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Old 01-04-2018, 09:35 AM   #43
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Santa Rosa , California
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Hey jholder,

There is a certain joy in RV lifestyle WITH all its associated downsides... if the upsides have not outweighed the normal downsides it may be time to do as you suggest. But, before you do, consider setting up a maintenance budget for the trailer and putting money away for those unexpected (expected) repairs - you might find it takes the sting of that away and gives you the cash and mental expectation that they are going to happen and you just get someone to fix things as they do...
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:48 AM   #44
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Why be rational?

We are transitioning from yachting/cruising to camping and find that the issues are similar. Overcrowded anchorages, expensive marinas, steady stream of maintenance issues and Mother Nature.

It is hard to rationalize the cost. So why bother? We are mindful of costs, but have not tried to rationionalize the cost of boating or camping. For us, it is the overall experience that guides our thinking.

Either you enjoy it or you donít. We are willing to tolerate the warts if the overall experience is fun. Every now and then, even a miserable voyage yields a memorable experience.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:55 AM   #45
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Being among a minority, Off the Grid Boondocking and our Airstream are wonderful. No appointments to be made to camp. The Adventure is getting to and out of areas that no one with an Airstream would dare. Wide open spaces and all the fresh air once can ask.

Why... must most expect anything better at crowed RV Parks, National Parks or City camping? If you want to experience the drive... no trailer makes it faster, safer and less expensive. Hotels are not like your homes and not intended to be.

Our Airstream has a... PURPOSE. It is a step above Tent Camping, but those who believe that your trailer is cleaner, fewer bugs and MORE convenient than a motel/hotel/hostel... are getting what your deserve.

The commercials hire actors. The scenes are placed and carefully selected. That is the 'dream'. Your experience is the... real. Those who have a true 'purpose' for their trailer, of any brand... you understand. The rest... take a deep breath and make the changes you need to make your life more simple.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:59 AM   #46
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Smile longer vacations

We're from Illinois so when I was working we would do things like fly to Seattle, rent a Harley, ride around the volcano, stay downtown Seattle and do city things then take an overnight sleeper car train back and... my vacation was done for the year. My life was spent in the fast lane. I retired and I plan on making my life a long, slower, vacation as long as I can physically keep up with the camping life style. Camping in an Airstream is about what you want. IS camping what you want? Life is short and all about choices. Choose wisely Grasshopper.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:09 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by jholder View Post
No, no. I completely agree with those. And Iím not meaning even necessarily flying. There are tons of great Airbnb that we have stayed in, etc. Our frustration was more of the additional complication of having the trailer versus driving one of our other cars, quick and easy, and staying in a resort. I think Iíve gotten a skewed view from a frustrating last year of isolated situations.

As for the days of packing prior for my wife, how do you guys find you streamline that process more efficiently?

We take ours out several times per month to give an idea of usage/frequency.
That is great if you donít have pets. We have two wonderful fur balls that we like to take with us. Also we like to cook in the Airstream to control our diet.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:12 AM   #48
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Not for everyone

We bought our 2012 22 ft Sport in the spring of 2015. It was almost new. The first owner never took it out and sold it after one year. The second used it once or twice and decided it wasn't for them. We've dragged it a few thousand miles, camping in all kinds of places - RV parks , secluded boondocking sites, national park campsites, and even relatives' driveways. We love to camp. We like taking our "hotel room" with us. We love meeting other like-minded folks.
Maintaining the trailer takes work. Helps if you're handy. I actually enjoy it. We've added solar and a lift kit. Upgraded batteries. Made some positive cosmetic changes. All fun. Fixed a few things - not so fun, but a learning experience.
The trailer stays "packed" except for food and clothes. We live in the city and cannot store the trailer at the house. We bring it home the day before a trip to get ready and take it back to the storage unit the day after we return - all clean and ready for storage.
We've learned to keep it simple. Easier for us as we're experienced car campers and backpackers. Having a kitchen and shower while camping is way beyond what we're used to. Love it!
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:16 AM   #49
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After reading all the above posts I'm reminded of the many camping trips my family took when I was a young boy. Some of my most fond and vivid memories are when things didn't go right...having our Datsun station wagon towed from Barstow to Las Vegas in a driving rain by a tow truck driver with no windshield wipers, telling us about the fights at the gas station where he was based...holding an umbrella for my Dad as he used a clothes pin to hold open the carburetor manifold so our little Datsun could get out of Silverton, CO...coming back to our tent after a rainstorm to find it flooded and all our sleeping bags soaked. I grew to love camping over the years and continued to do it as an adult.

My early camping experiences caused my wife and I started with a pop-up, move to an expandable then finally buy our Dreamliner. Our kids all love camping, too, and have incredible memories of our family times together. Sure there were some duds, but many trips were spectacular...fireworks at Bryce Canyon...watching a thunder storm from the north rim of the Grand Canyon...midnight "bear patrol" at Edison Lake...the list goes on...

I appreciate the OP's honesty since we've all had those thoughts and I think he has found the answer in these posts. The AS community is fantastic for these types of things and although I'm not a frequent poster, I read the Forums every day and am so grateful for the wisdom and insight others with much more experience than I have shared.

As my Dad has always told me, "Nothing worthwhile in life is easy."

I'm sure we'll see you on down the road...
Mike and Marla
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:17 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Jamespio View Post
That's pretty funny. You paint the worst possible picture of one form of travel, then you encourage the OP to recognize that one bad trip is not the totality of AS camping experiences.

To the OP, a $50k trailer is indeed a huge investment, and you should carefully consider whether it is the right investment for your family. The great thing about AS is the resale value. But if you NEVER sell, it's a pointless value. Sounds like you use your trailer a lot, and if with even that much use it's losing its luster, maybe it's time to try something else, since those things JD listed don't happen all that often, just as having a whole week at the beach rained out doesn't happen all that often.
I flew twelve times last year. It sucks. The traffic to the airport is horrible, getting through security is always a hassle, the airline seats are too small, even for a child, and the plans are packed like a sardine can. They charge for luggage and everything else. Air travel is a miserable constant, not a once in awhile bad experience.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:20 AM   #51
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We live just outside of Murfreesboro, TN and understand the frustration of finding available camp sites in TN. We are retired. We try to find a site in the middle of the week, but ofttimes have to move because the site has been reserved for the weekend. We do this several times a year. But we also haul our trailer out west for months at a time: National Parks are always filled up, and worst that that, we can't even find a place to park the trailer so we can walk a trail...too crowded, too many people. But we do find great joy in boondocking and out of the way private and primitive campgrounds.

This coming season, or maybe next season, we want to do the east coast (have never RV'ed there. But since I really don't like making reservations more than a day or two in advance, it may be a short trip...

I certainly understand your frustration jholder. I too have thought about dumping the whole thing and just staying in hotels...but the constant dragging of the luggage into and out, the worry about bugs, finding accommodations in remote places...guess we will continue to RV a bit longer....sigh....
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:26 AM   #52
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There are difficult people in every walk of life, but the online reviews that say "the staff at this camp are wonderful" all seem to be understating it. I've stayed at a few resort hotels, but the nicest people in the hospitality business are in campgrounds, and most fellow campers are wonderful too.

MAKE A LIST. AMAZING how putting in writing clarifies things... and shortening it after every trip is even better advice than just making one. SELECT MULTI-PURPOSE stuff and carry less is also a good mantra.

Paula

Paula thawing out and dozzzzzz-ing off.
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:32 AM   #53
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Wow, a lot of responses and perspectives...I have felt some of that "is it really worth it". Right now, it is, but I guess I'll continue to evaluate it and make changes as necessary. Packing and unpacking can be a real chore. I have two trailers. A 53 AS Cruiser 25' and a 62 Aloha 15'. For awhile, I shared supplies between the trailers so I was packing, unpacking and moving stuff back a forth (which was a Real Pain and definitely not worth it.) I'm still sharing kitchen supplies but plan to remedy that this year with yard sales etc. I use a checklist, note on each trip what needs to be restocked and/or fixed before the next outing. We pack our clothes, toiletries, food, outside rug, the dogs stuff and it isn't too much work. For shorter trips, a week or less, we take the Aloha. It's small and no bathroom, but its easy to get down the road, park and has most everything else we need. For longer trips, we take the AS. Last year we took the AS to Utah, Arizona, the Redwoods, Oregon Coast and were gone 2 months. It was fantastic!. Unless we were moving between locations, we stayed for at least 5-6 days in each major area, and do our sight seeing, hiking, exploring with our tow vehicle. A couple nights we stayed in a hotel to take a break from the trailer. Right now, its all still worth it, but I can relate and do expect that I'll evaluate it as time passes and see what adjustments need to be made. Happy Camping to you all!
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:32 AM   #54
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It's Part of the Adventure

We are on the road in our Airstream 9 to 10 months a year. We relish those days where everything works as intended and we have a great campsite or place to boondock. We also kinda relish those days when we are proud of ourselves for not panicking, and overcoming whatever obstacle just presented itself.

Case in point. A few days ago, we were driving down the freeway in Houston on New Years morning when our electronic jack decided on its own to lower itself to the pavement while we were driving 60 mph. At first we thought we had blown a tire and the grating sound was us driving on a wheel rim. Half a mile later, we found a safe place to pull over and were amazed to find that our jack had lowered. We were even more amazed that after all that abuse, we were able to raise the jack electronically. We thought we were done but we were just getting started as after we raised the jack, it waited about ten seconds before it decided to lower itself again. We went through a couple of rounds of this and found ourselves a bit shell shocked that our electronic jack was behaving like it had a mind of its own and we didn't know why. Somehow, we stayed calm, got out the trouble shooting directions and tried hitting the reset button on the circuit braker. Voila .... now the jack finally stopped lowering itself on its own and we were able to continue on our way. For the rest of the day, we dreaded the thought that our jack might decide to lower itself on its own again but thankfully it didn't and we were able to get to our destination safely. When we got there, we couldn't unhook from our truck because the jack wouldn't lower all the way to the ground. Oh well, call the company in the morning and hope that they stand behind their product. They did and agreed to overnight a new jack to us. This saga still isn't over, we still have to remove the old jack and install the new one which hopefully will be a relatively simple task. Maybe today is the day.

What to make of this? For us, this is just another Airstream adventure that will make for a great campfire story down the road. What's wrong with that?
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:49 AM   #55
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Even with all the negative aspects, the good still outweighs the bad for me.
The campground reservations being so competitive is a #1 annoying thing.
Even trying to book campsites 6 months ahead sometimes the campground is full for a special event or holiday weekend.
The trailer and truck stay coupled together at home most of the time.
The trailer stays packed and ready to go.
This is so we are always ready to go after work on a Friday afternoon.
This is why I keep an old beater/hooptie as a daily driver- so I can leave the truck and trailer coupled up ready to go...
Currently driving the truck because yesterday afternoon I smelled antifreeze when I got home in the hooptie and it was too cold to see about it...
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Old 01-04-2018, 10:55 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamespio View Post
That's pretty funny. You paint the worst possible picture of one form of travel...................since those things JD listed don't happen all that often, just as having a whole week at the beach rained out doesn't happen all that often.


Ha, not that often.

Every time for me.

I honestly cannot fathom why anyone would consider any form of public air travel a vacation, under the current conditions.



Regards,


JD
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