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Old 04-25-2016, 10:44 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Posts: 6,087
Financial Justification for an Airstream

(If your first response was bull****, you hit the nail on the head.)

Anyone with a basic grasp of financial reality can absolutely prove that there is no way to financially justify owning an Airstream. Even if you full-time in one (as I do) it's still a depreciating asset - and no matter how much money you pour into maintaining it, you'll only reduce the depreciation fractionally, and you'll never see any increase in value.

A Boat is a hole in the water, surrounded by wood or fiberglass...
...into which you pour money!

An RV is a hole in the atmosphere...
and this one ends exactly the same way!

So how CAN we really justify WASTING our money on these expensive toys?

The justification is to be part of a genuine FAMILY and sometimes a genuine TRIBE. How many "families" do you know which are no more than a group of people who occupy the same dwelling and yet seem to have nothing in common? And school - which for me was a refuge from a screwed up family? Now students at schools think they are practicing "freedom of speech" by bullying other students sometimes even to death?

The RV community as a whole has a lot of genuinely nice people - and quite a few wannabe's who hopefully can be welcomed and be convinced to drink the cool-aid....

Being an Airstreamer to me simply means taking TIME and FOCUSING on things like companionship, the joy of being helpful now and then, the tall tales told around campfires, the touching sight of a three year old kids "helping" daddy put down the stabilizers and helping mommy put up the screen room... and their parents patiently concealed laughter. It also means claiming victory after changing my own tire, and cramming that wretched 16 inch spare into the 15 inch carrier, and even if I do smell like a goat and look like a fright - Politely thanking a neighbor for offering his torque wrench, and then pulling out my Snap-On tool... so he can put away his Harbor Freight model.

And after I get over that moment of snobbery - telling the truth. I have an Airstream and a few top of the line tools, and YOU have three grandchildren having the time of their lives. Envy? I envy you (NOW!) 15 years ago when you were raising bratty teenagers... whew You paid your dues, and I dodged the bullets.

For me, being an Airstreamer means enjoying the finer things, but really relishing the finer people who participate in the family or tribe or cult. It also means never looking down on anyone with a SOB - if they've got the heart, the Airstream will find them in the fullness of time.

I'm Retiring next month and I can't stop being Pollyanna. Feel like I've been sipping on some really good white wine.

I'm going to stop procrastinating ... tomorrow or the day after.

Carpe Diem! Or seize the Carp for all I care.

This morning I had coffee sitting on the step of Eddie Haskill and I watched the wind blow the last of the blossoms off of the wisteria vines that grow wild here in Virginia. It's a good day to be alive.


Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:51 AM   #2
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2006 22' Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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Good for you, Paula.

Carpe diem, indeed.


🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:05 AM   #3
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2007 27' International CCD FB
Nomadic , USA
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Posts: 2,748
Not to brag but my Airstream purchase cost 11% of my yearly income and was from savings. Cost of ownership is even less. So I think I can justify it since I'm not someone who makes 40K and buys a 38K car.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:29 AM   #4
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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Posts: 7,716
Our justification is we travel in it six months a year, have been all over this country and are eyeballing a couple of others nearby. It tows beautifully with our half-ton truck, looks great and never will go out of style, zero problems beyond normal wear. We like it a lot, just got back from Jackson Center for a checkup, replace a water tank I broke, and a few equipment upgrades. Normal maintenance that any home needs.

My only complaints are it is a little too small when camping in rainy weather, and a little too big when maneuvering into some fuel stations, campsites, and parking places. But we have learned to manage both quite well.

As good money as we have spent for retirement. We have looked at condos, park models, small dwellings for a seasonal home. The problem is they are all stuck in one spot on the planet, our Airstream is not.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:32 AM   #5
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1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
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We have two and don't need to justify either at this time nor when I find the third one.

Friends and family all have their own hobby's or vices.

Interestingly enough some people mistakenly associate them with some level of wealth.

We work hard, enjoy life, save, donate, live within our means, treat the kids and grandkids occasionally.

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Old 04-25-2016, 11:34 AM   #6
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2012 22' FB Sport
2003 19' Bambi
Port Townsend , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Airstreams make people smile.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:55 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 248
My grandmother, who it turns out was very wise, used to say "money is only good for what it will buy."

When I was little I used to think "duh grandma." Clearly I didn't understand. As I grew older I understood just how simple yet wise these words were.

You can't build a financial business case for time spent with your family enjoying nature and our great country. But the "investment" pays priceless dividends in my humble (yet first hand experienced) opinion.

Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Olympic, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Badlands, Rushmore - and others and more to come - I doubt we would have experienced all these without our AS and if we had it would have been from a hotel as a passer by.

Have fun and travel often and SAFE.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:55 PM   #8
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1972 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
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Buying old and used and renovating to a modern nice standard 'does' increase value.
If you do the labor yourself, IMO you can get what money you put in out again upon resale. (not including your labor costs)
Buying new yes declining value until its old and needs work, but it sure is nice!

I have yet to proof this so my opinion could be a hole in the buttsphere.
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:04 PM   #9
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1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Strasburg , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 477
Well, memories are priceless. And if the real issue is money...

I bought my 1964 Bambi II for $1000...and after five years of pleasurable work, I can confidently bet it is worth 10-15 times what I paid for it.

Small, vintage Airstreams will likely not depreciate.

On the flip side, Dad did lose $$ when he sold his 1985 32' Airstream.
"The difference between vintage and retro is that vintage is honestly old and cool. Retro tries to be but isn't."
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Old 04-25-2016, 01:12 PM   #10
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 92
An Airstream costs three times what other TT cost which are bigger. In choosing to buy an Airstream, we felt that we didn't want/could not afford to be trading. We wanted to buy one and keep it for 20 years. Airstreams seemed like a good choice for that. Haven't bought one yet but are heavily favoring taking the plunge.
2014 Airstream Flying Cloud 30' Recliner: Base weight 6422, GVWR 8800
2013 Cadillac Escalade Tow Vehicle: 6.2L, 403hp, 417 ft-lb., 4x2, 3.42 axle ratio, Max Payload 1573, Max Towing 8300.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:49 PM   #11
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2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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I don't have to or want to "justify" anything to anyone. I can afford a new Airstream, period. We have enjoyed our dear Lucy immensely. Everyone we meet out there on the road is a fellow RVer. We never look down our nose at someone in an SOB, nor do we look up our nose at a brand new Prevost. We are all campers trying to get the most out of life the way that we see it.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:40 PM   #12
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Moose - exactly.

And you CAN have a blast in an "aluminum tent" just as well as in a million dollar Prevost or a brand new 30 foot special edition.

As Protagonist notes, your RV can be a great "bug out" way to run from a Hurricane or other nastiness. And if your financial world collapses, you can keep a small home even if you can't afford brick and mortar.

But most of all it's about using your money wisely - to make your life more satisfying, meaningful and just plain fun.

One evening in the middle of a very serious conversation about religion, one normally matter-of-fact and generally dull person in the group suddenly quipped, "What if the Hokey-Pokey IS what it's all about?"

Dead silence, followed by hilarity. Making the journey memorable is what owning an RV should be.
You put your left foot in,
you put your left foot out,
you put your left foot in and you shake it all about....
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:20 PM   #13
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1999 30' Excella 1000
small town , Maryland
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Everyone we meet out there on the road is a fellow RVer. We never look down our nose at someone in an SOB, nor do we look up our nose at a brand new Prevost. We are all campers trying to get the most out of life the way that we see it.

Well said moosetags.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #14
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Currently Looking...
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Our former home turned out to be a depreciating asset, too. We certainly didn't get anywhere near what we had in it, but it provided shelter for us for many years, and our kids learned many things that they may not have learned elsewhere. I've listed our Foretravel for more than we paid for it, but less than what we have in it. We looked at an Airstream that is overpriced. The seller thinks they don't depreciate, yet I had with me ads for several similar coaches that were newer and cheaper, or newer and the same price.

As full-timers we've already learned that we can live more cheaply on the road than we could have back on the farm and we get to see this wonderful country. Once we make the switch to the Airstream I expect that our costs will decrease again.

David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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