View Poll Results: Which 30ft Airstream?
Globetrotter 30 RB Twin 9 30.00%
Globetrotter 30 RB Queen 5 16.67%
Flying Cloud 30 RB Twin 5 16.67%
Flying Cloud 30 RB Queen 11 36.67%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-29-2020, 07:31 PM   #1
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Purchase advice: FC30RB vs. GT30

We spent the day at our local(ish) Airstream dealer looking for our first Airstream.

Initially, I was leaning towards a GT27FB or a FC30FBB. The 27 was just a bit too small and the FC30FBB didn't have those beautiful wrap around windows, front or rear. From there we looked at the GT30 and the FC30RB. We definitely liked the RB 30' layout the best, but are now waffling between FC and GT.

We love the GT's upscale styling and trim (Copenhagen Cream with dark walnut). The interior looks like something you'd find on a luxury yacht. Just gorgeous. Corian counter tops, bigger fridge, chrome cabinet pulls, accent lighting, etc. Didn't love the skinny dining table. It wobbles with a very light touch, is a bit of maneuver to scoot behind it and you basically have three people sitting on one side. Also, not wide enough for a board game, or family-style dinner. The only other thing that was a negative for me was the lounge cushions. They are low-back and not very plush. For the front bed, you have to carry extra cushions in the wardrobe, which takes up space.

The FC30RB had a more practical layout, with the traditional dual bench dinette, more storage (two overhead bins over dinette), and much more comfortable lounge cushions. The front bed utilizes the back cushions so no extras are needed. The bedding can even be stowed fore of the lounge, which isn't preset on the GT. The downside here is the level of finish isn't quite where the the GT is. Laminate countertops vs. corian. Plastic switches instead of metal ones. The vinyl flooring is ok, but not as nice as the woven marine-grade floor in the GT. The lighting isn't quite as nice. The shower door, the bathroom, the door handles, etc. In almost every way the GT is nicer. But.... the FC is just more practical and comfortable.

My wife prefers the GT. I'm leaning towards the FC. At least we both agree that a 30RB is what we want. And our teenage daughter is adamant that she vastly prefers the FC for its coziness. On the lot: a FC30RBQ and GT30RBT Here again, my wife likes the twin.

Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated!!!

We would like to get a decision made so we can start touring this summer with a new AS!
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:44 PM   #2
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Purchase advice: FC30RB vs. GT30

You might consider a 30’ serenity which lands in between. We modified our lounge to be more open like the GT, but still have the benefit of a regular dinette table. We did other upgrades as well like the range, corian in the bathroom, large pantry, deeper lounge for a larger bed, etc. works well for us.

If it were between the GT and FC I’d go GT though.... I prefer the interior....


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f53...um-182406.html
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:52 PM   #3
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We went with the 30’ GT and have no regrets.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:20 PM   #4
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We went with the 30’ GT and have no regrets.
What is your feeling on the narrow/wobbly table and stiffer/lower cushions? Really, those are my only objections. Otherwise, the design of the GT30 is just gorgeous. We were thinking it might be possible to fabricate a wider table and add more floor mounting points to aid in stability and create multiple positions around the lounge, as the hardware seems somewhat standard.

Also, I noticed elsewhere you are planning on upgrading the power system on your new GT30. I'd be looking at something similar. Thinking of 400-600ah battery bank with 600-800W rooftop solar using Victron components with MultiPlus 3000W inverter. Is this easier/harder/same between GT and FC?
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dlfphoto View Post
What is your feeling on the narrow/wobbly table and stiffer/lower cushions? Really, those are my only objections. Otherwise, the design of the GT30 is just gorgeous. We were thinking it might be possible to fabricate a wider table and add more floor mounting points to aid in stability and create multiple positions around the lounge, as the hardware seems somewhat standard.

Also, I noticed elsewhere you are planning on upgrading the power system on your new GT30. I'd be looking at something similar. Thinking of 400-600ah battery bank with 600-800W rooftop solar using Victron components with MultiPlus 3000W inverter. Is this easier/harder/same between GT and FC?
Power Upgrade would be the same.

Firmer cushions are a plus. We actually swapped the foam for either firmer foam and as far as the table it can easily be tightened and is quite stable.


We are going 1000 watts Of solar Victron suite with 3000 watt MultiPlus cerboGX and touch50 monitor ect. We have 4 BattleBorn batteries on board.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
You might consider a 30’ serenity which lands in between. We modified our lounge to be more open like the GT, but still have the benefit of a regular dinette table. We did other upgrades as well like the range, corian in the bathroom, large pantry, deeper lounge for a larger bed, etc. works well for us.

If it were between the GT and FC I’d go GT though.... I prefer the interior....


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f53...um-182406.html
Wow. Quite the upgrades! I had thought about replacing the countertops in the FC to Corian - quick and affordable upgrade which could be done locally.

You have basically the exact solar system I want to install. Was thinking of using 100ah batteries. Any advantage of the dual 300ah vs. six 100ah?
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:03 PM   #7
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Power Upgrade would be the same.

Firmer cushions are a plus. We actually swapped the foam for either firmer foam and as far as the table it can easily be tightened and is quite stable.


We are going 1000 watts Of solar Victron suite with 3000 watt MultiPlus cerboGX and touch50 monitor ect. We have 4 BattleBorn batteries on board.
Hmm. We tried to tighten the legs today, but just hand-tighten. The wobble was mostly torsional flex, which I'd imagine is from only having two mount points. I will certainly take your first-hand knowledge on this versus our initial impression, though.

Can you fit 1000W on the roof? 10x100 panels? Are you using the factory-run 10awg in series?

Where did you put your batteries and other components?
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:07 PM   #8
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Purchase advice: FC30RB vs. GT30

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfphoto;
Was thinking of using 100ah batteries. Any advantage of the dual 300ah vs. six 100ah?

Footprint and continuous discharge amperage. 2x300ah take up less sqft than 6x100ah and I wanted everything center isle under the rear bed (we use the storage under the couch). The Victron also have higher continuous discharge rates (2C) than battleborn (1C) and other. Basically that means a 2C discharge rate will accommodate 200amps continuous discharge for each 100ah of storage capacity vs a 1C rate which is 100amps of continuous discharge for each 100ah of storage capacity.

I also wanted Victron batteries which leverage Wilson prismatic cells. Just a personal preference regarding vertical integration from a software / systems perspective.

You want a GT for solar - because the lack of fridge vent allows you to throw on 1000w as GMFL will do

600ah does well for us. 900ah would be even better for running the air conditioner for extended periods of time but you have to draw the line somewhere
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:20 PM   #9
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Split the difference and go with the 30' International Serenity. More upscale than the FC but still retains the layout you said you like.
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfphoto View Post
Hmm. We tried to tighten the legs today, but just hand-tighten. The wobble was mostly torsional flex, which I'd imagine is from only having two mount points. I will certainly take your first-hand knowledge on this versus our initial impression, though.

Can you fit 1000W on the roof? 10x100 panels? Are you using the factory-run 10awg in series?

Where did you put your batteries and other components?
Yes, 10 panels will fit. Because the 30’ GT has that Awesome DC Compressor Fridge there is no Fridge roof vent freeing up more roof real estate.

All of our new power system will be Installed under the Streetside lounge. In the compartment with the lift up top and small access door under the dinning table.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:28 AM   #11
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I voted for the FC30RBT, but I would have gone with the Serenity too. I like the table arrangement and separate lounge area better in the FC and Serenity over the GT.
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Old 05-30-2020, 01:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlfphoto View Post
We spent the day at our local(ish) Airstream dealer looking for our first Airstream.

Initially, I was leaning towards a GT27FB or a FC30FBB. The 27 was just a bit too small and the FC30FBB didn't have those beautiful wrap around windows, front or rear. From there we looked at the GT30 and the FC30RB. We definitely liked the RB 30' layout the best, but are now waffling between FC and GT. .....
........
___________

You don't say if this is your first trailer or not, just that it would be your first AS. Remember that the 30'ers aren't 30', they're longer, maybe 31' You are getting into a lot of trailer, a good deal of weight, and the need for a serious tow vehicle. You may or may not have an adequate tow vehicle for a 30' so just keep in mind that you may need to replace your tow vehicle, depending. With that said. Have you ever pulled a longer, heavier trailer. If you have, great! We started with a 22' in 1971 and then bought a used 29' 1990 in 2009. We learned to tow with the smaller trailer, then we moved up to the longer one.

Then again you may have towed for years with white boxes and even have the HD pickup for a longer heavier one. Best wishes in any event. See you down the road.
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Old 05-30-2020, 01:48 PM   #13
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This will be our first trailer and first AS. We're fully aware of the TV requirements and know that we will need to go down that road next. I've already done some research regarding leading 1/2 ton trucks with max tow packages vs. 3/4 HD models. Will be looking at GMC and Dodge.

A few years ago, to itch that AS scratch and see if it was for us, we rented a 28' IS and took it to Zion, Glen Canyon and the North Rim. Did some elevation. Sampled 5-star campsites and remote boondocking. So, while this is the first for us to own, we do have some, albeit limited, experience with towing an 8000# AS.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dcasr View Post
___________

You don't say if this is your first trailer or not, just that it would be your first AS. Remember that the 30'ers aren't 30', they're longer, maybe 31' You are getting into a lot of trailer, a good deal of weight, and the need for a serious tow vehicle. You may or may not have an adequate tow vehicle for a 30' so just keep in mind that you may need to replace your tow vehicle, depending. With that said. Have you ever pulled a longer, heavier trailer. If you have, great! We started with a 22' in 1971 and then bought a used 29' 1990 in 2009. We learned to tow with the smaller trailer, then we moved up to the longer one.

Then again you may have towed for years with white boxes and even have the HD pickup for a longer heavier one. Best wishes in any event. See you down the road.
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dlfphoto View Post
We're fully aware of the TV requirements and know that we will need to go down that road next. I've already done some research regarding leading 1/2 ton trucks with max tow packages vs. 3/4 HD models. Will be looking at GMC and Dodge.
Sorry, I can't help myself :-) Payload.

For the table, it might be interesting to put a folding extension along the outside long edge. Then it wouldn't be "permanently" wide but you could widen it as needed.

I have to say that as much as the GT has a beautiful interior I also would not like that layout. Our upgrade when we retire will be to move from our 27' FC (we like the twin vs queen) to a 30' Classic. The Serenity is upgraded but I am not a fan of the color scheme.

Face it, I am pretty sure you will love what you get :-) Enjoy!
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:21 PM   #15
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We went from an International Signature to a Flying Cloud. We much prefer the aesthetics of the Internationals and GTs compared to the FCs. When the 30GT was released, I was so excited . . . until I saw that dinette. That would be a deal breaker. Do you really want to sit and look at your dirty pots and pans while you're eating? Or, imagine you're doing some work at your laptop and look up to daydream for a bit -- there's that galley in the way again. Airstream made a mistake with that. However, if the GT had been available when we bought our 30RB, I'd have taken it to Ultimate Airstreams or Timeless Travel Trailers (or other renovator) and have the dinette removed. Then, I'd have a desk/table placed under the windows and 2 chairs looking out the windows.

As others have suggested, look at the Serenity line. Or, maybe you can find a used 30RB International. The International Signature and Serenity lines had/have sleeker aesthetics than the FC. We got a good deal on a new FC, so that's why we bought it. (Our International had been written off.) We took a while to warm up to our FC, but I've decorated it in a Danish modern style, so I like it now.

We have a queen bed, but it is awkward to walk around. I like the coziness of the wardrobes on either side. However, twins would give us a lot more openness, exterior storage, and a place to stand and get changed more easily.

Take the time to sit and "use" the trailer as you would if you owned it. Take your time and don't let a salesperson rush you. Go home and think about it, and then do it all over again. Also bring a dinner plate to see how it fits in the cupboards. The cupboards above the galley are smaller on the FC. Our dinner plates can only fit above our sofa now. That was a bummer.

Best wishes on your search!

Lisa
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:11 PM   #16
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Decisions, Decisions.

Here are some of the things I like about my rig for you to consider as you evaluate the options.

We have a 27 Flying Cloud with Twins. Our previous rigs were a 25 FC Rear Bed Twin and 22 Sport. (first 2 rigs were traded due to accidents).

Twins-having the twins are great as they are long and wide. The AS twins are XL twins-80" long. The AS queens are shorter in length than the twins. Makes a real difference. With the twins you get the bedroom aisle for dressing, which is very convenient. You get that nice nightstand with the drawer and USB plugs, and you don't have to worry about waking your partner if one person gets up while the other is asleep. Also nice if one person sleeps hotter or colder than the other, as you can each have the covers the way you want. We usually sleep with the window open and I like having the window right by my bed. Makes it easy to adjust without getting up.

Dinette-I absolutely love the AS dinette at one end with the wrap-around windows. That was something we didn't have and didn't like so much about our 22. I can just sit all day and enjoy that view. We again like to have the windows open and the end dinette is like having a screen porch. When we travel with our adult kids the table is large enough for 4 adults to eat or play cards.

FC trim level. I like the flip up doors of the FC and how they hide what is behind them.

Bed position. For us we did prefer the rear bed on the 25 rig to the front bed on the 27 rig. If you like to sleep with the windows open then the rear bed was really nice to back up to the lake, the stream, etc. Of course we now have this view from our dinette and can enjoy it during the day. It's just a little more private and quite with the rear bed in our experience.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:07 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the feedback. Very much appreciated.

I think we've decided on the Globetrotter 30. And while the twin layout was appealing and our first choice, the GT30RBT we looked at a few days ago is no longer available. The dealer did find out that they will be getting a new 2021 GT30RB Queen in a few weeks. If we custom order a twin, our earliest delivery would be in September and we would miss the window for a trip this summer.

The 2021 has a couple improvements. The 6+3 gal water heater has been replaced on the new model with a tankless gas heater. There will be no vented access hatch on the exterior and you can take as long a shower as you want (on city water at least). Also, it's rumored that AS has switched to Victron solar charge controllers, but this isn't verified yet. The only potential downside is that instead of the gas oven and slide-out microwave, this particular trailer has the combo convection microwave upgrade. I know that we gain a lot of pantry space, but the gas oven would allow for easier baking while boondocking. Or the luxury of using the oven and the microwave simultaneously for meal prep. I do plan on installing a 400-600Ah lithium battery system with a 3000WA inverter, so theoretically, running the electric oven should be a non-issue, even at a massive 1500W power draw.

We still have the GT30's skinny dinette table to deal with (really the only thing my wife and I strongly dislike about the GT) and are looking at options to modify it. Easiest fix would be a hinged leaf to double the surface area without taking up any more floor space. If we end up hating the dinette or can't come up with a better fix, I checked and Ultimate Airstreams can remodel it using GT styling/materials to create the standard dinette of the FC30. But this is very pricey and would take a few weeks to complete. Open to any other suggestions.

So, the final question is.... should we go for the 2021 GT30RBQ?
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:10 AM   #18
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The way I would look at it this decision is it the best compromise? Sounds like neither is a 100% solution. FWIW I’m a fan of the queen layout cause I couldn’t imagine not having ny better half in the same bed to snuggle with ��
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Old 06-07-2020, 11:39 AM   #19
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Well if you get one, I just hope you enjoy spending hours trying to find somewhere to take it. Before this virus arrived we spent two years looking at places fully booked, even up to eleven months in advance. And now these units are being bought by people who don’t realize that there are not enough spots to camp at anymore.
So if you can put it in your driveway, at least you can camp there.
Too many companies making knock up units for buttons, that are filling the roads and the sites.
We sold our condo at the beach, quite honestly we should have kept it. Another year like 2019 and we are selling our unit, it has simply become ridiculous trying to get away in it.
You will get a spot though from a cancellation, obviously when someone dies !!!
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Old 06-07-2020, 02:31 PM   #20
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Split the difference and go with the 30' International Serenity. More upscale than the FC but still retains the layout you said you like.
I completely agree! We have the International Serenity and it is very modern looking. It's also more efficient and comfortable than the Globetrotter. We've had it 3 years and are in love with her. We have friends who purchased the same length in the Globetrotter and are very unhappy, they like ours better and wish they had made that choice. The wobbly table is a big issue for them, they took it to the factory to fix and were told that's the way it's supposed to be. Try eating on that, or working on it. One elbow and the whole thing tips. The floor is not nicer. It may look nicer, but that is another thing they dislike. It is textured and the holes catch the dirt and sand. It can't be swept or vacuumed adequately. They also dislike the fabric on the cushions, it isn't nearly as nice as the ultra leather. The difference in fridge size is not that much.
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