ft. I知 leaning towards the queen because I知 worried the twin beds will be too cold in the winter next to the wall, but I am still considering them because of the storage and functionality of the twin layout.
I知 already looking at how to modify the dinette to make it a U-shape without loosing the 田haise part of the seating area. I really like the idea of lounging on that chaise, facing the wrap around windows and taking in the views.
I imagine there are probably modifications I can make to address the cold walls next to the twin beds as well (like a padded wrap around headboard).
Have any of the full timers here made modifications to make your rig perfect for you? What were they?
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:33 AM   #11
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Welcome to the forum!

A little OT . . .

Are you prepared to winterize the trailer, on a moment’s notice, in N VA, and live full time in the aluminum tent?

Also is that tow vehicle big enough for the 27? Max tow package label can be deceiving IMO.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:09 AM   #12
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I full-time in a 27FB. The bedroom setups in 26U or 25 twin would probably have been sufficient for me, but for full-timing I really wanted the bigger pantry and closet that came with the 27', so I'm glad I went for the longer rig. I wouldn't go bigger than 27 feet, as many of the state parks out west only accept up to 27 feet, and I'm already struggling with length in towns and cities. However, I was told that the 28 foot RB trailer is actually only 1 inch longer than mine (apparently AS rounds down when measuring a 27'11" trailer).
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Welcome to the forum!

A little OT . . .

Are you prepared to winterize the trailer, on a moment痴 notice, in N VA, and live full time in the aluminum tent?

Also is that tow vehicle big enough for the 27? Max tow package label can be deceiving IMO.

Good luck,

Peter


I still have some research to do on what exactly I値l have to do to winterize and still live in my trailer, but to answer your question: yes- I値l no other choice. If the weather gets really unbearable I have friends to stay with, but I plan on reserving that for extreme cases.

From what I read the 2.94 gear ratio would be able to handle a 27ft trailer. I値l probably be at 80% tow capacity. It also has auxiliary external transmission and engine coolers that help extended the life of the vehicle while towing.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by shucklemoon View Post
I full-time in a 27FB. The bedroom setups in 26U or 25 twin would probably have been sufficient for me, but for full-timing I really wanted the bigger pantry and closet that came with the 27', so I'm glad I went for the longer rig. I wouldn't go bigger than 27 feet, as many of the state parks out west only accept up to 27 feet, and I'm already struggling with length in towns and cities. However, I was told that the 28 foot RB trailer is actually only 1 inch longer than mine (apparently AS rounds down when measuring a 27'11" trailer).


Do you think the campgrounds would let you stay there with a 28 even though it is only 1 inch longer than your 27 which they let in?
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:48 PM   #15
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Cold walls with twins
Easy fix.
Upholster the walls up to the window.

Stiff cardboard, covered with fiberfill, covered with upholstery fabric. Held in place by gravity plus Command adhesive.
Easy to remove or change.
Any seamstress or tailor can help you if you don't know how to sew.
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:36 PM   #16
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Cold walls with twins
Easy fix.
Upholster the walls up to the window.

Stiff cardboard, covered with fiberfill, covered with upholstery fabric. Held in place by gravity plus Command adhesive.
Easy to remove or change.
Any seamstress or tailor can help you if you don't know how to sew.


Yes, this is a good idea! I was wondering if this might be an option to overcome the cold walls and potentially a cold bed.
Has anyone tried this or know someone who has? What were the results?
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:58 PM   #17
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Hi

I have never noticed a "cold wall" issue with twins. You have blankets and they tend to pile up here and there. It would be very far down on my list of concerns for full timing.

Having camped out in Northern Virginia, it does get a bit cold. The big issue to be concerned about is condensation. The walls are thing, but the windows are thinner. Camping late (or early) in the season in VA, we spend a bit of time each morning mopping the water off the insides of all the windows. This is *with* all the shades pulled. If you get into "real winter" you will be without water or sewer hookups and condensation on the walls ( = inside the cabinets) will become an issue.

Indeed VA has a lot of different climates. If you are out on the extreme east coast, that's not the same as being up in the mountains.

One more consideration is propane. You will burn through a lot of it heating the trailer. The electric heat simply will not work if we have a typical winter. The "couple trips a week" process will get both tiring and expensive after a while.

If you are in a fixed location for few years, I would not worry about the TV issue. What you have should be "enough" for any of the trailers you are looking at. People do tow 30' trailers with F150's ( provided they have the full set of tow options).

Bottom line for any of this is to go up to a dealer ( maybe Colonial in NJ ) and spend some time in multiple models. Take along all who will be with you in the trailer. See how everybody fits in each of them. Figure out who can sit where. See how comfortable the seating is after an hour sitting here or there. You *will* spend a lot of time sitting here or there ......

Size wise, I have yet to find anyplace we can not go with a 30' AS. The difference between the models called 25,26,27, and 28 is actually quite small. Unless you look at the measurements you can easily be fooled about which one is bigger and by how much. I've never had a campground bat an eye about the size of a trailer, let alone dispute it's size.

Bob
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:49 PM   #18
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Do you think the campgrounds would let you stay there with a 28 even though it is only 1 inch longer than your 27 which they let in?
Short answer is I don't know. Your average State Park camp host is probably not sophisticated enough to get out the measuring tape or consult the models list, so if you just told him it was 27' they wouldn't question it. In my case I wanted the panoramic windows on both ends of my Safari (now called a Flying Cloud), and the only 28' international available in my area and in my price range had closets on either side of the bed, so that made my decision for me.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:25 AM   #19
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Hi

The only time your trailer is likely to get measured is when you are getting on a ferry. They charge you by the foot and indeed 1" over means more money for them.

When camping, unless your rig is hanging out into the street, nobody is going to notice. They "warn" you that this or that is the length. If you want to try something longer, it's not their fault.

There are a *lot* of campgrounds that list all the sites at a uniform length. Each time I get to one, the sites are anything but uniform. I've seen "35 foot" sites that *might* fit a 20' trailer. Just what the park does about that .... no idea at all. Normally you can go to the office / host and ask for a swap. Many campgrounds have "spares" for just hat purpose.

There *are* campgrounds that you simply can't get into because of a tunnel or weird curve. Those are few and far between. Indeed do your homework if you are going to someplace unusual. Those same constraints also apply when you are out for a drive in various places.

Bob
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by saraed View Post
...From what I read the 2.94 gear ratio would be able to handle a 27ft trailer. I値l probably be at 80% tow capacity. It also has auxiliary external transmission and engine coolers that help extended the life of the vehicle while towing.
Saraed, I believe you meant 3.xx axle as the higher the number, the more gear reduction (mechanical advantage) the engine has. Ram has a 3.92 axle for towing, not sure what the F-150痴 offer. The trade off is lower fuel economy (engine turns more RPMs) but with the new overdrive transmissions, that痴 less of an issue today than years ago.

Regarding the twin bed question, the Globetrotter has upholstered sides by the beds. I found them very comfortable - keeps you away from the walls. Another benefit of the twins vs. queen is the extra space between the beds for changing. It makes the trailer seem more spacious too.
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