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Old 08-01-2016, 01:39 PM   #61
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In the most recent RV trip in spring, we were stuck in our 25'x8' motorhome for 3 days in a snowstorm near Denver. We were a bit restless, but did not turn on each other. And we have made many 2-month long cross-country treks. No problem.
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:12 PM   #62
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Many have brought up the point of taking pets with you as one big advantage for RVing. Another is not having to live out of a suitcase and hauling stuff from car to hotel room. I think the major advantage is to be able to go places and experience things you just can't do when hotel is involved.

It is a lifestyle choice, and is not really less cost vs hotels. It is different, and those differences are what makes some really like it and some don't like it.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:14 PM   #63
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Also, just because you have an RV, doesn't mean you have to always avoid hotels. We just spent three nights in Fargo at a brand new extended stay hotel while the RV+sailboat was parked in their parking lot. Nicest hotel I have stayed in under $200 a night and this one was $65! Hardwood floors and full kitchen.

So if you go the airstream with an extended trip, just stop off at a hotel once in awhile to spread out and take a 45 minute shower. It is still nice having all of your clothes, toys, gear right there in the parking lot if you need something.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:48 PM   #64
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Another Airstream Owner

My wife and I have owned an Airstream for five years. The Airstream lifestyle is an important dimension of our life in retirement.

There are five KOA campgrounds that rent Airstreams on site. My wife and I spent a few nights in an Airstream at the KOA in Bar Harbor, ME to get a feel for the experience before buying. There are a number of other locations around the country where you can rent an Airstream by the night. Do a Google search on "Airstream hotels" or "Airstream rental". You'll find you can rent an Airstream parked in a campground for less than $200 per night. Here's a link to the information about renting the Airstreams at KOA:

Unique Campings Options, Teepees Yurts and Walls Tents | KOA

After deciding we wanted to purchase an Airstream we spent several months researching on Airforums.com as well as looking at new and used Airstreams. We learned most dealers will discount a new Airstream on the lot 20%. However one must then buy a hitch and other equipment to go camping.

We also learned used Airstreams depreciate slowly after the first 3 years. We decided to buy used assuming we could get most of our money back if after a few months we decided we didn't like it or wouldn't use it enough. We after a couple of used Airstreams failed our inspection, we found a 3 year old Airstream on eBay that after inspection met our standards for condition. We paid about 35% less than the cost of an identical new unit for a 3 year old unit that had only been used 5 times. It looked brand new. Five years later, based on the prices we've seen in ads, our unit would probably sell today for only $5000 less than we paid for it.

Most people selling used Airstreams ask for more than they expect to get. Don't be afraid to offer 10-15% less than asking price and then negotiate to a middle ground. In addition, most sellers of used trailers will include the hitch and accessory items which can save you over $1000.

Finally, depending on where you live there may be an Airstream only campground near you. There are 11 "Airstream parks" located around the country. Many sell sites or rent them seasonally. My wife and I live two hours from a beautiful Airstream Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, only a two hour drive from our home. We leave our Airstream at the park during the spring summer and fall. It serves as our mountain escape at a fraction of the cost of buying a cabin or second home. In addition, we travel with it as well. After 5 years of ownership we've spent 450 nights in our Airstream and have traveled over 35,000 miles.

Here is a link to a page describing the Airstream parks, including locations. Note that while the link is to a WBCCI page (the WBCCI is the Airstream club) you do not have to be a WBCCI member to visit most of the parks.

http://wbcci.org/airstream-parks/cla...irstream-parks
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Old 08-02-2016, 05:15 AM   #65
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NC 57 did not know there were parks that have "in place" Airstreams to rent. That is a great idea. We will look into it. Also the percentages that you quoted are exactly what I have found which is why were considering new. The savings was about 10-15% if we bought a 2-3 year old trailer but then we would not get the warranty. Great post. Thank you.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:43 AM   #66
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Renting a parked-in-place Airstream lets you know how you will feel inside the actual unit that you will buy. However, you do not experience the "joy" of towing it cross-country, the mechanics of operating an RV, and the logistics of finding campgrounds or boondocking sites, etc...

So, it depends on whether one is a traveler or a camper. When I bought my motorhome, I wondered about the traveling aspects as much as the exact characteristics of the RV that I would want.

I like mobility, and if it is too cumbersome for me compared to doing a car road trip, then I would not enjoy it. Turns out that I could live with the drawbacks, in exchange for the advantages. Some people could never get over it, and ended up not using their RVs much.
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:43 AM   #67
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I agree sleeping in a parked in place RV does not covey the entire experience, particularly the on the road situation. That's why I also recommended buying a 3-5 year old, well maintained, used unit. In the Airstream market one can recover most of the price of a slightly used unit if the purchaser decides he or she doesn't like it a year after purchase. If one buys and equips a new unit, selling it a year later will result in a significant loss for the buyer of the new unit and a great value for the person buying it slightly used.

I don't know anything about the used market for RV's other than Airstreams. Since the OP was posting about Airstreams I shared my Airstream trailer experience. It may be the situation is different for motor homes and other trailer brands.

As to staying in one place versus traveling on the road, my wife and I do both. During the hot summer months we park the unit at a nearby Airstream park at a higher, cooler elevation where we use it as a place to escape periodically for a few days. During the fall, winter and spring months we travel. We enjoy both the travel and stay in one place experiences.

From my perspective the first decision point was determining if we would like staying in an Airstream trailer versus a hotel. The stay in place KOA rental helped us with that decision point at a low cost. From there, buying a used trailer mitigated the financial risk of buying if we didn't like the towing and traveling. Ironically the couple we purchased our lightly used Airstream from, sold it because the wife couldn't stand sleeping in an RV. After five trips she told her husband she would only stay in a motel.

We actually know three people who love their Airstreams but don't tow them. They have someone else tow the units to a campground where they leave it for the summer season.


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Old 08-03-2016, 10:02 AM   #68
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phil1ben - consider that it's possible that despite good preparation and consideration you may ultimately not be able to foresee how well you might like rving. Keep an open mind going into this. I was prepared to hate rving and now manage AIRForums. Go figure.

I was a die-hard tent camper (think sawed off toothbrush handles and hiking the entire Appalachian trail) with disdain for the mobile house crowd but the ground got hard as I got older and I found that time spent in beautiful, remote areas diminished as a result. My DH suggested an RV and I instantly shot down the idea. Next he suggested a tent trailer and I grudgingly agreed to rent one for a week. We camped in the rain for a solid week and were generally miserable. I was ready to consider a travel trailer.

After touring through hundreds of square trailers, truck campers and a few motorhomes I was ready to give up. Quality issues and uninspired design just left me unimpressed. Then I wandered into an Airstream - a small one and for the first time thought 'hmm... this might do'. The price tag for a new one however seemed high and so we began looking for a used one. We finally settled on a 19 foot vintage model and spent some time repairing systems and fixing it up. Then we took a 4 week trip with no particular plan - just a general "we want to see death valley" direction. Amazing. I was hooked.

No more hard ground, my bed is comfortable and has fine sheets, my beer is cold, there's a bathroom and I can use a toothbrush with a full length handle.. Best of all the oval interior FEELS good. I cannot explain this but other Airstreamers will tell you the same thing - it's a bit like sleeping in a Faberge egg.

I love being able to wander and the trailer facilitates this in comfort. After a few years we traded up and got a 26 foot Airstream - again vintage and we restored. This one is the perfect size for two people and two dogs to spread out. Any larger and you can not park is in some places - many older National parks have size limits. I still have that smaller trailer and use it when I travel alone. I am a musician and often play at festivals where camping is the norm and preferable to a dive motel.

There were some challenges and I had to learn to tow. The Airstream attracts visitors with questions at campgrounds. That took some getting used to. Things break on RVs - be prepared to be a bit handy or to hire it done. It's worth noting that if you buy a vintage model you will spend just a much $$ as a lightly used newer one - restoration is expensive.

The biggest challenge however was getting over my own bias about rvs. I figured that rvers would be tacky, slothful folks, too lazy to really get outdoors but I was younger and well... foolish. What I have learned is that most rvers have a taste for adventure, the good sense to desire basic comfort and are quite social. There is a large community of RVers and a smaller one of Airstreams. We wave at each other on the road and get to know each other at parks. We swap stories and interests and tips and sometimes share a meal. We help each other out.

In the past 10-15 years I taken numerous long trips. Crossed Canada, gone to Alaska, wandered up and down the pacific Coast Highway, driven around Vancouver island and spent time in Northern Mexico. We also manage to take several weekend camping trips each year and I usually tow the camper to 4 or 5 music festivals each summer. I'm so grateful that my DH pushed me to consider an RV and was then willing to spend the extra time and $$ for an Airstream. The group of friends we've developed as a direct result has enriched our lives immensely.

Today we have range fires in my area (an annual occurrence) and there is an evacuation warning. There is water in the trailer and dog food and a few clothes. The hitch is on my car. Hopefully there will be no need but today, my trailer is quietly waiting to be emergency housing if we need to bug out.

Many things in life are not knowable until you give them a try. Usually things works out but when they don't most of us regroup and move on figuring that it's a lesson learned. Follow your gut; give it a try and regroup if needed. Life is short.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:21 AM   #69
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I'd love to get an Airstream or an rv, but I haven't got DW talked into it yet. My nephew is affiliated with a snowboard company that has a company Airstream touring the skiing/snowboarding hot spots throughout the winter. Not sure I'd want to spend a cold Colorado night in one.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:30 AM   #70
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Outstanding post Janet. The biggest surprise for us after we bought our Airstream was the social dimension of the RV lifestyle. We've made many new friends during our travels and often meet up with our new RV friends, or people we've gotten to know on Airforums, as we move around the country. After five years of camping and travel we feel closer in many ways to our Airstream friends than neighbors and work friends we've known for decades.


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Old 08-03-2016, 01:50 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
I think the major advantage is to be able to go places and experience things you just can't do when hotel is involved.
That is what got us into it. We were is Alberta and all the campsites were fantastic but the hotels and motels were in town or on the highway.

Among the memorable ones was a trip to Waterton Lake on November 5th when everything was closed. Just us and the elk and the sunshine! We went on to Fairmont Hot Springs and Radium before returning to Lake Louise and Banff. My in-laws had never seen the Rockies so they got to do it in style!
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:03 PM   #72
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I'd love to get an Airstream or an rv, but I haven't got DW talked into it yet. My nephew is affiliated with a snowboard company that has a company Airstream touring the skiing/snowboarding hot spots throughout the winter. Not sure I'd want to spend a cold Colorado night in one.
I'm sure an Airstream is better insulated than my old motor home. I have spent the last two winters in it in the Colorado mountains. Its nice and toasty all winter long.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:49 PM   #73
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Just to chime in (and second Travelover's suggestion): Molded fiberglass trailers (Casita, Scamp, Boler, Bigfoot, Oliver, etc) have a few attributes in common with Airstreams.
1) They aren't boxy and so they have low air resistance when towing.
2) They hold their value, and it is possible to buy and re-sell a used one quickly without taking a big hit. Fiberglass trailers have very few seams to leak, and leaks (with the resulting rot and mold) are what kills many "conventional" trailers. This, plus some shoddy construction practices, are what cause the rapid depreciation in most "conventional" trailers. It's not uncommon to see Scamps that are 30 years old still getting regular use by their owners.
3) Owners of these "eggs" love them and often meet for group gatherings.

While tiny trailers (13'--total) are what people often think of when they hear of fiberglass trailers, there are also bigger models. They range from simple and inexpensive (e.g. Scamp, Casita), to quite upscale (e.g. Oliver).

Anyway, something the OP might want to consider. And, if an Airstream is still desired, you are welcome to come polish a bright aluminum airplane I know of so you can see how much arduous labor fun that is.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:34 PM   #74
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I'm sure an Airstream is better insulated than my old motor home. I have spent the last two winters in it in the Colorado mountains. Its nice and toasty all winter long.
Does yours (and Airstreams for that matter) have propane heat?
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:43 AM   #75
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Does yours (and Airstreams for that matter) have propane heat?
I think mine is 40,000 BTU.

I watched a deer wander through the aspen grove right behind my Motor Home just now. Living in these types of surroundings has its advantages.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:56 AM   #76
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I will weigh in on this one more time. Before we had a TT, we had a small pop-up with HVAC and it was most agile. My biggest regret after we got a TT was that we had sold the pop-up. Being in a pop-up was much more like a true "camping experience" but with a few of the luxuries ---- sleeping on a mattress, cooking facilities if it was raining, indoor lighting, HVAC, less expenses, easier to tow etc. ----all without taking away the camping experience. Lots less hassle! Just saying.....

Oh yes - and we could open it up in our garage if we had company "overflow". That was a favorite with the grandkids.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:13 AM   #77
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Here is a link to another Airstream rental option. This one in Florida.

Glamping in the Sunshine State! 4 Nights in Vintage Airstream Rental for $181pp
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:44 PM   #78
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Posting on the Airstream Forum I found a small rental site that happens to have the same 23 foot Airstream (recent model) we are looking at. It is reasonably priced and they will hook it up to my F-150. Just need to install a brake controller. Will drive it 90 miles to the Hocking Hills, Ohio area to "try it out" for three nights. This should give my wife and I a small taste of the Airstream/trailer life at a reasonable price (about $200.00/day). We'll get to see how comfortable we are towing the trailer (realizing we will be somewhat uncomfortable on our first trip) and experience living in such a small space, albeit for a short period of time. The rental includes a weight equalizer hitch.

The downside is that it is in Dayton Ohio which is about 600 miles from our home. However, we can stop at Penn State on the way (two sons attend there) and it is only 60 miles from the Jackson Center, Ohio Airstream factory where we can take a tour.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:48 PM   #79
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Glad to hear that. Good luck with your trip.

Happy Valley is a nice place too.

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Old 08-18-2016, 02:51 PM   #80
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Please follow up when the adventure is completed. I'm very interested in this topic. Either you'll talk me out of what I want to do, or I'll show this thread to DH to try to talk him into it.
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