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Old 08-27-2014, 12:07 AM   #1
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Airstream wannabe here

Hello, I'm new here, as far as registering, but I have been a long time reader, since every google search about all things Airstream lead back to this site.

I don't own an Airstream, but I hope to remedy that someday soon.

I grew up next door to neighbors that owned one of those shining spaceships (my imagination as an eight year old). I marveled at all the places they would go and the pictures they shared with a wide-eyed kid that had yet to see the world.

I'm 55, and while retirement is around a decade away, my wife and I have started discussing what we will do when we are empty nesters. My oldest daughter is 18, a son in the middle at 16, and a youngest daughter at 15.

I was surprised to find out my wife of almost twenty years has been a fan of airstreams all her life. Guess I married the right one.

My family is no stranger to traveling. We've crossed the continent nine times, with three youngsters, two dogs, and camping in a Westfalia-converted VW Eurovan, every time taking a different way.

Anyway, I'm here to learn. Everything from TV (I'm a bit of an off-road enthusiast, but my Jeep can't tow anything), to new vs vintage. I'm a DIY kind of guy, but I have nowhere to put an AS while I renovate it, living in the city of Seattle.

My wife and I originally thought we buy one when we retire, but we have few adventures left with our kids, and really want to take advantage of our time left with them. The Northwest is enchanting, (I'm originally from SC, my wife is from Seaside, OR), but I've always been fascinated by deserts.

Way too many words for an introduction, so let me ask a question. I'm interested in the Eddie Bauer 27FB. Just how rough of a road can I take it on?

Tomy
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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Gosh-- not much of one, I should think. You do want to protect your investment. If a road turns rough when you're on it, just drive as slowly as you can to minimize shaking and bouncing. Our strategy has been to drop the Bambi in a snug campsite on a decent road, and then to take the truck on day outings into the back of beyond.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:48 AM   #3
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Tomy,
Welcome aboard!

I don't tow 'offroad' ... but, I do leave the hard roadways at times, briefly, or to get to a spot... but not for 'miles' of trails... I don't want to put that kind of stress on the trailer.

Hope your search goes well... get what you like. 'used'.. see how it works for your lifestyle... then, get your own 'new' one if that is possible later...

There are plenty of folks who 'boondock' mostly 'off the grid'... but, we don't due to need for AC in Texas...at least during the summer!!

This thread could go any of thousand directions... so, enjoy the paths...
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:49 AM   #4
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How rough of a road?....probably anything on a AAA state map, if one goes slowly.

TV? It is about how much to spend. And, search the forum, there are multiple threads on this. I originally, when first in an Airstream in 2008, pulled with a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, but the fuel mileage of 12 mpg, small fuel tank, and that it wanted to downshift on grades on the Interstate highways, and the cruising range with only 26 gallons was terrible.

So,sold it and purchased a 2008 Dodge 2500 Cummins diesel, and get about 14 mpg, but have 35 gallons, so the range is over 400 miles.

As to which Airstream to purchase, while the Eddie Bauer has the rear door and can hold things like a kayak, and other bulky items, I think some comfort is lost. My previous models were a 2007 International SS Ocean Breeze and a 2009 FB International Ocean Breeze. I would suggest taking a close look at the 27 FB, very nice, good room, and will sleep four fairly well. Or if larger still.... The 30 footers either RB or bunkhouse, really have lots of room and have larger fresh water tanks, 54 gallons vs. 39 gallons, I believe

In any case, come and join us on the road.


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Old 08-27-2014, 01:47 AM   #5
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As to which Airstream to purchase, while the Eddie Bauer has the rear door and can hold things like a kayak, and other bulky items, I think some comfort is lost.
Can you explain the differences? My wife and I love the Land Yacht, but price and weight are prohibitive. I'm hoping to use a half ton pickup. The Ram ecodiesel at 28 mpg is very attractive. But I'm worried about it handling 7600 pounds.
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tomy View Post
I'm a DIY kind of guy, but I have nowhere to put an AS while I renovate it, living in the city of Seattle.
Does that also mean you have no place to put one when you buy it? It seems to me that most places where you could store an Airstream, you could work on one as well.
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:05 AM   #7
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A half ton truck, properly set up with a WD hitch is fine for pulling any 27 foot Airstream, just watch how much "other stuff" you are carrying in the truck so you don't exceed the payload capacity of the truck. We have a 27 foot Eddie Bauer and have been living in it for about two months while touring Atlantic Canada. We find the 27 EB to be quite spacious for two on a very long trip. I'm sure you could make it work for four while on shorter trips with the whole family which you are likely to do while you are still working. Then when you switch to "retirement mode" the two of you will have enough room to live in the trailer full time if you choose to do so. Remember, you can always get a bigger truck to store your stuff. Just be aware of payload limitations (we tow with a extended cab long bed 3/4 ton - F-250 - to carry our four bicycles. If you didn't have the bikes, you could probably carry all your portable worldly possessions in that thing!)

There is very little room or storage capacity "lost" between the 25 and 27 foot Eddie Bauer and any other 25 and 27 foot front bedroom model. The area under the seats is available for storage in either milk crates or soft sided luggage (such as duffel bags) instead of having hard sided lockers in the non-EB models.

We find the hatch to be very nice to open up when we have a good view out the back. Below is a picture out our open rear hatch and site on the Bay of Fundy where we re right now!

We found the EB model to cost about the same as the other equivalent International models so by all means, go for it!

I would be careful about taking any trailer down a very rough road (I'm thinking a logging road.) These things have limited ground clearance and should not be shaken on washboard roads. By slowing down you will probably be able to take it anywhere that is reasonable.

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Old 08-27-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Does that also mean you have no place to put one when you buy it? It seems to me that most places where you could store an Airstream, you could work on one as well.
I have a storage facility not far from my house, but it is basically a big parking lot with high chain link fence surrounding it. There is no power and they don't allow anything other than parking.

I may try to find something further out.
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:34 AM   #9
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We have a renovated vintage with a "tall" axel and do nothing but boondock. We have taken it on some very rough roads, and thanks to that slope on the bottom rear of our AS, we have never bottomed out. Of course we use common sense about just how rough we are willing to go, but we have been down some interesting roads.

Enjoy your own adventures, whichever route you take!
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Old 08-27-2014, 11:56 AM   #10
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We have been down some questionable roads. Sometimes we have found stuff on the floor. The biggest problem we have encountered was being able to turn around. My husband is very good at backing up
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tomy View Post
Can you explain the differences? My wife and I love the Land Yacht, but price and weight are prohibitive. I'm hoping to use a half ton pickup. The Ram ecodiesel at 28 mpg is very attractive. But I'm worried about it handling 7600 pounds.
I have noticed that those half ton trucks that brag high fuel mileage have a rear end gear of about 3.15. For me a tow vehicle needs at least a 3.55 rear end gear or larger. My last truck was a 2001 F150 5.4L with a 3.55 rear end and gave me 10 mpg towing. today I have a 2005 F250 6.8L V10 with a 4.10 rear end and I get, believe it or not, it gives me 11mpg towing the same trailer. The F250 feels much more stable towing than F150 ever did.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:57 PM   #12
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Welcome !
The Eddie Bauer is an excellent choice. We tow ours on secondary and gravel roads frequently ... no problems ... even parking on 3-4" of ice! You are on the right track to get it now so that your whole family may enjoy the fun together.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:40 PM   #13
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Just a thought... you might want to consider a fully renovated trailer from the sixties that has had a gray tank added. It would weigh less and probably be more offroad friendly. A truly redone trailer won't be cheap but you might save some dough vs a new one. The lighter trailer would allow you to stick with smaller tow vehicles.

All Airstreams no matter the vintage are likely to have some odds and ends that need repair occasionally - especially if you are bouncing around on rugged roads. being a little handy is highly useful - welcome to the forum
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:30 PM   #14
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I have noticed that those half ton trucks that brag high fuel mileage have a rear end gear of about 3.15. For me a tow vehicle needs at least a 3.55 rear end gear or larger. My last truck was a 2001 F150 5.4L with a 3.55 rear end and gave me 10 mpg towing. today I have a 2005 F250 6.8L V10 with a 4.10 rear end and I get, believe it or not, it gives me 11mpg towing the same trailer. The F250 feels much more stable towing than F150 ever did.

Yeah, I'm think I'm leaning towards a 3/4 ton pickup. I thought about the new Ram 2500 Power Wagon, since it's designed for off road and has a towing capacity of 11,200 pounds, and a 1,903-pound payload.

But I'm wondering if I should go diesel. We do seem to explore places at high altitudes.

I'm not really a hard core off roader, I'm more interested in getting to the great view or spot than creeping over rocks.

I would never consider something like trying to drag an AS to the Saline Valley Hot Springs. But I like taking advantage of free BLM spots. I've also camped on some of the remaining portions of Rt 66 and some the pavement is pretty rough.

Mostly mild dirt roads and gravel. Worst gravel road would be something like the road that leads to Zzyzx in CA.
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