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Old 04-16-2021, 11:57 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Sarasota , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 31
Choosing size?

My wife and I love the looks and layout of the Caravel 16rb, and we think it would be sufficient. We want the rear bedroom with the large windows. We will probably just travel a few weeks here and there throughout the year, but if we REALLY like it, I can see us traveling for a few months up the east coast (we live in Florida). Don't like hot summers.

Because we want to be outside more than inside, we think we would prefer the 16RB, but since this would be a new adventure for us (Rving), I wonder if I should consider a larger size. Because we want a RB, with the nice large windows, we would have to move to the Flying Cloud 25 RB. But this means a larger TV etc...which I am not opposed to, but prefer a smaller vehicle. We prefer a SUV.

I am just wondering if we got the 16, would be sorry that we didn't begin with the 25. I know this is very subjective and the answers will vary. But I was wondering the thoughts of experienced AS travelers. I guess I could always trade up, but I don't know how much I would loose. I have read some posts that say you should buy bigger because most people trade up to bigger units.

Anyway, your thoughts?
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:15 PM   #2
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1956 22' Safari
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I know availability on dealer lots is difficult right now, but see if you can find one to look at in person. Even if it means asking around here on the forums for someone in your area that would let you look at theirs, before you commit. Go "kick the tires" in a 16-footer and imagine what you would do on a rainy day. Could you be comfortable in that close of quarters? There isn't a lot of floor space for moving around & optional seating/lounging areas. 16 feet is pretty small...especially if you are going to doing more than a weekend. Although folks do it. We had a vintage 19-footer and moved up to a 22-footer, that extra couple of feet makes a big difference - in comfort & storage for longer trips!

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Old 04-16-2021, 12:43 PM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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[all IMO]

The two of you have to spend hours inside each model you are considering.

Over-thinking, and analysis paralysis, will not suffice.

You live in an urban area . . . go look at new and used trailers within a 10-mile radius over the next few months. Similarly-sized trailers which are not Airstreams will help guide you also on the size discussion. This is part of the game . . . just be upfront with sales people and sellers. "Just looking" is fine . . . get out there and do it!

List your questions and priorities ahead of time . . . sit patiently and discuss things . . . take notes while you are inside each trailer.

After probably dozens of hours of homework . . . you will be able to refine the hunt.

Colonial Airstream has great videos too -- watch dozens together.

Take careful notes and add them to your master list . . . a good home schooling during these crazy Covid times.

Good luck . . .

[all IMO]

Let the music lift you up . . .
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:54 PM   #4
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2020 19' Caravel
Ammon , Idaho
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Posts: 78
My wife initially wanted the 16', until I explained to her how the wet bath works. We have the 19' and are very happy with that choice.
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Old 04-16-2021, 01:21 PM   #5
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
- east coastal area - , Florida
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Our first AS was a used 22'. We treated it as a starter unit. In 2014 we bought a new 25' unit. Perfect size for us. We do short - 2 week trips during the year plus a two month summer journey north.
The extra room comes in handy.
Remember, it not the rainy day that gets you, it's the rainy week!.

My personal recommendation is to get the next size up from what you think is the best size.
Happy hunting.
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Old 04-16-2021, 01:47 PM   #6
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2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
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Originally Posted by Dwain View Post
My wife and I love the looks and layout of the Caravel 16rb, and we think it would be sufficient. We want the rear bedroom with the large windows. We will probably just travel a few weeks here and there throughout the year, but if we REALLY like it, I can see us traveling for a few months up the east coast (we live in Florida). Don't like hot summers

Anyway, your thoughts?
In 2016 the wife and I spent 3 months together in our 23'. We spent 2 months in Florida at several different state parks and a couple of RV parks. We took our kayak on a river, 2 lakes and a creek. We visited Walt Disney World and some family. Then we went through the panhandle across to Louisiana for a night, up Mississippi and stayed a few nights and over to Texas, spending a night in Arkansas. Stayed in Texas for the remainder of the time, fishing with my adult kids and visiting her sister and brother in law.

Went home through Arkansas, staying one night. As we left the ARK. CG I told the wife we would probably need to spend one night in southern Kentucky. She said "Just keep driving". We arrived home at about 2 AM and just left the AS parked out front.

In 2019 we went from central Kentucky out to Portland, OR. The original plan was for a total of 5-6 weeks but plans changed and it was closer to 4+ weeks. Since nearly every day was a travel day it wasn't too bad and the time we spent in Oregon was with my daughter and grand kids was great.

We have an '04 4Runner with a V8 and the 23' is the most I would pull with it. The Sequoia is just barely above my 4Runner specs. I like the SUV because it's all inside under a roof and away from prying eyes. The 25' is actually (in most cases I hear) heavier than the 27', but they're out of our reach.

I think if we had a 16' we would be divorced in about the middle of the second month. If you're constantly moving, seeing things and doing stuff where the 16' AS is your bed and breakfast, then you'll probably be okay...probably. But 16' (that's hitch to rear bumper) is a tight fit and on rainy days you need small people and an excellent marriage. I couldn't do one month let alone two.

My 2Ę
Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:23 PM   #7
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1973 Argosy 22
Carleton , Michigan
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I know how subjective it is- and I know we are in a vintage (Ď73) trailer which is much lighter than the new trailers; but our 2 -22footers (first Airstream, now Argosy) have been perfect for us. When we had our 2 girls along, it was a bit more of a crush making the beds; but now as empty nesters -22ft seems like all the room in the world. Plenty of room to stretch out and watch tv when it is ugly out and we can keep the dinette up for eating meals.

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Old 04-16-2021, 02:57 PM   #8
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2007 16' International CCD
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Somewhere , Colorado
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Posts: 405
Best advice you can get is to spend time in each one picturing how YOU will use it.

While many (most?) people up-size from their first trailer, the caution is that you are not most people — you are you. We took that advice and started with a 23’ trailer and then downsized to a double-pano window 16’. And we have been averaging about 50 days per year. That’s us.

Consider this: the 16’ is like an aluminum tent, the big ones are like mobile residential units. All the others are somewhere in between.
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:09 PM   #9
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Evergreen , Colorado
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Picking the right size can be difficult and it is very subjective. My wife and I decided to buy a smaller trailer, and we initially liked the Caravel 20 footer. It has a great kitchen, and it seems like a really great use of the space. After checking out various options and considering how we would use it, we decided to buy a 23 footer. In my opinion, the 23 is just right for two people. It’s small enough to be towed quite easily, and it’s big enough to give you a little space and separation. As I type this, my wife is taking a nap on the queen-sized bed while I sit on the lounge relaxing with a beer. We had a custom fill cushion made to convert the dinette to a big lounge, and it works great. For us, a queen-sized bed was important. A proper bathroom was important. I think the 23 footer is the perfect small trailer. We have been on the road touring the southwest for 22 days now. It has been comfortable, although I can’t see how people live in an RV full time.

2020 International Serenity 23 FB "Sparkle Plenty"
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Old 04-16-2021, 03:42 PM   #10
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Sarasota , Florida
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Posts: 31
Thank you for all your responses.
Much appreciated!
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Old 04-16-2021, 05:54 PM   #11
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2020 23' Flying Cloud
Sebastian , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2019
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Dwain, one thing you won’t get from a walkthrough is an appreciation for the tank size. Unless you always camp with full hookups, you will be dumping a LOT in the 16 footer. If you boondock, the blue tote will be part of the picture, and they do not ride well inside an SUV!
Do a pretend camping trip (pick parks, plan activities, and estimate the number of dishwashing, showers and potty visits) to see how often you will need to snake-wrestle. Or, if you are flush (NPI), rent a smaller Cruise America rig for a week, to get a reality check.
Good luck, and happy camping!
PS our last SOB had a rear dinette, which we loved, but the need for storage and the limits of our tow vehicle (OK, my confidence towing in it) steered us to the 23 FB. If you leave the bathroom door open and imagine...
(That man in that tiny can)
(Same man, Bigger can)
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:34 PM   #12
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2021 16' Bambi
Nashville , Tennessee
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 32
Size is very subjective. One person's "cramped" is another person's "cozy". We have a 16RB and love it. Two remote workers + two largish dogs. We tow with a sedan (well, wagon) with no issues.

The two big concerns for extended trips for us are tank size and counter/storage space. Most Airstreams suck with respect to counter space, the 20FB being excepted. The combined black/grey tank and 23gal fresh tank mean the 16RB is really more of a weekender if you plan to do dishes/shower without hookups. Totally fine for being on the road (where you can easily dump and top off your fresh water) or for having hookups, but not a boondocker for sure.

IMHO the 16RB is the cutest **** ever, but if you could swing a 25RB that'd probably be the best choice for your situation.
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:06 PM   #13
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1972 25' Tradewind
St Clair County , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 32
Just like a pool

RVs are just like pools - no one ever said, "I wish I had a smaller one."
If you're looking at a 19' and think a 22' might be nicer, then you will be happy with a 22'.

Me and Mrs. A have a 25' and as we try to pass each other inside the Trailer, neither of us ever said, "I wish this was smaller. This is just too roomy for only 2 people."
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:17 PM   #14
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Kingsport , Tennessee
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I have a soft spot for the rear hatch that is available on some 25FB and 27FB models, but ones with it were pricey enough to be out of our budget. Truth be told, my wife would rather trim where we can budget wise, so she was happier going smaller instead of larger. As we’re now empty-nesters, smaller works.

But the 16’... Neither of us came around on the idea of a wet bath. We ended up with a 20FC: we like the kitchen, bath, dinette... the bed isn’t queen-width, but, it’s long enough, and we’re not full-timers, we can handle it a week or two at a time. We know we can use any campsite, no worries on a site not being long enough for us.

I liked the idea of dual axles, and I realized if we boondocked a lot, bigger tanks would be a plus: in such case, yeah, a 23’ or 25’ might’ve been okay.... but, keep fresh tires and use a TPMS system so I don’t worry about it being a single axle, be judicious with water use, and we’re doing okay w/ our 20’....
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:37 PM   #15
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2015 25' FB Eddie Bauer
2013 25' FB Eddie Bauer
2012 20' Flying Cloud
Small Town , *** Big Sky Country ***Western Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Start with at least a 20 and get used to the layout ... you will save money by not going up in length as quickly ...
2015 25' Eddie Bauer Int. / 2020 Ford Expedition 3.5 eco B
2019 Chev New Silverado 1500 6.2 V-8; equalizer hitch
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:40 PM   #16
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2020 25' International
minneapolis , Minnesota
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A few month long trip, I would say a 23 or 25 at a minimum.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:14 AM   #17
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by Dwain View Post
Thank you for all your responses.
Much appreciated!
There have been some really good comments and advice IMO. We had a 25' back in the 1990's and now have the 20' . . . both good for various reasons of course. "Wet bath" was an immediate "no" when we downsized. Also the galley in the 20' is outstanding. Although the sleeping arrangements are not perfect . . . they work OK for us.

Compromise is the name of the game here . . . please get out there and start looking at any new and used trailers [not nec. AS] within 10 miles of your Sarasota location [per Post #3]. Today is Saturday . . . you should be able to inspect 6-8 trailers before tomorrow afternoon IMO.

Boots on the ground.

Good luck!

Let the music lift you up . . .
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Old 04-17-2021, 06:42 AM   #18
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2021 25' International
Winder , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 269
Hello Dwain, welcome to the journey!
This is the hard part, agonizing over size and floor plans! Donít let it discourage you though. Enjoy the process!
Peter probably had the best advice on this thread in post #3. Do your research and when you think you have done enough, do some more. Sitting in actual trailers , seeing and touching, can never be replaced by videos, books, and all of the online material, although helpful. COVID however has made this difficult.
Case in point:We bought our 25RB last year. The only new trailers we actually found to look at were a 23FB and a 27FB. We spent only a few minutes in each. Then we went home and just started doing online research. We thought the 23 was a bit small for us and liked the 27 but it was a tad over our budget. We did decide on the RB twin for the extra room. The rear exterior storage and the slightly larger toilet area were big factors. Plus we like the bed in the back because itís usually quieter. So we felt the 25 was the compromise and we ordered one sight unseen. For all practical purposes for us, itís fine. However after a few trips we realize that we wished we had gone with a 27 or even a 28. It would not have been that much more money or we could have dropped a trim level from International to FC and gotten the 27 or 28 for the same price. For most folks a 25 is plenty for 2 people. However if one of our adult children ever decides to go with us on a trip or even one day grandchildren, the 25 would be very difficult.
Anyway, every circumstance is different and you have to figure that out. Had we not rushed our decision I think we would have went a different route.
Not sweating it now, someday we will upgrade Iím sure but right now I donít want to wait 6-8 months on another trailer. Weíre going to enjoy what we have for now. Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:07 AM   #19
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 16,541
Thumbs up

Great examples thanks!

Let the music lift you up . . .
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Old 04-17-2021, 07:39 AM   #20
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Sarasota , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 31
Thanks everyone for comments.
Very helpful.
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