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Old 06-16-2009, 10:40 PM   #1
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Caravel interior storage, bed question

Hi all - we're considering moving to a Caravel from our T@B. (We're disappointed with the interior quality and odd compromises of newer ASs, and would rather spend the money working on a vintage trailer - and the Caravel is about 500 lbs lighter than a newer 16' Bambi.)

We got a brief tour of a 66 Caravel in Yellowstone a few days ago (we're on a 5 week trip with the T@B) but weren't able to poke around in detail.

My question: is there storage under the gaucho and/or dinette, or is that space taken up with other stuff? Also, could anyone measure the size of the beds in the trailer? (We'll go from sleeping together on the very wide bed of the T@B to separate beds in the Caravel.)

Thanks
Tom
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:49 AM   #2
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e have enjoyed our Caravel for nine years and over 120,000 miles. We've spent more than 500 nights.
Our Caravel came with a side goucho and a front couch. I changed the front couch to a front dinette.
There is storage under the goucho as well as the dinette. We pull out the goucho, spread the cushions, and blow up a double air mattress with a 12v pump. We then put a mattress pad and fitted sheet on the air mattress, and pillows and a down comforter on top. In the morning the bedding all rolls up and is put into a bag that Lynn sewed up. The air matteress is deflated. All is stored on a shelf above the front window.

We really don't mind having to set the bed up each night when the trade-off is the nice amount of room inside the Caravel during the day.

We have looked at the T@B. I think you will enjoy the room in a Caravel, as well as the fairly large bathroom with a shower. We do.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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Bed Size

Tom,

We're renovating a Caravel about 45 minutes from your home. It doesn't have beds in it right now, but I believe that the dimensions are 48" wide when extended by 72" long in the original. I can check that at home tonight.

There is storage beneath the side gaucho and the front gaucho or dinette. You'll find othat some room is taken up on the side by the wheel well and electrical stuff -- univolt or it's replacement. The water tank is across the front.

John
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:05 PM   #4
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We love our Caravel. We've found there is more than enough room for storage, we've never used it all. There are two closets in the bathroom with room for hanging clothes plus shelves, quite a bit of storage under the bathroom sink, two big drawers under the side gaucho, storage under the dinette seats, plus the kitchen cabinet (though the top shelf is shallow because of the sink plumbing), and all the overhead storage.

We sleep on the side gaucho, and in the 68 there is room to roll up the bedding and store it behind the back of the gaucho when it is folded up. Then in the evening you slide the gaucho back into a bed, roll out the bedding, tuck in the outer corners, and you're set to go. It only takes a minute. My only complaint is that you have to put the bed away to get to the drawers under the gaucho, so don't store your breakfast fixings there or you won't eat until the bed is folded up!

The overhead compartments in the kitchen are slightly limited by the fridge vent on one side and the stove vent on the other.

In my Caravel the side gaucho bed is approx 46 X 75, and fitted twin bed sheets fit it. The dinette bed is about 43 x 75, but it has the rounded corners in the front and it's kind of slanted towards the door, so it's probably different than a front gaucho.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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Thanks all. It sounds promising. We use a fiberbed (basically a comforter) on top of the cushions in the T@B; it sounds like we could stash that bedding under the cushions.

I ask this because yesterday we stopped at an AS dealer here in Montana and poked around a new 19' CCD. One side of the dinette had only a small pull-out drawer, while the other side was blocked off from storage completely. (There is storage under the rear corner bed, a design my wife hates, and there was barely room for my feet in the bathroom when the door was closed.)

Our T@B has more storage than that under the cushions, but I'm really missing having a wardrobe. (We're living out of Mountainsmith Modular Hauler packing cubes in the back of our Odyssey.) And yeah, a toilet and hot water would be nice...

Hopefully the search for a trailer goes well when we get back.

Tom
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:51 PM   #6
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We really like our Caravel. We've had it 6 years, and I wish we had more time to travel in it. A few years ago we took a trip that was just over a week long (our longest vacation ever) and we never felt like the trailer was crowded. We had our own bathroom and shower, our own bed, and cooked our own meals. It is everything you need, and nothing you don't. We think it's just right.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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Our '65 caravel has the front and side gaucho layout. The front gaucho is basically the size of a twin bed. The side gaucho is basically the size of a full bed. The front under - gaucho storage is three bays 19" wide x 19" deep x 10 inches high. In front of the gaucho is the water tank but level with the gaucho seat/ behind the seat back is a linen storage area 10 inches deep and a good 12 inches tall. The side gaucho is similar in under bin capacity but since the bed is 4 inches longer, the storage is slightly wider. Behind the side gaucho is the wheel well and the battery/ pump/ univolt area and it has useful storage capacity. There are little storage spots everywhere like next to the front gaucho on both sides (shared with the folding table). We stash less needed stuff under the slide -out compartments! Stephanie is right about the gaucho storage being hard to access with the beds pulled out. We found that the bins can be pulled out and placed in front of the compartments and be completely under the bed. This way stuff is still accessable but it is out of the foot traffic. We almost never use the fold-away table. And usually we pull out the front gaucho and leave it set up as a bed when camping unless we need lots of seating room. There is enough storage so that sometimes have to rummage around a while to find where I put something. We love our little Caravel, it tows like a dream and doesn't kill the gas mileage as much as big heavy SOB's. But be prepared to spend some time getting it in good shape for camping. It took us a year and a half to get 95% done refurbishing. Do you ever get to 100%?
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:17 PM   #8
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I would agree with the others who have posted above. The interior storage is more than enough. My front gaucho is fine for one adult, the side one 48 inches wide and OK for two if you like each other. If you search long enough you might find a thread describing how to modify the side gaucho to be even wider, but then you would loose the narrow isle and really have to crawl across the bed to get to the bathroom at night. The only thing I wish the Caravel had was some storage accessable from the outside. All my hoses, blocks, stabliziers, hitch parts etc...stay in the tow vehicle. But it is a small price to pay.

You'll like having a real bathroom and shower.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:42 PM   #9
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T@B to Airstream, of course.

Tom,
We were in a T@B -16 for almost two years, traveled a ton, Yellowstone twice...We purchased a 19' AS Bambi and the rear corner bed did not work for us. We ended up in our present 25FB, love it.
Your Tab does sleep well as we recall. Showers, toilet and more room for storage than you can believe in most AS's will make camping and traveling so much easier. Just gotta find the nooks and crannies for storage.
I would love to get a vintage Caravel, but I have to wait for finances to get stable. We are looking though! We do have an old 1953 Trvlx 16 that we cleaned up and use for some trips.
Look also at the Globetrotter as well, once you get a great nights sleep, haul all your camp gear and feel the ease of hauling a small or mid-size AS, you'll be happy you did.
Enjoy your search, make the move when the right rig comes along. Checkout Fred's Airstream Archives for the wide range of floorplans and sizes over the years.
See you out there!
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:32 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cosmos View Post
But be prepared to spend some time getting it in good shape for camping. It took us a year and a half to get 95% done refurbishing. Do you ever get to 100%?
I'm at 99.9%. The only stuff left to do is cosmetics, refinishing wood that has gotten scufffed and nicked over the years, stuff like that. But functionally, I can just grab it and go. It's nice, but it was a lot of work to get there. I wouldn't trade it for a new trailer, except maybe the new 20ft Flying Cloud. Nothing else has as flexible a layout, or is as roomy feeling.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:44 PM   #11
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Thanks all, especially for the detailed measurements. When we were preparing for this big trip, I started looking at ASs, including shopping a few vintage trailers. I figured the T@B, which I bought used, had the advantage of being almost new and thus turnkey. So far so good, even though we learned the furnace isn't firing (it was when we left).

I've been shying away from vintage, because every owner I've talked to (went to the Vintage Trailer Jam and listened to every episode of the VAP) has told me that they're never finished. But once our big journey is over, I'd have some time to sort out a Caravel, or pay a restorer to go through it. I also figure that some frustration is part of the process. Plus, I'd rather pay cash for repairs as I go rather than borrow for a newish $25k 16' CCD, even though I'm destined to wind up in the same place financially.

I've looked at Globetrotters, and turned down buying a nicely restored one because I didn't love the floorplan modifications. Also, for a whole list of reasons, I really want to keep towing with our 05 Honda Odyssey minivan (it's been yanking the T@B around like a trooper, even at 9500 feet) and the Caravel's light weight keeps me within limits with the two of us in the van. Having had some fun fitting the T@B into tiny sites, both here and in CT, we also would like to not have the extra 3 feet of length.

Got to say, camping with the T@B is fun and pretty easy. I would need to learn the mysteries of blueboys and black tanks. But we promised ourselves that when we take our next big trip, it will be in a (slightly) larger trailer - and I hate to say it, but we like having a trailer that gets looks and smiles.

Thanks
Tom
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:23 AM   #12
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T@b?

I'm sorry but I have to ask, what is a T@B?
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:31 AM   #13
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www.tab-rv.com - it's basically a 9/8ths scale mass-produced teardrop trailer. Very simple, and gets lots of looks.

That said, I'm happy we just bought a 1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre. Lots more room inside, much more comfortable.

Tom
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:28 PM   #14
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Hi Caravel Veterans,

We recently acquired a 1966 Caravel. I am a little confused by where to put everything. I am accustom to my Globetrotter that has storage to spare and a dedicated bed. We are light travelers, but there still doesn't seem to be enough places to put everthing in the Caravel because the bin areas are so shallow. I really liked the bed roll behind the back cushions suggestion, as bedding takes up a lot of room. I had already thought of boxed sewn shams to disguised the bed pillow as gaucho cushions. And I appreciated being alerted to the inconvenience of under the bed bins at times (would have learned the hard way). So what does work best for that area? I would suspect to find consistencies developing among users because of the limitations of certain storage areas.


Where do you put all the kitchen utensils, there are no drawers... just those two bins under the counter?. The overhead bins above the stove and refeigeraror are very shallow as well. Where do you put the food stores, bagged, boxed, and can goods...in the overheads? If so, then where do the dishes, bowls, pots and pans end up? How about the coffee pot? I had thought reversing the door on the curb side closet and usiing it for kitchen storage! That would leave very limited storage for clothing, bath towels and other linens in the other, so maybe not. And what about SHOES? GARBAGE? Dirty clothing?? Yup, overwhelmed here!

Anyone want to give a compartment by compartment description of their storage solutions?
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