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Old 08-13-2015, 10:29 AM   #15
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Question Where to start......

"We initially wanted to backpack europe and asia for a year or two, but then we realized we've hardly even seen our great country."

Love your priorities.....WWWD?

Bob
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I was checking out one of your youTube videos about your requirements for an RV and one was a place to store the bikes... The Airstream will not meet those requirements. You can purchase external bike racks for the Airstream but Airstreams have lower ground clearance but that what makes them tow well.
Really good info Kelvin, and we share some of the same concerns. Thanks for posting this info, we really appreciate the great discussion.

We've already decided on a tow vehicle: a 1997-2003 Ford E350 7.3L diesel 4x4. They're EXTREMELY rare and extremely expensive, but we'll be able to store the bikes in them full time (along with our sleeping bags, tents, kayaks, etc) so they won't have to go into the airstream. Basically, our daily living stuff will be in the airstream, and the rest of our stuff will be in the van. It's kind of like a storage unit on wheels. We're scouring craigslists to find the right one, but they're extremely rare and tough to find. Steve has the skills to convert a 2wd to 4x4, so we're looking for ANY extended body (EB) 7.3L van newer than 1996. We've got our eye on one in a different state, but the seller has decided to raise the price, and we're in negotiations right now. Buying a tow rig is our next immediate stage in going full-time. If anyone knows of a 7.3L diesel ford van for sale, please let us know!

We've read that when pulling with a 1T truck you'll need the appropriate hitch setup. We've got some research to do in that area; we don't want to beat up or destroy our airstream.


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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
One other note is you mention using an induction cook top. You will have to run a generator to power it while boondocking. To run it off an inverter you'd have to have a lot of battery and solar capacity. I'm not sure why you are into using induction cooking appliance over a propane cook top.
You hit on a few disadvantages we've found with an AS. An induction cooktop is one of the most efficient electric cooking options. We're not totally opposed to cooking with propane (we do it all the time at home), but due to how we'll be using our trailer, we need solar and a battery bank anyway.

Since we'll need to live in this full-time and work from it, we need to be able to charge laptops and cameras all the time. Whatever solution we get, we plan on a big battery bank and as many solar panels as we can fit on the roof. As tent-campers, boondocking really appeals to us. The more we can live unplugged, the better. I question whether an airstream can handle the weight of the batteries we want, and the water storage capacity is a little low for what we want. We plan on using a composting toilet instead of the traditional toilet, so that means the blackwater tank won't be used. That'll give us extra greywater capacity, which will be good.


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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I was checking out one of your youTube videos about your requirements for an RV and one was... having additional ground clearance for taking an RV off improved highways. The Airstream will not meet those requirements.
Agreed, this is a bit of a bummer. We're not going to go rock-crawling with it, but we definitely want to get off the beaten path. An extra 6" of ground clearance would be very welcome for us, and we would use it. I'm not sure about the rest of the states, but in Utah and Idaho, some of the best boondocking spots are down a bumpy, rough dirt road.



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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Another requirement is a 4 season RV. Airstreams are not a 4 season RV and are not as well insulated as conventional trailers due to the design the roofs are not as deep as conventional RVs. One brand that is 4 season is Arctic Fox but you may not like the build quality as much. You'll need a 3/4T truck to pull it so you have payload capacity.

Yeah. Despite what our AS sales associate told us, living in an AS in the winter isn't going to be fun. This is an issue we've considered a lot too. We could follow the seasons, and that's not a bad plan, but I don't want to be worrying about freezing pipes if we hit a freak snowstorm or cold spell. I've got some researching to do here.

There are other TTs out there that are better insulated and better prepared for true 4-season living, but they lack everything we love about the AS: quality build, and those glorious panoramic windows. We're going to have to compromise somewhere in our purchase. We're just trying to decide if we want to compromise quality and an open/windowy design, or if we want to compromise insulation and ground clearance (and cost).



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We plan to fulltime or travel 6 months at a time in our 25fb. We are looking to have the queen front bedroom converted to twins. It opens up the trailer and allows more convenient storage. Hate lifting the bed to get to everyday stuff. The Airstream Flying Cloud series offers twin bed floorplans.
Really good feedback. We need to go back to our local dealer and look at the options more now. We were just getting an initial feel of AS and whether or not it'd work for us full-time when we went. We weren't expected to be so blown away by the quality, fit and finish, design elements, and aesthetics. Now we need to go back and look at floorplans. I think we want a RB, but it's not a deal-breaker either way.


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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Another disadvantage but also an advantage is the aluminum construction. The shell wont take hail and if damaged very expensive to repair or replace.
True. We will undoubtedly encounter hail in our travels. This is a concern.


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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
...for the price of an Airstream you can buy two or more conventionally built trailers.
Or 3 or 4.

Agreed. Part of our minimalist mindset has been shifting from buying the "cheapest" items in life to purchasing quality. Since we don't have space for all the extra gadgets most people have, we make very conscious purchase decisions now. We buy exactly what we need, even if it's a little more expensive than the budget options. Since this will be our house, we can think of it as being cheaper than a condo. That being said, we want to make wise purchasing decisions. We are smitten by AS's design, windows, floorplan, lack of slides, and overall quality. We haven't found another TT out there that even comes close in the quality department, or in the visibility department. We even like the fact that the awning isn't motorized.

We appreciate a voice of reason. We're smitten with the Airstreams. We love them, and nothing else makes us even half as happy to consider as our home. That being said, we want to go in to the purchase with our eyes wide open and not make a super emotional purchase and ignore our true needs.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #17
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Regarding jobs, with Steve's video production and instructional design skills and passion, it makes more sense to pursue those jobs more than some of the traiditonal workcamping jobs like being a campground host or working at a NP. Not that we're against those jobs, they're great ways to make money; but with his skillset and interests, we should probably pursue those venues.
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:17 PM   #18
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My only question is how do you stay motivated to work? We just came back from a month on the road in Wyoming and I am sitting in front of my computer dreaming about another trip when I should be doing my work...
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Old 08-13-2015, 06:32 PM   #19
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Reality and romanticizing boondocking

You said, "Once we're on the road we won't have to make as much money as we do now."

Well over 10-15 years ago, a full timing guru, published one of the first blogs. The guy could fix or make anything. His one year adventure turned into five. I would call him an expert in the field of full timing. He traveled alone. His annual expenses, including everything, was about $22 K. That was for one person. Another frugal expert boon docker boasted that he averaged $8 per night camping fees. My point is…I can kinda tell that you two are smart cookies. Do your homework, do the math. Your expenses, and your income will both be variable. And….you never know when trail magic, OR a pothole will pop up. I'm not trying to discourage you. It sounds like you HAVE researched. It's just that I have a few LONG term road trips planned, and sometimes it freaks me out.

You said "One of our biggest fears is that we'll be lonely and we won't have many friends while on the road "

The great thing is that you have each other. The guru talked a lot about the emotional aspects of full timing. ( Both going on the road AND going back to a conventional life style.) He said both were a blend of excitement, fear, and sadness. I've lived alone in the sticks, lived alone in suburbia, lived both ways in a relationship. All of those lifestyles were VERY different.
Another point that the guru made was about the excruciating goodbyes that he was always making while on the road. You will make friends on the road with people you might not ever see again. Those are tough goodbyes. For me, I am the loneliest at night, while on the road, dark, desolate, just some occasional headlights.

Sorry for getting all heavy. On a lighter note, I am guessing that I have walked in many of your footsteps, before you got there. I spent every vacation for ten years hiking in Utah. Sleeping in a tent, or within 5 miles of a vehicle was for punks. Then I fell in love with Bluegrass, and the mandolin, and I go to festivals, towing around a bathroom, bed, and kitchen. You just never know what life has in store for you.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:28 PM   #20
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Great points dave! We are excited for the ride.

I hope you brought your mandolin with you. We are both musicians, and if we ever cross paths, we would love to jam sometime. I play guitar and tess sings. She's got an amazing voice.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:41 PM   #21
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
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Thumbs up Singing you say.......

Is this hard to believe or what?


Bob
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:39 AM   #22
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Whoa! Blew me away!
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:43 AM   #23
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One of our biggest fears is that we'll be lonely and we won't have many friends while on the road.
You will not be lonely! We're very fresh too. Approaching the whole tiny living subject from a different angle but we're definitely getting there. It's actually quite mind boggling (and cool) to see all the similarities... take a look when you have a moment: wearegoingsomewhere.com and... Hi!!!
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:58 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=explore more;1668184]

We've already decided on a tow vehicle: a 1997-2003 Ford E350 7.3L diesel 4x4. They're EXTREMELY rare and extremely expensive, but we'll be able to store the bikes in them full time (along with our sleeping bags, tents, kayaks, etc) so they won't have to go into the airstream. Basically, our daily living stuff will be in the airstream, and the rest of our stuff will be in the van.
[QUOTE]

If the deal falls through you can always search for a pickup and put a camper shell on top of the bed. A lot easier to find.

Kelvin
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:00 PM   #25
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The deal fell through. You're right, they're extremely difficult to find.

Reaching out to our airstream friends - we need your help finding our ideal tow rig.

We need your help finding our ideal tow rig.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:40 AM   #26
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
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Question Towing with a Ford Van.....

Overview here....


Specific here....

IMHO....towing "on the ball" with an extended van can present a whole new set of concerns. Especially with anything but the smallest of trailers...SOB's will only add the to the negatives.

Sweet Streams...

Bob
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:18 AM   #27
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Got video??

You said, " I play guitar and tess sings. She's got an amazing voice."

I'm not surprised one little bit. Like…..not at all! Hoping our paths cross sometime. I would love to do some tunes with you.


Here's one of my daughter and I

https://youtu.be/b1QgHEC0dhA
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:20 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explore more View Post
You hit on a few disadvantages we've found with an AS. An induction cooktop is one of the most efficient electric cooking options. We're not totally opposed to cooking with propane (we do it all the time at home), but due to how we'll be using our trailer, we need solar and a battery bank anyway.
That would be a disadvantage in any RV/Travel Trailer, not just an Airstream. An induction cooktop might be efficient, but it isn't power efficient. If we don't turn on the furnace our two 30lb propane tanks last for two months. It cost $47.80 to fill both last week. Not much expense at all. And that powers our refrigerator as well.

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Originally Posted by explore more View Post
Since we'll need to live in this full-time and work from it, we need to be able to charge laptops and cameras all the time. Whatever solution we get, we plan on a big battery bank and as many solar panels as we can fit on the roof. As tent-campers, boondocking really appeals to us. The more we can live unplugged, the better. I question whether an airstream can handle the weight of the batteries we want, and the water storage capacity is a little low for what we want. We plan on using a composting toilet instead of the traditional toilet, so that means the blackwater tank won't be used. That'll give us extra greywater capacity, which will be good.
Yes it can handle the weight just fine. I have 405 watts of solar, more than enough for two Macbook's, a 29 inch ultrawide monitor I use every day. Hard-drives, 2 ipads, 2 iphones, 1 android, etc.

39 gallons is not enough water storage? Are you planning on showering every single day? If boondocking/dry-camping you're going to have to give that up.

But I can attest that a family of four makes it between 7-10 days before we need water. We carry 4x 5 gallon Rhino water containers with us, that's 20 gallons of additional water. Or 2 trips to refill the whole tank.


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Originally Posted by explore more View Post
Agreed, this is a bit of a bummer. We're not going to go rock-crawling with it, but we definitely want to get off the beaten path. An extra 6" of ground clearance would be very welcome for us, and we would use it. I'm not sure about the rest of the states, but in Utah and Idaho, some of the best boondocking spots are down a bumpy, rough dirt road.
You will be fine if you upgrade the wheels and tires to 16 inches. We traverse what you are talking about frequently without issues. The ground clearance is not as big an issue as you might think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by explore more View Post
Yeah. Despite what our AS sales associate told us, living in an AS in the winter isn't going to be fun. This is an issue we've considered a lot too. We could follow the seasons, and that's not a bad plan, but I don't want to be worrying about freezing pipes if we hit a freak snowstorm or cold spell. I've got some researching to do here.

There are other TTs out there that are better insulated and better prepared for true 4-season living, but they lack everything we love about the AS: quality build, and those glorious panoramic windows. We're going to have to compromise somewhere in our purchase. We're just trying to decide if we want to compromise quality and an open/windowy design, or if we want to compromise insulation and ground clearance (and cost).
Do as the birds do, and head south, that's why you have an RV/Travel Trailer. Problem solved.

There are other solutions, and we've been in cold temps and still find it comfortable. Reflectix on your windows does wonders.


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Originally Posted by explore more View Post
Really good feedback. We need to go back to our local dealer and look at the options more now. We were just getting an initial feel of AS and whether or not it'd work for us full-time when we went. We weren't expected to be so blown away by the quality, fit and finish, design elements, and aesthetics. Now we need to go back and look at floorplans. I think we want a RB, but it's not a deal-breaker either way.
Don't buy new.


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True. We will undoubtedly encounter hail in our travels. This is a concern.
This is an imaginary fear. I can point you in the direction of 20 fulltimers in Airstreams who when I asked only 4 of them had encountered hail, and none of it was of the baseball sized kind that causes damage. People who are stationary tend to get hit with the damaging hail.



Quote:
Originally Posted by explore more View Post
Agreed. Part of our minimalist mindset has been shifting from buying the "cheapest" items in life to purchasing quality. Since we don't have space for all the extra gadgets most people have, we make very conscious purchase decisions now. We buy exactly what we need, even if it's a little more expensive than the budget options. Since this will be our house, we can think of it as being cheaper than a condo. That being said, we want to make wise purchasing decisions. We are smitten by AS's design, windows, floorplan, lack of slides, and overall quality. We haven't found another TT out there that even comes close in the quality department, or in the visibility department. We even like the fact that the awning isn't motorized.

We appreciate a voice of reason. We're smitten with the Airstreams. We love them, and nothing else makes us even half as happy to consider as our home. That being said, we want to go in to the purchase with our eyes wide open and not make a super emotional purchase and ignore our true needs.
Pretty much our mindset. But for some reason people on this forum like discouraging people from buying Airstreams. I don't understand why people need so much "space". We're two adults with two children and I'm not running out of space.

We have a friend who had a 35ft 5th wheel and right now he is trying to buy an Airstream because the 5th wheel is just "too much".
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