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Old 09-14-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
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Considering Airstream purchase

Hello,

New member here and am considering the purchase of an Airstream. It'll be our first TT and with two young children (2&5), we've been considering the typical white box units with rear bunk house.

I've done quite a lot of research over the last two months and after listening to people who have owned multiple trailers, they seem to agree the reason they traded was often due to not buying big enough for a growing family, or buying poor quality.

None of the boxes I've seen have been all that impressive. Earthbound doesn't have any floor plans I like. The Evergreen 31Ds would work for us, though it has very shallow slides and not much interior space.

I've visited the local Airstream dealer and looked through the models. They appear to be much better constructed than most of the white boxes I've seen. The down side is they are very small.

So, I'm wondering how those of you with children manage? We're considering a 28'-30' model as that's about the biggest I can handle with my TV. We also want a queen bedroom for us, so I'm wondering what the best configuration is for the kids.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards,

John
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:34 PM   #2
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John,

I'm not sure that any AS layouts I have seen are that great for families with young children.

Unless you want to give them the bedroom, I think it is going to mean giving up your dinette (if you have one) at bedtime, or your sofa which typically makes into a bed.

This means your living space will be not much use to you in the evenings.

I suppose you could rig up some sort of a curtain arrangement around the dinette so that you could put them to bed and still (quietly) use a front lounge. Our front lounge arrangement has two tables, one large, one small, that fold out from the walls just in front of the sofa. If we don't have one or both these tables up, we have a small folding coffee table we use in front of the sofa.

Our kids are long gone and have kids of their own, so we are no doubt out of touch, others closer to your situations will likely have better suggestions if you are set on an Airstream.


I do think SOB's have much more in the way of layouts suited to families with small children.


Our daughter and family just bought a 23' Jayco with bunks across the front (the lower bunk can be folded up and has an access door to store bikes when travelling) and they have a queen size bed that is in a slide out that comes out teh back of the trailer - I suppose it is about 30' with the slide out.

They tow it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel (I thnk that is the model).
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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There aren"t really Airstream floor palns that are family friendly. They have one that will take your motorcycle or atv but nothing with your kids in mind.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:14 PM   #4
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There aren"t really Airstream floor palns that are family friendly. They have one that will take your motorcycle or atv but nothing with your kids in mind.
Hmmm... you could take a PanAmerica and customize the toy-hauling area into a bunk room/play room for the kids, and it's got that nice door dividing it from the rest of the interior. If you built in some trick foldable bunks, you could potentially still carry the family's bicycle fleet or whatever back there when traveling.

I'm guessing it's the most expensive current model, though.
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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This fairly recent listing in the classifieds looks like it might be a good candidate. I think this "bunk house" floor plan has a queen in front and a pair of bunks in the back.

2005 Airstream 30' "Safari/Bunkhouse" - Airstream Trailer Classifieds - Airstreams Trailers For Sale
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:37 PM   #6
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Families

Thanks for the informative responses.

I've toured through about 8-10 Airstreams and have been VERY impressed with the quality. Frankly, I really dislike poor (cheap) quality and don't mind paying a premium for well made products.

My challenge is that I have two young children and really would prefer not to change over the dining area into a sleeping area for them every evening. My worry is this will get old pretty quickly. I can just see myself getting up early and wanting a cup of coffee and having to contend with two ever growing children in the main living area.

Perhaps the best path would be to look more closely at the white boxes and try to select a quality model (if I can find one), that we can use until the kids are grown, at which point, we can revisit the Airstreams.

The wife and I are renting a 28' Airstream in a few weeks for a 3 day trip to the Sequoia area. My intent is to see what we think with the concept of changing over the dining area each night for the kids. I also want to "scratch the Airstream itch", so to speak. I toured the rental (2008, 28' model) earlier today and it is in very good condition. Nice and clean, well equipped and maintained.

I'm still not prepared to close the door to Airstream, so I'm certainly open to other suggestions.

Regards,

John
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:04 AM   #7
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Airstream Safari 30-ft Bunkhouse!

Safari 30 bunkhouse owners club!

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Possible new article on the Safari 30 Bunkhouse may appear in the Winter 2010 issue of Airstream Life Magazine (November release).
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Old 09-15-2010, 04:48 AM   #8
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Just go ahead and get an Airstream for the value and quality, and if you can't handle it sell it. The box type are going to freak you out and you will look funny going down the road. But whatever you try to arrange with the children just deal with it and work it out til it works for all. You will find the experience a way to get closer to each other and fun on top of this. Welcome to the forums, you will not get better support than here I promise. Bill
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:11 AM   #9
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I think the point is :Airstream doesn't make a product that's designed with a family in mind. Sure you can make anything work. Other manufactures make rear bedrooms that can be closed off with bunks specifically for children. Some would have you believe that all "white boxes" are junk and your only option for quality is Airstream. Simply not true. Do your research and I'm sure you'll find something that works for your family without having to just"make it work".
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:59 AM   #10
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it is expensive to trade trailers on new ones.each time you suck up the depreciation all the way,and then some on the trade piece.i have had lots of different trailers over the last 25 years and most of them were junk after 5 years of traveling.airstream does have qc issues just like any other trailer,but mho is that both airstreams i have owned hold up much better than any sob i have owned.also my 2 younger children traveled with me up until they attended college and now the older ones like to go with us with their spouses.i dont see a big problem folding beds up and down.have been to rv shows recently and everything looks junky to me compared to my airstream.to me you get what you pay for.as a side note my youngest daughter hated camping until i bought our first airstream in 2004.when we took delivery on the 28 safari she said after the first trip that "dad i love camping now".with the 31 the experience has only gotten better for her.i reminded her the way i travel is not camping and someday well grab a tent and go camping,like i started out.
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