The last time our OEM Flair air mattress leaked I was able, after some effort finding the leaking seam, to repair it. I also contacted Flair Interiors about ordering a replacement. If you have a fold out air bed sleeper sofa in your RV it was likely made by Flair. Flair indicated they no longer use the original mattress type and recommended an INTEX queen size replacement. In fairness, the OEM was 8 years old and the purpose of this post is to replace the leaky mattress and not just whine about it.
My repair held up for just over a year and failed on our most recent trip to West Point Lake. This made for some rather unpleasant breakfast companions.
There is no internet available for comparison shopping here in the campground. I suggested going to Walmart (who carries INTEX) but the “red-eyed grumpy one” wanted a real sporting goods store. I asked the GPS for sporting goods stores and amongst all the tackle and bait shops found a Gander Mountain 45 minutes away in Opelika, Alabama. I’ve never been to a Gander Mountain and thought we’d give it a try. If we strike out, there is always Walmart. Always.
Gander Mountain is smaller than a Cabela’s or a Bass Pro Shop. Start with a Dick’s or an Academy and move up the spectrum towards REI. There you will find Gander Mountain.
We found a small selection of air beds. We picked out the INTEX AP619A which has a flocked sleep surface, internal reversible air pump and a lump on the head end that INTEX calls a pillow. This is a true queen size 60 x 80 inch mattress and will take queen size sheets like the OEM Flair mattress. Retail $79and we got it on sale for $49.
One of the reasons I fixed the original is I liked the straps that secured the mattress to the folding frame. The INTEX lacks these. The INTEX fits on the sleeper sofa perfectly. Being much thicker than the OEM (16.5 inches) the sleep surface is now 36 inches from the floor and it takes a couple of minutes longer to inflate/deflate.
Possibly more comfortable than the OEM, being thicker and having internal baffles. The new INTEX seemed heavier than the OEM, being thicker and perhaps made of heavier materials. This is a real queen bed, accommodating my 6’ 1” self with nothing hanging off the ends.
We were concerned about how to prevent punctures and other damage when folding up the couch. The INTEX has a bit more mass than the OEM and doesn’t really want to fold up with the couch. We found the best thing to do is deflate it completely, then fold it/roll it and let it drop down into that empty, unused space between the couch and the wall. Look for it, you‘ll see it. There is no way to puncture or pinch the mattress when stored in that space. The INTEX comes with a storage bag if you prefer to just remove it and store it someplace else. I don’t think folding it into the couch is a good idea like the original was done.
The power cord isn’t near as long as the OEM and you will need a short extension cord to make up for it.
The “red eyed grumpy one” immediately volunteered for a test nap which went very well. At bed time we ran the pump for just a few seconds to tighten things up.
This morning at breakfast the “red eyed grumpy one” was gone. Across the table from me was an angelic being who said that was the best mattress ever slept upon of any kind. I don’t know about that, but it seems to be money well spent.