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Old 08-30-2006, 01:41 PM   #1
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
 
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Let's try reflecting on the N. GA RV & Camper Show again

I posted this Monday and it got wiped out so I'll try again.

I went to the North Georgia RV & Camper Show this week end. I noticed that there were way fewer Toy Haulers than there had been at the last show I went to some two years ago. I had hoped that there would be something new from the Airstream dealer, but alas there were only three on display: 19’ International Bambi, 25’ FB SE, and 28’ Safari LS. Not even a Classic. Ho Hum! These are all nice units, and the 25’ FB was the first one I had been in. I really like the SE trim package, but I didn’t see any thing that was new.

One thing that I did notice that I’m glad to see was way more family friendly floor plans. Just as Airstream has discontinued its bunkhouse floor plan, I saw numerous bunkhouses from just about every maker on display. Was Airstream too hasty in its decision to can the bunkhouse?

Anyway, many of the bunkhouse plans I saw were 5th wheel units. This maybe due to the number of slides and location of some of them. There was one that had the master cabin in the upper level with full bath en suite and in the rear end of the trailer it had a half bath in the road side corner and in the other it had a door leading into the children’s “bedroom”. There was a set of bunk beds built into a slide that gave about four foot of floor space in front of the bunks. It was pre-wired for TV and had a TV shelf installed on the wall. There was also a door on the road side leading from the half bath. Not sure if that is the best idea since this bath is intended for the children. I know it’s for fire safety, but small children could sneak out without the parents knowing it for quite some time.

In another 5th wheel, there were four bunk beds built into the upper level instead of a master bed room. The full bath was also in this level. The master bedroom was in the tail end of the trailer with the living and kitchen in the middle. I also saw a conventional trailer that had a rear bedroom separated from the main salon by a hinged door that had two pairs of bunk beds with each set built into a slide on opposite sides of the room. One set had a queen size on the lower level. With these double opposing slides extended there was a good six or seven feet of open floor space between the bunk beds. This made a nice sized play room for the kids. Imagine, this trailer was set up to sleep 11! However, with two slides located in the very end of the trailer, I would think it would be tail heavy and would, thus, be unstable and be inclined to produce sway.

I also saw a motor home that had a slide out that had bunk beds in it just outside the master bedroom. I was surprised to see this because this was a fairly upscale looking Class A—the kind that usually is set up for a couple. I forgot the price, but it seems it was over $200K. Unfortunately, the bunks were very narrow and had no safety rail or ladder so I think it wouldn’t be the best arrangement for small kids on the top…or wide kids on the top for that matter.

Anyway, those are a few of my observations this week end.
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:47 PM   #2
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Thanx for the info and trends at the show. Maybe Airstream needs to take a look around at the shows and get some new layout ideas.
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:53 PM   #3
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Yes, but you know one thing I always think about with slides, you have a certain amount of the length of roof line that isn't supported like the rest of the unit is. With an Airstream that is particularly important since so much of the structural rigidity comes from the monocoque design. If you cut a great big hole in the ribs for a slider, you have reduced that monocoque structure to the area from the slide back to the rear and the section with the slide is either weaker or has to have a lot of extra structure to make up for it. I don't know enough about Airstreams with slide to know if that is true or not, but just my guess. The extra structure may be the reason for more tongue weight. I don't know for sure.
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