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Old 05-03-2011, 08:14 AM   #29
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Very nice trailer - Congrats!
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:25 AM   #30
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What is the main difference between the Signature series and the Serenity series?
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:23 AM   #31
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The difference between the Signature and the Serenity is black and white... literally. It's all about the color of the cabinetry.

Photo credit goes to Colonial Airstream which does a fantastic job of photographing the trailers.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #32
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Hi Brandon & Jenna,

My wife and I started out by purchasing a used 22' airstream with no prior camping / airstream knowledge. At the time, it was a diversion from out hectic day to day lives. After a few camping trips however, living in an Airstream fulltime quickly blossomed into a lifestyle aspiration.

Since we're not retiring anytime soon, and my work requires my physical (not virtual) presence, we aren't location independent yet, although that is our longterm goal. So our dilemma was similar to yours - find a way to live fulltime in an Airstream, reduce our footprint (carbon and otherwise), and streamline our lives while staying local. We looked at real estate options - buying our own plot of land and adding sewer/electric - but having been burned by the housing crash once already, we're not eager to jump into that boat again.

Our solution? We sold our 22' and upgraded to a new, larger 27FB International (plenty of room for 2 people, btw), and fulltime in local RV Parks. Buying new was an excellent experience, mainly because we had the experience under our belt and knew what we wanted and what to ask for. Yes, it was expensive, but so is buying a house or a car. From our experience, the value of our first AS held, allowing us to recoup our costs and put that money toward the new one. Obviously everyone's mileage will vary here.

Living in RV parks has its ups and downs, especially in our area - but for us, it made more sense than trying to buy a plot of land. Around my work, there are few nice parks and a lot of mediocre to bad ones. Luckily, the parks we've stayed in so far have been really pleasant, safe, and offer all the hookups and amenities we need within a 30min commute to my offices.

Long story short - we took a few small-to-medium steps before jumping in at full speed, and it served us well. As much up front / real world camping and living in an RV practice you can get the better. Our lifestyle isn't for everyone - but for us, it's the best decision we've ever made.

We'd be happy to talk to you about the details of our buying experience (off the forum threads -- money talks are better that way) if you're interested. Just feel free to email. We also tried to document our experience over the last few years in our website if you want to read about that as well (its listed in the signature)!
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:55 AM   #33
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Brandon,
One of your specific queries was solar and off-grid.

We have two 125 watt solar panels on our roof connected through a 25 amp charge controller to two six-volt 220 amp hour batteries. Summer and winter we make enough power when we are parked under no obstructions and have clear skies. And we have no power to spare. Don't leave lights on, use the LED lights instead of higher wattage halogen, use catalytic heater instead of the forced air propane furnace (the furnace also uses more propane than the catalytic).

We use only a 150 watt inverter (portable) for the few 110 volt necessities like curling iron and charging battery-powered phone, laptop, camera, ham radios. So no microwave or rooftop air when boondocking, but everything else works and during midday for three seasons we can use extravagantly. During winter we conserve so we'll have enough battery for overnight furnace to keep interior temp at least 45 degrees Farenheit and send a little warm air to the holding tanks.

We installed our solar panels and charge controller ourselves and have had no problems for over three years. It is a minimalist system for providing only what we need, and has served just fine for a couple of weeks of boondocking at a time in temperatures down to 18 degrees Zf but more often in much more temperate climes. We have friends with much more battery storage and envy them the power but not the significant added weight. We would change our axles before we could add four hundred more pounds of batteries in our trailer, and our truck bed simply doesn't have room for the batteries at this time.

So we merrily make do with this arrangement with no intentions of changing for now.

Jim
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:06 PM   #34
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Well I know it's been a while but I am here now to say we're happily committed to full time living in a brand new Airstream. Our 27FB is under construction right now. Regardless of whether we eventually purchase a stick house or not, one thing will remain true....our Airstream will remain in the family and hopefully for many generations.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:11 PM   #35
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Congratulations! You must be really excited. Did you end up choosing "Signature" or "Serenity"?
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:59 PM   #36
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Congrats!
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:01 PM   #37
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We went with the signature in cilantro.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:37 AM   #38
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Be sure to post lots of photos for us when you get it. We love this stuff!
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:05 AM   #39
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With pleasure!
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:52 AM   #40
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Well we got it and it's everything we hoped for and then some. Expect to see lots of photos soon!
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:59 AM   #41
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Hi BrandonJenna, I'm new to the site and found this thread really interesting but this was from 2011 and I'm so curious how the story has progressed since then... Are there any updates you'd like to share on how things worked out for you?
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizfolsom View Post
Hi BrandonJenna, I'm new to the site and found this thread really interesting but this was from 2011 and I'm so curious how the story has progressed since then... Are there any updates you'd like to share on how things worked out for you?
LF,
Welcome to AirForums! The forums were one of our first and primary sources for answers and ideas when we were scheming for future full-timing adventure. Six years later, we're loving living it.

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