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Old 09-15-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
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2012 27' FB Classic
Yakima , Washington
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Storage: is there enough space?

We are very close to a purchase of a 2012 27FB. We are coming from a different brand that has outside storage compartments. We like the idea of the Airstream but wonder what do we do with our outside stuff and is there enough inside storage for our things. Has anyone else faced this and if so how did you do it? Does the trailer get very hot because of the outside skin? We wonder because it has two airconditioners in just 27 feet. One last thing, we have a 2010 F-150 is this enough truck to pull the 27 classic?

Thanks, it is great to have this forum.

Mike and Gloria
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Worry Not - - Adjust

First, welcome and prepare to have great fun.

Without more info on your truck, an absolute answer is difficult, but at first blush, I would suspect that you are close to the reasonable limit for your F150. Realize that I have a warped perspective since we tow our 27FB Classic with a F350 dually with a 6L Power Stroke, so I have more (way more) truck than needed.

The F350 is a holdover from a 37' fifthwheel that we towed for 5+ years - - SO, in regard to your question about space, yes it is relatively limited compared to what you may be used to, but you can adjust and get along very nicely with the onboard space and the space in your truck. Think hard about what you really need and use - -it can be amazing the amount of "stuff" one carries around - just in case it is needed.

We carry two Honda 2K generators, auxilary fuel tank, grill, propane tank, blue boy, and too much other stuff in the truck. Inside, we have reduced to what we actually need AND use. Two years in and several months on the road and we haven't suffered yet.

Re. heat - - our 27FB has just one air conditioner and there hasn't been a problem. Yes it works hard at time, but never have we gotten too hot.

Prepare to enjoy and feel free to PM me if I might be of assistance.

Bill
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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Congratulations! I suspect you're going to love your new rig.

Won't comment on the F150 - suspect you'll be fine, and there's all kinds of threads on this forum on this subject.

For storage, depends on what you consider outside stuff. We load a generator, charcoal grill, fire pit, sometimes fire wood, water hose, and stuff like that in the bed of the truck - no problem. Now, when you get into bikes and kayaks and stuff, you'll need to get a little more creative with roof racks or some other approach. I am currently looking into changing the way I carry that stuff, will post more when I figure it out.

Did I mention you're going to love your new AS? We love ours!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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Hi Mandg:
I'm over in Bellingham so as a "local" I might be of help.
It seems to me that from a towing vehicle perspective one consideration is the terrain you plan on visiting. Your 150 will be ok if it's got a good towing package but if you plan on heading up and down mountains like we have around here it will be pushing the limits of your drive train. If you were in the flat lands of the prairies a F150 would be fine.
The Aluminium skin of the Airstream will dissipate heat rapidly (and conduct it) but two AC's will be fine even in your hot Yakima summers. Parking in shade (as most campgrounds provide) will reduce your AC needs. Also awnings help.
Storage is a personal thing so I can't comment on that. Some travel light and some don't.
In the end an Airstream is just plain nice to look at and if any sacrifices have to be made it's worth it. Re-sale is better and in most people's cases it's enjoyable to keep an Airstream nice.
Plus you'll never want for advice on these forums.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:27 PM   #5
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Welcome Mandg, you are going to love your 27FB

You will get lots of advice regarding your TV. Pay close attention to those who actually drive one. I tow with a half ton but it is a Tundra and my trailer is a little shorter and just a tad lighter. Sorry, no advice from me.

Yes, storage is a problem, at least in my eyes. I have a Webber Q200 grill that has to go in the back of the truck along with my generator, an extra water can, any firewood I bring and two bikes. Those old aluminum folding chairs we always used won't fit into the little storage door so we had to go with the kind that fit in a sack. Ditto a folding table we like to bring.

On my SOB I had about 3 doors that would accept large items. I carried all sorts of things most of which I never really used. I suppose that is the key. Try to pare down your needs from your "wants". I carry a small selection of tools and repair items like spare bulbs, some tape and some silicone spray. My son in law still laughs when he sees my volt/ohm meter. After traveling like this for 3 years, we do just fine and always have what we need. You will get used to it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandg View Post
We are very close to a purchase of a 2012 27FB. We are coming from a different brand that has outside storage compartments. We like the idea of the Airstream but wonder what do we do with our outside stuff and is there enough inside storage for our things. Has anyone else faced this and if so how did you do it?
I've got an Airstrem Interstate, which is the poster child for limited storage space, not least of which being that not only does it have (slightly) less interior space than even a Bambi, but also there's no tow vehicle since it's a van conversion.

I've instituted a policy that helps me when it comes to packing for a trip. Anything that didn't get used during the last two consecutive trips stays home, because I can obviously get by without it. I forget who said it, maybe Mark Twain, but the classic travel advice is: "Before a trip, lay out all the things and all of the money you intend to take. Then, pack half the things and twice the money."
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your insight. We can tell that this is going to be a lot of help as we go through this process. If we go through with this purchase we will be looking forward to meeting you.

Thanks again,
Mike and Gloria
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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If you want real advise on your F150 being able to tow please give some information on it. Motor, gearing, payload package, towing package, tires, tow rating, GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), CGWR (Combined Vehicle Weight Rating), AWR (Axle Weight Rating), Curb weight.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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We came from a Forest River Wildwood 28RLSS. It had a large slide and 3 large outside storage compartments. I had to decide what we could do without. We are forced to be more efficient with towels, bedding, clothing, etc. I took out 3 box fans, an electric heater, 3 coolers, and 3 lawn chairs. I think it will be OK.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandg
We are very close to a purchase of a 2012 27FB. We are coming from a different brand that has outside storage compartments. We like the idea of the Airstream but wonder what do we do with our outside stuff and is there enough inside storage for our things. Has anyone else faced this and if so how did you do it? Does the trailer get very hot because of the outside skin? We wonder because it has two airconditioners in just 27 feet. One last thing, we have a 2010 F-150 is this enough truck to pull the 27 classic?

Thanks, it is great to have this forum.

Mike and Gloria
Mike, your 27' comes standard with two AC units?? Our 27' has one. Just curious. Did you have your unit custom built?
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #11
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2012 27' FB Classic
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Hello
It did come with two airs and not sure why. We would have perfer to have one air and two fantastic fans but that is the way it was on the lot. The Portland dealer had three 27's on the lot two 12's and one 13. All of them had two air conditioners. They said that is the way they order them. We were in it for two weeks and settled right in. Great trailer and we hope to have it for a long time.
Thanks,
Mike
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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2012 27' FB Classic
Yakima , Washington
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hello again,
Wanted to give you an update on pulling the 27' with a F-150. We pulled a 22' Arctic Fox and got around 10mpg. The Airstream is 27' and weighs 1,000 pounds more, and we got 12.5mgp pulling around Washington State. The trailer is very easy to pull and back up. The more we are in it the more we like it.
Mike
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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Mike,

You'll need the second air conditioner if you're trying to keep the trailer cool in the summer sun, especially if it's humid. With one a/c all you can really expect is to keep the trailer cool at night or perhaps if it is in a shaded spot.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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Mike are two A/C units needed? It really depends on where you travel to. I remember my 2001 27' Safari with its single 13,500 BTU air conditioner was seriously stressed when out in full sun 100 degree temps. With that in mind when I ordered my 30' Classic Slideout I upgraded to the 15,000 BTU unit. Personally, I've never seen this unit stressed and have been out in the upper 90's. Not hit 100 yet. One big difference was that my Safari had a patio awning. The Classic has awnings all around. That makes a big difference. Personally for where you are at I'm not sure if truly you need the second unit. Maybe a 15K unit would have been a little more practical. Personally I'd hate to lose the Fantastic Fan that is in the bedroom since we tend to travel north during the hot summer. Having two Fantastic Fans on, one in the front half the other in the bedroom, makes it a lot more pleasant without having to run the air on warmer days.

Again a lot depends on where you travel. If I lived in the warmer climes like Texas or Arizona, I wouldn't think twice about having two units.

Regarding your Ford, be sure to check the manual regarding towing. My Safari came in at about 6,000 lbs with camping gear but dry water and holding tanks. I pulled it with a half ton Chevy van with a 5.7 liter V8 and a 3.73 rear axle. Chevy noted in the manual that all towing be done in 3rd gear, no OD. I added an external transmission oil cooler to keep tranny temps in check.

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Old 10-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #15
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The second A/C is really only necessary if you are going to visit the Southwest in July or the Gulfcoast in the summer.. In Washington, it is probably redundant, unless you are in Tri Cities area of Eastern WA during hot spell..

As for towing, there are all kinds of opinions and formulas.. We towed our 7250# (GVWR) Excella 25 with an older Suburban 1500, with barely 200 hp.. It worked, though we took to the mountains with holding tanks empty, water tank less than half full, and were prepared to drive slower than 70... We made it to Canadian Rockies, San Juans, over Tehachapies and Siskayou's and it worked fine.. The hard deck bed covers for trucks or low shells make places to fasten racks for bikes or small kayaks, and most else fits in bed of truck (Chairs, generator, firewood, etc..).

SOunds like you are already enjoying new trailer, and hope it continues...
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:10 AM   #16
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Iwas also curious about 2 roof airs. Our previous trailer had only 1 and it was like a refrigerator in there. i thought maybe the reason the Airstream has 2 is because they are not ducted like our previous trailer. Maybe Airstream designers and engineers figure the living room roof air would not cool the bedroom through the walk through bath and vice versa. Our Airstream, like our previous trailer, is very cold. I stay bundled up.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony
Iwas also curious about 2 roof airs. Our previous trailer had only 1 and it was like a refrigerator in there. i thought maybe the reason the Airstream has 2 is because they are not ducted like our previous trailer. Maybe Airstream designers and engineers figure the living room roof air would not cool the bedroom through the walk through bath and vice versa. Our Airstream, like our previous trailer, is very cold. I stay bundled up.
Keep in mind that an Airstream will not reflect direct sun as well as your typical white box trailer. Airstream does not typically build units with two AC units as standard equipment. That's an option that the dealer makes when orders are placed. In your locale having two units on a trailer your size is an exception. What are the BTU rating on the bedroom unit? I'm sure the front is 13,500.

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Old 10-18-2012, 07:52 AM   #18
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One of the things that we find very helpful with storage has been to put a Leer cap on our truck and make extensive use of the back of the truck to keep clutter out of the trailer. We carry all kinds of larger items, lawn chairs, ladder, folding picnic take, BBQ bottle,tools etc in there and also big rubbermaid boxes with shoes, boots, extra food items (mostly cans and drinks & stuff, and also one box for misc.

It can at times be a bit of a pain digging something out of the back if it is right up near the cab, but helps a great deal in keeping the trailer uncluttered.

When we bought our trailer - actually 31ft length - we towed it home from Ohio to Ontario withe the 1/2 ton we had at the time. But then, the terrain is pretty flat.

I felt that we could get away with it in a pinch (it was within the rated tow capacity, but not by much 0f a margin) but in the end I figured what the heck you only live once so i sprung for a 3/4 ton diesel.

I have found that it has made for a whole lot more relaxing and enjoyable towing experience, especially when traveling in the south western states and I would do it again. Maybe a bit tough to justify the extra expense, but to me it was worth it.

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Old 10-18-2012, 08:35 AM   #19
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Welcome; glad that you are enjoying the AS. If you don't already have a topper/cap on the PU box, that is perhaps the easiest way to recover the lost external storage access from you SOB. We went from a longer SOB to the shorter AS and found that we actually had better inside storage with the AS. We love that aspect!

However, losing the exterior access storage has taken some time to get used to - although carrying the gens in the back of the truck makes for eliminated gasoline smell in the TT. Just be sure to keep your load low in the box to not obscure your rearward vision. The most inconvenient aspect of this all is that due to the relatively short frame in front of the AS and the camper jack location, we have to disconnect the truck to access anything of size in the truck box; we can't open the end gate of the truck with the AS hitched up. Access to items in the front of the bed is much easier with a slide out - a very good purchase that has been in three trucks now. Likely, our F150 would have been adequate for the FC20, but it was not a good performer with the longer SOB. What we can say is that with the Ram diesel, the tranny rarely shifts going up mountain passes and the diesel exhaust brake makes descent very safe and enjoyable... no more over heated brakes and / or white knuckles on the passes.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:54 AM   #20
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Hi, I asked our dealer about the 27' with 2 AC units and here is her response:

The 27’ FB and 28’ being able to have a 2nd air conditioner is a new option for Airstream. (Previously available only on the 30’ and 31’ as you mentioned). Since Airstream has increased the units to 15,000 BTU for the main unit a 2nd AC is not always necessary. The advantage to having one AC unit is that you remain on 30amp service versus 50amp. With a 30’ or 31’ a 2nd air conditioner is necessary since the hallway is long and it is difficult to get one AC to push all that air towards the bedroom. In a 27’ the AC is more centrally located for air flow throughout.
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