By Tony Barthel
Airstream has a new model with the word “office” in the model designation, the Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office Travel Trailer. I’ve seen articles in publications that normally wouldn’t cover RVs extolling the brilliance of Airstream in incorporating an office in their coaches. So why is this such big news?
Airstream is good at branding and getting the word out. But they’re certainly not the first to do this. Some have been putting offices in their coaches for a while now, while others have adapted this with various degrees of success, which we’ve covered here.
Among the other office-ready RVs we’ve talked about, there’s the East to West Alta 2810KIK, Tiffin Allegro Bus, and the Riverstone Reserve 3850RK fifth wheel. The best implementation I’ve seen is the Venture SportTrek Touring STT343VIB with a very flexible rear bedroom that also has office space. With this, I’ve added a searchable field of “Work Ready RVs,” so if you’re looking for this it’ll come with all the RVs we’ve reviewed that have provisions for workspace.
But the word “office” is in the name of this model, so let’s look at that first, shall we?
Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office
Airstream has taken into consideration those who work or school remotely. There’s a whole office room in the back that features a desk and a matching rolling office chair. It matches the decor in your Airstream.
There’s also a seat next to the desk where, if you’re road schooling, a parent can sit and watch their student. Or, this is also the place where you can sit that employee down and have “that talk.”
“Honey, your work at cleaning the toilet leaves a lot to be desired. I’m going to give you another chance but, if you don’t shape up, we’re going to have to look elsewhere.”
The rolling chair can slide into a recessed groove in the desk so the chair built into the trailer can be converted to more of a day bed. That’s how I like to work.
Over the course of 2020, businesses across the country changed their policies on employees working from home. We heard many Airstreamers in the community asking themselves: “Why work from home when I can work from anywhere?”
The answer, they found, was that it was much easier than anticipated. With a bit of preparation to assure connectivity in the campsite or boondocking spot, virtual meetings and email communication were a breeze. But still, we heard plenty of feedback about other things that could be improved or solved – more power solutions and outlets, a dedicated space, sound-deadening materials, connectivity options…
It’s easy to work from the Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office
The desk itself has a couple of pop-up plug units, each with two 120vac household outlets and two USB 12-volt outlets. So whether you work on a tablet or a laptop you’re covered.
These plugs are wired into a 1,000-watt inverter. This means if you’re working off the grid, the on-board batteries on the trailer can provide the juice to let you loose. The office has a nifty closet and two drawers in it. There’s also a cubby behind those drawers that seems big enough to store even an iPad Pro 12.9”. Plus, there’s a window that you can see out of when seated at the desk. It’s actually a very pleasant space to do the things you gotta do to buy a $100,000+ travel trailer.
Overhead cubbies provide additional space along with dry-erase materials for those quick notes and sketches. There’s even a chair mat to protect the flooring, which is a marine-grade material.
If you do intend to stay off the grid while connected to the Internet (aren’t modern times interesting?), there is “Airstream Connected” prewired in this rig. This is a wireless modem that works with both cell connectivity (2G/3G/4G/LTE antenna and 5G Ready) as well as campground WiFi. It provides a router that helps keep your data safe. Of course, there are aftermarket systems like this as well.
There is also Airstream Power Plus, which means the trailer ships with two AGM batteries and a Victron solar controller. This is in addition to the aforementioned 1,000-watt inverter to take battery power and convert it to 120vac standard household power. You can step this up further with a lithium package that incorporates lithium batteries that offer higher energy density. Essentially, more power in the same space means you can potentially stay off-grid longer. Lithium batteries also charge faster with solar.
The rest of the story
None of this is earth-shattering, but it is well integrated into the design. Of course, design and style are, arguably, a couple of the principal reasons to buy an Airstream trailer. The iconic shape and style tells a lot of the story when you back into a campsite.
As you walk into the Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office, immediately across from the door is a jackknife sofa. To your left is a big U-shaped dinette and, across from that, the galley. In the galley, you’ll find a square sink with a Moen faucet, some counter space and, below that, a small microwave. You can upgrade this to a convection microwave if you choose. Where this is located, I’d love to see a drawer microwave that I’ve seen in other RVs. Lastly, there’s a three-burner stove with 22” oven. Across the aisle is a gas-electric RV refrigerator. Against the side of the enclosure that holds the refrigerator is the TV.
Not a good location for a TV
Honestly, even though this is on an articulated arm, it’s still a terrible place for a TV. However, I can’t think of any other place for a TV, so I guess it makes sense. But few of the comfortable seating positions really can watch it without seeing the chiropractor when they get home. I’d just skip the TV altogether. Airstreams have so many wonderful windows that you might just look out the windows and enjoy nature.
Keep moving back and you’ll step into the bathroom, which occupies the roadside half of the back. The office takes up the camp-side half. I like that Airstream has put the controls for their tankless water heater in the bathroom so you can get things cooking before you step into the shower. There’s also a magnifying mirror on an articulated arm.
Airstream’s bedroom, at the front of the trailer, features two tall closets on either side of the queen-sized pillow-top mattress. Below that, more closet space. The bed also lifts up on struts for additional storage.
There is another TV option in the bedroom – and this one makes more sense. The funny thing about my mentioning TVs at all is that I don’t have one in my RV, but I know a lot of folks do appreciate them, so it’s something I take note of.
On either side of the bed are cubbies behind the closets and a 120vac power outlet, as well.
Plenty of storage space in the Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Office
One of the things Airstream has done very well in this coach is storage space. There are several closets in the main area as well as alongside the bed. There are overhead cabinets, storage under the sofa, storage under the dinette and more.
Furthermore, Airstream has included a provision to dim the interior lights as well as the awning lights. As someone who really likes brightly lighted rooms, I love the new LEDs that are being used in RVs and how many there are. But it also makes sense to offer a provision to dim them, for those who want that.
While I see more and more RV companies making provisions for people to learn and work on the road, and see this trend as a good thing, I think flexible space makes the most sense.
For example, I have adapted my own travel trailer to have office space, of sorts, by having chairs that also have movable desks. I have a cell booster, a router with external antennae and a lot of solar and battery power. Many of these reviews that you read were written in a “mobile office.”
Still, you have to hand it to Airstream for getting the story about this trailer in so many places that might not otherwise talk about RVs at all. Places like Bloomberg Business News, The Robb Report and even Motor Trend, which usually focuses on fast cars.
This trailer does offer a lot of nice features that are inherent in the Airstream package. And now there’s a place from which to write that story.
We’ve also reviewed the Airstream International 27FB.
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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