Yesterday afternoon, I placed an order for a 19’ Bambi CCD at Paul Sherry RV in Ohio. We got most of the options: Stoneguards, wrap protectors, electric jack, and spare tire (which oughta be standard!). My wife and I are very excited, and have made this a combo birthdays/aniversary present to ourselves, all three happen in the month of March.
Our camping experience for the last three years has been in our 2001 VW Eurovan Weekender (pop-top). We have had many, many great outings both long and short. The longest was a one month trip to visit Yellowstone, Tetons, Bryce, Zion, Arches, and lots of other cool places between. It was by far the best “vacation” we both have ever had! My wife was between jobs, and since I freelance as a photographer, I am always in between jobs. This was opportunity knocking. We lived in our van for 30 days, and are still married to tell about it.
Over a year ago, someone, and I can’t remember who the culprit was, told me to check out some photos of Airstream. I thought, “Oh that company that used to build trailers during WW 2”. The pictures were impressive, and soon found out that AS is alive and very well today. I was moved that the basic design had not changed all that much ever, like the old VW Beetle. And those rivet lines! The Aistream with all it’s curves and no pointy corners seemed such an oddity in our 90 degree, right angle world.
During this time I did internet searches on all things AS, and found many useful sites, all offering up heaps of information on everything from restoration, repair, parts, you name it.
Those of you who visit ASForums can see on the home page a list of people who are currently online. There is a very good chance that any given time you will see “crazylev” in that list.
I can say with much certainty, that with out all this information at hand, from here and other sources, there would simply be no way we would even be at this point. Talk about technical support!
ASForums is my favorite site, and for the last several months, a place on the internet where my wife knew I wouldn’t get into much trouble.
That was until yesterday, of course.
We never actuallly noticed any AS’s in person when we camped, until last spring when we were at a state park and there was a mint condition 1967
or 8 Caravel
. This unit was kept in a heated garage it’s whole life, by the original owner. You could just tell that this was his baby. We were sert to buy the unit for $6800.00, but due to an illness in the sellers family, and a change of other plans, that deal fell through.
Our search for other coaches didn’t prove to be as sucessful. We saw a few vintage Safaris, Globe Trotters, even a 25’ Overlander. The units were nice, but needed to be total rehabed.
My wife and I a very familier with rehab tango. We single handedly renovated a 90 year old two flat in Chicago. It was in the making for 6 years, and to this day, I still have cabinets, and punch lists of things to do, along with arty looking scars and a sore back.
Don’t get the wrong idea. I love working and tinkering on things like this, but I wasn’t prepared for another 2-4 year project. The other problem, and it was a real issue, is where I could put this thing while working on it. More and more it did not make sense for us to get in over our heads.
We wanted to camp, and enjoy, right away. I am pushing 50 and the time is now. (I know, looking at my picture in the avatar I only 18....you are all so kind.)
To those of you waging the good battle of fixing up your vintage units, you are certainly the Rabbi’s of Rivets, the Alchemist’s of Aluminum, and the Dominators of the Dometic. You are my heros.
After waffling back and forth, we decided to go new. We are going to pay dearly for the privilage, but hey, right now it is only the banks money. We did a home bankrupcy, er, equity loan.
Anyway it has been quite an experience. I’d like to thank all of you who have responded to my posts, dumb and dumberer, and sent a variety of responses from all over the world. Ain’t this internet thing great. I am, like, so glad Al Gore invented it!
Thanks to the dealers I spoke with for lenghthts of time, especially Mac at Bill Thomas RV in St. Louis. Very nice fellow, and to be honest it was a tough decission deciding where to go.
When we finally get our new trailer, my wife thinks it will be just her and me on our trips. I know better than that, as I know that all of you will be tagging along in spirit with us. Which is why I will have to keep the sliding bedroom door shut at night. Can you all squeeze in that front dinette/bed.
If anyone has any ??? for me, ask away. I may have just enough knowledge that I to can share.