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Old 07-16-2015, 03:13 PM   #1
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I have dreamed of owning an Airstream since I was 5 years old. Spent a lot of time drawing interiors as a little kid.

Now I am 5 years from retirement and ready to start my research on the real thing.

Would someone out there please direct me or provide me with advice on how to go about buying an Airstream, the ups and downs to owning an Airstream, what I need to know and learn to haul one around with me, and any other advice to this dreamer?

Currently I think I want the Airstream Sport 22FB. I like small. It would just be for me and my mighty German Shepherd Dog anyway. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:57 PM   #2
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How do you plan to use it. Full time, half-time , , , ? It it primarily for travel around the country(s) or to the mountains or beach for a couple weeks now and then? Do you need lots of stuff to take along, fly-rod or Harley would be typical?
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:06 PM   #3
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Good luck, Nearly... hope your dream rises to your hope!
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:51 PM   #4
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I would be out for maybe a month at a time. I plan on exploring everything Rockies and westward and up to and including the Canadian Rockies. It would serve as my jumping off spot for hiking.
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:56 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! You might want to go to an Airstream rally or two and talk to owners, tour their trailers and see what resonates with you.

Are you considering a new trailer or a late model or a vintage Airstream?
Will you be getting a tow vehicle to go with or do you have weight constraints to consider?
Will you be camping off the grid?

In any case the journey will be enjoyable and there's lots to read on the forum. Pull up a chair.
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Old 07-16-2015, 07:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nearlyretire View Post
I have dreamed of owning an Airstream since I was 5 years old. Spent a lot of time drawing interiors as a little kid. Now I am 5 years from retirement and ready to start my research on the real thing.
That's a lot of waiting!!!!! Welcome to the club of slightly OCD owners.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:51 PM   #7
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That's a lot of waiting!!!!! Welcome to the club of slightly OCD owners.

Slightly my A$$! 😃
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:08 PM   #8
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You picked the right place to start your adventure into Airstream ownership. There are plenty of vehicles that can pull your AS, but you want one that can stop and handle the payload. We had a full size van and two Suburbans, diesel and gas over the years and did the Rockies and most of the other mountain ranges with no problems. Our 72 Safari Land Yacht did great for our 22 years of ownership. You have so many options in the 22' range for a man and his dog to enjoy, new or vintage. Good hunting!
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:38 PM   #9
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Greetings Near

I hiked mostly in Utah, and had a big dog. And have some thoughts on what might work for you.

First off, the most important thing is the pups comfort. My big boy loved sitting shot gun…for a hour or so…then it was nap time. He didn't even try to get comfy on the front seat of my van, and any kind of sudden stop was a no no. But the back of the van was a great place for his bed, food and water. There's a reason I'm going on about vans.

The trail heads are almost always down a very very long bumpy dirt road. I'm so convinced that the powers that be either left, or made obstacles to prevent RVs from even thinking about braving them. So you almost have to unhook and travel on with just the tow vehicle. Also, I liked hiking at first light to avoid the heat. If you had a van, you and your Shep could camp in that by the trail head.

So..a person who likes to hike, who has a big dog, might want to think about a van as a tow vehicle. A pick up truck with a bench seat would work too, but it's more difficult to set up a place for the dogs to drink.

P.S. Layla, the little girl circus dog, sat between us on a raised bed I made out of sofa cushions. I also put cushions, sleeping bag, or a pillow, stuffed in front of the passenger seat so the dogs wouldn't fall down when I applied the brakes.
Big Boy would usually do a double take, when little girl would take a short cut between his legs. I always laughed…it never seem to get old. The dogs ALWAYS went camping with me, but I never took them hiking.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:43 AM   #10
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You picked the right place to start your adventure into Airstream ownership. There are plenty of vehicles that can pull your AS, but you want one that can stop and handle the payload. We had a full size van and two Suburbans, diesel and gas over the years and did the Rockies and most of the other mountain ranges with no problems. Our 72 Safari Land Yacht did great for our 22 years of ownership. You have so many options in the 22' range for a man and his dog to enjoy, new or vintage. Good hunting!
Ken
Kenajen, thanks for the info, I am concerned about the tow vehicle, especially with regard to braking. And I would definitely be traveling the Rockies and so will most certainly need something with enough power. I also appreciate your advice on the dog. He would surely want to stretch out after a while! Also, just an FYI, I am a woman. A woman and her dog. Which leads me to another concern. Are there activities that would require a great deal of upper body strength? I am fit, but worry about anything that I would need to do that would require strength. Thanks!!
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:41 AM   #11
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Welcome Ms. Nearly, this is a great place to come for advice. You will get lots of it and your challenge will be to sift through it to find what works for you.

The van is a good idea but a pick up with a topper would work too. Lifting? Most agree here that getting a good weight distributing hitch with built in sway control is important. These come in many types and styles and costs. Lifting the hitch head into the tow vehicle's receiver does take some strength based on which hitch you have. I have an Equalizer and it is a bit heavy. There are other brands out there, many newer on the market than mine, so some research in this regard will be valuable.

Finding an Airstream might be a bigger challenge if you are looking for a good used one. I went online and looked at floor plans. We have a local dealer but he is small enough that there were not a great amount sitting on the lot. The classifieds here will give you feel for costs. We ended up getting ours off of Craigs List and it was an easy deal for us.

One last thing. You need to think of where you are going to park your trailer when you finally get one. Can you put it at your permanent home? How large a space do you have? If you can't, have you looked into storage facilities nearby?

I know, lots of questions and few answers. Best wishes on your search.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:45 AM   #12
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Braking

Forgot to mention the braking concern. Your trailer will come with brakes and the theory here is that when you hit the brake pedal the Airstream will brake the Airstream while your truck brakes will slow the truck. When properly set up, a good controller will take care of things.

If you stick with a 23 or smaller trailer you shouldn't have much trouble getting up the hills if towing with a half ton pick up.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:26 PM   #13
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A new Airstream

I will likely get a new Airstream, after all I have been waiting 55 years to do this! I may as well go all out. I appreciate all of the good advice and helping me think this through. I would have to store it at a facility
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:13 PM   #14
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Do you want a trailer or motorhome? You have posted in the motorhome area of this forum.
For just you and your dog an Interstate motorhome would work well. I find mine less of a hassle than the 27 foot vintage Airstream trailer I had earlier.


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