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Old 12-19-2015, 11:17 AM   #1
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Green valley , Arizona
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Considering 23 ft front dining aflying cloud 2014 or newer

Not yet an AS owner. Will be as soon as I can convince husband that AS is the way to go vs. other brands. We have a 2005 Tahoe with 175,000 miles. We will be purchasing TT to use approximately 2 years to use mostly during summer months to visit family in Michigan, Upper New York, and CO. When not visiting we will be travelling to various places to appreciate out beautiful country and Canada. I am baby boomer and husband is a few older by 10+ years. Both in good health. I will probably be doing about 75% of set up and driving,so hoping that AS is not too complicated. Considering FC or serenity international 23 ft. First question, how noisy is overhead Air conditioning unit? 2016 FC and Serenity have ducted AC, but would like to not purchase new for depreciation issue.
Q2. Is 2005 tahoe to old? Other vehicle I have considered to MB Gl450 2010 or newer.
Thank you advance for any comments. Look forward to being future AS owner.
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:52 AM   #2
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How exciting.

I would say that the AC is kind of like those you find in hotels, but not quite as loud.
Being that, you know it's on. You may have to turn up the music or TV a bit louder. But it is what it is.

We don't find it a bother at all. Where we live in the summer if we camp locally, we will be inside watching TV or listening to music and reading during the mid-afternoon due to temps/humidity.

Can you possible go to a dealer and touch and feel some units both with and without the newer ducted AC to see how much that matters to you?
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Old 12-19-2015, 11:59 AM   #3
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Towing our 2015 23D with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. Using a Hensley hitch I had in storage and all thw eights loaded for camping work under the axle ratings.

We went with the 2015 23D as it did NOT have the ducted air conditioning. We wanted the flexibility to locate the five 100 watt solar panels as needed on the roof. By removing the crank up WineGard television antenna, we freed up space for the 5th panel solar panel and replaced that factory installed antenna with the WineGard automatic Rayzar unit.
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Old 12-19-2015, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rvchannell View Post
I will probably be doing about 75% of set up and driving,so hoping that AS is not too complicated.
It's not. Like a lot of new things, it may seem thoroughly overwhelming and slow at first, but it won't be long before you've got the process down.

I usually pick our Airstream up from storage (and drop it back off) while my husband is at work, and I've become quite adept at hitching, unhitching, leveling, hooking up power and water, and more. I already do all the driving when we're hitched up, and you'll find that you learn quickly and adapt to it quite readily.

The one thing that can be a bit challenging for me is that we chose the ProPride hitch for our International Signature 28. The stinger assembly is HEAVY. I always ask my husband to take care of attaching and removing it. The rock tamers we have also go on that assembly, and it just adds to the weight. I can lift it if I have to, but it isn't easy. There are many hitch options, however-- so if that is a duty that will fall to you just make sure that whatever you choose is within your range of comfort.
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Old 12-19-2015, 04:56 PM   #5
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The Tahoe may be getting a bit tired with all those miles but a Tahoe is plenty of vehicle for a 23ft AS. Regarding you doing most of the connect/reconnect/setup work you might want to consider the Equalizer 4 point Weight Distriibution hitch. Its very user friendly especially for a women. The ball assembly is heavy but that applies to most. Good luck!
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:04 AM   #6
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At this point, I would suggest waiting until the 2017 models are out so the 23D will be in it's second year of the ducted air conditioning. This model got that "feature" in 2016 while the other longer models did the transition in 2015. There were installation issues early in the production.

The consensus is that the heat pump function of the air conditioner in the new ceiling design can barely heat the duct work due to lack of duct system insulation so little heat comes into the coach from the ceiling. Our older style unit, while louder, will heat the coach in heat pump mode.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:34 AM   #7
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My Airstream

I now own a Flying Cloud 27FB 2014 that I plan to sell in February. It is in excellent condition and would be much more comfortable than a 23 ft trailer. As far as your tow vehicle, not sure. I am also a baby boomer and, we have decided we would be better served as full timers with a class A motorhome. I am asking $62,000, hitch and awning package included. My e-mail address is rgmhog1450@msn.com. Yes, the AC is loud, so we try not to camp in excessively hot climates.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:57 AM   #8
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We waited for the 2015 Flying Cloud w/ducted AC, and are we glade.

At night it is like having central Air in your home, will not wake you up and you can talk to each other with out raising you voice.

I have had back surge and can not lift those heavy hitches, I got the Anderson hitch with has work for us very well. We have done over 9000 this year with out any problems with the hitch and have a 2013 Tahoe as TV.

If you need any help, give me a call and you can see ours before you buy.
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Old 12-20-2015, 01:55 PM   #9
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Fine for a Boomer Woman!

I, too, am a Boomer woman, and last summer bought a 2013 23D FC. It is my dream-come-true. I'm only 5'5" and not muscular, but after a little practice I have absolutely no trouble hitching/unhitching, towing or backing into spots. Most often I travel cross-country alone (with my dog) because I'm an artist and this is my mobile studio, but when my 6'2" husband joins us he is very comfortable. The ball assembly on my hitch is VERY heavy--if my husband is around I always ask him to help me, but otherwise I can grit my teeth and get it done while protecting my back. But--once it is on my TV, it stays there for the entire trip.
One tip: there are fancy gadgets that help you spot your trailer tongue when hitching up. I just painted a large, white vertical strip down the center of the ball lock on the tongue....voila--back right up to exact spot to hitch (as long as your TV has rear-view camera) because the white is so easy to see and center on.
Re the A/C, I find mine quite loud--too loud, really, to watch TV with it on. But since I'm not a big fan of TV, that's no problem for me. And I want to reserve the option to install solar panels in the future.
As for convincing your husband....just take him with you to the dealer: A/S sell themselves. Much easier to tow, better mileage, classic exterior, classy interior, superb use of interior space, LOTS of natural light, and--a consideration for me--they hold their value far better than any SOB (if you are a newbie, that stands for Some Other Brand). Go for it, you will wish you had done it sooner!
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:03 PM   #10
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Welcome! To your points:
(1) AS's are both beautiful and cool, but you knew that! They tow significantly and noticeably better than other trailers with their streamlined shape and center of gravity much closer to the ground, which means both safer and less tiring to drive. And they hold resale value much better. AS is no more complicated than any other trailer--in fact, most have the same appliances, etc, so the learning curve is the same. Hopefully, the safety and resale points combined with the cool factor will help you close the deal with your partner!
(2) Tahoe will tow just fine--up to 28' AS. Age and mileage are up to you. We sold our Suburban after 12 years and 135,000 miles--some would say it was just middle-aged! Your budget will determine what you do here. We prefer to have a newer vehicle with less chance of breakdowns. The MB will do well, too, and there are plenty of threads on all sorts of Tow Vehicles! So it's all about your budget--what's the "best" balance you can afford for the purpose? When not towing, it's also nice to have a very well appointed vehicle for cruising around.
(3) Although many people full time in 23' AS (and smaller), the general consensus is that 25' is the smallest for most people for full timing. We spend about 5 months/yr in our 28' International (a two month trip, and then a 3 month trip), and we find that having a separate bedroom is very nice. Although we love spending lots of time together close, it's good to have two rooms sometimes, too! If you're only going to be in the AS for a couple of weeks at a time, not an issue, but it sounds like you'll be using it as home base all summer, so you might want a bit more room.
(4) Newer/vs older/AC. Our single AC unit is noisy, but as Switz said, the heat pump works very well when we're on shore power. But since you're doing primarily summer traveling, it will be mostly AC. When we stay in Hood River, unless you camp up in the mountains, you are always near railroad tracks, and trains run all night. So we typically, close 'er up when we go to bed, and run the fan constantly, allowing the cooling or heating element to kick in as necessary. By leaving the fan on all the time, it provides "white noise," muffling the trains to a very pleasant background sound, and you don't have it turning on and off all night, which can certainly be hard to sleep through. But quieter, ducted AC sounds great! The single AC unit on the larger coach volume is not all that efficient, particularly when temps go North of 100 degrees, unless you've turned it on during the cooler parts of the day and leave the coach closed up, which we prefer not to do. So the only downside to the quieter and I assume more uniform cooling ducted air would be if you're past the early unit install bugs and Switz is correct about the diminished Heat Pump effect--the heat pump is a great alternative to the furnace for cold nights above freezing.

A last thought--we, too, use the Equalizr 4 pt and like it very much. There are many threads on the benefits of different WD hitch setups to get more detail, and perhaps you're best served looking deeper at this subject once you guys have decided how much to invest in AS and TV and in what combination.

Good hunting!
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Old 12-20-2015, 08:18 PM   #11
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Comments re FC 23 FB

Dear New Member,

This fall, my sweetie & I traded-in our 32 ft 5th wheel for an AS, before which we did a lot of reviewing & shopping. Initially, our plan was to buy a FC 23 FB. Eventually, we went to our local dealer, AS Adventures NW, in the Seattle area, & did the whole tour of AS trailers from smallest to largest. While we continued to want a Flying Cloud, we quickly became impressed with how much more spacious a 25 was relative to a 23. Also, we found that the 25 weighed approx. 700 pounds more, which we thought would not result in much effect in its towability. Therefore, our plans for getting a 23 became superseded.

Between the two of us, we've had a number of RVs, from my old 8 ft Lance camper on an F-150 to my sweetie's & her ex-husband's 45 ft Prevost motor coach (at over $1M), so we wanted the next one for both of us to be "our last RV." At that point, we began looking at the 27, the 28, & the 30. The layouts of the latter two didn't work for us, but we found the 27 to have a couple of features we liked: a wrap-around double bed and approx 2 ft more storage area in the kitchen & clothes-closet areas, at an increased weight of approx. 600 lbs.

When our local dealer quoted us a price on the 27, it seemed excessive to me, so I began calling dealers from NJ, through OH & IL, & throughout the west coast. When a dealer in central CA (Toscano RV) gave us a quote on the 27 in the neighborhood of the retail price of a 23 & also offered to buy our 5th wheel at a reasonable price, we thought the drive down to central CA from Seattle was worth saving the $7,000 relative to our local dealer's price for a 27 (and who would take the 5th wheel as a trade-in only at a substantial discount). Thus, we got the AS & an unplanned vacation in central & northern CA, OR, & back home (along with a new AS & no more 5th wheel, thank God --- the smaller AS works much, much better for us than the larger 5th wheel).

I note that you're in AZ, but it sounds as if you'd prefer to buy a used newer AS than a new one. We also shopped for a used 2014-15 FC 27, but the ones we found were only a few $1,000 lower than Toscano's price for the new 2016, so we bit; also, I didn't want to have to go through the process of selling the 5th wheel, which Toscano took off our hands at a price we could live with.

As for the ducted air conditioner, we ran it while in CA, & it didn't seem to be a problem, too noisy, etc.

As for hitching up the AS, at numbers of recommendations, we bought a Blue Ox anti-sway hitch, whose front-end we keep mounted on our truck, although it is large & heavy, which is why I keep it mounted & don't detach it after using the trailer. Once mounted on the truck, hitching it to the trailer & attaching its two anti-sway bars are not a problem; it would also help to have a camera mounted on the tailgate & aimed at the trailer ball, which I'm in the process of installing. I routinely hook the trailer to the ball, but that typically necessitates my getting in & out of the truck a dozen times to get them properly lined up. BTW, as many others told me, driving the pickup with the trailer behind me & hitched through the Blue Ox is indistinguishably different from no trailer at all --- the Blue Ox does its job magnificently, as if the trailer's not there.

Especially if you intend to use the trailer as a couple, I hope you'll give the 25 another look. My best to you two however you choose to proceed.

Sincerely,

Richard Wills
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:33 PM   #12
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The older AC is loud. Even at lower speed on the fan, it is loud. The advantage is that it dampens out the sounds of traffic or trains that might be a problem to a light sleeper. The disadvantage is that it is loud. A background noise device can dampen out noise, but if the AC is too loud for you, that is not going to change. Having said all that. We don't have a significant problem with the AC. We like the noise dampening. Also, if Switz is correct and he usually is, knowing that the Heat Pump was not effective would bother me. We use the furnace and not the heat pump, but considering the cost of an AS, it is not unreasonable to expect the engineering team to get it right.

Tahoe....200K.....have your mechanic analyse it. If it is not beat up, engine is sound, transmission checks out, brakes work well, and electronics are not problematic then you have your tow vehicle. If it breaks, you have a excuse to stay a while longer and a reason to upgrade. A win all around.

Issues with the 23s are the 14in tires and the potential increase in tongue weight from significant gear stored forward. The advantage is it's narrower than the 25 and until you upgrade the tires, a bit lower. If you can deal with the single axle designs, consider looking at the FC20 and the Sport 22. The 20 has a unique galley layout and the 22 is quite similar to the 23FB with a big bed and even less width. Lots to see and investigate.

Good luck with your investigation. Pat
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:56 PM   #13
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We have a 25 ft and that's the smallest that would work for us - even on a short trip. Speaking of short trips - the noise of the AC in the older unit will soon drive you to CRAZY if you are noise-sensitive! The comment on white noise is valid but one person's white noise can be another's roar of a jet engine. I prefer two roof fans for white noise over the air but when it's hot enough to need the air I don't care what it sounds like! If your sweetie-pie snores you're going to love that A/C! That said, there's nothing that gets in the way of loving the Airstream! Of all the tow vehicles we've had the Tahoe ride has been my favorite!
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:05 PM   #14
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Yes, a Tahoe or MB G model will work if....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rvchannell View Post
Not yet an AS owner. Will be as soon as I can convince husband that AS is the way to go vs. other brands. We have a 2005 Tahoe with 175,000 miles. We will be purchasing TT to use approximately 2 years to use mostly during summer months to visit family in Michigan, Upper New York, and CO. When not visiting we will be travelling to various places to appreciate out beautiful country and Canada. I am baby boomer and husband is a few older by 10+ years. Both in good health. I will probably be doing about 75% of set up and driving,so hoping that AS is not too complicated. Considering FC or serenity international 23 ft. First question, how noisy is overhead Air conditioning unit? 2016 FC and Serenity have ducted AC, but would like to not purchase new for depreciation issue.
Q2. Is 2005 tahoe to old? Other vehicle I have considered to MB Gl450 2010 or newer.
Thank you advance for any comments. Look forward to being future AS owner.
We have a 2014 23' AS International Serenity with a rear bed. (For Sale btw for @ $52K. Used for @fourweeks total over two summers ownership. List price in 2014 was $72K).

Using the AC is noticeable but not so bad that we didn't use it when required .Once. (Never used the Hot Water, Oven, stovetop, Microwave or showers. We use the unit to sleep while staying in state owned camp grounds. We use the facilities available.

A Tahoe with the proper trailering package will perform well towing a 23' Airstream. Age is important but not key. Weight should weigh more than the trailer by a minimum of 15% and have a trailering package. The MB GL series vehicles will also trailer this size AS if it has a trailering package. Weight 15% more than the trailer.

Trailering with the 23' model is not challenging assuming the tow vehicle is up to the challenge (the right weight and trailering set up). It is not too difficult to hook up though it may take some practice. Backing up requires confidence obtained with practice.

Bottom line: AC makes a degree of noise that we found acceptable. Our tow vehicle, a Ford 250 w 6.7 liter turbo diesel engine, makes towing a breeze. A less powerful vehicle will work but perhaps less seamlessly.

Buy the trailer, use the Tahoe/MB and see what happens. We all have our rigs and some are better......but I suspect all work or they would not be used.

Good luck.

Forgive me the advertisement. Our like new 2014 AS International Serenity; hardly used, is for sale and a a price that will be pleasing. So is there truck (27,000 miles/2011 Ford 250 6.7L). Can't trailer any longer\; health issues.
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