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Old 09-15-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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Living with sliding bathroom / hall doors...info please

I am curious as to how folks like living with the bathroom arrangements in a number of the AS models. Those being the ones with the shower on one side that opens to the "hall" and the powder room on the other side with either the hinged or sliding door.

Do the sliding doors work reliably? Do they latch "tight"? Is it a pain dealing with them or is it no big deal? If it was just my wife and I, it would not matter much, but we travel with our 12yo daughter who at times bring friends. Don't want any "surprises" on our trips . No anatomy lessons if you know what I mean!

With the door shut, it looks like the powder room is as small, or smaller than the one in our SOB hybrid.

As a point of reference, I am thinking about a mid to late 90's to early '00 28', likely a classic/excella. Depending on the market/economy etc. if I decide to get an AS. My wife is leaning towards another SOB (although she does like AS) mostly for the room you get with the large slides. I am leaning towards the AS as it is an itch left over from years ago that I think I need to scratch.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:10 AM   #2
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I guess not many folks have this set-up. I suppose it is mostly in the newer trailers?
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:42 AM   #3
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Soyboy,
Welcome to the forums. And I know the "itch" you speak of. I had it so bad I had to buy two Airstreams and there are some here on the forum that have more than that.

As for bathroom privacy some models do have doors that latch and lock. Neither our '87 or '06 have what I would call a "secure bathrooms".

In the '87 the sink, tiolet, and shower are all on the road side of the trailer and the sliding door does not latch. If you close the bathroom "door" you barely have room to turn around. There is also an accordian door between the galley and the hall leading to the bedroom that doesn't latch either.

In the '06 the sink and toilet are on the road side and the shower is across the hall on the curb side. This are is separted from the galley and the bedrrom by two sliding doors, neither of which latch.

My advice is to go visit a dealer and take a look at them and look at pictures on the Internet, you will be able to tell which models and floor plans have "secure" privys.

The slide on our '06 does open up the trailer and makes for more room, but not like some of the big slides on SOB units.

Good luck on your seach and let us know how you make out or if you have any questions.
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:56 PM   #4
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Thanks Deitz:

I did venture by a dealer today (1.5 hours from my house). I got going looking at all of the rest of the trailers and I didn't take time to really work the according doors. I looked at a 25', too small for us and the rear corner bed.....forgetaboutit. Maybe if I was traveling alone. Seems weird that they don't latch but maybe I could retrofit something. Don't want to seem overly concerned about it, it us mostly for when my daughter has friends along. I can always run them and their ipods/nintendo DS's outside if need be. The models that I saw had "normal" swinging / latching doors on the powder room so no problem there.

Although I had read about it, the size of the shower was a bit surprising to me. I am 6'2" 230#. I think it is workable though, I figure I could just sit down for most of the shower. I think that would be easier than trying to stand/stoop.

On the plus side, I was pleasantly surprised about the amount of storage in the trailer. I don't think we would loose much compared to my current SOB. I really liked all of the interiors. Some of them I would not want to "live with" for practical reasons, such as the Ocean Breeze, we camp in the woods a lot and keeping that clean would be a nightmare. It would be nice when we make our beach trips, such as this weekend to Assateague!

All in all, I still have a strong case of Aluminitus!
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:36 PM   #5
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Soyboy,
I guess a hook and eye would suffice to "lock" the doors, although it would not look very nice.

We don't have too much trouble with the cramped showers as both my wife and I are what you might call vertically challenged. I'm the "tall" one at 5'6".

Which dealer did you go to?
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Old 09-16-2008, 05:05 PM   #6
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If you're concerned about privacy there are locks made for sliding and /or pocket doors.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soyboy View Post
I did venture by a dealer today (1.5 hours from my house). I got going looking at all of the rest of the trailers and I didn't take time to really work the according doors. I looked at a 25', too small for us and the rear corner bed.....forgetaboutit.
I agree, the corner type bed didn't look interesting to me, but the Flying Cloud and the Classic Limited (and many of the older trailers) have a nice twin bed configuration that gives more sleeping room, and freedom from climbing over your SO for those 3 AM runs.

The 27 footer gives you the same layout, but with more storage. Both have lots of couch space, for lounging teenagers...

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Old 09-17-2008, 10:09 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input.

Aage: I agree about the twin beds, but my wife is balking. She wants to snuggle next to her hubby! Maybe this means that she'll put up with me for a while longer.


Dietz: I went to Safford in Thornburg, VA. The salesman, Steve Wood, was very helpful. I think the interiors on the new models are pretty cool, don't know if I would want to live with some of them day to day, some of the CCDs are kind of dark (but still cool looking). I think it was a Flying Cloud that had kind of a Birch paneling that I really liked. In any event, unless I hit the lotto, I will be looking for a used model when I decide to "switch".

My decision will likley come down to trying to decide whether or not to get an early '00 model with the newer style interiors, or perhaps a mid to late 90's Excella 28' (which seem to be hard to find compared to some of the others). The interior on the Excella is not quite as "cool" to me (I know it is subjective) but it's not bad either and the price is much better assuming I would find one it decent shape. Of course I have not had the opportunity to check one out in person yet, I look forward to finding one in the area that I can look at in the near future. I certainly like a lot of the vintage models too but, I don't need another project (I live in a 90 year old house that always needs something, I have a 12 year old and a wife that I like to spend time with and I love to go camping). Plus we boondock a lot and I would like a trailer with larger tanks, which must of the "later" models seem to have and the earlier ones don't. One thing I really would like to have are the panoramic windows. I love the airyness that gives the trailer and to be honest I like the look of the tinted stone sheilds. Heck the "cool" factor is half of this airstream thing anyway isn't it? Kind of like a Harley and rock and roll music, if you have to ask why, you'll never understand.

My cop-out mode is to throw my hands up and purchase another SOB. I always liked Sunlines and there are still some new models floating around on dealer's lots. I think most of them want too much money for the trailers considering that even though they are new, they are 2 or 3 years old, are "orphaned" and have limited warranties. But they are nice SOBs and there are used one's around too. I also like Arctic Fox trailers, but they stopped making them on the east coast, and like the Sunline, I would prefer to purchase a trailer that still has a factory service center (like Airstreams) relativily close at hand. However, as stated earlier, I have a pretty good case of aluminitus and are still itching
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:33 AM   #9
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Soyboy,
Seeing how you have a beefy TV (which will tow any of the Airstream lineup) why not look at the 30' or 31' Classics???. I like the Classic interiors over the other more modern interiors and color schemes. I know the price tags on all of them can be daunting, but I figure the '06 I bought should still be on the road 40 years from now and then I can hand it down to my daughter. In that time frame how many SOB trailers do you think one would go through??? Money spent up front should be money saved down the road. Just my $0.02 and you know what that is worth.

We started out with a 30' Keystone Springdale - rear kitchen model, had it a year and traded it in on the 30' '06 Classic with a slide. The Springdale was nice, but we had a leak at the slide which ruined the simulated wood compressed carboard surround at the refrigerator. We had the slide adjusted twice and the refrigerator surround replaced twice and it still leaked. This was the perfect opportunity to speing an Airstream on my wife, as I had always wanted one since I was a little kid. She took the bait and we have not looked back. Airstreams do have their "issues", but I do not "worry" about the Airstreams like I did about the Keystone. Plus the towing experience is WAY better. The 30' Keystone was the tail wagging the dog and driving to a campground was NOT a pleasurable experience, jsut ask my wife.

Good Luck to you no matter what you decide.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:48 AM   #10
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Carl:

I would love to go with a 31'. However, two problems:

# 1, we are state park campers and I think in some of the parks it might be a bit tough getting into the sites. Although I could likely work around that by being judicious in my site selection (at least whenever possible).

#2 We live in Frederick, Md which has a "historic" downtown area where our townhouse (row house) house is located. As you might imagine, space is limited. We are fortunate that the property behind our house used to be a junkyard and has some of the rare, open space downtown. It has now been converted in to a more upscale property by a couple of Attorneys who reside there in the rehabed/renovated office buidling (it was actually on the House and Garden cable channel). We rent garage space from them (there was an exisiting pre-engineered metal building with 5 garages in it on the property that we rented from the previous owner too). I also rent space to park my trailer. However, I have to back in off of a public alley, onto a private drive, do an "s" curve while backing between the iron style fences on each side of the drive. I don't think a 31+ would make the squeeze. Plus our trailer spot between the buildings would be perfect for a 25' (which I don't what to buy) but I think the 27/28' would be backed in far enough that the owner would not mind (yep I've had the tape measure out). He gets finicky about keeping the asphalt apron in front of the garages open so his kids can ride bikes etc.

BTW: I think I could get the 28' back there if I took down one section of the "iron" (actually it's fake iron, in reality it's aluminum) fence. I have not approached the owners about that yet, but they have been pretty cool about working with me and my vehicles (the other garages rented as storage units and rarely have people visiting). Heck they even put up with my "noisy" diesel pickup, oil changes, vehicle washing, bearing repacks etc. I try not to do these things and walk around all greased up when they are entertaining on their back patio.

While we love our home and living downtown, one of these days, when the real estate market improves (we thought we would have been long gone by now) we will likely move out into the county on an acre of land or more, not in a subdivision so no HOA. They I can buy whatever I want length wise. But for now I am operating within the constrants I have as I would prefer not to park off-site. Believe me I feel lucky living where I do that I even have a space behind my house to park my trailer and two vehicles.

I think we have camped near where you liveat Robin Hill (I think that is the name) when we visited Dorney Park a couple of times. I'm not a hunter, but we also love to visit Cabelas up in Hamburg. We spend hours there whenever we pass through.

Thanks for your help and input.
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:53 AM   #11
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Soyboy,
We have an '07, 27' Safari FB LE and have the type of bathroom set up that you are inquiring about. We travel with two teen age boys and two dogs. My wish when looking at coming out of a leaking SOB was a bed that you could walk around so we went with the Queen bed set up. The small storage closets on either side of the bed hold a surprising amount of gear!
We are not tall so the shower presents no issues for us, but our 6'3 largely built friend has been in it and declares it fine for him too, so that is probably something that you can work with.
The accordion doors work well, but do not lock. They do, however, latch into place with a nice click, and my dogs crawling under to lick legs after a shower, have not been able to unlatch them from their post so I feel pretty secure when they are closed and the boys on the other side. My tall friend leaves the bathroom door ajar for his knees and uses the accordion door for privacy.
Our SOB had slide outs and terrible leaking problems that required a full rebuild of floor and sides, only to have the problem occur again the next season. We decided to go for the dream and got our AS and have not looked back since! On our last trip we had a wicked thunder storm and one of the boys looked at me and said 'isn't it nice to feel secure that we won't get rained on!'. It sure was!
Because we use our sofa and dining table for sleeping area on each trip we covered the cushions to protect them. I used a Sunbrella upholstery fabric that I got on sale at a local shop, for resistance against sun and dirt and have been quite pleased with the results. I used a fairly neutral fabric that meshed with the color scheme already in place (love the Ocean Breexe too, but not the upkeep!) and the tone keeps the interior feeling light.
Best of luck in your search!
Kat
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:29 PM   #12
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Kat: Thanks, that was good info.

As I read through the postings I see a common thread, several of us dumped our SOB's because of leaks. That is one of the reasons I want to move along the Jayco.

I had a bad leak last fall (darn I meant to get the Dicor up on the roof ) that messed up the back corner of my ceiling and de-laminated part of the plywood under the roof. It's all dried out with no leaks now, thanks to a dehumidifier, Dicor lap sealent and Eternabond ..... the SOBs friend. But I still need to fix the interior panel that got the famous "bubbles" in it before I try to sell the trailer. Of course it is glued to the insulation in the ceiling so it is a pain to remove. I was talking to my RV mech, he said he would leave it in place and cover it with either a new piece of paneling, ceiling fabric or a neutral color indoor outdoor carpet with some trim work at the edges. This cost of ripping it all apart is not worth it for this type of trailer. I think that is the route I will take.

That was actually the second leak in our trailer. The first happened shortly after we purchased the trailer, there was a leak around the AC. One of the other reasons I was attracted to Airstreams. I know they can leak too, but the incidence seems a good bit lower.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:46 PM   #13
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Soyboy,
I did not realize your space limitations when it comes to parking. We are lucky in the fact that we live in the middle of nowhere on about 3 acres and have plenty of room to spare.

We live about 5 minutes away from the Hamburg Cabela's which is dangerous as I am a hunter, fisher, etc... The next time you're in our neck of the woods drop me I line and we can meet up at Cabela's. You are correct about Robin Hill, it is outside of Kutztown, but strangely enough, we have never camped there. Tomorrow we are headed to Freeland, MD to Morris Meadows Recreation Park for a long weekend of R&R and an opportunity to get Katarina (our '06) out on the road.

As for trailer length I do not know if you are aware, but Airstream lengths include the tongue, where SOB lengths are only for living space. We use the PA state park system quite a bit and I have never had a problem getting the 30' Airstream plus the quad cab 8' bed TV into a spot. We frequent French Creek and Locust Lake state parks.

I will keep my eye out for an Airstream that fits your criteria.
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:35 PM   #14
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Thanks Carl. Yep I was aware of the overall length deal. I have factored that into my constraints.

Enjoy your trip to Morris Meadows!

Denman
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