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Old 10-28-2021, 11:14 AM   #21
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Luke Grisott's Avatar
2016 22' Sport
2018 25' International
Chino Hills , California
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 116
Downsize or not

We love our 2018 25 FT FBT International serenity. I would purchase the 2021-22 23FT FBT globetrotter , International serenity, classic, T Bahama. I believe there are many decor choices. I am confident one will suit your aesthetic taste. View on the many YouTube walk-throughs of all the 23‘s that have twin floor plans. I walked through this model at the international rally in Salem that have been renovated by Ultimate Airstream. Now you can order this floor plan from the mothership. Perfect in every way. This may meet all of your criteria. You are much more experience than most of us. I am confident you will be able to choose the best for your type of travel.
Hope you’re able to retire sooner than later. See you down the road safe travels.
# 22624 “The Silver Buffalo “
The Real Silver Lining are the people you meet on this Journey.
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Old 10-28-2021, 11:54 AM   #22
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Schaumburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 572
Originally Posted by dbms_l View Post
All good points. We appreciate them.

. . .

If we keep our current 25RBQ we may convert the Queen to Twin beds because my husband has to scoot down to the bottom of the bed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night so a corner bed wouldn’t be much different other than it is narrower and your face isn’t up against the wall.
Highly recommend this idea, we have exactly that, a 25 RBT. We are also just the 2 of us, no pets, and initially we had strong interest in the 23 but twin is very rare (and more expensive) in that size. The twin makes the interior feel so much bigger, and provides far easier navigation in the middle of the night. The holding tank sizes was the thing that really sealed the deal for us, to go with the 25’ and for our preferred style, that is 100% the right trailer. I often use that point when folks ask me these kind of questions, trailer size /floor plan related. The 25’ is the smallest trailer with the larger holding tanks. You have to go to the 30’ to boost tank size, and as I recall only the fresh water tank is bigger there. My wife is still working, and we take road trips where she will work (remotely) from wherever we choose to go, so we probably need a little more interior space than you, but in our current use case, I feel we would struggle with any of the single axle trailers. Not looking to redirect, but I also mention to folks in this same line of discussion that I think the 25’ (and up) is where you are best served by a 3/4 ton or heavier tow vehicle.
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Old 10-28-2021, 01:42 PM   #23
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2018 16' Sport
Charlotte , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Hi, I love my 16. Rear bed, better windows, maneuverability, less to take care of, nothing I don't need (except the microwave which was easy to remove!). I removed the dinette and had a wooden table made that is two pieces connected with hinges. If I need the whole table it's there. If I don't need it, I unhook and detach the larger section and there's smaller "ledge" for coffee cup, candle, glasses and it feels more roomy in the cabin. I don't know how it would be with two people, might be a little crowded. I wish they would make a 19 with the same layout as the 16 but just more storage/shelving between the kitchen and the dinette area. Maybe we should have a design your perfect AS competition!
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Charlotte, VT
2010 F-150, 5.4l, V8, 3.55; Bramble: 2018 Bambi Sport 16
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Old 10-28-2021, 01:53 PM   #24
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,793
Small is beautiful.

A lot depends on how and where you like to camp. We found that the small size gave us a lot more options, notably in older non-renovated campgrounds in public lands. The desert views improve mightily when you're not sandwiched in between 5th wheels and giant motorhomes. You can camp in places they can't.

The other thing is your tow vehicle. We traveled with a Tacoma or Tundra with a cap on the back. We could store all kinds of gear in the back of the truck that wouldn't fit into the Bambi.

We never felt cramped inside, even though we traveled with a large dog-- who learned to park himself under the table.

The dry bath/separate shower and a wee bit more storage space are advantages of the 19-footer

Bambi II has been sold, due to our ages and Len's (mild) stroke. We have an Interstate19 on order, because it seems a lot more manageable. However, we will sacrifice on the space even more, with no tow vehicle and the engine/front seats taking up some of the total.

There is a long thread here called "small space living."

We also found a lot of our stuff at mountain shops that sell compact light-weight housewares for backpackers.
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:04 PM   #25
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Evergreen , Colorado
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The decision on the right size for a trailer is very subjective. Some people feel like anything bigger than a 20-footer is too big. Some people feel that anything smaller than a 27-footer is too small. Only you can tell what's right for you. As mentioned above, your camping style will play a huge part in your choice also. My wife and I camp in a 23FB, and we find that it's perfect for us. We camp 20 - 40 nights per year, and we view the Airstream as an aluminum tent. If we camped more than that or if we lived in it for an extended period of time, then the 23FB would be too small. It all depends on what you want and expect out of your trailer.

Current: Newmar Ventana 3715 (6,265 lbs. cargo capacity )
Past: Airstream International Serenity 23FB
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Old 10-31-2021, 11:10 AM   #26
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St.Francisville , Louisiana
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by dbms_l View Post
Thank you for your reply. It is very helpful to get honest opinions.
All very good responses. I will add that we have a 16’ Bambi and it is a bit too small. I would prefer the 19’ which gives you a better bath configuration and an easier bed layout. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-2021, 06:58 PM   #27
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2011 20' Flying Cloud
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 18
Think about a 20’

Think about downsizing to 20’. For just one more foot you will have an L-kitchen with double sinks, and the best layout for the size. We upgraded from a 19 to a 20 and could not believe how much better the layout is.

We have remodeled our 20’-the front bed is now a u-shaped seating area that converts to a bed at night. That will give you an add’l 2’ of living space during the day. We keep a topper rolled up in the shower during the day.

We also took out that riduculous bathroom door that bangs into the microwave, and moved the folding divider over by the bed to be the bathroom door.

Feel free to contact us for pictures. We tow with a Jeep Cherokee Overlander. We get about 15 mph, our average for our last 8 day trip over the Washington North Cascades. We get about 20mpg without the trailer in town, about 26 on the open road.

Another thing we like about this length, we can do a Uie on a 2 lane road!
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Old 10-31-2021, 07:29 PM   #28
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
berlin , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 88
My wife just said don't do it.
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Old 10-31-2021, 07:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
Like many, we went in the other direction- we went from a 20 to a 25.

While we loved the 20' the bed became the issue. Someone always has to crawl over the other person to get in and out of bed- which happens more frequently as you age! That alone might prevent us from downsizing.

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Old 10-31-2021, 08:04 PM   #30
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2013 19' International
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 32
Based on 100,000 miles of towing a 19’

25’ Airstreams are 8’5.5” wide. 19’ Airstreams are 8’ wide. You can actually keep a 19’ Airstream within the lines of narrow, curvy lanes such as those on the Pacific Coast Highway.
The more efficient your tow vehicle is, the more of an increase in fuel mileage you will experience. I have averaged 20 mpg towing my 19’ with a RAM Promaster Eco Diesel.
I check my 2 tires often and have avoided flats/blowouts twice by catching screws in the tread prior to the tire going flat. The Goodyear Endurance tires have been trouble free.
I believe all Airstreams have basically the same amenities, but the larger/longer trailers have more places to sit. If you like couches or easy chairs don’t give up your 25’.
If access to a shower is important to you, consider the 16’ has a wet bath, the 19’ has a dedicated shower.
To me, less is more. After 6 years of full timing with my spouse, She wanted to settle down in one place. I intend to keep traveling often. I will downsize to just my tow vehicle which is a bare bones motorhome and tow hauler. Giving up the trailer enables more nimble travel to more places with fewer hassles and of course fewer comforts.
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Old 10-31-2021, 08:08 PM   #31
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Daytona Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 357
Both were not Airstreams, but we went from a 42' toy hauler to a 27' AS. We have no regrets at all.

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Old 11-01-2021, 08:02 AM   #32
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2018 19' Flying Cloud
South of Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 561
Originally Posted by dbms_l View Post

We are thinking of downsizing from a 25 to a 16 or 19.

A little background:
We've had various sized Airstream trailers over the years. We've had 2 - 25 foot (25FBT & 25RBQ) with a 30 foot bunkhouse in between when our daughter was younger and bringing friends on our trips. Prior to that we've had various RV's from popups to Class A motorhomes so we understand there are trade off's with anything you choose. We've camped for 39 years. I think it all depends on your camping/traveling style.

We currently have a 25RBQ International Serenity. Now that our daughter is in college, working during the summer and traveling with us less we are thinking of downsizing.

We are currently semi-retired and will be retiring fully in another year and want to travel the US.

We don't spend much time in our Airstream. We use it to sleep and shower. We cook almost everything outside.

We have 2 tow vehicles so that's not an issue. We just think that something smaller would allow us more flexibility and would be easier to tow.

My questions are below:

1- Has anyone downsized and regretted it? What are the pros and cons based on your opinion?
2- Is a single axle vs double axle that different when towing an Airstream (ie: handling)?
3- I guess storage isn't an issue because we bring minimal stuff with us
4- Will fuel mileage increase or stay the same?

Thanks to anyone who can offer any advice based on what they've experienced.

You will not like the shower in the 19CB if you are used to bigger ones.

We always use campground showers, so it does not matter. Unless we are somewhere the shower facilities are not clean, which is rare.

If you can switch to campground showers and terlit use, you will be fine.

The 19 is a confined space for toilet use. We do not use ours other than overnight quick-E trips. We, GO TO THE BATHROOM in the campground facilites.

Towing a single axle is fine. Don't buy into the hype about it. If you have proper setup and good sway control wdh you will be fine. We tow in 45mph cross winds and have no issues.
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