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Old 05-01-2021, 08:19 AM   #1
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Purchasing new airstream, questions!

Hey all,

I am new to this forum. My wife and I are looking to pick up a new airstream. We have two kids, six and eight. Our tow rig is a 2021 Porsche Cayenne. It is rated at 7700 pounds with a 770 pound hitch weight. We are looking for something that we can use on the weekends probably 6 to 10 times during the summer/spring/fall and also some thing that we can keep parked outside of our home as an auxiliary guest bedroom when we’re not using it. We really like the layout of the flying cloud 23 cb Because of all the living room space. Anyone out there with one have any comments on whether they wish they done it differently? I don’t think that a 23 front bed would work for us because of the smaller dinette area/sleeping area for our two kids. I’m sure that my rig will tow the 23 fine I don’t believe we could do a 25, hence we’ve settled on the 23 as our size. One additional question, I’ve seen that in normal times you can typically negotiate with the dealer to get 15 to 20% off of the unit. Any experience on what sort of discount might be reasonable in today’s environment? I know that airstreams are incredibly tight in supply and high in demand. We are super excited to join the airstream family. Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:28 PM   #2
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We have put a basic deposit down on a 28 foot AS/International a few weeks ago. It will take pretty much 120 days to get our order in late August. They are sticking really close to the MSRP price and not budging much. We are talking maybe several hundred dollars to a $1000 off the MSRP. We weren't even able to see a model design that had our configuration choice, which leaves us waiting for some pictures somewhere to see. One of the trailers was delivered an hour earlier and the techs let us see it in the travel state it was in and the other was in waiting for the new owners to show and still a different model. May is the change over time for year, décor and minor changes. Good Luck.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:46 PM   #3
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Thousand Oaks , California
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We bought the airstream we wanted followed by a tow vehicle to pull with. It’s a huge purchase doing it this way but it’s cheaper than settling on the 23 and then upgrading down the road because the 23 didn’t work. Have you checked out the 30 bunk?
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Old 05-01-2021, 11:09 PM   #4
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Greetings!

My husband and I purchased our first trailer last summer, a 20 foot Keystone Springdale. After taking it out just about every weekend possible, we've decided to trade it in for a Flying Cloud 25RBT (just put the deposit down last week)! At first I didn't even consider AS because of the price. After nearly a year in an inferior make of trailer, and many days of drooling over the silvery beauties and those amazing panoramic windows, we took the plunge.

I didn't anticipate loving 'camping' quite as much as I do. These trailers offer most of the creature comforts of home, and make traveling quite easy. So, if I were to give any advice, I would say to err on the side of caution and plan on loving it! I can also say that I wish I had bought the Airstream in the first place. They're built to last, where most others are not and have features and amenities that just aren't found elsewhere. Granted, mine hasn't arrived yet, and I am only speaking from tons of research and crawling around every unit my local dealer has in stock, but I don't think you can go wrong with an Airstream. If there is any question on whether it is worth the money or not, I would suggest renting one of each for a couple local trips. This will give you an idea of how your family will enjoy the adventures and you will also be able to easily see the difference in quality of multiple products. I believe the answer will quickly become clear!

As for the logistics and planning to get into campsites, I have found it wise to start planning a few months out at least. If that is not feasible, stalking campsite websites a couple weeks out looking for cancellations may be helpful. My husband has booked several trips this way at very popular destinations we like to frequent.

Best of luck!
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Old 05-02-2021, 06:58 AM   #5
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Most will say to buy your second Airstream first, meaning, buy the one that best fits your situation, rather than say, buy one your current tow vehicle will tow. Your Airstream will last decades (once you get the many bugs ironed out). Your tow vehicle: 5-10 years? You can easily trade your TV (forum-speak for tow vehicle) for one that has the best mix of capability and daily driver, or you can invest in a second-hand second vehicle dedicated to the Airstream and family trips.

You will very likely end up doing this anyway, but doing it first will save you thousands of dollars.
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Old 05-02-2021, 07:50 AM   #6
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Check out #10 on this Post:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...um-222108.html
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Old 05-02-2021, 08:20 AM   #7
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As a 23FB owner, I can certainly tell you that it has advantages and disadvantages when compared to some of the larger trailers or other smaller trailers. It’s really the largest small Airstream trailer. Based on my experience, the advantages include: relative ease of towing, relative ease of backing and parking, comfortable dinette (for eating), comfortable bed, and nice bathroom layout. I’d say the disadvantages of the 23-footer include the relatively small interior space, the lack of interior lounging space and seating, the difficulty of climbing in and out of the queen bed late at night, and the small sleeping area offered by converting the dinette to a bed. It would work fine for one adult or perhaps one or two kids.

Considering weights and payload, I think the 25-footer might be tough for your Cayenne. I think you also have to consider how you camp. If you like to lounge inside and watch television, then the 23FB may not be the best choice. A 23CB might be better. It really depends on what you prioritize and how you like to camp.

The differences between the various lengths and layouts are considerable, and only you can decide exactly what will work for you and your family.
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Old 05-02-2021, 09:59 AM   #8
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New Flying Cloud

When I mentioned to Roberta that “montanapat1” was from Spokane, first words out of her mouth were, “Has Pat ever shopped at the White Elephant?” (Airstreamers, you’d have to have lived in Spokane to get that one. JB’s father was in and out of the White Elephant on a monthly basis. Fishing gear, mostly. Side Note: JB attended Gonzaga Prep when it was an all-boys school, a school that regularly took all honors academically and on the field of play.)

As to new Flying Cloud (or new anything), this is not pitching a tent and lighting a Coleman stove under a rain fly, all of which can be purchased at the White Elephant. Read what advice is out there, books such as Rich Luhr’s “Newbies Guide to Airstreaming” and “The (nearly) Complete Guide to Airstream Maintenance” and the recent release of Jack Hunnicutt’s “My Airstream Mentor.”

YOU WILL BE DOING MAINTENANCE WITH YOUR OWN HANDS, and that’s a fact of RVing. Get ready, get set, take delivery and GO.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:18 AM   #9
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I and apparently many other owners on this website learned after the fact that it appears to be more effective and in the long run less expensive to fit the tow vehicle to the trailer than to fit the trailer to the tow vehicle.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:36 AM   #10
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The issue with the 25FB is hitch weight, and there is really no good storage in the rear. Most of your storage is up front contributing to more hitch weight. Back in 2004, I pulled my 6,700lb. boat with my Cayenne S. It had more than enough power and planted...handled way better than a domestic pickup. The difference is my boat had a 350lb. hitch...not 835. With a 25RB, you can place a lot of heavy items in the rear. Base weight 5,600 Max 7,300. We always run with a full fresh tank 350lbs., black/gray empty or distributed from fresh. Real life: My guess is 6,600lbs full. You could use a Hensley or pro Pride to stabilize the trailer and add enough weight under the bed. Get a hitch scale and keep it under 700lbs. You should be fine. ...pushing it... but fine. I’m doing this same thing with a 30’Bunk and F-150. My hitch weight comes in at 880lbs. fully loaded with the Hensley installed. Pulls like it’s on rails.
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Old 05-02-2021, 10:38 AM   #11
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Mount Zion , Illinois
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Welcome! I joined the forum last winter and ordered our AS in November. We take delivery of it in June (fingers crossed).

There have been numerous posts on tow vehicles and trailers and I think I can sum it all up into four things:

1) Power to pull
2) Strength to stop
3) Hitch to hook up
4) Handeling

1) Power to pull is really dependent on the horsepower of your engine. Not necessarily gross vehicle weight rating.
2) Strength to stop is your combined vehicle weight, including your vehicle, your trailer, your own personal body weight and everyone else in the car along with all your gear. This adds up quick!
3) I had to find this rating on the underside of my F150. It was hard for me to find. The weight your hitch puts on the truck is a function of the size of trailer and how it is loaded.
4) Distance between front and rear axle of tow vehicle will affect handling, as well as trailer size, type of hitch, sway bars, etc.

I could not find all of this info in one easy place. It took me a great deal of time. Which is one reason why I got on to this forum, which I check everyday for tips!

Many veterans have warned: the rating in each of the above is the Max allowed. Not the typical. Just because the tow vehicle can pull 7700 lbs (say) doesn't mean that it might be a good idea to buy a 7000 lbs trailer.

Just thought I'd try to share what little I've learned so far.

These forum pages are great for learning!

Have a safe season!
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:04 AM   #12
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Hi

I would strongly recommend that somehow you get out and see examples of several AS models. Doing this from the brochures is not a good idea. There are a lot of pinch points and fit issues that can only be spotted by being there. What fits for me may not fit for you. What bothers me a lot may be a non-issue for you.

An Airstream should be at least a 10 year sort of investment. The "kids" will be 16 and 18 at that point. They still will need to sleep somewhere. Kids grow up fast so they will be taking up a lot of space sooner rather than later. There's also the possibility you might get a dog ( or three ...) along the way.

It's not just about sleeping space. You need room for clothing (normal stuff, rain gear, swim suits, mud boots, jackets, ....). You need enough water tank capacity to live for more than a day or three ( fresh water, gray water, and black water). Food needs to go somewhere. Both kids and adults tend to have "toys". Those bikes and other items need to get put somewhere.

On top of the "people needs" the trailer its self needs some stuff. You will have power cords, water hoses, drain tubes, leveling blocks, spare parts, and a lot of tools (including stuff to change a tire). Those also take up space.

Do you like to sit outside / cook outdoors? Most of us do. You now have 4 chairs, a cook stove, and likely a rug to pack in someplace. If the outdoors is off grid, you might have a generator (and fuel) to pack in.

Tow vehicle wise, there are two basic schools of though: One is that you buy a stock vehicle that can "more than do the job". The other is that it's fine to hot rod ( modify ) a vehicle to improve the ability to tow this or that. There are folks who are quite good at doing some of these mods. Some are more comfortable with that process than others. Either way, pick the right trailer first and *then* sort out the tow vehicle.

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:10 AM   #13
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My humble opinion:

Item 1 - Pulling power is readily available in the modern era from turbocharged gas and diesel engines and the larger, normally aspirated gas engines. It is seldom a limiting factor. As an example, I towed my 31’ Sovereign over 80,000 miles with a first generation Nissan Titan. Sure, on some climbs, I was in 3rd turning 3800 rpm
to maintain 60 mph but that was maybe 0.1% of the time. Modern, multi speed transmissions make climbing pretty much a non-event.

Item 2 - If you maintain your trailer brakes properly and your brake controller is properly installed and adjusted, braking is not much of a challenge if a little common sense is applied along with the brakes — slower descents in gear, using pulses of brake application rather than ride them. It. Is all about energy management.

Item3 - If you have a Class IV hitch and are using weight distribution, you should be in limits for anything Airstream builds.

Item 4 - It helps to keep that distance as short as possible but, other than extended van types, most TV’s are in the manageable range.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
My humble opinion:

Item 1 - Pulling power is readily available in the modern era from turbocharged gas and diesel engines and the larger, normally aspirated gas engines. It is seldom a limiting factor. As an example, I towed my 31’ Sovereign over 80,000 miles with a first generation Nissan Titan. Sure, on some climbs, I was in 3rd turning 3800 rpm
to maintain 60 mph but that was maybe 0.1% of the time. Modern, multi speed transmissions make climbing pretty much a non-event.

Item 2 - If you maintain your trailer brakes properly and your brake controller is properly installed and adjusted, braking is not much of a challenge if a little common sense is applied along with the brakes — slower descents in gear, using pulses of brake application rather than ride them. It. Is all about energy management.

Item3 - If you have a Class IV hitch and are using weight distribution, you should be in limits for anything Airstream builds.

Item 4 - It helps to keep that distance as short as possible but, other than extended van types, most TV’s are in the manageable range.

Yes, yes, yes & yes

I replaced my Cayenne S with a 2008 F-350...never had one before. I only kept the F-350 for one year. The main reason was diesel skyrocketed from $1.75-$4/gallon overnight. I preferred towing with the Cayenne over the F-350. It had a tighter turning radius, felt more planted and was all around more fun to drive

Like N2916S said. If your trailers brakes are in good working order and a good brake controller, the trailer is going to stop on its own. ...well, what if your trailer brakes fail... well, what if your truck brakes fail? Will the Cayenne require more maintenance or wear out faster...probably! So will my F-150. Some people care about that, some people don’t. As far as stability, with that size trailer I would use a Pro-Pride or Hensley. Now being a Hensley owner and true believer, I will never tow without one...regardless of the tow vehicle. I would love to tow with a Jeep Gladiator, unfortunately it is underpowered for that much weight...for now!
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:57 PM   #15
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Having purchase 3 new AS in 6 years I feel we can offer advice. The first 22’ bambi was bought to fit the TV. Easy to tow but not at all a good fit for us. Number 2 25ft FB FC. TV inadequate so purchases 350 diesel so towing and loading would never be a problem. Easy to tow with 350 and fit in almost anywhere. BUT, we really wanted more internal space, a grand lounge and upgraded up to a new 27 serenity and had it modified. Actually we really wanted a 27 in the first place. Lesson learned. Do not settle for size to fit your TV. Our 25f FC had a hitch weight of 1200 lbs which is about the average of what people posted. Try to buy a TV that provides options, then select a trailer you can grow in with a family. Currently dealers are not discounting because of supply and demand. If you decide on a smaller aS. Look for used. I can bet that with growing kids, the smaller units be undersized in 3 years
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
Yes, yes, yes & yes


Like N2916S said. If your trailers brakes are in good working order and a good brake controller, the trailer is going to stop on its own. ...!
Hi

If you have a modern Airstream trailer, you have Dexter brakes. They are basic drum brakes with relatively small drums. They aren't junk, but they also are not anywhere near the disk brakes you see on a lot of modern vehicles. You do *not* want to depend a lot on them. You can take them into the shop on a yearly basis and still replace entire broken assemblies if get a bit "excited" when you set up the controller. I have empirical evidence on this .....

Bob
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:34 AM   #17
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Hi! We have kiddos about the same age, so as a few other posters have mentioned, what you think will work "now" might not work in a few years depending on how you are planning on camping, and how much room in your driveway for it being a guest room. We thought about our longer-term needs and decided to go with a 27' FR Twin option which works great now and as they turn into bigger kids. With having the 27', my husband and I have the dining area/couch for lounging and then sleeping after kids go to bed. We've been almost full-time this year with distance learning and happy with our floorplan.

Good luck with your choice!!
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Old 05-04-2021, 02:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.Sotacan View Post
Hi! We have kiddos about the same age, so as a few other posters have mentioned, what you think will work "now" might not work in a few years depending on how you are planning on camping, and how much room in your driveway for it being a guest room. We thought about our longer-term needs and decided to go with a 27' FR Twin option which works great now and as they turn into bigger kids. With having the 27', my husband and I have the dining area/couch for lounging and then sleeping after kids go to bed. We've been almost full-time this year with distance learning and happy with our floorplan.

Good luck with your choice!!
You ever coming back to Minnesota? We headed to Malibu/Palm Springs Dec 30th. Came back to S. Minneapolis March 1st...ready to get out of here again!
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by s1000pre View Post
You ever coming back to Minnesota? We headed to Malibu/Palm Springs Dec 30th. Came back to S. Minneapolis March 1st...ready to get out of here again!
We're practically neighbors! We're just north of Malibu in the Thousand Oaks/Wood Ranch area! We did PS and Joshua Tree a lot this year too!

We are planning our trip back to MN in early June. Going to camp at the all-AS park in Clear Lake, then hit the road again for the summer with a swing through ND, ID, MT, WA, OR back to LA before school starts in MN.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:09 PM   #20
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EVERYONE has had this issue

AND you won't know what works for you until you do it a few times. Physically looking at one will help, but you will not know until you are out a few nights.
I was coming for a 42' diesel pusher, knew we loved the AS culture, didn't know if we could handle the size. Rented a FC23CB, loved the trailer, the style, the ease of pulling (2002 Range Rover) hated the corner bed next to the toilet, hard to get in and out of, small.
Bought a used FC23FB, loved it, put 73 nights on it, knew we wanted an International 27FBT. Loved the upgraded finishes and the extra living space.
there is only two of us and maybe one kid once or twice a summer.
if you buy used at the right price, you will not go wrong. Now is a tough time to buy. if you need new, Toscano RV in Los Banos CA, oldest AS dealer west of the Mississippi, Dave Morse will give you the best deal you will find today.
I think most here will agree, your first AS won't be your last or favorite AS. You need to own/live in one to know what you really need. If you don't have the budget to buy a new truck and AS, then you will have to start with a 23', which lots of families do and love it.
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