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Old 11-23-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Forest Hill , Maryland
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Fam of 4 to be FTing--finding the right AS

Hello all,

This is my first post here but I've been merrily lurking and reading and researching.

We're a family of 4 (5 if you could the 85 pound lab). We decided to eventually go full time a couple years ago when we had a 30' white box. Thinking that was too small we bought a 38' white box motorhome, sunk a bunch of $$ in it just to figure out we're NOT motorhome people. We're prepping it for sale (our house too!) now with the intention of buying an AS.

Trouble is what we'd like to get (an 05/06 Safari bunk) seems like it may be hard to come by. The new Flying Cloud bunks are (may be?) out of our price range. We'd prefer to keep it under $50k. There are oodles of 30' Classics on the market though. I'm wondering what you all think about building bunks into the model that has the hall area with the double wardrobe/drawer/cabinet unit. How long is that combined? And how wide? Our kids will be 7 and 9 (boys) when we head out. It would be awfully nice for us all to have beds (and a wee bit of privacy?) and not turn sofas/dinettes into beds each night.



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Old 11-23-2015, 12:07 PM   #2
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Bold Adventure is doing that same thing. Full timing. Hopefully he has advice for you. If anyone could help it would be him.

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Old 11-23-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
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2008 25' Classic
Wichita Falls , Texas
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Hard enough for 2 people to full time, let alone with two small boys and a large dog. Get a 5th wheel toy hauler so you can convert the toy storage area to the boys bedroom/study area.

I assume you can work from the road as long as you have a internet connection, have family healthcare through your job and you are currently home schooling the boys.

Good luck.

2008 Classic 25fb "Silver Mistress"
2015 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins. Crew Cab, 4x4, Silver
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:24 PM   #4
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1975 27' Overlander
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KJRitchie makes a good point. Airstreams are small inside by design. It's a bit like living in a Lear Jet, or better yet flying coach on an international flight. Not much room. We Airstreamers chuckle about head bonks. And Airstreams are good conductors of heat and cold due to the all aluminum body construction. They aren't the greatest in very hot or very cold weather. There are fifth wheel rigs that are designed for all season living, and they are more spacious inside due to the slide outs and square shape.

We travel in our old 1986 34 foot long Limited. We don't full time. It was the largest Airstream made in its day. It is a rear bed, center bath layout. There is a big wardrobe across from the bathroom that might be convertible to bunk beds, but you loose all that closet space.

There is an Air Forum participant who has converted their Airstream to accommodate their larger family. Maybe their thread will give you some ideas. I'll try to search around and find it.

By the way, welcome to Air Forums and your interest in these iconic travel trailers. Stay tuned, I'm sure someone will jump in and give you some ideas.

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Old 11-23-2015, 08:07 PM   #5
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
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Yup, it's impossible. Airstreams are built for one person.

Bunks are hard to find, but I know a number of families who travel full-time in Airstreams of various sizes. Some of us have remodeled, some haven't. Oddly enough, almost none of them post here on this forum. Probably because of the wonderful encouragement received here. But there is a large community of us on Instagram.

PM me if you want the advice/opinions of a current full-time Airstreamer with 2 children.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 11-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #6
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Forest Hill , Maryland
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3

We've had a 23' hybrid TT, a 30' TT and a 38' motorhome. We've liked the smallest the best. There's no way a 5th wheel is in our future.

So Bold. I'm already following a whole bunch of nutty FT Airstream families on IG, you included! It's not the easiest social media format for lengthy researchy conversations though. Thanks for the offer for advice though! I'll likely be taking you up on it.

I was hoping for some measurements on that 30' classic wardrobe + cabinet/drawer unit in the hall across from the bath to see if building bunks there is feasible. I already feel confident that we can live as harmoniously in an AS as we do in this 2500 sq. ft. house.
Me, DH, the boys Q--9 and C--7.5 and black lab Vader
Going full-time fall 2016 in our 2014 FC bunk.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:29 PM   #7
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Here you go....

Here's the couple that did what you want. I saw the trailer at Canopener this year. It was very nicely done but that's a lot of people for an Airstream of any size.


"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
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2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
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Old 11-24-2015, 11:23 AM   #8
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2005 25' International CCD
Newport , Arkansas
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I ft'd for several years with a teenaged daughter in a 25' ccd International. I don't know about your family's habits, but for us, the dinette became a useless space for piling up stuff. If you are of the generation like us, who eat and study in their laps instead of at a table or desk, convert the dinette area of whatever model into bunks if possible.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:52 PM   #9
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Welcome, Magua. We constantly wish that we could have done what you are doing when our three were that age. You have picked up one of the important points - giving your boys their privacy. If your boys have been sleeping in the same room already, they shouldn't have too much trouble adapting to the constraints of an Airstream. On the other hand, if they are each used to having a 12 x 15 bedroom and bathroom, it might be a big adjustment.

Many years ago campers (as they were called then) had a drop-down bunks over the front sofa. I haven't seen such an arrangement in many years, but a phone call to Airstream ought to let you know if you can adapt a modern coach to that idea.

Also give some thought to when people go to bed and when they get up. If all four of you sleep the same hours it will be easier for everyone.

One other thought: the sofa and dinette usually make into beds. I'm guessing that they aren't all that comfortable for adults, but light-weight children may not be as bothered by them.

Enjoy the time with your boys. It will go by much faster than you can imagine.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:07 PM   #10
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Palmer Lake , Colorado
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We didn't full time in our trailer when I was growing up but we did spend weeks at a time up to a month in the trailer on long trips. To put this into perspective we were a family of six with four boys. We made it work in a 23' Safari. When we get together as a family those are the times that we talk about the most - what a wonderful experience it was. For us it was really not about the airstream but more about the freedom and lifestyle it afforded us, and still today affords my wife and I new and wonderful memories.
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:48 AM   #11
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Forest Hill , Maryland
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Posts: 3
Thank you for those thoughtful responses.

kdickson—4 boys in a 23'-er is pretty awesome!!

kb0zke—yep, they've been in the same room forever and in little bunks behind a curtain in our last 2 campers. That part shouldn't be too much of a worry (yet—I hear those scary teenager things need more privacy).

So, as a little background as to why we believe this will be not just feasible, but enjoyable…

Before the motorhome (bought 1 year ago) we had a 30' Rockwood travel trailer. We had someone come and install and site-finish about 2000 sq. ft. of wood floors in our home. The job dragged out and we spent almost 4 weeks living in the TT in our driveway, unable to get in the house. We had just enough of everything, including only 2 small bins of toys. It was amazing. Wonderful. And that's when our plan was hatched. Thought we needed a BIG motorhome to do it, but it just doesn't feel right. Even the easy blue ox toad…we miss the "pop, pop, squeeeeeee" of the equalizer hitch. LOL!

Thank you all for the input, I do appreciate it…even if it is to say we're nuts. I think we better look for the bunkhouse. Crossing all parts that we can find an 05/06! If not, we'll sell our souls for a 2013+.
Me, DH, the boys Q--9 and C--7.5 and black lab Vader
Going full-time fall 2016 in our 2014 FC bunk.
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:15 PM   #12
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1958 22' Caravanner
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Magua: Forget all you know about all your other RVs. Forget about this thread except for the advice that there are no Airstreams ever built (or will ever be built) that are not compromised by temperatures, location and too complex systems, despite insane prices. Thus, ASs are stupid for full timing except in very limited circumstances. The single good Airstream thing is aluminum. I have $11K in my 1958 Caravanner 22' (total gut to now a 19' open concept - weighs 2180#) which feels and functions better than a 30 footer and could now be towed by an in line 6 Trailblazer. Think: never need power cord, never need water line, never need a dump station, never need to run out for propane resupply, never winterize, and have occasionally only the simplest self repairs. Think: adults in a murphy bed at either end, valcro hung room dividers, kids beds hang on wall, to cook fold up a shelf and break out a Coleman, to prepare meals fold down a 24" x 48" cutting board, to shower add water to the pressurized 40,000 Btu turkey fryer and keep the foot air pump going, card table(s), folding chairs, TV trays for homework sitting on lower boys' bed, inflatable couches, milk jugs for water, point of use 1 lb refillable propane bottles, wood/kerosene heat, dual fuel electric start generator on tongue, spare tire and bikes on bumper. Start with any 26' single axle. Gut! Modify! Future use: only hitch up to go to new places. You'll have the second best AS in the USA , unless you drop $20K. Then I'll be second. Put the other $30K in a Cadillac Escalade EXT. Now you have 10% of what you need to know . Call me,,,,,Larry @ 402 594 5161
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:14 PM   #13
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2005 25' International CCD
Newport , Arkansas
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I still don't think you're nuts! I had a blast ft'ing ( just a mom and daughter), and I think with two little ones it could be even more fun! Having, as you said "just enough stuff" is a great feeling! being back at the house, I miss that! Yes, things break, and there are inconveniences from time to time, but that happens at home,too. you've already learned from the driveway, that you don't have to have so much stuff, and that's half the adjusting...our big issue was clothes and shoes !
Our 2005 25' CCD International has the dinette on the side, which as I've said was useless for us. A year or so later, they had a model with the sofa on the side across from the kitchen and the dinette on the end , which I coveted! With this floorplan a fairly simple possibility might be to find one of these side sofas and replace the dinette for a wrap around seating effect, giving the boys separate places for sleeping . there is also a built in divider at the back corner bed, with the space from closets and pantry and fridge offering some separation from the boys' sleeping areas!😉
You sound prepared for this adventure! Lots of families do the live aboard sailing thing with even less space and NO Tow vehicle or yard to escape to!
Have fun!
"Illegitimi non carborundum est"

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