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Old 02-01-2014, 09:06 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Eagle River , Alaska
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6
Info Requested- Looking to purchase soon

We are looking to buy a new Airstream and need some thoughts/advice on the model and length to look at....there are two of us, retired and not going to live in it for extended periods...will be traveling from Alaska to the lower 48 to visit and then return to Alaska.....Tow vehicle is a new Tundra....We are thinking a 23' may be just the size for us and feel the Front Bedroom gives us a good size bed.....we like the two axles as we will be traveling the ALCAN a couple of times a year...will have to dry camp some and will have our own generator/s in the truck.......Comments/thoughts appreciated

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Old 02-01-2014, 09:20 PM   #2
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Sunrise , Sunset
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 20
We bought our new AS in August. Looked seriously at a 23 but drove away with a 27FB. Couldn't be happier. Love the space in the 27. I pull with a Tundra and had concerns but was pleasantly surprised how well the rig handles. Don't know if I would feel the same on the ALCAN.

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Old 02-01-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Welcome to the forum.

Hi, we very carefully figured out what we wanted, and at the time, anything smaller than a 25'er would be too small and anything larger would be too big. There is two of us and one small dog and our 25'er is just perfect for us. We also had to take into consideration what I thought would be a properly sized/weight trailer for our half ton tow vehicle. Since then, they, [Airstream] made some nice 23'ers and I think your choice is a good one.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:39 PM   #4
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
Join Date: Sep 2005
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We have done 3 cross-country trips in a 17' Caravel and -- duh -- found it to be too small for two. We've done one semi-across-country trip in a 26' and found it to be perfect for 2.

The difference between the 17 and 26 in gas mileage is minimal and tow weight is minor. I encourage you to go a little longer at minimal expense in weight and mileage. The extra room on rainy or miserable weather days makes a huge difference.

Especially important are easy access to bathrooms at night and the ability to close off nap areas during the day.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:15 PM   #5
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
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Size of trailer is personal. I do recommend solar though.
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:26 PM   #6
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
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The Tundra is a nice match to a 25' and you will appreciate the larger interior for long-term use, as well as the larger waste tanks and larger tires and brakes. We started with a 20' which was fine for weekend and vacation use, but our retirement travels are much longer.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

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Old 02-01-2014, 11:53 PM   #7
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2018 30' International
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Los alamos , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 324
What ever your style ex: space conscious go small 23/25 bed configuration27/30 not putting up and taking down a kitchen table would call for a 30ft. We looked and talked with many an owner and settled on ordering a 2014 30ft FC. Never owned anything else thought it was a time to change it up a bit with retirement in the near future. Took four to arrive. Patience gets you exactly what you want discounts considering how far you are willing to drive to get it. Then there is not only service after the sale but the help answer the many newbie questions . Go slow but make decisions no matter how daunting it feels. If. It ain't your cup of tea, many buyers looking as they only build 2500 a year.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:30 AM   #8
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Cary , North Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 824
We did no research before buying our Airstream, our first ever travel trailer. About 7 years later we are getting ready for retirement and will keep it. Maybe we got lucky in our hasty decision.....or, maybe all the Airstreams are well thought out designs.

We went tire kicking one Saturday and within 10 minutes had ruled out all other brands. Luckily it was a cool fall day so we were able to spend the afternoon with the spec sheet, just sitting and sitting and talking, and sitting in one model Airstream after another. Then back around again. ruling some out. The sales folks had to have been wondering about us.

Here is sorta how the elimination process went, best I recall. Maybe it helps ........
  • We wanted to be able to pull it with our small motor 1/2 ton pickup.
  • The wet bath/toilet was a cool space saving idea but we just did not seem to like it. (eliminated some of the smaller models)
  • The aluminum interior was a must have. It just felt really nice.
  • Front bedroom model would allow us the best panoramic views at back-in campground sites.
  • The interior room difference between the 27' and 25' was nice but the weight and lower price of the 25' fit better.
  • Last big decision was the twin beds vs full bed. That was not clear cut. At 6'3" and 200 lbs neither was good for me. My wife was leaning toward the full size. The twin bed FB model provided well laid out, easily accessible exterior and interior storage compartments.
They accepted our offer for a Safari Special Edition that we found ourselves sitting in at the end of the day.

We are not second guessing ourselves on much, I think except maybe 3 things.
- The audio/video upgrade is just not worth it. The speakers are poorly placed for watching movies. The automotive audio unit is too high powered and inconveniently mounted to use manually or with the remote. A nice LED TV with decent speakers (or a small sound bar), and Bluetooth audio system to play music would be better.
- I'd like to switch the dinette for a pair of nice recliners but my wife adamantly opposes.
- We should have bought it sooner.

One day we may put in a granite counter top with built-in drain surface into a single bowl sink, and a two burner stove (i.e. more counter space)

Have fun buying it and traveling!
2006 Safari SE FB
2000 F150 4.2L
2011 F250 6.2L
Broadway, NC
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:27 AM   #9
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
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You have enough truck for any trailer Airstream makes.
We have a 30 with queen island bed.
For ease of walking around and storage I think twin beds would be better
Hindsight is always 20/20.
2013 Classic 30 Limited
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:35 AM   #10
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2014 22' FB Sport
San Antonio , Texas
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We just purchased a Sport 22FB, and find it perfect for our use (me, wife, 18 lb rat terrier). It is compact, but we are finding that you truly need very little. Tows like a dream, good fuel economy, easy to manage. We really like it.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:20 AM   #11
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
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Research prior to purchasing too small...

All good replies here.

Several of my peers purchased too small (22' to 25') and quickly upgraded to a larger unit, taking a pretty good financial hit in the process.

For me, a 26' unit is just about the perfect compromise between livability and towability. Most important for me is not having to share the bed space with sitting or eating (and not having to make up or pull out the bed whenever you want to use it.

Try to make up the bed on display models prior to purchase. Some of the models make it almost impossible to make up the bed clothing with 60+ year old knees.

The newer front bedrooms have some advantages. Personally, I do not care for the wet bath.

Go with a larger holding tank model if you have an option. Many times the AS options (audio, video, solar) can be installed after purchase with better quality units for a cheaper price. Later installation also allows you to use the unit for a bit and then decide on your preferences for customization.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 02-02-2014, 10:22 PM   #12
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Fairbanks , Alaska
Join Date: May 2012
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We are in much the same position living in Fairbanks but when we travel outside, we are gone for 6-10 weeks in the Airstream. We had a 28' toyhauler and it was too large. We looked seriously at the 23fb but decided on the 25 because the extra width helps the interior room in several places and the couch is really nice to have. The 25 has more room around the bed than the 23 which helps.

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"When you find yourself in a hole - quit digging!"

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #13
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 357
We purchased a new Flying Cloud 27FB (twins) in November, and it is really perfect for our needs. My wife and I camp sometimes alone and sometimes with a 3yo grandson, and have had overnight friends with us as well. Plenty of room. We tried to purchase an '08 FC25FB queen, but that deal didn't work out, so we ended up with our new "Pete". We had no idea how great this floor-plan would prove to be, but had high hopes. It has not disappointed. The twins are great because of the already mentioned extra storage inside and outside, and the move about room compared to the queen. We much prefer the front bedroom for the view out of the rear salon. The 27 over the 25 doesn't sound like much, but we're glad we got "two foot-itis" when we did.

We tow with an F150 2wd crew with 5.0 and 3.55 gears. All the towing weight numbers work with room to spare (plenty of threads on those topics here for your research). The truck does great, although it will be fall before we see anything over our huge Florida grades! For us this was a big downsize, coming from a 39' diesel pusher. But honestly, we've had 5 RVs now including Pete, and our biggest regret is that we didn't buy an Airstream sooner. We have plenty of storage, I prefer not having a slide (issues, potential leaks, weak structures), and for us at this time in our lives, the simplicity, elegance, and low operating costs of the AS is perfect.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:12 PM   #14
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2013 27' FB International
2016 28' Land Yacht
Baton Rouge , Louisiana
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 233
Wow this is such a personal decision...we love our 27 FB model. It tows like a dream and those extra few feet give us such enjoyable space. We have a very big dog. We like the fact that we do not have to crawl over one another in the night. Our galley is roomy and so is our clothes storage. Love having the shower separate from sink/toilet.
Anyway 23 feet seems awfully small to me but may be perfect for you. Enjoy!

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