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Old 07-05-2017, 09:12 AM   #21
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We had a 20' for 2 years and a 25' for the last six years, spending about 200 nights a year in each traveling and staying at various snowbird destinations.

The 20' size is a great traveler, weekend and vacation trailer. Plenty of space and capacity and easy to use. The 19' may be even better. Importantly this size can easily be towed at a mid-size SIV or similar.

The 25' size is a great destination Airstream, and travels very well on extended trips. A 25' through 28' fits this mid-size group, the 23' may be a little tight. This size can easily be towed by a larger SUV or half-ton pickup.

We have purchased a winter home in the Southwest, sold our 25' and are looking at a 16' Airstream Basecamp for extended travel ease between our winter/summer destinations. Our smaller diesel pickup is a bit oversized for the task, but it's what we have and so will use.

Decide how you intend to use your Airstream and what tow vehicle fits into your everyday lifestyle; the size decision becomes easier.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:50 AM   #22
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When we first got the Airstream "bug," we found a gently used nineteen at our local dealer. It was perfect. We wanted it so much. But, the thing was already sold "pending financing approval." Dang! We haunted the dealer - probably nearly drove them nutz - with approval so long in coming, the deal must be pretty sketchy we thought.

Then it was gone. The deal "went through" and there went the Airstream we really wanted.

Anyway, about a microsecond later, the 2014 23D Serenity showed up in the Airstream Classifieds. It was near enough to go take a look. So off we went, not really being sure why, because we were so dead set on a 19'.

When we got to the trailer, the owner had it all 'ready to show." All the lights were on, the TV was going, the heat was on (it was a cold morning). Wow!

When Linda and I walked in, we must have said "we'll take it" so fast it shocked he owner. The arrangement was simply perfect for our kind of camping. Perfect in every way. We loved the large "lounge" area and the open, airy feel of the trailer. We liked the sleeping arrangements (Linda sleeps in The Queen's Chambers in the back, I sleep on the pull-out twin-size bed up front... perfect for us. Heck, the relative smallness of the bathroom didn't bother us a bit... we realize that a person spends only a [very] few minutes in the bathroom each day, but potentially lots of time in the rest of the trailer. Small bath for big lounge was an easy trade for us.

We were so spectacularly ignorant, we didn't even know what a Serenity was, but we sure liked its looks.

Since that cold January morning, we have spent a good deal of time in "Fortune Cookie" and it has more than met our expectations and hopes.

Don't you just love a happy ending, even if it's nothing more than a happy accident?

Rob
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:44 AM   #23
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We started with a 19. I wasn't comfortable with the single axel. Went to a 23D. The corner bed is just too small in both but it was nice to have a long couch for guests and as a fold out bed in the 23D. A 23FB would have been better bed wise but no place for guests to sit or for us to just kick back. Both trailers were towed with a 1500 gas truck.

Now have a 25FB. My advice (when asked) is to start with the 25FB and a 3/4 ton diesel. You'll most likely end up there eventually.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:44 AM   #24
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The first post is from Sunday, however, and it shows only one post total for the OP.

Just sayin' . . . folks like to talk I guess . . . even if the person who asked the question has fled the coop!



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Hi

Apparently no check of the forums at breakfast

The "daily update" won't go out until tonight though.

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Old 07-05-2017, 11:01 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
The first post is from Sunday, however, and it shows only one post total for the OP.

Just sayin' . . . folks like to talk I guess . . . even if the person who asked the question has fled the coop!

According to the OP's profile page: Last Activity: Yesterday 05:12 PM

So he may still be watching...
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:05 PM   #26
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I'll never own another trailer with a single axle.
Then, can I make up the bed without gymnastics?
Can I get out of bed without kicking the partner in the head?
Can I use the toilet without opening the door?
Can I turn around in the shower without a wheel well under my feet?
Do I need a dinette? NO!
Can I have a weekend guest?
Do I have to make something else into the bed?
Can I use everything at a rest stop? (A friend has a 5th wheel where you have to put the slide out before you can open the bathroom door! To me that's a horrible design.)
Will I say, "I hate this" in a year?

I've seen people living in a truck camper, or in a Scamp, but that's not me.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:33 PM   #27
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. . . start with the 25FB and a 3/4 ton diesel. You'll most likely end up there eventually.
In eight years of very extensive travel we never, ever needed or wished for a 3/4 ton diesel for our 25'. On the contrary we traded last year for another 1/2 ton, with a smaller 3.0 diesel for genuine fuel economy. Perfect combination.

If very long term camping is in the plan, I agree with the Airstream 25', in a rear or front bed arrangement.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:35 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
The first post is from Sunday, however, and it shows only one post total for the OP.

Just sayin' . . . folks like to talk I guess . . . even if the person who asked the question has fled the coop!

True, but there are usually a thousand others looking in with a similar question.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:22 PM   #29
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Las Vegas Airstream. A full lot of Airstreams. Found ONE 23 foot with 15" wheels in the shop being checked out by the dealer prep people.

Maybe going to be tough to find a new 23 foot Airstream around Nevada. There was even a 26 foot...
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:56 AM   #30
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True, but there are usually a thousand others looking in with a similar question.
Hi

.... and a thousand other threads going over pretty much the same things

Bob
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Old 07-06-2017, 08:09 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
Some of us still think small is beautiful.

We enjoy desert camping "in the boonies." We have developed several measures to conserve battery power, waste water tank capacity, and fresh water. Just for example, even primitive western campgrounds have pit toilets that we use except at night. When we wash dishes, we dispose of the waste gray water out-of-doors in a sanitary way-- in some distant bushes, usually. We conserve shower water by putting a plastic tub or two in the shower with us. We turn off the battery main switch if we're out for the day, leaving the Bambi on-site.

Frankly, for people who stick to camping situations with hook-ups and sani-dumps, most of these problems go away.

We solved the bed problem by putting the dinette table down every night and taking it up in the morning, for a 2-bed solution. This takes under a minute.

I'm not saying that "the Bambi" is the right solution for everyone, but it is for some of us.
I love small trailers. I've had 13' 15' and 16' trailers and I loved em. Could take em anywhere!

If I hadn't transitioned to a near full time adventure I woulda bought an 18.5' Oliver. I still kinda of dream of ownin an Oliver but I just needed a dry bath and separate livin area and bedroom for this more full time lifestyle and airstream had the best floorplan in the best size.

So... I guess what I'm sayin is at that length im not sure I'd have gone with airstream but 19' is a real nice length anyhow.
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:27 AM   #32
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Going to a big dealer and really checking out dozens of units just got a lot easier. Safford of Virginia turned onto Airstream of Virginia and went from carrying 5-8 Airstreams to 40 or so. Comparing layouts live vs. In a brochure really helps.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:28 PM   #33
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OTRA15, we find that a lot of people interested in buying an AS spend time on these threads, and aren't necessarily sure which length will be best for them, so this discussion may be picking up more silent interest than just from the OP person.

I chime in because a lot of owners of longer trailers are (how shall I put this nicely) a bit "unclear" as to why anyone might deliberately choose a smaller unit if they weren't financially strained, or didn't want a big ol' truck for a TV. Then word is liable to get around that the Bambi is inferior in some way.

Actually we have a Tundra so towing a bigger unit isn't the issue, even on mountain passes.

For people who prefer resort-style destinations or public campgrounds designed to accommodate bigger rigs, and who have a good place to park their AS, a bigger unit might make a whole lot more sense than the petite one. Especially with grandkids and dogs.

But we tend to camp in western, "primitive" campgrounds designed back when big rigs were less common. A lot of the sites are short, and even when they're not, they tend to require sharp right-angle back-ins, to sites lined by trees or rocks, that are not so long-trailer friendly. We also stay in popular resort-style RV parks and big rig-friendly public campgrounds-- and have sometimes gotten one of the last available sites because of our shorter length.

As prior tent campers back in 2006, we didn't want a big environmental footprint-- just something better than sleeping in a wet tent with rocks in our backs. We wanted to go hard-sided in bear country, and hated the look of the white boxes. The 16' Bambi was perfect, but when we had to replace it, we went for the 19' due to the dry bath.

Our dealer actually had a used 23' International on the lot that was significantly cheaper than the new FC we bought.

And this isn't just for weekend use: we've stayed out for 6 weeks to over 2 months at a pop, on a semi-annual basis.

Anyway, guys, to each his/her own, but how and where people normally camp seems like a big part of the answer as to which length is best.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:36 PM   #34
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I agree. When my wife and I decided on our 30' AS, we had 15 years of experience with boats. The way we expected to camp was in RV parks with large lots and connections. We knew we wanted to biggest one we could pull. When we shopped we looked at smaller units but we both agreed we needed as much space as we could afford to pull. Different strokes for different folks. I would like to say there is no wrong answer, but I often read posts of people who buy a smaller trailer and end up trading it shortly after at a loss for a larger one. For them, a smaller unit was the wrong answer. But there are plenty of examples of folks that buy smaller units because that's what they want, and they are plenty happy with their choice. Bigger is not better for them.

So buy the one you feel the most comfortable with and will fit your camping style the best. Good luck with your choice.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:20 PM   #35
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19 vs 23

We bought a lightly used 2014 International Signature 19' after a year in a 19' Shasta Airflyte Reissue. The difference in quality is astounding.
Anyway, we solved the lack of counterspace by 1) Having a custom size plastic cutting board made to sit on the range top cover and 2) Making a walnut hinged countertop to extend to the right of the sink—it simply pops up and rests perfectly level on top of the dinette cushions.
The corner bed isn't the best, and a queen would be great, but there's just two of us and it's OK for now.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:40 PM   #36
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When we started looking, my opinion of the 19 was quite bad. Having looked at the layout several times with an open mind, it is actually a good configuration if the small bed and bathroom meet your needs. So, it is understandable that folks might be drawn to the design.

However, we do not believe the 19 is enough. We wanted a duel axle coach. We wanted a queen size bed.

No, the East West configuration for the queen bed is not a walk around bed. Do not assume it is. You got to go to the North South configuration or the Twins to get good access to your side of the bed.

We wanted a duel sink. We wanted a microwave, stove, oven, frig/freezer and two closets. We wanted a combined bathroom. We wanted a separate shower. We did not know the problems with 14 in wheels. All fixed now with the 15 in upgrade. We like the dinette. We sit, talk, eat, play cards, sew .... we use our dinette. We really like our 23FB. It works well for us.

Bigger is always better. No, this is flawed logic. Big can be good. But if it's more than what you need, it is bad. Review your travel style, your needs, and your budget. Know yourself and chose the right coach for you and your RV lifestyle.

So, to answer your question .... yes, if we had purchased a 19 we would have been sorry we did not buy a 23.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 07-07-2017, 02:14 AM   #37
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We are struggling with the 19 vs 23' debate
Anyone with a 19' wake up wishing they went with 23'?

Thanks
Thanks everyone

GREAT feedback from all.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:02 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatson1111 View Post
We bought a lightly used 2014 International Signature 19' after a year in a 19' Shasta Airflyte Reissue. The difference in quality is astounding.
Anyway, we solved the lack of counterspace by 1) Having a custom size plastic cutting board made to sit on the range top cover and 2) Making a walnut hinged countertop to extend to the right of the sink—it simply pops up and rests perfectly level on top of the dinette cushions.
The corner bed isn't the best, and a queen would be great, but there's just two of us and it's OK for now.
Would you mind posting a few pictures of your hinged countertop? (Maybe with some explanations if the photos don't show how you attached it?)

The lack of kitchen counter space is the one drawback we've found to our 19-footer.

BTW, when our flat screen TV fell off in transit last year, it couldn't be repaired, so we had it removed. We've taken to carrying a small portable microwave that sits on top of the fridge when we're stationary & hooked up. Our unit didn't come with a microwave and we don't watch much TV when camping.
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Old 07-07-2017, 12:30 PM   #39
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We started with a 19' and moved to a 27' a year later. However, it wasn't really the overall space or length that was the driver of the change. It was a few issues that were, for us, an issue with the 19'. I love our 27' and feel that it could the one we have forever, but don't discount the 19' (wouldn't it be great if we could have both?). My partner still reminisces about how "cozy" the 19' was and that we don't have the same feel in the 27'.

What I did/didn't like about the 19':

1. Corner bed - this made me a bit nuts. Not so much sleeping (as long as I wasn't the one next to the cold metal side) but making it up each day. However, it was definitely cozy to sleep in.
2. Shower - because it's in the corner, it feels much roomier than the shower in 27' trailer
3. Kitchen - this was the killer for me. No counter space and a shallow sink. Cooking in the trailer is one of my favorite activities

We definitely have some negatives with the longer trailer that we didn't with the shorter so it isn't all "bigger is better." However, I do enjoy the fact that it is so much easier to navigate backing the trailer with the longer one.
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