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Old 01-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #29
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Thanks Alumaholic, that's been saved and printed. I don't think I've ever found any other forum where people were this helpful and willing to share their knowledge. It really is much appreciated.

Sleep arrangements, the trailer we're looking at has the front bath and twin beds. We'd be adding bunks on both sides, with my wife and myself moving to the convertible sofa. That way we can sleep a total of six in comfort - the kids could even bring a friend.

ddruker, thanks for your comments also. I've checked with a selection of our local Ontario provincial parks (for the next few years these will be our preferred campgrounds) and they are ok with 30' trailers. It sometimes gets problematic at 35' and over.

Our kids are very young. If in a couple of years we find that a: still love the AS and b: need more space, we have options. Either gut our current trailer and build a custom interior or go for a newer bunkhouse model. I am aware that the newer trailers are wider, but as far as I know it's only by five to ten inches - which does make a difference over 30' for sure.

I figure start cheap and go from there is a better option than financing an expensive new trailer that may or may not suit our needs.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:36 PM   #30
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What Luck?

How did things turn out at Can-Am? Got pictures?
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #31
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"Our kids are very young. If in a couple of years we find that a: still love the AS and b: need more space, we have options. Either gut our current trailer and build a custom interior or go for a newer bunkhouse model."

Or just get an add-on tent.....


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Old 01-22-2013, 05:22 AM   #32
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Things at CanAm went well, but we didn't pull the trigger on the trailer we had in mind. While the trailer was straight underneath and the body looked good on the outside, the inside was too run down for us. The trailer smelled damp, at below freezing temperatures which is never a good sign. The interior needed a lot of work to be where we'd like it to be and the trailer just wasn't nice enough to spend that kind of money on it.

Evan from CanAm was great, extremely honest and open and trying to figure out what was important to us. I really felt that he wanted to make sure that we had a good experience, rather than just sell us something, anything. He patiently answered our questions, walked us through their inventory and was full of suggestions and ideas we had not even thought of without, at any time, being pushy or falling into sales mode.

We ended up looking at a 1984 34' triple axle Excella that we really like. Back bedroom that can be converted to bunks for the kids, giving them their own space and the curb side dinette option which makes it easy to feed the hungry mob

We're currently getting quotes on work that needs to be done, new floors, some upholstery, etc.

Robert, we thought about the tent option but my wife insists that we should have the kids inside with us until they are older. Something about bears that worries her.

In all seriousness though, I can see a time in about eight, ten years where we will downsize to a much smaller trailer and pile the kids into a tent.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:35 AM   #33
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Whoa: think twice before giving up your space!

In a 34-footer, you have two other possibilities for sleeping: the dinette, and the gaucho (couch that converts to a bed).

Neither of these is as suitable for adults as they are for children. They are too small, especially the dinette/bed. They will each allow enough space for two youngsters to sleep in comfortably, which allows for one extra (the inevitable "sleepover" friend).

I would not make that modification. I firmly believe that parents need privacy more than the children do, and once gone, you will never get it back.

Plus, on any 1984 model, you will need the money elsewhere, once you get used to the trailer and better understand its faults.

Live with it for at least one season before making bunkbeds in YOUR bedroom; I believe you will find I am right...
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:24 AM   #34
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We thought about that, but remember our kids are very young (2 1/2 years and seven months) and go to bed considerably earlier than us. By 8:00pm they are asleep. We're strict about bedtime, even when travelling and on holiday, and find that it makes for happy, rested children.

If they sleep in the front, then the entire trailer will become unusable for us. If they have the privacy of a bedroom, then my wife and I can watch a movie, have a drink or read a book without waking anybody else up.

The bunks will be built to be easily removable at some future date. If the back gaucho turns out to be too small then we'll remove it and replace it with a larger sofabed. There's a comfortable IKEA model that slides right in.
Part of the attraction of the 34' model is that this is possible - no outside accessible storage underneath the gaucho means extra floor space.

Money will be spent upfront, meaning we'll go through the trailer with a fine tooth-comb to bring it to a standard that we're happy with. I don't like nasty surprises. I am also quite handy and have access to a good, affordable carpenter to help me with the details so the most expensive part of building the bunks should be the material.

If we're wrong, then the kids are too young to protest much should we need to make changes.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:52 AM   #35
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I agree with putting the children in the bedroom, for lots of reasons.

I slept on a sofa bed in the living room of apartments for many years, with my children in the bedrooms. They got their sleep, and privacy as they got a little older, and I got some quiet time to do homework, etc.

At the age yours are, it will be at least 10 years before you would even think about putting them in a tent in a public campground.

If you don't have a good porta-crib, that would be a nice interim bed for your littlest one.

Sounds like a lot of fun in the making.


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Old 01-22-2013, 10:26 AM   #36
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How exciting! You're going to love it when you get your AS! We have two sets of bunks for the 4 kids. My hubs and I sleep in the dinette area in the front. It works for us. I was thinking of putting up a retractable curtain in each of the bunks to give everyone more privacy. But you're right, with the kids in the bunks it still makes the rest if the trailer usable. Have fun!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #37
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Congratulations!

On your logical, rationale, decision-making.
So glad you didn't let your dreams interfere with good judgement (and olfactory clues). When the old ones get that damp, too-many-years-of-indoor-cooking odor; you often can't get it out until you gut the interior and get rid of all the old insulation.
Your plans sound good to me. The dinette is great for managing kids at mealtime. Aage is correct about it being too small for two adults, but you will figure out something. I foresee wife sleeping on dinette bed with you on the front sofa.
You will figure out something.
All the best!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:02 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
When the old ones get that damp, too-many-years-of-indoor-cooking odor; you often can't get it out until you gut the interior and get rid of all the old insulation.
That's what I figured. We remodelled a house some years back, where the smell was so bad it was putting off other buyers. It turned out to be a leaking main stack. We had planned on taking everything back to the bare brick anyways, so were prepared for whatever we found, but that's not how far I want to take this AS renovation.

Thank you again for sharing your checklist, it came in most useful.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #39
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I understand your logic, I can see why you believe that it does make sense to keep the front of the TT for yourself if you intend to stay up late. Of course, it remains to be seen if you will have enough energy to do that, with the attention required and hours you have to keep with a "crew" of 7 months and 2 1/2 years old

Then too, it won't be just regular bunkbeds for the twins, will it? I mean, aren't they going to be in a crib-type bed for maybe another year and a half, since they need to be in a secure area in order not to wander or just plain fall out?

When our daughter stayed with us last summer with our then 18-month old grand-daughter, the solution that worked the best was to use one of those travelling playpens, the ones that can be "easily" opened and set up or put away. I put easily in quotes, since it was never easy for me, but my daughter could handle it well. Not sure if two babies could sleep in that..?

My daughter was usually in bed asleep by 9PM since she had to be up starting around 5AM for her daughter. And at 7 months, aren't they still up at some point in the night for feedings? Can't remember the whole evolution of the baby's agenda, but it seemed to never end for a while there.

Anyways, please keep telling us the evolving story of you and your young family as you work all this out. Do you plan to travel a lot, or is it more a cottage-replacement scheme you have in mind?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #40
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Got Pictures, Asbury6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asbury6 View Post
How exciting! You're going to love it when you get your AS! We have two sets of bunks for the 4 kids. My hubs and I sleep in the dinette area in the front. It works for us. I was thinking of putting up a retractable curtain in each of the bunks to give everyone more privacy. But you're right, with the kids in the bunks it still makes the rest if the trailer usable. Have fun!
Would like to see the bunk arrangement.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:52 PM   #41
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Do you plan to travel a lot, or is it more a cottage-replacement scheme you have in mind?
It's more of a cottage replacement, at least for the first couple of years, with the added benefit of being mobile. This is also the reason we're going as large as we are - my instinct would be to go small for more of a camping experience, but on a rainy day this can quickly turn into misery.

We used to own a weekend home close to Lake Huron, in the middle of Mennonite country. While it was beautiful, it was an old farm cottage, it required a lot of work - arrival on a Saturday morning was followed by lawn work, the siding was wood and needed constant attention, heat came from a wood burner so we needed to look after fire wood etc.

Whenever we did a day-trip we used to find at least one spot where we'd say "This is beautiful, I wish we could stay longer". The Bruce peninsula and Manitulin Island are nice places to spend time in summer.

The Airstream offers us less maintenance than an old house (at least, that's the plan) and mobility. For as long as the kids are younger we might still grab a season pass in a park by a beach, but as they get older I'd love to explore the Provincial Parks with them.

Friends of ours tow their Airstream down to VA or Florida come fall and use it as a winter getaway. That's another idea I could get used to.

The younger kids will be one year old come July. The bunks will be built with protection in place, to stop little boys from taking a leap

We already have a playpen, also known as The Cage, that came in very useful with Boy No. 1. These things are life-savers when things get busy.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:58 PM   #42
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Bunk Beds

I attached a picture (I think!). The bunks are in the top left picture. The bath is in the rear.

We bought one those removable bed rail guards (not pictured) and put it on one of the top bunks for our 5 year old. She insisted on sleeping on the top. Works out nicely since it helps keep things tucked away while we're towing as well.
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