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Old 10-28-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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Considering a FC (22' or 25') and upland bird hunter

This is for those of you that have traveled in late fall throughout the northern tier states. I am an active upland bird hunter with two large bird dogs that has traveled from Maine to the northern midwest chasing birds (mostly chasing!) for almost 55 years. I am tired of sleeping in someone else's bed, eating bad food, decent places to stay that do not want large dogs, and not having a place to call my own, thus the trailer came to mind. Motor homes don't work as there is a need for flexibility in accessing the rural areas I access. Parking a motor home on logging roads does not work in many cases.

My question is simple. Does anyone have any experiences pro or con they can recommend. This would include traveling in locations that might experience some early snow. I have focused on the Airstream 22 to 25 foot length due to its insulation on those cold nights, comfort, and candidly quality. I have ruled out the smaller Airstreams as with two dogs I would like space that does not close in after two weeks of traveling. I would appreciate any thoughts, observations, naysayers, or miscreants (no, my two dogs and I are not giving up bird hunting).
Best, BP1
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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I think you'll want a 25' as you can create more open floor space for the dogs, perhaps by removing the curbside dinette in a 25FB. An Eddie Bauer model lets you fold up the dinette easily for more nighttime dog sleeping space.

Tom
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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Tom, my dogs sleep on the bed and I am tolerated.
BP
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
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Howdy.....don't hunt but do travel with a 92# choc. lab. My 19' FC is sufficient for the both of us with a little room to spare. Sister does not sleep ON the bed;she prefers her own "digs" under the table and out of the way. Two large dogs would fit nicely in the space where the table is located; lowering the dinette into a bed would work well (although you have to be 5' tall) for you unless you could convince the hounds that the front bed NOW belongs to you! Two large dogs could sleep nicely on the lowered dinette with some storage underneath. Also, a 19' is easy to pull and to get into those tight spots.

Happy Hunting....blessings.....Callie and Sister (rescued choc. lab)
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BP1 View Post
Tom, my dogs sleep on the bed and I am tolerated.
BP
That gave me a chuckle.

We're mighty fond of our 23' Safari SE with the front L-lounge. Gives us some more open space than other designs. A 23FB does give you a bigger bed and bathroom through.

Tom
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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I would go with the 25FB with twin beds. One dog can sleep between the twins and the other can sleep up in the front by the lounge.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:19 PM   #7
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Deb,
Thanks for the reply. You see I have Eyetalian dogs, the sort that are very demanding and think the floor belongs to other creatures not them. After a day running through the thick thornapple coverts of New England, evading wolves in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, or Bull Moose in rut in the UP of Michigan just to entertain my interests they consider themselves worthy of creature comforts. I think the twin bed idea is in fact a good.
However my question remains, what are the trailers like traveling in light snow and other such conditions. Does anyone have experience with this?
BP
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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we live and RV in Washington state pretty much year round including fairly cold temps. I consider it challenging (with my wife) when the nightime temp gets to below freezing. We've done it, made it ok but the furnace runs a lot.
We travel all the time with two greyhound dogs. We make the dinette down each night for their use. We cover all factory fabrics with throws to preserve them from the inevitable dog hair. We also use an insulation pad on the metal shell behind the dinette bed and put several blankets on the made down dinette for the dogs to curl in. they do just fine.
One place we visit each winter because reletives live nearby, they do not allow water hook ups because of the threat of freezing lines damaging their faucets. We live on the tank then.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:47 AM   #9
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How does the FC (22 to 25) handle snow? Not heavy snow of course, but the blowing and marginal stuff sticking to the ground? I ask because I will be traveling in areas in October and into the first part of November that experiences their first snow falls. Any takers?
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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We'd love to have an Eddie BAuer, but the reality is that the FC 20 fits both our needs and budget. It depends upon just how well behaved your canine friends are when in close quarters. I have had some dogs that fared well sleeping with us in the back of a truck bed / topper... one spent many miles sharing a footwell with my partner (85 pound LE dog). Certainly our 20 is well received by both two and four legged occupants.

As for winter camping / hunting ... we dry camp (drain all water / winterize) in the freezing temps of the spring as well as usually well into November - the AS stays toasty with no quams from us. We picked the 20 footer single axle specifically for maneuverability / ease of driving / parking / backing off road as well as for asphalt travel. Our biggest concern is where / how to safely stow the hunting firearms when we are not actually inside the AS with the dogs ... YMMV.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:11 AM   #11
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Our 22' has done just fine with 2 large standard poodles. We leave the dinette set up as a queen size bed and use sleeping bags. One dog sleeps between us, the other on the sofa. We have camped in Colorado above 10,000k with nightime temps down to 26 with no problems.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
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To answer your question, any trailer can be a challenge towing in the snow, rain, sleet. Stopping distance increases as well as the possibility of jackknifing. Setting the brake controller to a lighter setting can help prevent locking up the trailer brakes and starting a skid. But if you take it slow and easy it can be done. The airstream has better aerodynamics than the box trailers so cross wind gusts are not as consequential.

However, the insulation in the AS is not exactly 4 season rated. With hookups and plenty of propane you can stay comfortable. But, boondocking will put a strain on the batteries with the furnace fan running frequently. You can set it at a lower temp for sleeping and pile on the blankets and sleeping bags. Then crank up he heat in the AM and run a generator to replenish the batteries. Twin beds are nice if you have another hunter join you or just to give the dogs more room.
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:55 AM   #13
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Just throwing this out there: There are other trailers that have a better cold-weather reputation than Airstreams. Bigfoot comes to mind - something like this listing.

Tom
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