After we purchased The Weasel a few years back, we knew that at some point in our lives we wanted to live in our Airstream. We didn’t know when that would happen, but we’ve kept an open mind to opportunities and have been mentally making lists of what we felt we needed to be comfortable (a propane oven vs a convection oven, a separate shower instead of a wet bath…) and when we realized that we could do a dry run of the fulltiming lifestyle while working in Texas, it was a good time to sell the 22 ft International and look for that perfect fit. (Note: we never really thought about buying a used Airstream; we’re not handy people.) We loved our 22 ft International, but we knew from many many camping trips that it wasn’t realistic that we could live in it full time. After weeks of going back and forth looking at new Airstreams, we found two models that we really liked– the 25 ft Flying Cloud (Mocha Blue):

and the 27 ft International (Paprika):

Both have features that we like and don’t like and we found many people on airforums.com that have the same concerns about the two models. Thankfully, there are several threads about the pros and cons of each model from people who have lived in both, which really helped us feel more confident in our two finalists.  What it would boil down to in the end was just the feeling we got from seeing each model in person, which isn’t an easy task after all. The Flying Cloud was our first choice. What we liked most about it (besides the layout) was the solid wood-ish overhead cabinets. I thought it would be good to have things stashed behind the doors with no one able to see the mess which might be back there. Our 22 ft International had the clear-ish cabinet fronts and while we didn’t have a ton of things in the 22 ft, I always felt it had to be really tidy because you could kind of see what was behind the glass/plastic.  I also liked the size — for me, the smaller, the better. As a former city girl, I’m barely comfortable driving our truck, let alone a truck with 25+ ft behind it, so something that was only 3 ft bigger than what we already had was attractive to me. The only thing I didn’t like about the Flying Cloud was the round sink in the kitchen and that it only has one nightstand in the bedroom.

There are several Airstream dealers in Texas, and each has different models with different interiors so we spent most of last month driving around to get a first hand look at the this model. What we learned was that swatches of fabric distributed to the dealers by Airstream are not reliable and there are so many combinations of interiors it made my head swim. I carried a camera to each dealer after quickly realizing good pictures were the only option in remembering what each model looked like.

Originally, the Mocha Blue interior of the Flying Cloud was a winner

but when we saw it in Ft. Worth, it looked very different than the photos on Airstream.com and even different than on Colonial Airstream’s website (our go-to source for photos). It’s brown and and speckled. We soon realized that it wasn’t an option for us.

We also got to see the Yellowstone interior in Ft. Worth, which was, well… extremely yellow, and Burnt Sienna was almost too intense to even sit in for an extended period of time. I know its just a cosmetic thing but Im not up for reupholstering an entire Airstream right now.

The International had the Serenity interior which was WHITE, so the Stratus was a front runner with its cream couch.

Then Deke found Paprika in the International — an understated gray with red pillows that really highlighted the dark interior cabinets. Bingo!

But none of the dealers in the area had one on their lot.  “Finding the Airstream” in the next post….