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Old 12-09-2014, 09:56 AM   #43
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2012 20' Flying Cloud
2006 31' Classic
Rincon , Georgia
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Howdy y'all,
We recently purchased the 20' FC. The selling point was the aft kitchen/bath and of course the smaller size trailer that we can park in some of the campground sites where longer trailers cannot. Overall we love this trailer and have used it multiple times for various length trips since we purchased it last spring. Our biggest complaint is the the dinette seats are really not very comfortable for sitting in for extended periods when lounging in the evening. We are planning on taking an extended trip in the near future and thinking about getting some custom cushions or some kind of mod to the dinette. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for mods to make the dinette seats more comfortable/functional. Since it is just the two of us, we do not plan on using the dinette as a berth.

Any ideas are welcome.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:27 AM   #44
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2012 20' Flying Cloud
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yep, just made reservations for the Can Opener. Last open site left was for 20' max unit. It will fit our FC perfectly. First time at this rally and looking forward to it.
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:37 AM   #45
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rhentchel, it was the lack of comfortable seating which caused us to trade our 20 for a larger trailer, which also had dinette seating that we converted to recliners.

We tried various seating cushions little improvement. If we had kept the 20, I had in the back of my mind taking out the front bed and trying to find a small convertible sofa to place (or build into) against the curbside wall for seating in a cozy little living room, and pull it out to a bed at night. Our 20 had a television hookup on the street side of that space, and the pano windows in front would be more meaningful.

This would be a major and somewhat permanent change to a late model Airstream and I'm not even sure it would work well. We decided it would cost us some money to do it, and probably lower the resale value of our Airstream, so as we were going on much longer trips anyway, we traded for a larger model.

This is not is recommendation, just an idea we were thinking of. The 20 is a great little Airstream for weekends and vacations, long term seating comfort is the challenge.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:10 AM   #46
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2007 20' Safari
2016 26' Flying Cloud
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We break down the Dinette into the sleep mode ,but spread out xtra pillows and blankets etc to make one large chaise lounge. We have been enjoying that. We do not have the U shapped dinette.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:33 PM   #47
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Traverse City , Michigan
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We are taking a different tack. We are only using the dinette for eating. For lounging we are adding bolsters to the bed area and as that is so well lit and outfitted we're going to use that as our lounge area.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:20 PM   #48
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The FC 20

We, too, are huge FC20 fans. Bought our 2010 used last February. So far, three long weekend trips. Hopefully, will be extending these get-aways after retirement in May. On the plus side, we love the kitchen and full bath. Also has plenty of storage space. The two negatives are--as others have mentioned---no place to lounge comfortably, and after two or three nights on that mattress, we are pretzels! We tried a 2 1/2 inch memory foam topper, mail-ordered from Costco, thinking that would solve the problem---nope! However, being conservative spenders (read cheap) we don't relish the thought of dropping $700+ on a custom mattress.
The first major change we made was we replaced the "Barbie toilet" with a low profile Dometic with a china bowl and full-size seat. The elevation would be a bit much for people of average height, but luckily we are tall. It's one inch taller than the one we took out.
Otherwise, we have upgraded to 16" Michelins, Sendel T03 wheels, Centramatics, Boondocker power converter, a quiet refrigerator fan, and a Trimetric battery monitor. We also added stick-on window frosting on both bathroom windows and around the edge of the back window toward the bathroom, as you can see through the side of the blind. I also made window-framing curtains for the dinette windows. These would discourage any window-peeking pervs out there.
Suggestions for carry-alongs would include a step stool, extra fuses, duplicate sets of trailer and tow vehicle keys, a bottle jack, tire wrenches, digital volt meter, and an accurate tire gage. We run the tires at 75 lbs. Also, throw in a flash light or two and some wood blocks.
Hope this info is helpful!
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:46 PM   #49
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2007 20' Safari
Chelmsford , Massachusetts
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He's baa-ack!...from the Deep South, as the new owner, 2007 Safari 20

Well, it's done! Just bought my wished for 20, a 2007 Safari (not SE) from the nicest, most diligent and responsible owners you'd ever want to meet. The travel and labor involved took me off-line until now. Interesting 20 foot questions have since appeared.

To richarus dkottum knunut and TCwheels, I agree with the general drift that there is a lack of comfortable lounging in the stock 20' furniture plan. For one, like me, or perhaps even a couple, the dinette is not really necessary, and consumes much floor space. One common solution is to make a table for two as in the Oliver for example that converts to a bed. But again, an extra bed is not really needed either.

I think a better plan is to make a multi-purpose desk/dining bar under the double window, and add one (or two?) comfortable chairs, doubling for extended seating. Yes this raises the issue of how to secure them when traveling. For me alone that is not a killer.

The bed is also somewhat inflexible. I agree with dkottum that a convertible is the answer. Yes, that means care in not getting too heavy. A look at the 2007 Parts book shows just how minimal the bed sub-structure actually is. Any convertible would have to be as light as possible, tough but perhaps solvable. In any case, I intend to try.

The third design improvement for one or two travelers, not needing dinette bedding is to do away with the "privacy partition" separating the dinette from bed. It makes both spaces seem smaller, closing off sight lines. Why not attach the TV to either end of the aforementioned desk rather than the partition if that's where it is.

I have a plan in my intro thread at post http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...ml#post1533401
showing these ideas interpreted in the standard 20' floor-plan with further explanation in the thread.

Now that I have my 20 footer, I am discussing these mods with some capable customizers. More to come in the fullness of time.
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:16 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
The 20 is a great little Airstream for weekends and vacations.....
Is this what we used to call a "back-handed compliment?" Please note that this is a thread for 20' owners. Maybe you'd be more comfortable in a larger thread for 25ers?
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:02 AM   #51
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Very helpful post! I'm concerned about wheel well clearance when I upgrade to the Michelin 16" LTs, can you tell me your tire specs? Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:39 AM   #52
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2007 20' Safari
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCwheels View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
...The 20 is a great little Airstream for weekends and vacations, long term seating comfort is the challenge.
Is this what we used to call a "back-handed compliment?" Please note that this is a thread for 20' owners. Maybe you'd be more comfortable in a larger thread for 25ers?
For a couple with a child or two, I think dkottum is right. The 20 will seem rather crowded for extended use. But I am betting that that is not the case for an optimal set-up for one.maybe even two, if they are very compatible.

AS has to target the larger family market, so the furniture has to sleep and feed up to four. That dictates the stock lay-out. I am betting that for just one traveler, it can be a very efficient, low-weight and usable studio for long-duration travel.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:56 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCwheels View Post
Is this what we used to call a "back-handed compliment?" Please note that this is a thread for 20' owners. Maybe you'd be more comfortable in a larger thread for 25ers?
Not at all. I believe the thread is for 20' owners and those who may be considering a 20'. We have been both and enjoyed our 20' very much used as indicated, so reported our experience with it.

We enjoyed traveling with our 20' Airstream so much we began taking much longer trips so traded for a larger Airstream. We're sitting in it right now, 1800 miles from home.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:11 AM   #54
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2008 20' Safari SE
Bangor , Maine
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Quite a few of us have done the conversion using the Sendel rims without any issue.

I only did the two wheels, and kept the original spare. I figured that when I need the spare, driving for a while with the smaller spare won't be a big issue.


Quote:
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Very helpful post! I'm concerned about wheel well clearance when I upgrade to the Michelin 16" LTs, can you tell me your tire specs? Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:13 AM   #55
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Lots of folks commenting that the 20' does not provide for very comfortable lounging. I while I agree that the dinette is not the most comfortable place to lounge, I find lounging outside under the awning to be superb. Specially on my Strongback chairs. One added benefit if the usual spectacular view.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:36 AM   #56
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2012 20' Flying Cloud
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Rincon , Georgia
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I really appreciate all the feedback and ideas for a comfortable lounging area in the the 20' FC (or Safari SE). We are in the process of selling our current home and plan on full-timing for a while before settling in a new house. We are considering trading up to a larger unit but I think we are going to at least start this expedition with our current one. I have considered making mods to the dinette and/or Bed area but I am concerned that this will lower the value if we do decide to trade. We have added memory foam to the bed mattress which seems to help some and we will probably just carry along some extra cushions and pillows to make do when we are lounging inside. We carry a small ottoman that helps as a footrest but seems to get in the way when moving around (a trip hazard especially in the dark at night) Also, as suggested by jpons, we carry some great patio recliner chairs for when the weather is good.
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