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Originally Posted by 5003
I am in the market for another smaller airstream (used) in the 22-25 ft range. I notice that many of the older models have bathrooms in the back and the newer ones in the middle of the trailer. Not sure what year things changed.
What are the pros and cons or advantages of either set up? Thanks for your time:
There are any number of reasons why one prefers one floorplan over the other, and most are somewhat adamant in their preferences. I am on the side of the comfortable rear bath coaches -- I have yet to find any side or mid-bath coach that has a bathroom that isn't claustraphobic in its dimensions. One of my reasons for having my '64 Overlander International restored/refurbished four years ago was that I couldn't find a floorplan that I could live with in the new, under 30' Airstreams -- and it was entirely issues with the too small side and mid-baths.
Admittedly, there are potential problems with the rear baths in the Vintage coaches; but there is some disagreement on whether that issue can be entirely attributed to bath location or a combination of related issues such as delayed/ommitted maintenance/repair, poor running gear balance, and/or a combination of improper hitch adjustment/too stiff tow vehicle suspension. While I haven't experienced any problems with separation or other related problems sometimes associated with rear bath coaches on my 6.0 Metre Minuet; I have had rear separation repaired, rear floor repairs, and outrigger replacements on my Overlander -- quite honestly, since I know virtually the entire history of both coaches, I don't believe that the issue is so much one of design as it is one of age and the type of maintenance and general care that the coach has had during its lifetime. My Minuet had one very particular owner regarding maintenance prior to my purchase; while my Overlander's original owner was fastidious about care and maintenance of the coach during its first 20 years, the two owners between he and I were not prone to having any preventative maintenance performed resulting (in my opinion) in most of the issues that I experienced.
I wouldn't be overly concerned about one of the shorter rear bath coaches if its history is fairly well known. Having a history of interested owners who have been maintenance-aware can forestall or prevent many issues. In my opinion, it boils down to a question of which floorplan best suits your preferences and traveling needs -- I virtually refuse to utilize campground bathhouses so a spacious bathroom is an absolute requirement for me.
Good luck with your search!