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-   -   HELP! 23 vs 25 decision pending. (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f543/help-23-vs-25-decision-pending-217513.html)

renderit 12-13-2020 07:39 AM

HELP! 23 vs 25 decision pending.
 
Hello, long time since I was last here.

We are at a HUGE decision point in our lives and could use some constructive advice.

CURRENT RIG:

Tow vehicle:

2015 GMC Sierra Crew with 4wd (stock height-no lift) 5.8 gas with the good towing package, solid aluminum bed cover, killer Fastway E2 hitch (great sway control, round bars, inexpensive).

Trailer:

2015 Flying Cloud 20, Sendels with Michelins, balancers, pressure senders. raised the floor in the bath so you could sit without your legs dangling uselessly.

Likes:

Huge kitchen. If you are going camping to cook, this is the trailer.

Lots of storage. Lots.

Dislikes:

Hate the bed. Too hard to make, not big enough for us to sleep in comfortably so one usually takes the dinette. We ain't spooners.

Dinette is not super comfy for any tv watching over an hour or two which is not a huge deal but annoying.

AC rattles out your fillings.

Life:

Planning on eventually moving to WY. Spend most of our free time there. So things like hunting and fishing in colder weather are a consideration. Currently stuck in mid Tejas. Hotter than hell most of the time.



23' Globetrotter:

We started looking at the 23 floor plans and like them.

You get the full size queen, not the double called the queen (and I love QUEEN, like the Queen and have not been called a queen...yet).

Kitchen is MUCH smaller but we think it will work.

Not nuts about the dinette (table is seemingly oversized for the seating as in you are sucking gut to move around it) but we like it as in it can be slid out etc. Looks very useable. but unsure aboot the storage in it.

Bathroom is great and the shower is huge (that is something causing us to look because of this COVID crap). Never used the bath much (use the campground facilities other than midnight pees) so if we are going to start using it something bigger is good.

The size appears to be something excellent, it would feel nearly as nimble as our 21 but in a more usable plan for us.

Concerns:
Looking at both the queen and the twins, like the added floor space on the twins but not nuts about the 'gun slit' storage under them (where the queen lifts up to put in oddly shaped thingies like bodies of annoying 2 am partiers, etc.).

The TV thing is causing concern. Does it fold out far enough you can actually see it from the dinette?

Is the dinette 'loungeable'.

Is storage adequate for pots, pans, small microwave etc. fishing poles, cameras, guns and a few chairs, (chaffing dishes, ninja foodie, pool table, the full works of Shakespeare, Chaucer AND the owners manuals)?

I.e. what do you find awkward.

Is the refer being 'non gas' a problem? Boonie-ing seems impossible...not happy aboot that decision at the mothership. Is the 17 gallon black tank a problem for many? It is the same as ours, but we don't use the crapper (yet)...

On the 23 I think I might be tempted to go twins as I could use it for hunting without reminding my buddies of prison time.
The 25' story:

My wife loves most of the layout, light, lounge, etc. Most of our concerns are in HOW much bigger it is.

Concerns:

Is it going to be too much for a half ton?

Too much for driving around?

Can't pull into a McDees for lunch, etc?

Is the extra 3 inches either side really bad on mileage and seeing? (The camera on the back I think will make a huge difference on both).

Can you leave the table up when traveling?
Both:

Solar worth it for the batteries? Factory solar worth a crap?

Thinking about using a ProPride but I still wonder whether I can get the 25 in my driveway to load up. Pretty sure thats a no go, but I do have nearby inside storage for either.
During this COVID mess NOBODY has anything so I will have to order. Local seems to not be trying too hard. Who do you recommend (a drive is NOT an issue but an adventure...)? What is a REASONABLE deal (PM me if need be).

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. We hope to hear lots of warnings, suggestions, et. al.

Dennis C 12-13-2020 08:01 AM

It sounds like you’ve got an exciting choice to make! As the owner of a 23 FB, I’d be happy to share my experience.

I really like the size and ease of towing offered by the 23 FB. It is well suited to a 1/2 truck because of the relatively low tongue weight. I tow with a GMC 1500 with a 5.3 V8, and it works well. It’s stable and comfortable. Personally, I wouldn’t tow anything bigger than a 23 with my truck. I say this because of payload limits as well as general stability concerns.

My wife and I really like the queen sized bed in the 23 FB. It’s comfortable and it offers plenty of storage underneath. We also like the size and location of the bathroom. I have no complaints there. As you noted, the kitchen is relatively small, but it works well for us.

The dinette works well for eating, playing games, etc. It’s comfortable for two people, but it would be tight for four adults. We occasionally use it as a lounge, and it’s okay as a lounge, but not great. We prefer to sit outside, weather permitting. The television easily swings out and can be viewed from the dinette. We put our table down when towing, but it’s very easy to raise or lower.

I think the 23 is a great size, and perfect for two people. It’s great for getting into smaller campgrounds and state or national parks. FWIW, I would make the same choice, knowing what I know now.

If you like lounging inside, then you may consider the 25. I think your camping style is an important thing to consider. Consider the weight and size of the 25 carefully and make sure you’re comfortable with your tow vehicle’s capabilities and limits.

Good luck and enjoy the process!

renderit 12-13-2020 08:33 AM

Is it easy to make the bed?

Can you get around the bed ok or a pain. How about changing...

Can you actually watch the TV from the dinette (without both scrunching down to one end)?

Do you find it dark with fewer windows?

(I always found it annoying that AS seems to put more windows in the bedroom where I don't want the light vs where I do...)

And the other question is: Your best view of any site is usually out the back. Can you easily leave the door open to utilize that?

DCPAS 12-13-2020 09:57 AM

We spent time in used FC 23CB and a FC 25FB at a consignment dealer. I did not find the U shaped dinette in that 23 very comfortable. Too upright for me. On the other hand, the real world tongue weights I read about here on the 25FB got me thinking that our 1/2 ton based SUV might not up to that task. Ended up buying a FC 25RBT. We leave the table up when towing although the manual says to lower it. It has been fine thus far. One downside to the 25RB is the side vent refrigerator. You can hear the fan. The 25 is 5.5 inches wider so it is more to see around and park, but that hasn't been a problem for us thus far.

renderit 12-13-2020 10:13 AM

I am finding that on PAPER the 25 is well within the supposed limits of our 5.3 liter with max trailer package. It is rated in the 10,000 pound range. Even the smaller engines SHOULD be able to handle it so I am slightly more comfortable with that issue. I currently pull the 20 with a tongue weight higher than the 23 but lower than the 25. One of the reasons I am thinking about going to the ProPride system is it SHOULD help on this with either even thought it adds a bunch of weight itself. I know with the 20 and the Fastway hitch we get NO sway and hardly feel the trailer at all.

I have been VERY impressed with the brakes on the 20. I hope I am still impressed with either the 23 or 25.

The fan on the 20 is the same...alas...no more propane anyway so I suppose that won't be an issue in that sense.

renderit 12-13-2020 10:16 AM

I suppose another valid question is: Will the 30 amp be sufficient in cooling the 25 or is the 50 amp dual ac a necessity?

Also, any solar experiences?

lsbrodsky 12-13-2020 10:32 AM

All of this stuff has been covered in many threads before, but I will respond to the truck size issue, for which the opinions are all over the map. We have a 25FBQ. I pulled it with a Chevy, towing package, 5.3l V8, ProPride hitch. It pulled through mountains and so on, but it had to downshift a lot in steep mountains. Cruise control was sort of useless even on rolling hills as it hunted too much. The stopping distance was long, forced me to keep my focus way down the road and anticipate by braking early. I found I was pretty beaten and tired after 5 hours of driving, but just as well because a 26 gal gas tank only got me about 230-250 miles before needed to be filled. I was pretty much at the payload limit and had to use a hard tonneau, even though I really wanted a cap. After 4 years of this I traded up to a HD 2500, 6l gas. Night and day, the right tool for the job. All of the shortcomings are gone and it has a 36 gal tank. While many profess no problem pulling a 25 with a 1/2 ton, I would never do it again. I feel safer, am much more rested, and can drive a full day ready to set up camp at the end.
Larry

moosetags 12-13-2020 10:48 AM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
 
We have a long history of camping in a 25FB and a 23FB. We have owned both over the past 15 years. We started with a 2005 Safari 25FB Queen. The Queen was the only available bed configuration at the time. This was Old Lucy. We camped in her for eight years (1,325 nights/114,000 miles). Late in 2013, we decided that downsizing might be a good idea. We traded Old Lucy in on a very lightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB Queen (again the only bed configuration available at that time), and named her Little Lucy. We camped and traveled in Little Lucy for about a year (148 nights/15,000 miles). In October of 2014, we decided that a 25FB better fit our camping style. We traded little Lucy in on a brand new 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB Twin, which we call New Lucy. We have been camping in New Lucy for the past six years (584 nights/62,500 miles).

We have enjoyed all of our Airstream camping experiences immensely. Here is our assessment of the 23FB vs. the 25FB. The 23FB is 6" narrower than the 25FB. That doesn't sound like much, but that 6" is out the center aisle as all of the interior components are the same size. Accordingly, the interior does not feel as spacious. We much preferred the two door larger refrigerator/freezer in the 25FB. We also prefer the shower in the 25FB that is separate from the bathroom. Probably the biggest issue for us was that the black tank in the 23FB is less than half the size of the one in the 25FB. The black tank in the 25FB can last us a week between dumps. The 23FB was only good for two to three days.

As far as the rig size maneuverability, with both the 23 and the 25 we have never had any issues getting into a gas station or McDonald's. As far as your half ton tow vehicle goes, it should be OK, depending on your use.

Whatever you choose, we are sure that you will enjoy it.

Brian

waninae39 12-13-2020 10:52 AM

go with the 25 and look at the rear hatch opening

Bcc75 12-13-2020 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by renderit (Post 2440390)
I suppose another valid question is: Will the 30 amp be sufficient in cooling the 25 or is the 50 amp dual ac a necessity?

Also, any solar experiences?

verdict is still out on the dual AC and solar for me on our 25' Int. Still too new to decide although I do no know the first brief trip we made we had a heck of a time regulating the temperature inside the trailer. Daytime temps were in the high 50's and low 40's at night so it was running pretty much strictly on the heat pump in straight auto mode. I'm sure most of it was user error because the thermostat is pretty intense. I'm not sure if 2 AC's would have made much of a difference. The downside to me for 50 amp dual is the fact that it's 50 amp. Not all sites will have 50 amp hookup. And...if you get 50 amp dual AC then you don't get the 30 amp generator outlet on the front of the trailer(I think but I could be wrong on this) You can run one AC on a Honda 2200 generator if you have soft start on your AC but you definitely could not run 2 AC's.
If I had one do over it would probably be to get solar. Especially if you are considering doing a lot of boondocking.

StreamNTyme 12-13-2020 02:22 PM

without a doubt, the 25...23 does not have separate living and sleeping areas. If you get the 23, you will be wishing for the 25. 25 FB gives you wonderful views when backed up to forest, water, mtn. or any other possible view.

McStreamy_ 12-13-2020 02:51 PM

If you plan to be in WY you may not need two AC units. But if you'll be in Texas for a while it would be well worth it on a 25' IMHO. If you do only get one AC, I would strongly encourage you to get the awning package. More shade on the trailer will make a big difference in keeping cool.

renderit 12-13-2020 04:26 PM

The Globy's come with all the awnings as I understand it. The big one is power the others are muscle. I also understand (but may be wrong) the 50 amp will let you run one on 30 amp shore power just by using an adapter on the cord?. I have the small twin paired Hondas for boondocking at 30 amp. I would guess I could just plug in the 50 cord with the 30 amp adapter on it as well?

JonDNC 12-13-2020 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by renderit (Post 2440505)
The Globy's come with all the awnings as I understand it. The big one is power the others are muscle. I also understand (but may be wrong) the 50 amp will let you run one on 30 amp shore power just by using an adapter on the cord?. I have the small twin paired Hondas for boondocking at 30 amp. I would guess I could just plug in the 50 cord with the 30 amp adapter on it as well?



Correct

renderit 12-14-2020 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bcc75 (Post 2440471)
verdict is still out on the dual AC and solar for me on our 25' Int. Still too new to decide although I do no know the first brief trip we made we had a heck of a time regulating the temperature inside the trailer. Daytime temps were in the high 50's and low 40's at night so it was running pretty much strictly on the heat pump in straight auto mode. I'm sure most of it was user error because the thermostat is pretty intense. I'm not sure if 2 AC's would have made much of a difference. The downside to me for 50 amp dual is the fact that it's 50 amp. Not all sites will have 50 amp hookup. And...if you get 50 amp dual AC then you don't get the 30 amp generator outlet on the front of the trailer(I think but I could be wrong on this) You can run one AC on a Honda 2200 generator if you have soft start on your AC but you definitely could not run 2 AC's.
If I had one do over it would probably be to get solar. Especially if you are considering doing a lot of boondocking.

Speaking from experience, heat pumps are crap for heating below 45 degrees. I have one in my house. In that range you are better off with the heater. They are much more efficient at cooling though...

renderit 12-14-2020 03:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StreamNTyme (Post 2440478)
without a doubt, the 25...23 does not have separate living and sleeping areas. If you get the 23, you will be wishing for the 25. 25 FB gives you wonderful views when backed up to forest, water, mtn. or any other possible view.

The 23' does if you go to the twins (separate areas) and actually the same with the queen, you just have to be a gymnast. But it has a huge bathroom you can change in...

We have a FC 20 right now so we are used to dressing in the camper. (And outside but that's a choice not a requirement...)

The view thang is what is the biggest draw of the 25 to me. We love the dinette area on them (but now are concerned they may have changed that for 2021, no more back seat anymore?). Hitting my knee on the door of the crapper has low appeal though.

renderit 12-14-2020 04:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by waninae39 (Post 2440412)
go with the 25 and look at the rear hatch opening

What rear hatch? You know, the motherships pictures show you nothing about storage or anything else other than 'hand models' enjoying a cuppa joe in the morning or some falutin' wine in the evening. I'd much prefer some shots inside things and every drawer open.

Particularly in the COVIDS age where you can't find one to look at anyway...

renderit 12-14-2020 04:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lsbrodsky (Post 2440401)
All of this stuff has been covered in many threads before, but I will respond to the truck size issue, for which the opinions are all over the map. We have a 25FBQ. I pulled it with a Chevy, towing package, 5.3l V8, ProPride hitch. It pulled through mountains and so on, but it had to downshift a lot in steep mountains. Cruise control was sort of useless even on rolling hills as it hunted too much. The stopping distance was long, forced me to keep my focus way down the road and anticipate by braking early. I found I was pretty beaten and tired after 5 hours of driving, but just as well because a 26 gal gas tank only got me about 230-250 miles before needed to be filled. I was pretty much at the payload limit and had to use a hard tonneau, even though I really wanted a cap. After 4 years of this I traded up to a HD 2500, 6l gas. Night and day, the right tool for the job. All of the shortcomings are gone and it has a 36 gal tank. While many profess no problem pulling a 25 with a 1/2 ton, I would never do it again. I feel safer, am much more rested, and can drive a full day ready to set up camp at the end.
Larry

This is my concern. Now, the cruise is not a thing you should use while towing anyways, but are the brakes on the trailer not giving you what they should? Mine on the 20 are fantastic, I just dial them in to just start prior to the trucks getting meaty and stopping is little different than when it's not hooked up. I know it will be more weight back there but this is my concern. The tranny does a great job with my trailer package going downhill and I do use it with the 20, so there is some concern on my mind with the 25. And we do quite a bit of mountains as I like 'em!

lsbrodsky 12-14-2020 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by renderit (Post 2440584)
]This is my concern. Now, the cruise is not a thing you should use while towing anyways, but are the brakes on the trailer not giving you what they should? Mine on the 20 are fantastic, I just dial them in to just start prior to the trucks getting meaty and stopping is little different than when it's not hooked up. I know it will be more weight back there but this is my concern. The tranny does a great job with my trailer package going downhill and I do use it with the 20, so there is some concern on my mind with the 25. And we do quite a bit of mountains as I like 'em!

The trailer brakes are fine, as proven by how well they work with my 2500. The truck brakes on the 1500 were just not as good as they are on the 2500. It is not that I could not stop, but I needed more distance with the 1500. My point about cruise is that there was a lot more downshifting going on with the 1500. That may not be as much of an issue with current 10 speed transmissions. But, I do use cruise all of the time towing, although obviously not on grades of any significance. It works fine and contributes to less fatigue at the end of the day.
Larry

nryn 12-14-2020 05:28 AM

I don’t have as much experience as some who have already chimed in, but I did a lot of research on these topics (for me, F-150/F-250 and 25 vs 27 as we’re a family of 4). Here’s where I netted out on the truck issue:

The 25’ Airstream is the decision line for towing vehicles. It seems to be the point in the lineup not only where the loaded trailer weight goes way up, but also the tongue weight. Loaded trailer weight is not an issue for the towing capacity on most vehicles, including many SUVs.

This issue is tongue weight and that it counts towards payload. This is where a lot of towing vehicles, including 1/2 ton trucks, get crossed off the list when going by the numbers. The more well-appointed your truck, the less payload it will have. I do not recall what Airstream’s spec sheet tongue weight is for a 25’ foot, but the number is bogus.

As I recall, there are many folks towing a 25/27’ trailer on a half-ton truck. Not all, but many tend to observe the following practices:
  • TV payload is kept low. This usually means two people, minimal stuff in the bed.
  • Various games are played moving things in and out of the trailer or placing them at specific points in the trailer to reduce weight on the TV rear axle.
  • Fluid tanks and propane are watched carefully.
  • Getting up inclines is done at speeds lower than expected and getting down inclines with brake use higher than desired.

We went with a 27’ trailer (GT) and a 3/4 ton truck (F-250). Family of 4, modest but not minimal amount of stuff including bikes and camping gear. Went from Illinois to Alaska last year. No issues towing whatsoever. Search for the threads I started “Help me spec a new F-150” and “Help me spec a new F-250” if you’re interested.

My suggestion: if you’re leaning towards the 25, I’d say go ahead and get it and try it with your TV. It’ll work—you’ll know within a few trips whether it will do the job for you comfortably. Just factor a potential truck upgrade into your numbers and be pleasantly surprised if you don’t need to. If your constraint is your current vehicle, then the 23’ is a very safe bet. I’d agree with anyone who said that a half-ton is a better daily driver—in most areas this is 100% true. I really wanted a half-ton. Went with a 3/4 ton, which turned out to not only be a great decision for the Airstream, but it makes for an incredible farm truck!


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