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Old 11-03-2014, 12:28 AM   #15
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BearScream,

It is interesting that in the interests of aesthetics you prefer not to have the bed next to the john, but your drawing shows the galley next to the john--very high eeeyyyuuuuuu!!! factor in my book. Just MHO.

I tend to agree with those who prefer tandem axles over single axles. One reason is the ease of changing a flat--just run the good tire on the same side side up a ramp to lift the flat tire up to clear the ground, replace the flat, run it down again and you are good to go: no jacks, no agonizing over where to place the jack to avoid damaging the undercarriage.

And welcome to the forum!

Vivian
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:32 AM   #16
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Slowmover, AW Warn, cwf ... Thanks for these thought provoking insights and comments -- they really force me to re-examine my plan -- a very good thing.
I will try to react to each...and the welcome feels great! I thought this thread was dead.
-Myles
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Landshark View Post
BearScream,

It is interesting that in the interests of aesthetics you prefer not to have the bed next to the john, but your drawing shows the galley next to the john--very high eeeyyyuuuuuu!!! factor in my book. Just MHO.
[...]
Vivian
I guess I am used to that one -- my townhouse has a half-bath off the kitchen so I accepted it long ago. Just goes to show, it's what you get used to!

And thanks for the welcome.
-Myles
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:45 AM   #18
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I would recommend going vintage for weight considerations. It seems the older the Airstreams are lighter than the newer ones.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:51 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
I'd much prefer tandem over single. That said a 20' certainly does not need a truck. A minivan (use Honda Odyssey as default) or a V6 Charger are more than up to the task. Yes, a turbodiesel is best FE, but initial cost is no longer offset by long-term economy.

Since time is available I'd also recommend a visit inside a Casita and Oliver. The smaller the space the more serious are any mistakes. A long visit with pics taken.

Leave out the literal interpretation of small footprint as being prepared for contingencies trumps all else. A 23' could be a better choice and has no fuel penalty. Having to leave the trailer due to the unforeseen is what hurts most. Water and propane capacity are central to what an RV is . . . floor plan is detail by comparison.

Good luck, and welcome


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
I am due for new wheels anyway, and am still not sure what a 5000GVWR trailer really needs -- how small is most FE and still safe. I figure a 20% margin (6000 lbs tow rating) would be enough, and so the Tacoma, but its FE is not very good. I don't have any experience with minivans or SUVs but thought a truck would give me utility storage and with an extended cab, some inside storage as well for a solo driver.

As for the 23, esp. the older front sofa model, I liked the sofa/desk area, but not the limited galley, since I prepare almost all my meals. The 20' galley seduced me!
I admit I would prefer a larger fresh water tank than 21gal for dry camping. Thought I would carry extra gallons in the truck, with cap. Does the 23 really have no fuel penalty at over 1000 lbs more?

Thanks for the comments.
-Myles
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:02 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I also would opt for dual axel for stability and load capacity.

A comment about your floor plan: To me it looks like the bulk of the cabinetry storage for food and kitchen equipment would be behind the axle, which could be to heavy in the rear. The trailer must be kept in "balance" so that 10% to 15% of the gross weight of the trailer is on the hitch, but kept within the frame's load limits. Only 85% to 90% of the trailer weight should be on the axle or axles. If the trailer is to light on the hitch it will contribute to dangerous sway.
That is a surprise! I was trying to respect the rather light-weight dinette and bed construction to keep the weight balance as in the as-built. My worry was not to make it too forward-heavy! Of course, I could carry some barbells under the bed.
It seems the spec'd tongue weight is already a rather heavy 631 as it is. Where does that weight come from with all the kitchen/bath weight aft?

[Oh, I see the fresh water tank is 23, not 21.]

Thank for the comments and welcome!
-Myles
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:06 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 68Streamline View Post
I would recommend going vintage for weight considerations. It seems the older the Airstreams are lighter than the newer ones.
Seems true, from what I see, but that opens up major refitting/condition trade-offs.
That's why I wanted something that would be prettty close to contemporary.
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:49 AM   #22
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Thanks AW Warn. With a couple or family, space is a must. I want to try for a comfortable minimum, maybe as a design challenge.

I looked at Casita and Oliver on-line. IIRC the Casita was a might small. The Oliver is nicely designed and built. But its built-in construction does not lend itself to anything like the layout I would want, it has a wet bath, and seems to have much more sleep and sitting space than I need. Many nice features though. Both are relatively new, recycled outfits so the record on them and future viability is not clear.

I also looked at the Arctic Fox. An energy efficient coach would require less heat and AC. It is a bit heavy, large and the conventional big bed-forward layout admits no space for a desk, which I really want. It seems designed for a couple.

I do check the AF classifieds daily, and have even collected a small data base of year vs asking price as a guide to the overall market. Ebay scares me a little for this kind of buy.

As for renting, not a bad idea. My local AS dealer in NH rents only SOBs, and doesn't let you drive them to a campsite yourself. It would be like spending a few days in a cabin without any of my usual things to do. I do have prior experience with small apartment and studio living here and abroad. Even if they were rather bigger than a 20, I adjusted. Anyway, if all the functions I need are in it, I think I can swing it. And then there is always the outdoors, or the daily driver if I have to get away. Or my beloved computer....

I really like the idea of attending an AS meeting of some kind. There are local AS groups, I believe in the various states. Is that what you mean?

I spent about an hour, alone in two 20' units at Colonial NJ, looking at space, construction and just getting a feel for it. I don't know consciously, but I left in a positive mood.

Well thanks for your interesting take on it. If an AS is not going to do, I may have to
go to a more static tiny house!
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:31 AM   #23
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Welcome, and good luck in your endeavor.

Traveling comfortably with 20' of living space is eminently doable.

Fuel costs when traveling small are greatly reduced, and flexibility in finding campsites is greatly enhanced.

Others here can guide you best for where to put what, to balance weight, and you can also look at floor plans online, which will do the same.

If you have lived comfortably in studio apartments, small spaces don't seem to be a problem for you.

It is then a matter of setting things up efficiently, so that you have what you need and need what you have.

Keep us posted!


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Old 11-03-2014, 07:40 AM   #24
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Remember.. if all the 'necessities' are contained in the AS, if feeling confined, you can always go outside to change your mind...
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:39 AM   #25
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We had a 20' and it's a good weekender/vacation traveler but lacking living space for extended use. That will soon become more important than the galley. We considered converting the bed to sofa/bed as well, but transforming spaces can be tiring in everyday use.

For a single person, take a look at the 23D (dinette). Much more spacious feel to living space. One recommendation on this, remove the dinette bench seat (1 hour job with a screwdriver) on the curb (door) side and replace it with a comfortable swivel recliner. You've pretty much got it all, no transforming of spaces, and tandem axles with the extra braking and lighter tire loads as well.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:07 AM   #26
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Hi Maggie (if you will permit me)
I have been following some of your posts for quite some time as a lurker.
It seems we are on the same page in our views on size.
Your encouragement from traveling in an Interstate is right on point.

-Myles
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:31 AM   #27
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The only way to travel, IMO.


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Old 11-03-2014, 11:35 AM   #28
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Just what I think, CWF...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
We had a 20' and it's a good weekender/vacation traveler but lacking living space for extended use. That will soon become more important than the galley. We considered converting the bed to sofa/bed as well, but transforming spaces can be tiring in everyday use.

For a single person, take a look at the 23D (dinette). Much more spacious feel to living space. One recommendation on this, remove the dinette bench seat (1 hour job with a screwdriver) on the curb (door) side and replace it with a comfortable swivel recliner. You've pretty much got it all, no transforming of spaces, and tandem axles with the extra braking and lighter tire loads as well.
For a 'we' that is almost inevitably the case. I have cooked in a smaller galley (in the studio) and I don't want to give up the extra counter space.
I have an idea for the sofa bed that will, if successful, allow it to be a 30" wide sofa and a 48" bed as in the as-built plan. Conversion will be a matter of extending the 18" length and unfolding the mattress onto it. This will allow the bedding to remain largely in place. If that doesnt work, I will just go to a 30" wide daybed/gaucho idea.

I really liked the 23 front sofa/bed of 2013 with its semi-circle desk. If I
could design the 23, I would take the aft end of the 20' and marry it to the front end of that 23 from the door forward. If I were designing the 20, I would move the wardrobe to adjoin the bathroom bulkhead, moving the double windows forward, and shortening the desk. That would open up the
space around the sofa like in the 23.

For me, the dinette is overkill. I would rather use the space otherwise while retaining a dining solution for 1-3/4 people for (very) rare occasions. Not that I dislike booth dinettes; I always seek them out in restaurants for the extra comfort!

In a restricted space, I think it is important to have the furniture multifunction and modular if possible. Even the regulation dineete converts to a twin bed in the 20. Changing form reduces the boredom of a fixed furniture formation as most studios affirm. The dinette bed is unneeded for one person, and I don't expect to have that kind of guest. If I did, I would rig up something else and sleep on it myself.

I have seen such recliner conversions on the forum, a decent solution for adding some lounging space. It does move in the more flexible direction.

Removing the 20's bed-dinette partition will also open up the space and give a less confined feel, halfway to that 23. That's my plan at any rate.

-Myles
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