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Old 01-02-2018, 12:23 PM   #21
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We looked at the FC19, but wanted to see the 23D before pulling the trigger. SO glad we did! We love everything about it—the extra lounge area, dual axels, yet still small enough to fit into National Parks that have length restrictions.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:07 PM   #22
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As many others have advised get as large an Airstream as your budget allows, and I would recommend purchasing used as this is your first RV. If you still want to stay smaller than the 25', I would also look at https://olivertraveltrailers.com/ for a small but very nice alternative. I have owned a 19' (non AS), 25' Flying Cloud and now a 30' International. For long trips, we would never consider anything smaller than 23 or 25 feet. Don't rush your purchase, take your time. Sit in and spend a lot of time in as many trailers as you can.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:31 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milleras View Post
We are about ready to pull the trigger and purchase our first airstream (and RV). After some research and looking around on the internet, we have found some used and new to go look at this week. I am looking for some opinions/experiences with the following options for us. We are looking at a year old 16 Sport, 2015 20 Flying Cloud, and 2015 23CB Flying Cloud (nice thing about the 23CB is it has a dual axle, but heavier). Also looking at a new 19CB Flying Cloud. We will make smaller trips in the midwest but intend to eventually venture out to Colorado and east coast. We do have some experience towing a large boat. I am interested in peoples experience and suggestions with these options above. Also with these size RVs any comments on sway bar control. Any comments/opinions are appreciated.

Thanks
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We bought a 2017 22FB. It is a wonderful camper but gets crowed after about a week. We traded it in this November for a 25 RB. We took a hit but we are retiring and want to spend a lot of time in the Airstream and we want to stay married. We also have two dogs. Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:06 PM   #24
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Agree completely. We had considered a 25 for several years of full timing around the continent. At a fall RV show, Can-Am had a 28 on display at a reasonable price. After a night's careful consideration, we decided to go for it and have never regretted our choice. This was also our first RV and the towing/learning curve wasn't painful at all.
After ~3 years of research and contemplating between the 25, 28 (not interested in 27), and 30, we choose the 28 as well and are 100% pleased with the decision since Aug '17 delivery and a few K miles around AZ and NM so far. We LOVE the 28!
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:52 PM   #25
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I have a 2016 Bambi Sport 16' which works well for two...You do need to plan well the things you need, and how much stuff you need...Fits in all campgrounds...The perfect size for towing with midsize TV
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:09 PM   #26
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I have the 23ft Safari SE, that has a layout in line with the 23D, except we have an L shaped couch vs the dinette. We were in a very similar situation as you are last year and for a while really liked the idea of a 16, something about that bed appeals to me.

My wife and I usually do long weekends and we also have 2 English setters that like to join us. The 16 would have worked, but it would have been tight and that bathroom would not have been something that my wife would look forward to and I would much rather here lets go (wherever) this weekend, instead of... I really don't want to squeeze in that bathroom again.

So I started looking a little bigger and finally decided on the 19ft. Done deal, if I could find a reasonable deal on a 2-3yo one, it would have been parked in our drive now.
But then I figured... just a little bigger and bottom line, I didn't want to do long distance trips on one axle. Honestly, that was the break point for me. Peace of mind with two axles and the added cargo weight capacity that comes along with it.

So the 23 it was and we have been very pleased with it. My wife takes the back bed and I take the pull out couch up front (which I find to be more comfortable than the bed... and I am told by my dear wife that I snore, which, if we are in the same bed, she lets me know several times during the night, so we both get a better sleep with me in the front).
This fall I put about 2500-3000 miles on in a week with a trip out to the western UP of Mich. It was a solo trip with the dogs to do some bird hunting and twice I found myself driving at midnight and thinking.... I am so glad I have two axles back there. I sure wish AS would put tandem axles on all, well maybe an option on the 16ft.
I pull it with a 2006 4.7 Land Cruiser and no issues at all.

All that said, someday we will probably move up to a 25FB, but not until we are retired and doing 2-6 week long trips. One week in the 23 is fun, much more than that would be less fun, with tank capacities/limitations and the smaller fridge.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:52 PM   #27
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For a point of calibration, we have put 2 or 3 adults and 5 smallish doggies in our 22’ International for trips of 4-5 weeks. Admittedly we didn’t do much cooking, but did do driveway camping for 3-4 weeks solid, sleeping and bathing in the AS was no issue. I just had to be polite and let the ladies use the facilities first. BTW, we have a wet bath, and tankless (endless) hot water. That was the best part!

Dogs probably thought it was a big silver doggie crate, I suspect. They loved being taken for more walks than usual. And the pups really enjoyed sneaking onto the bed
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:24 AM   #28
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Not all Flying Clouds are wide. Another reason we like our 23D. They get wider at 25’ & up. We have the smallest available with 2 axels & narrower width.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:59 PM   #29
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milleras,

I just want to say that threads by folks contemplating purchase of a small AS often attract a lot of posts by owners of large Airstreams who sincerely believe that Bigger Is Better, and want to steer you away from a purchase that you might regret. Their points are well taken.

However....

As indicated above, we were perfectly happy with our 16-foot Bambi. When we had to replace it, the main considerations in going to a 19-footer were a dry bath, which includes a separate bathroom sink, and a little extra kitchen capacity. Also we like the light and bright Flying Cloud interior.

I think some major reasons not to go big would be:

1. Budget. If you want a big trailer and can find a good used one, this will bring down the price. But would you then need a new tow vehicle? When we got the bigger trailer, we thought the Tacoma would be near the limit of its towing capacity, so we bought a Tundra. The new truck was the big expense!

2. Smaller footprint. A lot of old tent-campers might want an RV but we still prefer to travel light in the wilder places. The wet bath in the small Bambi was a bit sketchy for showering, but basically it worked fine. Oftentimes a campground will have camper showers. Then your AS comes with an outdoor shower that is kind of fun in secluded places.

We didn't want to get so big that we couldn't get into some of our favourite remote older public campgrounds. They often will have some sites for bigger rigs, but not many, and these tend to fill up first.

3. Space is a state of mind unless you physically need more room for more sleeping space, children, travel with additional adults, several large dogs, or a lot of gear. We were fine in Bambi the First as two large adults with a medium-sized dog.

4. Storage requirements. Have you got space at home to store a bigger trailer? Otherwise, will you have to pay a monthly fee to rent space?

Probably you can think of other considerations, but these were considerations for us.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:15 PM   #30
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If you want to camp in National Park campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest, the length and width of a smaller trailer can be a real asset. In our view (we own a 27FB), a 23FB would be ideal for most, if not all, of those campgrounds. For some of those PNW NP campgrounds (e.g. Sol Duc) we wouldn't even dare to tow our trailer in there, much less try to get it into one of those campsites.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:28 PM   #31
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We have a 22' narrow body, dual axles...takes us anyplace we want to go that I can get the truck into and out of...without dragging anything.

The potential dragging is being worked on...lift kit and bigger tires/wheels in the future!
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:27 AM   #32
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I think renting an rv (in different lengths) is a great dea. We started out with a 1969 Shasta 20' in the 80s w/3 kids!! It worked sorta, lol. I would definately stick with a dual axle. While we tow a 32' AS, I think a 25-27' would last you a while, buy used though, as you will save money and most of the "bugs" should be out of it... Good luck!!
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:48 AM   #33
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23 fb

K&K
If you set in the 23 fb. Picture the table top at 24 x 24.
It makes the lounge area perfect for 3 or 4 people.
Simply replace factory with Kobi block
butcher block.
The space and comfort is amazing for lounging and working.
I have pic in 23 fb thread.
Tom

Happy Trails
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:34 AM   #34
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Skip the corner bed if there are two of you. It's claustrophobic. We went from 19' right to 27'.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #35
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I own a big boy and having camped with my wife and two 6' teen boys, we love the space inside our '72 Landyacht but having said that, we haven't been real adventurous in finding those Lake front gem sites like we did in the Popup camper, that I'd pull anywhere. In an ideal world I'd own two units, one for shorter trips and one for "living in" .. when retired my goal is haul all over and basically live in it for weeks or months at a time. I'll probably sell the larger unit but wouldn't go less than 24-26' . The Bambi's sure look cute, but can't imagine for extended trips.
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:53 AM   #36
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My wife and I bought our first Airstream (and our first RV) a year ago after 15 years of boating. In my boating experience, I always yearned for a bigger boat. With this purchase, my wife and I wanted it to be our first and last. So we went for a 30 footer.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:09 PM   #37
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Welcome K&K

You might has well just asked folks what size trailer they have. Almost all seem to think that size is the best.

Look at my Avatar ( photo to the left ) I have a 48 footer and think it's too big.

Point is….It doesn't matter what everyone thinks.

What matters is what kind of camper you are. Are you active? Do you love the outdoors? Do you fish ? Do you Kayak? Do you like to socialize? ETC..

I've seen people with humungous RVs, that stay in their camper and watch TV. They only cook inside the camper. For me I would just stay home.

I just sleep, make coffee, and shower in my trailer. I don't need my 48 footer. That's why I only use my 20 footer.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:22 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post
.....The Bambi's sure look cute, but can't imagine for extended trips.
Our longest Bambi trip (over our 10-year ownership period) was 8 weeks. We'll typically do 4-6 weeks once or twice per year. Claustrophobia has never been an issue. Camping-wise we could stay out longer, but generally there's a reason to come home.

The secret #1 to Bambi Living is to spend a lot of the time outside the unit, whether hiking, paddling, soaking in the hot springs, touring the scenery, visiting some wineries, or shifting into 4WD and seeing where that dirt road takes you.

Secret #2, so far as we're concerned, is to tow with a truck with a cap on the back end. We can store more gear back there than we care to bring.

Secret #3. Set up some functional rules. If one person is cooking or washing up, the other person stays seated or goes outside, to avoid the do-si-do dance manoever.

If one person is a night owl and the other person is an early bird, the folding door and the separate bed + dinette (or second bed) offer some physical and noise separation. (Something sacrified in the 20', to get that nice kitchen in the back.)

We've met all kinds of happy campers with even tinier Scamps, Casitas, Escapes, T@Bs, old Bolers or Trilliums, and A-chalets; and once spent a memorable camping trip in a VW Westphalian camper van. (So far, still waiting to talk to an owner of a Cricket or the Quebec van conversion called a Safari Condo.) We've looked inside the new AS Basecamp, and if it existed back in 2006, we might have bought it instead of the Bambi.

In short, there is a kind of camper who actually prefers a small unit. It's not that they're too ill-informed or unaware to go for a big one. The question is, what type of camper are you??

The other issue, not mentioned a lot on this thread, is cost. Not only are the large units seriously more expensive, but if they require a bigger TV, then there's that end of things. Finding a gently used bigger AS makes a lot of sense, but the bargains aren't always in good nick, and not everyone dreams of restoring an old AS.

Full-timing? Sure. I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my life in a Bambi. A 31-foot AS would be the ultimate downsize. For people who want this kind of lifestyle.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:10 PM   #39
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We’ve camped for 40 years now in small trailers. Our first trailer was a Serro Scotty and we fit three kids in it. Outgrew it and moved up to a Coleman Williamsburg pop-up when we had five kids. Moved up again with a Coleman Utah then decided (after we only had two kids camping with us) to buy our ‘65 Caravel. For ten years our girls, dh, and I have camped every year in our trailer. Even suffered through an entire week of rain and we were all still joking, laughing, and playing board games. We plan on another week trip this summer before our daughter goes off to college. I think you’ll have to decide what’s right for you. Everyone has their own way of camping. I will admit we utilize the back of our truck for food storage. Our Caravel really doesn’t have any place for it.
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