Airstream: The Details

My home is a 2012 Airstream 25′ Flying Cloud FB. A mouthful, indeed. The FB stands for Front Bed which is where the bedroom is not located on┬ámodels without this designation. The trailer was purchased from George Sutton RV in Eugene, Oregon because of Mark Heinrich who sold me on Airstream first, then the trailer.

Here are the details:

2012 Airstream - Flying Cloud 25' FB

2012 Airstream – Flying Cloud 25′ FB

  • Brand: Flying Cloud
  • Model: 25′ Front Bed
  • Ext length: 25′ 11″
  • Ext width: 8′ 5.5″
  • Int length: 21′ 8″
  • Int width: 8′ 1″
  • Living space: 175 sq ft
  • Dry weight: 5,575 lbs
  • Maximum weight: 7,300 lbs
  • Water capacity: 39 gallons
  • Hot water capacity: 6 gallons (120v or propane or both)
  • Black tank capacity: 39 gallons (about 2 weeks)
  • Grey tank capacity: 37 gallons (about 3 days)
  • Propane capacity: 2 x 30 lb steel tanks
  • Furnace: 25,000 btu (propane)
  • Air Conditioner: 13,500 btu (includes heat pump)
  • Refrigerator: 7 cubic feet (120v or propane)
  • Factory Option 1: Awning Package (rear window and full-length left side manual awnings)
  • Factory Option 2: 21″ TV in the bedroom (haven’t used it yet)
  • Dealer Installed: Zamp Solar 180 watt solar generation system
  • Dealer Installed: 2″ receiver hitches on both rear frame rails
  • MSRP: $70,437 as equipped
With Mark Heinrich (left) at Sutton RV. Aug 2012

With Mark Heinrich (left) at Sutton RV. Aug 2012

The year is nearly up since I first saw this trailer for the first time, and aside from some poor-fitting cabinets, an improperly adjusted holding tank gauge, a shower door out of alignment, a radio that doesn’t really work as it should, a DVD player that has no sound, a horrid bed mattress, and inadequate insulation, it’s great!

Towing this trailer in any weather condition is so easy, and it handles wonderfully. The ‘twinkie’ shape minimizes the trailer swaying in the wind when parked as well as while being towed.

The classic American style is visible miles away, and everyone wants to see inside. It’s stylish, classic and American – what’s not to love? OK, it’s priced at $400 per square foot which is well into the European craftsman-built price range, and it’s certainly not built that well, so that’s a hog’s leg. But other than that, it’s a beauty!

 

2 thoughts on “Airstream: The Details

    1. rc1955 Post author

      Hi Kyle,

      I’ve nearly completed a full year living in the AS. It’s been interesting, exciting, and challenging, and here I am at 10 degrees and wish for much better insulation. Airstreams are simply insulated minimally, even the 2013+ models which now use a more eco-friendly material than the pink fiberglass used for decades. Modern insulation and related technology is available, but AS doesn’t utilize it. It’s a premium product and priced accordingly, but some things ‘premium’ buyers expect from a premium product aren’t there – insulation is the principal complaint.

      The next would be the A/C on my model. It’s a Dometic Penguin 13.5k. It’s marginal when the temperature is below 80 and plain inadequate when the mercury rises above that. The aluminum skin soaks in the heat (or cold) and it’s up to the power of the HVAC systems to keep things comfy. The A/C fails.

      The final complaint is storage for outdoor things like chairs, mats, grill, generator, etc. Most ‘streamers tow with pickups and just store that stuff in the bed. I added an external aluminum tool box behind the rear bumper to provide the needed space. It works great, though the purists scream at me for stepping outside the box. Oh well, it works.

      With all that said, I can’t image being in any other trailer. The AS has style, character, history, and tows like there’s nothing back there. It’s cozy 60% of the year and I’m making up fixes as I go along for the next 30% knowing that 10% will always be uncomfortable. That’s what is challenging about living in a tin can, and it’s living and it’s great.

      There are probably 50 or so other brands, and each of those have six or ten models. The choices are amazing and should fill just about any need. For me, the AS is very expensive and under built for the price, but it stands apart from everything else. It’s a Mercedes-Benz in a sea of Corollas, Impalas and F150s. I wish they were built that well, but they represent a standard – a benchmark. To answer your question: yes, there are trailers out there better than an Airstream, but they are not an Airstream.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *