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Airstream - This may be a bad idea but they are so cool
Old 07-27-2016, 08:31 AM   #1
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Airstream - This may be a bad idea but they are so cool

I sold my firm June 30 and am working 3 days per week until December 31 when I retire full time. I am 56 and my wife is 53. Kids are a senior and sophomore in college. Have never had more than 5 business days in a row off and the idea of driving cross country (we live on the east coast) in an Airstream (perhaps the 20 foot single axel) interests both my wife and I, but I question whether we will really use it. I realize that that this question can only be answered by ourselves.

Like everyone else we have the post card idea in mind when we pull up to a site by a lake or river and camp in seclusion while we fly fish listening to the birds in 74 degree sunshine. However, I suspect the reality is that in most instances we will go to an RV Park and have a site next to 100 other campers. I assume that if we stay in a secluded area with no hook-up the generator/batteries will only last so long. It almost seems like a dog where the kids walk it for the first two weeks and then not so much.

Have looked to rent an Airstream but the rental price is outrageous for a 3 week trip. The cost to purchase is not an issue for us, but I am afraid it will be like a new toy that one plays with for a few months. I am also somewhat concerned about all the sewage type issues. We are also newbies to camping (except for a 1-2 days per year in a tent along the Delaware River when my kids were young). Frankly, I fully realize we haven't the faintest idea what we are doing.

Perhaps the thing to do is to rent one (there also very few places to rent an Airstream) for 5 days and see what we think regardless of the high rental fee. Maybe the comments from experienced campers will bring me back to reality and we can toss this dream aside.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:40 AM   #2
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just buy one and then if you don't like it sell it

probably cheaper than renting

I used to love camping as a kid. Of course we couldn't afford an airstream so we had a cheap coleman manual pop up.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:43 AM   #3
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Everything you wanted to know about owning an using an Airstream: http://www.airforums.com/

You are correct - you definitely need to rent an Airstream (or perhaps some other brand travel trailer) and give it a test run before you consider buying. Both you AND your spouse need to find out if the reality of traveling and camping in an RV is something you actually enjoy doing rather than just dreaming about.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:45 AM   #4
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I suggest you rent a trailer and try it out.
Frankly, when you buy you might want an airstream, but to rent any trailer will do and having rented and used one, will give you a much better idea of what you like and don't like for features when you go to buy.
Perhaps after you try it out, you will decide you don't like camping at all and don't want one.
You do have a towing vehicle available ?
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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You should rent first, even if it is not an Airstream. We thought camping sounds great, used to tent camp so.....

Yeah, ever been in a tornado warning in a camper? Not so much fun for us. DW thinks a 30 minute shower is a sacrifice. Then there's your neighbors, ours were awesome as many are.

Bottom line we enjoyed the 4 days so much. We thought that's enough for a lifetime!
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:55 AM   #6
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This place on Pend Oreille in Idaho had no neighbors and was free (no hookups though). Downside was you had to walk 10 feet to fly fish and I would have rather been able to fish from under the awning.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:55 AM   #7
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Airstreams are very nice, but you might also consider something with slideouts. I think they would increase the comfort factor quite a bit. I live in an old motor home without slideouts and am comfortable enough while I build my house, but that is not the same as traveling in one. There should be some folks along with better travel experience soon.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:42 AM   #8
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Our neighbor just doubled-down on an Airstream. But it seems without slideouts to be a bit confining. So like Hermit suggested, look around. Visit a Camping World or similar place, look at the Airstreams, rent and then if you enjoy it, take the leap.

We have a 38' Travel Trailer with 3-slideouts. Quite roomy. Sometime after all kids are out of the house, will probably upgrade to a Fifth Wheel.

cd :O)
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:53 AM   #9
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Renting is the logical thing to do. However, a 7-day rental is about $7,000 (from Airstream 2go) which is why I pause. I can buy a 20 footer for about $55,000.00 (after negotiation) and if we don't like it, sell it (with the hassle involved) for about $45-48,000.00 which is the same $7,000.00. So buying provides something akin to an option whereas renting is dead money. We have an F-150 so we do not need to buy a tow vehicle. We want to rent an Airstream so we are comparing apples to apples. Too bad you can't rent and credit the rental amount to a purchase. Since Airstream 2go was founded by a prior president of Airstream, perhaps he should consider that idea. But it would probably interfere with the current dealer network.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:02 AM   #10
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You can rent any trailer to get an idea if you like the lifestyle, towing, backing up, dealing with the sewerage, etc. It doesn't need to be an Airstream.

And I second that you can always buy an older one, and sell it if you decide later you aren't using it. We bought an Airstream Argosy (the motorhome they made back in the 70s) in 2003, loved it, used it, and generally had some fantastic times in it. But, times changed, we wanted a boat, yada yada, and so we sold it last year. It cost us around $9000 and we sold it for $7000. Benefits of the older models, where all the depreciation is done.

Just for God's sakes don't buy a brand new one!
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:05 AM   #11
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The more important issue than an Airstream is whether you like camping or not. You can get a read on that by renting a travel trailer about the same size as the Airstream that you would like for a few weeks. If you find you like camping, then you'll enjoy it more in an Airstream.

Also, during that 3 week trial you can walk around and see what other campers use... campers are very friendly in my experience and are happy to share their experiences and talk about their campers and give you a tour.

If you do buy... look at used first... campers are like boats... people buy new with grand plans and find they don't use and sell at a significant discount from new... I'm not sure how true that is for Airstreams but it is definitely true for other brands. Around here you can get a very nice lightly used RV for half of what you are thinking of spending on an Airstream... but they are very nice.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by phil1ben View Post
I can buy a 20 footer for about $55,000.00 (after negotiation) and if we don't like it, sell it (with the hassle involved) for about $45-48,000.00 which is the same $7,000.00.
As a grizzled old RVer, I think you are being optimistic on the $7K figure.

Did you include the taxes and registration fees in your purchase price? Did you include the cost of an anti-sway hitch? Did you account for all the incidentals your DW will need once you start camping?

I second (third?) the recommendation you buy used rather that new. If you do decide it isn't your cup of tea and want to sell, you'll take far less of a haircut on the round trip.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:36 AM   #13
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And I second that you can always buy an older one [snip] Benefits of the older models, where all the depreciation is done.

Just for God's sakes don't buy a brand new one!
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #14
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Stop! Before you do anything, read all eight parts of this:

Opinion: The RV industry death spiral – Part 1 | RV Daily Report
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #15
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yes get a used one - they have a bunch for sale here - almost everyone here has a camper - check out the photo on LPO above
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:03 AM   #16
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Because of the curvature, storage space in the overhead bins is, (or used to be), limited on an Airstream.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:42 AM   #17
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Stop! Before you do anything, read all eight parts of this:

Opinion: The RV industry death spiral – Part 1 | RV Daily Report
I read that part 1, but it didn't have links to the other parts (or I missed it).
By looking here you can find all the parts:

Exclusive and Breaking News | RV Daily Report
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:12 PM   #18
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Stop! Before you do anything, read all eight parts of this:

Opinion: The RV industry death spiral – Part 1 | RV Daily Report
I'm pretty sure I read the same articles or very similar in 2008 or 2009. I guess it sells clicks? RVs are very popular out here in the West. The only thing out here where people bring their campers/trailers that are more popular/hotter are the ATVs especially the side-by-side models. I think they are some kind of requirement to go along with an RV. You could put one in the back of the pickup!
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:32 PM   #19
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Not to burst any bubbles, but check specs carefully before buying. IMO, a 1/2-ton pickup won't safely pull many larger/heavier campers.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:38 PM   #20
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Not to burst any bubbles, but check specs carefully before buying. IMO, a 1/2-ton pickup won't safely pull many larger/heavier campers.
+1
You might pull it for a while till...........

Seriously check out the loaded capacity of the pickup it may surprise you. Then check out the Airstream with water, propane, groceries and all your stuff.
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