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Old 06-29-2016, 04:25 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Air Beds: Flair original vs IMTEX replacement

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.

Comparisons:

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.
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:15 PM   #2
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Well, I will repeat the old adage "If momma ain't happy ain't nobody going to be happy". Looks like the pressure was on for a remedy, and be quick about it. When I looked at the subject line of your post I thought, "wait, Wade made the forever repair". Anyway, how was the weekend otherwise?
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricflyer View Post
Anyway, how was the weekend otherwise?
Otherwise, pretty darn good. Didn't do much with field day, made a few contacts with lousy propagation, got sweaty and put it away. The campground was a CoE at West Point Lake, and Sweet Wife fell in love with it, liking it much better than the state parks we have been going to. There are plenty of RV parks around the lake, but only some are open year round.

The site was huge, all shade (we never put out the awning) and very quiet and private. Several interesting small towns around to see.

In short, we'll be back to a CoE CG near that lake again soon.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:19 PM   #4
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I've met a lot of airheads --
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:39 PM   #5
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You know the routine - pictures - we need pictures
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:56 PM   #6
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This is site 112 at McKinney Campground north of Atlanta. Nice shade but a little smaller than normal. I don't use the fire rings but this one was useless. This was lakeside but trees blocked some of the view. The only thing that I didn't like was the heavy train traffic on the opposite side of the lake, no horns but loud engine noise as they must have been going up a grade (all night long).
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:47 AM   #7
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One of the nice features of COE vs state parks is that you can reserve a specific site at most COE campgrounds where at state parks they reserve "A" camp site but you won't know which one you can get until you arrive.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:56 AM   #8
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Default a wooden deck???

The site came with a wood deck???????

That is luxury!

Glad you had a good weekend.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:26 PM   #9
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Here's some pics, starting with the mattress.
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:26 PM   #10
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Be sure to bring your alpenhorn and contrabassoon.
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