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Old 09-05-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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Exclamation Just started looking into getting an Airstream, help!!

I have been interested in purchasing an Airstream for a few years now. I am quite the nomad and I travel for my business. I figured that I would get an Airstream and make it my home so that I would never have to worry about my house or pets when I am on the road for work.
I would like to know what would be the best size for a single person with pets. I would probably end up gutting most of the Airstream to put a small studio space inside.
I am very excited but I would like to do as much research on the trailers before going ahead and purchasing it!
I anyone would like to help me out I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you-

Angela
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:34 PM   #2
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Angela,
Like you, we are new to mobile living. We just got our dream AS this spring. We researched and read and visited dealers and looked at a number of private sales, too. That's good to do. In our case it helped us center our thinking of what we really wanted. Based on your description of the future, we'd suggest to seriously consider the "upper" end of the line, i. e., Classic in the newer models or Excella in the older ones.

While every AS we've been in is nice, the extra features you get with the upper end models really appealed to us. The cabinetry was more to our taste, the detailing of the interior pleased us, and the mechanical bits and pieces are great.

I've heard there is a "2-foot syndrome" which sets in once in a while when you buy one just a little too short. You wish you had just two feet more, or the dinette, or some other feature of a slightly longer unit. Linda and I have been about 18,000 miles, 20 states, 1 province, and coast-to-coast since May this year and WE LOVE OUR AS.

Hope this musing helps. You will get a LOT of support from the great folks on this forum, it's been our experience.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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A,

I haven't put the miles down that Greg has, so take this with a grain of salt. I found a cherry 67 Safari (22ft) and have the same intentions for it.

For a perm home, I would tell you it's too small.

For living on road 6mo. a year or less, I believe it's perfect.

I'd be interested to hear about your designs and overhaul efforts. I'm a major novice and am afraid of tearing into mine for fearing of messing things up. But it's gotta happen!

Best,

Ty
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Angela, I'd second what the other have said, and add this. Put down on paper your "mission profile" for your rig. What will you do, where will you go, where will you stay (and for how long), what "stuff" you absolutely must have with you (think not only about your work stuff, but other personal stuff that you want with you), are all things that must be considered. Think about a week in which it rains most of the time. Can you do all that you need to do in that space without getting cabin fever? Then think about a tow vehicle. You are most likely going to be looking at a truck-based vehicle, and that can carry some of the stuff that you will need.

As for size, only you know how much space your "studio" needs. I'd really advise you to give serious consideration to this. Don't try to short either the work area or the living area. Will you have clients/customers coming to your Airstream? If so, you will want to have that area by the door, so they won't have to walk through the entire trailer. Think, too, about the image of someone in a trailer. "Here today, gone tomorrow" will come to mind.

On the other hand, if you don't have customers/clients coming to you, but are conducting your business via the Internet or mail, that is less of a concern. Even then, don't short yourself in either area. You are probably better off getting a trailer slightly bigger than what you think you will need at first. If, after a few years, you decide that you can get by with a smaller rig, you can trade with someone who went too small at first.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:03 PM   #5
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I'm in the research phases too, Angela!

I'm pretty sure that no matter what size trailer one gets, it's almost always going to be two feet too short, at least until you get into the over 24' category.. What I discovered about myself in the last four years of traveling is that if I have space, I fill it. If I don't have it, I don't, or at least I trade out new for old, so I'm feeling pretty good that I'll be able to deal with the 19' I'm currently planning on. It does, however, mean no more sewing studio in the US (although I have a studio in the UK). I'm bringing my sewing machine and serger and cutting tools with me, though, for those times I have to use them to make samples. They'll live in the back of my TV.

But I also need lots of power for technology, so I'm looking into solar and batteries as well as the standard stuff. (I'm hoping the lithium ion batteries will be more possible by the time I get there, but I'll deal until then.) And a friend who fulltimes has been raving about her inline water heater. So I still need to find out if there's room for that kind of thing on a 19' Bambi.

There are a lot of blogs out there on people fulltiming with pets. I have seen fulltimers with a cat and two dogs in a 20' fifth wheel. I think it just depends on each person how much space they need to not go insane. (Me and two dogs and a cat in a 20' trailer? Ain't gonna happen. My friends, though, seem to do just fine.)

In my case, I'm also a bit of a spoiled brat. If I'm living in a 19' trailer, I want it to have a certain level of style and flair to make up for the lack of space -- I'm a design snob, which is unsurprising, because I'm a designer by trade. Right now I'm trying to decide if a fiberglass trailer (like an Oliver or a Casita) will do for me, or if I'll plain be unhappy surrounded by fiberglass. My wallet would certainly prefer the fiberglass. The rest of me keeps coming back to the Airstreams.

So that's the long way of saying, while I'm inexperienced at fulltiming, I'm not inexperienced at travel, and I'm not sure there is a "best size" for a fulltiming person with pets. I think there's only a best size for each person, and it'll be different for everyone depending on what they need and want.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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WOW! Thank you to everyone that posted! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I sold my laptop and I'm looking to get a new one....hopefully the IPAD so that I can travel with it and keep in touch with family, friends, clients AND my new airstream friends!
It is very hard to try and figure out which trailer is "perfect". I have my own business and would like to travel and take everything with me. I am tired of loading up only what I "need" and look for pet sitters, also pay for hotel stay everywhere I go. This will get rid of some headaches and allow me to pack up and go when I need to.
I found a 1959 Airstream 22' trailer in the last few months and looking into getting it here soon. Its bad timing since winter has just arrived but furnace works and electricity is in working order. If anyone could help me out by giving advice on living in Airstreams thru the winter I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for all the advice and hope to keep in touch!
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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There's lots of advice in the full timing section on winter living.

Sounds like so much fun and excitement! I'm going through something very similar, so I'm looking forward to having company! Come visit me on my blog and let me know if you've one as well.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #8
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I have just purchased a 1973 31ft soverign thought I got a great deal but found I have a sagging rearend on mine the entire bathroom will have to be redone I will be living in it 4 days a week at lake place as I am taking care of my parents and want my own place to get away any help on best way to fix the rearend would be helpful the coach is in excellent shape new ac outside skin almost perfect I purchased it for 2,500.00 and still hope with this issue I got a decent deal any help would be great
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:02 PM   #9
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Hi, with weather conditions changing by the hour, I would not leave a pet in a trailer alone for very long. Do you plan on living and working in your trailer and never leaving your pet alone? Can you depend on your furnace and/or air conditioner to work while you are away from your pet? I wouldn't. Temperature changes in a house are usually very slow, in a motor vehicle, very fast, and in a trailer, somewhere in between, but closer to a car.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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We fulltime with 3 dogs in our MH. You'll need to think about your pet's needs while away from the AS. In summer time you will need to leave the a/c on. An AS TT gets hot just like a car when left in the sun. Will you be staying at campgrounds while on the road? That will get expensive. We were lucky enough to have a built in generator in out MH. No worries about someone taking it while we were away. Awnings help to cool a TT but are frowned upon if spending the day/night at a truck stop or rest area.
Take advantage of courtesy parking whenever possible. Don't think you're being an inconveneince by asking to stay. We wouldn't offer it if we didn't want you to come.
Extended stays anywhere power is not available will require a generator to keep your battery charged. Look for devices that can be used on 12 volt dc (car currency) instead of 110 valt ac (house current).Ex: kitchen appliances, televisions, phone & computer chargers.
Be sure to have your pet registered & shots all up to date before leaving.
I wish you well in the next chapter (adventure) of your life. Enjoy it! Feel free to ask any questions you may have here on the Forums or in a PM.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

"I found a 1959 Airstream 22' trailer in the last few months and looking into getting it here soon."

Translation....you have purchased said trailer and researched what it will entail to make it roadworthy.

Bob
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:13 AM   #12
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"The correct vehicle (for the owner and intended use) for the longest period of time." This quote come from another thread, but is certainly applicable to all of us who are researching. I've read too many stories about people who buy three or four RVs or tow vehicles in a short period of time before finally getting a good combination. There is no one RV that is right for everyone.

The posts above about not leaving a pet alone for any length of time applies to us. We travel with a cat, and she will be left alone in the RV while we're out doing other stuff. We'll have to give some thought to that area as we research. I wonder if there is a device that could call a cell phone automatically if the temperature goes above or below certain limits? That would sure make for more peace of mind.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:27 PM   #13
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Studio Space?

Hmmmm. There's a rather rare model but you see it come up in the classifieds periodically. It's a toy hauler, the Panamerica. The "toy space" is all done in diamond plate and is meant for a couple of motorcycles, etc. I thought in passing that it would make a great sewing room. Basically 25 feet of living space plus a separate studio that has a hatch door. (And a good place for dogs.

It is however 34 feet long - tri-axle. A big sucka!

Paula
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