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Old 07-28-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
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Rivet if I were in designing Airstreams, I would ...

Hoping others will chime in with their ideas!

If I were in charge of Airstream's design department, one unit I would design is a 34' FB BH

I drew up a floor plan, but have no idea how to get it from paper to this screen, so will try to describe in words.

You would enter as current FB models, with dinette under rear window on your left, sofa in front of you, making a large L shaped unit (could also be a U shaped dinette w/ two recliners OR the L shaped sofa and loveseat configuration. Dinette table on hydrolic mount, adjustable heights: bed, coffe table, dining table, bar height.

A rear storage compartment would be under the rear window, accessable from the outside. This compartment could be as as wide and deep as a sofa if placed there or it could be two long compartments, one under each dinette seat, again accessable from outside.

Turn right, and galley kitchen is on your right (on curbside): first countertop with appliance garage on wall under upper storage cabinet (so the open door will not block a window!). A TV on rotating mount could be placed here, on cabinet end, so it can be seen from throughout living area. Then the sink with window behind it, some counter, then range with microwave/vent hood above, then bit of counter, then fridge. All with upper storage cabinets above.

Next, on same wall, pantry (2' wide with slide out shelves), wardrobe (5', cedar lining optional, or W/D ventless unit optional in wardrobe), linen closet (1' wide, pull out baskets), pull out and removable laundry bin in lower half.

Front bedroom with queen bed, head of bed at very front of AS. Under pillow area would be a storage area for 4 - 8 batteries (for solar), accessable only from inside (bed on good hydrolic lift system).

This bedroom is about a foot longer than current FBs, to accomodate a dresser on either side of the door, with drawers that pull out towards foot of bed. Storage compartments, accessable from outside, possible under each. If wanted, a tv could be mounted on swivle mount above one dresser.

A wardrobe on each side of bed, reading lights mounted to sides of wardrobe (so that you do not have to reach way up to shut them off, I hate that!).

The front bedroom also would have an EXIT door on one side, window on the other.

Under the foot of the bed would be a long rolling storage shelf that is aligned to pullout all the way, extending into the hall, so that deep storage is accessable without having to lift the bed. Bed is mounted 8' higher to give additional storage space beneath.

When you exit the FB, the bathroom is on your right, complete with shower. Tub bottom could be at least one foot deep to make it more useful for bathing children or dogs.

Next, on the right, across from the galley kitchen, is the second bedroom. My choice would be for a loft style bedroom, with bed above, wardrobe next to far end of bed (headboard backs up to shower wall, wardrobe on the right of that along hall wall. Under the loft bed is built in dresser and desk. Windows above and below, so both spaces get air and daylight. A ladder is used to access the above loft. Option would be two bunks, twin or full bed below (though no wardrobe if full bed chosen).

The sofa runs up to the foot end wall of the loft bedroom (would love to squeeze a desk against that wall, just before sofa, but don't think there is room.

This unit has same flooring throughout: cork, marmoleum, wood (carpet optional in bedrooms, I don't care for it).

Awnings all around
Pocket doors throughout
Instant hot water heater
Catalytic converter heater, with built in venting
3 MaxxAir fans: FB, galley, living area
Radient heating under floors (and up walls?!) possible
A dc based heat wrap system for holding tanks and piping (all enclosed for cold weather camping)
Best insulation available thoughout, including silver backed bubble wrap.
Double pane windows (?)
Maxx solar that roof can accomodate
4 - 8 (AGM?) solar batteries (not sure of sizing requirements), access from under queen master bed
2 40lb propane tanks
An optional stainless steel grill with outside mount and propane line would be available.
Onboard quiet propane connected generator available, powerful enough to run AC
Quality woodwork throughout - my preference is cherry or birch, smooth modern lines, no places to catch dust! Think Spartan Mansions from the mid 40s and 50s
LCD lighting throughout (or other very low energy style lighting), lots of it.
Reading lights mounted above all seating areas.
An wood used (especially in subfloor) would be marine grade, or other appropriate material that will not rot quickly or expand or otherwise get ruined if there is an undetected leak for a while.
Tanks, heating and solar/batteries would be sized so that family of 4 could drycamp for a week if living "normally", 2 weeks if being very conservative.
Fridge would operate on DC, AC or propane.
Safe, welded to frame, hidden somewhere in unit.
Custom Tempurpedic mattresses available for both bedrooms.
Self inflating "camping mattress" pads, sized for dinette and sofa, included. Unless, better yet, more comfortable seating/sleeping cushions are installed.
Wired everywhere for "smart home": tv, phone, internet, security, etc.
Sophisticated systems monitoring system for tire pressure, tanks, propane, solar, all systems - and it really works!
Currently offered upgrades like outside shower, black tank rinsing system, etc., all standard.
Color and material selections similar to buying new house: choose from several selections in each category as an extra option, in addition to standard designs - less of a "cookie cutter" feeling for new units would then be possible! To include awnings, bedding and other fabics, window treatments, flooring, woods and wood finish, hardware and fixtures, wall and ceiling finish (bring back Zolatone option!)
Quality, quality, quality. Specifications would be for the most durable, effective, efficient, and green materials available.
All mountings and attachents would be done with movement and travel in mind (overbuilt like modular homes are, so they are road worthy!). No more using one tiny screw where several longer ones are needed, piano hinge mounts used where possible, nothing flimsy, shoddy, or substandard.

This is made to really last and look good for a very long time!!!

I think that is it! Can't wait to hear what you think about it

Feel free to share this with Airstream if you have connections!!!


Anybody else been designing their dream unit, or see things they would do differently if given the chance? Have fun and share! Who knows, maybe the factory will catch on
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:50 AM   #2
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I like it...

I particularly agree with radiant heat under the floor. It's always been a mystery to me that my water heater can be so efficient on propane, but the blasted furnace sucks it up and doesn't heat satisfactorily! Either a blast of hot air, or chilly billy. Forced air furnaces, even the home versions, have this problem. Radiators and radiant heat are much better. How much trouble would it be to have a second water heater with an expansion chamber, a 12 volt quiet pump, and PEX attached to the underside of the floor? You could have small wall radiators too - say even in the shower/bathroom!

I'd like more Flexible spaces. I do like the idea of a laundry basket! I'd like a very sturdy DESK area - perhaps a pull out or fold out lid on one of the bedroom dressers.

Living in an Airstream makes one very space conscious. I notice more and more, how much space is WASTED in closets, pantries, etc.

Example: In my closet, the shower plumbing access is covered by a one inch thick piece of particle board. Duh! I'm sure a 1/8th inch thick piece of white masonite would have worked just as well, weighed 2 lbs less and given me room for one more garment. The back of the closets - behind the clothes contain a lot of wasted space due to the curve of the wall. JohnHD and a few others have effectively set in short shelves (covered wire) that hold socks, underwear, shoes, and other small items that shouldn't rattle around. Who needs a safe? Just stow your money in a shoeshine box back there. Double layers of MDF. Really - the wall of my bath next to the bedroom is MDF, a bedroom closet with both sides walled in MDF is attached to this Bath wall. WEIGHTY solution. Drawers - look inside your pantry or dresser and see how much wasted space there is on each side of the drawer due to the drawer rollers, etc. I'd like locks on every closet door, drawer and overhead cabinet so that you don't find they've turned into projectiles just because you hit a bump.

Paula
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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Got some great ideas here ---- wait 'till the Bean Counters at A/S get hold of them!!!!!! You think MSRP's are high now???? This one's a Motorhome without an engine!
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Duh! I'm sure a 1/8th inch thick piece of white masonite would have worked just as well, weighed 2 lbs less and given me room for one more garment. .... Double layers of MDF. Really - the wall of my bath next to the bedroom is MDF, a bedroom closet with both sides walled in MDF is attached to this Bath wall. WEIGHTY solution.
When I look in the new AS I can't believe how heavy it all looks. I don't want to be towing that much weight just for looks! I think they should have a versions that have classic cabinetry like my Caravel has. Lightweight frames and nicely done plywood fronts. Nothing fancy, but it's held up fine for 40 years, and I think it looks better than MDF.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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I'd love to see a front kitchen. I know that they used to make one (a 30 or 34 footer). I'd also like to see the return of lighter trailers. My 20' Argosy is a full 1000 pounds lighter than a new 20' FC.

Another thing I wish A/S would do is trim the model line - go back to the old naming convention, make the Safari Sport (or are they just Safari now?) the new Argosy and use them as they did in the past to try out new features, and maybe even drop the B vans.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Roamin' Cat View Post
[B] one unit I would design is a 34' FB BH...
i'd planned to post 2 you a suggestion for a 34 converted to the bh style in the BH thread...

u beat me to it!

taking a current 34 and adding a wall/pocket door, up front for a small bedroom would be VERY easy...

without moving the current entry door, this would be ~7x8 foot room...

and could hold a twin bed/desk or standard bed in side orientation with room for 2 closets and the current overhead storage.

the dinette could be replaced with a sofa or a C shaped dining/lounge area.

the back bed room could remain as is, or be converted to bunks/desk area...

adding the rear door is EXPENSIVE (~4-5,000$) but doable...

there were double door 34s made in the 90s, but they are uncommon...

roger (85mh325) had one and has posted many photos of it...

so search some of his threads/posts.

currently a/s isn't building many 34s, i'd estimate 1-2 a month...

including the HIDEOUS panamerica toyhauler version...

so we are unlikely to see much innovation on the triple axle units...

but we can dream right!

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:14 PM   #7
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and better aluminum!

Maybe I am wrong, but I get the impression that the aluminum used today for the outer shell is not as rugged or as good a quality as some used in years past. If that is true, add that to my list of changes!

Bob, I would LOVE a full U-shaped kitchen, in my case on the rear end. I understand there were probs with the FK and that they do not tow well. Would be neat to see if it could be engineered properly! I would go for it! I love to cook and hate people trekking through my workspace all the time.

2air', thanks for the suggestions of how to do it in a current 34'. I'll keep them in mind in case I end up eventually converting one over
You have years ahead of me on the ownership scale - what would you like to see done differently?

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Old 07-28-2008, 02:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I particularly agree with radiant heat under the floor. It's always been a mystery to me that my water heater can be so efficient on propane, but the blasted furnace sucks it up and doesn't heat satisfactorily! Either a blast of hot air, or chilly billy. Forced air furnaces, even the home versions, have this problem. Radiators and radiant heat are much better. How much trouble would it be to have a second water heater with an expansion chamber, a 12 volt quiet pump, and PEX attached to the underside of the floor? You could have small wall radiators too - say even in the shower/bathroom!
Paula, no need for 2 water heaters - the system as you describe it already exists. Twin Temp jr. by precision temp.
We have been installing these in client projects, with fantastic results. Your imagination is the limit, just about any surface can be a radiant heat surface, especially in an all metal trailer. The heat exchangers ( radiators as you call them) have computer muffin type fans behind them, and resemble an automotive heater core. The fans require very very little from the batteries or electrical system, and are ultra quiet. The heater doubles as an instant water heater, and is about the size of a 6gal water heater. It does not require a cutout in the skin, but rhather vents through the floor. Placement therefore is very flexible, like it could easily be underneath a center queen bed, for example. I think that the units are worth every penny, even thought hey cost many many pennies....
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:13 PM   #9
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... what would you like to see done differently...
a couple of MAJOR things noted in this thread (posts #69 & 120), IF put in place, would cause a positive cascade of things...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f232...ngs-29964.html

this thread has other folks ideas, a picture of that double door 34...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f232...nts-18053.html

really they need to focus of genuine innovations, better build results and safety too,

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...afe-39545.html

instead of gimmicks like flipping floor plans, fabrics and cheap vinyl patterns...

but u asked right?

and once one SEES how the interiors go together, floor plan changes are relatively easy....

but the basic structure, shell materials, towing qualities and historic durability are the 4 corners that need support.

cheers
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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i would like to see serviceability and the highest level of quality control. maybe a wiring conduit to make troubleshooting and upgrades easy?


i like most of the configurations so, if i win lotto, i'd like one of each model!
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:43 PM   #11
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I have always said we just needed a slide out where our dinette is located so we would have a little more floor space with the dog along...and I'm no fan of sliders. I really think our BH would have been pretty neat if it had been a 34' but it would have been a pain to get into tight campsites. With the exception of Ft. Wilderness this seems to be less of a problem in the southeast than in the west where everyone talks about limits on lengths. I do believe that family friendly is the direction that Airstream needs to look at again if they want to remain with us for their 100th anniversary addition.

Of course I keep seeing those little badges on '08 Airstreams so at the rate we are going with those little aluminum badges it will probably go straight from 75th to 100th anniversary!
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:40 PM   #12
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Two simple OPTIONS:

1) Two Euro chairs or wall hugger recliners with an end table beween (to hide charger/inverter, etc.) instead of a sofa. Smaller units could have a swing up table to eat off of from each side.

2) Double glazed windows.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:25 AM   #13
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When designing space for that on-board generator mentioned above, how about devoting some of that space for an internal air conditioner system, possibly in tandem with the forced air heating system...Let's get that old,heavy AC unit off the roof!!!

The AC unit is the one anti-streamlined 'box' that needs to be tossed overboard!

Also, how about redesigning the overhead vents...maybe a new 'flush' design with a sliding plate similar to a dump valve, or maybe an 'iris' type vent that's flush with the exterior roof...let's think outside the 'twinkie', here, all you engineer types back there at the Mothership....

Let's truly make an AS, 'streamlined' again...
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:16 AM   #14
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Hi, instead of phoney special models, how about a for real limited edition 34'er with frame and skins made out of polished stainless steel. And interior materials, fixtures, and wood to suit a King. [or Queen] Make only five a year for the filthy rich people and to further promote Airstream as the ultimate trailer now and forever.

Next make classic aluminum motorhomes in three sizes and build them on Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge chassis. Or let Freightliner build a chassis for all three sizes and all three powertrains. I personally would want one with a Ford drivetrain and I'm sure some of the Dodge people would like to Have one with a Dodge drivetrain in it. [not just Chevrolet] To save on production costs, from behind the driver's area to the rear of the motorhome the floor plan, and materials, would be exactly the same as the same size Classic trailer floor plan. [obviously, no front bedrooms]
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