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Old 03-16-2020, 06:03 PM   #1
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Thoughts on the Globetrotter

We are not yet Airstream owners, and as I shared in another thread in the Flying Cloud forum awhile back, we're still in the early stages of this journey.

Since that first post, we've at least managed to actually visit a dealership and walk through the limited models they had available, but there is still much more in-person discernment ahead of us.

In the meantime, as I look at the different floorpans and model families virtually, I've at least realized that I'm not a big fan of the International decor. I do like the Flying Cloud though, and was pretty much sold... until I saw a Globetrotter.

Because budget is a consideration, and the Globetrotter version of any given floorpan that's also offered as a Flying Cloud seems to be roughly 15% - 20% more expensive, I actually find myself wondering if, for similar money, I would appreciate the extra room (and still lovely decor) offered by an equivalent Flying Cloud more, or whether I might enjoy the Globetrotter decor and features enough to consider a smaller floorpan.

Part of me thinks that no matter how pretty the interior is, if a smaller trailer is too small or has too many compromises, I'll regret that choice and the appeal of the Globetrotter will be short-lived. On the other hand, looking at the GT's finishes and colors might make me forget all about an extra couple of feet or a bit more storage.

So my question then is, for you Globetrotter owners, how did you decide it was right for you? And if you had to make compromises in order to make it work financially, do you have any regrets?

Jim
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Old 03-16-2020, 06:16 PM   #2
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My first AS was a 2009 25' International. When we saw the GT they were only available as a 27' model (in 2018). We loved the interior and made the purchase.

But after doing so we have come to really appreciate the extra 2 feet. I tell people the 2 feet on the outside seems like 6 feet on the inside.

So based on my limited experience, if you had to decide between the decor and the length, I would choose the length.

I wish you the best with your decision.
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Old 03-16-2020, 06:35 PM   #3
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Jim, you are asking the right questions!

We started with a FC23FB because it fit our tow vehicle but we wanted the 25'. After two trips out we discovered the u-shaped dinette and lack of more room was frustrating. We loved the "Airstream experience" but not that particular trailer.

We went back to the dealer and explained the situation to George, our salesperson. We asked "are we crazy"? He said no, it happens more often than you think. Next, he said "I'll help you but this time pick the one you really want". We had seen a Globetrotter on their lot when in for a warranty repair and fell in love with the decor.

My DW was leaning toward the 25' GT twin while I, taking George's advice, said we should go with the 27'. At the time, they were closer in price. Plus, we ordered it in December 2018, just before the Jan 1st $4000 factory price increase. She now agrees the extra space of the 27' in the galley, wardrobe and ends of the beds is well worth it. Like Hans627 said, the 2' outside feels like 6' inside.

My point to your situation is, while we could have gone with a Flying Cloud 27' and saved a bunch of cash, we're so glad we got the Globetrotter.

And, since they've been out since 2018, there are some on the used market Two recent posters have found them. GettinAway bought one "used" that never left the dealer's lot. The customer refused it at delivery and bought a FC27 with a rear hatch. He got a great deal - and a new trailer. Another poster just found a used 2018 at a SOB dealer. Someone used it for a year then traded for a big SOB with sliders.

Here's the link to our post when we picked up our GT.

Ultimately it comes down to your budget and needs. And, given the COVID-19 situation, it might be a good time to get a big discount on a new GT. Like an old used car salesman I knew said "You can't put salt and pepper on them and eat them" (so sell them for what you can get).

EDIT: All that said, I found a brand new FC27FBT for $21.5K off. Sale price: $76388. Same space and layout as the 27' GT. There may be some left-over GT's as well out there.

Good luck!
Jeff & Caryle
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:42 AM   #4
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Only way to save money in the RV world is the buy your third RV first. Easiest way to lose money is to go through the whole upgrading process not once, but twice. Youíll be better off just buying the more expensive one now and holding it forever.

Please make sure you step foot into the unit before you order. Itís a different experience when you see them in person. Itís near $100k, itís worth a flight to another dealer if you have to.... we drove 2 hours one way multiple times and sat in the unit we wanted before we finally pulled the trigger.

We went classic.
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Old 03-17-2020, 09:38 AM   #5
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The Globetrotter decor is gorgeous. If we had seen it when we picked our Flying Cloud I might have been very tempted. In hindsight the Flying Cloud was right for us for two reasons.

Our 2018 FC25FBT is right about at the limit of what I’d feel comfortable pulling with my F150 given it’s 1,800lb payload. The GT is heavier and might have forced us into a bigger truck which wouldn’t have been as nice a daily driver. The ‘25 is the shortest trailer we considered because that gets you the wide body, wrap around windows front and back, etc. For two people gone a month at a time it’s perfect for us.

We do a lot of boondocking and I knew I’d be doing a complete solar/lithium upgrade, The factory solar wouldn’t cut it for us. That solar and electrical work cost $10k in parts (500w solar, Victron everywhere, 500ah lithium) I did the work myself. If we’d spent that extra money on the decor it wouldn’t have worked financially.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:05 AM   #6
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I don't know which lengths you are considering, but will give you our experience. We originally bought a 2017 FC25FB. The reason we bought the 25' was for the 8'-6" width. Width is very important in both RVs and boats. Some said the extra 2' in length feels like 6'. The same thing goes for width. The extra 6" of width feels like 2'.

We've since moved up to a 2018 27' Globetrotter. I can also agree that the extra 2' feels like more. Maybe not 6', but we would not enjoy going back to the 25' after having a 27'. We love having the gas oven plus the microwave. We love having the bigger closet and pantry. We love the walk-around queen. We love the decor of the Globetrotter. We got lucky by finding an untitled 2018 27' Globetrotter "Demo" unit last fall for about the price of a new Flying Cloud. Finding this demo made the trade possible and we couldn't be happier.

I would suggest buying the one that makes your heart go pity-patter. You will soon forget how much more it cost. You will always regret not buying the one you really wanted.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:07 AM   #7
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FWIW. The GVW of the 25' model is 7,300 pounds while the GVW of a 26/27/28 model has a 7,600 pound GVW. That could translate to perhaps 100 pounds more tongue weight depending on front vs rear beds storage considerations.

We started with a 2013 25FB International Serenity. The cross bed was a disaster for us. We ordered a 27FB Classic, but the longe design was identical to the 25FB which we found we did not really like (sitting sidewise to see the TV), so we changed to the 2014 31' Classic with twin beds and never regretted the decision. The change order to go from the 27FB on order to the 31 was the just the difference in the price (about $3,000 then) versus the blood bath of acquiring the 27FB and taking the depreciation hit of 25% to upgrade.

Our 2014 31' Classic listed for about $97,000. The new ones are over $160,000. We would not buy any of the New Classics since 2015. Airstream cheapened the interior for us and lost lots of storage space and added lots of failure prone electronics.

We did acquire a 2015 23D for weekends when we use my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel to tow and have a nimble around town vehicle at the destination. The 2012 Ram 2500HD tows the Classic, but is a ponderous vehicle in town for parking.

BTW. The Mercedes towed the new empty 2013 25FB home to Phoenix from the selling dealership in Los Angles and maintained the posted 55mph climbing the steep mountain out of Palm Springs, CA with no issues.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:53 AM   #8
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New 2020 30ft

We LOVE our new 2020 Globetrotter 30ft! The Copenhagen Cream is so beautiful! We have an 8 month old baby, so we need floor space for a packnplay and play time. The 30ft provides a perfect layout to accommodate all three of us. The table is smaller but the majority of our dining will be outdoors. I use the table as more of a kitchen island 😀. The corian counter tops, woven floor and amazing mattress makes us feel like we are staying in a 5 star hotel suite.

On a side note- the Fly Cloud with the bunk beds was very appealing for the future, but for now luxury is the winner.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:30 AM   #9
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The considerations in purchasing your first Airstream.
1# Choice of tow Vehicle (GVW)
2# length
3# personal preference on decor.
New versus- gently used - travel use
Do ask for 20% off sticker-Price new . Airstream’s do hold the value every day. Can be written off as a second home .
2018 25FT International serenity FBT floor-plan was perfect . Our tow-2014 dodge Durango citadel Hemi .
We love the globetrotter interior. Had they had a 25FT globetrotter available we would have purchased that model.
Welcome to the Airstream community !
“When you own Airstream you’re always home” See you down the road neighbor !
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Old 03-17-2020, 01:44 PM   #10
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I am not a GT owner but I love the dťcor very much, the only exception is the woven floor. Most of them I have seen in person start to bag or wrinkle some (that just me.) So I say get the one you want (dťcor & length) the first time and have a great time in it. Your kids will forgive you for the missing money in your Trust fund.
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Old 03-18-2020, 02:35 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone who has replied so far with some excellent information and lots of great points to consider.

In no special order:

I agree with the "get this right the first time and avoid trading up later" approach. That's exactly why I'm asking questions in this forum of people who have been down this path before me. I understand that trading down the road isn't a bad thing if your needs or circumstances change, but I'd like to minimize regrets here.

We don't currently have a tow vehicle capable of pulling any of the models we're considering, and we won't be choosing one until we've selected the trailer we want. I've read far too many threads on this and other camper/RV forums where people want a trailer they can't pull, so they either hope the laws of physics will change or they have to get another TV. Being 100% honest, I already had to trade a small SUV for a mid-size to pull our T@B 400, and that mid-sized SUV will not pull any of the Airstreams we will want in the future, so I've already made that mistake. Twice. Live and learn.

We're trying to be realistic with our needs v. our wants as well. Neither of us is near retirement age nor are we in a position to go full time or even be away from home for more than a few weeks at a time. That means we'll both be working from this trailer 40+ hours a week when we're gone. Translation: Space and accommodations count more than they would if this was purely recreational. When we're on vacation, we're only in the camper when the weather forces us in, or to sleep. When we're working, we're in there 8 hours a day.

If we were doing a week or two at a time just camping, I could see a GT23FBT working just fine. Lighter, more compact (opens up more sites), etc. But would the shorter and, critically, the narrower body start to close in after awhile?

I like the 25's a lot, but it would have to be a twin (don't want the sideways queen) and because of the way the tongue weight balloons on the FB models (and because of the smaller windowless bath) I'd prefer the 25RB, but the GT isn't available in that plan so the FC is the only option for the 25.

The 27FB is a sweet plan, but in GT trim, I couldn't justify the extra spend.

The 28RBQ is actually my favorite in terms of layout - the separate dinette and lounge make a lot of sense so we're not tethered to the dinette all the time - and it's actually less expensive for some reason than the 27FB.

So you see the convoluted through process here :-) A 27FB or 28RB is within a couple of thousand dollars of t 23FBT Globetrotter. Giving up 4 or 5 feet of length and a foot of width to get the GT amenities is difficult to justify. But the GT is Just. So. Pretty. :-)

Jim
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Old 03-18-2020, 03:07 PM   #12
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I think you'd be disappointed with the 23' and later trade up. I think the FC28 sounds like the right choice because you will be working inside 8 hours per day. My wife worked inside our 25' part time for two years where we camped for five month stretches. Even the 25' was cramped when she was working. She worked two days in a row every other week doing payroll for her former full time employer. We set up a desk-height thin folding table in front of the couch and a dual monitor setup from a laptop with separate keyboard. I had a hard time shimmying around that folding table. I think the separate dinette and lounge is needed to have someone working eight hours per day.
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Old 03-18-2020, 03:49 PM   #13
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I'm trying to join the "Buy Your Last Airstream First" club as well, so I'm pretty much set on 27Twin. Been looking at mostly FC's, but last week saw a lightly used GT27 Twin as an SOB dealership.

I agree they are gorgeous, but I'm not sure I want the power everything... just that many little electric motors to go bad. Heck, I don't even have Corian counters in my house.


We'll see... one thing I have for a bit is time to think about options.
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtbeard View Post
I'm trying to join the "Buy Your Last Airstream First" club as well, so I'm pretty much set on 27Twin. Been looking at mostly FC's, but last week saw a lightly used GT27 Twin as an SOB dealership.

I agree they are gorgeous, but I'm not sure I want the power everything... just that many little electric motors to go bad. Heck, I don't even have Corian counters in my house.


We'll see... one thing I have for a bit is time to think about options.
Us too. No hurry. Realistically weíre a year out at minimum, but itís a big decision that merits lots of time and consideration. Iím hoping to learn from other peopleís decisions, both good and bad.

You make a good point about the power awnings and stabilizers. I knew the GT had them but didnít think about it. I was focused on the decor. Iím with you though. Manual awnings and jacks are a plus for me, not a missing feature.

Jim
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
I think you'd be disappointed with the 23' and later trade up. I think the FC28 sounds like the right choice because you will be working inside 8 hours per day. My wife worked inside our 25' part time for two years where we camped for five month stretches. Even the 25' was cramped when she was working. She worked two days in a row every other week doing payroll for her former full time employer. We set up a desk-height thin folding table in front of the couch and a dual monitor setup from a laptop with separate keyboard. I had a hard time shimmying around that folding table. I think the separate dinette and lounge is needed to have someone working eight hours per day.
Excellent feedback. This is exactly the type of experience Iím looking for in terms of having to work while camping. That requirement changes the way you look at a trailer, Iíll tell you. Thanks so much.

Jim
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:18 PM   #16
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Go as big as you can afford, interior finishes you can always change later too if youíre handy. Itís all cosmetic inside and the trailer was built first then everything comes through the front door, which means that itís fairly easy to remove walls and finishes with the exception of the floor.

As far as the electronic stuff, remember that you always have manual options with the electronic items. If something fails, you revert back to manual until you fix the motor. Yes, overtime it may break but I feel itís a modern luxury worth having. Manually cranking is fine when itís a few times a year but when you do it all the time itís an entirely different story IMHO
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:01 PM   #17
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Globetrotter Feedback

I have no regrets going to the top of line after "proving to myself" that I would be a frequent and avid user of a travel trailer. Going as big as you can afford becomes even more meaningful when you splurge and continue to be a frequent user of your investment in these iconic trailers.

We went with a 2018 27FB GTrotter after five years and two Lance trailers, first a 22 (used) and then a 24 (new), and when it was decision time to go larger, and higher quality, I decided that new was preferred, due to ability to select my preferred floorplan and length, and some incredible financing; and I needed to roll over the new Lance that I'd enjoyed for two years, which I was also able to sell for a premium.

One thing was evident on more economic trailers, that constant use required repairs more often- of just little things that would break or wear out.

I considered the AS 25FB but after gaining years of practice maneuvering and backing up I wasn't intimidated, and wanted the extra 2 feet of closet and head space and the island queen bed was worth it.

And as proven, I have constantly used the 27FB for business and pleasure and with the Wuhan Virus now I have my own secure and sanitary hotel room to take with me when on business travel.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jameskuzman View Post
Us too. No hurry. Realistically we’re a year out at minimum, but it’s a big decision that merits lots of time and consideration. I’m hoping to learn from other people’s decisions, both good and bad.

You make a good point about the power awnings and stabilizers. I knew the GT had them but didn’t think about it. I was focused on the decor. I’m with you though. Manual awnings and jacks are a plus for me, not a missing feature.

Jim



Looking the the GT, electric stabilizer jacks have manual cranks as well. So if one of the motors went out, it'd be easy to retract them. From the research I did, that's not the case with the awning. According to an online manual, to manually operate the awning take some disassembly.

Maybe someone whom has one can confirm.

I admit, I love the interior look of the GT... but... we'll see.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:28 PM   #19
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Dirtbeard, here's the emergency manual operating instructions from ZipDee's manual.

We've never had to do the procedure (and hope we never do). Hope that helps!
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:28 AM   #20
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Thought on any AS not just GT

35 years camping (pop up's). Dozens and dozens of drive by's to the local AS dealer. The only real advice I can offer is - spend time inside them at the dealerships.

We have a FC 25 RBQ. I like the lounge area of the 30'GT, but its a non-starter because access into my driveway is a nogo. My wife absolutely hates the small narrow dining table. LOL

Given its mostly just me and my wife, our 25 is right-sized. The only chuckle my wife and I routinely have is asking ourselves, "Why did we wait so long?"

Don't wait too long or stress too much over decisionmaking. You will grow into your choice. When I was taking my wife to the dealer on the premise of "looking" (I was definitely going to buy - LOL). I told her, "We're only going to look at the one we're interested in. LOL - We bought it.
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