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Old 11-17-2011, 12:53 AM   #1
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Question Panoramic Windows vs. Single Window

Okay, so I'm trying to narrow down the window layout thing. I've more or less decided to look for a used 19' Bambi for full timing at least about 5-6 months out of the year. It's going to be perfect sizewise for just me, I think, and only just a bit crowded for both of us, as we've just come off about 5 years of living out of a suitcase and carry-on each, and we've learned to live in extremely tight quarters, so I'm thinking it'll be fine in terms of space.

So now I'm trying to figure out, do we need the panoramic windows to make the thing feel bigger, and does that outweigh the insulation loss and possible leakage issues? I worry that the single window might make things dark, claustrophobic and closed-in feeling after a long period. I've now sat in trailers with both, and sort of tend to prefer the panoramic windows, but...

Does anyone have opinions or experience that indicates one over the other? Would you mind sharing?

Zina
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zlee
Okay, so I'm trying to narrow down the window layout thing. I've more or less decided to look for a used 19' Bambi for full timing at least about 5-6 months out of the year. It's going to be perfect sizewise for just me, I think, and only just a bit crowded for both of us, as we've just come off about 5 years of living out of a suitcase and carry-on each, and we've learned to live in extremely tight quarters, so I'm thinking it'll be fine in terms of space.

So now I'm trying to figure out, do we need the panoramic windows to make the thing feel bigger, and does that outweigh the insulation loss and possible leakage issues? I worry that the single window might make things dark, claustrophobic and closed-in feeling after a long period. I've now sat in trailers with both, and sort of tend to prefer the panoramic windows, but...

Does anyone have opinions or experience that indicates one over the other? Would you mind sharing?

Zina
I have a 25' FB Int'l, the bedroom is in the front. I ordered it without the panorama window in the front, but I have one in the rear over my dinette. I like the layout because I never read or watch tv in bed. When I get in bed it is dark so the window is useless. My brother, OTOH, hates my layout because he reads and has his tv in the bedroom of his Casita. So it depends on how you use the front space. If my dinette was in the front I would have a panorama window there, although most of the time my view would be the back of the Tundra. I find it easier to back into a view. The panorama window does open up the area and is less claustrophobic. It does make the area less insulated, however, which is another reason I don't like one in the bedroom.

Like so many AS things it really depends on your lifestyle.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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I have a 16 ft Bambi Sport with the panoramic windows and I wouldn't want it any other way!! It is so incredible to see a full view and it brings in a ton of light! As far as any heat loss or too much heat gain, I don't notice anything. If I had only a single window, it would feel alot smaller and darker. I bought my 16' because of the panoramic windows. The 17' didn't have the same layout and the 19' did but it was a bit too expensive for me. Well happy hunting! I wish you success!
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:01 AM   #4
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We have a pano window in our 19' and we happen to like the interior aluminum skin as well, so we are good with that combo. Curtains for the pano can be lined and blockout added to mitigate heat loss and light invasion, too... I think I would miss the pano a lot...
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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The panos are quintessentially Airstream......worth the compromises. My advice is to find a newer one with welded joints.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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I'm afraid that I will have to be the panoramic window naysayer. We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, with the standard windows. We labored over the window decision when we bought Lucy new in 2005. We decided against the panoramic windows for the insulation factor. We feel that both the air conditioning and heat are more effective without the extra glass surfaces. We have camped a whole bunch in Lucy (960+ nights/80,000+ miles), and have found that the standard windows better fit our style of camping. We are rarely in Lucy when it is still daylight out.

The is one small additional factor to consider about the panoramic windows on an Airstream. If you follow one down the highway, it is reminiscent of a very large Darth Vader helmet.

Brian
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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I'm happy with "Tinbad" which is a standard Safari 25' (aft BR). With the single window and side windows for and aft. It provides ample view and additional insulation value.
Another consideration is the structural soundness/stiffness of having less window area (more windows/more possible leakage).
And finally, when I took possession the front window plexiglass protector had been hit by a rock necessitating replacement. It stands to reason that the corner window could be hit by flying objects and I don't recall seeing any information on wrap-around window protectors.
Aesthetics being a high consideration of all AS owners (other-wize one can hit the road on much less expensive trailers).....I like the smooth expanse of un-interupted curved corners and when guests come by they can't help but run they're hands over just that area.....they're eyes are just "drawn" to it!!
"FlashSilver" has an excellent point on "Backing into a View"...with the FB but I bought local to save on the cost of shipping from the far corners of the continent so I got what I ended up with and make do.
TbRich and Carlita are probably the ones to listen to most on this post as they are more in your size range and have more experience with a slightly smaller set up. AND you get by with a more economical tow vehicle.
Cheers (PS/ Picture of Tinbad on the "wrong side of the tracks")
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:16 PM   #8
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Wouldn't be without the pano windows, the sweeping view and sense of spaciousness is a refreshing experience.

On the practical side (whatever that has to do with Airstream) they may leak, so need watching. The rock guard may catch a rock and get a small crack, which may be less disturbing than a small dent in aluminum. Those extra curved side panels may be cooler/warmer than insulated aluminum but I doubt you would feel the overall difference.

On a late used 19' it may amount to more than the pano window. Those have been built in standard and SE models (the SE has the pano window), which includes a long list of upgrades for the SE including different side/back windows, aluminum interior walls, and several system additions/upgrades.

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Old 11-17-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
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I have a 2002 ASCL 31' which came with the pano windows in front with the rock shields.
  • Openess - The pano windows definitley "open" up the interior.
  • Insulation - The rock shields as OEM installed are just that, rock shields with large gaps between their seal and the AS curvatures which don't allow for any insulative effect; but they can be "bent" to conform exactly to the curvature of the AS so as to provide that "dead airspace" which IS insulative. I did so; it took me several patient hours; but mine now conform exactly and are insulative like double window panes.
  • Cosmetic - Darth Vader is my hero; I love the rock shields wrap-around "sunglasses" look on the front; wouldn't want it on the rear though; now if I can just get the AS to "breath" like Vader.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
The is one small additional factor to consider about the panoramic windows on an Airstream. If you follow one down the highway, it is reminiscent of a very large Darth Vader helmet.


This is very very helpful - thanks, everyone, and if there are more opinions, I'd really like to continue to hear them. So many pros! So many cons!

-z
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #11
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Would not go without Pana windows....You can bemore aware who is areound you...I don't care for blind spots while camping. I have a 25' Fb and PANO's in front and rear..The more light the better and while sleeping or reading a book people cannot see in because of the dark "Sunglasses" on the front. You get the best of both worlds,...Open Views and Privacy. I don't see any reason not to get them.

Take pictures and let us know w aht you get.

Shanw
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:49 PM   #12
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On a late used 19' it may amount to more than the pano window. Those have been built in standard and SE models (the SE has the pano window), which includes a long list of upgrades for the SE including different side/back windows, aluminum interior walls, and several system additions/upgrades.
Doug, that's a REALLY good point. I'm kind of on a tight budget, I'm just worried we'll either go mad or kill one another from claustrophobia without the dang panoramic windows! pros cons pros cons pros cons...
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:50 PM   #13
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You can bemore aware who is areound you...I don't care for blind spots while camping.
Ooh. I hadn't thought of that, either...
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #14
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The rock shields as OEM installed are just that, rock shields with large gaps between their seal and the AS curvatures which don't allow for any insulative effect; but they can be "bent" to conform exactly to the curvature of the AS so as to provide that "dead airspace" which IS insulative. I did so; it took me several patient hours; but mine now conform exactly and are insulative like double window panes.
Okay, now I have to go sift through your photos to find that. Is that something a non-mechanical but handy person like me can do?
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