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Old 02-26-2017, 07:19 AM   #1
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
Panama City , Florida
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Heading to Panama City, considering AS to live in...

I think I am finally at the point in my career with the Coast Guard to make my dream of owning an AS a reality. With an upcoming move to Panama City and seeing how expensive rent is, I'm considering a 25FB Twin in either the Flying Cloud or International model. I really like the idea of living in one full time (tons of room compared to some ships I've lived on) and when I get tired of the scenery at one RV park I can move it. I was able to test drive some F-150 EcoBoost rigs yesterday and I think I'd be ok with it as a tow vehicle. I'm polling the experts here or anyone towing a trailer of this size with the 3.5 EcoBoost engine. I'm also seeing about a 4,400 dollar difference between the International and Flying Cloud models. Is the big difference wheels, colors, style, and countertops? I like the idea of the FB so I can back into scenic parks for the view while sitting at the kitchen table. Any advice or recommendations is welcomed and I thank-you kindly in advance.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:18 AM   #2
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cgsea,

Welcome to the forums. First and foremost, thank you very much for your service to our nation. I recognize the job you do is challenging and sometimes more dangerous than many would think. Thank you for making a difference.

Keep researching the threads and conversations here. It often helps you know what questions you haven't thought about.

Personal opinions concerning your questions:

I think you're correct about the major differences, others with new units will likely add more details.

I'm a fan of the Ford Pickups (although, my most recent purchase was a Ram - the price was just too good.) The Eco-boost will make you a good reliable and relatively economical daily driver, as well. You'll find advocates for every major brand of truck here and many threads debating their merits.

A thought, you may want to consider buying a gently used recent model year trailer. That lets someone else take the initial depreciation hit. Finally, you're comfortable with very small space living, but you may want to visit a local Airstream dealer and just spend an hour in the rig you're contemplating. Walk through your normal daily activities in your mind and in that space, to see if the unit fits your needs.

Good luck and best wishes,
Roy and Marie
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:20 AM   #3
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there are pros and cons

Apartment monthly rental prices in PC average " about " $ 1000 ????

Campground monthly rental prices are " about " $650, But you need to buy a trailer and tow vehicle.

My point is that it's a lifestyle preference not necessarily a money saving decision.

Do you plan on traveling, or staying put? RVs are optimized for traveling not for use as a stationary house.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:52 AM   #4
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Thank-you kindly Roy and Marie! The oldest Airstream dealer is minutes from my apartment and I've spent LOTS of time checking out the different models and floorpans. I actually almost got locked in there yesterday at closing. You make some great points and I appreciate your insight. I have been keeping an eye out for a gently used one. It gets tough when you are set on a specific size and model but I'll keep the search alive. If I go through with this, I hope to see you out on the road. One thing that draws me to this lifestyle is the similarities of a community, much like serving in the Coast Guard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 64airstream View Post
cgsea,

Welcome to the forums. First and foremost, thank you very much for your service to our nation. I recognize the job you do is challenging and sometimes more dangerous than many would think. Thank you for making a difference.

Keep researching the threads and conversations here. It often helps you know what questions you haven't thought about.

Personal opinions concerning your questions:

I think you're correct about the major differences, others with new units will likely add more details.

I'm a fan of the Ford Pickups (although, my most recent purchase was a Ram - the price was just too good.) The Eco-boost will make you a good reliable and relatively economical daily driver, as well. You'll find advocates for every major brand of truck here and many threads debating their merits.

A thought, you may want to consider buying a gently used recent model year trailer. That lets someone else take the initial depreciation hit. Finally, you're comfortable with very small space living, but you may want to visit a local Airstream dealer and just spend an hour in the rig you're contemplating. Walk through your normal daily activities in your mind and in that space, to see if the unit fits your needs.

Good luck and best wishes,
Roy and Marie
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:56 AM   #5
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Thank-you for the reply and points you make mandolindave. Yes, I do plan to do some traveling quite often to see my kids here in NC. The appeal of minimizing my STUFF and staying at new state parks is the reason for giving this idea some serious thought. Hope to see you out on the road and thanks again for taking the time to point a few things out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Apartment monthly rental prices in PC average " about " $ 1000 ????

Campground monthly rental prices are " about " $650, But you need to buy a trailer and tow vehicle.

My point is that it's a lifestyle preference not necessarily a money saving decision.

Do you plan on traveling, or staying put? RVs are optimized for traveling not for use as a stationary house.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:15 AM   #6
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There are two military campgrounds in the Panama City area -- one run by the Navy and one by the Air Force at Tyndall. Both have stay limits but are inexpensive compared to commercial parks,

If you are planning to use your housing allowance to pay your rent -- I recently read a long article in The Army Times that stated that they are looking hard at changing the way quarters allowance is paid. Basically, now you get "X" . If your housing costs less than that, you get to pocket the difference. What they want to do is make "X" the maximum you get but you don't get to keep the difference. For example, if you get $600 in BAQ but your rent is $550, you only get $550.

Just something to consider.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:50 AM   #7
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You can lease a new F150 for less money per month than buying a used one. Then buy it at the end of the lease for about the same payment. Buy the largest Airstream you can afford. When it comes to buying used, a used Airstream might be a good option, especially if it is from a dealer that will give you a warranty.

Thank you for your service and all the best.
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Old 02-26-2017, 11:58 AM   #8
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Panama City area

Florida panhandle is a great place to camp and travel
Only advice I would offer is the need for a good de-humidifier. I camped on the Gulf and found it too cool to need the AC but the damp air was a problem after a few days. Not sure if AS offers that option but I will take one next trip to the Gulf.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:53 PM   #9
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Great for Bugging Out...

Thank YOU for your service to our country!

I really enjoyed the times I've spent touring around Florida AND coastal Alabama. Being aware of seasonal weather is very important in your equation also - especially WIND! Panama City is the perfect area since it is close to I-10 if you need to bug out. Also, keep your AS well ventilated and free of moisture. Last: Salt in the atmosphere will require additional attention to your rigs metal parts, just as a seagoing vessels.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgsea View Post
Thank-you kindly Roy and Marie! The oldest Airstream dealer is minutes from my apartment and I've spent LOTS of time checking out the different models and floorpans. I actually almost got locked in there yesterday at closing. You make some great points and I appreciate your insight. I have been keeping an eye out for a gently used one. It gets tough when you are set on a specific size and model but I'll keep the search alive. If I go through with this, I hope to see you out on the road. One thing that draws me to this lifestyle is the similarities of a community, much like serving in the Coast Guard.




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Old 02-26-2017, 01:17 PM   #11
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cgsea. Thank you for your service. My brother was a crew member on the 1986 Kodiak Island crash and I know how dangerous the job can be. Just a comment on camping here in Florida. You need to lock in a monthly rental because Snow Birds gobble up the state parks months in advance. We live in Pensacola and sometimes struggle to find a site on short notice. Find a nice monthly rental site and sign a long term lease. You can always weigh anchor for weekend excursions knowing you have a place to come back to.


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Old 02-26-2017, 02:22 PM   #12
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Are you familiar with the Airstream Forum Classifieds. I bought a 25 foot Classic that was a $70,000. rig being bought new. It had been pulled 2,000 miles. If you have the time, keep looking at used.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:26 PM   #13
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Go for it!! Enjoy yourself, thanks for your service. Nothing is irreversible. Give it a try it's an adventure.
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:04 PM   #14
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A word about the FB model. I have a 2014 27FB International and I like the location of the bed but exterior storage is under that bed and access to that storage from the exterior door is very limited because the door is behind the propane tanks. If the bed is in the back of the trailer exterior storage access is much easier.
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Old 02-26-2017, 03:27 PM   #15
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I have a 25fb International if you have any questions. Ties fine with my Tundra which is comparable to the F150 (blasphemy!

There are a couple things that are optional on the FC that are included in the International, but overall you are paying a premium for the look inside--corian, lights inside cabinets, sliding doors, decor. No meaningful functional difference that I'm aware of.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:51 PM   #16
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PC has a couple of Military Family campgrounds. Active Duty have priority and you will not be able beat the locations or prices. Most military campgrounds average around $350 to $400 a month with full hookups and utilities. Your BAQ will more than cover that and expenses. Have fun in PC it is a beautiful area with lots to do when you are off duty.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:32 PM   #17
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Only advice I would offer is the need for a good de-humidifier. I camped on the Gulf and found it too cool to need the AC but the damp air was a problem after a few days

Having spent much of my mis-spent youth in St. Andrews SP and growing up in Tallahassee you WILL DEFINITELY need air conditioning!!!
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:07 AM   #18
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Just so you know. Someone mentioned time limits in the military family campgrounds. That does not apply to active duty permanent personnel. You can occupy a spot for as long as you are stationed in the area. Check with the base housing office for your new duty station they will be able to help you get local information.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:56 AM   #19
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Can't speak for the Navy but the Air Force has started enforcing their stay limits. The Famcamps are MWR facilities intended for recreational purposes not housing facilities and are funded with recreation money.

There was a big ruckus up at McCord AFB because some AD folks were asked to leave. I can see this becoming more common as more and more retirees are starting to full time. Space gets pretty tight...

There are lots of exceptions, though. The Naval Construction Center in Gulfport has two RV parks -- one for AD and one for transients. Everybody's happy.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:47 PM   #20
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CGSEA,

I agree with your comment:

"One thing that draws me to this lifestyle is the similarities of a community, much like serving in the Coast Guard"

We are newbies to the Airstream community, but already feel as though it is a good choice, have only been to one Airstream event, but the people we met, most times without trying, Airstreamers are friendly, were helpful, fun and ready to assist in any way.

The info on this site is very helpful and the people definitely.

Fair winds and following seas, which ever way you choose.

John
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