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Old 11-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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When did they start making the "FB" floor plan?

Hello all,

I'm new to the airstream world and am trying to figure out what model to pursue. My wife and I like the floorplan that is currently available in the new Flying Cloud 23FB or 25FB. The thing we like is that it has a good sized bed for 2 people that is always a bed and also has a dining area that is always a dining area. We currently camp in a pop-top Eurovan and are tired of constantly setting up camp and breaking it down so we are trying to find an airstream where the amenities we want are always available with a minimum of setup\takedown. I looked at older floorplans going all the way back to the 60's but can't find anything similar. It seems that the older models have things that I don't like such as: 1) twin beds, 2) bed that converts into a dinette.

Can anyone tell me when the "FB" floorplan became available in a trailer that is 25 feet or less? The price of the new ones is so high as to be prohibitive so I would very much like to know if there are older models that share a similar floor plan.

Another question. The older models seem quite a bit lighter to tow than the new ones. Does anyone know why?

Thanks,

Chuck Brown
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

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

We have a 2005 Safari 25FB, named Lucy. In the last 3 1/2 years, we have spent over 500 nights in Lucy and have pulled her over 50,000 miles. She has been to all of the lower 48 states.

Lucy was produced in March of 2005, and was one of the first FB's ever produced. Only the first dozen or so had the rear-hinged door. Lucy is one of those. The FB is a great floor plan, and it wasn't long before there was a 27FB, then a 23FB, and a 30FB. You're looking at 2005 and newer on an FB.

Another member will pop on and explain why a Vintage Airstream is significantly lighter than a late model.

Brian
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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Popping up

In the past 10 years and more, everything in America has gotten bigger and heavier—people, trucks and trailers among them. Recent model trailers are mostly "wide bodies", 6" wider than before (102" vs. 96"). More stuff in them, some have heavier appointments and walls and cabinets—use of hardwood and fiberboard make a difference.

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Old 11-22-2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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The 23FB - Safari (2008)/Flying Cloud (2009 on) was introduced in 2008. Don't know about the other lengths.
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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hi chuck

many of the 25s built from the mid 80s through 05 have a full time bed and dinette.

some of those have sofas with a QUICK LIFT table for dining.

keep in mind 25s are only 21-22 feet inside, not a lot of room for bed/dining/galley/bath and sofa...

the current rear door/front bed craze really began in 05-06.

here's a classic layout in 25 from 05 and older...

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no dinette but the table at the sofa lifts up in under 30 seconds and can be LEFT UP without messing with the sofa.

it comes UP from the credeza on the street side.
__________

here's a safari 25 from 05.

it proves ALL 3 items withOUT conversion, (dinette, bed, sofa) but the bed is cozy for 2 LARGE people...

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the sofa quickly pulls out for a LONG comfy double bed in either model pictured above.

these are 2 of the MOST FUNCTIONAL, FEATURE PACKED floor plans in 25s,

from PRIOR 2 this silly rear door stuff folks are clamoring after now...

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:18 PM   #6
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There are actually a few rare FB models from the 1970's in the Argosy line. Probably really hard to find. But they do exist. The idea wasn't invented in the "00's".
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:34 PM   #7
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rear door = front bed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
...The idea wasn't invented in the "00's".
no it wasn't.

MOST of the floor plans go back decades.

but the REAR DOOR gosy's didn't have full time front beds, as i recall.

unless converting the sofa or dinette that was UP THERE and standard.

so these units aren't generally referred to as FB models.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:17 PM   #8
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Chuck,

The 25 with the real sofa + dinette + double bed is a nice floor plan, but a double bed, shortened for RV use, is not really for "LARGE" people unless your definition of large starts at 5' 3". The dinette is smaller than in the FB and if you use the table for lots of things or want to seat 4, it's kinda small.

The queen in the 25 FB is about 4" shorter than a standard queen and there are tricks to lengthening it for the LONG people. They call the bench seat across from the kitchen a gaucho sofa, but its not a real sofa, it's a bench seat that converts to a bed.

Of course with a "silly" rear door, we must be pariahs, but I'm not sure why that door is "silly".

Gene
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:36 PM   #9
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When did they start making the "FB" floor plan?

Greetings CBrown!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrown210 View Post
Hello all,

I'm new to the airstream world and am trying to figure out what model to pursue. My wife and I like the floorplan that is currently available in the new Flying Cloud 23FB or 25FB. The thing we like is that it has a good sized bed for 2 people that is always a bed and also has a dining area that is always a dining area. We currently camp in a pop-top Eurovan and are tired of constantly setting up camp and breaking it down so we are trying to find an airstream where the amenities we want are always available with a minimum of setup\takedown. I looked at older floorplans going all the way back to the 60's but can't find anything similar. It seems that the older models have things that I don't like such as: 1) twin beds, 2) bed that converts into a dinette.

Can anyone tell me when the "FB" floorplan became available in a trailer that is 25 feet or less? The price of the new ones is so high as to be prohibitive so I would very much like to know if there are older models that share a similar floor plan.

Another question. The older models seem quite a bit lighter to tow than the new ones. Does anyone know why?

Thanks,

Chuck Brown
As to why the earlier models were lighter, there were several factors, including:
  • Veneers or Laminates were utilized in the interior rather than the solid hardwood that are often used today.
  • Some features that are now standard were optional then, such as: air conditioner, and patio awning.
  • My notes indicate that there is a difference in the size of the frame members -- smaller and thus lighter in the vintage models.
  • The vintage coaches were also at least 6" narrower than today's widebody models.
From what I have been able to learn, the rear door models were introduced on the Argosy in either 1974 or 1975. They were offered in the Argosy 22 and Argosy 24 models. To meet your goals, the Argosy 24 Rear Door model would be the closest match as can be seen in the illustration below:




While I don't believe that the coach was offered with anything other than the twin beds, it wouldn't be an overly difficult modification to change over to a double or possibly RV queen bed. The front portion of the coach would have a battery box in the front streetside corner, and the water tank ran across the front below the window. There probably isn't enough room for an island bed, but there would be two possible cofigurations with the head of the bed against the streetside wall, and there may be enough room to make a corner bed. The thing to remember is that the standard Argosy coaches had a floor width of 7' 8".

The Argosy 22 Rear Door Model would not be a candidate for easy conversion to a fixed bed as can be seen in the illustration below:




While the Argosy 24 Rear Door Model would require some modification to meet your goals, its modifications wouldn't be a major headache.

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Of course with a "silly" rear door, we must be pariahs, but I'm not sure why that door is "silly".

Gene

well...silly is as silly does.

seriously...I don't know about "silly", but it does look to me to be just a tad "gimmicky"...and I only say that because it looks to me like you could have the exact same floor plan with the door in the front/bedroom in the back. what difference does it make? well...answering my own question, people have said that often, the best views are toward the back-end of many campsites.
Ok. well...that hasn't been my experience. But, you know...whatever floats yer boat.
The only non-subjective advantage I can see to the rear-door config is that you can have a door that hinges along the front, eliminating the risk of flying open when underway, and still doesn't interfere w/ the awning arms. Other than that...it looks to me like this floor plan could be attached to your tow vehicle from either end. Maybe there is some other reason (structural/engineering?) that isn't obvious to the naked eye.
To me, what's "neat" about these trailers is the functional layout of the floor plan; not which end you enter/exit.
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
... the Argosy 24 Rear Door model would be the closest match as can be seen in the illustration below...
NICE scan kevin, i love seeing those old flyers...

and i still miss the color palate and shag rugs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
...Maybe there is some other reason (structural/engineering?) that isn't obvious to the naked eye...
we can speculate, it seems clear that the main door opening, square front hatch and wrap window HOLES...

weaken the shell to the point of excessive flex/torsion that leads to cracks and frame separation.

as a practicing conspiracy theorist, they clearly moved the main door aft to cheaply solve this issue.

and they did it so quickly and with so little thought,

that the first batch of READ DOOR units came with suicide doors constructed to opened INTO the rear awning arm.

moosetags has one of those rare collectible models.
__________

there are other examples of front bed units,

like the bunkhouse which has a entry door forward of the wheels but with a full/walled off bedroom in the nose.

and that model has it's share of structural issues following the brief 2 year run.
__________

virtually every rv/trailer maker now has 2 door models starting in the mid 20 foot size.

the fact that a/s has ZERO units in the current line with 2 doors suggests something structural limits using this practical feature.

along with fact that almost no a/s entry doors CLOSE properly...

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:00 PM   #12
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I like the FB models myself. Our Argosy has the same concept but the mid bedroom. We enjoy the galley and Living area remaining as is. Many times my wife retires before I do and I'm able to sit up watching TV or movies without disturbing her with the door closed to the bedroom.

The only change I have made was to take out the gaucho mattress and replaced it with a queen size inner spring futon mattress. That way we still have the mid gaucho and a larger bed. Only drawback is blocking the walkway to the bathroom from the living room.

Al
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great info.

Chuck
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