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Old 12-21-2009, 12:41 AM   #1
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Japanese Airstreams

Decided to visit the Airstream dealer in Saitama Prefecture on Sunday. Wanted to show the wife what they looked like and I wanted to get an idea of what I may be getting myself into.

The only models available in Japan are the Flying Cloud 19`and 25` FB and 22` Sport.

The thing that shocked me the most was how narrow they are. The sales lady said that due to Japan`s narrow roads, models imported into Japan are narrower than in the US. First off, I`m 6`1" and weigh about 195 lbs, i.e., I`m somewhat skinny. I could barely fit between the bath and shower on the 25` FB. I have narrow shoulders and still had to move between them at an angle. The wife even had a little trouble getting through.

They didn`t have any brochures for 2010 yet, so I couldn`t determine just how much narrower they are compared to the US versions. The sales lady said 10cm, but I think it`s closer to 25cm.

The other problem I had was the shower. I stood in it but hit my head on the vent/light. Is this normal for my height?

Oh, and I should mention the cost. The 25`FB is selling for about $88,500 (8,000,000 yen) with the exchange rate taken into consideration.

Overall I was impressed with the fit and finish, but I could see where things could be improved.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
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Well the aristreams they are selling in Japan are the ones made by Airstream Europe- separate website and all. And yes they are narrower- so are the European models for sale. That is why so many people are exporting the vintage units- more charm- less price- same sizes- less weight! Here is the link- should have 2010 layouts on the website somewhere! Good luck! Stop by the Airstream Cafe in Tokyo if you want to see the vintage units!

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Old 12-21-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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the euro/asian units are 7.5 feet wide, while the LARGER modern usa units are 8.5 feet wide.

this translates to ~7 foot interior width or 8 ft interior width on the domestic units.

but withOUT slides and with the intrusion of over head storage, they all still feel narrow.

especially the longer units (in the closet/shower area) with bed/lounge at opposite ends,

because the center becomes a distinct 'hall way' like passage.

ALL the showers are height challenged because the shower floor is elevated 3 inches or so.

add to that the wheel well intrusion and the upper side radius which lead to most SITTING 4 showers
______________

the legal limit for outside width in the usa is ~ 8.5 feet so the modern streams max this out.

but the lack of multiple slides, rounded shoulders and only 1 entry/exit door means...

they are relatively SMALL inside and compared to 5th wheels or class A mohos, feel narrow.

one simple exercise to realize the physical space is to draw a CHALK outline ~30 ft x 8 feet...

then mark/fill in the bed/galley/bath/closet/sofa/dinette and what's left is 'walking space'...

which is less than 60 sq feet in a 34.

cheers
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Maybe try a vintage Tradewind with wet bath. I'm 6'-3" (not as skinny as I used to be) and find it roomy enough for me.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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I agree, try vintage but make sure it hasn't been stolen here in the US and shipped to Japan. A family here in Seattle, Wash. had there vintage 22 ft stolen from their backyard last year and has yet to be found. My guess it was on a container ship by the time they knew it was gone, filling a order for a vintage airstream somewhere.
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #6
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I took a look at the European website. Their models appear to be very different from the Japanese models. The Japanese models had an American hitch with a reese setup, etc.
I sat in the 25FB, which I believe is the same model that Gene Crawford has. I think it was even the same year. That's the one that was very narrow between the toilet and shower. The sales lady said that the American version is 10 cm wider, but I think it is closer to 30 cm which is about a foot wider. I can imagine how much wider a foot would add to the width.

As for the shower, I guess sitting down is the only option.

I forgot to mention that after I stepped up through the entrance I looked back and realized that I didn't hit my head, but like a lot of people on here, I'm sure I will. I also laid down on the bed and it was somewhat comfortable, but I think the forward facing bed of the 27FB would be better.

I like the idea of chalking an outline on the street. Does anyone know where I can get the interior layout specs for a 34' and 27FB? It would be a great idea so that the wife and I can compare the layouts.

I have lived in Tokyo for over nine years and have never heard of the Airstream Cafe in Tokyo nor have I ever seen an Airstream on the roads. The wife has never seen one either. As a matter of fact, I bought a Buell XB12 in 2007 and up until then I had never seen one on the roads. After I bought one I think I saw maybe three in the two years that I had it. Buell is now out of business which in hindsight makes sense.

I'll ask around about the Airstream Cafe, since there is no such thing as a telephone book here.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chikusho! View Post
I have lived in Tokyo for over nine years and have never heard of the Airstream Cafe in Tokyo nor have I ever seen an Airstream on the roads. The wife has never seen one either. As a matter of fact, I bought a Buell XB12 in 2007 and up until then I had never seen one on the roads. After I bought one I think I saw maybe three in the two years that I had it. Buell is now out of business which in hindsight makes sense.

I'll ask around about the Airstream Cafe, since there is no such thing as a telephone book here.
airstreamcafe.jp/index

I have come across photos of a bunch of vintage airstreams set up in a courtyard in Japan as well- but at the moment can't think of where those might be at on the internet.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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The trailers that are sold to Japan are built specifically for Japan requirements.Not AEU trailers
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:04 PM   #9
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I suspected they were. I think the only difference I could see was the rear reflectors and how much narrower they are. I`m sure that the electrical system is different too.

There is a camping place out in Ibaraki Prefecture that has three 2001 34 footers that can be rented, i.e., slept in. However, to get there would cost $100 round trip via train and almost $200 per night. I may eventually stay a night, but right now I can`t afford it.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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it might help those offering advice to review your game plan here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...one-54965.html

the floor plans for many years are on the a/s company website.

the bed dimensions are usually shown, not much else.

but the pics are VERY close to exact proportions.

i'm sure we can provide some of the basics (dinette, sofa, counter, halls) for any specific floor plan.

i'll post here some of the interior bits for the standard 34 classic in a few days.

most (all) of the units on your radar are 8.5 feet wide,

unless you find a late 80s early 90s unit in the 8 foot width (pre wide body)

cheers
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:01 AM   #11
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My game plan hasn`t changed. I still intend to full-time in California.

I`m still on the fence with regard to size. I prefer the 27FB over the 34`, but when it comes to money I may not have a choice. I`m not opposed to the 34`, I just think it will be a lot more difficult to sell if we need to sell it, i.e., money problems. I`m not crazy about buying a diesel truck either, especially with all of the problems that I have read on this forum, not to mention the price of diesel and how full economy has gone down with all of the environmental regulations.

Can`t say that the wife is crazy about it, but I`m doing my best to convince her that we would only be in one full-time while I`m in graduate school.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:44 AM   #12
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My game plan hasn`t changed. I still intend to full-time in California...
actually the message was for others to review your plans...

since several of the suggestions involve airstreams IN japan.
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there is a member here, carol (wheel interested) who has a 27 fb classic for sale, it's a very nice trailer.

the safari/flying cloud 27 fb is basically the same floor plan, with different materials and trim.

they're both about 25 foot x 8 foot INSIDE, i'm sure carol would forward you MORE pics if you're interested and contact her.

it's a nice floor plan for folks who like it, but the closet space is ~3 linear feet.

which is not a lot for 2 adults living full time.

of course there's space under the bed and small closets (10 inches) on each side of the bed too.

there isn't a great place for a crib/baby bed, but the dinette or side lounge could be modified.

cheers
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:30 AM   #13
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Sorry about that. I assumed the message was for me.

Basically we are moving back to the states with the clothes on our backs so space isn't going to be a problem, at least at first. We are planning to be a digital as possible. I bought a Kindle and have gotten rid of all of my books.

If you have some time, I would appreciate some interior measurements of your 34'.

Kiana can either sleep with us or on the lounge bed. Carol uploaded some high resolution photos. Does anyone have the interior specs for the 27FB? I'd still like to chalk the road so that we can do a walk through.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:54 AM   #14
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My game plan hasn`t changed. I still intend to full-time in California.

I`m still on the fence with regard to size. I prefer the 27FB over the 34`, but when it comes to money I may not have a choice. I`m not opposed to the 34`, I just think it will be a lot more difficult to sell if we need to sell it, i.e., money problems. I`m not crazy about buying a diesel truck either, especially with all of the problems that I have read on this forum, not to mention the price of diesel and how full economy has gone down with all of the environmental regulations.

Can`t say that the wife is crazy about it, but I`m doing my best to convince her that we would only be in one full-time while I`m in graduate school.
If money is an issue you should be aware that used 34 footers sell for less than the 25's & 27 footers. So you can get more for less when it comes to Airstreams.

While many of us use a diesel for towing. You can tow any Airstream even a 34 footer with any gas powered truck. For the 34 I'd suggest a 3/4 ton truck.
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