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Old 08-25-2009, 12:18 AM   #1
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Question Full-timing in an 18 footer.

hi there, two years ago i fell in love with the Airstream travel trailers and then subsequently with the airstream life style and the people. last year i bought my first AS, a 58 Traveler '18. i have traveled in it enough to know that i love it. but, my ultimate fantasy is to one day go on the road full time and see the "world". however, i do not see anyone full-timing in an 18' or less. so my question is...has anybody out there ever done this?

thanks,
Sandra
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:04 AM   #2
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Why not? It depends on how much stuff you like to take with you. After all, people have fulltimed in the back of a VW van But I think it's not coincidence that the more people travel the bigger trailer they end up with. Personally, I'd like to try full-timing in mine someday, but two people and a dog might get pretty crowded.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:38 AM   #3
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Full timing in a Bambi II

In our travels, we met a couple that were full-timing in their restored 1962 Bambi II, which is about the size of your trailer. They had spent 4-5 months in the Baja & did a lot of beach camping & boondocking.

The trailer was gutted and rebuilt inside more efficiently than the original Bambi II - they had a wet bath, holding tank, queen bed in the back, dinette, & galley. Basically, they set it up the way that they wanted.

We also met a couple from Alberta who restored a vintage 19' Globetrotter with full-timing in mind.

Both of the aforementioned couples were former sail boaters.

A small trailer demands that you are efficient & a minimalist. Often, our possessions possess us. If you think about it, you really don't need a lot to go traveling - there are stores around to buy supplies. And, the main reason to go traveling is to get out & see & do - not sit in the trailer all day!

If you have in mind to travel full time & have a trailer to do so, then go for it! If you have the desire & sense of adventure, then size doesn't really matter!
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:41 AM   #4
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I full-timed for four months in a 1961 Bambi 16'. My first Airstream was a 1970 Safari Special 23'. I lived in it for a year. Were I buying a trailer with plans to full-time, I don't think I'd ever try to full-time in anything less than a 25', but it can certainly be done. One of the members on FiberglassRV.com (a Social Knowledge sister site) full timed for years in a Scamp 13'.

Roger
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:49 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I think that full timing is quite doable in an 18 footer. It would all depend on your personal wants and needs. For one person, it would be good. For two or more including pets, it might be a little less comfortable.

We've done as long as two months straight in our 25FB with two adults and no pets. This works well for us, and we are never anxious to get home with more space.

I think that the trick is that we would need an Airstream of sufficient size to have a bed that doe not have to be constructed each evening and put up each morning. I would also want complete bathroom facilities.

Brian
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:02 AM   #6
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If I were 5'4", 135-lbs, immune to weather or health problems; able to sleep comfortably on gravel, wore clothing till it fell off me and didn't need more than 4.5' sleep nightly, then, heckyeah!

If I were a more "normal" human, then the ability to comfortably rest and retreat over extended periods (injury, illness, the vicissitudes of age) I would want more room and storage to fulltime.

One is a small tent with hard sides/roof. The other is a home.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #7
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We've gone on a good number of two week trips in our 19' Bambi, and I think we could easily gone on indefinitely if not for other obligations. Why not?
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I think that the trick is that we would need an Airstream of sufficient size to have a bed that doe not have to be constructed each evening and put up each morning. I would also want complete bathroom facilities.

Brian
Brian hit it right on the head... for extended stays, I've learned that I want a full 80" queen mattress that stays made into a bed, and i want a full-size shower. Everything else is negotiable.

Roger
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:38 AM   #9
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I have heard of people "full-timing" (lets just say being on the road for a year), with children(!)- on bicycles, touring from Alaska to Patagonia. Yes, these were young people, Germans. Lots of rock-climbers live full-time in their vans, pick-ups, or just sedans. Again- young, healthy, resilient. I have neighbors in their 70's who spent 4 months in their small "A-Liner" pop-up, in Alaska. So I'll just reiterate most of the above comments- what you are comfortable living in is relative to your age/health, expectations, amount of "stuff" you "need", lifestyle, etc. That said, an 18' trailer would be luxuriously ample space for some, and ridiculously spartan for others. I say do it- the worst that can happen is you'll decide you want something different. Have a blast!
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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On my last run through Oregon heading home to Michigan, around Feb, I ran into a story that stuck with me since. We pulled in late into a rv park alongside the hwy, cant remember, they all run together when on the road for months.

Anyway, the guy running it at night was very interested in our streamer. The next morning he came over as I was unhooking and pointed to his 18 footer, I think a 56 vintage. He invited me over and the story was well, a tear jerker. It was rough inside, never restored and his sleeping bag was on the ground. His dog had the best bed, next to the gas radiant stove he got from home depot. The bathroom was rough and he did have a new lcd tv on the wall. In the short time I was in his full time home he told the reason for his plight, lost his well paying construction job, found his wife with this best friend, that made him do somethig that put him jail and this was all he had.

I left him with a hidden tear in my eye, drove off with my almost new 28 and my best friend and wife and said quietly, life is not fair.

I tell this as traveling by rv nationwide is always an experience. Mine sits all summer and this time of year we get ready for the 2 trips out west and approx 15k miles of towing September through April. Do it, do not think about all the potential issues and take all the problems discussed on this forum and put them in perspective. Life is short.....
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:06 AM   #11
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My wife and I spent 5 months in a Leisure Travel Van (Sprinter van / Mercedes diesel) and drove over 20,000 miles. Yes it was very small but we figured it out and had the time of our lives.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:31 PM   #12
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The two of us have traveled all over the country in a VW camper van, up to four months at a stretch. The luxury was in the ability to move about easily, economically, and at any moment. We were never uncomfortable, but found the greatest problems to be the lack of a bathroom (and the poor condition of the bath facilities we encountered) and limited kitchen space. As we are now fully retired and spending six months away from home, we have found our new Safari 20 SE solves these problems and retains some of the luxury of maneuverability. Lots of time outdoors and a cozy place to sit and read or enjoy small hobbies is the key. Isn't this why we travel? I don't know about full-timing, but am sure a year or two would be a piece of cake.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:17 PM   #13
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I purchased a 2008 19' Bambi Safari SE several months ago and have been full timing in it. I needed the 19' due to the size of the lot I have been staying in while not camping on the road. After Several Trips around Texas and a recent Trip to Colorado, I have had a question in the back of my mind if the 19' was just a little to small. I just could not put my finger on why I had this question, and what was nagging me. I have found the layout of the Bambi to have great flow. At first I was concerned about the size of the shower and bathroom but have learned to live with it and have no problems using this area for it intended use. I am 5'11" and 215#, my dog is 80# and on my Camping trips my girlfriend comes with us and we find that we are cozy and enjoy the Bambi. (No I am not about to reveal her size and weight.) But I still had this question in the back of my mind about the Bambi being to small. Well tonight I went to the store and purchased a half gallon of Blue Bell Ice cream, That nagging question about size came to the front of my mind and terror set in. What if I can not put this half gallon of Blue Bell Ice cream in the freezer, I will have to go trade the 19' in for a 25' or larger. I was talking to my girlfriend on the phone coming home from the store, worred that this half gallon of Ice cream was going to cost me a lot of money. I got into the trailer and opened the freezer, moved the ice trays to the side and discovered that a Half Gallon of Blue Bell Ice cream will fit into the freezer of a 19' Bambi with room to spare. And so the final question regarding full timing in a Bambi has been answered for me and it is a YES. As long as there are stores to restock on ice cream all is well
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Old 08-25-2009, 11:30 PM   #14
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Yehoo!!! I love everyones spirit! Thank you for your reply...all of them. You know when you have a dream... that kind that when you tell your friends and family they ask if you've taken your medication...well, this one is it. So, when reading all of your responds my heart filled with warmth and butterflies. My "Buddha" AS will have a full bath and kitchen when she is done. She is being rebuilt pretty much to her old floorplan. My full-timing plan is a bit into the future. I have two dogs (one who will probably pass on before the adventure starts, he is 16). Then it's my young son and myself. So, now when i'm planning my full-timing future i can do it with a sense of "sanity" instead of "insanity". Thanks again to you all. much love and light, Sandra
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