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Old 07-02-2017, 08:20 PM   #1
New Member
San Ant , Arkansas
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19 vs 23 - anyone w/ a regret?

We are struggling with the 19 vs 23' debate
Anyone with a 19' wake up wishing they went with 23'?


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Old 07-02-2017, 08:24 PM   #2
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2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
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I have a 23D and love it. Two axels is very nice.

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Old 07-02-2017, 09:02 PM   #3
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Louisville , Kentucky
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We started with a 19 and moved to a 25 twin nine months later. The 19 was nice but after a two week trip, we realize camping with the grandkids would be very uncomfortable. Also the bed was a pain to navigate and make up. The twin is much more comfortable.
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:10 PM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 7,215

If you are struggling with a size issue (at any length):

1) Unless you are switching model lines (ie Sport -> Flying Cloud) the cost delta likely isn't very great. That's not an excuse to waste money, but it's not are massive step.

2) Your ability to get into a specific campsite with something 2' shorter may be better. For *most* campsites it will not make a big difference.

3) Maneuvering while backing up will be easier with the longer trailer.

4) You will always have "more" in the longer trailer. It may take a bigger TV to pull that "more". In a lot of cases the difference in tow vehicles is more of an illusion than reality. (Barely being able to pull this one vs ruling out pulling that one ..... hmmm .... rule out both).

5) If you look at what people trade in: Very few people seem to trade in bigger trailers for smaller ones. Most seem to trade in smaller ones for larger. There could be a lot of reasons for that.

None of that really matters as much as: What works for you? How much time have you spent in each one? How will you be using the trailer? How many people will there be? How does everybody involved feel about "living" in each trailer?. You *will* spend more than a few rainy days indoors. The sleeping arrangements will be an "every night" sort of thing. Think it all through in each "candidate". Don't just look at floor plans, spend time in the real trailers. If at all possible look at each of them on the same lot at the same time

Lots of decisions !!

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Old 07-02-2017, 09:43 PM   #5
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2014 19' International
Port Townsend , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 91
We have "only" had a 19' but have not second guessed ourselves at all! Especially re a 23'! But it bears one to recall "each to their own". We like the flexibility a Bambi gives us...the additional options for campsites, the marginal better as in towing and the snugness in camp. I do have minor reservations with a single axle from a saftey perspective, though replacing 2 not 4 tires is easier/cheaper and parking is slightly easie with the one axle. But it is only the two of us and we might like things a bit simpler than some folks..
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:59 PM   #6
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
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We have a 19' Flying cloud. The real question is, what will be your main camping style?

A couple? A family? Occasional guests or grandchildren? The 23' has extra sleeping space, which you may or may not want.

Do you like to camp in funky old BLM and National Park campsites like we do? We decided not to go longer than 20', as the shorter size gives us more options in all the campgrounds that were laid out long ago, not big-rig friendly.

Is your tow vehicle a consideration? If you're not sure, you can check your vehicle's rating.

Do you like to cook from scratch? There basically is no kitchen counter space in the 19' Bambi. You have to do your food prep on the table. The 20' AS with the kitchen in the rear is some better.

Does someone have to get up to use the loo in the middle of the night? Can the other person sleep all night on the inside of the bed? Our solution to this problem was to lower the dinette table every night to make a second bed.

We never felt cramped inside either the 16' or 19' Bambi, including when we had a dog. Space is kind of a state of mind. But what does matter is how you plan to camp, with whom, and other practical issues.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:04 AM   #7
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2017 23' International
Santa Monica , California
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Posts: 35
For 2 people with no kids or pets, our International 23FB has been fantastic. We started looking at the 19 but the bed situation was just too cramped. The queen sized bed of the 23 is what won us over.

Size-wise for storage we could have gotten by with the 19 no problem, but comfort-wise it's a huge uplift to have a nice longer bed and bathroom that doesn't feel as cramped.
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:26 AM   #8
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2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
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We have the 19'. The corner bed and limited prep space are main reasons for ordering a 25'. I bought enough tow vehicle to pull a 25...or two so no worries there. The 25' has plenty of room for the two of us (grandkids can stay in a tent like I did back in the day. The Airstream is for grown ups).

I can't imagine anything easier than backing up that 19'. I can get it into any space, and whip into my driveway with traffic waiting, no problem. Had it up to 75 mph with no issues. And it was relatively affordable for an Airstream.
2018 International Serenity 27' FB
Michelin 16 tires
Hensley Arrow hitch

Tow Vehicle: Ram Laramie 2500 crew cab, Cummins 6.7 Turbodiesel
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:25 AM   #9
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 10,940
Originally Posted by ASCM86 View Post
We are struggling with the 19 vs 23' debate
Anyone with a 19' wake up wishing they went with 23'?

I am surprised that this is an either or choice for 19 vs. 23.

These are MUCH DIFFERENT trailers IMO. Not sure cubic volume figures are available, but the 23' "feels" more like double the size of the 19' IMO, especially the 23FB.

Have you spent serious time inside each one, and walked through your daily routines such as meal prep, cooking, showering and so forth? Then do this for an entire very rainy day.

We focused on the kitchen and ended up with our FC20, the best kitchen until you get over 25' ! Miss our old 25' with rear corner bed too.

Each AS in this size range is a compromise. Windows that hinge on top with full screens are crucial to us. A dry bath with stall shower. Great kitchen.

What are your priorities, and does the cook agree?

Good luck!


PS uncle bob hit the nail on the head a few posts back IMO, and the rest of the posts are well worth consideration.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:11 PM   #10
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2015 23' FB International
Seabeck , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 9
5-years in the making, then a change of mind!

We spent almost five years pulling the trigger on our AS and for most of those years - the Bambi was the focus of choice for us. We have a 2006 Chevy Tahoe V8 5.3 Vortec and felt the smaller the AS, the better off we would be and we weren't sure we needed more room. But, a few months ago, we came back from a work trip at the Oregon coast, detoured through Portland and checked out the AS dealership. They had plenty of Bambi's on the lot, but a 2015 23-FB International just kept calling our names. Not a lot more in $$$, a bathroom with some space, a good sized bed and two axles.
That's the one we ended up buying and over the past couple of months, we've been giving it a great workout on all levels (full hook ups and no hook ups, flat lands and over passes). The Tahoe pulls her fine (although a Dodge Ram is going to take its place in our driveway before the end of the year).
For us, we may not have regretted purchasing a smaller AS, but we more than likely would have moved-up in a very short period of time. Heck, we already are letting the thoughts of a bigger one entering our minds!
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:24 PM   #11
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2006 19' Safari SE
Courtland , California
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 9
Movin' on up!

Our 19 foot Bambi is soon to go on the market. We will be moving up to the roomier 23 ft. (with the walk around bed!).
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:34 PM   #12
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2017 23' Flying Cloud
Miami Shores , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3
We much prefer our fb23

In the city where our primary residence is, Miami Shores, FL., residents are permitted to park a boat or RV in the yard that is no longer than 20 feet. HOWEVER, they count the actual length of the Boat or RV, NOT extensions from a bumper/ towing yoke or boat trailer. Our new Flying Cloud 23fb is actually only 20 feet from end to end when measuring the actual trailer without bumper or hitch yoke. Therefore, we can legally park it in our back yard. So our 23' is really a 20' in disguise. A 19' AS trailer is actually a 16.5' in disguise.

We are DELIGHTED with our Flying Cloud 23fb. It is quite big enough for the two of us, now that our 5 kids are grown and out of the house, and we are able to adventure travel as a "senior couple" without attached offspring. For us, as a couple, it is plenty large enough with a great bathroom (something perhaps more important to senior couples than younger couples), kitchenette and queen sized bed. The trailer is small enough that it tows and parks like a dream. It is ergonomical excellence in an aluminum shell and the longer we own it, the more we enjoy it. There were a few things to fix, as with any new trailer, but Airstream was very courteous about dealing with our punch list. We have been especially pleased with the 2017 improvements on the 23 series and plan on using our little Airstream for a long time. Neither of us think it would be any better if it were any smaller and we both could envision feeling very "squozed" if it was.

Good luck with your selection!
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:26 PM   #13
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2008 23' Safari FB SE
Parnell , Iowa
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 44
We started with a 19ft Bambi. The rear bed was just too narrow for us. Shoulder to shoulder there wasn't much space left on each side to the walls. Love our 23fb. Bathroom is great. Just the two of us.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:26 PM   #14
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,743
having owned several trailers (nt all AS) from 20 ft to 31 ft, My guess is that there are a lot more folks that regret not buying longer than the reverse!

Our first was 20 ft - liked it fine.

Or next was 27 ft ft - liked it much better.

Our current is 31 ft. really hesitates in buying that length but had to do so to get the layout we preferred.

Of course the only downside is that at times it can be a bit more difficult to get onto a site, but all things considered the advantages have outweighed the disadvantages for us.

I can appreciate that if you do most of your camping at state parks and such you might feel quite different. We probably camp 75% at commercial parks with pull throughs, full hookups, etc., but do also like state / provincial parks.

Rarely do we have a problem with the 31 footer - but i always check first.

I doubt it would be an issue at all if considering 19 vs 23. personally I would certainly go with the latter! Just me!

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