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Old 04-01-2008, 10:50 AM   #15
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"Can someone please give me an idea of what kind of maintenance I might expect yearly on a good-condition vintage (60s or 70s) trailer? I know, I know, they're all different, but just an idea of what I have to do....?"

LIZ,
It is rare that a unit from the 60's or 70's will be (road ready). Plan on investing 3,000 to 5,000 getting it in road worthy condition. Axel's,tires,brakes,bearings,batteries,converter, are all most likely shot! (regardless of what the seller says)

AC, furnace, Water heater, Fridg, all suspect!

If you start in on the floor and frame....?

Regardles of what the seller say's, restored with new floor is MORE than"New carpet/linoleum"

Good luck, you've started your search in the right place.

Michael
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:21 PM   #16
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Liz, if no one has sent you to this video yet, you need to go to airstream.com and click on the "why buy?" tab and just watch the side by side comparision test. Send your totally mis-informed friend there too, who probably means well, but has NO IDEA what they're talking about. I think Pop ups are cool, but I haven't seen one that can compare to an Airstream, it's apples vs. oranges.

Wish I could be more encouraging regarding renovation of a vintage unit, but you'll need either a nice pot of money ($10K if you are incredibly lucky, 15K, 20K and up if you're not...) or decent building & renovating skills (or have some really good friends who have them.) As one who is over the 'hump' on a bath re-build:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...air-38434.html

I can tell you it is MORE WORK than you will (optimistically) estimate in the beginning. But I've always been the "fool" who "rushed in" and eventually its paid off...if you can handle the mini-bouts of depression in the middle of it all...

good luck! keep the faith...nothing comes close to an airstream..
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:51 PM   #17
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Liz - Welcome to the Forums. You've found a wealth of good information here already. You should know that there are a lot of ladies injoying the RV life, single or married. You don't need a man to get on the road. A great suggestion - rent you a pop-up or SOB trailer and try things out. You can go to a Walmart or mall parking lot to get some towing experience. Set out some "witches hat" cones and practice making 90 degree turns and backing up your RV (simulating backing into a spot in an RV park). Driving in city traffic? I've found just using my turn indicator will let the car behind me know I need to change lanes and they will usually allow me to do so. As others have said, ALL other RV trailers have their own tow characteristcs, but there is NOW
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:02 PM   #18
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Liz - Welcome to the Forums. You've found a wealth of good information here already. You should know that there are a lot of single ladies enjoying the RV lifestyle. You don't need a man to get on the road. A great suggestion - go rent a pop-up or SOB trailer and try things out for a week or so. You can go to a Walmart or mall parking lot on a Sunday morning to get some towing experience. Set out some "witches hat" cones and practice making 90 degree turns and backing up your RV (simulating backing into a spot in an RV park). Driving in city traffic? I've found just using my turn indicator will let the car in the next lane over & behind me know I need to change lanes and they will usually allow me to do so. As others have said, ALL RV trailers have their own towing characteristcs, but there is NO question that Airstreams are superior. The best suggestion I've seen so far? Analyize your own needs and talk to as many RV'ers as you can. Attend an Airstream rally in your area - believe me - you'll get ALL your questions & reservations addressed. Then make your own educated decision. The appliances such as AC's, water heaters, refriderators, etc. are all made by the same manufacturers.

Good luck in your adventure & let us know what you decide.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:55 PM   #19
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Liz, I think a lot of folks have told you that their roots really came out of tenting or pop-ups. We were in that same mold. Obviously every one of our camping units, albeit a tent, pop-up, SOB, and Airstream taught us valuable lessons about what we liked and disliked.

Personally while having an Airstream first thing probably would have had it's own merits, I spent a lot of time learning the basics, both from camping itself and on the towing side of the world. Each increment was built on a want for things that we felt would improve our camping experience. The nice thing about going this route is that you haven't made the "big jump" which allows you to either fall back or say, "this is not for me".

So while you can save the money and go for an older unit, you have to understand if you are also ready to jump into the maintenance game. It might be a bit more than you are ready for, especially if you have no experience.

Come to our Forums rally's in whatever you can afford. You don't have to own an Airstream and the folks who do have them will show you the good and bad. Sometimes it is very much worth waiting for.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:06 PM   #20
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Just what I needed to hear!

Thanks everyone! Let me properly introduce myself... I'm Liz, almost 37, married with 2 small children (almost 5 and 1). I went to a small college in Bar Harbor, Maine which allowed me to get all over Acadia National Park. I also got my SCUBA certification in ME...brrrr. I lived in a tent for a month or so back in my younger days.

I've done some tent camping as an adult, and I camped in a camper as a child with my family. I don't have a lot of experience fixing complicated systems, but I'm a pretty good guesser on the less complex jobs and I can follow directions if they're out there to be had...and I don't mind hard work.

I love nature, hiking, kayaking, biking, whatever... and the outdoors and there are so many places I want my children to see, explore, and experience (and me, too!)

Having said that...I do mind putting money and time into something I don't feel passionate about. I find it hard to warm up to the SOBs. An Airstream seems like an investment (maybe even more soul than money), and I think I'm OK with taking that on. I would think it's kind of like pet ownership: on paper it just looks like you're doing extra work to clean up hair and dirty paw prints, etc., paying extra bills for vet and food, and hoping they won't chew on the woodwork when you're out, but really, the positives outweigh the negatives a thousand times over. And many are intangible...

OK... my romantic musing aside... thank you all for the facts, the wisdom, and the offers of help. I'm taking notes--seriously. I really hope to meet you in person one of these days. I just hope I'll be towing an Airstream and not sleeping in a minivan because I was too chicken to take a leap of faith. Nah...I'm not much of a chicken...

I'm off the ledge. My friend did get much info from rv org, so the post referencing that site was very helpful. We're now serioius about a 22-24 foot trailer, an adequate TV, properly set up, and a small bank account for yearly upgrades.

Keep your fingers crossed for us. We're in heavy duty search mode now...

Liz :-)
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