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Old 05-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #1
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1997 34' Limited
Wolcottville , Indiana
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Has anyone done fulltime with young kids? 4 Specifically?

My husband and I are considering the full-timing lifestyle for at least a year, with our 4 kids. We really like the Airstream better than the big white plastic boxes available today. But we are wondering if the space in them is feasible for a family of our size. Some questions...Is there a model that someone can point us to, to look for used? Can bunks be installed over the many models I see with twin beds? The three things I am concerned about are: Privacy for Mom and Dad, good kitchen arrangement (I cook everything from scratch) and room for books, etc. as we will be homeschooling on the road.
Thank you for any help,
Melanie Christner

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Old 05-27-2010, 01:54 PM   #2
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Careful, people asking that question here usually get flounced.

Are you new to RVing? If so you might consider traveling for a while to understand the options and tradeoffs.

To answer your question, other than a now-discontinued bunkhouse model, there are no Airstreams that offer a sleeping configuration that includes a double bed and four individual beds, or that includes more than one bedroom.

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Old 05-27-2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Well you could purchase a 34' Limited or Excella 1000 rear twin and install a bunk over each twin depending on the size of your kids. Install a privacy curtain up front and turn the gaucho into your bedroom. I think this is the only arrangement that could work for you. The nice thing about the 34' is it has a dinette so you have a place to eat and study seperate from the living area. It would be extremely cramped I am sure though unless you can afford one with slide-outs, $35,000 and up "used". I would recommend telling the kids to get outside as much as possible. I am a full-timer speaking from experience. Affordable campgrounds that are safe are the biggest challenge in my opinion. Good luck with whatever you may choose.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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Rivet bunkhouse avail in TN

see 2005 30' Safari Bunk - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Used Airstreams For Sale

How old are your kids? I think this is a great idea, wanted to do it myself but couldn't convince DH. I have one teen, so different situation.

You can probably dispense with all or most of the "formal" schooling for that year. They will be learning so much from the places you visit, the people you meet, etc.

Only have a minute, but you can check out
An interview with Facts of Life child star and now homeschooling mom, Lisa Whelchel, about her family's yearlong road trip across the United States.
Roadschoolers Unschooling in an RV
blog of a family's experience
Roam Schooling interview with above family

google/search "road schoolers", you'll probably find lots more

Have fun!


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Old 05-29-2010, 01:43 PM   #5
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You have to check this family out if you are seriously considering full-timing.

History Tour
Driven to Educate - assignment Africa
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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Evans , GA
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I am a home school mom of two. My youngest will be a senior next year.
We took a three week vacation in our 28' CCD. Our boys are 6'1" and 6'4". They took the bedroom and we used the gaucho.

I would suggest that you find an RV show in your are and take the whole family along for the day. Check out all types of units and brainstorm how your family would function for a year in each style.

Airstreams are tight. The ceilings are low, the corners are rounded off and there is minimal storage. They do have that "wow" that is lacking in the rest of the industry. But is the "wow" worth it?

Class As are wide open inside. They come with a variety of slide-outs. You can even get them with 1 and a half baths, dishwashers, side-by-side fridges and a washer and dryer. Some have bunk areas. They often have two sofa beds. The big pluses are the enormous basement storage and you can have the convenience of "living" in them while you are rolling down the highway. Reduced potty stops. Rolling lunches. Rolling school time. Time well used.

Fifth wheels are the most house like. Some models have kitchen islands. I have seen models with two bedrooms. The ceilings are very tall and could accommodate bunks with ease. Check out the toy hauler versions. I have seen some with two baths and bunks in the haul area. They all seem to have a loft bunk as well.

There are some really well planned bunk house trailers as well. A great feature of some is a half bath/mud room entrance.

The down side of any trailer is the lack of basement storage and you roll in the car and have to make stops more frequently.

I love Airstreams but I would rather spend a year in a fifth wheel or a Class A home schooling. Function trumps form on this issue for me.

Sell the ugly box when you get home and get an Airstream for future camping.
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Old 05-29-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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I think that for a child, it could be quite stressful, due to the lack of any privacy.

Not sure of your reasons in wanting to do this, but I would strongly recommend trying it for at least a few weeks or a month before comitting to a year or more...
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:37 PM   #8
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1974 31' Sovereign
Tyler , Texas
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Homeschooling in AS

Well, I can't speak from personal experience yet, but my wife and I are planning on full-timing with our two children. We have been homeschooling for ten years now. The children still at home are ages 6 and 7, and are really good travelers.

We've recently purchased a 1974 31' Sovereign and are prepping her for the road. As a travel nurse, we will usually be staying in one location for 3 months or so, but making road trips in the area for education and fun. I'm not sure what I would do if we had two more children. Probably look for a 5th wheel bunkhouse and buy a large tow vehicle. BUT, I personally think you could add upper bunks to one of the larger AS with the rear twin beds. Ours has a lot of closet and pantry storage, but not much storage beyond that.

We have been in the process for over a year of "lightening our load" to minimize the amount of "stuff" that we depend on. I think we still have a bit to do to fit our lifestyle inside our AS, but we are getting very close.

I have heard about some families who are doing what you propose with four kids, but haven't followed them closely. You might try googling Familes on the Road (FOTR).

As for the privacy issue, I believe it depends on your children, ages, genders, etc. For generations our ancestors have lived in much more confined and together spaces that we do today. My father shared a bedroom with several siblings. Seven children in a four room house. Four rooms, not four bedrooms. My sisters shared a bedroom until one married and left home. People in other cultures grow fine children several to the room.

Whatever you decide, keep us posted!

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Old 06-15-2010, 06:12 PM   #9
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The answer to your question is yes. However most likely not in an Airstream. Go to the Escapees forum site Escapees Discussion Forum (Powered by Invision Power Board) and ask this question. You will get information from those actually fulltiming with children.

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Old 06-18-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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Full-timing with children

Yes it can be done AND more importantly, can be very enjoyable!

We lived/traveled in a 34 ft AS from 1994 to 1996 with our three children ages 9, 8 and 6. We had a rear bedrm for us and the kids slept on the front sofa and the dinette which both made into beds. We have two girls and a boy so that arrangement worked well for us. We had a truck with a canopy so we gave each child a lg. rubbermaid tote and allowed them to take anything they could fit in it. We homeschooled, spent a lot of time outdoors and took advantage of all the amazing learning opportunities we could find.

It was a great experience and our now adult children still talk about it fondly today. My husband and I are getting ready to do it again (sans children) as soon as we finish renovating our 1970 Overlander!

It's not for everybody and can be challenging at times but if you have an adventurous spirit, it's an opportunity of a life time.


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Old 06-18-2010, 05:27 PM   #11
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Yes...We did it.

In 1994, when our 4 sons were 7, 9, 11, & 13, I retired and we loaded all up in a 34' motorhome, started homeschooling and spent the next 9 months traveling from coast to coast. We stopped when we bought our final home, but continued homeschooling until all 4 boys entered college. Six people in a 34's even hard to imagine today. People in campgrounds along the way were amazed. We were over gross weight for sure with books, two seasons of clothes, bicycles, a towed mini-van, and what have you.
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:38 PM   #12
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It's all about survival to some of us. I think life will have more meaning when survival is present, and you live longer richer lives. Ever thought about a remote tent? With an air mattress etc?...I had a science teacher that told us a story about things that live. So I will share it here. A doctor put some bacteria in a culture, and gave it everything it needed to live, and it died off. So then he did the same experiment and deprived the bacteria of everything --and it died off again...then he took a culture and started the bacteria again but this time he gave it a little food...and then deprived it some...and continued to do this way...and the bacteria began to thrive and grow. ...
Well- the bacteria got so big it devoured the doctor and half the town before they could stop it. (ha!) But I always keep this in mind while scooting across the planet (about the way things are etc).
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:10 PM   #13
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West Hollywood , California
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Very pricey option, but how about with 34' PanAmerica model and put the kids in rear garage? You would need to fab heater and airconditioner for that separate space.
Never be afraid of DIY. Remember, amateurs built the ark, and professionals built the Titanic.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:33 PM   #14
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Eustis , Florida
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4 kids in an AS

I know this is an old thread, but when I googled "4 kids in an Airstream" this is what it came up with.
Your whole situation is identical to my own- I could have written this thread myself!
4 kids, homeschooling, and considering an Airstream with bunks. How did it turn out?? Did you go with the Airstream? Did bunks work?
I would love to hear how things turned out and if you survived


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cooking, homeschool, kids, bunk bed, fulltiming

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