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Old 07-19-2016, 10:05 PM   #29
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2014 30' Classic
2015 23' International
2013 25' FB International
Apache Junction , Arizona
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We purchased a 2013 25FB International sight unseen while overseas. We were shocked at the reality of the cross queen bed versus the drawing. Other issues developed and we traded in and ordered a 2014 27FB to be built seven months later. We were stewing about a month and the realization came to us that the back 15' of the 27FB and the 25FB are nearly identical and everything we did not like about the 25FB dinette area would be the same in the Classic. Changed the order to a 2014 31' Classic with twin beds.

Modifications included 16" SenDel tires and Michelin LT tires, disc brakes, 800 watts of solar, 600 amp hour lithium battery, Maxim skylights, rewiring of all electrical outlets to Hubbel commercial grade 20 amp GFI outlets, Marmoleum flooring, and much custom wiring and cabinet work.

We added a 2015 23D International Serenity to be towed by the older 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. This allows for easier access to the smaller older parka out West. This is a complete mindset change. We upgraded to 15" SenDel wheels and Michelin P series XL tires. This raised the coach just over an inch (to the same elevation as the 25FB with the 15" Michelin tires so the saved Hensley Arrow hitch and settings worked with the same Mercedes. This got the sewer department more ground clearance. We have 500 watts of solar, Maxim skylight, MaxxFan 7000 series vents, custom cabinet work, Marmoleum flooring, electrical reworking and many other modifications. The rear bed in the 23D is tight but we are shorter than most at 5' 6". The significantly smaller volume in the gray and black water tanks of the 23D take some "planning" as there is a 39 gallon fresh water tank just like in the 25/27/28 models.

Both units work for their intended purpose.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:26 PM   #30
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Victoria , British Columbia
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Rob. We have to travel a bit in the next month or so. I would really appreciate your opinion about the size of the shower in the FB and RB. Do the wheel wells influence one over the other? Like you, I really appreciate everyone's thoughts. Thanks to all.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:29 PM   #31
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
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The 23 would not work for us. We got a 25FB and like it. Like you say, my brain says 25FB, my gut says 27FB and my heart says get a new Classic 30. I am sticking with my brain.

I like the FB better than the RB for the views provided out the back of the trailer.

The 25 FB does NOT have a microwave and making the east/west bed is a bit challenging. That is why we would like to get a 27.

Another issue for us with the 25RB is that while it does have a microwave they put it on top of the fridge thus taking away the vent and forcing the system to vent horizontally out the wall. The issue here is that they needed to install a fan to get the proper flow of air and there have been threads here discussing issues with this fan. I have had mine 7 years now and the fridge hasn't skipped a beat and works quietly and efficiently.

If I had lots of money I would get a new Classic and be done with it. Of course I would also have to get a new truck. Like I said, lots of money.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:40 PM   #32
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Interesting point aftermath. With infinite money, I wouldn't go past 25'11". I might be more likely to choose a FB and a F250 rather than a RB and my F150 and choose an International Serenity rather than a Flying Cloud.

I would be interested to hear others' "I have won the lottery" choices.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:24 PM   #33
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Okay, here's what we like about our 25'11" RB.

Entrance door in front where most campsites expect it to be, no drop-offs at the door, no missing patio, no campers to view when they park behind us, no neighbors sewer hose just outside our door, convenient to truck and facilities.

Large bathroom, exact same as in 30' Airstreams.

Propane and convection/microwave ovens. A fan helps direct fridge cooling air, not dependent on venting alone, we installed a quiet fan no one can hear, under $20.

Furnace behind kitchen cabinet rather than lounge seat, allowing easy conversion to improved seating options.

Living room shielded from sun and outsiders looking in during the day by the shaded stone protectors. Rear view is sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good, our RB never has a bad view. Although I don't know why it matters, we don't have eyes in the back of our head when seated.

Hitch weight is easier to manage, nearly all of the storage is in the back two-thirds of our Airstream. Less hitch weight equals more load capacity in our truck, less stress on truck receiver and trailer A-frame from w.d. hitch. Airstream specifies at least 10% hitch weigh but never more than 1,000 lbs. That parameter for us is 730-1,000 lbs hitch weight, our goal is the low side for the reasons stated.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:47 AM   #34
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2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
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I would only update what I have if I won the lottery.
Or pay off the loan on the Airstream-
I don't know how to improve on a 2007 Tundra Limited and 2013 Classic 30 unless I buy a 2017 Tundra Platinum and a 2017 Classic.
The new Tundra has a styling update, a larger fuel tank and adjustable headlights to compensate for load.
The new Classic was completely redesigned in the 2015 model year and since then has come to include solar and inverter standard and a new heating/hot water system similar to the Aqua Hot on motor homes.
I am still happy with my paid for truck and trailer that I owe way less than $130,000 on...


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Old 07-20-2016, 04:45 PM   #35
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Sacramento , California
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We are really happy w our 2015 23FB now that we have replaced the U-dinette w a long bench/couch seat. The U-dinette was too uncomfortable & took up too much room in the narrow 23' space. LOVE the bathroom - both the size & the big window. Would not be content w/o both oven & microwave. Photo attached. Please excuse the mess; we had been on the road awhile. (We did upgrade tires to 15" Bridgestone Dueler - LT)
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:30 PM   #36
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Victoria , British Columbia
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lindaebrewer, I really like the mid century look of the bench / couch and the colour. The footstools are a very clever idea too if you have a couple of extra people over for an hour or two. That doesn't exactly look like a mess to me.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:05 PM   #37
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Gettysburg , Pennsylvania
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We have the 25 rear twin flying cloud. I'm glad we got the wide body. I'm also real happy to have the extra bed length. The outside cargo areas, 4 of 'em, are real nice. And the bathroom, that was one of the main deciding factors, the bathroom is real nice, plenty of room to get around, up/down, etc.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:13 PM   #38
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Victoria , British Columbia
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We ordered a 2017 FC 25FB Twin with the Cashew / Golden Night interior to-day and paid our deposit.

The only factory options that I got were the CSA certification and the 16" wheels with Michelins. I know that I could do the wheels and tyres less expensively on my own but I would prefer to have the manufacturer make the change for insurance and liability reasons.

We are going to add 300W of solar, 2x75 AH lithium ion batteries, Centramatics and a Progressive Dynamics 3 way converter charger at the dealership. We will get the AS in either the 3rd week of August or the 1st week of October depending on whether a scheduled 29 July build for our dealer can be changed to what we want.

Thanks to all for the input and knowledge that I have gleaned from extensive reading here. I really dithered about the FB vs the RB and gave up on the 23 pretty early on. They are all amazing trailers with different compromises. The best choice for me is not the best choice for someone else.

Given how treed our sites are in BC, I chose the extra window for more light. Looking at where the fridge and galley are relative to the axles, I thought that the FB would be a bit easier to load in a way that manages tongue weight better than the RB. Another thing that I prefer about the FB is that the door opens to the back of the trailer where I will load some of of the "ballast" like bottled water, the outdoor carpet, toolbox etc to also manage tongue weight.

Thrilled to be back in the AS world and can't wait for some fall camping when everyone else has given up. I will try to work with our 2016 F150. If I can't make it work comfortably, I will look at a F250 next year.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:59 PM   #39
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Walnut Creek , California
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Glimmer says you picked the right Decor, but she has a very prejudiced opinion of these things. Hope you enjoy your new coach. Pat
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:03 PM   #40
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Congratulations on choosing a similar trailer (except for the bed). When people agree with me I know they are very smart.

The main cabin seat cushions are cheap, but we had them recovered with high quality vinyl we found at a store closing and had a seamstress who undervalued her worth do the new covers. With sheepskins on top, that also helps comfort. The vinyl can be easily cleaned (the cloth covers could not) and is thicker than the cheap cloth. Because we lucked out on the vinyl and seamstress costs, that and the sheepskin cost less than $300. We got the Sheepskins from Overland and they have some backing that helps with comfort.

We took delivery in early November and went traveling. We learned about frozen water hoses and how much battery the furnace fan uses. Made it through alive. We had many, many problems for our first two years with failing stuff and a really bad dealer. We ended up taking the trailer to Jackson Center for warranty work—they did it right there. We met a few other Coloradans who were also avoiding the Denver dealer. I seem to remember some people really don't like the BC dealer and go to the US for warranty work, sometimes in Eugene, Oregon.

After the warranty period things have settled down. Since I can fix a lot of things myself (kind of necessary since things only break on the road, sometimes far from home), I don't have to rely on RV shops that much. There are books available on how to fix things. Woodalls had one we bought in 2007; it still may be available. Bring lots and lots of tools.

Since you are thorough, you will learn fast and pretty soon will be customizing it to make it yours. Download the owner's manual if you can from the company website and start reading. I'm sure you will be anxious to get it. When you go to pickup the trailer, plan on staying around for a few days. They will do a walk though and take notes (some do videos) because you will forget half of what they tell you. If you want more time, ask for it. You are spending a lot of money and deserve to be treated well. Airstream pays the dealer to check everything out and for the walk through, so don't worry about how much time anything takes. Tow it around the immediate area to find problems. Check out everything including the furnace. Some things may not work and you want them fixed before you leave. Some dealers have hookups (you need hookups to check everything) and a few places to camp for a few days; most don't, but ask about it. Make sure the A/C registers don't fall out easily—that may still be a problem with some of them.

Now you get to learn everything about hitches. If the dealer installs it, make sure they do it right. They may not care since time is less profit, but some take a while to adjust properly. We got an Equalizer from the dealer and they put on one that had heaver weight bars than we needed (probably all they had on the shelf plus it probably meant a little more profit). They adjusted it badly, but it did work well. Finally I adjusted it and it worked even better. There are cheap hitches available; avoid them.

Good luck and many years of enjoyment.

Gene
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:44 PM   #41
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Victoria , British Columbia
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Thanks Gene. After doing all the reading possible, I want to go with a Blue Ox for now. It seems to be the easiest to adjust when the trailer weights and tongue weights change dramatically. Given that we travel pretty light, I wonder whether I should get 800lb bars rather than the 1,000lb bars that the dealership is suggesting. It seems that over specifying the bars is hard on the AS.

The other thing that I cannot get a grip upon is how well weight distributing hitches work. The data on the forum suggests that people are putting about 15% of their tongue weight back on to the trailer with a WDH based on their actual numbers from the CAT scales.

The Airstream Owner's Manual suggests that about 1/3 of the tongue weight gets transferred back to the trailer when using a WDH.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:17 PM   #42
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Good hitch choice. I think it is the best out there if you are not flush enough to go with a force projection hitch. BO says to match or exceed your tongue weight. The dry hitch weight is 837 lbs. You are adding an 80 lb hitch and have reduced the battery weight a bit. So, the 800 lb bars may be marginal if you add fresh water to the tank and a bit of gear to the storage area under the beds. My understanding is that many of the new trucks only have to return the front axle to the unloaded weight. That is not a lot of weight transfer, and given the slower speeds of local travel, the lighter bars might be worth a try. You could always go heavier if you were not happy with the outcome. Unfortunately the lighter bars are 750 lbs and not 800 lbs, so you may be locked in to the 1000 lb solution. Some careful weight estimation and figuring is in your future.

Good Luck. Pat
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