Our quest for The Willy Wagon (Our 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB) started over two years ago. This interest was sparked from Rebecca’s love of tiny homes and several YouTube videos of CheapRVliving, Bex Cat-herder and Traveling Robert. We spent many weekends sitting in front of the television watching YouTube and then using the new knowledge to find the models featured in the videos. Our top RV picks were the Casita Travel Trailer, Winnebago, Oliver Travel Trailer, Roadtrek and Airstream. We studied each choice and talked about our likes and dislikes, made lists, and revisited online the makes and models until it consumed us. Our decision had to be a sound one not made on emotions, but facts, since this was such a substantial investment.
Starting out, the primary factors driving our decision were price, construction, livability, features and reputation. At the beginning, our first travel trailers (TTs) of interest were the Casita and the Micro Minnie. These TTs were economical, lightweight and built well. We made the decision early on that we wanted a small TT that was not a replica of our home, but made us feel like we were living on the road with some of the conveniences of residential living. The Casita’s fiberglass, low maintenance construction, and equally low price intrigued us, but the carpeted walls made us uneasy. A trip to our local Camping World allowed us to see the Micro Minnie first hand, and we liked its reputation, construction, and size, but did not like the interior fit and finish.
Just like buying a house, we quickly began to adjust our priorities. With that, price almost came in dead last. Since we wanted our investment to last a long time, and liked the qualities of fiberglass construction, we considered the Oliver Travel Trailer. This niche market required us to get in contact with the company, who put us in contact with an owner located in North Carolina (the closest TT in our area). One weekend we made the trip with our dog, Wilson, and met the very nice owner of a Oliver Legacy Elite 23 foot. The owner had just put the TT up for the winter but was eager to show us both the exterior and interior. The fit and finish was top notch, with all the features one could want, but the interior width was too narrow. The search continued!
Rebecca and I have always liked the timeless look of the Airstream as their owners effortlessly pulled them down the road, but we had never seen its interior in person. After watching countless hours of YouTube videos from Colonial Airstream, we finally located a dealer in South Carolina and made the trip. Rebecca and I were like kids in a candy store as we toured each model, envisioning ourselves parked at one of those picture perfect remote campsites. Our introduction to Airstream led us to visit another Airstream dealer in North Carolina just to see and rule out a model we hadn’t seen in South Carolina. We placed our order in December of 2016 for our 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB (23 foot front bed), and it was delivered in April 2017.
Our Airstream was all we could have asked for. It had the clean and timeless durable aluminum shell, full galley (double sink, stove, refrigerator w/freezer, microwave), u-shaped dinette, full bathroom – not a wet bath (toilet, sink, storage and enclosed shower), and a queen bed (with storage underneath). Our Airstream has ample storage throughout with a combination of drawers, overhead compartments, and closets. Its streamline design makes for effortless towing, and its 39 gallon freshwater, 30 gallon grey and 18 gallon black tanks, coupled with a dual house battery configuration and two 30 pound propane tanks, allow for extended stays without hookups. Our dog, Wilson, made several trips in our TT prior to his passing in December of 2017, and in his honor we renamed it “The Willy Wagon.” It took a long time finding the perfect match for us, so if you’re considering the purchase of an RV, take your time and find that perfect rig for you!
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