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Old 07-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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28' vs. 27FB International Signature

I think I have convinced myself I can afford to buy a 2013 International Signature. This will be my first travel trailer and the current plan is for it to be the only one I will ever own. It will be a secondary home for now, but I might live in it full-time at some point later. At first I thought the 25FB was perfect for me, then I fell in love with a 28 that I saw. Now I'm wrestling with whether I would prefer the 27FB (have not actually seen one yet) over the 28. Can anyone share their experience with this dilemma? I like the dinette / sofa arrangement of the 28, but the slide out pantry and panoramic windows around the bed of the 27FB sure seem like neat features.
Thanks!
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #2
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I've got the 27FB and do admire the panoramic windows in the bedroom but I would trade them if I could have more storage where the little night stands are that sit below the windows. I'd prefer taller cabinets blocking those windows in trade for some drawers for example.
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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Hey neighbor!

Don't know about the layout of the 2013, but we own a 2008 International Ocean Breeze - FB, and we love the dinette and wrap-around windows. We more often than not pull into a site where the "real" view is out the back windows. Love it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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I agree with nilesrob the best views are usually out the back window of the trailer. We like sitting at the dinette of our 27FB looking out the pano window at the scenery instead of looking out the front window at a view of the truck.

The slide out pantry is great. The 27FB has more foot space in the shower than the 28.

With respect to bedroom storage, we do not have the pano window in our bedroom. Instead we have closets on either side of the bed, just like the bedroom .setup in the 28. While some like the pano window in the bedroom (most 27FB's on dealer lots have the bedroom pano), we prefer the extra storage afforded by the closets. Plus we are rarely in the bedroom during the daylight hours so the extra window space of a pano would have little value to us. On cold days and nights the bedroom is warmer than it would be if it had a pano window. I believe the 27 can still be ordered with bedside closets instead of the pano window.

The tongue weight of the 27 is lighter than the 28. This may be significant depending on your tow vehicle's load capacity.

Look at how the entrance door of the 28 swings back directly on a window. If the window is open, and you swing back the door, you can break the window.

The three big drawbacks we've found with the 27FB floor plan are:

1). The location of the exterior storage compartment behind the propane tanks makes it difficult to use.
2). The location of the entrance door at the rear of the trailer makes positioning the trailer difficult in some sites. With a front entrance model you can hang the rear end off the back of a short site where the back of the site slopes down. Also the location concrete patios on a site mar mean the 27FB must be located more forward on the site so the door will open on the patio.
3). The seating on the side of the dinette next to the entry door is tight.

While we liked the sofa of the 28 when we were evaluating trailers, now that we have used our 27FB we don't miss having the sofa. We are very happy with our unit and are particularly glad we have the closets in the bedroom instead of the pano window.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the great info!!! I have already been steered in a different direction. What good is a mind if you can't change it...
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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Why I chose the 28 ft International

Touch choice to make, but here are two reasons why I chose the 28 ft over the 27 FB
- didn't like the pano windows in the bedroom, after all who needs that much window just to sleep?
- where does one sit to watch TV? Basically you have to sit at the dinette to watch TV, I didn't think this would be comfortable.

I am very happy with my 28 International, but am starting to get itchy about going to a 30 as I approach retirement and am seriously thinking of full timing!
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:54 AM   #7
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I am planning on buying my first Airstream and have been debating between the 27' and 28' as well! I've seen them both in person and given this a lot of thought, as there are pros and cons to both. Some good comments here that I found helpful. I would also add:
*ORIENTATION OF WINDOWS: 28' dinette and windows are oriented toward the door side of the trailer. A dealer pointed out to me that outside your door is where most of the "action" is happening--your family is sitting out there, husband grilling, kids running around, etc. and it seems nice to have the windows there to look out and interact. The 27' is more oriented to look at the back of the campsite, which may be more scenic, so others may like that more.
*SOFA: Main selling point (IMO) of the 28' is the rear sofa and separation from the dining table. We have a young child and that will be her sleeping area, so I think it will be better for her to have more of her own space.
*KITCHEN: 27' has the nice slide out pantry, so more pantry space than the 28'. It has drawers in the kitchen that are a lot more convenient (on the 28' you need to open the cabinet to access the drawers, just seems a bit awkward to grab what you need while cooking). On the other hand, the 28' has the dinette table behind you, which becomes a good place to set things down while you are cooking, like an extra work space.
*WARDROBE: 27' has a larger wardrobe in the center. But the 28' has the wardrobes on the sides of the bed in the bedroom.

Right now we are in favor of the 28'. Hope that helps!
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #8
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We bought the 28. We liked the front sofa for lounging and watching tv, better than sitting sideways in the dinette. It 's also nice having the dinette right across from the galley. More counter space for prep. Plus it seemed like it had a little more room for our big dog to turn around and flop down in.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:53 AM   #9
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Where does the trash can go in the 28?

My wife and I are also deciding between a 28 and a 27FB. We have a relatively specific question. For the folks owning a 28, where do you put your kitchen trash can? We struggled at the dealer yesterday trying to figure where we'd put one as there doesn't seem to be room under the sink. Thanks
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:58 AM   #10
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I can share how we came to settle on the 27FB.
There are many trade offs between the two. We did not want the tall wardrobe cabinets next to the bed. We wanted the open feeling around the bed. We don't put trash under the sink. We use a simple human near the power converter and it is stowed under the bed when rolling. FB because most places we go have more to look at out the back window. But panoramic views on both ends. I liked the lounge in the 28, but PROS and CONS, as well as my wife's preference for the 27 FB, made the choice easy to make, for us anyway!
My 2 cents.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #11
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Oops, should have read from the beginning. OP has already made up their minds. #5
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:58 PM   #12
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We have the 28 and the trash can thing was a decision for us as well, as we came from a 25 with it under the counter. Really was no big deal as we just bought a larger can with a top and place it under the dinette. Most all of the time it is just the two of us. It fits there out of the way and allows a larger can. Not perfect but works fine for us.

We have a 28FC Twin and the beauty of the twin rear is all of the outside storage you gain. We love the sofa and dinette setup and as mentioned previously on this thread, the dinette behind the kitchen area provides more workspace. We put our toaster and coffee maker on the dinette and still have room for us to eat inside if we are not outside. We have plenty of storage, but have to be a little more creative since no dedicated pantry.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:32 PM   #13
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I have a 28 and found Bed Bath & Beyond has a small rectangular Simple Human metal trash can with a step lid that fits perfectly in the open space on the right side of the lounge near the door. I use the skinny trash cans also from BBB for bathroom trash and recycling (sits behind the dinette back, door side).
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