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Old 02-06-2008, 03:31 PM   #1
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25' FB Safari Questions & Change Points

Well, since me have purchased our' 04 Bambi, we have had some great camping adventures. However, the addition one one child to the family made life much harder for camping. Now, with ANOTHER child on the way (I have to sit and figure out where these children are coming from . . .) I can't help but think that it's time to upsize.

We recently had the opportunity to tour a 2008 Safari SE 25'FB, and WOW what a change from the lil' old Bambi. I THINK that this would be a trailer that could could 2 adults, 2-3 young children and two large dogs in relative comfort, but camping with young ones is still a new concept for me. Can anyone that has camped with small kids comment?

Next, I have no real need to get into a new 2008, but rather find a gently used 2006 for a good price. Is there a list of changepoints that might have occurred in the trailers over the past few years?

The trailer that we looked at was winterized and completely shut down with no electrical power. I noticed that there appeared to be a small step light on the outside. Is there present in 2006 models? It is LED?

Lastly, does anyone know the distance from the center of the rear wheels to the back bumper? I have to know if I can get this thing up my driveway.

Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:17 PM   #2
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Hi Westfalia
The FB layout is a great one!
How about a 27' FB? We traded our 25 SS for a 27 FB and love the layout. (2 adults and two boys 8 and 9) Ideal bedroom, ample storage, fantastic bathroom and shower, nice kitchen layout and a lot of lounge area. After dinner we like to drop the dinette table down and make a huge comfy couch to watch tv.
It's a good time to get a NEW 2007 model. Check with some of the larger AS dealers for price quotes...some will even deliver to you.
Good luck on your search!
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
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We have talked about the 27FB. Asides from the points you made above, it doesn't appear that there is any increase in lounge space, and I don't know if I can fit the extra two feet of length in my driveway. However, fantastic point about the dinette to couch conversion! Also, does your 27FB have the step light?
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:44 PM   #4
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IMO none of the 25/27 foot Airstreams are well suited for a large family (4-5 + doggies!) With young kids, bunks are ideal and the vast majority of SOB RVing folks seem to end up with a 30+ footers with slides. We were there for a few years in a 30 foot SOB and never regretted the extra space, but we're now in a downsizing trend as our two teenage kids will no longer coming with us as much.

Coming from a smaller trailer, a 25/27 footer might seem huge, but it will get a lot smaller when the kids start growing and bring all their "stuff" from home. Unless you plan on trading every few years, I'd look a little further into the future and think hard about your needs.

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Old 02-06-2008, 04:56 PM   #5
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avoid the current crop of front bed models...

hi westie...

imo most (all) of the current fb models should be avoided.

i'll post more details later on this very important issue.

look more at the front sofa/rear twins models for a family of 4-5....

since bunks could go in the rear...

i suspect the 30 bunkhouse model is more trailer than u currently want...

but there are useful design features IN that model,

which could be transferred into some of the mid sized, front door units from '00-05...

step light?

all of the recent years of classic models have had an incandescent/filament bulb step light, that many dealers could INSTALL on any unit...

the led step light now offered isn't very bright...

cheers
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:56 PM   #6
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Westfalia isn't even sure a 25'er will fit in the driveway!
By upsizing your AS you're gonna have to get a bigger TV!
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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Hey 2air'
Is there something I should know about in regards to FB?
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield
IMO none of the 25/27 foot Airstreams are well suited for a large family (4-5 + doggies!) With young kids, bunks are ideal and the vast majority of SOB RVing folks seem to end up with a 30+ footers with slides. We were there for a few years in a 30 foot SOB and never regretted the extra space, but we're now in a downsizing trend as our two teenage kids will no longer coming with us as much.

Coming from a smaller trailer, a 25/27 footer might seem huge, but it will get a lot smaller when the kids start growing and bring all their "stuff" from home. Unless you plan on trading every few years, I'd look a little further into the future and think hard about your needs.

Gary
I plan on expanding into a tent for times that we may need more sleep space, even if that means the dogs and myself are the ones in the tent.

You do make good points, but I feel that for a lot of people, the end up in bigger trailers because they can't limit the amount of stuff they bring with them. Understandable if you are fulltiming, but weekend or sub week trips should easily be able to be made in 19-25', IF you plan properly. I'm used to VW Busses and 19' Bambi's. Even growing up with extensive cross country trips in a Tioga motorhome with four boys and two adults (and a dog at some point), we did just fine.

Honestly, I am not counting ANYTHING out at this time, including a 30', so all opinions are appreciated, so thank you for yours!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
avoid the current crop of front bed models...
I can't wait to hear the reasoning for this 2air. This is a bummer, but if I am considering bigger trailers, there are many options. Just as long as I don't end up with a corner bed. The bed in the Bambi is almost a deal breaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by millvalleyca
By upsizing your AS you're gonna have to get a bigger TV!
Yeah, that. Yeah, the Touareg won't cut it. We were originally thinking about a new 23'FB. It wouldn't give us much more room for kiddo's and dogs over the Bambi but it COULD still be towed by out Touareg. Anything larger pushes us into truck category, so I am shopping on that front as well. No worries, no plans on towing a 25'FB with the Touareg.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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2air the wife and I are thinking about a FB unit, so PM me if it is a secret.

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #10
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yes 2air ..... I too am very keen to learn about the 'downside' of the 25fb.
So far, very impressed with the layout, function, etc. and as such, we are leaning towards this one being the "AS of choice" (and this would be for full timing).
THANKS!
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:31 PM   #11
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Wow, see what I started? 2Air, PM any details if you can, otherwise I'll wait patiently with the rest as to your FB warning.

The good news is, I'm not in any huge hurry. The new baby will here in the next week or two, so I know what I'll be doing. Also, waiting to see what the economy is really going to do in the next few months. It may make upgrade to a new unit and truck more affordable due to lower interest rates or it may make me want to just hold on the Bambi and deal with it. It's not like Airstream camping, even in a 19' Bambi, is really roughing it!
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
imo most (all) of the current fb models should be avoided.

i'll post more details later on this very important issue.

2air, I wanna know too! You have the attention of quite a few. Should I feel ill?
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:57 PM   #13
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Come on 2Air give it up, we all want to know
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:59 PM   #14
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I have my search narrowed down to the 2008 Safari SE 25' FB. I too would like to know what 2air's concerns are.....

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Old 02-06-2008, 07:43 PM   #15
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We have the 25' FB Safari and for the two of us, the space is fine. Babies and dogs and then small kids and dogs would be cramped with the dinette (seats 4, but 3 is more realistic) plus the small "sofa" (more like a bench) and dogs wherever they go, could be a lot. If you do sleep with the dogs in a tent, it's less likely there'll be more kids though. A bigger unit will give you more sofa, more floor and more diaper and baby food storage.

Of course if your driveway is as steep as a lot of them in Evergreen, length may be restricted. Note that the 25' is just shy of 26'; 27 is really 28' and 28 is 27' 11".

Where we used to live in Evergreen we couldn't have gotten near our house with narrow, winding, steep roads (not to mention a 10 month winter some years—oops, I mentioned it)

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Old 02-06-2008, 08:18 PM   #16
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A truly family friendly unit is the Safari 30’ bunk house. It has three separated sleeping areas. We have one and have been very happy with it. Unfortunately, you can’t get a new one, but they are out there in the used market. They were built in ’05 and ’06.

Here is a discussion thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f292...lub-29241.html
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:50 PM   #17
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avoid advice from people who fail to use capital letters....

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Old 02-06-2008, 09:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Westfalia
Wow, see what I started? 2Air, PM any details if you can, otherwise I'll wait patiently with the rest as to your FB warning...
my intent wasn't to misdirect your original question or provide some dire warning...

so i'll take this aspect of the discussion into another thread, here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...tml#post515897

again since you've opened up your exploration to all/most models and sizes...

-the bunkhouse really IS a family friendly design

-a 25-28 classic from the last 5 years (especially with hickory) could make a great family friendly unit...

ditch the dinette or sofa and put in a nicer little kid sleeping zone...

and any of these are gonna seem HUGE compared to the bambi...

all the best for you and especially the mother of your soon-to-be-new-camper arrival!

cheers
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:28 PM   #19
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We have the 25' FB Safari and for the two of us, the space is fine. Babies and dogs and then small kids and dogs would be cramped with the dinette (seats 4, but 3 is more realistic) plus the small "sofa" (more like a bench) and dogs wherever they go, could be a lot. If you do sleep with the dogs in a tent, it's less likely there'll be more kids though. A bigger unit will give you more sofa, more floor and more diaper and baby food storage.

Of course if your driveway is as steep as a lot of them in Evergreen, length may be restricted. Note that the 25' is just shy of 26'; 27 is really 28' and 28 is 27' 11".

Where we used to live in Evergreen we couldn't have gotten near our house with narrow, winding, steep roads (not to mention a 10 month winter some years—oops, I mentioned it)

----

Gene, isn't camping all about being closer with your family? In all seriousness, the dinette has a bigger table that the Bambi does (due to the widebody) but is probably not much deeper than the Bambi. That being said, we have fit four 'friendly' adults at the dinette plus one in a folding chair at the end with no real problems. Also, the sofa 'bench' as you call is as wide as the queen bed, maybe a little less if you add in the depth taken away from a wall mounted TV, but I wouldn't call it small. It's certainly is better than nothing. Dogs may or may not sleep in the trailer. They both fit on the floor of the Bambi, but if we get into a big truck, they'll have lots of room to sleep there. Besides, what good is it having a queen bed if you don't have two on it with you?

Storage is not a big issue. We will probably double or more the storage space. The International models have bigger overhead cabinets from what I can tell, and that loss would be a bummer.

Of course, these are my observations from less than 10 minutes in one on the dealers lot, and certainly not real camping and road time.

I remembered reading somewhere that you were an Evergreen resident (Marshdale, right?). We are up behind Evergreen Mountain. Yes, I was aware the the 25' was really 25'11". Sneaky Airstream. Our driveway had a big scrapper at the bottom that I can negotiate with the Bambi, but a bigger trailer might require some driveway work, which mean repaving. (sigh) The driveway also double backs on itself. I had a problem backing the Bambi up with a 2500 Ram Quad Cab short bed (same TV as I am looking at), so not sure how much harder making the same turn would be with a 25, and you can clearly see how a 28 or 30 would be nearly impossible if I intended to keep the trailer stored in my driveway.

Anyone have them rear overhang measurement handy?
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:38 AM   #20
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We have 2 kids (11 & 13) and have a 25 FB Intn'l that works really well for us. We didn't want to ge bigger than the 25' because we didn't want to limit some of the places we like to visit. For our family, the size and layout of the 25 FB is perfect. We feel like when it's the 4 of us, we have plenty of space, yet are cozy too. The 25' offers us more privacy than the 23' and we like that the dinette is in the rear. Often we back into a space that has a great view and nothing beats making the morning coffee and surveying the scene. While I think the 27' is also a great option, it was also more money than we wanted to spend.

We are weekend, short trip , week-long campers. Not full timing. Everything we put on board is well thought out and organized.

If our kids bring friends, we put up a tent for them and everyone is happier. They want to chat well into the night and we want to get some sleep. I think even if we had the 27', I would want the kids w/friends combo outside in tents. We don't load up the camper with toys and junk. My kids bring flashlights, notebooks, a few games, and a laptop. We put the bikes in the truck along with a canoe and off we go.

We spent a lot of time looking at all the models. We tried to imagine our daily routines and how they would work in each layout. Truthfully, we fell in love with about 4 different models and it wasn't until we really thought through some of our needs that we determined what would work for us. It a time consuming process that's necessary if you are to end up in the right model for you and your family. Of course, I'd still like to have that adorable 75th anniversary Bambi too.....
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