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Old 11-06-2008, 11:51 AM   #15
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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We were pop-up folks for many, many years and loved it. Brought two kids up in it and travelled to both ends of the country with it (and them). Our Airstream entered the picture a few years ago and here's why:

- kids were grown and gone (a while back)
- got tired taking down wet and putting up wet
- got tired of public bathrooms/showers (my wife would say tired is an understatement for her)
- started doing cold weather camping
- started liking more "comfort" items.

More simply put - we just got older.

We love the Airstream but at times still miss the camper - most notably the sounds of nature - once the doors and vents are closed in any trailer I think you would be hard pressed to hear much of anything except yourselves and the TV program you are watching. This may sound a little silly but we hadn't thought of this - and it has turned out to be something we note on just about every trip. It's probably also prudent to note that the cost differential between the two is pretty significant - not only in purchase price, but operation (tow vehicle, gas etc.) and maintenance.

Having said that we deal with "missing" the pop-up by talking about the "good old days" - then go fix a martini, turn up the heat, and pop in a movie.

The pop-up is still in the game - we gave it to the kids - with the proviso that they NEVER even THINK of asking to borrow the Airstream ....


Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:05 PM   #16
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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There is one clear disadvantage to an Airstream. It was designed for 2 people.

Now I have slept 6 in mine but I repeat my comment it was designed for 2.

In 40 plus years of camping I have used a tent, a canoe, a 2 man hunting pop up, tandem axle pop up, an SOB trailer and now an Airstream. Each has it's advantages at the time.

If you have kids just consider their space and how and when it will effect your space.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 11-06-2008, 01:18 PM   #17
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by Jezibels View Post

BTW the tow vehicles we have are an 06 Chevy Trailblazer EXT and an 03 Lincoln Navi. Are those sufficient for a 25' or less? Im sure a dealer will tell me they are!
Both are adequate for a smaller trailer, though the longer the wheelbase the better the handling. You would need WD and sway control to use either. The Lincoln would probably be the better tow vehicle, because of its greater mass and larger engine. By the way, the "smaller" trailer will vary by year of trailer. a 25' nearly new Airstream weighs in at about the same as an earlier 30 foot coach. A mid-1970's 25 foot would weigh around 4,500 pounds or so empty, a 2005 25' CCD can weigh nearly another ton more than that, depending on equipment.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 11-06-2008, 01:56 PM   #18
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1963 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
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Bought a brand new tent trailer 2006 Starcraft 14 RT, off road model with a 4x8 toy ( or whatever) hauler on the front. It was self-contained toilet, shower,etc. Sold it and purchased my first AS a 63 Tradewind LOVE IT !! All RV's have pros and cons, however with my AS i feel like I have a new extened family. I never went on a tent trailer rally or even heard of one.
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Old 11-06-2008, 02:04 PM   #19
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2008 27' International CCD FB
Bothell , Washington
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We went straight to the airstream and never turned back. Love it, love it, love it!

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Old 11-06-2008, 02:32 PM   #20
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2011 28' International
Rock Hill , South Carolina
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I have had both. I now have the Airstream and love it, but still miss my pop-up. The pop-ups are great for kids and if you love the sounds and feels of camping. A pop-up can be opened up all around and get great breezes throughout. The sounds of crickets, frogs, etc. are so much more clearly heard in a pop-up. That said, they are about as sound proof as a tent. The pop-up will get you off the ground, but still feel like a tent. They are easy to tow and can be purchased for much less than an Airstream. They do lack in the storage department. You will find that you will still have to carry everything else, much like tent camping. I love my Aistream now. My two boys are mostly grown and one is gone, so my wife and I went for the A/S "upgrade". We have visions of traveling in it for years to come. (As a Scoutmaster, I still get my desired amount of "real camping" tents)

If your kids are small, I would say go for the pop-up first and then move on to an Airstream later. That's just my $0.02.
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:46 PM   #21
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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Originally Posted by jsprad View Post
The pop-ups are great for kids and if you love the sounds and feels of camping. A pop-up can be opened up all around and get great breezes throughout. The sounds of crickets, frogs, etc. are so much more clearly heard in a pop-up.
If you want to hear frogs & crickets & streams with an Airstream you can always sleep with your windows open. Both of our trailers have LOTS of windows and you can catch a breeze - no problem. We don't have A/C in either of them - but we don't really need it here.

I think the thing w/alot of "travel trailerites" is they close up their rigs to run the A/C and the sound of that plus the generator to run it drowns out all the sounds of nature. No A/C or generator running with the windows open makes your experience closer to nature and more tent-like. Plus you have options of closing them up in inclement weather.

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Old 11-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #22
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2001 25' Safari
London , Ontario
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Originally Posted by Jezibels View Post
Airstream or Pop-up?

We are a young family and Ive been camping since I was a tiny tot, would like to introduce camping to my husband and tots, what are the pros and cons of Airstream vs Pop-Up?

1). I love Airstreams, always dreamed of having one, cant park it in our subdivision, but will find a place to park, should it be indoor storage in winter?
2). Pop up can store in my garage.

Only want to spend 20K or so, should I go for an Airstream fixer or maxed out new pop up? Any advise would be great guys! Thanks!
If I may be frank, the pros and cons should be obvious. My advice -- don't try to make the decision for the family yourself. Take all of them to as many RV shows/dealers as you needed and let THEM choose.

If I'm right, your kids (depending on age) will much prefer the "coolness" of the popup -- which may help you sway your DH as well if he's a sticking point. Buy a good quality used Coleman/Fleetwood for $10k and make some memories.

The A/S is for later when you gain some experience.

Gary & Debbie
2001 Safari 25 SS
2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD • Hensley • DirecLink • McKesh
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:56 PM   #23
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
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We rented a pop-up for a week before we got the Airstream bug. We camped in western WA state for a few days (pouring rain) and that sealed the deal. There was no way to dry out that wet canvas before we had to de-pop the trailer for travel to our next destination. Soaked the mattresses were the result and we swore we'd never do that again.

You might consider looking for a recent model (gently used) Airstream in the 25 foot range. You shoudl be able to find one in your price range that doesn't need substantial work.
1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

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Old 11-06-2008, 04:40 PM   #24
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Love It Here , Colorado
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We too rented a pop up w/two boys (about 7 & 9 at time) and headed out. We spent about 4 days camping and although it was a step up from the tent camping we had always done, we found it cramped & a hassle to put up and down. It would have been better for storage cause we could, like others, have put it in our garage. Instead we started watching & doing research on AS trailers. We ended up w/an Argosy Minuet which is a painted AS. There are Argosy trailers, which are the same size as AS trailers and there are Argosy Minuet trailers which are less wide (by 7") We chose it because it doesn't require the polishing, since its painted (wash & maybe a wax occasionally). It is much lighter in weight so makes for easy tow & pretty easy clean inside too as most parts are vinyl. Ours is 22' which held the 4 of us, when boys were 11 & 13 pretty nicely (I have mentioned in other posts that I did put out the "be careful when entering" sign when trying to cook). Now its mostly the 2 of us, but our 18yr old still comes sometimes (he takes a tent or sometimes the back of car works as he wants more privacy). There are quite a few options when it comes to the sizes/models of AS & its very nice to just sit in them on your driveway & share some memories & a cool drink as parents! My 2 cents.

PS On a post that I started called Calling all Minuet Owners someone posted pics & a post on their 7.3 (about 24') Argosy Minuet. They said they might want/need to sell it. You might want to look at it as it has twin bed setup w/dinette that makes into bed. I think they called her "Snow White".
Leigh (IB Aluminated)

"When a great ship is in harbour and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, author of ‘Women Who Run With the Wolves’
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:09 PM   #25
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Amherst , Virginia
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Everyone is gonna wanna hang me for this, but I say go with the pop-up, heres why: You say you want to introduce your family to camping...why spend $20K on a trailer then find out they dont like it? Also, since it sounds like your children are younger, why buy a nice big comfortable camper for them to start out in. I feel the whole reason for camping is getting out into the outdoors. If you buy a nice AS, I can see the kids sitting inside watching DVDs on the TV, instead of being outside, hiking, swimming, fishing, riding bikes, roasting marshmallows, etc. Let them "rough it" in a pop-up till they are teen-agers, then they can have their own tent, and you and your husband can move into an AS. I am probably younger than most here, at 27 with an almost 3 year old boy. This spring we bought a pop-up and have used it alot this year. He loves it and thinks its so cool to put up and he loves helping. It has AC and heat and is comfortable even here in the humidity of VA summers. The only drawback is mine doesnt have a bathroom, but I think that adds to the "roughing it" The only thing I hate about them is the quality. You can get a nice used one for $5K if you look around. Save your money for an AS in the future. I plan on keeping mine, and I wanna find a vintage AS as a project, so the pop-up will keep me camping in the meantime. I have a corny dream of fixing one up and touring the country for a summer when my son is old enough to appreciate it. With $20K, you could have both a camper and a fixer...but since you cant keep it at your house, I dont know where you would work on it. Sorry for rambling....I usually just lurk around here in the shadows, but this was getting a little one-sided, but then again, this is the Airforums.....and you did ask about a dare you!!
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:17 PM   #26
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
Cuddebackville , New York
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Of course the fact that you are asking the question on the Airstream forum tells us the answer you want to hear!
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:14 PM   #27
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Peoria , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2008
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We delayed the gratification and went from camping in the SUV straight to AS. AS was the only choice as we weren't going to settle. Buying something else sooner just to make do would have delayed acquiring the AS.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:32 PM   #28
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1975 25' Tradewind
Holland , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 235
My 2 cents:
We, 2 adults and 3 preteens, currently camp in in a small popup, although ours does have a wet bath.
Currently looking to upgrade to an vintage Airstream Globe Trotter, Safari or the cats meow a World Traveler, we spend 4 to 10 weeks at a time camping with no agenda.

I would like to upgrade for the following reasons.
Can pull over to sleep and eat without setting up, especially nice when its raining. Also save's on hotel bills, with 3 kids I find I can only get in 600 miles a day and after the kids have been in the car all day they want nothing to do with setting up, they want to play.
It takes only 15 minutes to set up but add the time it takes to make beds, get dinner ready, kids ready for bed, unpacking and packing things back up to be ready to go in the morning, then packing up the trailer for the morning haul a hotel is much easier. Of coarse once you get to where your going this is no longer an issue except for having to put the dinner table up and down for sleeping.
If its humid out everything gets damp, and if it rains for more than a few days in a row everything starts to stink because you can't dry things out. We go through a lot of the those little disposable dehumidifier thingies.
Use a lot of propane if you need furnace all day and night and the canvas is very difficult to putaway when it gets really cold, 45 deg and below.

If your going to be camping on weekends and a week here and there a popup is a good choice, popups are smaller yet can sleep more people and you can store it at your house a big plus in my book.
If you do go with a popup I would encourage you to get one that you do not need to use the dinette for sleeping.

Our camper is ready to go at all times, we keep a few days supply of nonperishable food and water in the camper, MRE's are great for this, we store the linens and food in 18 gal rubbermaid totes then use the totes for our clothes when we get to our destination.

FYI: A Coleman Xtreme Cooler using dry ice if possible is a must have item for a popup.
Ultra pasturized or UHT milk if unopened will last 3 times longer unrefridgerated than regular milk, it will also last 3 times longer in the fridge, up to 50 days this is nice if you have little kids and they don't much care if it's served room tempurature or cold. My point being it lasts much longer in a cooler than regular milk.

Go for the popup I bought mine used in 2001, a 2000 Dutchmen Voyager 1008D, shower, cassette toilet, hot water heater, 3 way fridge, furnace, sleeps 6 for $2600.00.

Parts needed: Fan for roof vent or whole vent fan assembly, vented catalytic heater.
My blog for the 1975 Tradewind restoration, Has not been updated in a while but I am still working on it.
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