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Old 09-13-2016, 03:18 PM   #15
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
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I agree with "don't downsze" until you try it. Floor plans mKe a huge difference but we found with our 23 there was no room to pass each other when attempting to move around, no room to dress in the bedroom so into the hall kitchen area, when one is cooking the other is on the bed or outside! Great in good weather...s---- when raining, bathroom was pretty good but I got a sore head hitting the ceiling in the shower.
But on the plus side, it fit anywhere I wanted to park it....real nice in state parks...tows great with the average 1/2 ton, seem to be a bit more solid.
For us, we traded it up fir a 25fb FC. The dining area is a bit uncomfortable for lounging as mentioned, but the rest of it more than makes up in space etc. we are a happy couple again. Just completed "Quaise" first coast to coast and back a couple of weeks ago, we love her!
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:46 PM   #16
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We have the 27 FC, but could easily live in the 25'. But we moved up from a 20' mainly for the more convenient bed and more refrigerator and freezer storage. Depends on your eating and cooking habits, but we love the bigger storage. And the ducted air on the 2015's are well worth it.
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:49 PM   #17
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I can't imagine trying less than 28' or 30' as long as there are 2 of us.
I wish I had a 34'.
I might could do a 23' or 25' if I were single if it had a real bathroom.
I really like the separate and distinct bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room. You only get that in the longer trailers.
Storage is another big thing. The longer trailers have more cabinets, drawers, wardrobes...
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:08 PM   #18
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The OP has very expensive mountain bikes and that seems to be a main reason for this decision. He's towed his current 30 up so rough roads after watch his youTube channel but with the 3" Dexter lift kit the bumper didn't scape. Guess he'll have to do that with a 25.

Note the tongue weight of a 25fb will be close to or exceed 1000lbs slightly. Will the new tow vehicle handle it? Are you going to miss 4x4 or does a Transit have that option?

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Old 09-13-2016, 04:09 PM   #19
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There is a Sprinter 4x4.


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Old 09-13-2016, 04:15 PM   #20
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Downsizing from 30' to 23' is a huge move, especially in volume, which is a parameter usually not focused on, but you feel it inside each trailer. "Cramped" translates to not-enough-volume around me basically IMO.

I would spend some serious time in each design you are considering. Minimize analysis paralysis and go sit inside your dream trailers -- it will be time well spent, for which there is no substitute IMO. The 23' will seem cramped in my opinion, especially if you bring some bulky items with you that approximate what you want to travel with (like empty suitcases, or duffel bags with pillows inside to puff them up, etc.).

They say that many purchasers start small but eventually end up going larger. Buy the trailer you will want 3 years from now IMO.

We went from 25' to the new FC20, and are happy with the move, but our needs are different. We definitely miss the separate bedroom, but such is life -- compromises all over!

Good luck.

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Old 09-13-2016, 07:10 PM   #21
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Based on the fully loaded numbers for the 25's as posted here, you might consider the 27 or 28, too. Our 2009 28' International is rated at a max of 7300, but we're at 6980 fully loaded to tow with 1/4 fresh on board. By the way, we tow with a Sprinter 3500, rated for up to 7500 lbs towing, and although it's both the low roof and shortest model, we are able to fit all of our windsurf gear comfortably inside (it only has two seats)--6-7 boards up to 104" in length and up to 66cm wide, 11 sails and masts and extensions, 4 booms and 30 fins. We have also just swapped out all of our soft luggage for even softer luggage--duffels that pack into small bags when empty--these live in our empty small cooler once they've served their function of clothes transfer and all the food from home is ensconced in the reefer and freezer.

The challenge for us with the Sprinter is tongue weight, as it's only rated for 750. We've upgraded the hitch, and we're also working (shifting cargo, but also adding lithiums batteries to shave weight) to reduce tongue weight even more. And yes, Sprinters are now offered in 4x4 config. What is the tongue weight capacity on the Transit vans you're considering?

As Kelvin has asked, is there no way to modify your 350 so that the bikes work inside? This is by far the least expensive and disruptive change for you. Since you don't want the bikes on the outside (understandably!), maybe something else could go from inside the 350, or it could go into a roof mounted cargo carrier? My son fits an amazing amount of windsurf gear into and on top of his 250, and has carried camping equipment including a custom outdoor kitchen, 5 people, food and water for two weeks, and more windsurf rigs than you might think ever existed! All of the boards go in travel bags on the roof, of course!

If you must downsize, we personally believe that the 25 is the smallest that would be comfortable for us for long term.

And whichever way you finally go, if you run through fresh long before you fill waste tanks, I'm sure that you have plenty of collapsible water carriers on board. We store ours in the aft wardrobes on either side of the bed where the shape becomes so narrow as to be useless for much else. We fill before our final dump/fresh fill when boon docking, and top off our fresh tank as it goes down. We store them outside by the fresh water intake until used.

Good luck, and please tell us all what you finally decide!
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:16 PM   #22
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We went from a 30' bunkhouse to the 25' FB. Our kids are not traveling with us so it is typically just two of us. What I miss most is the outside storage access. Changing some storage to a bin for water hoses and spare electrical components.


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Old 09-13-2016, 09:55 PM   #23
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Lots of fantastic advice in this thread, thank you!

We're going to miss the room in here, no doubt. We pack pretty light. I need to weigh what this FC30 weighs fully loaded. Even if it came in at 6500 (unlikely), I still think it might be a little long for the Transit. Who knows though...

We've been in a 23D and a 25FB. Thanks to the info in this thread, I've decided the 23D is too small. We could do a 25FB or a 25SS though. The real bummer is the lack of storage from the outside. We currently have a HUGE tailgate/storage area on our 30. We can fit a LOT back there, and I would really miss that.

The tongue weight may be an issue. Max tongue weight is 750 lbs... I wish Airstreams weren't so tongue-heavy.

I need to look into the towing capacity of the transits better. I'm seeing up to 7100 lbs for the ecoboost, but I think that assumes a completely empty van.

My buddy has a 4x4 sprinter, and it's amazing. However, it maxes out at 5k lbs towing capacity, which isn't enough for me. I don't think I wand to go with the DRW option, since I like to get off the beaten path. I plan on a 4x4 conversion on my transit one day (assuming I end up with a transit).

It's really too bad these new euro vans can't tow like my big E350.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:57 PM   #24
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FC 23' FB good & bad

Favorite things about the 23'FB - #1 big bathroom w big window, #2 double sink, #3 designated queen bed

Hated things about the 23'FB - #1 U-shaped dinette (horribly uncomfortable & encroaches too much into kitchen/living space), #2 gray tank is TOO small

We removed the dinette & replaced it w a gaucho-type couch (in turquoise) & removable, narrow table. Nothing to do about the gray tank except be really careful about water use. Small fridge is no big deal. Freezer works great. (All old-time refrigerators had freezers inside the main fridge.)
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:09 PM   #25
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Yeah, the 23FB doesn't really do it for me. I want my windows in my lounge area rather than my bedroom, but that's just me. We're pretty sold on a 25' model. We could definitely make a 25ss work, but we'd really miss the under-bed storage of a 25FB. Being able to lift the bed up to access things is so handy.

We will be installing a 3" Dexter lift on whichever model we end up with. Weekly we use our lift to get into places we couldn't without it. That's been one of the best mods we've done yet.

We really like the 25ss. We'd probably end up removing the dinette and adding a desk. That way we'd have a mini version of what we have now.

I REALLY appreciate all the great advice in this thread. Keep it coming, this is helping a lot. I'm starting to doubt whether a transit would work for me. We'd love a 4x4 sprinter, but...

1) they're super expensive
2) no real towing capacity wihtout going to a DRW
3) we hear they're quite expensive to maintain.

We were hoping the transit with the ecoboost would solve our problems. It's going to cost a fortune to convert one to 4x4 ($13k and a 4 month wait), but we might be able to get away with the towing capacity.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:48 AM   #26
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I really think I'm going to be pushing the tow capacity of a ford transit (unless loaded weight of a 25SS comes in closer to 5900. I'm thinking I may have to keep my current setup and find a better way to mount the bikes...
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:12 AM   #27
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I absolutely love my 23D. That said... you knew that was coming didn't you? ... Even with just my wife and I, I don't think we could make it full time in the 23D. While it doesn't seem to bother either my wife or I to have the corner bed, for some people, it's a deal breaker. It would have been nice to have a bit more room in the toilet area, but you do have to give something up to get to that size.

Overall, I would make a list of what's really important to you... and think hard on that because as full-time people, if you compromise and then later realize you made a mistake, it's a hard decision to live with and you'll probably end up getting something else and losing money along the way.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:26 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explore more View Post
I really think I'm going to be pushing the tow capacity of a ford transit (unless loaded weight of a 25SS comes in closer to 5900. I'm thinking I may have to keep my current setup and find a better way to mount the bikes...
Have you thought about (maybe you already have one) a front receiver to mount a bike rack?
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