Airstream Avenue review
I was picking up my trailer at the dealer today and took a close look at an Avenue that they had in the showroom. Now, I'm not a B van guy, but I'll do my best.
The interior is small. Really small. There's only standing room in the very center of the van, about 6' long and 2-3' wide, because the air conditioning takes up the rear portion, the TV takes up part of the front portion, and the hightop doesn't extend all the way to the front on the exterior.
The wet bath is small even as such things go, with little overhead clearance due to the curve of the sides and roof.
There are some innovative things. The fresh water fill, for example, is located inside the curbside doors, eliminating the need for a fill door. There are compartments everywhere. I liked the little European two burner propane stove, and the compact sink.
The cabinet doors have friction latches and retractable pull knobs, that you can push back into the door so they're flush, and pop out again by pushing on them, like a ballpoint pen.
Overall though I wasn't impressed with the fit and finish of the cabinetry. The wet bath curtain tends to get stuck in the bathroom door. Cabinetry is made of unnecessarily thick and heavy material. The TV was not well integrated into its surroundings, instead looking like a hasty adaptation of an old design for a CRT-type TV to a modern LCD television.
Seeing the Avenue first hand, I better understand the sentiment that B-vans are intended for traveling while trailers are intended for camping. If viewed as a passenger van with extras, the Avenue offers more comfort and amenities than a stock van or Suburban. But I don't think there's any way that the six people that fit in the seats while moving could spend a night, much less a rainy day or a week away from home, inside as they could in a trailer.