Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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RV Review: Airstream Flying Cloud 25FB with office

My doc told me that one of the most injurious things to my health is sitting at a desk all day. So I just move from one desk to the other. But I think what she was trying to tell me was that I should stand and get a standing desk. Okay. Even my Apple Watch keeps bugging me about it. 

Thor’s Airstream people must have the same doctor because the company now offers a fancy desk in three models that can actually be raised to become a standing desk. Wow. The Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office as well as the Flying Cloud 25FB and 27FB models are all now available with this power standing desk option which includes an office chair as well. 

According to the company, the idea for this standing desk option came when they were working on the 30FB Office model. The desk replaces a portion of the long bench seat on the road side of the two smaller models, which makes sense.

What’s inside the Flying Cloud 25FB

The Flying Cloud 25FB comes in two flavors, essentially: one with a queen-sized bed and the other with two twins. Other than that, they’re essentially the same. 

Stepping inside the door, the first thing you’re greeted with is a dinette at the rear of the trailer. It features a small seat on the camp side and then a long seat on the road side that could be a day bed. But, as mentioned, in models outfitted with the desk options, that seat is shortened by one section and a power standing desk is fitted instead. 

I’m sure the company has thought this part through but opposite where the desk goes is the galley. It includes an “L”-shaped counter that contains the sink, some counter space and then a three-burner stove with an actual usable oven. Surprisingly, the microwave is an option. 

The company makes it a point to indicate that the faucet is a Delta faucet – so I’ll share that with you, as well. Cabinets occupy the space over the galley and below, as well – naturally. 

There are also cabinets further down the trailer which can serve as hanging space or a pantry. 

Across the aisle is a gas-electric refrigerator. If you don’t opt for the microwave, then there’s more cabinet space above that. 

The split bathroom in the Flying Cloud works really well

Further down, the total bathroom experience is split between sides of the trailer. The road side has a shower with a seat, and the camp side has a toilet and sink. I recently did a poll in a user group for another brand and asked specifically about slide rooms. There were a few respondents who indicated that they hated this arrangement. 

Frankly, I think it works really well, especially if you’re using this as an office. Not only is there a space between the sleeping quarters and the living quarters but the sound barrier of a bathroom adds additional separation. To each their own. 

Lastly, the bedroom here features two twin beds with a large night stand in the middle. But you can also get the same floor plan with a queen-sized bed. More choices is more better. 

The office

In the models that do not have an office, there is a TV mounted above the long couch facing the rear of the trailer. In models that do, I suspect this would be a great second computer monitor such that you could attach it to your “confuser” and use it thusly. 

The office is interesting in that you could use this as more counter/food prep space if someone weren’t there writing articles about RVs getting in your way. 

Airstream

Aside from being iconic and unique in the RV industry, there really are advantages to owning an Airstream. 

Recently I was exchanging emails with a reader. We were talking about how so much RV upholstery basically is good for a maximum of about four to five years. RV furniture manufacturers will build furniture and other components to the specifications and price/value demands of their customers, the RV manufacturers. Many of these buyers choose whatever is the least expensive choice. 

This means that the fake leather often comes apart and seams fail in the vinyl upholstery due to really thin materials used. 

Airstream makes a point about their upholstery being a product called “ultra leather.” It is a fake leather but one that feels terrific to the touch and tends to last a long time. I would love to hear from Airstream owners to see what their real-world experience has been with this material. But I’m going to guess that the experience is probably better than that of many RV owners. 

Airstream uses a heat pump A/C system

Another plus is that Airstream uses a heat pump air conditioning system. It can heat the interior, depending on the ambient temperature, using just the AC system. This type of heat produces no condensation – which is a plus – and also uses the electrical power should you be hooked up. 

Of course, if it’s really cold there is a furnace available as well. 

Another thing that I hope becomes more commonplace in the RV space in general is a resource center for owners with all sorts of technical support and help articles. I’ve seen some of this start to occur at Keystone and some other brands. But the closest I’ve seen someone come to this type of resource center is Oliver Travel Trailers. 

In summary

I like what Airstream is doing with the floor plan in the Flying Cloud. It’s a great compromise between living space and towability. Also, the option of the two bed-types makes it possible to get this in the layout you want.

Unless you want slide rooms, which is a no-go at Airstream. But to point out how much this doesn’t seem to affect their business, notice that they are already warning prospects that your wait time for a new Airstream could be longer than a year. 

So, yeah, they’re pricey and storage isn’t the company’s strong suit in any model. But they’re certainly iconic and do have a lot of quality features other brands of travel trailers do not. 

And you can use the standing desk to write RV reviews. Well, not me. This is way above my pay grade. Darnit. 

Please note: The floor plan I’m sharing doesn’t reflect the optional office. I wasn’t able to find one that does. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Build quality/components
Iconic nature
Storage

SUMMARY

Airstream announced a new office feature available in several of their floor plans including today's reviewed Flyng Cloud 25FB.

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Bob M
4 months ago

The fresh water and gray tank is too small. Would have been nice to see a picture of the bathroom. Sadly Airstream puts a small worthless mirror in the bathroom. For the price Airstream don’t enthuse me.

smoothmoose
4 months ago

Tony – thanks for reviewing this. I commented on your recent Rockwood mini-lite review, and didn’t realize AS has a 25′ model with the office setup. I wish they had more pictures and floorplan info available. I would hope you can put an articulating arm mount for the TV there and get it swing in front of the window so you can use it as a work screen. Otherwise, I think floorplans with a dedicated entertainment center can be a usable hack to add a fold down counter to use as a desk. For me optimizing the standing position is most important and needs to consider the monitor/TV as well. Sitting, I can always spend 30-60min with the laptop on the dinette or outdoor picnic table. Standing, I would spend 4-5 hrs with the screen there. Now the price and add-ons needed to make this off-grid-capable is really going to hurt. Hope more options from other come out soon.