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Old 12-13-2009, 07:47 PM   #1
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i have moved north to VIRGINIA CITY , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 119
Picking the right AS for full timing

Fulltimers ..... having trouble here trying to decide on a floorplan.

how did you decide what would work best for you? i keep going round and round about what i want. i just cant seem make up my mind.

if you were like me..... how did you resolve this?
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:02 PM   #2
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1963 16' Bambi
1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
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Posts: 1,937
Well... we don't full time, so I can't answer directly. But, simply living in an Airstream for even a few weeks will help one decide what kind of things they want/need. Are you looking mostly at floorplan, or size of trailer or all of the above? Size and what you will tow with are a huge consideration as it may impact your travel plans (where you can actually go and camp) or your level of comfort. For some people a 31 footer is small, for others a Bambi is just right.

A lot of the decisions will need to be based on your preferences and lifestyle. Do you have a lot of "stuff" or are you a minimalist? Do you have pets, a spouse or significant other to share the space with? Is having your computer and electronic gear at all times most important, or is it your fishing pole or hiking boots? Do you entertain and need room for company?

This link is to a thread a couple of years old, but has good food for thought:

Good luck on your adventure! Go ahead and post specific questions and ask other's opinions. For example, Many folks trade out a goucho for a computer station, etc. ask your questions... start with what you know you like and work from there!

Good luck, and enjoy the ride!
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:27 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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I think that your attitude towards having company is the biggest influence on what layout you'll need.

If you want to have lots of them, get one with the bathroom in the middle (which puts the bedroom at one end or the other) and that also has a dinette.

The middle bedrooms means that your company will have to walk past you if they need the bathroom while you're sleeping, and a dinette folds down into a "double" bed plus makes for more room to eat.

Of course, the 34' rigs have both the dinette (a small one) plus the couch, or "gaucho" as it is sometimes called. Plus there is the max room available for storage.
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
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1993 34' Excella
1962 16' Bambi
New Haven , Connecticut
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For full-timing think DINETTE.
Morrison's Airstream Page
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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i have moved north to VIRGINIA CITY , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 119
Thanks for your opinions everyone. its just me and very little stuff. i am not planning to entertain at all. just want to have a nice place to live. i just need figure out what kind of floorplan suits me best.

and Caddygrn... thanks for the link.
munimula... love your page.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:01 PM   #6
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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Plenty of links in a search.
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:05 AM   #7
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Normal , Illinois
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We are not full time but 10-12 weeks several times a year. We don't have a dinette, but it is the one thing we would add if we could. We would suggest you get inside trailer layouts you are looking at and imagine living in there.

We have a rear-sleeper in our Interstate, which we wanted and love. It allows an unobstructed view out the back, and we don't walk through to get to the kitchen area--we like having that upfront for cooking inside and out, unloading groceries, etc.

Happy hunting.
🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:24 AM   #8
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Evansville , Indiana
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We wintered for about 10 winters in our 1999 27 ft. Safari. The mid bath was a must for us, since our sleeping habits are much different. The 27 ft. had a lot of closet space; a big plus for extended stays or full timing. The Safari did not have a dinette. This was a big minus, since we could only have about two visitors at a time. We still had the original couch, but would have replaced it with two recliners if we would have kept the Safari.

You will just have to decide what works for you. I know some full timers in units under 20 ft. Others must have a 34 footer. We decided that the 27 footer was a good compromise; it was easy to pull and get around in truck stops and gas stations and was long enough to suit us for extended stay/travel.

Take your time and go dealers and spend time in various layouts to see what might suit you.

Good luck!

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Old 12-14-2009, 08:01 AM   #9
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2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
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When we were looking, we visited campgrounds that we knew would have Airstreamers visiting. We got to know several of the AS owners and they would always let us know when a group of Airstreamers were getting together. It didn't take long to discover the pluses and minuses of the various styles. AS owners love to show off their trailers - look at them and imagine living it them. That was what helped us the most! Travel to AS dealers and look, look, look. Think and analyze each and every one. If it rains for four days straight, will you be happy in this trailer??? If three or four friends drop by, can you get along in this trailer??? Is there room for your 150 lb. dog or three cats??? Storage space and kitchen prep space??? These are all things to think about and only YOU know what you need in each case. It sure helped us out. Knowing where and how we would be using it had a lot to do with our choice also.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:56 AM   #10
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1973 31' Sovereign
Austin , Texas
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I live in a 31' center bath. I think its a great layout for full-timing. I keep my table out use it both for eating and as a desk. Plenty of storage and I have guests fairly often--it all works out.

I am small and a minimalist, and it doesn't feel like too much space. Just saying.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:54 AM   #11
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Really - you need to LOOK AT the real unit, not something you've seen a floorplan for.

Then Imagine yourself using the toilet, shower, making the bed, setting up and taking down the dinette, etc. Imagine cooking with 1 square foot of counter space. Imagine doing dishes, cleaning vegetables, etc.

I originally wanted to fulltime in a 17 footer. Then I took the factory tour at Jackson Center Ohio and saw how really narrow the bath door was - crammed right next to the bed... I sometimes want to take a 2am potty break and I could just imagine smacking my head trying to get the door open or walking into it - I didn't feel comfortable closing the door on the bath - it whacked my knees when I was sitting.

So I looked at the 22 footer and that made much more sense.

Two years later and bought a 25 FB

And I'm now drooling for the 27 FB "Serenity" CCD that's just recently been announced. (Closet space is the big deal). I'll probably get twins with more storage that has easy access, and a convection microwave. Need an oven for boondocking? Say DUTCH oven.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Ajo , Arizona
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For full-timing, we'd say a 28' would be minimum.Sure like our 31', though.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:06 PM   #13
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Joshua , Texas
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Look at the 28' to 30' lengths.....
History doesn't repeat itself, people do!
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:19 PM   #14
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Weldon Spring , Missouri
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Having lived full time in several different length Airstreams over several years, I can tell you that EVERY floorplan will have it's own "compromises", so to speak, and that I remember the time spent in each one of them fondly.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:32 PM   #15
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2007 28' Safari SE
Dover , New Hampshire
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Posts: 144
I chose my trailer with full-timing in mind. It's just me and a big dog - but a fair amount of stuff. I'm not full timing yet - but the things I considered were a place to sit and read or just lounge about - a sturdy table for my various crafts, laptop and eating and a bed I could walk around. The corner beds are a pain to make up and I knew that I wouldn't want to fight with that on a daily basis.

I chose a Safari 28 and I love it. It has a living room area, a dinette opposite the galley and a seperate bedroom with a queen I can walk around. The "powder room" is big enough so I can shut the door without banging my knees and the shower is big enough so I won't bang my elbows. I found the layout I thought would work for me and then I went searching for a trailer with that layout to see if it really would suit me. I also opted for a microwave convection oven and will have a generator to run it when I'm not plugged in (probably most of the time).

I would advise that you consider how you live now - what do you do that's improtant to you and what kind of amenities do you need to do those thing that matter to you. Listen to that small voice in the back of our head that says that will annoy me and avoid layouts that have a lack of space or comfort that will bug you. And remember that there will be times when inclement weather will mean that you are inside the trailer for the duration. There will be compromises - but if you keep them small you can deal with them without undo stress. My compromise was that I can't take my whole gourmet kitchen appliances and a zillion dishes with me. But I'm trading that for the freedom of full timing. Not a big deal for me.

I can accomodate guests - but prefer to go with the 6-4-2 rule - 6 people for drinks, 4 for dinner and two to sleep! Just have a really good look at how you live and what's important to you and you'll figure it out - just fine.
Louisa & Jasper Joy
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:49 PM   #16
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Cleveland , Tennessee
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How will you be fulltiming? In my arrogance, I thought fulltiming was living in your AS out on the road. I didn't realize folks live in them while still firmly planted to one area. If you will be staying somewhere with storage area available, The size is your choice. I would recommend nothing smaller than 21', but I'm a pack rat. If rolling around the countryside, look for an AS with lots of storage. We had to have lots of garage sales to dwindle down from 2 3-bedroom houses with garages to a AS MH. We've adapted a policy of "something in, something out". Look for items that have more than 1 use. Like using the bottom pan from a steamer as a sauce pan. We carry a 4 peice setting only, 2 coffee mugs, 2 wine glasses, 2 general use cups. The more weight you carry, the worse your gas mileage will be. Being overweight will put extra repair costs on brakes & tires.

"Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

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1989 345 LE Classic Motorhome
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:35 PM   #17
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1972 27' Overlander
Granbury , Texas
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Posts: 18
Just purchased a '72 Overlander, 27', rear bath, full bed. It will be just me and the dog with an occasional overnight guest. I wanted the full bed vs. the twins because of all the storage space you get (or lose if you choose the twins arrangement.) Trailer hasn't been delivered yet so we'll see how well I planned! Good luck!
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:09 PM   #18
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
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We looked at alot of different AS models and lengths and finally went with a 30' Classic with a slide. It is a 2002 and was a 1 owner but looked brand new. I can say that the slide is so nice when you set up and was a great choice for us. We are semi-full-timers and snow birds from Idaho to Arizona. We had a huge 5th wheel a while back and going to a 30' AS has been a dream to both tow and to live in. I would think that a 28-31' would be the right choice for a full timer. If you can find a good used one with a slide, then more the better.

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Old 09-16-2010, 06:16 AM   #19
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2007 31' Classic
holland , Pennsylvania
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Posts: 190
we dont fulltime ,but bought our trailer with the idea of some day traveling for a few months at a time.dw chose the 31 based on dinette,closet space and adequate room for two people on an extended stay.for me the trailer is not as important since if the weather is nice i can sit outside in a chaise lounge and nite the dw can go to bed and i can sit on the couch in the front of the coach and watch a movie without disturbing her.of course the real advantage of the airstream is being able to travel and tow comfortably.sit in a few models at the dealer to see what you like and if you have time visit jackson center,and talk to some of the people that build them.this is what we did before trading our 28 safari on our current trailer that we bought new 4 yrs ago.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:26 AM   #20
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we have full timed in our 34.5 classic motorhome for 5 years now and in my foolishness thought we could move down to our 29 foot 1972 overlander. my husband didn't say anything just got the trailer on site and let me start packing up. by 2pm i sat down in our trailer and said this is too small. i had really believed we could do it as we love the trailer for traveling. For us and the 2 cats we need the extra feet for living space. you need separation. we did decide that the trailer would be perfect for 1 person but 2 is quite a stretch though we know people who have made it work.
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