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Old 05-19-2021, 05:31 AM   #1
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2015 30' Flying Cloud
Port Sanilac , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 145
We sold our Airstream

We Sold Our Airstream,

Now with two rapidly growing grandchildren who hopefully want to stay in the trailer with us when we visit. And sometimes, feeling a bit confined in the silver bullet. We sold our 2015 FC30 and bought a 37’ Grand Design Reflection. So how’s that working for you?

The new trailer has tons of room (3 slides), a separate bunkhouse for the grandkids which is great as they get older and like a bit of privacy. The large space is super relaxing. The fridge is much bigger, the furnace is quieter, and the A/C works way better (insulation). The water system has the “Nautilus” panel which is a great improvement over the Airstream’s old school plumbing systems. And a 2” valve to drain the fresh water tank, pure luxury there.

The new trailer is a third of the price of a new Classic 33, which was sort of the alternative.

I’m much less concerned about towing on salty roads that eat aluminum.

We love the slides. So much room.

We hate the slides. When we pull over for lunch or a road rest, we have to find a parking spot that allows us to extend at least one of the slides so we can use the dinette. Kind of a hassle, but ok.

This trailer requires a diesel-powered tow vehicle because at 37’ 4” in length here is no getting into a regular gas station, think “truck lanes” at the Love’s. No big deal as long as you have a Duramax, Cummins, or Power Stroke to pull it with (and one of those fleet fuel debit cards that work at the truck lanes). Oh, and forget the 1500, HD vehicles only for this monster.

We love the square trailer and headroom. So much room. So relaxing when your inside.

We hate the square trailer; you have to slow down quite a bit when its windy. OK as long as you are retired and not in a hurry anyway.

We love the ground clearance; scraping is no longer on your mind.

We hate the ground clearance, 3 or 4 steps to get in, and be careful, a slip here could kill you.

The general construction is pretty good on the Reflection. But the cabinetry and fixtures are not at the same level as Airstream. There is no mounting anything to the super thin walls in this thing. But that’s OK.

On the last day of our first 25-day, 4000-mile, maiden voyage, the main kitchen slide would not extend. Not with the motor and not with the manual crank. Our greatest fear of this new rig realized. But it was the last day of the trip so we managed. The big trailer has been in the shop for over 3 weeks now and likely will be another 2 or 3 weeks before we get it back. Seems the dealer is very busy trying to work us in to their Covid strapped schedule, and new parts take time to get (complete new Lippert slide mechanism). Grand Design service has been good at responding and covering the cost. I’m trying to keep positive regarding the reliability of the slides. Like the Airstream, I probably should have taken it directly to the factory instead of the dealer, but hoping for the best.

All in all, we like the new trailer, the space especially, and the much lower payments. We plan to keep it and hope to have no more trouble with the very scary slide mechanisms. Almost everybody has them on their RV’s so they must be ok, right? I’ll report back in the Fall, hopefully after several thousand more miles of camping and traveling fun.
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:22 AM   #2
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Houston , Texas
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Entertaining read. I expect you will get the problems sorted and enjoy your new trailer. As I see it, Airstreams are a compromise on room and shape in a trade off for better towing. One decides which is more and important makes a choice.
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:59 AM   #3
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The average lifespan of that grand design is 10-15 years. I will probably always have an Airstream because I don't have the kind of cash it takes to camp in cheap trailers.

Here is a search on RV trader for travel trailers sorted by oldest year. There are a lot of Airstreams but very few of the more popular brands. You will have to get to around 2006 years before you see many non AS survivors. Well over 90% of all travel trailers are off the road in 15 years.
https://www.rvtrader.com/Travel-Trai...ort=year%3Aasc

Buy it for life


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Old 05-19-2021, 08:12 AM   #4
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minneapolis , Minnesota
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The kids forced us to sell our 25FB. We looked at every floor plan AS offered with panoramic windows and they all had one similarity...they only sleep two without converting. Airstream exaggerates the amount of people it sleeps. Regardless of the model, the dinette & lounge converts into a size of 40ish” x something. You gain two additional sleeping areas for one person in each...comfortably. The one model they do have which we now rave about is the 30Bunk. If you do loose any light from the missing panoramic windows, you gain back with the openness and multiple windows on the sides. The 30Bunk actually feels more open and brighter than our 25FB. The bathroom/shower/fridge/pantry have all been pushed rearward eliminating the “hallway” feel of the 25FB. This opens up the cabin, giving it a bright airy feeling. You also gain living spaces. The 30Bunk gives you a true mud room, slide your shoes under the dinette to the left as you walk in the door. You then hang your bulky sweatshirts & jackets on the wall to your right...This is all located in its own 3’ sq area. You have the queen bedroom to your right. A sofa separate from the u shaped dinette, generous kitchen, roomy bathroom & shower to the right rear. A twin is located over a full in the bedroom (rear left) ...comfortably sleeps one child above two adults. Thats four adults and one child before converting anything. My cousin has a 40’ something with 4 gigantic slides...huge everything! Personally, I don’t find square footage is necessary for functionality...living spaces make all the difference. As long as the living area is large enough to move around, which it is...I can’t give up my Airstream... There is a sophistication that accompanies the AS. I’m not a hoity toity individual. I have a background in marketing & printing, and enjoy dining out with a glass of wine. Though I also enjoy woodworking, 4 wheeling with the kids...along with manually maintaining the vehicles. Engine maintenance, bushing/driveshaft replacement etc. That being said... Though we thoroughly enjoy the occasional weekend outdoor camping experience with nature and meeting many great people. My Airstream at times bearing location, is that additional factor that extinguishes the feeling of being on a hillbilly holiday. Love my Airstream...
30Bunk walkthrough: https://youtu.be/CXLI08L_Ofg
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:26 AM   #5
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Posting to just follow along . . .
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:37 AM   #6
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Hi

AS is fine up to a point. Once you go past that point, they can have issues. Putting 4 ( or more ) adults in an AS is a challenge. Putting two adults and 4 kids is also a challenge.

Taking one into insane off road situations is not generally a good idea. Asking if your AS can make it running a mile or two running up the middle of that river ... not so much.

Lots of choices out there !!!

Bob
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by pontzdav View Post
On the last day of our first 25-day, 4000-mile, maiden voyage, the main kitchen slide would not extend. Not with the motor and not with the manual crank. Our greatest fear of this new rig realized.
That shouldn't be your greatest fear. It should the slide failing to retract, so you can't tow it anywhere like home or to get fixed.
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:52 AM   #8
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We sold our Airstream too (2019 30' Classic). Wife never liked it. She's 4'11" and 95 lbs and felt "claustrophobic". I made the mistake of showing her a 42' fifth wheel with 4 slide-outs before I made the executive decision to buy the Airstream. "Happy wife, happy life" apparently is a real thing. Because I refused to buy the monstrosity she had her eye on, we have compromised . . . we no longer go camping and instead we will be staying in hotels and airbnbs in places where we can find wineries. Wife says "we can buy a lot of hotels and airbnbs for the price of a new Classic". Happy wife, happy life. I hope the rest of y'all continue enjoying the Airstreams . . . I miss mine . . .
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dechampion View Post
We sold our Airstream too (2019 30' Classic). Wife never liked it. She's 4'11" and 95 lbs and felt "claustrophobic". I made the mistake of showing her a 42' fifth wheel with 4 slide-outs before I made the executive decision to buy the Airstream. "Happy wife, happy life" apparently is a real thing. Because I refused to buy the monstrosity she had her eye on, we have compromised . . . we no longer go camping and instead we will be staying in hotels and airbnbs in places where we can find wineries. Wife says "we can buy a lot of hotels and airbnbs for the price of a new Classic". Happy wife, happy life. I hope the rest of y'all continue enjoying the Airstreams . . . I miss mine . . .
Some folks are happy because an Airstream is way better than a tent. Some folks hate Airstream because they are way worse than a house.
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Old 05-19-2021, 11:14 AM   #10
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Posting to just follow along . . .
You can also follow a thread by clicking on Thread Tools just above the top post and selecting Subscribe to this Thread.
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Old 05-19-2021, 12:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Peter417 View Post
Some folks are happy because an Airstream is way better than a tent. Some folks hate Airstream because they are way worse than a house.
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Old 05-19-2021, 12:08 PM   #12
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Battle Ground , Washington
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Congrats on your new trailer! We spent a bit of time in a friend's 5th wheel this weekend. You could fit our Caravel in their living room with room to spare! It is a very nice trailer, possibly nicer than our house, but it's not for us. We quite like our trailer being tiny and flexible. But we also don't need room for a troup of grandchildren! So to each their own. I hope you have many happy trips in your new rig!
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Old 05-19-2021, 12:36 PM   #13
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1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
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Sold the 25', using our 16' this summer then moving back up to a 23'. Wouldn't consider anything else but an AS.

Everyone has different needs. ...although our grand-kids are beyond travelling with us.
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Old 05-19-2021, 12:50 PM   #14
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Grass Lake , Michigan
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Congrats on your new trailer. We looked at Grand Design when we bought our 2nd 5er. They were really nice but they were new to the market and we weren't sure about the company. We were full-timing then, so needed to make sure we had something we could count on, which wasn't our first 5er. That thing had so many problems, it was literally falling apart around us. Ended up buying a Mobile Suites. Wonderful trailers but very heavy and too large to fit into most state / national parks.

Hope the slider issue is the worst of your troubles. They can be a real pain, expecially the Schwinntek ones that are common on bedroom slides. Ours got so that one side would go faster than the other and one of us would have to push/pull on the slide to try to get it to go in/out straight. One of the things we love about the AS, less stuff to break. We don't really miss all the space but we don't have grandkids to bring along (just the dog).

Enjoy your new trailer!
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:36 PM   #15
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I just returned for a trip where I had to help a neighbor push his bedroom slide in when he was trying to depart early one morning. It was his first trip in his new Grand Design. He said they had changed the slide system he has for 16 years in his previous model and never once had a problem with it. It took all we had to get it in, but we got it done thankfully.

Slides are wonderful IF you need that extra space. Thankfully, it is only my wife and myself so we are happy with the Airstream design. Nothing replaces space though when you need it. Hopefully, you will get it all worked out and be very happy with your new unit.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:46 PM   #16
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Winder , Georgia
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Had a big 5th wheel when kids were young. It served its purpose. We take really good care of our stuff but after 10 years, it was on its last leg. Sold it several years ago and never missed it, but we did miss camping. Mostly just the wife and I now and we wanted to get back into camping and traveling. Never really considered anything but an Airstream this go around. We have just reached a point in our lives that if we can’t get what we really want then we just won’t have it at all. Settling always leads to regrets. Other styles and brands of trailers are fine for some and their needs. That’s perfectly ok.
For us, We wanted to experience the Airstream lifestyle and well, you really cannot do that without an Airstream.
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:16 PM   #17
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To each his own. I'm guessing that Airstreams appeal mostly to small families and couples, especially those that travel. My wife and I like to move it, as the saying goes, and it's nice to pull into a rest area for a rest and be able to use all of the amenities of the trailer without dealing with slides. Slides, especially three, are a hindrance on one night stays. That's a lot of work for a few hours of rest! The bigger, heavier trailer uses more fuel and as stated by the OP limits where you can pull in for food and fuel. Bigger units are harder to heat and cool and take more space to store. Most other units also tend to be much higher off of the ground, requiring more steps to get into or out of the unit and that's a drawback if you're older and don't climb as well as you once did. So it depends on circumstances and what you want out of the experience.
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:32 PM   #18
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Airstreams have almost always been primarily a "Couple's" trailer.. Remember that Wally had no children, and he and Stella didn't travel with Children.. He was focused on trailers that were roadworthy, reasonably durable and with amenities that encouraged people to get out and use the trailers in a variety of locations.. While we love our FC25, if I were talking to a younger couple planning to travel with more than 1 child, I'd steer them to a small bunkhouse model trailer. When our children were younger and traveled with us, we enjoyed a 24' Nomad Weekender named "Casa de Cardboard"... It lasted 12 years, and 30,000 miles, was essentially worthless, and then we bought the Airstream we wanted for the two of us to travel.. If we were going to drive to an RV Park and sit for a week or two, we'd probably get a big 5th Wheel with slide-outs..
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:39 PM   #19
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Now I see why we never had kids!
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:57 PM   #20
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To each his own. I'm guessing that Airstreams appeal mostly to small families and couples, especially those that travel. My wife and I like to move it, as the saying goes, and it's nice to pull into a rest area for a rest and be able to use all of the amenities of the trailer without dealing with slides. Slides, especially three, are a hindrance on one night stays. That's a lot of work for a few hours of rest! The bigger, heavier trailer uses more fuel and as stated by the OP limits where you can pull in for food and fuel. Bigger units are harder to heat and cool and take more space to store. Most other units also tend to be much higher off of the ground, requiring more steps to get into or out of the unit and that's a drawback if you're older and don't climb as well as you once did. So it depends on circumstances and what you want out of the experience.
I pretty much agree with you, but I am also going to throw this out there.
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