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8 Months Later – the Grand Lounge Remodel


New and improved set-up

4.5 years ago Kelly and I moved into the Aristream and have been living inside our comfy tincan on a full-time basis ever since.  Over the years we have made a lot of changes designed to increase comfort or efficiency.

Two years ago when Kelly and I left California – and our traditional corporate office gigs, the trailer began serving as both our home and primary worksite.  Pretty quickly it became apparent that our (otherwise very popular) 27FB floorplan was not adequately meeting our needs or preferences.  We wanted a more flexible seating/lounging setup and more counter top surface space.  Another round of changes was desperately needed.


The Factory Floorplan

About this same time I stumbled upon Ultimate Airstream, a small Portland, OR based company specializing in customizing Airstream trailers.  Immediately Kelly and I became intrigued with their remodeling ideas and capabilities, in particular a redesign solution dubbed ‘the grand lounge’.

Over the 2015 holidays we had an opportunity to see a grand lounge retrofit firsthand. Impressed with Ultimate’s workmanship, Kelly and I quickly made arrangements for them to remodel our trailer a few months later.

In June of last year we arrived to Portland and handed over our trailer for it’s makeover.  The process took just over three weeks, so we moved into a rental house situated a hipster NE neighborhood.  As we made final decisions relating to upholstery, flooring, laminate surfaces, etc., we enjoyed visits from friends and family while enjoying fabulous dining, craft beers, and delicious espresso.


To our delight, the conversion process went smoothly.  After a final walk through inspection we signed closing paperwork, paid the bill, and again took to the open road giddy with optimism that our new layout would be a huge improvement for our living comfort.

So how are we enjoying the changes?  In a few words – we love it.  In hindsight, I would have done a couple things slightly differently, but at this point cannot imagine going back to the original layout.


14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful!

    February 20, 2017
  2. Hello! It looks beautiful! I have a 27FB, also, and am curious. You said, “In hindsight, I would have done a couple things slightly differently, but at this point cannot imagine going back to the original layout.” What are those things you would have done differently? Thanks!

    February 20, 2017
    • Runwoman2016 – it’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the seating area immediate next to the door is more shallow than I’d prefer. Could I do it again, I’d shave few inches off the (doorside) table, allowing the seat framing to be deeper. Today both tables are the same width, so the downside to this idea will be two tables that do not exactly match in size.

      I’d also kill the subwoofer and add a second access door. From the outside reaching in, I miss being able to easily quickly access stuff for my dog (leash, poop bags, etc.).

      February 20, 2017
  3. Looks amazing! We have a 25FB and are looking at some renovations. I have a question: In the final version, I don’t understand where the woman is sitting as she is eating. Is this a bench that collapses? Looks like it is blocking the lounge section behind her. Also you mentioned in your reply to Runwoman2016 “today both tables are the same width…” where is the other table? Thank you.

    February 23, 2017
    • Liz – The remodel is designed to be modular allowing either of the two tables can be up or down. Ultimate Airstreams provides cushions to place atop the table surfaces. In the pictures, the table nearest the door is ‘up’, with my wife sitting atop the 2nd table that is ‘down’. The set-up is really flexible – both tables can be down allowing for a huge lounge/couch/bed/, or ‘up’ providing enough seating for six adults eating ‘booth’ style. Typically, Kelly and I keep the one up, the other down as you see in the pictures. We store the cushion that would otherwise rest atop the table next to the bed. _dave

      February 26, 2017
  4. Hi guys! I came back to this post because I had two questions…and those questions seem to have been answered in the comments already! Perfect. (They were 1-What would you have done differently, and 2-Where do you store the cushions when they aren’t on the table tops…) So, the cushions have no set storage area…you just move ’em next to the bed or wherever (it sounds like). We’re (finally) back in the Airstream now and thinking we’ll likely do something like this to ours in the future….

    Fun to keep following along! Love the Lone Pine spot photo!!

    -Laura (& Kevin)

    March 13, 2017
    • Hey Laura –
      The remodel is awesome. In fact, this change ranks right up with the lithium swap as being a total game changer for us. The revised floorplan is such an improvement! I guess you and Kevin need to determine if the cost ROI makes sense given the amount of time you spend on Airship. In our case, the retro fit was a no-brainer. If you have any detailed/nuance-like questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Oh, if you have not been, it’s worth your effort to visit Ultimate Airstream in person – Ian is fantastic to work with and you guys can see the craftsmanship up close. Good luck!

      March 13, 2017
      • Thanks, Dave! Yeah, we were originally talking about whether or not to keep the Airstream (we’re going to keep) and that if we end up using it more…we’d like to upgrade to lithium like we did on the boat, and perhaps do this grand lounge remodel. Definitely we’ll go check out Ultimate Airstreams when we’re in town with some time. Cheers!

        March 13, 2017
      • Hi, We are in touch now with Ultimate Airstream about a renovation based on your post. Question: how did you select the firmness of the foam for your new upholstery? Did you get a sample of the foam? We aren’t sure how to decide which to use. Thanks! Liz

        March 27, 2017
        • We went onsite to ‘test sit’ on the various pieces of foam available to choose from.

          March 28, 2017
          • Thanks. What did you select for the foam?

            March 28, 2017
            • Liz – I cannot recall exactly … definitely one of the firmer options. Can’t recall if we went with the most firm or 2nd to most firm.

              March 30, 2017

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