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Old 07-28-2016, 09:57 AM   #1163
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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.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:23 AM   #1164
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Welcome, sounds like you are asking good questions to get informed.

You might want to rent ANY RV just to get an idea if this is for you.

Airstreams 2 Go has beautuful units for rental and a very nice owner. Here locally (Phx) there is a small business called Retro RV that rents some vintge units.

Question #5
Your generator will run as long as it has fuel. You will need to make sure it is of sufficient power to run your air-conditioned during generator hours if the location had those.

Good luck.
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:23 PM   #1165
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La Habra , California
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Welcome to the 20 footer thread. In general, I have towed a duel axle trailer and our single and I really can't tell a difference. Did you mean a brake controller in 1 of your options? The other may have been a weight distribution hitch? Yes, to both.
Stock it similar to your home.
We travel 4 weeks at a time and while it's a bit tight for the two of us sometimes it has everything we need or want.
We decided to go with solar rather than a generator because we camp at national parks and state parks and really value the quietness while there.
Good luck with your purchase and post some pictures, it's mandatory here😉
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:50 AM   #1166
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2015 22' FB Sport
Kansas City , Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil1ben View Post
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.
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Old 07-29-2016, 03:38 PM   #1167
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20 ft Flying Cloud

Th is is our first travel trailer and the reason we bought it was it's resale value! It's a 2016 and had our first trip in it, and love it! My daughter and son in-law bought a 19 ft international and they love theirs also. My question is about the tires on it. I was told they are not very good tires. Does anyone have any recommendation? For a better tire!
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:00 PM   #1168
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From the beginning of our trip to Glacier NP. We crossed the Mighty Mac and turned left on US2. We turned left off US2 into West Glacier KOA five days later. Blue highway all the way, baby!
Click image for larger version

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Old 07-30-2016, 12:01 AM   #1169
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TC, I was thinking of you today as I was looking for those who had converted to the 16's/Sendels to confirm what you all had installed.

Great photo and sounds like a great trip. Time to get out the map.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:37 PM   #1170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Higgs48 View Post
Th is is our first travel trailer and the reason we bought it was it's resale value! It's a 2016 and had our first trip in it, and love it! My daughter and son in-law bought a 19 ft international and they love theirs also. My question is about the tires on it. I was told they are not very good tires. Does anyone have any recommendation? For a better tire!
Hey Higgs48, howdy neighbor. Welcome to the 20-footers thread and congrats on your recent purchase.

If you have time start at the beginning of this thread as there is a lot of info specific to 20's, including tires. If you have Michelin 16's your done but I believe they were still an option for 2016's. If you have GYM's (Goodyear Marathons) opinions run the gamut in the forum in general as well as this thread. Off the top of my head, 4 owners of 20's who contribute to this thread have upgraded and there are likely be more. It's on my mods list and I'm sure that of others.

If you search this thread for Michelin & Sendell they'll all pop up including the specs/sizes folks are using for the 20's.

Happy Trails

Bob
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:55 PM   #1171
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Interior primer strippers

Greetings. I have started to remove the interior primer on our 1953 Flying Cloud. My goal is to polish (portions) of the interior aluminum. It will (could) look so much better than paint. It currently has a light green primer that was probably applied by the factory. I have tried numerous commericial paint removers and strippers. NONE seem to touch the bullet proof light green primer. If any one; (chemists, auto body repair, or remodelers) have suggestions I will try them all. Thank you.
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:27 PM   #1172
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Welcome to the forum Brown53! You may have better luck asking your question in the following sub-forums dedicated to the issues you raise, as this 20-footer thread is fairly narrow in focus:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f7/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/

In particular, these threads may help?

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...nt-154539.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...om-126229.html

As you peruse the list of existing topics in the sub-forums there may already be a thread to cover things.

Good luck!

Peter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown53 View Post
Greetings. I have started to remove the interior primer on our 1953 Flying Cloud. My goal is to polish (portions) of the interior aluminum. It will (could) look so much better than paint. It currently has a light green primer that was probably applied by the factory. I have tried numerous commericial paint removers and strippers. NONE seem to touch the bullet proof light green primer. If any one; (chemists, auto body repair, or remodelers) have suggestions I will try them all. Thank you.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:37 PM   #1173
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Sport 22 v. FC 20

In comparing these two trailers I focused on the larger bed in the Sport 22 (6 inches wider and 2" longer) and the substantial difference in price (MSRP 54K v. MSRP 68K). I also noticed the following:

1. Sport 22 was narrower
2. Sport 22 had only 1 battery compared to 2 in the FC 20
3. It appears the Sport 22 only has a cooktop and FC 20 has a full stove and cooktop.
4. Sport 22 has less headroom
5. Finish/Cabinetry/accessories on the Sport 22 are more spartan.
6. Sport 22 slightly longer but lighter.
7. Sport 22 has a smaller furnace and holds less propane.

We want to stay under 23 feet with a Bambi. The difference in price is not a big factor for us but........ every little bit helps. What really attracts me to the Sport is the larger bed for my wife and I. We plan on taking the trailer on 2 week (i.e. 14 days) trips perhaps twice per year. Do people feel that the other standard features of the FC 20 outweigh the larger bed in the Sport? Did I miss something else important? Thanks in advance for everyone's insight.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:44 PM   #1174
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Welcome to the forum! The last time I checked, the Sport 22' did not come with a rear bumper, nor did it have the front stone guards at each lower corner. Also, are the windows the same as the FC20, or are they the tiny little sliding windows (vs. the large fully screened windows -- hinged on top -- of the 20')?

Click on exact floor plan in drop-down menu:

https://www.airstream.com/travel-tra...pecifications/

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- You are pretty close to Colonial Airstream in NJ. Have you gone there to check out the various models in person? There is nothing like sitting in each one to know which one "fits" for you. Patrick Botticelli is great to deal with, and was very helpful through the years as we looked to replace our old 25' AS a few years ago.

The Colonial AS site has quite a few videos which might be a good place to start.

If you go to Post #489 of this thread, Kittyfeet started a discussion for a trailer for her granddaughter which may be of help.

Also, there are a couple of threads which discuss similarly:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...-a-136645.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...3d-150206.html
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:00 PM   #1175
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Here is Colonial's YouTube site:

https://www.youtube.com/user/colonialairstream

Here is the Sport 22 -- click on Play button to stay here and watch, or click on link at top of frame in order to open up a new Tab with the options to go Full Screen etc., and play in the background as you do other things on your computer.

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Old 08-03-2016, 02:39 PM   #1176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil1ben View Post
In comparing these two trailers I focused on the larger bed in the Sport 22 (6 inches wider and 2" longer) and the substantial difference in price (MSRP 54K v. MSRP 68K). I also noticed the following:

1. Sport 22 was narrower
2. Sport 22 had only 1 battery compared to 2 in the FC 20
3. It appears the Sport 22 only has a cooktop and FC 20 has a full stove and cooktop.
4. Sport 22 has less headroom
5. Finish/Cabinetry/accessories on the Sport 22 are more spartan.
6. Sport 22 slightly longer but lighter.
7. Sport 22 has a smaller furnace and holds less propane.

We want to stay under 23 feet with a Bambi. The difference in price is not a big factor for us but........ every little bit helps. What really attracts me to the Sport is the larger bed for my wife and I. We plan on taking the trailer on 2 week (i.e. 14 days) trips perhaps twice per year. Do people feel that the other standard features of the FC 20 outweigh the larger bed in the Sport? Did I miss something else important? Thanks in advance for everyone's insight.
Hi there Phil,

We have and like the 22.

Here is some real-world info from our (slanted since we have the 22) point of view:

The difference in size of the bed. This is a VERY BIG DEAL.
VERY.

I can't emphasize enough how much difference there in the space in the bed between the 22, and the smaller bed found in the 16 sport, 19 FC, 20 FC, and even 23 front dinette models.

If there was not a 22 sport, we for sure would be in a 23 front bed or 25. There is just not room for each of us to roll over independently in the 48 inch wide beds on the other units. And those beds are also just short enough that you notice that too.

The bed on the 22 sport is very comfortable for us. And it has windows that open on 3 sides, which we like a lot.

I'm not saying that the 20 isn't a nice unit. It has excellent counter space, and good front to back open-ness.

Regarding the windows:

We find that with actual use, we prefer the "less fancy" windows on the sport. They are simple, and simple = good. They easily open and close using 1 hand from inside, and don't have anything protruding in the way outside. So if we stop en route for lunch and want to eat in the unit it's fast and easy to open them and then close them back up. By contrast, there is a "fancy" window over the bed, and it is kind of a PITA to open compared to the other windows.

We also really like that the windows all open. Even over the sink. And especially in the bathroom. I believe that only the 23 front bed and the 22 sport have windows that open in the bathroom. This really is nice for cross-breezes, and we camped for a week in Yellowstone and the Tetons with no hookups, so having that window to ventilate helped to dry out the bathroom after showering by running the fantastic fan. It worked really nicely.

True that there is not an oven. I would have liked an oven. We aren't really microwave people, and I keep plates, bowls, and paper plates in the microwave since we rarely use it (same as at home-we rarely use that one either). The 2 burner cooktop works nicely. We do tend to cook on the pick nick table as I think it is easier overall to cook, eat, and clean up outdoors. If you really wanted to cook inside the trailer, then the 20 would be better for that. And on that account the counter space in the 20 is very good. But the counter space in the 22 is better than most AS trailers, and has worked well for us.

Cabinets and storage:
While the overhead lockers and drawers are nicer in the 20, the under bed and under dinette may be better in the 22. The bathroom storage is great in the 22, especially after removing the TP holder fixture from the cabinet door.

The bathroom is excellent in the 22. My husband is a larger guy, and he has room to shower and then step out in the bathroom and towel off and get dressed. And NO need to do a funky angle of the hips and knees when using the toilet on the 22.

The single battery has not proven to be an issue for us. It would probably be a problem if you needed to run the furnace a lot when you didn't have electric hook ups.

The smaller propane tanks we see as an advantage, since we can just swap out anywhere. Also makes it easy to bring along an extra tank if you feel it necessary. We started out about a year ago with 2 full tanks, and have just now gone thru one. We don't run the furnace much.

Overall we are pleased with the 22, and do not feel we would have been happy with any of the units with the smaller bed.

Also, our unit (we bought it 9 months old, so "used") came with an electric jack, and the stainless front segment protectors. These are both good things to have, and have been made standard for 2017 I believe.

Really take a look and decide for yourself.
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