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Old 08-18-2015, 04:43 PM   #29
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Thanks everyone for their replies. What I've gleaned thus far:

1) While my Land Cruiser MIGHT be able to swing the 25' it may not be the right tow vehicle for a newb like me. Last thing I want is to wonder if my brakes are going to work going down a steep incline in the Rockies. Additionally, I'd rather not have to worry about how much to pack and where to put it. So... the Land Cruiser will not be our tow vehicle. Even worse, I may need to part with it

2) The 25' is really nice, but the 30' with two legitimate bedrooms would be awesome. If I'm going to have to forego the LC as a TV, I may as well get the trailer we really want - which is the 30'.

I think it's very easy to become overwhelmed when trying to shop for both a TV and trailer at the same time. Seems to me, we should make arrangements on the AS first and then worry about the TV. That'll be the plan then for now.

Again, appreciate everyone's thoughts thus far and Danattherock imparting some of his wisdom over the phone since he's a few months ahead of me on research.

Please feel free to keep weighing in... I've not really considered the 27/28s as I'm enamored with the bunk house - but those of you with kids, I'd be curious if you can make an argument for something other than the bunk. I've stepped in them a few times but am by no means an expert.

Eric
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:46 PM   #30
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:50 PM   #31
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Got in a 30' bunk today at dealer. Not impressed at all. The bunk is a joke. Great place for a kid till 3-5 years old, after that, looks like it would have same value as a treadmill in the bedroom. Even the bottom bed, with only a 2' opening, was not appealing. Especially the special fitted sheets, making the bed. Then the bathroom. Not having pano windows on front or back. Lots lost in this design in my humble opinion.

We also went in two 30' Serenity's today. Heard Angels singing. That's a lie. I heard blue grass, but I'm a redneck. Maybe you would hear angels. Can't say. But it is the one for us, ordered with twins. The L sofa is very comfortable, sat there for about half hour. May add small ottoman to kick my feet up on. Likely a small bean bag for one of kids to plop on. Both would store under dinette or in wardrobe in transit.

If I were you I would verify Colonials stock, the ride there and spend time in a few varying 30 footers. The bunk was junk after seeing 30' Serenity. We all have different taste of course and I know how much subjectivity is involved.

But for us, the L sofa pulls out in 20 seconds to make big bed for 2-3 kids. If one of our kids brings a tag along later, based on age/size, may break down dinette for the third wheel. But 90% of time we won't have to use dinette.

With two sleepy heads on bug bed L sofa makes, I can come out in morning and get coffee and sit in side of L sofa, while kids still in sleeping bags, etc. Mrs Danattherock can start on pancakes while I'm tuning in weather channel or Fox News.

Kids still chilling in bed with our German shepherd. Then we all can sit at dinette and have breakfast and start day. Afterwards fold up L sofa, 20 seconds. Cram sleeping bags and pillows in wardrobe, get dressed. And get gone, fishing, kayaking, rafting, whatever.

This is how I want to start my day. The Serenity 30' facilitates this. Twins for my wife and I. No dinette to break down. And looks like a million bucks too. Again, I conceded the subjectivity. But encourage you to compare the two models.

And nice talking with you man. I've got some great advice here lately and wanted to share some of that. Wisdom however, is a strong word. Hah.


Dan
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:14 PM   #32
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Any of Airstream's bench seats are back-breakers after 20 minutes. For extensive travel, plan on a sofa or recliner conversion or Classic purchase. They have given up comfortable seating on late models in favor of impressing shoppers in the showroom. Which may also account for all the glossy cabinet/partition surfaces of the Serenity which may have durability issues subjected to lively pets and children.

Look beyond the showroom bling toward the practical when choosing your new Airstream.
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:15 PM   #33
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Dan, did you pull the trigger on the 30' Serenity twin and order today??
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:18 PM   #34
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No, still waiting on my ship to come in, you might say. Realistically, will buy tow vehicle in next 3-6 months, Airstream soon thereafter. I'm quite certain it will be a 30' Serenity twin. It's by far the nicest Airsteam we have been in. I was also given the full tour of a 30' Serenity by a Airforums member living in area on way to see the 30' Serenity at the dealer. That two hour visit was eye opening on many levels.

I'm not attracted to shiny things generally speaking. I want durability, which in part is why I'm obsessing over every aspect of SUV/Truck/Airstream. $150k to go camping is nuts for us tent campers and I need our selection to be an enduring one. But I know where Doug is coming from. Frankly, until I spent time in the signature and serenity today, I too was curious about durability of the wood finish.

As for recliners or sofa, that's great for older retired folks, but I've got two small kids and need the sleeping area the L sofa offers. Also, we don't want a model that requires breaking down dinette each night. I went over the Serenity, Signature, and Flying Cloud with a fine tooth comb. There was nothing less durable about the Serenity I could see.

The thing we liked best was the layout. The L sofa I've read bad things about, but the 30' has much wider bench seating than the 28' we had been in previously. Which I also reason must be the model folks were complaining about. The 30' has a 10" wider sofa, not sure all of it is seating surface, but it's on Airtream site and I spoke with CS about this to confirm recently. It was very thick and comfortable and we sat there a long while, 30 minutes or so in Serenity.

The white washed wood in Serenity, or dark wood in Signature, appear every bit as durable a finish as the tan Flying Cloud wood. With infant, toddler, and German shepherd, this was a focal point of our viewing today. I would buy either of the three, we just liked the Serenity better for various reasons.

The white wood, port windows rather than overhead bins, along with skylight x2, fantastic fan, (with two AC units), really made this Serenity a much more open feeling camper. I'm 6'6" 320 lbs so this is a big deal to me.

The comfort of the wider L sofa in the 30' Serenity was a pleasant surprise. Wife was very comfortable laying on the short leg of the L. I sat very comfortably on the end of couch near door, would add a small ottoman for sure. That leaves center of very wide (and deep) couch and both benches on the dinette for our two kids. Lots of room. We were extremely impressed across the board. And I was looking for faults. I'm not a kool aid drinking type.

Only pet peeve, two air duct 4" ish ceiling fittings in 2016 Signature 25' were literally falling out. The 2015 models we saw, including the 30' Serenity had what visually appeared to be stainless speaker grill covers, rather than the adjustable air duct vents. All were fitted tightly and slim so visually made for a less busy ceiling.

I need to search for pros/cons, but my initial impression is the grill type 2015's were better. If nothing else, that's 10-12 pieces that are non moving, and likely will be trouble free in part for this reason. An aside, they looked better too and were not in way of my head.

On up stride my head nearly touches the ceiling with tennis shoes. With hiking boots and the new adjustable duct vents, it's an iffy proposition. An issue most wouldn't notice, poor QC of the few falling from ceiling in the 25' not withstanding.


Dan
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:48 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Seinbelld View Post
but those of you with kids, I'd be curious if you can make an argument for something other than the bunk.
Our 15 year old loves the bunk area. He can go take a nap after a hard day riding on the mountains, read, study, watch videos, play his x-box or otherwise have his own private space. My wife and I rise with the sun, make coffee & tea then breakfast and sit at the dinette or on the couch all the while he is sound asleep. There is no comparison with having to make and unmake couches and dinettes to turn them into beds every evening and morning! My wife and I can relax, read or watch one of our shows late into the night without having our 15 year old in the middle. It has honestly made camping for all of us heavenly. Compared to the 25' I do hear angles singing when our 15 year old is in his own space!! There is just no comparison to the quality of life. We put our 10 year old nephew up on the top bunk when he is along which he loves, otherwise it is a great storage space. Do check them out and let your kids decide where they would like to be. We actually like having the bathroom all in "one room" which we did not have in the 25'.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:20 AM   #36
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The bunk is a joke. Great place for a kid till 3-5 years old, after that, looks like it would have same value as a treadmill in the bedroom.
As a bunkhouse owner I can't say I agree at all. We have a 9 year old in the bunk with no issues at all. Our 18 year old girl has slept in it as well. I suggest real experience before making such conclusions.
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:33 AM   #37
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Seinbelld, we have a 25 FC and like it very much, tows like a dream with our 120" wheelbase pickup and Hensley style hitch. We're retired, kids grown, but if we've thought about how it might work when they were young.

Give the bedroom to the youngsters. Twin beds best for this. They go to bed earlier and get up later. We have the largest part of the Airstream and it's amenities at hand for the evenings, and for breakfast prep and coffee in the morning. We have the door to go outside and sit evenings and mornings. We make up the dinette/bed when we feel like it.

They sleep, watch their own tv, play games, be kids. We don't disturb them and they don't disturb us (much).

Fifty years of travel and camping, much of it in tents and VW Campers have taught us a spirit of make-do will solve all problems. No need to break the bank to travel and go camping.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:17 PM   #38
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Give the bedroom to the youngsters. Twin beds best for this. We make up the dinette/bed when we feel like it.
Wow! That is pretty incredible. Now that I think of it we do still have the old tent that my wife and I could stay in. Just kidding.

It is best for the kids and our sanity if we both get a good nights sleep. There is no way I would give up the comfort of our Sleep Number bed to sleep on cushions not to mention being 6'4" with a cranky back. Some things are priceless.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:32 PM   #39
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I hear you 2012FB, we are still in good shape and a few inches shorter than you. Would have been relative comfort for us when younger and camping. The idea is a way to deal with kids in a medium size Airstream, not of everybody. But I would have given it a try.

Speaking of a bad back, how do you ever deal with those bench seats. They did us both in on our long-term trips before we installed the recliners.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:45 PM   #40
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As a bunkhouse owner I can't say I agree at all. We have a 9 year old in the bunk with no issues at all. Our 18 year old girl has slept in it as well. I suggest real experience before making such conclusions.
I don't have to have real experience to offer my opinion of a bunk. Nor do I eat dog poop to verify I wouldn't enjoy it. I saw the bunk in person, eagerly might I add, as it was one of two floor plans I was wanting to see. The size of the bunk. Bunk is a top bed. The size of the bunk was a joke.

I see extremely limited utility for my family as the kids grow. It should not be personal that we perceive small spaces differently. I'm having pork chops, Mac n cheese, green beans and rolls for dinner tonight, so you should as well. See how stupid that sounds?

I would love to see a video of any 18 year old climbing in and out of that upper bunk. Any 12 year old for that matter.

For those that own a 30' bunk, I'm glad you like it of course. But don't be butt hurt because other folks might hate it. There is a reason they offer so many floor plans. Us all loving the same one is not likely one of them.

Dan
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:01 PM   #41
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Hello all,

I was bitten by the Airstream bug 6-7 years ago but am finally in a position to pull the trigger on one now that the kids are getting a little older (2 girls - 5 and 3). My wife and I are strongly considering six months of full-timing in order to take a trip out West to hit up various national parks before our older daughter starts kindergarten. If we end up doing that (which I'm give a 20% chance), then my questions are pretty much moot. However, given that we most likely won't do the trip, here's my dilemma.

I'm having a really hard time deciding between a 25 ft and 30 ft Flying Cloud. This would be used for weekend camping semi-regularly and ideally the occasional 1-2 week trip a few times per year. Currently, our planned tow vehicle is a 2009 Toyota Land Cruiser - which is a phenomenal vehicle, but I'm gathering not the best TV. It has an 8,200 lb. towing capacity but is hindered by its short wheel base (112") according to previous posts I've found on here. I think it's payload is just under 1,600 lbs. Long story short, it definitely can't tow the 30 and I'm beginning to wonder if it could even do the 25. If anyone has thoughts on that, I'm all ears.

Here are my pros/cons of the 30 vs. 25. I realize it's our decision, but I'd especially love to hear feedback from other young families that have either length and any rationale you used to make your decision on size.

30ft
Pro - if we do the six month trip, I think this is a no brainer
Pro - two nice sized bedrooms which would provide ample space as the kids got older
Pro - The ability to sleep 6-8, meaning we could take friends and/or other family members on trips
Pro - not that much more expensive than the 25
Con - From what I've read, most people suggest a HD truck to tow it. That's a fairly big con since, outside of towing the AS, a big truck would not be very convenient

25ft
Pro - could MAYBE be towed with our existing TV
Pro - a little more nimble. I'm a towing newbie so every foot counts.
Con - I feel like we could potentially grow out of it as the kids got older
Con - We'd have to make up/tear down a bed every day since we'd have to sleep on the lounge

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you all have!

PS - I wasn't sure whether this was the right section within the forum to post this...

Eric


The OP's name is Eric.

We should all focus future post towards his interests!

He wants help with the above request. Folks should get back on topic and help the guy out.

I apologize for contributing too much here and distracting attention off the purpose of this thread. No disrespect intended, I'm just on a similar path as the OP at the moment, excited, and overly chatty.



Dan
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:41 PM   #42
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Reckon that's why they make different models and trim and decor-
I like the old hickory wood Classic. Others find it hideous.


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