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Old 02-05-2016, 01:33 PM   #21
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2010 20' Flying Cloud
Hailey , Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 414
IDRoba is 20ft FC has heavy wood cabinets...always wondered if they really need to be this solid. But its quality workmanship...and they don't EVER open by themselves. That...and like others have said....extra battery, bumper, etc. Whatever you'll end up getting, you'll have a great time. Jon
As an aside, I'm 6'6" and can walk through my FC without ducking, or sleeping curled up in the bed.
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:20 PM   #22
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Imperial Beach , California
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Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
One other item, the 22 sport is the easiest towing Airstream (easier than the 16')because of its reduced aerodynamic drag which matters for more than the weight difference.

Andrew T
Andrew, One more question if you can. I really love the floor plan of the 20 FC. That would be my first choice. How is it to tow? If drag trumps weight, would this be a possible option with the upgrades [equptment or new TV] you suggested? The salesman said no because of the weight. It seems that on occasion, however, they are a wee bit mistaken about stuff.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:24 PM   #23
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Imperial Beach , California
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Originally Posted by B00merang View Post
IDRoba is 20ft FC has heavy wood cabinets...always wondered if they really need to be this solid. But its quality workmanship...and they don't EVER open by themselves. That...and like others have said....extra battery, bumper, etc. Whatever you'll end up getting, you'll have a great time. Jon
As an aside, I'm 6'6" and can walk through my FC without ducking, or sleeping curled up in the bed.
Thanks for the insight! The 20 FC is by far my favorite floor plan. I love the larger kitchen. My Hubby's vertical build means that I have to take bed length into considerations too. Marriage is a compromise sometimes!
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:40 PM   #24
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Walnut Creek , California
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Everyone has their favorite floor plan. We moved to the 23FB to get the dual axle and if we only wanted a single, we would turn to the 22 sport. However, there are lots of folks that really, really like the 20. There is a series of threads on the 20. Spend some time and find those to get a better idea on the advantages. You need to go to a dealer with lots of trailers in inventory and sit/compare/consider all the options. You will find the one you want/need. We talked to a couple this weekend. They have a 19 that they find perfect. If the 20 is your rig, you will find a way to make it work.

A trailer weighs one weight dry and one weight loaded with full tanks. If you take care in how you load your trailer it is not necessary for it to weigh full gross weight. An aluminum LPG tank saves a few pounds. Paper plates weigh less than china and are faster to clean up. You get the idea.

Good luck with your search. Travel Safe. Pat
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:29 PM   #25
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2008 22' Sport
Bar Harbor , Maine
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We have a 2008 22' Sport. We chose it as we have a Honda Pilot. The combination is great but you get to the max tow wt (4500) without much extra gear and also to max TV wt with the tongue wt plus two passengers and gear. We pack a lot so added a 2013 Serria with cap to carry more water, gray tank, more battery etc. we still use the Pilot fie a weekend sometimes and to turn the Sport around in our tight yard. The pickup truck has a poor turn radius.
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:14 AM   #26
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
London , Ontario
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Andrew, One more question if you can. I really love the floor plan of the 20 FC. That would be my first choice. How is it to tow?

You can tow the 20' with either your current Pathfinder with the few changes or a next Generation Pathfinder. On the 20 I like to change the tires to 16" rims with 225/75R x 16" LT tires. It is a little too heavy for the 15" rims. Your dealer should be able to do this change for you quite easily. The stock 15" will be fine for a spare. It is extremely unlikely you will ever get a flat with the Michelins and the size is close enough for a spare.

Andrew T
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:47 PM   #27
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Cypress , California
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We have a 2015 Toyota 4Runner and we are considering a 22 ft. sport or a 19 ft. trailer. Any recommendations on towing with this vehicle--I am a newbie.
Thank you
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:56 PM   #28
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Washington , Missouri
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Originally Posted by TeeTaylor View Post
Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and loving it!
My hubby and I are shopping for our first trailer. Our TV is rated to tow 5k. We feel like we could go up to a 19 or 22 at the 4500 lb loaded wieght rating. My question is this. Why is the 20' flying cloud 500 lbs heavier than the 22' sport? It is listed at 5000lb loaded. I love the layout of the 20' and that would be my choice but I don't feel comfortable pulling at total capacity of the TV. I am just wondering if anyone know why the shorter trailer weighs more.
TeeTaylor, you make want to read the 20 footers thread. Tow discussion is all over that map as a general rule.

We love ours and we just returned from a 19 day maiden voyage to San Diego...2 dogs (one lg and 1 small) and 2 bikes.

Hard to make a bad model decision w Airstream. good luck


p.s. Seems I read (IDROBA maybe) that the 20 frame is 5 inch vs 3 or 4 of other models.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:11 PM   #29
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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Originally Posted by CruizinDux View Post
p.s. Seems I read (IDROBA maybe) that the 20 frame is 5 inch vs 3 or 4 of other models.
The 20' has a 5" full box frame. It is very stout. My older 20' Argosy (1974) has a 4" frame. I don't know the frame depth on other models such as the 16, 19, 22 and 23, but it might be interesting to find out. I have not seen any listing of frame depth from Airstream.

My 2014 Airstream FC 20 weighs in at about 5000# as I am loaded and ready to tow. My 1976 Argosy 20' is about 4000 #. Both have tongue weights in the 700# range. I have converted to 16" wheels and tires on both trailers.

I now tow with a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with the V8 hemi and full air suspension. I use an Andersen hitch system. Both trailers are very stable and a pleasure to tow.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:57 PM   #30
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2008 22' Sport
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
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TT...careful how you take some folks advice (including my own). Just because someone has something to sell you doesn't mean they know all about everything.
For example: Towing capability of TVs are NOT "marketing". It's reality from several points of view including liability/safety issues...not simply the capacity to drag a certain amount of weight around.

As for the differences between the 20' FC and the 22' Sport, I can tell you a couple things as I have a Sport and our close friends have the FC.

The FC is heavier not because of the framework. They both have the same quality box-frames. The difference is in the FC heavy, pretty cabinetry and accessories. The Sport is a less-expensive, lighter-weight interior. (The LP bottles mentioned only amount to a very few pounds difference, in fact, my Sport has 30# bottles and I'm pretty sure you can add, so I'll not try to B.S. you on that matter.)

But a BIG difference is in "useability" in my opinion. While our friend's FC is a beautiful thing to see inside... it has some serious drawbacks. For example, their emergency exit is a farce. It requires one to climb over a sharp-edged formica cabinet top, and squeeze over a tall double-sink fixture....something only a small child could squeeze past. (Meanwhile, the bed is closer to the main door, and any kitchen fire is going to be directly adjacent to that useless emergency-exit. (Later models slightly improved the matter by moving it above the mid-cabin dinette...but again, why would anyone use that instead of simply walking out the much more convenient and closer main door?)
Also, the FC has the dinette directly opposite the television...which means one has to crane the neck and stare sharply UP to view television,...hard on the neck... while the head of the bed is oriented AWAY from the television, so one cannot watch it while lying down in bed unless one wishes to move the head to the foot of the which case the reading lights are at your FEET!

Topping that off.... there is no place to "lounge" on a sofa in the FC. (There is no sofa...such as the Sport has with it's much roomier dinette/lounge.)

Also, the bathroom/toilet directly adjacent to the galley (along with it's unique smells) and the bath door smacks anyone working in the kitchen in the fanny!

And, oh yeah, two axles and four tires on a longer AS are not necessarily better either. Notice that right-away many will tell you that you "must" buy larger wheels and tires, presumably for safety, ...and while some will also tell you that even single axle 20'FCs must also do that... it's simply not true. The single axle Bambi's do not suffer the tire failure rates that double axles do because the tires are not constantly struggling against each other in turns trying to tear their sidewalls apart. Bambis do just fine with original 15" tires when properly maintained, and that saves trouble AND money (not to mention making towing and maneuvering much easier as well.)

Are you sure you prefer the FC floorplan over (IMO) the much roomier and better organized 22' Sport FB with the much lighter towing weights?

Did I mention that in many states the weight of the 20' FC also require that they must receive an official state inspection and tax...ANNUALLY.... while the less-than-4K Sport does not?
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:24 AM   #31
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1964 24' Tradewind
Lawrence , Kansas
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 290
Hi Andrew. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the newer Pathfinders. I have a 2013 Pathfinder with tow package that pulls my 64 Tradewind nicely but someday I might move up to the 23 FB. One on the things that holds me back is going to a bigger TV. Thanks.

Originally Posted by Andrew T View Post
Hi Tee

Just to confuse you completely think about the 23 FB instead. Compared with the 20 it gives you a tandem axle, walk around queen bed, dry bath, ducted heat. It actually tows better than the 20 does. For someone 6'3" tall it is a huge difference in livability with no real downside.

The reason I suggest this is your Airstream is a long term purchase, we have several customers that have owned the same Airstream for 30 years and 15-20 is quite common. Your tow vehicle you won't likely have anywhere near that long especially when it is 12 years old to start with.

There are two ways to go with towing, one is to make a couple of changes to your 04 Pathfinder. Tow ratings really have nothing to do with what a vehicle will tow it is largely just marketing. You could try towing a 2000 pound square box trailer and find it almost impossible, a 5000 pound boat with surge brakes on one axle would be dangerous to stop and not be very stable but an Airstream connected properly can be well over 5000 pounds and be very stable and safe with good performance.

Your 3.5 Litre is a great engine connected to a bullet proof drivetrain but the large tires to make your SUV look tough rob a great deal of its power. The wheelbase is relatively short on your Pathfinder but the overhang is also short which helps but again the big tires have huge sidewall sway making it much less stable than it could be. The live rear axle is not ideal but the suspension is firm which helps make up for it somewhat.

Back in the day we set up a lot of these. To turn them into a good tow vehicle changed the tires from the stock 245/65 17" to 235/55 x 17" performance tires. Bridgestone Comp's work well. You need to replace your shock absorbers with a premium shock such as a Bilstein.

We would always use a welded ball mount on this vehicle to keep the overhang as short as possible and it needs to be set up properly. That may sound like a given but only about 5% of Airstreams are actually set up optimally. It is not rocket science just don't think it will automatically happen. I can't remember if 04's had factory transmission coolers but if not you will need to add one, if you have not done so in the last 30,000 miles you should change the transmission and axle fluids and upgrade to synthetic oil. If the Radiator is original likely it is a good idea to replace it at the same time.

Once this is done your Pathfinder perform and handle very nicely with a 23' and take you anywhere you want to go.

The consideration though is do you want to spend this much on a 12 year old vehicle. If you are over 100,000 miles I would consider changing it.

The 05 -2012 Pathfinders are substantially better tow vehicles, they are only slightly larger but have a considerably longer wheelbase, independent rear suspension and a great 4.0 Litre engine also they have a 5 speed transmission. We did many of these and I have never had a customer not be completely satisfied with it. Many are towing 30' Airstreams with them. You can still improve the tire size when the time comes but it is not as critical as with the 04 (most SUV's and trucks suffer from tire envy so this is not uncommon on most of them). You might be able to trade up to a good one for not a lot of money and that might make more sense than putting dollars into the old one.

I hope this helps.

Andrew T
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