First, thank you all for the incredible rebuild threads and the great ideas within them! I have saved pics, links, and ideas from each one, Thank you!
Well... we picked up 1957
Bubble #425 a few months ago and are now deep into rotted floors and mummified rodents ... and we couldn't be happier! We've done shell-off restorations on a few Airstreams, but this one has me a bit stuck - I can't decide on a layout for our cute little bug. She was gutted when we bought her and the only original cabinet is the closet, plus we have the appliances, kitchen countertop & sink, and original SS corner shower pan. The sweet prior owners took pains to collect period-correct hardware and fixtures and had a new pan with integrated black tank made, too.
With the interior a near-blank slate, I'm trying to decide whether to change the layout or rebuild as original. I've spent hours looking at the rebuilds here: Robin's (Melody Ranch) rear bed/rear bath layout; 544man's incredible rift oak no-bath rebuild; aworldinchaos's Pacer w/front U-dinette and no bath; found an old ad for a front dinette Bubble with bath moved to curb-side and no closet; and perused the Bambi and Cruisette forums for layout ideas too.
Hubby wants to duplicate the layout of the new Bambi with the front dinette, fixed rear bed, curb-side bath, and street-side kitchen w/tall closet. The measurements of the trailers are nearly identical so I've hung out at the AS dealership in one to get a feel for its flow. I'm just not sure about all those tall cabinets in such a small trailer - it feels a little disjointed.
Becky B's Bambi II layout is a possibility - all tall cabinets are in the rear leaving the rest fairly open (curb side kitchen, front dinette). But her BII is longer and I'm afraid that layout might result in a dark little trailer with two windows either partially, or fully, covered. We have an '87 Casita with a front bath and closet, fixed rear bed, and side dinette we could copy - it feels bigger than its 12'x6' size - but I don't want to lose the front window and I really want to polish (and see) both the Bubble's end caps.
I'm not a purist, but I also don't want to completely disregard this Bubble's history or turn it into a Bambi or Cruisette. For those who kept the original layout, does the 6, 4, 2 rule work? (6 for drinks, 4 for dinner, 2 for bed). How functional is it really ... will it even fit 4 people at the dinette? For those without the original floor plan, what did you change that you liked or disliked? What do you wish was different?
I'm currently leaning toward tweaking hubby's layout by perhaps making the closet shorter (maybe 42" - 48") so you could see over it into the bed area, and/or shrinking the wet-bath and moving it back from the door 4-6" to ease the feel of walking in to a solid wall. "Musts" are a fixed bed, small wet bath, and room for 4 people to hang out - even if that includes 1 or 2 people lounging/reading while sitting on the bed. We'll be using a 12V
fridge which can be put almost anywhere, and an on-demand water heater, which saves space. We have our choice of a princess stove/oven or a countertop Modernaire.
I'll post pics from my phone when I can get it to talk to my mac. Until then, these are from the prior owners' listing.
Sorry for the long intro! Looking forward to getting to know you all!