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Old 12-08-2006, 10:42 PM   #57
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Huntington Beach , California
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Before I Airstreamed

We upgraded from 5 Star hotels to our Airstream. Yes, we consider it an upgrade...hands down.

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Old 12-09-2006, 06:29 AM   #58
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
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I remember coming home from a dive weekend and finding my folks very wet canvas camping gear spread out over the balcony rail. They quit camping and I inherited the stuff. Moved into a VW bus then a pop-up. Found motels and such more convenient and then four years ago started working on the road from a 25' Champion Bookmobile. Put 40,000 + on it and found the drive of my dreams... the current rolling showroom 28' AS FC.
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Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:08 AM   #59
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2007 19' Bambi
Ottawa , Ontario
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We started with tents and thin foam for comfort.

Upgraded to full size leaky mattresses.

Upgraded to industrial full size leaky mattresses.

Escaladed to a fantastic and fun teardrop trailer.

Added a fine luxury vacation home for the off season.

And now, moved up to our portable castle, our new Bambi.... have yet to break it in.

We have now completed the upgrade process... all done... nothing left to see here folks... move on please... the end.
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:03 AM   #60
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2004 30' Classic
Field and Stream , PA & MT
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I fish, therefore I camp.

I've always tent camped, or stayed in my car or truck. I still have a couple tents, and all the other requisite camping gear. My truck has a cap on the back and can be loaded for camping on short notice.

I don't look at my life's journey as a progression from tenting to pop-up camper to travel trailer to motorhome, as many do, but rather as what's the most practical way to get and stay "out there".

We've also owned a Coleman pop-up and 2 SOB's before getting an Airstream several years ago.

Substitute the word's "camping" in place of "trout" or "fisherman" in the following "Testament of a Fisherman", and this pretty much describes what both camping and fishing are to me. I'm not
moving "up" as much as "getting out there".

Testament of a Fisherman
I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful, and hate the environs where crowds of people are found, which are invariably ugly; because of all the television commercials, cocktail parties, and assorted social posturing I thus escape; because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience; because I suspect that men are going along this way for the last time, and I for one don't want to waste the trip; because mercifully there are no telephones on trout waters; because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness; because bourbon out of an old tin cup always tastes better out there; because maybe one day I will catch a mermaid; and, finally, not because I regard fishing as being so terribly important but because I suspect that so many of the other concerns of men are equally unimportant - and not nearly so much fun.
Robert Traver
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:11 AM   #61
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2014 16' Sport
Columbus , Indiana
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My family never camped until my parents joined the Peace Corps and moved to South America in the early '70's. Then we'd often camp near one of the lakes in the Andes so they could go fishing. This could be awfully cold, as we're talking about some little lakes not horribly far from the tree line.

More often we'd go down on the beach, generally with another family. We'd be the only people camped on several miles of beach, and many days they'd walk up to the little shack about 1/4 mile away and tell them how many would be visiting for dinner. The shack owner would meet the fishermen when they came in and buy fish on the spot. The shack was about the size of a one car garage, and only the kitchen was enclosed. Fresh fish, the ocean setting over the Pacific. Didn't realize how special it was at the time.

Later they took up motorcycling and I tagged along until I was old enough to drive, at which point I bought a bicycle and travelled and camped over most of the eastern states. I lack about 800 miles of having crossed the country twice from north to south and once from east to west, but have no real desire to do that.

Later still, I flew sailplanes and spent a number of nights at fly ins or contests, camped on the ramp.

Then ... I met & married SWMBO, She'd done a lot of RV camping with her parents, and when our oldest was born we borrowed my mother in law's 5th wheel for a week. Then to a pop-up, and after our youngest was born, into a hybrid, and this last spring into the AS.
I don't totally understand RV camping.
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:30 AM   #62
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Jamestown , North Carolina
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Limited camping experiece

We had a pop up when the kids were young and I have done some tent camping with my son over the years. We decided a couple of years ago with the kids grown and out of the house, that we would enjoy a comfortable RV for long weekends for now(I'm still working) and more extensive travel later. We went to the RV shows and looked at many SOBs but I was not impressed with the quality in the price range we were looking. I then joined this forum and began to investigate used Airstreams. We initially were thinking 25/30 feet, but after looking a good bit, we decided we loved the room and comfort of the 34'. We bought an 87 34" this summer that was basically sound but needed redoing comestically. We have put more $ into it than we had planned(in hindsite if I had taken more time to serach, which I didn't have, I could have found one cheaper) but we really love how it has evolved. Had to buy a larger TV however. I want to have the top refinished at P and S, put in a television/ pc monitor and a satellite and we should be finished except for routine maintenance. We both are very excited to be joining the Airstream ranks and have already met some really nice folks.
2000 34' Limited with Sofa Slide
06 Dodge 3500 Cummins Turbodiesel 4X4 Quad Cab Hensley Hitch Pressure Pro Centramatics
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:45 AM   #63
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1996 34' Excella
Americus , Georgia
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Lots of interesting stories on this thread. I started out very young camping with my granparents in a local club where I live in a Holiday Rambler which they owned. So in 1986 I followed in their footsteps and bought a 1974 Holiday Rambler 21 ft trailer. I traded it in less than a year for a 1975 32ft Holiday Rambler and kept it for 2 1/2 years. All along I would see those shiny silver bullet trailers and wondered what they looked like on the inside and how they towed and in 1989 I bought a 1975 31 ft AS soveriegn and kept it 4 years and then moved up to a 1977 31ft AS and had a few others as I moved up a few years in the 31ft lengths. Then I kept looking at those 3 axle 34ft trailers with the dinettes and started wondering about those . So in 2003 I sold the 1981 31ft trailer I had and started looking for a 34ft trailer. I found one a 1991 34ft Excella 1000 and have really liked it. I married in 2004 and we just don`t have enough time to use it. We are looking foward to the 2007 Florida Can Opener Rally in January. Davis
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Old 12-09-2006, 10:52 AM   #64
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I agree with flyfisher. We started tent camping off the Harley... her clothes in the right saddlebag, mine in the left, miscellaneous stuff in the tour-pak, and the 4-person Eureka Timberline (aluminum framed boy-scout type pup tent), Coleman queen-sized air bed, and two sleeping bags strapped on the tour-pak rack.

Then we bought the Airstream and started dragging an air-conditioned luxury resort cabin places, even off-road, if you call that camping (I never have and I worked in the industry, considering it "RVing").

Then we bought an open boat to tow places and went back to tent camping, but with a long bed truck to haul anything we needed.

Then we bought a 26' cabin sailboat, with standing headroom, dinette, galley, dual batteries, engine-driven alternator, and almost as much storage as a truck long bed, and began camping at anchor in that. No campground or on-board shower though, just bathing in the cockpit, and no air-conditioner, but it was more like RVing than camping.

We sold that and now have an 18' cabin sailboat, which when sleeping at anchor is more like tent camping off the Harley, except a lot more comfortable in a storm, and we don't have to hoof it to the campground/marina restrooms in the middle of the night.

Besides this boat, we still have the Harley, the Boston Whaler, and the tent, as well as the Airstream, and don't consider there to be any hierarchy among them.
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:26 AM   #65
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Santa Cruz , California
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Originally Posted by flyfisher

I don't look at my life's journey as a progression from tenting to pop-up camper to travel trailer to motorhome, as many do, but rather as what's the most practical way to get and stay "out there".

You put in to words my my exact thoughts.

If I had the money, I'd keep my tents, Coleman, Bambii II and add 3 or 4 more "RV"s so I could stay out there.

1964 17' Bambi II
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"you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" ~bob dylan
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:32 PM   #66
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Placerville , California
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As a boy in the 1940's my family camped in this trailer. Can anyone venture what make it is? It must have been 18 or so feet. The front came to a point like a boat. There was 2 windows in the front, one on each side of the point. My parents took my brother and I camping on the Great Lakes mostly at Santa Rita Beach near Lexington on Lake Huron. The next trailer Dad and Mom bought was a 26' Pan American solely for our move to and housing in California. That RTE 66 journey was in 1952. When I began my own camping it was on the ground in sleeping bags. I still have my camp stove and lantern that I bought in 1956. When I married in 1969 we used a 2 man tent (a little more cozy). We got a canvas tent when our first born arrived in 1971. Several yars later with our second child our camping was done with a Ford van. This was followed by a small Coleman pop-up, then a LARGE Coleman pop-up, that we continued to use after the kids left (but reappeared when they heard mom and dad were going camping). We then tried with a 5th wheel but really did not like that. Both kids moved away so we were without a trailer (or tent...we were not going to regress back to that!). Daughter and husband moved back near us and had a child and a new one due now. So we now have the Tradewind........and my son's tent should they find the Tradewind too small. So my parents planted the camping spirit in me (they tent camped before I was born) and we into our kids and maybe our grandkids. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
Happy (Airstream) camping.
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Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:01 PM   #67
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by anholman
As a boy in the 1940's my family camped in this trailer. Can anyone venture what make it is? Neil
Neil, did the trailer look like this? If so, it is called a Trav-L-Coach.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 12-09-2006, 05:32 PM   #68
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Astoria , Oregon
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I earned my first tent by selling greeting cards door to door as a kid. It was made of some sort of rubberized fabric that became a condensation machine in humid weather in Illinois. A friend and I spent at least two nights a week tenting in our back yards in the Summer. In Boy Scouts, camping and hikes were always an adventure. We spent a week-a-summer in army suplus “jungle hammocks” in northern Wisconsin, a good choice because of extraordinary insect density. I’ve canoe-camped on islands in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, and have been dropped off on a river’s gravel bar for a week in Alaska to become better acquainted with King salmon.
I’ve backpacked many miles, and would rather sleep at elevation under the stars than anywhere else, given acceptable weather. I hope to hike the John Muir Trail this year. Like Sugarfoot, my toothbrush handle has been cut off and my alcohol stove weighs far less than one ounce. Freeze dried food has greatly improved, and is now tolerable for a week or longer (not good – just tolerable).
Like Flyfisher, I enjoy sleeping in the back end of the pickup, at a trailhead or on a short fishing trip.
For ten years or so, I had tent camped with friends in February in the Hoh River rain forest on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The trip was known as the “Spring camping and near-drowning experience,” as daily rainfall of 2-4 inches was not uncommon. On these trips, one friend began fantasizing about Airstream ownership. This happened annually, especially on cold wet evenings around a smoldering campfire. Now we each own one, and camping is a lot more civilized.
Nonetheless, I hope to spend a lot more time with my backpack, and the sound of raindrops on the pickup canopy is almost as melodic as in my Silver Hilton. I like all the choices, but I gotta love the amenities the trailer offers!
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:03 PM   #69
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Santa Cruz , California
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This thread could be a fabulous article. What a group of amazing adventurers, with so many exceptional and unique backgrounds! My camping experiences seem mundane in comparison, but we still all landed in the same place: delighted A/S owners on the prowl.
I started as a kid sleeping as many nights outside as in, listening to the ocean and watching the falling stars in the mid-Pacific sky from a tiny atoll about 2k west of Hawaii. A great life, and we had that "aren't we lucky" feeling at an early age. And aren't we still lucky to have this love of exploring what's out there with all the different permutations of these fabulous Airstreams?
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:26 PM   #70
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2003 25' Safari
Eden Prairie , Minnesota
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Occasional family tent camping as a kid, then my dad bought a SOB and later an Airstream. I did some backpacking as a teen and college student. Tried a SOB motorhome for a few years, as my wife will not tent. Bought the Airstream 4 years ago... looking forward to using it much more when our teen daughter leaves us this summer (she will be an exchange student in Europe next year, then college after that).

I travel for work about once per month - and hotels have never seemed fun or glamorous or appealing to me. The nicest hotels are still just a room... I much prefer my house. The Airstream is a small portable version of my house. The Airstream allows us to stay in beautiful places (we avoid RV parks, and stay in National Forest, Nationa Park, and State Park campgrounds).

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