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Old 06-23-2020, 03:07 PM   #1
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,082
Full-time Airstream questions

Jo Ann and I have been full-timing in our 40' Foretravel MH since 2014. Those days are perhaps coming to an end in the next couple of months. We have a party that is very interested in buying our Foretravel, which would mean that we will be in the market for an Airstream. I've accepted a temporary part-time position, which includes a house, so it will be easy to empty the Foretravel, clean it, and let it go away. We can then trade the towed for a pickup and find an Airstream.


We originally focused in early 2000's 34' Airstreams, but lately have expanded to late 90's to early 2000's 30-34' Airstreams. Our preference is for one without slides, but a slide is not necessarily a disqualification. It isn't, however, worth any more than the same Airstream without a slide.


We have a winter home base, but NO house, so we will be living in the Airstream 100% of the time. The home base is basically a storage building that will allow us to offload things that we won't be needing until the next time we are there.



Questions:


Should we consider the 28' Airstreams? I suspect that, for full-time use, they might be a bit cramped.


Most of the Airstreams I've seen for sale have only a single a/c, which means 30A service. Have any of you retrofitted a second a/c and upgraded to 50A service?


I'm looking at a 2013-2017 F250/F350 or similar as a tow vehicle. The F350 or similar will be single rear wheel. All trucks should be diesel, preferably with 4WD. A cap will be added if the truck doesn't already have one.


I'd appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, or advice you may have. You can, of course, respond directly to this post, send me a PM, or email me. My edress is my forum name at gmail.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:46 PM   #2
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2018 30' Classic
Thousand Oaks , California
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We are in a 2018 30 classic with ‘17 ram 2500 diesel long bed. We full time and wouldn’t change it for the world. We could image ourselves in a smaller unit and still be comfortable full timing. Probably no less than 27’ assuming floor plan looks great.

Ours does have 50a service and two ACs. I would highly recommend two ACs as during hot days the interior can get very warm and one AC just wouldn’t keep up.

You’ll also see in the later year airstreams that the ACs become ducted to quiet the process down slightly. I believe there is a transition to wider bodies as well at some point but don’t have the specific year.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:38 PM   #3
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2016 27' International
North Augusta , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2019
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I full time in a 2016 27FB alone most of the time and it is the perfect size. When my partner is with me in the trailer it can get a little cramped after about a week. I think if we were both going to full time we’d find a layout that offered two separate spaces to hang out (like a dinette and a couch) in a 28 or 30ft.

I tow with a Silverado 1500 with trailering package. It’s also my commuter vehicle, so I wanted to go as small as I could safely go and still reliably pull the trailer. When it’s time to buy a new truck I will get something bigger so I don’t think twice about towing in all terrains (like mountains).

The things that I wouldn’t want to do without are my walk around bed (in 27ft and larger) and my ducted AC (in 2015 and newer).
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Old 08-12-2020, 07:42 AM   #4
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2019 27' Globetrotter
Traveling to , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 455
We spent over a year living in and traveling in our 27 FBQ. We did not find it too cramped. Now we are full timing again and are traveling with a dog. Key to full timing in a smaller space is giving a lot of thought to what you take and how and where you store it. Instead of taking everything possible you think you might need or want you take only what you truly need and use. Since you have been full timing for so long in your MH, you should have a really good idea of what you really, really need. An Airstream trailer, no matter what the size, is just not going to have the same storage capacity you are used to. Some of the things you carry now might have to be replaced with smaller versions or multipurpose items. Some stuff you carry now you might have to get rid of or store at your home base.

In deciding what length of trailer to get, keep in mind the longer the trailer the fewer your options are for places to go. If you want to stay in National Parks, a trailer longer than 27 feet might be a problem. I'd check out the Living in Beauty blog (https://livinginbeauty.net/) by Jim and Carmen Beaubeaux. They have been full timing in a 2001 30′ Airstream Excella for over four years and have some fantastic info on their blog for where they stay, how they store stuff, etc. Their 30' trailer has gone just about everywhere.

Plan on your tow vehicle being an important extension of your storage. Definitely get a cap for your bed if the truck doesn't come with one. You might also consider a bedslide (https://www.bedslide.com/). The bedslide will cut down a bit on how much you can carry but will simplify getting things in and out. We also have a Thule roof box, a long one intended for alpine skis or something. It gives me a place to store "long things" or things that just don't stack neatly in the back of the truck.

For your tow vehicle, I'd definitely plan on 4WD. There may be times you need it to get in or out of a space or up a hill. You will appreciate diesel when you are going down a mountain. Get a truck with an exhaust brake.

As far as 30A and one AC vs 50A and two, our trailer came with 50A and two ACs. As a result, we only have one fantastic fan. There are times I wish I had two. But when it is hot and humid and we have a 50A hookup I am glad I have two ACs. I guess it depends a lot on where you travel. If you go down south or visit the southwest you will appreciate having two AC units. I would think retrofitting a 30A trailer to 50A and adding an AC can be done, but probably should be done carefully so that it is electrically safe. I'd do some searching in the electrical and air conditioning parts of the forum and see what folks have posted or ask some questions.

Steve
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:39 AM   #5
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2007 25' International CCD FB
South , Texas
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10+ years full time in a 25 foot working for us. Sometime to big sometimes way to small. We have one AC and if it won't do the job we go north. 27 foot would be nice but we couldn't get into the places we enjoy. We love admiration airstream gets on the road. It has allowed us to camp in places others would not be allowed. when we bought it the dealer asked us what we were going to do we said travel he said 25 foot.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:22 PM   #6
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2014 23' Flying Cloud
2015 28' Flying Cloud
Laguna Niguel , California
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I've been full timing for about a year in a 28' and plenty of room living alone and works fine when traveling with 2 other family members. Also when alone, working on the road so have desk set up as well. 2015 with 1 AC, sometimes i wish I had 2 when it is really hot out west, but hasn't been a big enough problem to be an issue, use fans and open windows on many days. The 2015 has ducted AC and furnace which is quiet, much better than the prior 23'. TV is a 2007 Dodge Ram Mega Cab 2500 with Cummins 5.9 and I believe diesel is the only way to go when pulling this much weight. My highway mpg at 68-70mph is 16-17. Very efficient and no sweat on western long mountain grades. Enjoy your next adventure.
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Old 01-29-2021, 09:01 PM   #7
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Euless , TX
Join Date: Nov 2020
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Full time

One person and had a dog in a 25. The dog was good but, if there was another person (girl) it would need to be 50 or 60 feet at least. Airstreams are small on the inside.....

One AC will be fine until about 85 degrees. At 86 you will start sweating.
These things have very little insulation. You don't want anything slowing down the water, when they do leak.

If you can swing a van, it is really like having 2 trailers. I have a ford 250 with a 6 cylinder and it will walk and talk anywhere in Colorado. Just check the "total weight towing number". It is everything you have going up a hill.

Oh, full disclosure, it is an EcoBoost.

Trick: use a small oil heater instead of HP or furnace. They are safe and about 30 min. to heat house. Great clothes dryer or food warmer if you have electricity.

When the fridge dies, a 35" apt. fridge (200.00) will fit on the bench seat till you get another one. Oh, when it goes, dont do like me and try to keep the food.

Wow, I talk too much.
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:27 PM   #8
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2018 33' Classic
Butler , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
Should we consider the 28' Airstreams? I suspect that, for full-time use, they might be a bit cramped.


Most of the Airstreams I've seen for sale have only a single a/c, which means 30A service. Have any of you retrofitted a second a/c and upgraded to 50A service?


I'm looking at a 2013-2017 F250/F350 or similar as a tow vehicle. The F350 or similar will be single rear wheel. All trucks should be diesel, preferably with 4WD. A cap will be added if the truck doesn't already have one.


I'd appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, or advice you may have. You can, of course, respond directly to this post, send me a PM, or email me. My edress is my forum name at gmail.

I started my full-time living in Northern Virginia and a 28 foot International with propane heat. No good.


Since 2018, I've been living full-time in a Classic 33.



If you want to live full time, I highly recommend the Alde heat, 50 amp service with 2 x AC units. I've ZERO complaints and do quite well compared to others around me. I burn through 80 lb. propane in the winter primarily using electricity to heat my Airstream using the Alde.
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