Originally Posted by phil1ben
Brand new to this site. Retiring in December. I am 56 and my wife is 53 (kids in college) and we are considering buying a new Flying Cloud 20. We live in Pennsylvania. We are newbies (really have not pulled a trailer before) but do have an F-150 to use as a tow vehicle. What prompted this was our desire to do a substantial trip cross country utilizing a trailer. We found Airstream 2go but the cost to rent for three weeks was in excess of $15,000.00. We then looked at the resale market where the discount for a FC 20 less than three years old was rather small given the amount (18-20%) dealers take off the MSRP of a new 2016 FC 20. We do not live too far away from Colonial Airstream. Plus on a new trailer we get the two year warranty which has value and.....the thing is new. Since renting is dead money I might as well buy and I can always sell (understanding the hassle) if we don't use it enough. Even taking sales tax into account this seems to be the better option. So I have the following questions about the FC 20 which I very much appreciate your help with:
1. Should I be concerned that the trailer is a single axle. Since you are all on this forum I guess you are not concerned but it would seem that in the event of a tire blowout things could get very unsafe.
2. On the road, is a single axle much more unstable then a double axle.
3. I have read about driving stabilizers and brake stabilizers. Are these options or after market accessories that I need. Approximately what is the cost?
4. After purchasing the trailer (aside for the interior niceties) what other things should I buy to ready the trailer for a long trip?
5. If we do not "hook-up" at a camp site, how long will the generator last to run the A/C and electric.
6. What needs to be done to winterize the trailer?
7. As I said we are new to all of this and getting my head wrapped around the sewage issues. It would seem that the tube used to "dump" would have some odors. How and where do you store it? I realize water is run through the tube at the end of the process.
8. I said we were new. When you go to a trailer park that has sewer hookup does that mean you drain directly from the toilet to the facility and bypass the trailer tank?
9. Does my analysis of buying rather then renting make sense if we only want an Airstream? It would seem that Airstream 2go (which is owned by a prior president of Airstream) should work out a program so that one can apply a portion of the rental amount to a purchase. Could be issues with the dealer network.
Thank you all.
1. Pulls just fine being a single axel. Offers lighter weight than a double. BUT if you are one of those people who will not drive at 60-65 mph when towing as is the spec on this trailer, and probably your truck if you look at the owners manual, then you may prefer a dual axel unit and a change to different tires. We just finished a trip from KC to Yellowstone and back in our 22 bambi and DH remarked how un-tiring it was to drive at 60-65. Much less stressful.
2. Drives fine.
3.You will want a weight distribution/anti sway hitch and brake controller. All told our cost for both was about $1000 and was done by the dealer when we purchased the trailer. We have an equalizer. I feel it is fine for a lighter weight unit like a bambi. If I had a longer and heavier trailer I would probably want a PP or Hensley but for the relative low weight and relatively equal weight and length between trailer and truck the equalizer is great.
4. Here are the "other things" we have purchased in the last year.
Viair 88P air compressor to check and fill tires-aprx $80 About the size of a regular toaster.
Honda generator to keep battery charged while camping off grid-aprx $1000. Weighs 45 pounds. About the size of an 18 can cooler. Note that you would need to get 2 of these to be able to run the AC, and then it would only run while both generators were running.
5 gallon water can to add fresh water to the tank when dry camping, and we use it to bring our regular water along on weekend trips to use for coffee and drinking. $25. About the size of a large bag of dogfood.
12 gallon "blueboy" waste water emptying tote. We only use this if camping on a trip at national parks where we are going to be there for more than 2 days and won't want to move the trailer to empty tanks. About $100. A little larger than a carry on suitcase.
Large lockable black plastic weathertight footlocker for truck bed to transport and keep dry and locked the generator, gas can, and we put some other items in it. Got at an estate sale, but new they are about $100.
Small weber smokey joy bbq. you will want some type of grill, either propane or charcoal. We also have a 2 burner coleman stove from our tent days and we use this on the picnic table a lot. These are under $100 and about the size of a carry on suitcase, but about half the thickness.
2 YETI coolers. We got a 45 and a 105. We used these in tandem on our 10 day trip to Yellowstone. Used the 45 with dry ice for frozen meat, and the 105 as a refrigerator for all of our cold food. For standard weekends we only bring 1.
The refrigerator is not large in a Bambi.
I mention the Yetis, because this realization of how excellent these products are about a year or so ago led us to choose the bambi trailer vs a larger one like a 23 or 25. The shortcoming of a small refrigerator in the bambi is completely compensated for by using the simple and low-tech Yeti coolers. At under $1000 for both, a much better use of money than buying a larger trailer than we otherwise needed just for cold food storage.
Then there are outdoor chairs, mat, lights and lanterns, cookware, dishes, and bedding. Lots of choices here.
5. Generator (2 of them) will only run ac when the generator is running. So when gas runs out it stops. Otherwise, generator charges the battery, and you can run the lights and fridge off battery. You will need the generator on and running to use the microwave.
6. Winterization was not all that hard. Empty out the unit. Drain all water. Pump pink rv antifreeze into plumbing (water pump does this), Disconnect battery. Sadly go home until Easter.
7. Back bumper or underneath.
8. It still goes thru the tanks.
For what it's worth, we only put #1 down our potty. No paper, no #2. Just makes life more pleasant.
9. YES, Buy at the right price. Use and enjoy for as long as needed. Sell for a nice resale value. This lets you use the unit you want and then recoup the residual value if you sell.
SOB units will be worth next to nothing if used for a couple of years. Total cost of ownership on an AS vs SOB is very similar if you crunch the buy/sell numbers. Storage and usage costs don't vary much. It's the buy/sell differential that varies. Go on the classified section and get a feeling of what 3 5 and 10 year old units sell for vs new of the same size.