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Old 12-27-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
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Airstream Dreaming on a Winter Day

Don't have an Airstream (yet). Never pulled a trailer of any size (yet). Never chucked it all and hit the road (yet). My time is coming and I want to live it in an Airstream. Doing my research this winter. Any tips, books, websites for total newbies like me would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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Welcome. You have found the right site. Sal.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jowenb View Post
Don't have an Airstream (yet). Never pulled a trailer of any size (yet). Never chucked it all and hit the road (yet). My time is coming and I want to live it in an Airstream. Doing my research this winter. Any tips, books, websites for total newbies like me would be greatly appreciated.
Just keep reading here on this site. Everyone is very helpful, knowledgeable, and know what you are going through. Enjoy the ride.

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Old 12-27-2010, 01:23 PM   #4
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Been there, done that got a closet full of Airstream T-shirts.

That was 5 years ago.

As for the website, you found it. Good place to start... do a search for "newbie" threads. Decide on new, gently pre-enjoyed and vintage (true money pit but classy!).

Take your time searching, thinking about and selecting a trailer to avoid the serial of buying two and getting a handle of "Foiled Again"....

Start trimming down NOW if you're really planning to downsize from a house to an Airstream.

If you've never lived in an RV, renting one for a week is "expensive" but far far far less expensive than buying a $50K unit that turns into a piece of lawn art growing growing moss because you never use it. Many KOA's actually have an Airstream rental unit (most are not available until spring, but check Savannah and further south... might as well get a little Vay-Kay while experimenting, No?

Find a rally and attend - most folks love to show off their Airstreams - especially if you are considerate and remove your shoes (clogs) at the door. There are a lot of sizes, configurations, etc. to choose among. Make careful notes.

Prepare to pounce. Once you know what you're looking for, if it comes up, you many have only hours to buy it before someone else with a wad of cash beats you to it. (If buying used/vintage.) New, you can special order another one.

Most of all we're dead serious about having fun (yes I stole that OL-62).

Enjoy the process as much as the purchase.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:29 PM   #5
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Have fun! This is the best forum out there hands down! Do lots of reading and ask questons etc. We all love to help and someone has the answer your looking for. There are several full timers on here as well. Enjoy the never ending Airstream ride!
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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1990 29' Excella
St Louis , Missouri
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Excellent, that proves I'm not crazy. :-)

My advice is to not think about it too much, and unless you're really wealthy, start with a used Airstream. I spent $10k on a '90 29-foot Excella, and another $10k on a diesel Dodge pickup, and it's the best $20k I've ever spent. In fact I think I could have found a similar trailer for a few $k less, but that's OK.

I advise going with used equipment because, if you're like me, you're going to make some mistakes at first, and you'll be much less irritated with yourself if you do something stupid to a trailer that's already taken on a bit of patina, than if you do some damage to a brand new, shiny one. I haven't made any major gaffes, but I've put a couple of scratches onto the trailer (even tree branches are a threat to aluminum!), I crumpled the propane tank cover a bit, cracked the toilet (dropped something heavy on it) and led the hot water heater to an early demise. Towing and living in a trailer is a new learning experience every day. I'm not full-time yet, but I'm working towards it. So far I've done 2-3 months at a time, mostly with at least partial hookups, but also with a reasonable number of nights off-grid. The past couple of weeks have been my first winter-Airstream experience, I'm in relatively snowy Connecticut now, and it's working out fine.

Also, I would suggest buying a trailer slightly too large, rather than slightly too small. A ~30' Airstream is easy to tow and park, and I think it's about the smallest size I'd recommend for full-time living of two people (with pets). I think it's easier to be discouraged by having too little space than by having slightly more difficulty with parking.

On the other hand, if you're going to do dirt roads and backwoods campgrounds, get a really small unit. I haven't been too adventurous with mine yet, I need to improve ground clearance and buy better tires, etc., before tackling primitive roads.

Also, if you do buy used, I would avoid 'classic' trailers that need work. You pay more for classic (older than mid-70's) than for recent units (90's) in similar condition, and it's easy to get sidetracked with a restoration project. I'd buy one that is road ready but needs TLC, and at the low price point of 'used' but not 'collectible'.

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Old 12-29-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for the warm welcome. I really appreciate the tips and will keep looking and learning from all of you!

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