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Old 06-18-2009, 09:51 AM   #29
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3) I'm used to living in small spaces, but the trailers under 30 ft seem cramped, and I am tempted to get a big one, even though I have never towed anything! Some of the smaller ones might be OK, if I take out those twin beds that are common in the middle, and replace them with dressers and/or desk, but will that be really hard? A sin? Ruin resale?

Question: I have the same question. I am a writer who is downsizing so I don't need a hectic day job and concentrate on journalism and creative nonfiction I'm writing. I need to add a table and office space and am thinking of the middle section, where the AS Tradewind has two bunks is the best place. Has anyone done this, and have photos and suggestions perhaps?

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:21 AM   #30
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Seems to me, cboisseau, if you want to use a trailer as an office and you remove the beds, you will have to sleep where the dinette is by converting to a bed every night. That's a pain. The table is anotgher desk plus a place to eat. A journalist always has lots of papers and needs lots of horizontal spaces. I suppose you can fit a desk into one (former) bed space, or remove one twin and keep the other. You also need a place for a printer, files, etc. If you add a lot of weight to one side—offices mean paper and paper is heavy plus computer, office furniture—be sure to balance the weight. Maybe files need to go under the bed, though the wheels may be there. Keep the heaviest things down low.

Resale: anytime you change something from a design that is commonly wanted to something less common, you hurt resale. But if you want to use for something most efficient to your needs, that seems more important if you plan to keep it for some period of time more than a few years. Save the old stuff and make the changes in a way they can be easily removed and the trailer restored to its original floor plan.

Sin: a moral question. People change their Airstreams constantly to make them their own. Do they make them better or worse? Mostly better, but we saw a few year old trailer that was trashed out last year—different standards. The exterior is more the icon and is more public. The company changes them too, not always in good ways. Try to follow the basic design in your modifications, though an aluminum desk is probably a bad idea (stainless steel might look good).

Gene
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #31
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Hey, it's Jane, I started this thread.... my idea is, that a lot of trailers have 2 twin beds on either side of the aisle, take one out, and replace it with 1) a desk or 2) dresser space.

I also have another idea; most Airstreams have the sleep sofas in the back living room area; take that out, and replace it with a dinette/desk. That's what I'm thinking, and have drawers under the seats to store my laptops. And, you can make the table with a piano hinge in the middle, and a sort of "prop" leg, so you can tilt one side down, for easy laptop typing. (Hard to explain, but to make the table tilt like a laptop stand).

As far as ruining the resale value, times have changed.... how many out there are actually using their Airstreams to take 6-8 people camping? Seems like there are a lot of independant single people, or childfree couples, wanting an alternative way to live, and the traditional "camping" trailer just won't quite work.



Jane

P.S. Still building the online biz, and saving $$$$. But there is a very nice '67 29 ft Ambassador available locally.... wish I had the $8,000, plus the $$$ to customize! Soon, very soon....
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:20 AM   #32
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I saw a picture of an Airstream on a travel blog a while back that had two swiveling recliners in the front, Very plush and comfy looking ones. There was a desk that wrapped around the whole front of the thing with a large flat monitor in each front corner. They worked from the road full time and made the front area their office. They could swivel around and face back towards the galley and the side gaucho when they were relaxing or if they had visitors, and I believe they had a table that folded out from the streetside for dining on, and an extra chair or two.
This struck me as a simple change if you don't have any water tanks or other services under your front gaucho to worry about, and if you can give up the storage below it. It also looked really cool as a work space with the front window right there.
Rich
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:26 AM   #33
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Jane,

This may show up twice as I may have hit the wrong button.

We have a 2006 25' Safari SE that we pull with a 2002 Toyota Tundra.

If I was looking for a new tow vechile I would buy a new Tundra as they will pull 10,000 pounds. With our Tundra we get about 10 to 11 miles to the gallon pulling the trailer.

If you are looking for dealer to buy an airstream from I would suggest George M. Sutton in Eugene Oregon. Great people to work with and had a large selection. When we had to purchase an other trailer after the first one was total in an accident we went back to George M. Sutton and had the same great service. There service department is also great. What few problems we have had they have been able to take care of with out a problem.

Once you make the leap have fun and many safe trips.

Jay
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Old 06-21-2009, 12:13 PM   #34
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traveling expenses as a tax deduction

Jane,
I recently retired from IRS after 38 years and I too am looking into a new airstream. But a little advice, for federal tax purposes you have to have a home in order to claim " away from expenses" like gas, meals and so on. If you have no permanent home you may be out of luck. You can still have a business but the travel part will be limited.
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:30 PM   #35
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Unhappy

CPAHarley, what if I have an address, like a forwarding service address, and a home state, for like registering the vehicles? Not wanting to gip the devil out of his due, I just set the IRS $3,000 for my online biz taxes, but just wanting to take the gas off for some point A to point B travel. I am thinking of making the rounds of New Age Expos, and doing bookstore events for my titles.

JayRachell, hadn't thought of a Tundra, looking online, the towing capacity didn't seem all that, but now that you mention it, maybe I will expand my imaginings. Mostly been thinking in terms of a Ford F150 or F250. I'll also bookmark the dealer in Oregon, it's not too far from my current homebase in N.Cal. but I think I need an oldy but goody..... new prices blow my mind, and I would still feel I would need to rip things out to make it workable for me. There is a 29' '67 Ambassador for sale locally, very good skin, no known leaks, new wood floor, and the interior is already ripped out, and ready to rearrange! They want $8,000 for it, and it needs a lot of work, so I am hoping it doesn't sell until I get more $$$ saved. I only have $2,300 so far and no truck! Well, it's back to work online, building site maps, creating links, more titles, etc, etc.

Hey, anyone want to see my You Tube videos? They are stand alone good, but also double as mini commericals for my biz!

http://youtube.com/janemaatismith
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #36
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1st and 2nd generation Tundras are very different. 2nd generation (2007-present) are as big as any 1/2 ton pickup, maybe bigger in some ways. An older trailer will be lighter and depending on which one, 1st generation Tundras may be a good choice. They are very, very reliable.

Gene
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:09 AM   #37
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"CPAHarley, what if I have an address, like a forwarding service address, and a home state, for like registering the vehicles? Not wanting to gip the devil out of his due, I just set the IRS $3,000 for my online biz taxes, but just wanting to take the gas off for some point A to point B travel. I am thinking of making the rounds of New Age Expos, and doing bookstore events for my titles."

That may be ok for state tax purposes, but for federal you would need to show you are incurring duplicate living expenses "while traveling away from home on a temporary trip" as well as show the trip was temporary. This would be applicable to meals and campground fees, trailer depreciation, repairs, clothes washing etc. The interest on the trailer would qualify was home mortgage deduction.
As far as gas, I see no reason why you can not claim gas expense to go from pt A to pt B as long as you can show you earned income from being at pt B, thus the IRC162 allows " expenses incurred to produce income "
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #38
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I wasn't planning on deductions for campgrounds, depreciation, food, etc. I haven't been claiming anything for my at home business so far; how much of a percentage of my living space does a laptop constitute? They can make it so down to the micro percentage, and my income isn't that high, that it's worth too much haggling or risk. But I was thinking of making the rounds to New Age Expos and bookstores, both for business, and to give me places to go, things to do, and people to meet. Hopefully, that will produce income! Thanks for the info, I'm printing out threads from the forum to create my own "escape plan book". Now to go forth, and produce that income!

Jane
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:14 PM   #39
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For some people a home office as a tax deduction makes sense, but not for all. The room must be entirely used for an office. I believe there are problems with doorways to the rest of the house. I can't imagine how using part of a trailer for an office could work for tax purposes. There are a lot of rules that only tax attorneys and CPA's understand about these kind of deductions. Because there was a lot of cheating, the rules were made onerous some years ago. If you use a room in your house for a home office, when you sell the house you lose a proportional part of the tax exemption and have rather confusing calculations to deal with.

Gene
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:16 PM   #40
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Jane,
There's an Argosy for sale in Morgan Hill that sounds pretty reasonable and has a good layout. It needs updating, but there are some good points about it. Don't know if you are into the Argosy thing, but thought it might be of interest.
76 Airstream (Argosy) - 28' Morgan Hill

Rich

P. S. I saw another ad for a guy in the Brentwood area with multiple units for sale. Not all Airstream.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/rvs/1237645846.html

Good luck!
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:36 PM   #41
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Oooh, the Argosy looks nice! Dig that groovy lime green kitchen! And, I would want to buff out the paint to shiney aluminum. But, I don't feel quite there yet with the $$$. I mean, I could swing the purchase price on the Argosy, but still need a truck. Also, I rent, and don't want to park a trailer in the side yard for more than a few months.... my landlords are pretty cool, but they are on the alert for possible "extra tenants" (no, no one is living in the trailer!) and, they might be inspired to charge me extra, which would be OK, but not for a prolonged period. I kinda want maybe $15,000 - $20,000 cash in hand to plunk down at once, on a trailer, and a truck to tow it with. That might be a lot to ask for, but I am hoping to get a full "double income" going pretty soon, then it should go pretty quickly.

Thanks, y'all!

Jane
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:42 PM   #42
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Wise move, getting your finances in place before committing them to something that will undoubtedly be another "cost centre" for the first while, Jane.

That polish ain't free!
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