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Old 05-13-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
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Cooking in a 19'

Hi I'm a new user and a future AS owner. My wife and I generally are content with smaller places. So our first attraction for a trailer was the 19' model. After actually being inside some (WOW!!), last weekend, I can really see that the cooking area is basically non existent. Is it really possible to cook in a 19 footer? The twenty is really cool, but I wonder if too much space is dedicated to the kitchen. We like to cook and I just don't think it is possible with such a small counter area.

Steve
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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When we camp I generally set up an outdoor kitchen with a 2 burner colemam stove and a small weber grill. I find that its part of the romance of camping is cooking and dining outdoors.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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We have the 19 and live to cook as well. You Learn to use the kitchen table for a prep zone and then your good! It took some time to get used to sine our kitchen at home is way bigger than the entire Bambi.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Because of the rain we often can't cook outdoors, and I have cooked a lot in our trailer (we have a similarly small kitchen). I often use the table for prep, and I have a cutting board that sit on top of the stove which gives me extra counter space. But yes, it's crowded. If you can pre-chop ingredients before you leave, that helps. But really there's still enough room to do pretty much whatever you want. The previous owners of my trailer even took it to Alaska where they picked berries and canned jam on the stovetop! Goes to show if you are determined you can do just about anything!
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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We do a quite a bit of cooking in our 19'. It's a 1-person kitchen for us, though...one of us sits at the dinette table and helps with the cutting and chopping and the other runs the show at the oven and stove. If we're both involved in the actual cooking we only get in each other's way. You have to use the table as a counter. We have gotten used to it and we have cooked full blown meals. Of course, we also do a lot of grilling outdoors on our little Weber. If we are going to have electricity or we are gone long enough we also carry a small portable microwave that we plug in outside. We also use the over a lot. We like using those backing bags if we want to roast something so the oven never gets messed up...because once it cools down from baking, it transforms back into a breadbox. And as Sephanie points out, if you can do some of the prep work in advance of the trip that will help a lot. We were even interviewed once for a sidebar to an article for Saveur magazine by Bruce Littlefield (who owns an Airstream) about cooking in Airstreams (pgs 33-34, Issue 112, July 08)... a picture of our galley and everything! Cooking CAN happen with success!
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:00 PM   #6
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If you like to cook, the 20 is hard to beat. Similar overall size and weight to the 19, but a great kitchen with counter space for two cooks.

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Old 05-13-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
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Try getting a dutch oven...cooks on a fire, and really good recipes.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:24 PM   #8
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Thanks all for the great feedback! We are going to go visit the dealer again this weekend so I'll think about it a little differently now. I'm not sure why but I don't think I ever considered the table as being able to be used but I see that it would work well for that.
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Old 05-13-2011, 11:32 PM   #9
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Here is am example. I'm a vegetarian so lots of cutting and chopping! Enjoy your shopping! It's tons of fun looking at new Airstreams.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #10
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That's what attracted us to the 22' Sport. A nice long food prep counter. It's still a one person affair though.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:35 PM   #11
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Our kitchen consists of two propane burners, a small microwave and dorm-sized refrigerator.

We get along quite well, use a crockpot or hot plate outside when possible, otherwise do a lot of simple, one-dish meals. We have no oven, so baked anything occurs in one of our two Dutch Ovens.

We like it small, wouldn't have it any other way.


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Old 05-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #12
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The kitchen is one of the top three things that attracted us to our 20'. You don't get that much kitchen in bigger models.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:04 PM   #13
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Thanks for your replies. I see now that the table would really be helpful in the 19. After visiting the dealer today, we have narrowed it down to the 20 or the 23FB. I know the 23 isn't exactly small, but it sure is nice. Who knows? Because at this point we are quite a ways out before we get one. For sure not this season anyway. I'll keep looking and dreaming!
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:05 AM   #14
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Well, I've got a 23 (older model), and I love to cook. But three things alter my thinking: first, more or less, it still is "camping" and so I try to simplify the meals, and focus on recipes that are easier to turn out in the little A/S kitchen. Some things you just can't do as well or fast on a small propane stove that doesn't have the high power burners of a home cooktop. So some brain realignment helps ... when I'm "out there," outdoor activities take the lead and cooking takes the back seat, so it's a reordering of priorities.

Second, as several folks have pointed out above, you can do a lot of the messier (and time consuming) prep work at home before you leave, then having all the ingredients in the fridge ready to go. This makes things a LOT easier and faster.

Finally, do move outdoors for part of it, whether it's prep on a cutting board located on a picnic table or cooking on a small Weber grill, etc. That will leave your indoor kitchen a lot cleaner and your cleanup a lot easier.

Enjoy! Good food and fun travel are marvelous companions.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:54 AM   #15
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In our 19' we have a fold out from the kitchen area to the right of the sink. It was added by PO (thanks again Mojo) and is not full depth of counter making it easy to still get in and out of the dinette. The dinette is obviously, still a prep area as well.

Personally I hate the 20' (nothing personal my 20' owning airstream brothers and sisters), even with more windows it feels like a 70s sailboat (all hallway) to me. A 20' would be awesome for single fulltiming. I am also friends with a couple who are very happy with their 16' and one of them is a pro-chef.

For us, more storage and a larger galley was not worth being too big for many of the places we want to go (18' limit - a 19/20 squeezes in). It really depends on you, your needs, wants and what will keep you satisfied and happy!
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:10 PM   #16
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Going on six years in the 19' Bambi and over 220 nights camping. We do a fair share of dutch oven cooking, but also cook indoors when the weather dictates. No problems with the "dance". We chop at the table and cook outside/inside in shifts...just adds to the adventure. The dutch oven really adds a new dimension to whole experience, lots of curious neighbors and always plenty of leftovers to share.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:11 PM   #17
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Being a great fan of our 20' and choosing it over the 19' (very glad we did), I have to offer a rebuttal to the earlier "hate the 20" comment.

We went for the 20 rather than the 19 because they are only marginally different in size, but the 20 offers one of Airstream's largest, most usable kitchens. Anything but all hallway, there isn't an inch of hallway lost for the bed. The dinette is opposite the entry and fridge. The wonderfully spacious kitchen countertops, with all usable cabinets above and below, account for the reminder of the hallway, opposite that is the bath. It is a remarkably efficient design for a trailer this size.

My only complaint about the 20, and this is only because our trips have been running 6 months at a time, I'm no youngster anymore, is the lack of a cozy recliner like at home. I don't see a complete solution for that until the Safari 30. I am considering a convertible sofa replacement for the bed, making our 20 a near perfect traveling companion.

Doug K
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicmert View Post
The twenty is really cool, but I wonder if too much space is dedicated to the kitchen. We like to cook and I just don't think it is possible with such a small counter area.
I guess it boils down to this - what does the 20' give up over the 19' for that bigger kitchen?

To my way of thinking, not much at all. IIRC, the 20's front bed is the same size as the rear corner bed in the 19. You get a dinette in both. The 20 has a more accommodating bathroom too.

It's too bad AS didn't carry over the modifications from the special edition Dave Winnick 75th anniversary 19' into production. He figured out a longer galley (but smaller frig and no second sink) for those 75 units...

Tom
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:03 AM   #19
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The 19 and 20 seem purpose built for two different things.

The 19' feels more open like a modern house. The dinette has the ultimate view at the wrap around window. The 20 may have more windows but the 19 feels much brighter inside. I have not partied on a 20 but I wager that a 19 more comfortably to supports four adults for a weekend. It should tell you something that my 19's wardrobe has been converted (partially) to galley storage and we toss soft bags with rolled clothes under the bed. Thats right, I said it, the 19' galley is a teeny bit too small.

I would have been thrilled to lose the second sink for more galley. Shaving in the galley sink is gross but who the heck shaves on a weekender anyway? I actually call the 20' the "wives trailer" or "ladies trailer' as its "all galley" (I know its sexist and in bad taste and its meant as a sarcastic joke not a knock on chefs or women)

IMO 20 is not best used as weekender. It has a darker feel is less open by being filled with the very storage you need for a longer trip. The 20' is without a doubt more comfortable for extended couples trips. So for fewer people than the 19' and longer trips the 20' rules where the 19' would be less comfortable for a couple for anything longer than a few weeks. Certainly the 20' offers a more home-like galley!

EDIT: In boat talk the 19' is a coastal cruiser and the 20' is a blue water sailor. Do you need something local for everyone to hang out or do you need something to support you far from home?
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:07 AM   #20
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Ditto Everything Mentioned

Let me add that on the newer Bambi 19', you can also put a cutting board/prep area on the top of the seat to the right of the sink. (Just don't prepare anything juicy there).

One more thing. Mine Bambi came with a microwave/convectional oven. It is great when you are in a campground with hookups. If I had to do it again, I would never get that set-up. A regular oven that operates on gas I think will serve better. You can't use a dutch oven in it so a lot of the ideas that the above posts contain won't work. Besides it makes noise and really makes noise if you use it while running a generator.

I vote for the regular gas oven, besides it's cheaper.
Randy Bowman
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