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Old 11-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #1
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All I have to do now is convince my wife we need an AS...

Hello!

I'm an active duty Army guy, stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma with my wife and two kids (11 & 15). I've been interested in purchasing a camper of some sort for several years now. So, I purchased a new TV (2009 Dodge Ram 2500 with the 6.7L Cummins TD) last February, and I finally let go of my beloved customized HUMMER H3 last month. Over the last eight months we have looked at several new and used 5th wheel units and TTs (mostly fiberglass models). The two things they all lacked was character and durability. Then, I stumbled across the AS line of TTs. Hmmm... Stylish, AND durable...

I should mention that although my wife has gone to the RV show and a few dealerships with me, she's not 100% onboard with the idea of purchasing a camper. In fact, she's maybe only 15-20% onboard. It all comes down to our individual memories of camping as a children.

I have fond memories of camping in my grandparent's little 10-12 footer, as well as several trips with my dad's camper/topper on his truck. Dad's truck was spartan at best, but it did have two nice mattresses that made a queen size bed in the back with storage underneath. Then, there were the countless times we tent camped, using an old moth-eaten canvas tent with an aluminum frame. For me, camping is about sitting around the campfire and enjoying the time together. Lately, I've been doing some camping with my son's Cub Scout group, as I recently took over as Cubmaster of our pack. Good times!

My wife's memories of camping are not as pleasant as mine. She remembers a lot of excessive drinking and fighting among her family and their friends, which almost always ended badly. To make matters worse, I have gotten a little tense a time or two in the past while traveling on road trips -- usually due to poor planning on my part and trying to do too many miles in a day.

So, here I find myself wanting to relive some of the fonder camping memories of my childhood -- just not in a tent. I love the lines on an AS. Especially the 70's-80's models (which happen to fit in my cash-only ~$10k budget a little better than the newer ones). Even my teenage daughter likes the sleek exterior and what she calls the "retro look" of the 70's-80's AS interior. Ideally, I would like something in a 31 foot model with a fold out couch (for us) and twin beds (for the kids). Not completely restored, but well maintained enough to be comfortably used right away and maybe improved upon as time passes. My vision has us using this TT for various family outings a couple of times a month, as well as for "tailgating" between events when my daughter is at swim meets 6-8 times a year. I've been reading a lot on the various forums, and feel I've gained enough knowledge to make a fairly well informed purchase, except for one little thing...

How do I convince my wife we need an Airstream?!?

I've tried tent camping with my wife and the kids. I've had friends who have graduated from tents to pop-ups to a HUGE triple axle 5th wheel trailer talk to her. (His wife went on and on about how much she loved to travel with their trailer.) We've visited RV shows. We've visited dealerships. Still, she is not convinced. The closest she came to agreeing was to say, "Maybe someday when the kids move out and are done with college." Huh?!?... ELEVEN years from now?!?

So, unless someone on here has some magic words of wisdom that will sway her opinion, it looks like I'll just lurk around here a while.

Airstreamlessly yours,

Blain

PS: Thanks for making this site available. Already, I have enjoyed many hours of interesting reading about Airstreams and the people who own them. What a cool sub-culture. Kinda reminds me of HUMMER owners.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:57 PM   #2
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Most RV dealers have trailers you can rent. The best way to sell her on the camper idea is to spend the weekend in one.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:26 PM   #3
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KOA will rent you an Airstream at some locations. It's a bit pricey but could be a great start.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:08 PM   #4
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I'd take her to visit an AS rally happening in your neck of the woods so she could see first hand how much fun can be had and how wonderful Aristreams really are. The enthusiasm for the "Airstream way" is always quite obvious (at our rallies, anyway) and would surely be a good selling atmosphere. We have had several folks just drop by to ask lots of questions and visit all kinds of Airstreams...now most of them are members with their own rigs..and just as proud and happy with them as we are.

And there is the thing about trying to do too much and cramming your time too full...that leads to less time to relax, being on edge, etc. Remember we go camping to have fun and enjoy ourselves! Make it a party, not a chore!
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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I'm just starting looking myself. At the start of this, I thought, well, I'll just get one of those fiberglass egg things. Then I made the mistake of looking at the Airstream website. Then I compounded the mistake by walking into some Airstreams. Has she been IN an Airstream in the size you're looking at? Does she like them?

Maybe this might help, if it's that she doesn't like camping period and if she hasn't actually been in one: the Airstreams are the only trailers I've found that don't feel like campers. They feel like houses on wheels. It's camping without going camping! It's glamping to the max! And everyone says it's really fun to be the envy of everyone else when you take your AS out.

I'd also advise, if you're going that large anyway, not getting a sofa-into-a-bed layout. It's a pain having to take the bed apart every day and then putting it back into a bed every night. (I haven't had to do this on an Airstream, but have lived several places where I had to do that where I was sleeping, and it got old really fast.) Get one with a bedroom - you can find those with bunks in the middle if you look around enough.

If you want the emotional blackmail route...it's not pretty, but it's effective: it's good to remember that life is short and we have to choose what memories we want to leave behind us in our children and partners. I know I want to have done everything we have dreamed of doing before my fiancé and/or I leave this world.

(BTW: thanks for serving us and our country in our military. Words can't express, etc.)
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:29 AM   #6
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I'm the wife. Somewhere it was me that wanted a trailer. It came out of nowhere. But we wanted to see this beautiful country. In our early years we camped with tents. Then in the back of a small pu. Onto a a VW popup. Then nothing for years. I didn't care too much about what trailer, but Rusty Rivet said Airstream. The first one we looked at I hated it. The second one was it. Since we were getting ready to retire we spent 2 years making sure we had outfitting the AS with all the safety things. What I can say is that we have loved this trailer. We love to be out together. And working on getting all the things that need to be done with different maintence things have brought us closer together. If I would have known how much closer we would have become, I would have had a trailer many-many years ago.
PS We got our AS for my 60th bday, his 65th bday and our 35th anniversary gifts.
Best wished to you and your family, and thank you for your service.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:58 AM   #7
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Forgot to say - it is a little love nest.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #8
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I'd have to second the part about the Airstream bringing my wife and I together: we love getting out to see parts of our neck-of-the-woods, things we both were either too busy or too poor to do in the past, but also something we both wanted to do.

I don't think a person could justify buying an RV of any type if looking at it from a purely financial perspective, but being able to sell the Airstream if it didn't work out without taking as big a hit on the resell was one of the reasons we went with Airstream; which is why buying a 70's or 80's model is a really good idea for you as it will not change much in price (if you buy right) in the next couple years.

I would also say that your spouse needs to enjoy the time on the road with the RV (if she doesn't, you can kiss Airstreaming good bye). That means the drive of man - the thing that makes us aggressive, must be left at home (Airstreaming is about relaxing and minimizing stress). Yes, and particularly when towing, you will find yourself as a driver in stressful situations. Consider it an opportunity to communicate with the wife the factors that cause the stress and work patiently together to overcome these things. In my experience, when the wife tries to be helpful, regardless of how minimal her contibution may seem, that positive reinforcement, letting her know that she helped and that it was valued, is essential for the relationship and very effective.

When frustrated man likes to simply vent the pressure, but to keep from losing the ability to go RVing, we will take measures to manage that stress more prudently. I have found that managing the stress has changed our relationship and the teamwork learned flows over to other areas of our lives.

In short, you have given her POWER by allowing you to go down the RV way of life.... And that is the biggest selling point!
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:39 AM   #9
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No mater what you decide, try to keep in mind the old saying....

Happy wife = Happy life
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
I'd take her to visit an AS rally happening in your neck of the woods so she could see first hand how much fun can be had and how wonderful Aristreams really are. The enthusiasm for the "Airstream way" is always quite obvious (at our rallies, anyway) and would surely be a good selling atmosphere. We have had several folks just drop by to ask lots of questions and visit all kinds of Airstreams...now most of them are members with their own rigs..and just as proud and happy with them as we are.

And there is the thing about trying to do too much and cramming your time too full...that leads to less time to relax, being on edge, etc. Remember we go camping to have fun and enjoy ourselves! Make it a party, not a chore!
TB whacked the rivet....Never underestimate the power of Fanatic Streamer's in large groups.
Just remember...it was her idea all along.

Bob
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:07 AM   #11
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And when you go looking, there is something to be said for gently-used...less up front money and resale will be easy if it doesn't work out. From what I can tell, a used airstream can be BETTER than a new one. Airstreamers take pride in their babies and often add upgrades and keep the maintenance up above and beyond. This is not always the case with other used campers. If you go to an RV show to make up your mind, look UNDER the units before you go in the door. They will show you all the bells and whistles inside, but the quality is in the stuff you can't see. Some look like cardboard under there- airstream is very different. Be sure to show her the different models- Classic is our cup of tea, but not everyone likes all that wood inside. I hope she comes onboard with the camping experience AND an Airstream.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:19 AM   #12
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wife and i always liked camping from tents to popups sobs etc.when the kids were young they told me they didnt like to camp.so i told them when they got older they could choose not to camp.now that the youngest two are college aged,all of them from the memories of camping try to go with me and mom every chance they get.my daughter made the comment since she went tent camping with her friends at school,that the airstream is not camping at all.inmho it is a lifestyle that goes with my love of the outdoors.for me i only use the airstream to sleep in,while other family members hang out in it during the day.there already asking about next summers travel agenda.my attitude is if they want to go"great",if not will see you on the return home.funny how the airstream has grown on all of them.by the way we haved ownned 2 airstreams in the 30 years of camping.great coach to travel in.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Army Nurse View Post
My vision has us using this TT for various family outings a couple of times a month, as well as for "tailgating" between events when my daughter is at swim meets 6-8 times a year. I've been reading a lot on the various forums, and feel I've gained enough knowledge to make a fairly well informed purchase, except for one little thing...

How do I convince my wife we need an Airstream?!?
Tell her how nice it would be to stay in her own bed on these trips...then leave a copy of one of the latest "Hotels with Bedbug" articles next to her reading pile.

Shari
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:32 AM   #14
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Make the Airstream a family project. Every trip you will find something that can be tweaked so it will be easier to use. Getting the kids involved is a great way to get the wife's interest.

If you can rent one or if you can convince your wife to get one, take some well planned trips that are close to home at first. This way you can scope a nice campsite before you even load up, plan how to get your rig in and out and best utilize the amenities of the campground. Have the food prepared before you leave so that's one less thing to worry about.

Alot of people make the mistake of going bigger than they need and if traveling is stressful, you will never use your trailer no matter if it's an Airstream or not.

That said, Airstreams do tow very nicely, will likely hold their value, and I have met alot of nice people in my lifetime but none that were as welcoming as Airstream owners.

Tara

P.s. - Don't forget the s'mores.
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