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Old 07-20-2010, 08:27 PM   #1
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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@71, want-to-be fulltimer...need your help and wisdom

Hi Folks,
Hope I’m posting this in the correct forum.
Have been lurking here for a few weeks.
For some reason I can’t exactly fathom, I decided that I want to sell my house and move in an AS. Hmmm.
Let’s see. Had never even “looked” in one until last week when I spent an hour at a dealer.
Twenty years ago I sold my then house and moved on a 34’ sailboat. Lived on the boat 3 years or so. I moved off the boat because of a family situation. Thoroughly enjoyed living on the boat. Though I bought the boat new it wasn’t long before I was learning far more about a boat than I wanted. Yep, leaks in the water system, replaced the head/toilet, well you get the idea. I realize that even a late model AS in good condition will need repairs and such.
My thoughts at the moment, yes, I’m sure possibly subject to change, is to buy a used 23 or 25 (Colonial has a Classic for $30,000) . Regardless, I see no reason to go more than 27.
There will be only me and my 80 pound puppy (well she acts like a puppy).
I seem to be sort of OK in the health department. Will be 71 in a few weeks and still working fulltime…. Yes, I will be quitting my job.
The last time I towed anything was in the sixties. Towed a car, total weight about 3500. Frankly, I do have some concerns about towing and maneuvering and such.
I would of course sell my house and get rid of everything as many of you have.
As a time table, if you will, was thinking about giving myself six months to get the house ready to sell…..yep, selling and giving away many years of “stuff” accumulation. I would be able to store a modest amount at my brother’s.
Thought I’d try to find a place locally to “park” while selling my house. Also, give me some time to get used to “trailer life,” get moved in, and learn how everything works.
For a TV I’m thinking about a new Ford F150 with all of the towing options and the large V8. I watched a Ford video about swaying and was impressed. For a few minutes or so had thought about maybe a medium-sized truck if I decided on a 23’ however, it seems as though the “weights” would be at the limits. With all of the towing options would I need any other kind of anti-sway bars or special type of hitch or anything? (Note: I just spent a couple of hours over at the towing/hitch forum…wow, things get kinda confusing.)
Yes, this may seem impulsive and I guess that it is. The sailboat was the same. I had never been on a sailboat when I decided I was going to live on one. Yes, before I bought it I did go for a short sail. Never regretted the boat and had planned on living on it for the duration. Had briefly thought about a houseboat this time but ruled that out. The idea of traveling is sounding really appealing.
Yes, I fully realize that the “romance” of living in an AS will not always be the reality. Lots of places I would like to see and I think that once I get used to the towing, parking and the overall routine, I think I will be able to do OK.
I am far from wealthy or whatever term you might want to use and, haven’t sat down and tried to figure out a budget after I quit work. However, I’m thankful that I can spend $30,000 or so on the AS and buy a new TV. My house should sell pretty quickly based on the history of my neighborhood and we are a military town which helps.
Any and all thoughts, comments, and suggestions will be well received and greatly appreciated.
Thank you folks.

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Old 07-20-2010, 11:22 PM   #2
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It is a big decision, but it is also a door to another adventure. As with anything a good plan will always make the possibility of a good outcome much greater.

I know from my experince, I spent 3 years full timing in a 25' big white box, it is amazing how much you have in a house that you dont really need.

I will say im not very hot on Fords product, I own a towing company, I make a lot of money towing fords, and not old run down ones, im talking new shiny clean ones.

Over the weekend I had a 2010 F-150 on the hook that had less than 1000 miles on it, my Chevy wrecker just turned over 335,000.

In my oppinion id look for a good used pickup that has already depriciated, there are quite a few of the 88-98 chevys out there, you can get them fairly cheap in good condition, and for less than 1/3 the cost of a new ford you could put a brand spankin new engine and transmission in one.

I say just because you could spend the money doesnt mean you should, and I think your hard earned cash would be much better invested in making your trailer more comfortable than in a TV

"When the people fear the government, there is Tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is Liberty." - Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:38 AM   #3
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Hello from Virginia Beach

Once you start fulltiming you'll find out "they're everywhere".... we live among you!

I'm a 61, female, and I fulltime while still working. Had pretty much the same brainwave you did - need to crawl out from under too much house and too much stuff!

Do you know where Indian Cove is - on Sandbridge Road. Perfect and very inexpensive for a fulltimer. I'm offsite right now, but will be back next week.

I've sent you a PM too.

Hope to meet you soon, Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:12 AM   #4
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I say go for it. I am 71, although I don't have the same "itch" to fulltime it as you, I believe at our age we need to do the things that are important to us in life "while we stile are able to". Good luck, enjoy life, travel safely.
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:27 AM   #5
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Get plenty of truck and the AS you want , Go for it! zz
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Old 07-21-2010, 05:46 AM   #6
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Do it- and make friends with us. Sailboat huh..? ...going from polishing aluminum! great!
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:43 AM   #7
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For the inexperienced, the transition from house to Airstream might be a disappointment, realities they had not imagined. But you have lived on a boat. This should be easy.

We do our travel off the interstate as much as possible. Much more enjoyable, and safer, I believe.

We would not give up our house though. Seven months here in the good weather, and the Southwest for winter. Need the family, friendships, shop, garden, and space that home provides.
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:05 PM   #8
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There are campgrounds that have Airstreams for rent. I've run across them on the internet and if I can find the site, I'll pass it along. Might be worth your time to find one and spend some time in an AS...get a better feel for the experience you know!? Might be worth the trip...and maybe you'll be able to rent one the size you're thinking of buying.
Regarding a TV, I agree that a year or two would save you a ton of money! We purchased a 08 Surburban in '09, saved $23,000.00! We love it for our TV and we have a 27' International....worked great in the mountains too.
Just a thought, hope to see you on the road one day...
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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First off, welcome to For all things Airstream, this is the place.

Secondly, I agree that a Ford F-150 is hard to beat (and so does Consumers Reports), and while there is a lot of discussion (some of it heated, sometimes) about how big a vehicle you need to tow a particular trailer, ONE thing seems to catch everyone's agreement.

That is: decide on (or even BUY) the trailer you want to have BEFORE you get the tow vehicle (TV, for short). In other words, define the need before investing in the solution.

Lastly, concerning size: I have never heard anyone on here say that they regret buying too big of a TT (meaning Travel Trailer). I have heard Many folks say that they "plan on getting one a little bigger next time". It's called "2-foot-itis".

Here's wishing you all the luck; fair winds and following seas.

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:46 AM   #10
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Thanks all......

Would like to thank all of you for taking the time to respond to my post. Your comments and words of encouragement are well received. As you can see, I am sort of fumbling around here trying to figure things out. Yes, it’s been almost 20 years since I lived on a boat. Even though it was 34’…it was small. There was only about 7’ that I could stand. And, storage was at a premium. And, yes, a wet bath/head I guess you’d say. I used to joke with folks that you could stand in one place, bathe, cook, and talk on the phone. Oh, well.
Especially like to thank Foiled Again. We talked for 30/45 minutes yesterday and I learned a bunch about AS and fulltimimg. Yes, we live in the same city.
Aage. Thanks for your comments about trucks. It seems all the manufacturers are offering rebates. I thought that as long as the truck would “handle” 9,000/10,000 pounds it would be enough for whatever I buy. While I’m thinking 25’ I guess I could go as long as 27’ which it seems would be OK with the above weights. I’ve only looked at the Tundra so far though am going to try to get out and see the rest. Have hectic work schedule for the next seven days.
Rodgerdodger. Yes, 71, guess it’s time, hey.
Mr. Beast, yes, a used truck may be a “better deal.”
87MH…thanks so much for your links…..
Again, thanks to all of you…..
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:00 AM   #11
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Self inflicted "homeless" was a better time when you did it, today after 9/11 and the new policies of Homeland Security make sure you already have your drivers license and passport uptodate and for as long as possible beyond time of selling house. Have a certified copy of your birth certificate. If you can get your brother to allow you to use his home address, it will make your life easier while on the road.
Good Luck,

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