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Old 08-06-2009, 04:13 PM   #15
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1966 24' Tradewind
Oak View , California
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Perhaps I should have posted my quote below in this thread. I moved up from my beloved box, to camping in my family's giant canvas tent on vacations, then on to my own Junior sized tent on kid's outings, grew up and became a backpacking guide in the Sierras with a light freestanding tent, then decades later, I stopped for coffee one day at Starbucks and came home with my 1966 Airstream Tradewind........

It is Thursday and I love my Airstream because...

When I woke up this morning it brought back a memory of when I was in third grade, I found an empty refrigerator box somewhere and dragged it back home to the backyard. I laid it on it's side, then stole one of my mom's big knives out of the kitchen and proceeded to install windows all around. Next I smuggled one of mom's old dresses from the closet, cut off a wide strip at the bottom and then cut again into sections to fashion miniature curtains. I gathered sticks around the yard and threaded them through the hem area, then taped the sticks above the windows as curtain hangers. I cut a large one to fasten to the end of the box to serve as my entry door.

As to what possessed me to do all this, I have no idea, but I do remember spending hours in there with my books, reading away on my makeshift blanket bed, propped up with all the pillows absconded from everyone's beds, in total comfort. I even brought my pet parakeet in there for company and made a little perch for him by putting another stick through two sides of a corner of the box.

Now here I lay, once again, in total comfort with my books all over the bed, in a large (though well rounded) box in my backyard many years later and thinking to myself, "Is this so cool!" The parakeet, God rest him, is gone, but my two black labs are excellent company...........


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Old 08-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #16
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1978 28' Ambassador
Kenton , Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 455
My family started Airstreaming in 1963...many trailers have gone by but we still have our original WBCCI numbers. I was also lucky enough to grow up in the Jackson Center area with many of my friends Dad's working at the factory. I still live within a half an hour of Jackson Center which makes it really nice when I need a part.

"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid." -- Frank Zappa
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:33 PM   #17
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1972 Argosy 24
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Heart of Dixie , Alabama
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Start Me

I never even knew Airstream made a MH.
Was spending too much time repairing the old SOB, and I was not gaining ground.
Was seriously looking at the GMCs from the 70s, and saw a Airstream on Ebay.
Just looking so I thought...a few weeks after just looking, I was on my way to pick one up.
Thinking back, it was an intense few weeks, gathering all the information about Airstream MH I could find.
Really lucked out getting a '89, as it has most of the features I wanted.

Even though I'm still making repairs/improvements, its much more fun.

Your opinion is valued, please not your opinion of someones else's opinion.
Click To See Me Wet
1989 Airstream 345 Liberator...
1972 Argosy 24'...
1954 Feathercraft Vagabond
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:36 PM   #18
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1978 28' Ambassador
Kenton , Ohio
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That is one gorgeous motorhome.
"Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid." -- Frank Zappa
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:10 PM   #19
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1968 24' Tradewind
Largo , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2008
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When I retired from working in Chicago, living on my sailboat in Chicago and Annapolis I moved to Florida. Sold my boats and my Class A and purchased a very nice Manufactured Home. After a few years I was bored - started looking for another sailboat . . . settled for a '68 25' Tradewind that needed everything done to it. That was 11/08. Hired some helpers and worked daily on the baby. Put my house up for sale - it sold in less than 2 days (didn't think it would sell for a long time) . . . with no place to live I moved to the Tradewind. I love it and have no plans on leaving my comfortable and compact home.

I'm looking forward to receiving the title so that I can get plates and start traveling around and meeting you all.

My Tradewind had set in a front yard for over 18 years, bushes and trees had grown up all around her and she had sat in the Florida there so long she was up to her frame in the dirt. It was a very sad state of affairs. By the way, I saw her for the first time and purchsed her the first day I saw her at 8:45 pm (dark outside) full of cardboard boxes full of junk inside. Need I say more? Ten months later . . . so fine.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:58 PM   #20
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2008 23' International CCD
golden , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 74
My parents owned a motorhome (a BlueBird) when we were younger. When I was in 2nd grade we did a cross country trip, all six of us (4 kids, ages 10-4). My mom wanted to plan every day, every campsite; my dad was more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of guy. He bought a white water raft in glacier national park where we ended up spending two weeks longer than originally planned.

In 1995 when my brother graduated from college, they actually let us borrow the motorhome. We drove from Baltimore, to Nashville, to Boise, pretty much non stop, taking turns driving (with the same whitewater raft from glacier and three kayaks) and we spent most of the time around McCall, ID on different sections of the payette river. My son (our first) is a week old today, and it's hard to picture me giving him the airstream with a bunch of his college buddies for a couple weeks, but I'll have to wait and see how the next 22 years play out.

Then two years ago, i tried to take my dog and girlfriend camping. I love tent camping (growing up we used to fight over who could sleep in the tent at each campground instead of the motorhome). I've also done lots of overnight backpacking since high school. So first trip after moving to denver, I forgot the tent poles (they were in Baltimore and didn't make it with the tent on the move). Second trip, I discover to my dismay that it's my girlfriend's first time peeing in the woods?? And, the dog barks at every little noise and wakes us up more often than this new baby.

I guess it's hard to tell your airstream story without telling your whole life story. I always knew I wanted a camper or motorhome, and having a trailer seemed cheaper overall. I looked at a few other brands (SOBs) and even though way more expensive just couldn't get interested in anything but an Airstream. And I'm just glad I'm extremely slow at making decisions otherwise I'd have ended up with a 16 or 19 footer which would have been too small. We're very happy with the purchase (only regret is not looking at something a year or two old). looking forward to many happy years and trips to come.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:44 PM   #21
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,569
We got into ours simply because our pop-up leaked. Like a sieve. I'd owned travel trailers and motor homes before, but we had bought a pop-up to see if Marie liked "the great outdoors". She did, and we spent many weekends in the pop-up. Until one 3 day weekend when it rained, hard (like 2 inches an hour) all weekend, starting just after we set up, and lasting well into day 4 of our 3 day weekend. By the time the weekend was over, the inside of the pop-up was drenched, the dog was swimming for her life (inside), and I had to plan my bathroom trips according to the tides.
The same day we got back, I picked up the newspaper, found and bought our first Airstream product, an Argosy 20.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:52 PM   #22
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1972 31' Sovereign
SAN DIMAS , California
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We started looking for alternatives to motel rooms when vacationing. We wanted to not have to lug our luggage in and out every stop. As well as the concern of the room sanitary conditions (dirty carpet, bed bugs, etc). My hubby Steve always liked the Airstreams, and as it turned out that due to the low height of the eave on our house where we would have to back the trailer down a narrow driveway to park it, only the Airstream was shaped in such a way that it would fit. So it was our destiny to get ours I guess. We are so glad we did, and wouldn't trade it for any other SOB. Even our teenage son thinks they are "more homey" than the SOB's.

Happy Trailering !
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:38 PM   #23
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2012 31' Classic
Visalia , California
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For me there was no way I wasn't going to be in an Airstream. My parents had one from the day I was born. I grew up traveling in an Airstream. I tried to buck the trend when my wife and I bought a Nomad and had it for 1 year. But when my mother offered their last Airstream to us we jumped on it and were able to kick our SOB habit.

To me it would seem so weird not to have an Airstream it is unfathomable.
Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
Visalia, CA (between Fresno & Bakersfield)
2012 31' Classic - Nuestra casa rodante
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:30 AM   #24
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1966 24' Tradewind
Oak View , California
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,063
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Oh yeah, the motel rooms...before I got the Airstream, it was some trick trying to sneak my big black labs into the motels where the "No Dog" signs were posted. I tried everything from putting car coats on them in the dark to make them look more like kids to elaborate spotters and getting other members of our four wheel drive club to go in the office as distractors to get the job done. Plus keeping them muffled once we were in safe.... No more of that s$$t now..


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Old 08-07-2009, 04:48 AM   #25
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
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My wife and I bought farm land in Cobden Illinois and we needed a camper so we could stay on our land. We have started to develop the land for when we retire in about 4 to 5 years. The camper would be our vacation home when we were in Illinois.

To Make a long story short and two years of looking at RV's I bought a 73 Overlander on Craiglist. I did not realize all the problems it had until I bought it. I decided to fix it for staying on the land a few times a year. Once I started fixing it I got more and more into it. It became almost a therapy for stressful work. My wife has really gotten into improving the interior. Now we take it camping and throughly love the camper. It was bought for one purpose and now we plan on using it for many different trips. We just keep doing more and more to it.

Brian & Adrienne
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:26 PM   #26
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
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As a child we toured NA during the summers as part of a family singing group. We always had a trailer (a new one every year as they got used pretty hard and tons of miles, of all makes, with sleeping capacity for 8 plus guitars, costumes, music sheets etc.) to keep costs down and to carry our instruments while we pilled into the stationwagon for the day. Every time we spied an Airstream it was a big event. My parents loved them and always wanted one but never managed to acquire one before they bought their cabin and then it was out of the question. I remember one time in the very early sixties heading towards Banff from Calgary and there being a whole group of them in a field and cars were pulled over on the shoulder with people out taking pictures like there was a bear or moose or something for viewing. I think it may have been a caravan around the Calgary Stampede or to Banff but can't remember the exact year. So we knew as kids that the ONLY trailer one should own that reflected one's pride of ownership and maintained lasting value was an Airstream. When my wife and I married we bought very used SOB's but always with the intent to find an Airstream. It had to be the "right" Airstream though as we have been into vintage cars/hotrods/muscle cars since before we could actually drive, and it had to be the right one for looks, be light enough and small enough to be towed by one of the above, and still fill our need for some level of comfort. We started looking earnestly in 1977 with me checking classified advertisements in the cities where travel for work took me, and it took until 2004 for us to find one that would work. From 1980 on we looked hard for a 1957 Safari model to match our just acquired 1957 Pontiac Safari wagon but never found one that we were willing to invest our time and money redoing. Then the 1951 Flying Cloud happened just as we were at the start of doing a restoration on a 1958 Silver Streak Chico (17'). We thought we were stuck with that having zero luck finding an Airstream and then one Friday evening while checking the end of day uploads on the Buy and Sell website the Airstream appeared. It was 20 minutes from our home and we were first there, money in hand , and two hours later it was in the back yard and work begun.
We've loved every moment of owning it, but still keep an eye out for just the right 1957 Safari, just in case. Not that we'd likely sell the '51 but who says you can't have a trailer for each of your hot rods ? Since we bought ours three of our buds have followed suit , one buying a 51 twin to ours, another a 53 and the hero of the group buying a 61 Bambi, 62 Tradewind (to be parted out this winter - sacrificial lamb for the other two) and 65 Caravel all within a two month time frame and rumor has it he is looking at another one that has popped onto the radar screen, if he can convince his wife or if he can do it and then surprise her with it as a "gift" . We know of others in our group who are "looking" although we don't know how seriously. Our neighbors bought the Silver Streak and over two years did a phenomenal frame off on it and I regret letting it go now, but also am pretty pleased it went where it did as it adds another silver reflection in the neighbourhood. Both my parents passed before we got ours but we just felt that they'd of really been pleased with what we got. When we first started looking they were very excited. I must say that it was difficult to pass up some of the ones we saw over the years and the very first one we looked at, an early Caravel, turned out to be about the best one we saw for the next 23 years by a long shot. We should have bought it but just didn't know enough at the time and by the time we caught on that it was an outstanding deal it was gone.

One thing I must say is that owning the Airstream is not for someone who is shy. You can't get away from talking to people who want a tour, to have their photo taken with it and the car (many act as if they own it for the pictures), and the people we have been fortunate enough to meet through the Airstream make the resto work well worth it. We had no idea just how much passion there is in the world for these trailers and in particular the vintage ones.

Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:00 AM   #27
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1976 31' Sovereign
ozark , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,029
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Blog Entries: 3
Beautiful AS....any pictures of the inside?
Originally Posted by klattu View Post
I never even knew Airstream made a MH.
Was spending too much time repairing the old SOB, and I was not gaining ground.
Was seriously looking at the GMCs from the 70s, and saw a Airstream on Ebay.
Just looking so I thought...a few weeks after just looking, I was on my way to pick one up.
Thinking back, it was an intense few weeks, gathering all the information about Airstream MH I could find.
Really lucked out getting a '89, as it has most of the features I wanted.

Even though I'm still making repairs/improvements, its much more fun.

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Old 08-30-2009, 11:11 AM   #28
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,264
We have been campers on & off for the last 40 years - first with tents, then a VW Westphalia camoing van, then a small 20' "Sprite" travel trailer.

Once our kids reached an age where they lost interest in camping (or maybe were embarrassed to be seen with the parents?!) we sold the trailer.

When I took an early retirement in 1999, My wife and I bought a used 27 ft "Award" travel trailer which was quite a unique design and appealed o us very much.

Although not as pricey as an AS, it was more of a high end trailer, and I beluieve aimed more at empty nesters rather than families.

It suited is very well, was light weight, (under 4000# dry), very aerodynamic, and towed like a dream. Interior layout was pretty much perfect for us with a fairly high level of finish.

We used it every winter other than last winter to travel either to Florida or th
South-Western states.

Progressively however it became more problematic and more of a money pit. Almost every year, something would break down and mess up our trip plans. Even though I tried to maintain it, it suffered badly from water leaks (rain) which caused a lot of damage.

Although I'm reasonably handy, I don't have the space to work on the trailer at home.

A few years ago I spent over $12k at the factory (which is pretty much now defunct) rehabilitating the trailer and adding upgraded, but it seemd a stopgap measure and was not at all cost effective in hindsight.

So reluctantly we decided it was time to let it go when I discovered it needed still more costly floor damage.

I sold it - basically over the phone - to a gentleman from Oklahoma. I fully disclosed all the defects I knew about and we agreed on a fair price for both of us - which in fact was a lot less than I had spend on it three years previous! (We visited him in Oklahoma last year and he and his wife have done a great job repairing it!)

After selling the Award, we did a lot of soul searching. We looked at just about every new medium sized travel trailer in the marketplace with exception of AS, which i felt were too expensive.

We considered fifth wheel trailers, almost bought a recent model Class A motorhome, and even considered getting out of the RV game at this stage of our lives.

Well, in the end, We learned that for us, none of the new trailers we had seen measured up to the standards set by our old Award.

A Class A motorhome didn't seem cost effective for us as we only use an RV maybe 7-8 weeks a year.

We decided that we were not quite ready o give up RV'ing just yet.

Then I decided to look at used Airstreams. Immdeiately it seemed they would fill teh bill for us.

I'm sure there are advantages in older Airstreams (weight for one) but I decided against buying one more than a few years old as I felt that would increase the chances of the need to replace appliances & other maintenance problems.

So it was that we wound up with our '05 Classic 30.

We have only been on two trips with it so far, California last winter and Penn Wood Airstream park in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago.

So far very happy with the decision, although I must admit that based on the info I have learned from this forum, more potential problems come with it than I would have expected considering the price! I'm not sure I would have bought it had I spent more time on this forum first!!

Nevertheless the only significant problem we have encountered so far has been two cracked Alcoa wheels - which haven't failed and are still on teh trailer, soon to be replaced under warrantee - so I cannot really complain.

I'm paranoid about water leaks from our experience with our last trailer. I haven't found any yet on the AS, and I go over all the caulking carefully every time we bring the trailer to our house!

I was a bit surprised to find that AS still uses wooden flooring, I expected it would be some sort of honeycomb aluminum/plastic sandwich, both light weight and impervious to water damage. I still think it should be for the price!


Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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