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Old 01-16-2014, 09:56 PM   #1
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2001 34' Excella
Topeka , Kansas
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 15
Talking New Members from Topeka Kansas

Hello all, my beautiful bride and I just retired and we're on the hunt for an Airstream Trailer to go fulltiming in. It's a lifelong dream for us, as I expect for most who undertake the adventure. Last camper was a Holiday Rambler 34' Vacationer but driving it was a bit of a stressfest, so after much research, we're getting an Airstream trailer.

We've got a lot of reading to do to glean all the information out of the threads here. If there's anything you wish you'd known when you were hunting for your first Airstream, give a shout out.

Jack & Elizabeth
Topeka, Kansas
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:43 AM   #2
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Denville , New Jersey
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If used, follow all advice here as far are things to make sure are ok. If new, choose to buy at a place you will develop a great relationship with. Sbb
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2010 Funfinder
2005 T@B
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:30 AM   #3
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2014 27' FB Eddie Bauer
Lake Placid , Florida
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Welcome Jack and Elizabeth! What a wonderful dream for you! I am relatively new as well. My husband and I decided to buy new and made a decision on a 27FB Eddie Bauer. The bed issue on anything less would have driven me crazy. I would have like a little larger but Eddie Bauer didn't come any larger. I am confident however that the 27 will work just fine for us and I know it will tow like a dream. We ordered it in November and it should be here in about a month ))))))). Whether you buy new or used, I encourage you to take a weekend and go to an Airstream dealer and just spend time in every make and model. You will know which one calls you! Have fun and keep us posted!! Laura
Let the good times roll!! Laura
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:37 AM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hi and welcome to these forums. I have found participants here are very helpful in all things Airstreams.

I figure you will want room for full timing, maybe 28 feet or longer. And the newer models have more amenities that make living more comfortable. Spend some time researching the various models to pick one the best suits your needs.

And I recommend a sturdy tow vehicle and a modern no sway hitch. It makes towing in that strong Kansas cross wind much less "stressfest" time.

Airstreams are small and light weight by design. They tow and maneuver well. You will learn to travel light. You can't bring a 55 gallon drum of hair conditioner or 24 rolls of paper towels with you! Carry less inventory and go to the store more often.

And Airstreams are unique. They are relative rare and have a great following. The aluminum construction makes them expensive. But they will last a lifetime. Some folks really enjoy the exclusive Airstream parks as a semi permanent address. The one in Clear Lake, MN, is quite nice. I have also visited the one in Zavalla, TX. You might like visiting a few of these.

Exciting times ahead.

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Old 01-17-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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1964 24' Tradewind
Lawrence , Kansas
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Big welcome from just down the road in Lawrence. There is an RV show in KC this weekend but I do not if an Airstream venter will be there.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:53 AM   #6
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2001 30' Excella
Somerset , New Jersey
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If you go the second hand route like us you'll find that most things in an RV are upgradable or repairable. Much like a home so if you're handy you can do things as you go. IF you do go used carefully check the floors for soft spots. We got lucky on a 20 yr old 30' Excella we bought. I did need to repair a soft spot but it was small and easily accessed. Not all are so lucky.

Good luck. See ya on the road sometime. I travel west frequently and visit my sister in Leavenworth ( the town not the Big House).
Roger in NJ

" Democracy is the worst form of government. Except for all the rest"
Winston Churchill 1948

TAC - NJ 18

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Old 01-17-2014, 10:09 AM   #7
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome he Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

I think that you will find that Airstream is the best choice for a travel trailer that you intend to move around with on a regular basis.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2020 Silverado 2500 (Vivian)
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
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my wife and I are not near retirement age, but we got our airstream 11/2013 and are loving it for our family use (2 small children, one dog)...it is our first RV and it has proven very low stress to pull overall...ive followed nearby some other trailers and I can see how some setups could prove stressful indeed...

Enjoy retirement and good luck in your search!
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 01-17-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 43
Congrats on the decision to go Airstream...now the fun part of looking and researching and deciding the best fit for you! We are newbies, also. Just bought our 2014 25A FC this past week, although it's back east and we can't get it until the end of March. Now we're having fun with color schemes and supplies.

Good luck!
2014 25A Flying Cloud
2009 F250 Lariat
2009 BMW 2009GS motorcycle
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Longmont , Colorado
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Visit a rally if you can


We bought a new Airstream last year. The big decision-maker for us was visiting a WBCCI rally. The published rally schedule had an open house time on it, with visitors welcome (that is pretty common at WBCCI rallies). We found it quite valuable to see both older and newer trailers, and talk with the owners about what they liked/didn't like about their trailers. In some cases, owners were on their second or third trailers, and said why they made the switch (family size changed, mostly).

We had several people encourage us to get a model with twin beds, because of the greater clear floor space and better storage. One lady mentioned that she once cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 16 in her trailer, and sat everyone down to dinner at once (with several people seated on the twin beds, with their plate on their laps).

Unfortunately, this is not camping season in Kansas, so there is no nearby rally for a few months. The "Greater Kansas" WBCCI unit has not posted their 2014 schedule yet, but the Kansas City chapter has: Kansas City, Mo Unit of the WBCCI » 2014 Activities Schedule
Perhaps you could join them for one of their scheduled luncheons coming up.

BTW, we chose a 25 foot Flying Cloud Front Bedroom with twin beds. We have liked it so far, including a month-long trip, but if we were truly full-timing (with no home to come back to), we would choose a larger model.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:36 PM   #11
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
Canmore , Alberta
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Welcome to the forum from another newbie. I hope our paths cross one day!
Bob and Nancy
Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out!
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:52 PM   #12
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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Welcome Dr. Jack!

Remax Gal is spot on. Hang around and walk through a bunch of them. The right one will call to you! My beloved tried to trick me OUT of getting and Airstream by taking me to a dealership. She THOUGHT that I - as a 6'1" mumble mumble pound guy - would find them too small and uncomfortable. OH how wrong she was!!!!


After walking through about a dozen of them, our 27FB Flying Cloud just called to us. One o the best years in our 30+ years together was last year on the road with or beloved bloodhound Daisy and our Tim Goat :-)

Welcome and enjoy!!!!
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:37 PM   #13
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
We've found three important elements to extended Airstream travel (we do half-time).

1) Airstreams are all tiny homes. But it must be large enough to be comfortable sitting, sleeping, bathing, and eating. Storage is always a problem, the answer is not more storage but less stuff. Our 25' is perfect for half-time, would get a 30' with recliner chair option for full-time.

2) A modern hitch that eliminates trailer sway for safe and comfortable towing. Only Hensley or ProPride can offer that.

3) A tow vehicle that is adequate and safe to tow the Airstream (easiest-towing trailer made), and is also a comfortable, reasonably economic daily driver with good maneuverability. Try to match the Airstreams towing requirements, avoid overkill.

If you must own things that are not absolutely needed for Airstreaming, put them in storage centrally located to your travels (Kansas?). Travel light.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:35 AM   #14
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Green Cove Springs , Florida
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Posts: 6,590
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Smile Welcome. Enjoy your shopping!

We're new owners as well. In our daylong visits to our local AS dealer, the International Signature 27FB called out to us, and that's what we bought. We loved the floor plan, especially the N/S layout of the queen bed, and the CCD interior design.

We loved the colors of the Sterling and enjoyed the Serenity interiors, but selected Signature because we liked the "wood" floor - easiest to keep clean while camping. The Flying Cloud came in a close second because it also has the "wood" floor, but we preferred the interior design of the Signature. We also went with ultraleather for ease of cleaning the upholstery. We looked at the Eddie Bauer model, which was very cool, but we preferred the curved lines of the International galley to the straight lines in the EB. Otherwise, we might have selected the EB edition.

We installed two options that we considered important for safety and enjoyment:
  • Wireless rear camera for more safely backing up the trailer
  • Solar panel, hoping we'll be able to boondock or dry-camp without carrying a generator.
Things I wish we had known or realized when we started the process:
  • The 27FB and the 28 actually differ in length by only one inch. The 28 is one inch shorter than the 27FB. The only difference, really, is floor plan. Check the Airstream floor plans to confirm this observation.
  • Choose whatever tow vehicle (TV) suits you best, as long as the towing / load capacity math works out. Folks on the forum get very passionate about whether one should tow with a truck, an SUV, a Jeep, a minivan, or a sports car. If you already have a TV you want to keep, choose a trailer that fits the vehicle's capacity.
  • Calculating towing capacity is a little trickier than it seems. The more stuff you load into the vehicle, the lower it's towing capacity becomes. Here's an example of how to compute that relationship: Ram Trucks Towing Guide
  • I'll may get a little heat on this one, but here goes: on the forums you will find many passionate opinions but few footnotes or web links to support positions on the following: safety and efficacy of tire sizes and types (15" vs. 16" or ST vs. LT), acceptable load-distributing anti-sway hitches, and acceptable towing vehicles. Don't let a thread here (including my suggestions!) convince you to do something expensive before checking the facts and making an informed decision.
  • Know how much your trailer and trailer tongue weighs, as well as the acceptable maximum weights for your trailer: Weighing your RV - Goodyear RV and pages 6-9 of http://www.goodyearrvtires.com/pdfs/tire-care-guide.pdf This will further dictate required tire pressures and TV capacities.
  • Know the load capacities, speed ratings and recommended tire pressures for your trailer. Info on the default 15" tires that you'll find on most trailers other than the EB editions can be found here: http://www.goodyearrvtires.com/pdfs/rv_inflation.pdf. If you ignore your tire specs, God help you because your tires won't be able to.
  • Know when to replace the tires on your trailer. It's not just how many miles you tow, it's also how old the tires are and what shape they are in: Tire Wear Replacements - Goodyear RV
  • Take care of your tires and they will take better care of you: http://www.goodyearrvtires.com/pdfs/tire-care-guide.pdf
  • Consider a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) to help ensure your tires are running at proper pressure and temperature while you're towing. (You can't see your trailer tires when you're in the TV.) We bought a system from TST (Truck Systems Technologies) TST 507 Flow Thru |TST Trucking Systems. So far it's been easy to set up and seems likely to help us.
  • Consider reducing the chances that some miscreant will hitch up to your trailer and tow it away while it's in storage, or you're out on a hike, or pull the pin out of your hitch when you're not looking. We bought these: Trimax SXTM31(SXT3) 5/8" Receiver Lock & (SXTC1) 7/8" Span Coupler : Amazon.com : Automotive and Airstream Trailer Coupler Locks - California Immobilizer, though we didn't know about this lock until later: https://store.airstream.com/product_...roducts_id=687. If you want to go truly hardcore, you may want to consider a boot, or chains, etc.
  • At a very minimum, to protect your trailer's electronics you'll want the following to check the power before you plug in at a campground (we went well beyond this, buying a surge suppressor and a voltage regulator, but those aren't an absolute requirement):
    • Polarity tester (the dealer gave us one with the trailer)
    • Volt meter to ensure you're getting enough juice before attempting to run your AC / heat pump.
Rocinante Piccolo is our new-to-us 2016 Interstate Lounge 3500 EXT
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 01-18-2014, 07:35 AM   #15
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Thank you Silvery Moon. You took the time to post some very useful information for new Airstreamers. I found some of your links very informative for me. I bet Dr. Jack will too.

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Old 01-18-2014, 08:05 AM   #16
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural, blink and you'll miss it , Missouri
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Waves howdy from western MO.
Not knowing enough to be afraid... (I know more than I did, but I did it anyway!)


1968 Tradewind Double.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:24 PM   #17
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Green Cove Springs , Florida
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Posts: 6,590
Blog Entries: 49
Hi, David. I'm glad you found our post in this thread to be useful. Looks like Dr. Jack hit the road and didn't come back no more, no more, no more, no more. Only one post and then, "He gone!", as they say. Hopefully, he's out there somewhere, happily Airstreaming.
Rocinante Piccolo is our new-to-us 2016 Interstate Lounge 3500 EXT
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 02-23-2014, 10:17 AM   #18
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1962 22' Safari
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
Silvery moon,

Wow! As new airstreamers your advice is SO incredibly helpful! Thanks for that great information & thanks for the links to investigate further
The Bell's
1962 Airstream Safari 22'

2 Georgia Peaches just figuring it out as we go!
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:52 PM   #19
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2016 Interstate Lounge Ext
Green Cove Springs , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 6,590
Blog Entries: 49
Glad we could help. BTW we recently learned that with our TPMS we also need a repeater, here: TST 507 Repeater |TST Trucking Systems

With the repeater in place we seem to get a much more reliable signal from the TPMS to the receiver in the cab of our truck. We had it wired into the battery disconnect switch for the trailer so that it only runs when that switch is on. Otherwise, it would kill the trailer battery. The repeater sits inside the cover for our propane tanks, so it's very unobtrusive and is protected from possible damage. We put it on the trailer rather than the truck so that if we change our TV we don't have to re-wire anything.
Rocinante Piccolo is our new-to-us 2016 Interstate Lounge 3500 EXT
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 02-24-2014, 12:08 AM   #20
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2018 30' International
2014 30' Flying Cloud
Los alamos , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 352
We bought a 30ft Flying Cloud as our first ever RV. It took quite awhile to select this model, but after visiting several dealers and sitting in all models from 25ft thru 30, we settled on the 30. Considering the length of time we hope to own it, and take into retirement we wanted the two year warranty as buffer to our learning curve while limiting physical breakdowns that would cost us in the long run. Heck our biggest decision was the hitch not the TV or size of AS.
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