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Old 09-18-2009, 01:53 AM   #1
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Fayetteville , Georgia
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Unhappy Should I Do It

I am about 10 days from purchasing a 23' FB Flying Cloud. I am kind of apprehensive because I am afraid I may be making another mistake. In May 2009, I purchased a Jayco Jayflight G2 29'RLS. I love it and love the space, however, it is not practical for what I want to do--boondock to Alaska in May 2010. My tow vehicle can pull it, but I think I need to get something lighter to go out west. I've always loved the Airstream, but felt it was something I would never ever own until I was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. My prognosis is five to 10 years (or less or more). Having cancer makes you re-think things and I have decided that I want to go to Alaska and I want to do it with the least amount of hassle. The Jayco is too big, so I am 10 days from trading it in for an Airstream. My question to this forum and those of you who have new Airstreams: Do you regret your purchase? I have been reading about the problem that some of you are having with the outer shell (excuse my lingo).

I am going to make this trip solo. I am a 52 year old female (former Law Enforcement Officer). I don't fear much, but I want to be practical. I want to travel to Alaska via the Yukon and want to take from three to four months to do this. I retired May 31, 2009 as a result of my cancer diagnosis and prognosis. I decided to start seeing some of this beautiful country. Before, I was just a workaholic. Any advice on the Airstream or this trip is sorely welcomed.

Roslyn H
Fayetteville, Georgia
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:14 AM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
1992 25' Excella
Cashmere , Washington
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Hi Roslyn, and welcome! I bought my AS a couple of months ago and I LOVE it! My hubby and I can't get away in it often enough. I can't offer any advice regarding a trip to Alaska since we haven't traveled far or for long periods as yet. We have a '71 Trade Wind and it has required some work, but we expected that. We are enjoying it so much I think we will trade up to a larger AS in a couple of years when we retire and go full timing. I hope you enjoy your trip to Alaska regardless of your choice. Best regards, Susan

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Old 09-18-2009, 04:22 AM   #3
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My only regret in buying my AS is that I can't use it more. I've never regretted going to AK (the first time I drove there in 1971). But the real point it what you want to do. So do it.
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:48 AM   #4
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An old saying comes to mind: "If it's to be, it's up to me."

If that's your desire, then what are you waiting for? Just go for it. Make sure you sort out any and all defects by taking a few short trips before you go North. If by "outer shell" you are referring to the filiform problem, there's nothing in that that could interfere with the operation of the trailer.

In fact, make the first overnighter in the dealer's lot, that's when you'll find 90% of the deficiencies.

Personally, I'd go a little bigger, by the way; say 25'. This is an Airstream, remember, the easiest pulling trailer on the planet. If Benji is your dog, and he's going too, you won't regret the larger model, and your tow vehicle will pull any 'Stream you choose..
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:06 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, that we purchased new in 2006. In the last three plus years we have spent almost 500 nights in Lucy, and have pulled her over 50,000 miles. Lucy has traveled to all of the lower 48, and we want to take her to Alaska at some point in the near future.

We have had the greatest times of our lives in Lucy. She has been the perfect fit for us. We have spent as many as 56 consecutive nights in her, and didn't want to come home then.

Lucy has developed some minor body corrosion of the type that you see mentioned here on the Forums. She still looks beautiful to us, and none of this affects her operation. The only other problems that we have had was tire failures. We solved this by getting Lucy decent tires. There are several threads on the Forums about these tire issues.

As far as the rest of Lucy is concerned, we haven't had any other significant problems. Airstreams are the best travel trailers made, period.

Your choice of the 23FB is a good one. The separate front bedroom layout gives you a real bed to sleep in. It also provides the feeling of have a separate room to retreat to.

If you have any other questions, this the place to ask them.

Both of us are also retired law enforcement officers. Airstreaming has removed us from that world of craziness. We have never looked back.

Here's a picture of Lucy and her partner, Daisy, ready to roll.
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SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:23 AM   #6
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I'm sorry to hear about your cancer, but your post reminded me of something. I recently heard some speakers from the Bioneers on the topic of "the gift is in the wound". Sounds like you are headed in that direction. Basically people who have suffered tragic losses which they turned around into a personal growth and benefit to the larger community as well. Just an idea, but a situation like yours could be turned into a traveling cancer awareness program. Like I said, just an idea.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:37 AM   #7
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You Are Worth It!

Hi Roslyn,

There is so much to see and do! I tow our 2008 23' FB just like yours and have no problems hooking, unhooking, parking and just having a great time anywhere I go. 23' is just right, and as posted before, the front bed is the greatest, and one of the beds that I sleep very well. To make it more of my own, I have had slipcovers made for the dinette (with additional pillows), a new bedspread, front curtains and roman shades made to replace the levelors. All blinds are backed with blackout fabric for both privacy, sleeping and they look fantastic.

You don't have to do all that I have done, but make sure to take the things that make you feel good, and make it your home! Enjoy yourself, and take lots of pictures to document every place that you go. Just meeting the great people along the way is so wonderful. Everyone wants to know about your AS, and if you are a women traveling alone, they can't believe it (please do take care, as you know). Do remember to share your travels with us, create a blog, and take us along with you!

Bless you in your travels both in health and on the road. I am a cancer survivor, and wish you smooth roads, endless sunsets and a wealth of people here who will cheer you on! Best of all, look for us on the road too!

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:35 AM   #8
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Do it!

My wife, dog and I have put close to 20,000 miles on our 2008 Safari SE 20 since we purchased it in July 2008 and have loved every moment. I know you'll love the 23. Just remember, it is not an off road vehicle. Thank you for your service to your community and to our country. God be with you.

Bill, Bonnie and Dylan
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:39 AM   #9
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Livermore , California
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I bought a 25' safari last year. I was going to buy new and looked at the 23'. When the 25' came up in the classified section here on the forums, I jumped on it. The price was right and the unit flawless. My only disappointment is the corner bed. I like things neat. Making that bed every morning is a killer. Had I purchased new, I would have picked-up a model with a walk around bed. I don't pull the Safari, I fulltime at my place of employment. I have a beautiful ranch house and property in the Wine Country here in CA. My original intent was to stay in the Safari two or three nights a week. I actually spend six nights a week here and have everything I need. My tenants keep an eye on the ranch. I hope to travel when I retire so will eventually start towing "Eunice" here and there. You will be spending a lot of time in your Airstream. Go big! My best to you.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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Yes, you should do it

An Alaska adventure is definitely in your future. While reading your note, however, I sense that you might have two goals -- an Airstream adventure and remote boondocking for extended periods. You might need to decide which aspect of the trip is the most important as current Airstreams are not intended to be offroad vehicles. If it's an Airstream adventure, and I can certainly understand that, take her up there and use it as a base for exploring the more remote areas. If, however, you need to stay in the most remote locations, consider a trailer or truck camper that will have more road clearance and that is built for the wilderness. I also seem to remember that at least some of the Argosy trailers have considerably more clearance than newer models. Might be another possibility.

Hope you have many camping adventures,
Bob, Dianne, and Tess the WFT
Bandit #14576 (WDCU/AIR)
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:51 AM   #11
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Hi Roslyn,

Our 23' Airstream Safari is a perfect fit for us and you can see it from point of purchase to how we customized it and used it over the past 2.5 years in my Airstream Forums thread, SilverGate's Safari is Home at Last!

Bert Gildart, writer and photographer, along with his wife Janie, just spent the summer traveling and photographing Alaska via their Airstream trailer. You can see their story and make contact with them via their blog:

"Glimpses From Bert and Jane Gildart's Travel Adventures"

Kind regards,

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Old 09-18-2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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We just did a long road trip to Glacier National Park. I waxed the Safari on Wednesday and noticed many more nicks - confirming my impression that I felt a lot of gravel kicked up by oncoming vehicles. And this was from paved roads on a trip one-quarter the distance to Alaska. Get a copy of 'Milepost.' The way up there and principal routes are paved. It doesn't take much venturing off the beaten path and you'll get onto gravel roads; eg, it's dirt road into Denali. Some good size rocks can fly up from oncoming vehicles.

I was fishing on the Kenai in July; all our host's vehicles had cracked windshields and said that happens so much that it's not worth replacing while he's up there. The window rockguards will protect your front Airstream windows from rock damage. Get a set of Rock Tamers (here and here), but that won't keep all dings off the front of your Airstream. Accept what else happens and have a good time. This opens consideration of buying new vs. gently used.

All campgrounds in Glacier are dry camping (no electrical; you fill water at the entrance to the campground). Our 40# Honda eu2000i got it's heaviest use on this trip and worked like the quiet charm that it is. Never leave your awning out when you go off daytripping. And on and on...

PM me if you want recommendations for halibut daytrips out of Homer -- though I don't know how you'd fit that much fish in an Airstream fridge. Such a happy quandary... The packing plants will fly cold boxes back to the lower 48 if you have somebody there to throw it in a freezer until you get back.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 09-18-2009, 10:41 AM   #13
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Chico , California
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Yes, you should.
I'm a 37 y/o female firefighter and I just bought a 20' Flying Cloud for me and my dog. So far we've been on one trip that was 6 days long, and it was Awesome. I only came home because I had to work the very next day. This trip was intended to really figure out how the whole trailer thing works - this Airstream is my first travel trailer of any kind. While I did have some things to learn, overall things went well and I'm very happy with my Airstream. The 20' size is pretty cozy, and my dog is a 50 pound Australian Shepard so when I was moving around in the trailer (cooking, organizing, whatever) I'd just have him lay in one place sort of in front of the door where I could easily step over him.

I hope you get the Airstream. I'm sorry about your diagnosis, but I think it's awesome that you're taking the Opportunities that you have now.... Whatever you decide, Enjoy!
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:54 AM   #14
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Absolutely! If not now...when?

If you are asking Airstream vs "Some Other Brand" are asking the wrong crowd...of course we're going to advocate going with an Airstream ~

As far as the size...23-25' is about as big as you would need for a single person traveling alone, I would lean towards the 23'. I spent 70 nights (mostly) alone in my 19' with my kitty & it was fine...but then our "big trailer" is only 22'

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:24 PM   #15
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No, no, no

Originally Posted by Aage View Post won't regret the larger model, and your tow vehicle will pull any 'Stream you choose..
If benjisgal51 is using an '08 Avalanche as her tow vehicle - the max load available is only 1440 lbs, with a max tow weight of 8,000 lbs.

Max weight of even a 25' fb is 7,300 lbs, dangerously to the max allowed by the Chevy published numbers. Hitch weight is probably in the 1,000 to 1,100 lb range, leaving only 300 to 400 lbs for "everything else" in the Avalanche.

Published manufacturers maximum weights are just that - MAXIMUM allowable weights to which the vehicle has been built as stated by the manufacturer.

Are these maximum nevers exceeded? - Sure, every day.

Is it a smart thing to do?

Forest Gump says "stupid is as stupid does".

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:49 PM   #16
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Charlotte , North Carolina
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Let's not get too excited about towing capacities and maximum weights and forest gump stuff. Roslyn started this thread by saying that she 10 days away from purchasing a 23FB, not a 25FB.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:55 PM   #17
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Stowe , Vermont
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Making the "big buy"

Last spring we purchased a 25' Safari 2007 left over from dealer. Prior to this we camped in backpacking tents. I must be getting older and softer, but the change in our lives is amazing. We are not near full-timers as my wife and I still work part time, but we have traveled over 21,000 miles in the past 2 years. Most of it with our grown son and his girlfriend. It rates as the best times of our lives in the luxury of an AS and its rock solid pulling ability at Interstate Highway speeds. We have been to: Rocky Mountain National, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Sequoia Nat., Yosemite, San Fran., Redwoods Nat., Vancouver,BC, Banff & Jasper National in Canada, Glacier Nat., Yellowstone, Titons, Rushmore, Carolina Outer Banks, etc. None of us know what the future holds for us so we are now living with the motto - Carpe Diem - seize the day. My oldest son was not supposed to live past 5 years old due to his cancer. He is now 36. Stay strong and live life to the fullest.

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airstream help, alaska, cancer, yukon

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