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Old 07-25-2006, 09:42 AM   #1
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Questions on Safari 30 Bunk Model

To all Safari 30 Bunk-model owners: Hello. We are seriously considering this model. We have a family of 6. I need some insight and feedback.....

How big is the dinette bed?
Has anyone ripped out the two chairs and installed a small sleeper-couch?
Will this model really sleep 6, reasonably?

regards,
ED
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:49 AM   #2
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You should contact Rich of Airstream Life magazine. They are on the Tour of America, having sold their house June 05 and have been in a Safari 30' Bunkhouse since. The link to their site is http://tour.airstreamlife.com

Good luck.

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Old 07-25-2006, 10:10 AM   #3
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We have an '06 that came with a sofa in lieu of the two chairs opposite the dinette. We are a family of four. We haven't needed to use the dinette or the sofa bed yet, sorry.

The sofa bed is a standard Airstream unit so your dealer can get it for you. Ours is cloth and matches the midnight sun fabric on the dinette. It is also available in the ultra leather. If we had ordered our unit, we would have selected the ultra leather, but in the end, we decided that the midnight sun cloth is more user friendly and are very happy with the cloth. It is very comfortable for three of us while one sits at the dinette when we watch TV. I believe it is either 70" or 72". This will give us the option of taking friends of our two sons with us from time to time.

We chose this model because we truely believe that it is Airstream's most family friendly model. We liked the idea that our two sons would have their own beds that didn't have to be made every night and unmade every morning and still have a separate sleeping area for my wife and me. While it is a little cramped with the sofa when we are all inside late at night or if it rains, we really are glad we got one of the few bunk models that remains. One caution, the top bunk is tight and our six year old uses it. I can see that he will out grow it by the time he reaches his teens. However, you can weigh this vs. two fewer beds to make and unmake each day when you go camping.

Baking wasn't a big deal for us so we found a model that had the microwave convection oven. Nuking potatos and popcorn was more important than baking bread or cakes on weekend camping trips. We really love our plan and our Airstream. When we aren't camping, we sit and think, "this would be a great week end to be camping." We have averaged using ours just about ever other weekend since we got it Memorial Day Weekend.

BTW, Welcome to the Forums. There is more information about Airstreams, new and vintage, than you could ever dream possible right here and everyone is more than happy to share their knowledge and experiences with you.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:08 PM   #4
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Ed,

Colonial Airstream has removed the two chairs and ordered the Sofa and trim kit from Airstream for a unit we had in stock so we could sell it to a family of your size. It seems to be a better floor plan with the sofa and the customization came out perfect. I am sure our service department will be able to up fit the Safari bunk if you decide to purchase it.
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Old 07-25-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Ed,

First, Welcome!
Second, I am down the street from you.
Third, We are a family of six in a 26 foot.
As for sleep six comfortably.... That is a personal opinion as for comfort, but I have found that my kids (11 down to 14 mo) adapt to just about anything. But teenagers are a little less flexable....
I like the idea of putting a sofa where the chairs are...
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:19 AM   #6
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Oh, one more thing. We specifically wanted the sofa and the microwave in the midnight sun decor and searched high and low to find it and are so glad we did. This plan, as you know with the sofa sleeps up to eight so you will have room for grand parents to come along, too. I think you will really like the 30' bunk if you decide to go with it. But you had better act fast since Airstream has already stopped production on this floor plan. I think they should have waited until they had a family plan to replace it before they haulted production of this plan, but they didn't ask me! I have seen more people on this forum purchasing or inquiring about them in the last few months than any other time.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:40 AM   #7
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I think the 30' is a fantastic unit. I only have one word of caution regarding the top bunk. Better to think of these things before hand and then decide to purchase than to be surprised later.

The top bunk eliminates an opening side window and I think it changes the window covering usage. I don't think the rear window has a screen. Is it is a fire exit not meant to be opened, but you could rig one up? It gets hot up there without cross ventilation. Minnie's mate is that the way the windows are?
My friend has had a 30' since 2005 for their family of 4 but they have currently ordered a 34 slideout and will now use the dinette and couch for the children. Her grown son has finally told her how uncomfortable it is with the ceiling only inches away and no room to move around.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:53 AM   #8
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When we were looking to buy our trailer last year, it was either a 30' bunk or a 28' CCD. I really liked the floor plan of the 30' as having the beds always there was a good idea. DW was smitten by the 28' CCD as soon as we were able to walk through one. But our family is only four and won't get any larger. If we had been five, it may have tipped the scales in favor of the bunk, as they seem to have been the best option for 3+ child household.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:10 AM   #9
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Safari 30' BH. We really love or Safari 30'. Ours has the chairs which for us a family of 3 soon to be 4 we don't need another bed. Also once the second child arrives, we’ll take the chairs out when we go camping and put a pack-n-play in that spot. I would agree with the comments about the top bunk it is a little tight but for young kids no problem. The other thing we like about this floor plan is the bathroom has more room than other models we looked at. I have considered adding a second Fantastic fan in the front bedroom for better circulation. Get the LS package the upgraded AC unit is a must. Welcome to the forums.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested
The top bunk eliminates an opening side window and I think it changes the window covering usage. I don't think the rear window has a screen. Is it is a fire exit not meant to be opened, but you could rig one up? It gets hot up there without cross ventilation. Minnie's mate is that the way the windows are?
My friend has had a 30' since 2005 for their family of 4 but they have currently ordered a 34 slideout and will now use the dinette and couch for the children. Her grown son has finally told her how uncomfortable it is with the ceiling only inches away and no room to move around.
The fire exit is in the window in the rear end of the trailer; it is in the center of the end of the trailer. The window that is on the side spans the top bunk. It is the Hehr window and opens only at the bottom, but not the top. We have a total of three fantastic fans in our Airstream: we added two, one in each sleeping area. The window treatment for this window consist of a short curtain above the top bunk and a short curtain below the top bunk. Both curtains open and velcro closed in the middle.

The idea of removing the chairs for a porta-crib or pac-n-play is a great idea. There were a few units made that had a double bed in leiu of the bottom bunk which allowed the model with chairs to sleep 7, with sofa it could sleep 9. Rich Liur's, of Airstream Life, has the double bottom bunk and two chairs according to the photos on his blog.

The only thing I don't like about the 30' bunk is the windows. This has been discussed by many several times on this forum. They just aren't Airstream windows, but if you don't plan on boondocking or if you have seasonal allergies like my wife and can't really use them, the ventilation factor isn't that big of a deal. We wanted the three fantastic fans so that we could quickly evacuate hot air from travel as quickly as possible when we arrived at a campsite. Other than that, we have used the a/c all of the time...not to mention it is too hot in the south to not use a/c in the summer.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:28 PM   #11
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Some more questions about Safari 30 Bunk model

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.....
AZStreamin & Minnie Mate: I have some "operational" questions about the Safari 30' Bunk model.
1. Have either of you measured your loaded hitch wt. I need something with a loaded hitch weight that can be controlled at <900lbs. (I have an 04 2500 Suburban 8.1 w 4:11 rear that has a 1914 lb total vehicle wt limit, and I have 6 folks riding in the Subarban.) I note that both of you tow with HD pickups.....
2. Has the 18 Gallon Black tank size been a limitation to you? (Small for a 5+ person trailer.)
3. Given all the negative press about rear-end sag in old Airstreams with rear baths, did this issue concern you at all? Do you know what AS does in their desigsn now to prevent this?
4. Have you ever had any problems with rear end drag in and out of campgrounds and gas stations?
5. AZStreamin - you noted warranty work in one of your posts. Can you reveal what the issue was?
6. I'm looking at getting the couch installed instead of the two chairs. Do you know anyone that has done this?
7. I note the comments about the upper bunk tightness. What would you estimate that the height (age) limit is for the upper bunk?
8. Have either of you done any cold-weather camping in your Safari-30? If so, how cold did you go?
9. Have you heard about anyone else having wheel problems similar to those that Rich Luhr had?
10. Do you have the disc or drum brakes?

thanks much, Ed
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
Thanks to everyone for the feedback.....
AZStreamin & Minnie Mate: I have some "operational" questions about the Safari 30' Bunk model.
1. Have either of you measured your loaded hitch wt. I need something with a loaded hitch weight that can be controlled at <900lbs. (I have an 04 2500 Suburban 8.1 w 4:11 rear that has a 1914 lb total vehicle wt limit, and I have 6 folks riding in the Subarban.) I note that both of you tow with HD pickups.....
I can't imagine any problems with the 3/4 ton rig you describe. However, I'm not familiar with Chevy products, but I still don't think there would be a problem unless you have a very large family. In fact I plan to add a 1,000 lb golf cart to our "normal" payload and don't anticipate a problem with my 3/4 ton disiel. I haven't had a chance to be around scales to weigh yet. Chevy experts should advise here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
2. Has the 18 Gallon Black tank size been a limitation to you? (Small for a 5+ person trailer.)
We have only stayed two nights in a row without sewer hook up so far and didn't have a problem. I am going to get a blue tank before we stay longer because the gray tank was an issue after two nights. Picture shower drain back-up. The thing you need to remember is that you hold and then dump your tanks every day when you have sewer hook up. Unless you are boondocking or staying in a state or federal park that doesn't have sewer, the black tank shouldn't be an issue. You would just dump more often with a large family and sewer hook-up. If you are planning to boondock a lot, then it might be an issue with six people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
3. Given all the negative press about rear-end sag in old Airstreams with rear baths, did this issue concern you at all? Do you know what AS does in their desigsn now to prevent this?
To my knowledge this was an issue during the late '70's or "the Beatrice years" and seems to have been resolved by the early '80's. I haven't come across any mention of problems with this being an issue with anyone with a '90's or newer unit so I didn't worry. The tanks are nearer the axles in the 30' Bunk. I believe the gray tank is situated between the rear wheels directly behind the rear axle. However, this may be the fresh tank, I'm not sure. I know the fresh water drain is located between the roadside wheels. Either way I don't plan on much boondocking so traveling with black/gray tanks with any appreciable fill isn't planned on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
4. Have you ever had any problems with rear end drag in and out of campgrounds and gas stations?
You have to pay attention and go in at an angle if you think the "valley" is too low or look for alternative routes. I have learned to always keep an eye on the mirrors when going in and out of driveways (learned that one the hard way). My driveway has about the biggest dip I've come across so far and it hasn't been a problem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
5. AZStreamin - you noted warranty work in one of your posts. Can you reveal what the issue was?
I will defer, except that we have only had our AS since Memorial Day, but have only found 3-4 typical issues, i.e. tank monitor calibrations, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
6. I'm looking at getting the couch installed instead of the two chairs. Do you know anyone that has done this?
We wanted the sofa from the outset for comfort. Princess Diva, AKA Ms. Minnie's Mate, likes to lounge while watching TV. So we searched for a unit that had a sofa. We also wanted a microwave so we also added that to the matrix. Had AS not discontinued the 30' Bunk, we would have ordered one with exactly what we wanted. As it turned out, we were able to find one that had 75% of what we wanted and were able to get twenty of the remaining 25% installed by the dealer. As it turned out, we are happy without the other 5%.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
7. I note the comments about the upper bunk tightness. What would you estimate that the height (age) limit is for the upper bunk?
Sorry, but my unit is in Ohio at the factory getting deer damage repaired along with the damage from my first lesson about keeping an eye in the mirrors when coming out of drive ways so I can't measure. My son that sleeps in the top bunk is 6 yrs old. Best thing to do is take the intended occupant to the dealership with you and do a test fit and judge growth in years to come along with anticipated vacancy when one of the older kids no longer thinks camping with the family is cool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
8. Have either of you done any cold-weather camping in your Safari-30? If so, how cold did you go?
We just go our AS Memorial Day weekend so we haven't had a chance to try out the heat yet. I defer on this one, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
9. Have you heard about anyone else having wheel problems similar to those that Rich Luhr had?
Haven't heard of his wheel problems. I haven't kept up with his blog.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiefast
10. Do you have the disc or drum brakes?
I still have the drum brakes. Brent and I have built-in brake controllers from the factory on our trucks. This does a super job at braking my trailer and I have set the adjustment to 5.0 and don't even feel a little push from the trailer. I haven't towed as much as Rich or had an emergency braking senario either but don't see the need for disc, not yet anyway. The F-250 SD crewcab is a pretty heavy truck with a pretty long wheel base so it does a good job at stopping the trailer. Rich uses a much lighter and shorter tow vehicle and this may be why he felt the need for disc. It might have also been good research for a "been there, done that" report on the retrofit of disc brakes on a late model Airstream for Airstream Life. I don't know his reasons, only that he reports that he is very pleased with the outcome.
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Old 07-26-2006, 04:53 PM   #13
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Tom covered most of your questions so I won’t answer each one again. I’ll add:

Black tank>> has not been a problem. Gray tank is where you will more likely find it to be small particularly if you are camping where you have water hook-up but no sewer. If you like to boondock just manage your water and showers and you’ll be ok. I find that when you have full hook-ups you don’t really even think about how much you use. But when forced to manage your water you use less than a 1/3 of what you would use if you had full hook-ups.

Warranty work>> you can read my post in 2005 model year quality tracking. I have several fit and finish issues being addressed right now nothing mechanical or structural. 90% are little nit picky things that when corrected will make the AS 100%. I’ll post a follow-up after I pick her up... These little issues are annoying but I’m confident they’ll be resolved to my satisfaction or I’ll sic my sister on them. She is a consumer protection attorney and specializes in Lemon Law. She has won a TON of RV cases never once has her firm sued Airstream. Although mine has a few issues it is very minor compared to the horror stories I’ve heard from other brands.

We have not used the furnace but have used the heat pump a couple of times when it got down to high 30s low 40s in the mountains. It works great! This is yet another reason to get the upgraded AC unit. Also just a side note, last time we went camping one night we crashed early after a very long mountain drive. Our neighbors camping next to us stayed up late partying and it was cold that night so we had the heat pump on the AS is so well insulated that I could not even hear them right next to us.
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Old 07-26-2006, 05:28 PM   #14
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Just a note regarding tank capacities. We used to have an 18 gallon capacity on our sob black tank. With a family of three and no use of the campground restrooms, we could handle a 3 day weekend, but not much more than that. A lot of your capacity gets eaten up by how much water is added to the bowl when planning to use it for a bm. Kids may try to fill it up quite a bit so just be forwarned.

Unfortunately you never have enough grey water space. That's just a fact of life. You would be surprised but there is a lot of what I call midnight dumping of grey water tanks at campgrounds where no sewer hookups are provided.

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