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Rainbird 02-16-2018 06:00 PM

Looking for advice from the masses
 
Hi everyone,
I'm brand spanking new to the forum. My husband and I are in the market for an Airstream possibly. We've had other trailers before and are tired with stuff starting to fall apart after a year or two, so we're thinking Airstream might be the quality we're after. At least, that's what the sticker price lends me to believe. What we're looking for is a year/model that's solidly built, lots of windows particularly in the back, twin beds in the front, and roomy enough (at least 25' but no more than 30') for two tall peeps and two small pups to live in for several months on end each year - winters basically, to get away from the rainy Pacific Northwest. My question to you all is what advice can you give me as we begin our search for the perfect "final" trailer? I welcome any and all questions back to me and comments. Thanks in advance.

Isuzusweet 02-16-2018 06:33 PM

Reality check.......If you think money buys you perfection and piece of mind; good luck with that. I can guarantee you that you'd have far more problems, and expensive ones at that, with a $1million+ Lamborghini Aventador versus a $15,000 Kia, if you drove them the same distance.

Yes, an Airstream has better quality than SOME of the other trailers out there; but not all of them. There are aluminum trailers out there that DON'T use wood as a subfloor!

An Airstream still requires maintenance all the time or it will not age well. Seam sealing due to expansion and contraction of the skin; or water freezing and thawing. Hinges will come loose and rivets will pop off as you drive your rolling earthquake down the road.

Be prepared to be your own fixer of things......even on an Airstream.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

daleyocum 02-17-2018 01:27 AM

2015 Flying Cloud 25 or later was our choice because we really wanted the ducted AC. It’s so much quieter and more even. We ended up buying new because of a fantastic deal but that was situational. If you are okay with twin beds the 25’s are pretty great. If you must have a queen, you’ll find a lot of people suggest the 27 or longer because the North/South bed orientation is much easier to make and get the lin and out of.

All trim packages use the same chassis and shell. So if you fall in love with a higher trim package like the Internatationals you aren’t getting any high quality in the basic box. Those high end interiors ARE nice though. Are the $10k+ nice, that’s a decision you’ll have to make.

Expect to pay $55k on up for a 2015 or later 25’. New will be $69k on up.

You’ll likely be looking at them at the same dealer we used. DM me if you need tips on getting a good deal.

ShinyPete 02-17-2018 06:14 AM

Rainbird-

My advice is the 27fb-twin, as thatís what we own. [emoji52]

Seriously though, the 27 is really great for us and 7yo & 4yo grands that camp with us often for 2-3 nights at a time. The 27 gives you more closet in the middle, a bigger pantry, and a foot @ end of beds before the wall. All very useable space that we enjoy. Definitely get the twins as you mentioned-lots more room in the bedroom and 3 nice exterior storage doors.

I could go on and on but itís getting nice out and those grands will be here after lunch for our long camping weekend. [emoji106]. The search on AirForums works pretty well now, and youíll find many threads comparing the 25s and 27s, very popular sizes.

Best wishes on your choice and I hope this helps.

SeaLevel 02-17-2018 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainbird (Post 2067295)
My question to you all is what advice can you give me as we begin our search for the perfect "final" trailer?

Go to a dealer and spend as much time as you can in the different size units. Try to simulate using it. Can you both move around at the same time? Are there enough comfortable places for everyone to sit if you get stuck inside because of weather? Is there enough counter space for the way you like to cook? Can you move around comfortably enough in the bathroom and shower?

We thought the ducted air was important and found the 25' to be large enough/small enough for how we planned to use it, and so far we are very happy with our choice.

switz 02-17-2018 06:49 AM

The other side of the hitch that was not mentioned is do you have an existing vehicle you plan to tow the proposed Airstream with down the road? Many folks use Ĺ ton pickups up to the 25' length, think about the Ĺ vs ĺ ton issue on the 27/28 class and seriously consider the ĺ vs 1 ton discussion on the 30' + trailers. The discussion of gasoline vs diesel is spirited to say the least.

One needs at least 1600 pounds of payload (from reading the forum) if there is a couple riding in front and a couple of dogs in the back plus their food and a generator, grill, tools ad nauseam in the back of the truck plus the tongue weight of the trailer.

Our 2013 25FB International Serenity had a literature tongue weight of 833 pounds, but with the propane tanks filled, a Hensley Arrow hitch attached to the trailer and an optional street side and rear awning package and 155 watt solar panel on the roof the real tongue weight was 1,150 pounds new and empty of personal stuff or accessories on the dealership lot.

I towed the 25FB home from Los Angles to the Phoenix metro area with my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI turbo diesel (had the Mercedes hitch receiver reinforced at CanAm in London, Ontario, Canada) with no issues at 55 mph and was able to maintain that speed even coming out of Palm Springs on I-10 which is a very steep grade. After loading the unit for camping and moving all the heavy tools to the rear, the tongue weight was brought down to 1,175 pounds, but that car was not happy with the higher towing load.

We upgraded to a 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins and the tow issues went away. The cross frame queen bed became an issue for us (me, as I had the space next to the wall and hit my head all the time sitting up and had issues crab walking down the bed in the middle of the night to go to the toilet).

We initially ordered a 2014 27FB Classic with twin beds, but realized the dinette area was identical to the 25FB which we were not really happy with the layout. So switched the order to the 31' Classic model 30 with twin beds for just the difference in list price of under $3,000.

We use the Ram to tow our 2013 31' Classic with no issues with the rig weighing 19,200 pounds camping ready going down the road with whatever we want to bring in the truck bed.

We reused the Hensley Hitch from the traded in 25FB (on our Classic) on our 2015 23D International Serenity and tow it with the same Mercedes at 55mph. It is content with the weight of the 23D at 6,000 pounds fully loaded for camping, a generator in back of the car with a Solar infra-red grill and a ViAir 450 air compressor kit and two awning matching ZipDee chairs.

We like having the choice of two very different trailers so we can select the one depending we would like on the trip we are planning to take.

So which gets purchased first (tow vehicle or trailer) is a chicken vs the egg issue. Too small of a initial tow vehicle choice could be problematic if one decides on a 30'+ trailer.

Piggy Bank 02-17-2018 07:32 AM

I would agree with the above, especially on the head-hitting sideways queen in the 25. If you decide on the 25 I feel that the twin is the only real option for both not hitting your head, the exterior storage, and the aisle for dressing and under bed storage.

We also prefer the bed orientation going along the trailer vs across, as it "feels" more level if you are off a bit. Easier to adjust with your pillow at your head vs. when situated the other orientation.

Also suggest you spend a LOT of time really evaluating the bathroom and the toilet on various models. We ended up with the rear bed 25 model because we vastly preferred the toilet room on it vs the front bed 25. On the rear bed model, the toilet room has much more leg/knee room, the toilet is not at a funny angle, and there is a daylight window in the bathroom. All making using the bathroom a more pleasant experience. The trade-off is the lounge area straight side on the rear bed is smaller than the front bed. We still have plenty of room with what we have.

Rainbird 02-17-2018 09:06 AM

Sidekick Tony,

Thanks a lot for your response. It's probably obvious, but what's the downside of a wood subfloor?

Certainly understand that price doesn't always equal quality but it sure seems that there are multitudes of happy Airstream owners.

Thanks again. Cheers back.

Rainbird 02-17-2018 09:12 AM

Hey Daleyocum! (And fellow Portlander),

Thanks so much for your input. Yes, twin beds are what we're after, and we've been looking at the Flying Cloud25FB. Is it true that the FC27FB is only adding space to storage? From the floor plans, it appears the bathroom facilities are the same size between the 25 and 27.

Thanks for making yourself available for DM. Appreciate it.

kdickinson 02-17-2018 10:23 AM

Hi and welcome to the forums. As you see above you will get a very good variety of points of view. In the end it's your money and it will be your trailer. You have posted on an Airstream forum which means you will get some very good information on Airstream products the good, the bad, etc.. What is missing from your post is how you plan to use the trailer or RV and what your budget is - for both a trailer and a tow vehicle and everything else that goes with a new RV. If I were looking to replace my 1969 trailer I would stick with Airstream because it is a known brand to me - and - the new Globetrotter would get a hard look but I'd probably end up with a Classic 30' twin. I'd have to buy a new tow vehicle to tow the additional weight. I agree with the poster about the ducted air system for A/C and heat - it really makes livability go way up. Good luck with your search - that's the fun part and happy travels in 2018!

Grosspoluter 02-17-2018 10:52 AM

Isuzusweet said everything I would have And with better tact and grace
There are plenty of people on this forum that bought new “quality” Airstreams only to have them back at the dealership for weeks of waiting and repair
I do beleieve that Airstream is one of the better makes out there, but not the only one...
forget about the “cool” factor of owning a Airstream and keep a open mind , look and compare
the best thing about owning a Airstream... the people on this forum

sbowman 02-17-2018 11:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainbird (Post 2067295)
Hi everyone,
My question to you all is what advice can you give me as we begin our search for the perfect "final" trailer? I welcome any and all questions back to me and comments. Thanks in advance.

We (my wife and I) can only offer our experiences in regards to your questions. There appears to be good input from others. AS's are an ICON and have been since conception. Like everything else there is good and bad, nothing is bullet proof. Care, maintenance, repairs and/or modifications are a sure thing. As much as w/other brands, can not answer. However would think not.

The other is your TV, yes there is some very spirited debates on this forum to say the least. Which make, what size, gas or diesel. The other spirited debate is type of hitch set up.

Long story short, big picture thinking, long term or short term, and monies one is willing to spend is what we looked at to help in our chocie's made.

Best regards and safe travels

DBinSD 02-17-2018 11:38 AM

My recommendation is GO TO a dealer and look at a 25, 27 and 28' unit.

Then decide the best layout for you.

We have been back and forth from owning old trailers to a 2016 Prism (small motorhome) and have decided on and love our 2016 28' International Signature.

The quality is far better than most "pillbox" trailers and most motorhomes of even twice the cost.

Go out and touch one first, then you can be more specific with your questions.

Good luck ! Happy hunting.

moosetags 02-17-2018 12:02 PM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
 
1 Attachment(s)
First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have been avid Airstreamers for twelve years now. We are approaching 1,900 camping nights in our Airatreams, and have towed them almost 180,000 miles. We have had three Airstreams, a 2005 Safari 25FB, a 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB, and a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. The 23FB was an experiment in downsizing that only lasted one year before returning to a 25FB.

Each time that we replaced our Airstream, we did extensive research and shopping. We always came back to an Airstream trailer as our escape pod of choice.

Is an Airstream perfect? No. Is it expensive? Yes. Is there anything out there better in its class? Not that we could find.

Over the years, we have been on Airstream Adventures that have last over one hundred days. We have found the 25FB floor plan to be comfortable and quite livable. This size is very maneuverable, and can get into just about any campsite.

Our 2005 was a queen bed, and our 2015 is a twin bed model. We like both setups. The twins might prove better with pips, but fs we were to replace the current Lucy, we would probably go back to a queen bed.

Best wishes in your quest. Here is a recent photo of Lucy and Lillian taking a break at a rest area along I-10.

Brian

Rgentum 02-17-2018 12:10 PM

1. Welcome to the AS community.
2. The Oregon AS Club is VERY active and is composed of remarkably decent and generous members. You might show up at one of their many rallies around the State of OR and ask some of its members about your concerns: http://oregonunit.wbcci.net We've learned a lot from them.
3. My best recommendation: Go to your local dealer: https://portlandairstream.com and spend LOTS of time in any of the various models you may be considering. We thought the 23 would be right for us until we went to our local dealer, sat in the 23 and then sat in a 25. The 23 became history for us. Then the salesman said, "Let me show you the next size up," which was the 27, and at that point, my sweetie said, "This is it --- I don't want to have to make the bed in the 25." I should add that we were looking for a queen bed. Had we wanted twins, we likely would have settled with a 25. We also looked at several 30s and dismissed them as "too much." I might add that we've been to numbers of AS rallies in WA & OR, and I don't recall seeing a 30 there; most of the trailers are either 25s or 27s on the one hand or the smaller 18s to 23s on the other hand. If I had to do it all over again, I'd get another 27 queen; to me, it's the right size for a couple and a dog who want a queen bed (although dog stays on his pad on the floor at night).
4. As others have suggested, the issues of a) the right tow vehicle and b) the right trailer hitch are almost fighting words on this forum. Good luck in trying to make any sense of it --- it seems to be highly personal, with a lot of strong opinions.
5. As far as buying a new AS, what I found when I was shopping three years ago was that there was a substantial range in prices among the various AS dealers. For example, by driving to the San Joaquin Valley, in CA (Toscano RV, in Los Banos --- just off I-5 and between Santa Cruz and Merced), we saved $7K over what our local AS dealer quoted to us for the identical trailer.

kendrick.l.j 02-17-2018 06:16 PM

So glad you found this forum before you went out an bought. I love my As and wouldn’t trade it for anything else I have see on the road. My advice is to read every little post as much as possible, check in daily if possible. The more you know the better your decision will be. As others have said, go sit in every model you can, go to rallies, watch videos (Patrick with Colonial Airstream does excellent walk through and posts them on there website. I looked every day for a year or more before I bought my Classic. I even rented one out of Bozeman, MT to see if I really wanted to spend that kind of money, obviously I did. I thought I was pretty informed but I had a few, rather serious issues right out of the gate but thanks to the folks here on this forum all of my issues were resolved without going to a single dealer or handing over my AS to some guy that knows less about AS than I do.
I don’t mean to scare you away, AS are great but they do have flaws, some units have a lot of problems others may not. Another word of advice I would give is to get familiar with this site, drop down menus and search. Anything you can think of has probably been asked and answered many times, it’s all good. I hope you find your version of the perfect travel trailer and I do hope it will be an Airstream.

doctorlewis 02-17-2018 08:48 PM

Good luck on hunting for your AS. I have had three AS and they are great trailers but you will have some problems. To me the 25 footer is the ideal size - adequate room, easy to manuever, and easy to tow. Purchasing a new AS may appeal to you but you might want to consider looking at an older model - let the original owner deal with any problems or warranty. Again, good luck and I am sure that you will enjoy whatever AS you get.

daleyocum 02-18-2018 01:25 AM

Quote:

5. As far as buying a new AS, what I found when I was shopping three years ago was that there was a substantial range in prices among the various AS dealers. For example, by driving to the San Joaquin Valley, in CA (Toscano RV, in Los Banos --- just off I-5 and between Santa Cruz and Merced), we saved $7K over what our local AS dealer quoted to us for the identical trailer.
Iíll second that recommendation to get a quote from the Los Banos RV dealer. That and other quotes armed me to go back to the Portland RV dealer who ultimately matched that price. Just be careful to not find yourself paying sales tax if you buy out of state.

To answer your other question, if you are looking at twin beds the 25 and 27 is a personal choice that youíll just have to sit in them to make. The 27 has more storage and elbow room. The 25 is more maneuverable and easier to tow with a half ton TV. We chose a 25 since we do a lot of boondocking and national park camping.

delrossa 02-18-2018 12:37 PM

Newbe
 
We purchased a 28’ because of the floor plan. We wanted a separate dinette. We have the queen and love it. Has lots of storage under the bed and in the side closets.
We really like the shower bathroom layout. They are directly across from each other. When taking a shower and you have the bathroom door open you end up with a large bathroom. Makes it really nice.
We pull our Airstream with a 1/2 ton 4 door pickup.
Sometimes you forget that you’re pulling a trailer.
The pickup is our 5 passenger vehicle when we are parked.
Good luck on your adventures.

Dave-n-Janet 02-18-2018 12:49 PM

You might also want to look at a 26U (I think now called 26RB). We have the twin and really like the layout. Main difference being the toilet and shower in same room so more room to 'sit' and area to step out of shower and dry etc. The U dinette is great for us, we don't take one of the table halves and can eat or watch the front TV very comfortably. Also the little nook under the dinette to stow shoes when stepping in from outside is actually very handy. Lots of windows as well, which means good views when camping in a nice spot.


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