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Old 09-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #1
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Fountain Valley , California
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Slept in more than 1 Airstream?

I have 2 questions for the experts:

1) Have you actually spent some overnights in different sleeping configurations , and if so, what made you choose the twin, vs queen bed situation. Climbing over seems to be the big thing, from what I'm reading. The rear bath brings up some issues, with the twin config, and the walk around queens, in the newer models seem over budget for my lifestyle. I would love to hear the pros & cons from you guys. I plan to rent, and hit the road, before purchasing, but there is a good chance I may not be able to experience each configuration before purchase. When asking this question, I do realize a lot is base on personal preference. Knee jerk response for me was "I don't want to sleep in separate beds "


2) Size Matters 19-25 or 27-31

Initial idea for AS use:

IMMEDIATE : frequent short trips, from California base. (AZ, NV, Coastal weekends).

A FEW YEARS PRIOR TO RETIREMENT: Living fulltime, renting space close to work in order to save $$$ ( are not homeowners)

POST RETIREMENT : Small plot with small house and nice shelter for AS. Used as guest house during summer, probably somewhere with Northern AZ climate (again Summer). Winters on the road. AZ, CA NV ..Family there.

Do you think, just one AS can fit the bill????? And if so, feedback on size.
We try to be frugal and will go used on TV and TT. We are also aware of the $$$ involved , going from place to place.

Do most people use the parks with the 25 foot limit often. On average?

Thanks for the feedback

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Old 09-30-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
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1959 22' Flying Cloud
1969 25' Tradewind
1983 34' Limited
fairview , New Mexico
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I have a few trailers and they all have different layouts. My favorite is the queen bed with the center bath. this is the 34 footer. The 31 center bath has the same setup. Next is my 69 Tradewind which has two gauchos in the front (party trailer) which is roomy . My least favorite is the safari which has twin beds and a gaucho in the front. Overall I think the rear qween is my fave.


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1959 Flying Cloud
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1973 Safari
1983 34 ft Limited
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
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We have owned both twins and the walk around queen. I prefer the twins because of the open floor space they leave. You can still use the area to get dressed and such. Although, she likes the queen. For the reason you mentioned.

With the queen there is only enough room to sideways around the bed. The bed takes up the entire space.

If one intended to live full-time, and we intend too in the future, my personal choice would be a 34' trailer or at bare minimum a 31'. Others will have differing views, but that is why there is more than one size made...
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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Have in three, 1966 Overlander double, 1966 Safari twin, 1970 Safari Special double.

The Overlander is the best, Safari Special second, Safari twin last.

Pros, Overlander/Special can have bed out all the time (no need for daily setup/teardown)

I would have to ask what size person are you and can two of you fit well in a double bed or do you need twin for a good nights sleep.

Since my wife and I are small compared to many now days, I've even thought of making the Overlander double into a 3/4 bed (old size bed between twin and double) to allow more walking around room. Plus have read somewhere a new study shows larger beds increases the chance of divorce.
Paul Waddell
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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We had a '64 GlobeTrotter 19-footer which had a "gaucho" or fold-up double bed. It was perfect for a weekend getaway for two. But on longer trips it was a PITA to make-up/make-down the bed everyday/night. It also made it somewhat difficult for us who have different "clocks" - me being a night owl & he being an early riser.

We currently have a '56 Safari 22-footer with twins. It is wonderful for longer trips and accomodates our separate schedules or sneaking in a nap much better. However, it would not be suitable IMO for full-time or extended trips like a full-time full/queen.

But then, for that we would most likely bump up the size another couple of feet to a 25/26' model. The beauty is, Airstreams have so many different options and their resale is better than most so you can change it up (or start a collection!) as you needs change. For most, your "first" Airstream is not your "last".

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Old 09-30-2011, 02:33 PM   #6
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For what it's worth: I was researching mattresses at one time and was surprised to learn that there are no formal regulations about size. A queen from one manufacturer can be as much as 2" narrower than from another. A "youth" bed looks like a twin but is about 20% smaller (they use them in model homes to make the bedrooms look bigger). A "full size" or double can vary wildly in size depending on the manufacturer. There is also a version of the queen size that is 2" longer - can't remember what it's called.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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The tough part to answer is your "full-time" requirement in the middle. Otherwise I would say start with a small Airstream (or better yet, a camper van) and then you will be the expert on what size you need for retirement.

We started with tents, VW camper vans, Scamp trailer, small Airstream, and now retirement with winters on the road with a Airstream 25'. That was a 45 year evolution.

doug k
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:17 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone! dkottum, you are spot on regarding the fulltiming smack dab in the middle. I checked out the info on Bolsa Chica State Beach, which is an example of where we would use the AS to hangout a few weekends in the summer, or let visitors take it for the weekend. The site mentions a 40 ft limit on campers and trailers. Does anyone know if they are also including the truck length???? I think I have seen people unhook the TV, but I do not know if they pay 2 parking fees. What have the experiences been like parking at West Coast beaches with the BIGGIES? I know it seems silly, but it really does sound like a bigger unit might be better for us, since we want to sock a significant amount on a small house by retirement, and not invest lots more $$$$ on a trailer upgrade, but I'm concerned about the limitations on size. Begin eye rolling now
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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Bowie , Maryland
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My wife and I went through this, too. We were simply not going to settle for twin beds, but they are more popular. However, we noticed that sometime during the 90s, Airstream realized that the queen (short queen, really) mattress could go "north-south" instead of "east-west" (across) the camper. With the bed arranged this way, the hassle of walking around the bed to get to the far side is eliminated. We have plenty of room around the bed for getting dressed.

We wanted a separate bedroom for the reasons others have described - we didn't want to make up and tear down the bed every day. Also, we wanted to be able to shut out the cat.

On the other hand, we came from a B190 where we had to climb a ladder into the bunk... so pretty much any other arrangement was going to feel GREAT!
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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Colfax , North Carolina
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We've had several Airstreams, and I've slept in several more. What I've found best for me is almost any twin configuration. I've never slept well, and when we had trailers with double beds, one of us has had to climb over the other to get out of bed. When that happens, I'm up for the rest of the night. Many Airstreams (and SOBs, too) that have doubles or queens are configured so one person will have to crawl over the other to get in and out of bed.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:01 AM   #11
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I have the 34' triple axle with the rear twins, two gouchos up front. I have found the rear twin setup nice. It works especially well with the kids. The 34 has a hallway between the kitchen/dinette area that creates a true bedroom in the rear. The hallway has accordian doors at both ends to allow the center bath to be blocked off or not. I have the large goucho on the streetside and the loveseat goucho on the front wall. I am 6'-7" so i always use the large goucho. It makes into a double bed, and folds up after use... The best of both worlds. Both goucho's have storage bins underneath. The streetside goucho also has an exterior hatch access for additional storage from the outside. Great for chairs, leveling blocks, etc.
The dinette in the 34 also converts to a bed; good for the kids too.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:44 AM   #12
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Berlin , Maryland
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We did not sleep in the twins nor in the queen before we purchased our 25 FT Flying Cloud FB Queen. We did consider the twins for ease of getting up in the middle of the night, however, then decided that why should we change our sleeping arrangements after all these years. We have no regrets with that decision.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:05 AM   #13
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Chattanooga , Tennessee
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I have had several Airstreams with different configurations. I like the center bath because folks don't have to walk through the bedroom to get to the bath. That's my biggie.

The twins have their own advantage of availability for non-couples. The queen has its own advantage for couples or 2 adults and 1 child if there is a group involved. I won't even get into where the dogs sleep!

I definitely like not having to make the goucho up everyday, so do prefer the bed set up. I am looking for a 27 or 29 footer and have also been thinking about the set up. But the major thing for me as I said above, is the center bath, even if it is a little smaller than a rear bath.
Kathy, Tommy, & Crew, Chattanooga, TN
Air #2757
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:02 AM   #14
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Hays County , Texas
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First was a 22' International with a double bed in the front, roadside corner. Bed was blocked on 3 sides. Plenty wide bed, but someone had to crawl over in the night.

Second was a 25' Classic with crosswise queen bed. Plenty of space at the front and bottom. However, while not against the back wall, there was too little space to get in or out. Wife had to crawl down the bed or over me to get out. Better, but not optimal.

Third was a 28' Classic with crosswise queen. Same problems as the 25, above until I tore out the queen and replaced it with twin beds and custom mattresses. Perfecto! We sleep better and don't disturb each other in the night. No one has to do calisthenics to get in and out.

A fore and aft queen would be ok, as well, but my advice is to stay away from crosswise beds.

John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
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