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Old 06-29-2009, 12:46 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Transitioning from home to road - need advice

I think this is my first official post on here...here it goes...I have been wanting to move my life from my home in Dallas to a life on the road in an Airstream. I have to be honest, family and friends tell me this is an insane idea. But something keeps telling me to take the plunge. Okay, so why am I posting? There is a lot of great information on here about full-time living, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all of it.

I was hoping to hear from people who have recently done this. Specifically singles who live AND work from the road. I want to eliminate as much of the surprises as possible.

I am a 35 yo advertising creative. I plan on being on the road for about 6 to 8 months -- maybe longer if the experience is too incredible to leave.

I'm looking really for your advice .Things that maybe you didn't think about that once you got on the road you wished you had better planned for.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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Transitioning To The Road

We are on the road 6 months out of the year and there are several things we do to make it easier every time.

1. If you can, outfit your trailer separate from the "house." This means that you buy what you need just for the trailer (kitchen items, bathroom necessities, bedding, etc). This eliminates the need to load/unload every time you use it. To some extent you will have to load every time, like food, medicines, seasonal clothes, mail, electronics like computer, phone, chargers and any other work required items you need.

2. You have to consider how you will keep up with the mail. Forwarding mail works for us. We have PO box for our house location and have mail forwarded to us (usps will only forward for 6 months at a time). If you will be moving consistently on the road, there are other mail services that once you notify them of where you are, they will forward your mail.

3. Consider how you will cover your medical needs, such as does your insurance cover you when you travel outside your coverage area? It is better to take care of your coverage now, then when you are in an emergency situation. We handle all of our prescriptions out of Sams or Walmart - they will transfer anywhere there is a sams or walmart (which are everywhere right!)

4. If you are leaving a house behind, consider the security and who will watch out for your house while you are gone.

5. Technology - if you need a computer consistently, you might want to do your homework on this one - wifi in campgrounds is not as robust as what you might need or are used to with your job. There are many ways to tackle this beast, do a search of the threads here, there are many here who have done this with success.

Living on the road can have its challenges, but it is the most fun you will ever have. Every place is new, and seeing new places and meeting new people, is the greatest experience. An airstream would be the greatest experience! You have to figure how much space you will require for storage and going small is not really an option for sanity on this one. So the larger the trailer the larger the tow vehicle.. Search the threads on this one too. You will find all the info you need, or will ever want to know here.

Hope this helps. I just got back from a business trip in the AS myself, and it was a lot of fun.

Nancy
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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All of the above post, plus, quite simply, if you are financially able to do this and want to---by all means go!! Prepare yourself and then just get out there! You will find lots of info on these forums from members who are full-timing or very close to that. Good luck to you.
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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The dream of full time travel in an Airstream trailer is realistic for some individuals that have the internal fortitude to be separated from their family, old time friends and local landmarks.
For many years I traveled almost every weekend in a VW Westfalia camper. Although the Westfalia size is much less than almost any Airstream I managed to have most of my necessities on every trip. The trips were mostly 400 miles or less turn around miles.
The activity was good training for potential full time travel in a travel trailer.
With every new adventure come exciting stories, some with negative results and some with positive pleasant yarns to tell. So with my nice safe short trips history I’d still be adjusting to traveling in an Airstream with an open mind to approaching the adversities of full time residency in a restricted area.
I never had a dream to be a full time traveler. I guess I’m just a homebody and like familiar territory and predictable routes.
Here is where I’m currently at in relationship to becoming an extended time Airstreamer (for a short thirty day term, or a season each year)
Five years ago I bought a half acre lot in a small town 40 miles from the city I live in. The lot has a four car garage on it, nothing else just the garage. Over the five year term I’ve owned the property I’ve stored cars, trucks, deck boats and my Airstream there. I’ve also added some features to the four car garage consisting of an 8 foot by 8 foot full bath, a 10 foot by 20 foot kitchen, office, work room combination and an 8 foot by 8 foot walk-in closet for wardrobe and storage.
With the idea in mind that I needed a base of operations to return to at least once a month, I’ve prepared the four car garage with the accommodations equal to a small hotel room. In addition to the storage, office, bath, there is a stack washer/dryer, electric range, kitchen counter with connections to add a dishwasher. IE I can toss out the junk stored in the remaining three parking spaces and convert the building into an apartment with a nice sized sitting room and big bedroom. This building and its potential functions represent a security blanket for me.
It seems that the world revolves around the “Stuff we own” and I see that I can spend a great deal of time on the road or traveling and still keep lots of my stuff until I can wean myself from it.
If this scenario is beginning to look strange to you, I need to outline my thoughts quickly.
First off, I don’t really know what I want. I’m hoping that the Airstream adventure is something that I want and not just a retired guy charging windmills.
Second, I fully expect for the Airstream adventure to be only another slice of my life and not a long term commitment.
Although I’ve got a 31 Foot Sovereign I think one person traveling could easily survive on the road with a smaller unit as long as they have a base of operations where they can take a low cost or no cost break from time to time. I recall many times that I set up a tent alongside my Westfalia in great weather and roughed it a little as long as the area was good for tent camping.
If you start working with “what if” scenarios you’ll drive yourself crazy. I think that an early start on planning would be to start acquiring the minimum size Airstream (or other) that can be moved with the most efficient and reasonably cost tow vehicles that can be a dual use vehicle of standard configuration that can easily be upgraded as you feel the need.
Since you’re operating on a limited budget, you might consider this as an alternate beginning.
Unless you have strong objections towards trailer parks, I’d suggest that you actually start living in the Airstream as soon as you get it by parking it in a trailer park. If you choose not to live in it while in the trailer park you can make weekend visits to the “stored” travel trailer and start making short local trips out from the park to learn to fundamentals and pitfalls of towing.
There are also other opportunities to help get you started. There are many seasonal recreation vehicle parks at lakes, rivers, scenic areas that have full season parking prices that are reasonable. Even if there are a hundred miles from your full time residence they’re practical if you leave the trailer parked and don’t suffer the cost of towing it.
I’m still working on my Sovereign getting it ready for extended trips but I’ve taken into consideration that I can have lots of adventures with the Airstream if it’s anchored at a nice lake overlook or beautiful scenic area that I can drive to on the weekends I want to. When the geography gets boring I can just move it to a new location.
I’ve never envisioned moving the Airstream every weekend to a new location. With that thought in mind you’d be paying the highest prices for RV parking at State / National / Private parks. The out of the way, down the road parks that offer long term rates are always the best prices. If you don’t want to live like a tourist the lower cost residence parks are less expensive.
I have planned my adventures with a back door that I can walk out of with a moment’s notice. I just return to base and sell the truck and trailer.
I'm also in Dallas ......... you should contact me and see what I've done as far as a base station, trailer storage etc.
Stan Wilder
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Wow. So much great advice. I appreciate you all taking the time to respond. It tells me how passionate people are to doing this.

I will be working with my office in Dallas remotely from the trailer, so having all the right amount of technology on board is a must. I've heard some people do find with a laptop and wireless card. Not sure if that is going to be enough for me.

Right now, the plan is to rent out my house while I am gone. Ideally, it would be perfect to find a close friend or relative to live in my place with my stuff still in it. Otherwise, I may half to move out, then move back in when I return (sacrifices are to be expected).

Living in the trailer at a local RV park BEFORE I head out on the road sounds like an excellent idea. One of my fears is that I will embark on this and find out it is not for me within a week or so. So getting a taste of it before I go, sounds smart.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adwriter73 View Post
Wow. So much great advice. I appreciate you all taking the time to respond. It tells me how passionate people are to doing this.

I will be working with my office in Dallas remotely from the trailer, so having all the right amount of technology on board is a must. I've heard some people do find with a laptop and wireless card. Not sure if that is going to be enough for me.

Right now, the plan is to rent out my house while I am gone. Ideally, it would be perfect to find a close friend or relative to live in my place with my stuff still in it. Otherwise, I may half to move out, then move back in when I return (sacrifices are to be expected).

Living in the trailer at a local RV park BEFORE I head out on the road sounds like an excellent idea. One of my fears is that I will embark on this and find out it is not for me within a week or so. So getting a taste of it before I go, sounds smart.
Don't rent to family. It's easier to sue strangers for ruined stuff and 2 inches of dog crap on the floor! It's better to have tenants professionally vetted by a rental management company also.

Oh, RENT an RV for two weeks before you buy. It's expensive - or not so much if you wait for the off season - but if you might hate it after a week or two, don't commit to more at the start. Paying $1200 to rent an RV is better than getting stuck with the RV that turns into yard art.

BTW, I jumped 4 years ago. Will be back in brick and mortar when (A) hell freezes over or (B) I get too old and too stiff to climb up the steps.

Paula
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:05 PM   #7
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Due to my work I live part of the year in my Airstream. Just under 120 days this year. I've not encountered any serious issues doing so, and in fact find it to be a quite inviting way to live even though I am required to do so only in the winter months.

The largest problem I had has already been mentioned. WiFi in RV parks generally does not seem to be very reliable, or not offered at all, and I need a solid internet connection.

I solved that with a wireless card from Verizon. It works well, always. That took care of my largest issue.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:18 PM   #8
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We are right up north west of you in Oklahoma and have been fulltiming for about a year and are leaving to hit the road with both feet in the fall...will have my laptop and learned about a really neat wifi unit on RV.net-The long long honey moon where they show you what they did. and can get wifi just about anywhere, you will see...I think our fear is -where are we going, and what will we be doing? Well I do ALOT of airbrush painting nd sign restoration, so we figure we could be driving down the road and would see a sign that needs to be painted and stop and say something...this is no garauntee something will happen...in a way it feels like finding a light switch on the other side of a dark room, and we are hoping this is all going to be fun and not a stress filled adventure...and for starters, I told Angel that if we are going down the road at our pace, people are just going to have to pass us, I am not going to 75 miles an hour with a trailer.
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