2013 Airstream Flying Cloud 30 Bunk (a 30-foot long Airstream with a front bedroom and rear bunk beds)
2015 GMC Sierra Denali HD with Duramax Diesel
Our original plan for the Big Big Trip involved a boat and has evolved over the past decade. After Owen came along, we continued to plan on a watery escape until early 2015 when we realized that the social options for a young kid on a boat were somewhat limited and decided to change tacks.
We researched and studied and started looking at fifth wheel trailers (mainly for the space because that seemed to be the only real “option” for full-time living), but they all seemed so BIG…they just didn’t feel “right” to us.
Growing up, my family always had fifth wheels, although he held a secret crush for the shiny, silver Airstreams. On a whim in early 2015, I broached the subject of an Airstream with Anna and she was game. Off we went to look at the local Airstream Dealer. Immediately, the new 2015 30-foot Flying Cloud Bunk felt “right.” Planning on waiting for the 2016 models to be released later in the year, we lucked out when this lightly used 2013 rolled onto the lot as a trade-in.
After camping with the Airstream for about a year, we decided that a few modifications would be required to increase our quality of life while on the road. Those will be detailed on on this page in the near future, but they basically involve storage solutions and upgrades to our electrical systems (120Vac, 12Vdc, and Solar).
Summary of Airstream Upgrades:
- Various Pantry and Bedroom Storage Conversions
- 120Vac, 12Vdc, and Solar Upgrades
- (1) GoPower! 1,500 Watt Industrial Pure Sine Wave Inverter (Replaced stock 600W inverter–wired to inverter-specific outlets throughout the trailer. Controlled remotely via the GoPower! Inverter Remote for the ISW Inverters)
- (3) SF100 100W panels from AM Solar (Rooftop)
- (1) Zamp 150W Solar Panel (Rooftop – installed by previous owner)
- (2) Renogy 100W Suitcase Panels (Portable Array)
- (1) Blue Sky Solar Boost 3024iL (Rooftop Solar Charger)
- (1) Blue Sky Solar Boost 2512iX-HV (Portable Array Solar Charger)
- (1) Blue Sky IPN PRO Remote Meter (Battery Monitor and Solar Charge Controller)
- (2) 6V Trojan T145 Batteries (connected in series for 12V and 260amp-hour capacity)
- (1) Powermax PM4B-60 Converter (60amp Converter / Charger)
- (1) Fiamma Bike Rack
- (1) Voyager Wireless Backup Camera
- weBoost Drive 4G-X Cell Phone Signal Booster (hardwired into a switchable circuit via the Wilson 6-Volt Hardwire DC Power Supply Kit)
- WiFi Ranger Elite Pack WiFi Booster and Network Router
- 16″ Sendel T03-66655BM Wheels and Michelin LTX MS/2 225/75R16 Tires
- EEZTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (We quickly figured out that we needed the TPMS System Repeater for our rig. Every time we would drive through a town, we we would drop the signal from our trailer wheel sensors. This was probably due to the combination of a weak signal (which was a function of overall rig length, the trailer’s aluminum body, and the amount of “stuff” we have in the back of the truck) and electromagnetic interference. This booster amplifies the signal from the sensors and since installing it in the trailer’s front window, we have not had any problems with dropping the signals from the sensors.)
GMC Sierra DenaliHD Story
Easy enough–Jeff’s a GMC guy. We made a few modifications here too and we’ll detail those as well.
- ARE Z-Series Truck Canopy
- Bedslide Classic 1000