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Old 07-06-2014, 07:06 PM   #1
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2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
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Less Wasted Space in the Airstream

As all Airstream owners know, storage space inside the Airstream is a premium. As I was trying to figure where to store my new O-Grill BBQ, I decided to reconfigure an area of the trailer that has always been wasted space. On my 27FB International Serenity, and I think true for 25FB's too, the dinette seat adjacent to the entry door is mostly wasted space. The subwoofer is back there, but it's fairly compact.

There's a large wasteful triangular shaped piece of upholstered foam occupying the space behind seatback cushion (left side looking back). The entire seating area sits above mostly wasted space except for a small slide out drawer.

The photo above shows the standard Airstream layout. Lots of cushion, not much useful storage underneath.

I decided to do something about this problem, so I started by ripping everything out.

I noticed that the slide out drawer could be larger. There's plenty of extra room between the aluminum legs and more room to the rear. It could be rebuilt to be wider, taller, and deeper.

Here's a photo of the new replacement drawer. It was an easy project to remove the laminated front piece from the old drawer box and screw it onto the new larger drawer box.

Next I cut the existing piece of plywood, the seat bottom and began laying out a shell of a cabinet that could hold the BBQ on end and a few other items. I intentionally set the seatback side of the cabinet at a slight angle to provide seating comfort. In the photo the old foam bolster is laying on top, just to illustrate how its about the same size as the replacement cabinet. I used 1/2" plywood for the cabinet sides and top and 3/4 poplar for the face frame.

Ready to be installed. I used plain white laminate for the interior and Wilsonart Asian Sand laminate (as used by Airstream for my 2013 International Serenity) for the exterior. The BBQ fits below, the top shelf is for additional storage.

Here it is, everything installed and ready to go! No more wasted space and the seat is just as it was prior to the project. I did have to get the lower cushion re-upholstered to make it shorter. The dinette still converts to a bed, just a few inches shorter than before but still more than big enough for my 6 foot frame. I wanted this project to appears as much like Airstream had made it so researched the finishes to match my 2013 Serenity. I also constructed the cabinet slightly lower than the old bolster so that it no longer interferes with the window curtains.

Parts List (Exact Airstream Match):
Laminate - Wilsonart Asian Sand - Part # 7952K-01 (Special ordered from Lowes)
Door Pull - Top Knobs Nouveau - Part # TOP_M575 (Get the part Here or Here).
The exact countertop laminate is no longer manufactured, or supplied by Airstream so I decided not to even try for a close match. I think the decision to use the Asian Sand worked out just fine.

On a difficulty level I place this project as medium high. I did have some expert carpenter help, but the project was still a lot of measuring, cutting, fitting, sanding, repeat. I'm very satisfied with the outcome and now have a convenient place to store the BBQ, shoes, and lots more.

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Old 07-06-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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2014 28' International
Blacksburg , Virginia
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I need a cabinet like that in a 28 Serenity. Mine is open like that, only on the opposite side . This Gives me an excellent idea.
awesome! Thanks so much for posting your work.
Have a good one !

Ra, Chelle & Natasha
For my next trick, I will use my new Airstream & Dodge Ram 2500 CTD to make this pile of money disappear.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
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Looks amazing! Great idea to get the drawer enlarged!
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #4
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Very well thought out and executed improvement. Great job!
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
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Very nice....
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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We slide plastic storage tubs under our normally wasted space but yours looks great!
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:30 PM   #7
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Hi, this is how Airstream should have built it in the first place.

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Old 07-07-2014, 12:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing!

I want this. A lot. It looks similar to what I saw in a 2013 27FB Flying Cloud while camping near Glacier National Park. Much better than the huge bolster and tiny drawer we have now. What was Christopher thinking when he designed that abomination of wasted space? Otherwise, though, we love our TT.

Sadly, I'm not handy enough to do this myself. I'd have to hire someone. Since ours is a Signature, we'd also need a different Wilsonart laminate color and probably a different handle to match our cabinets.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:07 AM   #9
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Beautiful- I've been eyeing that space myself. I wondered why they didn't at least put in the kind of compartment we had at the head and foot of the bed in our 20'.

On the plus side that space between the drawer and door is a good spot to stash shoes and a dog-drying towel.

I've thought of having a few oversized "cup holders" cut into the top of the foam to hold wine bottles.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
It looks similar to what I saw in a 2013 27FB Flying Cloud while camping near Glacier National Park.
Correction, that was a 2013 27FB Classic, not a Flying Cloud. Here's the floorplan that shows the "chair storage" where you installed your cabinet:

Anyway, AS should do this for all their FB models.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:08 AM   #11
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That's a great job!

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Old 07-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #12
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Another version of a Bolster Cabinet.

In some trailers - like the 25FB Flying Cloud - the subwoofer is located behind the drawer so it can't be enlarged.
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:49 AM   #13
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We attempted that cabinet conversion to match the 27FB Classic storage cabinet by the door with the local dealership on our 2013 25FB International Serenity. It was a total disaster and had to be redone and we lost the use of the trailer for many months.

Get a competent carpenter and printout the drawings of that assembly from the Classic parts manual as guidance. The dealership did not even printout the drawings.....
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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That is a really impressive idea and setup! Very very impressive. I almost think I want to attempt this. The gears are 'a' spinning!

Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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