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Old 09-23-2021, 10:54 PM   #1
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To “option” or not to “option” - new purchase quandary!

Well we are about to upgrade from our 7 year old Lance 1575 to a Cloud 25FB twin.

We camp twice a month mostly beach, desert and once a year national park.

Head scratching on these options:

- Lift kit ? Raised my Lance because of bottoming out issues.

- A second AC? I would think one in a 25 is enough. But getting a second gives me an upgrade amp. But adds weight. I do have a goo generator that can handle both.

- Definitely going for the new rear hatch. If not for this option we would buy used.

- Frid on these new ones are only electric no LP. I might be able to force a prior year version with elect and lp. Am I overly concerned with using a frig running solo on elec? My Lance struggled on electric but good on LP. I will do solar with dual batteries. I don’t want to haul around a heavy “Predator” from harbor freight just to keep the fridge cold.

- Awning option? Overkill?

Anything else you would have done differently if given the chance?

Should I expect a 10-15% dealer msrp discount or more?
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:18 AM   #2
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I would select 2 AC units, a elec/gas fridge,and the awning package.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:46 AM   #3
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2021 27' Globetrotter
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I recommend lift kit, 2nd AC, and awnings.

Don’t expect much discount, <10% seems the norm
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:25 AM   #4
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Sounds like your temps warrant the second AC, definitely the awnings. They can make a big temp difference. Seems like discounts are still possible, vary by dealer and locations. Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:06 AM   #5
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Curious...why the rear hitch, hopefully just for the view, loading a lot of stuff back there would not be a good option IMHO.

The fridge thing is kind of a bummer, without electricity and stuck in the boondocks, that could be a real problem. When you say you're going to 'do' solar if it's a factory "option" it won't help much keeping the fridge cold.

I'm sure there are folks here that are having the same problem and will be able to tell you just how much power and how many batteries you would need to keep that funky fridge running, it won't be cheap. 😵*💫

POI... Having the solar done by a reputable installer after delivery will be much more efficient and less costly in the long run.

Sweet Streams

Bob
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:53 AM   #6
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I wouldn't do the lift immediately unless you are sure you are going to have clearance problems. Other than additional clearance, nothing good comes from raising the center of gravity. I would try it without the lift and add it if you are scraping in your uses.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:21 AM   #7
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Hendersonville , North Carolina
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We have a 2019 FC 25 RBT. Do the lift right up front.

On the second AC unit here are a couple of thoughts. We have just the one 15,000 BTU AC/Heat Pump unit which is standard. We have never had a problem cooling our 25 with the on unit. We winter in south Florida for 5/6 months and have some pretty hot days and have been quite happy with performance. OK..now some folks will say having 2 gives you a backup in case one AC goes down. I get it. BUT...you lose the second Fantastic fan which is very nice to have. Also have to hump around that 50 amp power cord. You do get 50 amp service so you do not have to monitor your electrical use as much but we have never even tripped a breaker and run pretty much what we want. Consider added cost of second AC and the additional weight.

Do order the full awning package. Worth every penny and what the heck it looks cool when there all out!

Refrig...Ours has the old tried and true Electric/Propane Dometic Fridge. Ours works fine, best on propane. I did add 2 external vent fans in the comparment behind the Fridge to aid in cooling. This is a very common mod and works well. I also Made to simple brackets to prop the 2 vent door open to allow freeer flow of air from the comparment. I did the same thing to our first AS, a 2017 International 23D. The jury is still out on how the new Fridge works.

We do not have factory solar. If I was going to do solar I would probably go full aftermarket install.

These days getting a 10/15 % dicount will be a challenge. We bought our 2019 FC 25 RBT in April of 2019. It was manufacctured in November, 2018 and had been on the lot at ODM (Out of Doors Mart) for few months. MSRP was just under $90K. We paid $71K OTD including tax, dealer fees, and the $2k North Carolina road tax fee. Those days are over. Could not find that deal today. Good luck with your search.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:59 AM   #8
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2021 27' International
Raleigh , North Carolina
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We just made the leap from a 2015 Lance 2185 to a 2021 International 27FB so I can relate to all of your questions.

1) We didn't lift ours but we do occasionally bottom out on the driveway. Our Lance wasn't lifted either and had the same issue from time to time. The trade off is that our new AS trailer, which is 2 feet longer and about 1000# heavier, gets us about 15-20% better gas mileage than the Lance. Lifting the trailer will change the aerodynamics a bit - maybe not much, I don't know. If you are concerned about bottoming out, I'd probably lift it.

2) If you boondock more than you camp connected, the 2nd AC is a coin toss. You lose the bedroom fan but that may not be a big deal since you have a lot more bedroom window ventilation than you probably did in the Lance. When you are connected to shore power, you'll be extremely comfortable with 2 ACs running (as long as you don't mind AC noise - we sleep with white noise at home so its perfect for us). You can install soft starts in the units and run both ACs on 30amp power if you don't have 50 amp connections. With a soft start, you can run one AC on a small 2200 watt generator.

3) Get the rear hatch. We originally didn't want it but the trailer we found had one. We can't imagine not having it now. Perfect for taking paddleboards, kayaks, etc. We do this often.

4) We prefer the LP fridge too but I think you are right on with getting the battery upgrade and solar. This is the only thing ours didn't come with that we wanted. At the time, I thought I could install the Victron setup that was on our Lance fairly easily. Airstreams are different and the install isn't as straightforward as I thought it would be. Best to get the factory installed option IMO.

5) The window awnings keep the camper significantly cooler, IMO. We use them every time. Also nice to be able to put things under the window awning to keep them dry-ish. You can pretty much keep them deployed all the time in most weather without worry of water pooling or high winds ripping them off. On the subject of awnings, I sort of wish we had the manual awning of the FC. The electric Zip-Dee isn't as tolerable to wind and rain as our old Z-bar awning on the Lance was - that thing could withstand a lot. But I don't hit my head on the Zip-Dee like I did on the Z-bar - you won't miss that

We bought in Feb. of this year and the dealer came off a little but not 10-15%. The good news is your Lance is probably worth more than you think...
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:09 AM   #9
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Williamsburg , Virginia
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Lift may not be necessary. We boondocked on some rough roads in Utah with our no lift FC27...not a problem. Obviously depends on where you go.

If I had a choice, I'd go with an elec/propane fridge...ours works great, esp on propane.

I would do solar as an aftermarket...you'll be happier with the install and it will probably cost less.

I would get the second a/c. Really helps in extreme heat, and may help with resale.

Definitely get the awning package regardless of your choice of a/c.

Just some thoughts.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:25 AM   #10
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Check out the weight on the 50 amp cord you will be stuck with if you go with 2 ACs.
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Old 09-24-2021, 09:48 AM   #11
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We have 2 air conditioners, have only used 2 twice in three years. That need depends on where you are camping and whether you'll be outside or not (with the hatch, I'd think you would be out quite a bit).

Lift kit? Hasn't been necessary for us at all, we have never bottomed out.

Hatch? Nice option if you will use it, not good if you won't.

Discount? Good Luck! Since there is such a backlog of orders and more folks everyday, most dealers aren't giving fat discounts at all. While you might get a bit, all that depends on the dealer and your location.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:02 AM   #12
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

One A/C or two? Two the 50A power makes things *lots* easier. If your generator is already big enough to handle two A/C's you very much want the 50A service.

Lift kit is up to you. You know where you will be going. Airstreams are not noted for having a lot of ground clearance. The leap to that bottom step will be a bit exciting in some campsites with the lift.

If you are off grid, I would go with lithium batteries right up front. They help a lot. You will have a compressor fridge with no real alternative to it. The lithiums (and possibly upgraded solar) will help keep up with it.

As you shop, the dealer you buy from matters a lot. The final prep on the trailer is done by the dealer. A good one will deliver a trailer that has been properly prep'd. A dealer cutting corners will deliver one that likely has a lot of issues. Airstream apparently has almost no control over the dealers in this regard. Shop for price, but also research the dealer.

In normal years AS puts out discounts on last year's inventory / still new on dealer lots. When they do, that knocks maybe 5% off the delivered price. That's not going to happen this year. Lots of folks like to fold the 5% into the "great deal I got" banner headline. Taking that out gets you closer to 15% than 20%, even in a normal year.

Can you find a dealer who's had this or that on the lot for 48 weeks and *really* wants to move it out? In a normal year, as winter snows approach, you probably can. Again, there isn't that sort of inventory sitting around.

Dealers / the factory only have a finite number of "slots" available to build trailers. Those slots get rationed out. If you can wait a year for delivery, you don't need a rationed slot. One would guess the price would be lower. Unfortunately, some dealers aren't very transparent on this. Folks have been promised "delivery next month" at time of order and then waited 10 to 12 months .....

Lots of twists and turns ....

Bob
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:27 AM   #13
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As a former owner of a 25 footer, I would definitely recommend 2 A/C units and the awning package, especially is spending time in the desert or doing much summer camping at <6000'. Yes, the 50 amp cord is heavy, but worth the extra A/C capability, plus if one A/C fails, you have the other A/C unit. I just had the lift kit installed this summer, and wish I had done it years ago. Can't comment on the rear hatch, no experience. If you have a generator when boondocking, you have to ask yourself do you really need upgraded batteries. If you can option a gas/electric fridge, then I personally would do so, unless you go ahead with the lithium batteries.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:33 AM   #14
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2018 25' International
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Airstream options

Congratulations on narrowing down a your floor plan.
Many the upgrade your considering come standard with the International serenity & globetrotter .
We are in love more today with our 2018 25FT FBT International serenity then when we originally . It works perfectly for the type of airstreaming you mentioned. We call it our perfect beach home. We love the awning package that comes with the International serenity. Many times it was just the right amount of shade keeping our Airstream very comfortable. Start making reservations for your next grade adventure . See you down the road neighbor. Safe travels
#22624 The Silver Buffalo 🦬
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:38 AM   #15
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Bandera , Texas
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Just my opinion on a couple items:

Consider the second AC based on where you live / travel. We live and travel mostly in the South. This past week in Beg Bend it reached 103 and not a cloud or shade to be had, and our single AC (25FBT) simply couldn’t handle it.

Unless you are a big off-roader, though it’s inexpensive to option, consider that it raises the trailer center of gravity, height of steps, distance between stabilizers and ground.

Awning…..if you are considering auto versus manual, I’ve heard too many express unhappiness with the auto, though on the Globetrotter there is no option. If you’re considering curb side versus the full package, go with the full package.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:52 AM   #16
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As a fellow San Diegan, that probably visits much of the same places you do...

1) Yes to lift kit. Not only prevents the occasional bottom out (gas station, sites with steep entry/exit/berm/grades), but allows the option to go to places that an un-lifted trailer simply can't go. From my experience, I can't perceive any impact to aero or handling. Has some pleasant side effects of easier dumping or dealing with dumps farther away or not ideally situated at low points, and easier exterior storage access.

2) No to second A/C. I use the second fantastic fan far more than use of any A/C. A large capacity single A/C should support a 25' AS just fine, with awnings. In extreme situations, can partition off parts of the trailer to make the living area cooler.

3) Best mod ever, especially for sunny socal and because of an electric only fridge, is to get 400W of solar. With that size solar, batteries are of far less concern as much of the electric usage is direct from solar. I almost literally never plug in even at full hookup sites. Unless I need A/C.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:27 PM   #17
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On a related note, we rarely pull the main awning all the way out. We pull it partway and put the hooks onto the hinges without extending the bars. We are short so it doesn't get in our way and it is easier, faster and sturdier that way.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatLee View Post
Check out the weight on the 50 amp cord you will be stuck with if you go with 2 ACs.
The one that came with it was a beast, but we found much lighter and more flexible one online that works great.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post

2) No to second A/C. I use the second fantastic fan far more than use of any A/C. A large capacity single A/C should support a 25' AS just fine, with awnings. In extreme situations, can partition off parts of the trailer to make the living area cooler.
If it isn't humid that's probably a good call. In our case my wife has pretty bad hay fever so we don't open windows like I would prefer. That with the humidity means we use the ACs often and both of them occasionally.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:47 PM   #20
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2007 27' International CCD FB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewTheDew View Post
If it isn't humid that's probably a good call. In our case my wife has pretty bad hay fever so we don't open windows like I would prefer. That with the humidity means we use the ACs often and both of them occasionally.
I don't disagree.

As the OP is here in the San Diego / Southern California region, humidity is not much of a concern.
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