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Old 09-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #15
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Hoover , Alabama
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My wife and I asked the same question in the past year and a half as we researched....the consensus is clearly reflected here as it was when I was asking.

My bunkhouse will deliver early november...we have 2 kids (3 years and 8 months).

Part of me kinda feels odd about this, as me growing up...hell...we never even went on vacation, except maybe the occasional day trip to a six flags, or something like that...

As a 12 year old, I went tent camping with my dad and his then girlfriend for like a week through the smokey mountains...enjoyed that...

It just seemed to me like "these kids are going to be spoiled, they are going to complain about sleeping on a couch/dinnet bed?!" - but I suppose everything is relative - and in talking with numerous parents on this site, most voice benefits of having their kids have their own space and sleeping area and this will help avoid them "boycotting" camping trips....(the thought of that confounds me, but I suppose IF I had the opportunity to have some regular vacations, I might develop a sense of entitlement as a kid, argh)

“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 09-06-2013, 12:09 PM   #16
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Most kids are happy to have a sleeping bag on the floor.

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Old 09-06-2013, 12:13 PM   #17
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when I RV camped with my high school friend at age 15, we slept in tent outside of their small (cant rembmer length) trailer...parents do not want to hear what 15 year olds talk and laugh about...oh I cannot wait
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”

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Old 09-06-2013, 12:24 PM   #18
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Saint Louis , MO
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We have one child. When we were looking for a trailer to restore, our most important criterion was permanent sleeping space for three people. We settled on a 24 ft Tradewind with the original early-'60s bunkhouse configuration. Our daughter gets an upper bunk, which stays deployed permanently. (The other upper bunk is usually folded up.) She finds the idea of a real space of her own pretty important.

And we do the "kid drawer" thing as well.

The only unforeseen thing is that our 12-year-old daughter is now 5'8". Within a year, she'll be the tallest one in the family, and then I guess *I* get the upper bunk...
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:19 AM   #19
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Well, here I am and it is 2 a.m. Confused to say the least.
We had the 27 ft classic ltd inspected by Rick Whitten, super nice guy.
Looks good.
We have a brand new coachman freedom express liberty edition 29 bunkhouse down $10k from list price.
And of course, I have the "dream of"owning a AS 30 ft.bunkhouse. of course, it cannot be new in our case.
Hubbie loves the 27 ft. Ltd. He thinks it isa built really well, even used.
Hard to justify paying so much extra money for something used and not getting his own bed or a warranty.
It is my fixation with the "dream of" owning an AS that has gotten us to this point, but is it really worth the 10-15 k more?
I know we would be happy with whatever we get because we will be together. Right now, our little guy just wants to pile all over us. I know that will change once he becomes a teen, but for now, it would just be us. His little friends will come too when he is 8, I think.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:39 AM   #20
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I don't know I the same is true in the US, but here in Canada the average length of ownership for SOB trailers is four years.

The average length of ownership for Airstreams is 15 years, and then many people trade sideways to a larger or smaller model as their circumstances change. This is according to our dealer, who sells both SOB models and AS.

An Airstream will always keep a far higher value than most SOBs I can think of. If you get yourself a good used model (a bunk is overkill for one kid IMO) then you can always sell it on, should you wish to change and get much of your money back. An SOB is pretty much worthless after ten years.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:48 AM   #21
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Just an FYI, we live in bear country and a few years back, 15 miles ftom a young boy about 8) was mauled to death by a bear st a USFS campground in his tent.
The tent will not work here for us as an everywhere solution. In the desert, it will be fine. Cougars are here in the desert but not to worried about them.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #22
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Toothy Critters

Yes, everywhere that there are large, toothy critters, the kids always have been inside. Period. Unless we were backpacking - and then I was in the same tent with them.

One thing we always did from the time our kids were big enough to walk on their own for reasonable distances: we got them a backpack sized to their frame, and told them they could bring along anything they wanted, BUT a.) it had to fit in the backpack and be IN the backpack whenever it was "house cleaning" time, and b.) they had to carry the backpack. So they learned to make choices and live with the consequences of those choices, and they were responsible for picking up their own "stuff." This works in RVs, cars, and planes as well.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:51 AM   #23
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A pickup bed with camper shell can serve as the "annex" with sleeping bags and air mattresses for the younger folks....
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:04 AM   #24
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We have a 5 and 3 year old. My 29" ambassador has center twin beds. The current plan is to add bunks above the twins, that will second as storage. You can always add bunks if its the correct set up. I saw one post where they had a removable bunk over the dinette. I think that was one of Bart's post.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:08 AM   #25
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My parents had the twins in the rear bath Silver Streak, my sisters the fold out sleeper sofa. Yours truly slept in the aisle. Happily. The conveniences of a self-contained best quality travel trailer make "space" a non-issue where -- as mentioned above -- personal example, a bit of discipline, and that we are camping (life lived outdoors) more than makes up for any perceived discomfort.

One read the National Geographic articles on the Caravans that such self-containment meant that one was possibly better attended by services of heat, light and water than those in countries one traversed . . and not only Africa.

Keep the big picture in mind. Without plug-in electricity one can still keep the family warm, well-fed and clean for days or even a few weeks due to owning/operating such a vehicle. The anxieties of children are not to the point, here or elsewhere in life.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:14 PM   #26
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Replaced Front Couch with Custom Bunkbed

For us, it is very important. My son is 8 and daughter 13, and they do not like sharing a bed anymore.

Our trailer is a rear bedroom. I don't want the kids sleeping in there with me. That's for my wife and I. They get the front. I guess we're "glampers" . Growing up, I'd walk into the woods with the bowie knife and come back three days later. My wife's parents stayed at the Hilton. The trailer was a "meet in the middle." And, after sleeping on a queen size Simmons Beautyrest, that sure beats the heck out of the ground with a root in your back all night. I don't want to rough it anymore!

So, the 34 footer had the gaucho couch across the front, and we've got the TV set up so that we can sit on the gaucho and watch movies facing aft. Every night, we'd fold the couch out into a bed, make it up, and the kids would sleep on it. Or fight, or argue, or giggle, etc. If we left it set up all the time, it ate up all the room in the front. But I got sick of making it up and folding it back down all the time.

Same for the dinette. Didn't like folding that out all the time either.

My solution was to take the couch out and build a custom bunk bed arrangement across the front of the trailer. The bottom is setup with a backrest so we can use it like a couch during the day, but it's a bed at night. The upper one is set up the same way.

I got a kid's bunk bed folding thing from the Goodwill for $5. I modified it so that you could just pull it out of the sockets and store it elsewhere when not needed. My daughter loves to sit on the "top couch" and watch movies from up there. My son has the bottom and it's his own space. Both have a cabinet drawer for their stuff.

I could not find one commercially made anywhere that would fit the space I had, so I went full custom. Round trailers are tapered, so the mattreses aren't rectangular; but rather trapezoidal in shape. It's wider in toward the center of the coach...just trying to maximize the room. The biggest expense were the mattresses. I've got about $330 in the foam mattresses. I found a place that makes a knock off of Tempurpedic foam ( and the stuff is incredibly comfortable! I've fallen asleep on this bunk myself on weekends. I used their 5lb density foam on the bottom because it's longer lasting, and the 4lb density on the top. They're both really comfortable. I also used the 4lb stuff for the backrest. Mattresses are 4" thick and the backrest is 2" thick. In the photos, the sheets are off because we recently got back from a 2000 mile run (bed worked was its first trial) and we washed all the sheets and don't have them back on yet. I cut the foam with a big carving knife to the shape I wanted. Had a little left over so made some pillows out of it. Amazingly comfortable stuff! It's a little tough to cut, but nothing you can't handle.

But at any rate, I would say it's very important to have a space for the wee one who eventually won't be so wee. Yes, we try to be outside as much as possible, but we also like watching movies at night, and even a 34 footer gets tight after a couple rain days. The bunk bed in front really helped us out.

Anyway, just one idea for you.

Best of luck
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:20 PM   #27
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Draper , Utah
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I had thought about a mid 70's coach that was still in great working order.
I would want a new bathroom (modern looking) like the newer model airstreams.
Hubbie is afraid that it could add up quickly only to be at or near the same as a mid 2000's model.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:39 PM   #28
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Menlo Park , California
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A smaller trailer is going to be more versatile in the long run. We didn't get our AS until our kids were adults, but we've camped a lot with them along. Our 25' works with the two of them along and isn't too big when it's just the two of us. Shorter trailers are easier to tow and park and fit into more campsites.

When all four of us are at Burning Man for 10 days, we use a removable bunk that we added above the dinette I built in the back room. Son gets the dinette, daughter gets the bunk, we always sleep on the dinette I built in the front. When a tent is possible, they use that for sleeping space and the back dinette is available for indoor meals or social space if it's raining out. We do a lot of living under our awning.

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