Ginger, or Mary Ann? Queen bed, or twins?
Both questions can incite lively discussion at rallies and in happy hour circles. But nearly every Airstreamer seems to have a firm opinion on the topic of beds.
Ours? Like the roominess that comes from sitting across the aisle on an airplane, or the comfort of lying on couches that face each other in the living room at home, we believe twin beds are the best sleeping solution for life on the road, for two.
Here are 8 reasons why:
1. Makes the Airstream look and feel larger.
I can remember looking at a bunch of Airstreams before we chose the Globetrotter 23FB. Seeing the foot or side of the queen bed from the hallway’s line of sight halted my gaze and made shorter trailers feel small. And sidestepping my way around the queen bed to get from one side of the bedroom to the other felt cramped.
But the first time we stepped into our 23FB with twins, it immediately felt bigger than other smaller trailers–and even a few 25 foot floor plans.
It still does. When you look down the hallway of our Airstream, you get a line of sight that continues between the twin beds all the way to the nightstand that sits between them and against the panoramic front windows. It’s a great design technique that adds a spatial impression of size to the interior. Especially when you consider that the body of a 23 foot trailer is also 6 inches narrower than trailers over 25 feet.
2. Eliminates the dreaded “climb-over.”
If your Airstream’s bed is situated against the wall, you know this pain. Often literally, as your partner’s knee digs into your shin bone, or you are flattened against the wall at 3AM during a dreaming fit.
I’ve heard quite a few couples complain about the challenges of the queen-against-the-wall bed. Many of them end up buying another Airstream for this primary reason. Choose twin beds and you will never have to climb over your partner to get to “your side” again.
3. It’s way easier to make twin beds than a queen.
My mom insisted that my brother and I make our beds every day so our rooms looked tidy. This habit serves me well, now that I’m traveling in a 23 foot Airstream.
Twin beds make this easy. There’s so little mattress width to lean over that even the shortest-armed among us (I’m 5’1” with arm length to match) can tuck in the sheets, blanket, and bedspread with little effort. If you’ve got a partner who resists making his or her bed daily, the simplicity of twins improves the chance of compliance (even if it doesn’t reduce the complaining about it).
4. Twin beds double as couches when you’re not sleeping in them.
Our beds become personal, 80” long couches that we stretch out on during the day. And Airstream supplied so many throw pillows with our model that we can comfortably prop ourselves up at the head or foot of the bed, choosing the direction with the best view.
Some of our favorite ways to enjoy this cozy, daytime set up: work or play on our laptops, read, watch movies, nap, look at the waves crashing onto a Mexican beach, or have deep conversations over a hot cup of tea.
5. Less griping on laundry day.
The odd shapes of any sized Airstream bed make pulling sheets and bedding off difficult. Before we got the Globetrotter I heard complaints from several women in our WBCCI unit about how hard it was to remove and replace bedding on queen beds, especially those that abut the wall.
But because of the bed size and ease of access, twins win when it comes to stripping and remaking the bed. Plus, bedspreads and blankets are smaller on twins, so they fit in a regular sized washer at home or the laundromat. No more driving around town looking for a jumbo washer that can accommodate larger bedding. In fact, the gathered sheets, top sheets, and pillow cases for both beds—plus a fair amount of socks, shirts, and PJs—can be stuffed into the Airstream Life laundry bag to make laundry day easier.
6. Won’t affect your love life.
You know you’ve been thinking about this since you started reading this blog. So let’s get the elephant out of the room. If you think the love lives of Airstream couples who opt for twin beds died long ago, or that they are having less fun during their travels, au contraire mon frère.
Just because we sleep in separate beds like Lucy and Ricky Ricardo did, doesn’t mean we don’t invite each other over for a visit. For us, there’s just enough room to double up on one bed, as needed. And while that’s not the case for everyone, twin beds do give you the opportunity to think a bit more, well, creatively than you might at home. Twin beds might be the right opportunity for you to spice things up a bit on the road.
7. No fighting over who gets the side with the nightstand.
I am still new to Airstreaming, but designing the bedroom with a nightstand on only one side of the bed still puzzles me. And while I do wish we had a model that comes with a nightstand for each of us, we didn’t have to flip a coin to see who would get the one that comes in the middle of the twin beds. We share it.
Granted, it's a bit small. But I’ve optimized the space with drawer organizers and added a two-level organizer on top. It’s Velcroed to the nightstand and it stays in place while towing.
8. You get more room.
In most new Airstreams, the queen bed is 60" wide by 75" long. That means each body in the bed gets 30" to wiggle around in.
Switch to twin beds and you get 34" of width in each bed—and nobody can invade your space unless you invite them. As bonus, twin beds are usually 3-5" longer, which leaves room for a small dog at your feet.
You forgot how great twins are for solo travelers inviting along a friend or grandchild. No need to turn kitchen into a bedroom. What’s with the sexist reference to changing sheets and women? Men don’t do this???!!!!
we also got two outside storage bins under the beds that we would not have had with a queen. In our case the queen had the head at the front of the camper with an aisle on each side. All that added outside storage is valuable.
Great article! We have twins too and love the set up. Will you share a photo of your two level organizer on top of the night stand and perhaps where you found it? Thanks!
Bought our first Airstream in 1991, a 1977 International 31 ft. with a rear bath and twin beds in front of the bath. This was followed by a 1991 34 ft. Excella with twin beds, then a 1999 34 ft. Excella, also with twin beds. Our current Airstream is a 2007 34 ft. Classic S/O with twin beds. Took us over 3 yrs. of looking/watching when we found it. Bought new custom mattresses at Cantwell Mattress Co. in San Antonio & Corpus Christi, TX. Passed up several queen bed trailers while waiting for the right one. We’re both in our mid-70’s now and your 8 points are right on target. Thanks for calling out this benefit of twins.
Additionally, the trailer you get might…might… have additional external storage space!
One of the wonderful things about Airstreams, to which we all agree, is there are plenty of options for sizes and floor plans, making it easy to find a nearly perfect fit. After 45 years of sleeping together, we can’t imagine sleeping apart from one another. We love our cozy 19cb and live in it full-time. It appears, though, that twin beds are becoming the popular choice. We were making plans to order a 23cb, but alas, Airstream is no longer making them. They crunched the numbers and the 23cb was find wanting, so we’ll continue to be more than content with our 19cb.
Thank you for the blogs. We always learn something from them.
We’ve been streaming since our honeymoon 1999. He had a 27’ with twins, it had the couch for accommodating getting to know one another better. I resisted twins, when we talked about moving up to a bigger rig, I insisted on a queen, he again bought twins. Grrrr. Then he explained about traveling in the heat stopping and not having the luxury of hookups, he was right. At home we queen together, on the road we twin. I still complaign about the difficulty of tucking in the sheets.
Liz, this is a cute story, thank you for sharing it. And I agree on the overheating part in a queen (I am at “that age…”). That would be my thing #9!
Jeffery, I love that you and your partner have found the perfect Airstream and bed for your needs! Maybe it was meant to be that the 23cb was discontinued. The 19cb is for you!
John Green you have made the point in spades! Over and over you have realized that twins win. Glad we could support your already wise thinking. :-)
Chris and Tony are correct – sometimes you do get extra storage compartments. Thanks for sharing that.
Pat, you raise a great point that I overlooked–taking grandchildren or others along. In fact, I’ve been thinking about taking my niece on a weekend trip just the two of us. Twin beds make that easier. As for who changes the sheets, I am only sharing my personal experience. It was only women in my unit who shared that complaint. And in our household (and Airstream), I take on that task. But I’m sure many men out there do, too.
Family of 4 with the twin set up. We love it, kids can borrow our beds with the smart phones while we cook, clean, watch tv, have a glass of wine in the evening. During the day I can pace as needed from the front to the back of the rig. Makes our 27 footer feel a lot bigger than it is. Plus, I snore at night.
Thanks for sharing your experience. My wife and I are camping in Florida in our 23FB and considering changing our queen out for twins. I wonder if you have pictures or other information on the process you went through to make you upgrade happen?
Loved the article, be well.
I sold my international rear queen last year & just got a Globetrotter front twin & Live the twin!! I’m 6ft & my feet hung off the queen but the twin has plenty of room. I purchased a wedge foam mattress & have it under the twin …. Helps with the reflux & snoring.
What I did not like was the feeling that I was falling of the edge. An easy fix was I added a 9” patch, put a mahogany edge so the mattress cannot slide. Essentially, turned them into boat bunks. I used the mesh to infill between patch and wall. Email me if you would like images.
Jim Van de Voorde
We ordered a 25 ft Flying Cloud FB with the twin beds, our first RV. It should arrive this August. We were sold on extra storage, and not having crawl over one another in middle of the night.
Dennis and Mary Ann Jeter
We have owned only one rv which is our 2018 International Signature 30’ twin.
We chose the twin configuration for both the additional outside storage and extra mattress length. We are happy we made this choice.