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Old 01-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #21
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Never have listened to the "buy now just in case you die soon" logic, and certainly wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum
Never have listened to the "buy now just in case you die soon" logic, and certainly wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

doug k
But you don't have to. For you, it seems the answer is that you wouldn't have want to have bought a trailer. For someone else, the answer would be different. There's nothing wrong with any answer, just what's right for each person.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:09 PM   #23
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My two cents...We'd always planned on touring the country in some kind of RV once we retired. Our dream was to visit as many National Parks as we could....I'm 7 years away from retirement still and we decided to go ahead and purchase our first AS this year. We bought a 16ft for now knowing that we'd mainly be using it on weekend adventures...and we're so glad we did! I can't tell you how much we've enjoyed ourselves. It's a catalyst to get out and see and experience the beauty around us.

Best of luck to you whatever you should decide!
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:15 PM   #24
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Couple of comments

First, there are no right or wrong answers to these questions; only a set of compromises. I'm usually solo, and the 23 is perhaps the ideal size for me. I've been lots of places I could NOT have gotten a 25 into because of too-sharp angled corners and trees growing in inauspicious places ... then again, I tow with a diesel 4wd pickup, so it won't turn as sharp as a shorter vehicle. (But on the other hand, I can haul literally a ton of stuff in the truck bed.) But when we're two-up, it can get crowded, and more room would almost always be nice.

Like you, I wanted / insisted on two axles. Haven't regretted that decision, except when buying new tires and brakes! And my little 23' has all 39 gallon tanks. When soloing, I can easily boondock for ten days with a little water conservation. Solar panels mean never having to "plug in" when I don't want to, so long as I can live without air conditioning.

I bought my rig used (saved a bunch of $ that way, but it was a long search) three years before retirement, so I could try it out, make any mods I wanted while I had plenty of cash flow still to do it, and be ready to head out when the good day came. Have never regretted the decision, and after lots of minor modifications and after many thousands of miles of towing over the past three years, I'm ready to go anywhere.

In the end, you've got to live in it, not the rest of the forum, so only you can decide what's best for you! I heartily second the recommendation that you go to a rally or two and tour a bunch of coaches - it is THE fastest way to see what they're really like inside when filled up with the stuff one needs or wants for travel. Lots of little modifications folks make also to make life on the road better. You'll learn a terrific amount in just a day. Good luck with a really fun set of decisions.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:50 PM   #25
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We have a 31' Excella and are seriously considering downsizing to a 25 footer. DH has driven a Nissan pickup for many, many years and he is not enjoying the big Dodge necessary to tow the AS. Gas prices for the truck are also a consideration. So, think about the tow vehicle, too.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #26
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This has been so helpful. I am still favoring the 25 but one post mentioned the 25's focus on dinette with concern over TV viewing. That was a good one and something I noticed when I was sitting in the 23C with the TV on the platform (chest) facing the couch. I like both trailers very much. There is a 25FB twin at the dealer that they are asking $55 for, a 2011. The 23' models are 2012 and more expensive. I also am still working on getting the truck paid off so I have some time. I would really like to get a good used one. Another very interesting trailer was the 20' with the big galley but I really like the open feel of the 23C and the 25FBT. If anyone hears of a good deal on one of these, let me know. I heard that someone on the forum bought a 25FBT for $50K but I cannot find the post.

Buying used, how long is the floor good in an AS on average, with normal use?
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
This has been so helpful. I am still favoring the 25 but one post mentioned the 25's focus on dinette with concern over TV viewing. That was a good one and something I noticed when I was sitting in the 23C with the TV on the platform (chest) facing the couch. I like both trailers very much. There is a 25FB twin at the dealer that they are asking $55 for, a 2011. The 23' models are 2012 and more expensive. I also am still working on getting the truck paid off so I have some time. I would really like to get a good used one. Another very interesting trailer was the 20' with the big galley but I really like the open feel of the 23C and the 25FBT. If anyone hears of a good deal on one of these, let me know. I heard that someone on the forum bought a 25FBT for $50K but I cannot find the post.

Buying used, how long is the floor good in an AS on average, with normal use?
I remember reading the same post, in the last few months, about $50K for a new 25FBT. I have also read that folks say discounts as high as 20% off of MSRP are not that uncommon. We bought ours well used, so I have no first hand information to offer except that we love our 25B.

Good luck in your shopping.
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #28
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Because cabins are small, placement of a TV is difficult and not everyone can see it easily.

In ours, the curbside of the dinette has a clear view, but not the streetside when we are eating. After dinner, the occupant of the streetside can lie on the seat and face the TV. In units with a side dinette, only one seat faces the TV.

If you look through Airstreams and other brands, there is really no solution in many floorplans. I have seen ones with a TV at each end of main cabin so everyone can watch. In models with the dinette at one end, you can remove it, put in lounging chairs and a small table, and both will face a TV. Or, get two small TV's and mount them, back to back, under the overhead cabinet and over the dinette table. Even stranger, would be mirrors to reflect the TV picture.

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #29
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I'm coming upon this thread fairly late. We've got good friends who have a 23D Signature Series and our 25FB is a twin bed model. Some thoughts about capacities that have mattered more to us --
  • Mentioned first because this is a big difference between the two when you go below 25' -- the 6 cu ft fridge in 25-footers and 4 cu ft in 23 cu ft and below. We plan carefully to deal with our 6' fridge capacity. I would not want to deal with the 4' but it could be managed. More to the point, the freezer in the 4' is a compartment behind the one door for both. The 4' freezer is not keeping food hard frozen. We've seen slight decline with our two-door 6' fridge over time, but originally it would hold ice cream to a hard consistency (down to about 5 F). And the 6' fridges have natural draft through a roof vent. Our friends' 4' fridge has ventilation out the side of their International and there is a fan that runs quite a lot -- annoyingly at night too.
  • We like low-key campgrounds or state parks or Nat'l Forest campgrounds. I could count the number of times we had a sewer hookup on two hands. A larger fresh water tank (and gray water tank!) gives you good endurance if you park in one spot for 3 days or longer (again, the 25' wins by quite a bit). By contrast, you'll never fill half the black tank in the same time with either 23' or 25'.
  • I like the two extra outside storage compartments on our twin bed 25'FB. But the front compartment behind the batteries needs some attention/upkeep to watch for leakage in rainy weather -- and has necessitated some redesign by Airstream to correct for frame-shell stress problems early in the 25'FB run (we didn't have those).
  • Are you tall? The shower in the 25' is not bounteous for my 6'. The 23' shower is even tighter.
Our friends' 23' has a very liveable space. Both dinettes seat 4 reasonably well and the 5" narrower space is not noticeable in that instance.

How long does a floor last? Well, you can't take 2 years off... Looking at obvious vulnerabilities and then some not-so is something that is on my schedule every season.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #30
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You could get a lot at Traverlers Rest Resort for a bit under $3000 a year and leave your trailer set up there. Not too long a drive from Fort Meyers and a great place to relax for a weekend. Be easy to get it out and go on a trip if you do get a vacation. If there is just no way you can use the trailer before you retire I guess I would either just wait or spend some time looking at trailers and being sure which one I wanted. We have an older 25. For us it is a nice size. I went on a caravan with a person in a 16 and he lived in it fine for 3 months. Did not cook in much though. Size might depend upon whether you had rather sit in the trailer or do stuff outside.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #31
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Buying used, how long is the floor good in an AS on average, with normal use?
It's not so much the use. It's the constant maintenance of hunting down and sealing leaks. Keeping the water out of the trailer keeps the floor good.

That said, I've heard complaints that the vinyl looks worn quickly - but that's less of a problem.

Tom
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:15 PM   #32
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I may be wrong, but I think the fridge in our '08 model is 7 cubic feet, not 6. They may have gotten bigger fridges after Bob bought his trailer. But like his, our freezer isn't as cold as it used to be, maybe. Ice cream doesn't seem as hard, but now a lot of ice cream is made to be softer. I haven't checked the temp in the freezer.

We also pack the fridge and freezer to the gills. Unless you want to go to the store a lot, you will too. And we like healthy foods that aren't always available in small towns, so we bring them with us.

Gene
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:58 PM   #33
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re: packing the fridge and freezer: It's actually more efficient if it's full, once it's down to temperature. The more air that's in the fridge, the more cool air falls and is replaced by warmer air every time the door is opened. Since the performance can be a bit marginal in hot weather (especially for some of the side-vented units) every little bit helps.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:35 AM   #34
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Trying to put the cart before the horse in planning for retirement, and realizing my dream of life in an Airstream. Steadily downsizing in small condo, all about the simple life, free of clutter. Must have a base of operation, however, and the search engines aren't helping in trying to find designs and plans for a zero-lot one-story RV garage & bay for vehicle with long, narrow apartment. The lot is only 40' wide, but the entire length of the city block, for an awesome drive-thru entrance. Are there any plans designed specifically for RV storage/living parttime when not travelling, with an arrangement conducive to having the best of both worlds? Know there has to be some fabulous plans out there somewhere, other than the standard canned ones found online so far.....
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:43 PM   #35
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TX, probably not considering what you are looking for and how unusual it may be. There are plans for narrow buildings (shotgun houses) to live in and they should be available to give you ideas. You'll need to know what kind of setbacks are required from the lot lines assuming there is zoning there.

A metal building is pretty cheap compared to site-built. Get one with RV height doors. Given the height of the trailer (9 1/2'), any building is going to be a bit more than one story. You can build an apartment inside one side of the building. Depending on where this is, the neighbors in a residential area may not like to look at a metal building, however.

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Old 11-12-2012, 09:08 AM   #36
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Ah just found this thread and thought I would reply as a resolve to my actions based on the advice given. First, thanks to all who replied. I learned quite a bit from the posts here as others too may learn as they read through the thread. What I did:

1) Went with a 25' twin but found a used Safari. The model is the lightest 25er and closest to the 23' in weight as some spoke of extra weight as an issue. I also heeded the advice about changes in the future in weight, etc, cost, and overall usability. I tried the different beds at the Tampa RV show. I had mixed feelings about it. I like the access of the twin bedroom to lockers, etc., but I also like the bigger bed too.

2) I was able to secure garage storage for free; at least for now. That has lasted these last 9 months. As far as insurance is concerned, I got a simple actual cost replacement plan. So, right now the total storage/insruance/electric cost per year is $600.

3) I was especially interested in a comment about floorplan as I never owned an RV. This Safari has no dinette so I ended up with a similar 23' lounge floorplan with the space/layout that some mentioned was beneficial.

After camping for a week:

I have come to believe that I made the correct choice on size. I also like the floor space w/o the dinette. The bathroom is my least favorite room. The shower is fine. Because the door retracts, I can put the litter box in there when the shower is not in use. I wish there was more space in the bathroom floor area is all. I took my parents with me so with three people it worked nicely. It really sleeps only 3 adults. The twin bedroom allowed for a changing area.

I have so much to learn. I earlier posted my outcome on other threads for those who read to see the decision outcome. This forum is very helpful. People who have experience with Airstreams know things to consider. One may not agree but what is shared certainly brings to mind issues that no thought of such may have been entertained. Igorance can be expensive!
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:28 PM   #37
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Thanks for letting us know the results. Glad you found what worked for you and it looks like you found it pretty fast.

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Old 09-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #38
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we just purchased a 22 FB sport. Lots of great features, easy haul but we should have gone larger for capacity and width. But, we will upgrade and pay the price of buying new. Love the AS 22 for pulling. When I travel alone, it is perfect with me and two small dogs. Add the hubby and it gets tight Great front bed though and I let him sleep on the inside, I go for the window. I did not realize until we had a hot day, how small the windows were. We looked for 10 years and did the best for the time. there are many out there to get the best fit
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:38 PM   #39
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I did not realize until we had a hot day, how small the windows were.
Yes, but that is the nice part about having a fantastic vent fan. I got two and they really move the air- regardless of having a breeze outside. Besides, if it is too hot, the AC is good.

I have mixed feelings about having more windows. I like the look of the pano window outside but I am certain now that there is greater heat radiation as I sat in a dinette and felt the heat. I have read complaints about how even with the AC going, people are hot in their camper. I have not experienced that. It cools down quickly. When it was in the thirties last winter while camping, it cycled the heater and was very comfortable. So, whether 36 or 96 degrees, It is comfortable inside. As far as "light and airy" I purchased a clear cover for the fantastic vent in the lounge area and have a skylight so it can be bright if I want it to be. I do wish the AC were quieter though.

Well, a 25' is the smallest of the wide units. It sounds like one of those would fit you perfectly. I have figured what would be my perfect Airstream floor plan but I am not a builder so I guess what I have will have to do.
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