What possessed you to buy a trailer? An image of a Bolus made me remember our story: we had seen one of these, a Bolus Papoose sitting on top of a stack of dead cars at a wrecking yard in Richmond, CA. Driving by on the Richmond Parkway, we looked at each other, I made a U and zoomed back. We stopped to ask if it was for sale, never ever having contemplated buying a trailer but taken with the thought of a little house on wheels. The cranky junkyard guy said in no uncertain terms he would not sell it. The experience did get us talking about trailers, and a year or so later, I talked my partner into buying our Airstream as part of a remodel: "we'll live in it while the work's being done". The project, which involved raising our old house and adding a story underneath, never materialized, but I got to keep the Airstream. We're finally, after 9 years, enjoying our little Globetrotter, and its turned into a kind of obsessive hobby.
I'm curious to know how others came to want, search, find, buy and live with a trailer, vintage or new, and how integrating the thing into one's life has been....
I've had a fascination with RVs for decades, and Airstreams are the most fascinating of them in my opinion. The efficient use of space, the iconic shape, the mid-century heritage of the original designs all had me hooked, but I'm often too pragmatic and miserly, and between getting to where I felt like was a comfortable financial place and becoming a one-income family for a while with my partner in med school (which also involved a relocation) I just balked at realizing the dream.
Well, we found out in March that we're staying here for his residency, so I started looking "for real" and the Argosy found me in less than a month. It's like a storybook romance compared to the lengths many on the forums have gone through to find The One (or The Next One!) It was just 12 miles from the house, and pretty much ready to camp in. The rest, as they say, is history.
Il Carriaggio — 1975 Argosy 24 | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566
He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
I remember when I was real little.... a full size van pulling a Airstream trailer. I didnt know what it was, just that it was REALLY REALLY COOOOOOOL
After I grew up a little, prolly in high school, I got reminded about the " spaceship looking camper" when I went tent camping. the camp neighbor beside us,had a mid size A/S, and gladly showed me all around it, inside and out. the Airstream love started. Many, oooooo so many years later I finally got the "spaceship looking" camper of my own. I'll never be without one
A fellow insurance friend in Lubbock, Gene Cribbs, kept after me for years about getting an Airstream trailer...and one day I said I was ready to look.
A couple of months later he knew a friend who had purchased a 34' and needed to sell their 31'....so I bought it because I had been convinced the Airstream would hold its value better than any SOB....and since this trailer was 18 years old, but in wonderful condition, I could get out of it what I had in it if I decided it just wasn't for me.
So far, it suits me just fine....I have had it 7 years this month.
We have a bit of property on an island in Washington State, next door to my husband's parents. We have always intended to build something for ourselves, but, each and every year, it has always been easier and more comfortable to stay with my lovely in-laws.
Summer before last, I realized that, at fifty something years old, I didn't want to be in a sleeping bag on my in-laws' deck ever again, despite their being lovely people etc. I decided that I wanted to buy a trailer to have on our own bit of land. And since we never sell vehicles until way past their expiration date, it needed to be something that would last, that would survive moss, and that would hold some value. I started looking at Airstream ads.
After four months, one showed up on Craigslist that looked like it was intact enough to park on our land. It was the first Airstream we'd ever set foot in and we pretty much decided to buy it then and there. It might need a bit of work before it could be towed 1,000 miles to our land, but we could use it "as is." After all, we'd only be using it a couple of weeks out of the year as a sedentary cabin.
Long story short, our Tin Pickle followed us back home again and we've been tinkering with it and camping in it ever since. The more time we spend it it, the more fun we have.
I liked the looks of Airstreams but I didn't like the condition, price, or smell of those I had looked at. The reason I bought the trailer I have is a combination of stupidity, ignorance, and a persisting dream bordering on a delusion. I had intended to become a traveler. Instead I became a trailer restorer. Starting my second year.
I've been around these things for many years, and we really like to travel. My first Airstream experience was nearly my last, however. Back in the early 1970's, when Airstream first released the Argosy 22 rear door, my parents and I went to the local dealer to look at them. My mother used to work for the dealer, and we pretty much got to do whatever we wanted there. In this instance, it was Sunday, and the dealership was closed, but Frank, the owner, met us there anyway. I headed straight for the Argosy. "Mom, look at this one!" Frank unlocked the door, and all four of us piled in the back of the thing. Well, 3 overweight adults and one scrawny kid were more than enough to overbalance the trailer, and the tongue reared up off the ground, the trailer came off the block it was resting on, and we all went sailing across the lot, screaming. We didn't stop until we plowed into another trailer on the other side of the lot. If we hadn't hit that trailer, we would have gone straight out onto busy US15. For some reason, my parents opted not to get that trailer...
Fast forward 30 years, and after a year and a half of using a popup camper to make sure my wife liked the camping experience, we ended up with a 1972 Argosy 20. Our reasons for getting the trailer instead of motels were mainly because many motels were questionable as far as cleanliness, and a lot of them didn't allow pets. It's interesting to consider how one thing has an effect on other things. If I hadn't taken that "E coupon ride" in that Argosy 22 nearly 40 years ago, we'd probably still be living in the ghost town Cape Coral has become, and I'd probably be operating my own "will work for food" franchise, instead of working for an Airstream dealer in North Carolina.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
We have been fulltime in a Carriage 5er for four years. Not long ago my daughters home burnt down. She needed a place to stay while the insurance settled (took a year). We did not want to invest in a entry level TT so we purchased her 1988 29' Excella AS in excellent condition for her to use. She no longer needs the AS and we are about to take our first trip in the AS to see if we like traveling in it compared to the 5er, and with the fuel prices see if we can improve on the fuel mileage.
Before for i spent all my spare time and money on our Airstream I spent it all on Toyota Land Cruisers the FJ40 models. I started with a 1971 then a 1978. It was after I had spent 2 years and a bunch of $$$ renovating the 1978 that I was at an alignment shop for 2+ hours that I saw a sun faded color picture of a 1963 SilverStreak Sabre Cat for sale. Copied the number down because the price was reasonable and have always liked the look of silver aluminum trailers, then forgot about it for 3-4 weeks. Came across the number in my wallet and mentioned it to my wife and she said "I don't care, call" Called, looked, was smitten and after a lengthy process purchased. While researching on line for any info I could find while I was disassembling the Silver Streak I came across this forum on Airstreams. Silver Streaks are very nice but because so few were made there isn't much out there in the way of parts or information. Soooooo I wished I had purchased an Airstream. Continued tearing the SS apart and had the rear floor area out when I came across a 1967 24' Tradewind on Craig's list about 30 minutes after it was listed and only 7 miles from my house. Set up a time to take a look and told my wife "let's take a ride" We both liked it but wife would not allow me to keep both so sold the SS to a very nice family that lives about 1.5 hours from here who looks like have since done a very nice renovation of her as I saw in the Casini pics. Yes, I'm afflicted with aluminitus and have never even camped yet.
Hey, guys, we didn't get a chance to get to know you at Casini last week. THAT rally was so big that we didn't get to chat with all the people that we know! Too many people, not enough days but fun it was. Anyway on to your thread. My trailer 'experiences' began as a little boy in Michigan during the early 1940's. Dad and mom had a 20ish footer, not sure of the make, and took my brother and I to the 'beach' regularly on Lake Huron. Most of my childhood memories are from those camping trips. In the early 50s (1952) the family decided that California held a better future for all of us and we moved..in a 1952 Pan American 26' trailer, TV 1948 Nash, to California via Rte 66. We eventually settled in the Bay Area and the trailer sold as it had served it's purpose. Dad soon bought an 18 footer, self contained, new thing then, for camping trips in Ca. However, I now was a teenager with driving privileges and never camped with them in that trrailer. Fast forward to 1969 and my new wife and a honeymoon to Death Valley in a rented 15' camping trailer. New seed begins here. Our daughter and son were born in the early 70's. Camping at first was in a tent, then a van then 2 popups. Kids leave home in the early 90's and a pop up wasn't Lynn and I's style anymore so we bought a 5'er. Sold that as I hated it plus we wanted to drive our convertible for travel. I began to look for a compatible vintage trailer, no particular brand, but not Airstream because Lynn didn't like their looks. 6 years ago Lynn and I were having health issues which necessated our retirements. So we intensified our search to include Airstreams because they were more available. We are not people that let stumbling blocks in life slow us down. Our Trade Wind popped up on Ebay and I bought it. We are having a blast with it and towing it with our Buick coinvertible!
Neil and Lynn Holman