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Old 11-02-2015, 03:06 PM   #29
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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PS Lule, on the Airstream site you can access floor plans for all the new models, by going to Travel Trailers in the top menu bar, then dropping down into the model, then later click on the exact model/size you want to check out:

Airstream USA, Airstream Travel Trailer, Silver Bullet | Airstream

These are all the current models of course, but it helps minimize the confusion from all these posts, if you can see an actual floor plan for the models people are discussing.

For instance, under Travel Trailers, if you click on Flying Cloud you will end up here:

2016 Airstream Flying Cloud Travel Trailer | Airstream

where you can then click on Floorplans and Specs, then in the drop down box pick Flying Cloud 20 to see the model we have.

Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2015, 01:40 PM   #30
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Lule, just a couple of other things to consider....

One thing we like about our current 19-footer vs. the 16' is the second (bathroom sink.) This may seem like an insignificant addition, but it really simplifies hygiene. Other wise all hand-washing, tooth-brushing, dish-washing, &c takes place in one sink. We kept an ample supply of Lysol wipes on hand to clean out the sink post-ablutions, and of baby wipes in the toilet cubicle for hand-cleaning.

With a choice of interiors, lighter and brighter is better in a small unit. It will feel that much more spacious. The International dark walls that we had looked more sophisticated (I guess) but we really prefer the Flying Cloud's brighter interior.

We also got all of our kitchen appliances down to a minimum. A drip coffee cone and filters into a stainless steel carafe or thermos vs a coffee maker, for example. The 19-footer has surprisingly more space for stuff under the bed, in plastic bins that came with our unit.

In the 16-footer, we kept our clothes to a minimum and stored most of them in two discrete duffle bags at the foot of the bed during the day, and under the dinette table at night.

We loved our small Bambi and would still have it if it wasn't in an accident. We have also looked inside several Scamps and Casitas and an A-chalet, and while the low weight is attractive, they really sacrifice on the interior space.

That extra counter space in the 20-footer does seem attractive, though....hmmm.
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:12 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
. . .
That extra counter space in the 20-footer does seem attractive, though....hmmm.
Another PS Lule:

1. Ditto to the comment above; and
2. May I recommend that you must visit an Airstream dealer to see these various smaller units in person.

If you like cooking with a gas oven (real food from scratch -- not nuked), it will be hard not to gravitate to the 20-footer IMO. The added benefit of the oven's heat also warming the interior is comforting in cooler weather as well.

Seeing is believing . . .

On the 20-footer thread which I linked earlier, there is a poster who mentioned a dealer in the LA area. I imagine you may have an AS dealer closer to you up north as well.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:12 PM   #32
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I think there is something to be said for going small.
Back in the mid 80s I lived in Anchorage in a cabover camper for nearly 3 years. It was not difficult to adjust to it. In fact everything was very handy.
I could thumb through my library and adjust the burner on the stove from my seat at the dinette.
It made me very aware of my needs vs wants. Made me realize i didn't need all that material stuff to be happy so I didn't need a great big rig to haul it around. I've never watched television so didn't have one. I made simple, wholesome meals and read a lot of books. It was a great time in my life and it left me with a very strong sense of who I am. Life was simpler. I had more time.
Time to listen to other people and their views, hopes and fears and not have such a need to display all my acquisitions.
I had plenty of room for everything in that old camper.
I don't deprecate people for their big AS trailers and their big TVs. If that's what they need and want - and can afford - then go for it. But I do think they miss out on some things in life that volume and bigness can not fill. The virtue of simplicity is the main thing. A bigger trailer means a bigger tow vehicle with all the extra complexity, cost and worry that that involves.
For one person and your dog the smaller trailer would be fine and you just might learn some important things that many don't care to learn.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:44 PM   #33
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I think if your going to go small, buy a used AS because they are a bit cheaper than new, usually have the "bugs" worked out and if at the end of your tour of full-timing you want to upgrade or give it up (unlikely) then you will be in a better financial position and know what works for you. I don't think you would lose much of your investment(used) if you decided to sell at any point during ownership. Good luck!!!
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:54 PM   #34
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Well said Ultradog. It is too easy to fall into the bigger is better. Even today I look back fondly at 35 years of travel and camping with our VW Camper. It was the best of times. Six to seven months a year in a 25' foot Airstream is still pretty humble.

It was the other day visiting the Airstream dealership that reset our bearings. Looking at 30' FC and new Classic, first the salesman "we can finance". "No thanks", with a smile. "I'd like to introduce you to our manager before you leave." Who says "What would it take to get you into this beautiful coach?"
"Coach! Hell, I came to see travel trailers, not motorhomes, where's the engine?" "But these are luxury coaches, let's get you in one."

Was I ever glad to get out of there. We stopped at the Airstream store they had on the way out and bought a can of spray lube for our 25' Airstream "travel trailer" that we just adore.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:09 PM   #35
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I like bigger.

I like my 34' just fine
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:17 PM   #36
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Telluride , Colorado
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Yup a 34' is great
Our family of 5 and a few dogs have been cozy fine in a 34' for a continuous 5 years!
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:48 PM   #37
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Wow, I'm thinking there should be another measurement when asking "Does size matter?". Sq ft per person and pet.

Our little 25' trailer-for-two suddenly feels huge.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:09 PM   #38
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We comfortably travel in our 22 footer with three adults and up to 5 doggies. Takes a little coordination, but it's doable. Been on trips of 3-4 weeks duration under those circumstances.

It just depends on organization and patience.


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Old 11-03-2015, 09:05 PM   #39
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I looked at the Airstream catalog on line when the idea "popped" into my head to acquire one in September 2012. I had zero RV experience and a needle wiggle above zero camping experience. The existing tow vehicle was (and is still in the stable) a 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. There was mention by the service rep at Mercedes of a 5,000 pound towing limit.

So we initially ordered a 19' International Serenity.

Then I came across this forum.

More reading opened my eyes to the possibility of a larger unit to start with. Sight unseen,we changed to a 25FB International Serenity. That decision required a 4,400 mile round trip from Phoenix to CanAm in London, Ontario to reinforce the Mercedes receiver and modify the Henley weight distribution hitch's stinger. The literature tongue weight was 833 pounds.

I drove to the dealer in Los Angles to pick up the unit. We had added street and rear awnings and a 155 watt solar panel. After installing the Hensley hitch, the tongue weight was 1,150 pounds. I was wondering how that happened - the two 30 pound rated propane tanks were filled as well as the fresh water tank...

I drove home and crossed the CAT (commercial truck) scales at a Love's fuel stop. With just me in the car and the trailer attached in it's new relatively empty state, all the Mercedes axle and GVW numbers were not exceeded. The trailer did weigh over 5,000 pounds.

We loaded her up for camping with what we thought was "necessary" and both of us drove to the CAT scales. Suddenly the axles were overloaded as was the GVW of the car.

The trailer weighed about 6,800 pounds out of it's 7,300 pound GVW and seemed to be a load for the car. Whoops.....

So a 2012 Ram 2500HD diesel was acquired which solved all the towing issues. On our first outing, I discovered that my decision making for the 25FB was not based upon any reality and the cross frame bed was an issue for me as I hit my head on the roof locker sitting up in bed and could not walk around to my side of the bed. We discovered some other issues which were not to our liking, so we started looking for a replacement.

A 27' Classic was the initial replacement choice and ordered, but we reflected some more on the dinette area and went on to the 31'Classic for the roughly $3,330 adder over the 27' price. The Ram is still a perfect tow vehicle fit for the 31' Classic.

The Mercedes was put back to work into towing a 23D International Serenity for going to the smaller parks on weekend trips . I towed it to Phoenix via Texas from an East coast dealership which also included a brief hitch tune up stop at CanAm in London, Ontario. The drive home showed me the 23D is a better towing fit for this car then the 25FB.

Lots of variables for the new potential Airstream owner to consider.

In retrospect, if I had spent a few days at Airstream dealerships being inside the various Airstream models and stopping by some local rallies to gain personal experience information from current owners, I would have been able to make a better choice from the start.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:49 AM   #40
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. . .
Lots of variables for the new potential Airstream owner to consider.

In retrospect, if I had spent a few days at Airstream dealerships being inside the various Airstream models and stopping by some local rallies to gain personal experience information from current owners, I would have been able to make a better choice from the start.
Thanks for going into detail and chronicling your trips. Wow -- some road warrior! I hope that Lule will be able to see many actual trailers in person before making a choice.
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Old 11-05-2015, 09:36 AM   #41
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DH prefers campground showers, but he is retired military & after 5 tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia thinks anything is great. I prefer MY OWN in my AS.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #42
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I agree Linda. I'm a USMC vet, and have taken my share of outdoor showers/baths during my life, in and out of the military, in public facilities and in nature. As much as I love nature and other people, I don't love showering with them and then walking back to wherever I'm staying in the cold holding a wet towel. My wife's main reason for wanting a trailer was so she could cook inside, out of the rain, and my main reason was so I could shower inside, in my own shower.
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