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Old 03-01-2007, 01:47 AM   #1
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Couldn't be any newer to this activity!

Just fell in love with the look of these puppies.

Have a 6 month job in san diego, and am thinking about getting an airstream and living in it. (rockford file fantasy?)

need help on every single aspect of this.

What to look for when buying.
How not to get a money pit
what do i need to tow
any ideas on where to put it in san diego once i buy it?
does this make any sense or have i gone off on some romantic tangent.

arnie
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:40 AM   #2
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Hello Arnie -- and welcome to the Forums! Making the leap is something you'll always value, especially if you keep Airstreaming. We could talk possibilities with a better sense of your budget. It's darn tough to find an old Airstream 'ready to tow' that you can travel & live in immediately -- might take 6, 12 or 18 months of refurb depending on how handy and fat on time you are. Earlier 1990 Airstreams may be more ready to go but will still need to be checked out.

Shorter lengths require less tow vehicle -- but still look in the range of 1/2-ton truck, Yukon or Expedition. But shorter lengths get snapped up fastest and command higher prices. You'll be looking in the truck/Suburban 3/4-ton range if you look at 25' or longer. Parking around San Diego?

A Tennessee friend would say this could be "a lot of sugar for a dime." Airstreaming is great. Doing it on the quick to park in an impossible place for only 6 months may take a leap of faith and fortune. Feeling lucky and can afford to have it fall all apart? Get the parking space with hookups first...
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:57 AM   #3
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Welcome Arnie ~

The Rockford Files you say? Well sort of but with taste as he didn't have an Airstream. I agree with Bob above. Knowing more of your needs, budget and space availbility would help. The older trailers are lighter then the newer ones but vintage will require more updating unless you find one that someone has already done. Glasd to have you aboard. Check out the 4 Corners Unit for other Airstreamers in Albuquerque.

Brad
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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Check the search function on Fulltiming. I've just celebrated my 2nd year as a fulltimer and I got queasy when I had to fly to Dallas and spend two nights in a hotel room. Those square walls and flat ceilings are creepy! Plus I know whose DNA is on what surfaces inside my Airstream Hotels?...eeeewh!

I respect and admire vintage owners who do the "full monte" and restore older Airstreams. But I don't have the energy, the place, the time or the drive to do it myself. If you're working full time and are looking for an "affordable, portable apartment with equity" look for something 3-5 years old.

If buying new is out of the question, be aware that buying a close to new one can be quite economical, and buying brand new can allow you to finance it. (You do take a hit on the first year depreciation).

For starters, look in the classifieds here. New Mexico and Arizona are also the "happy hunting grounds" for used Airstreams. They stay well preserved in the dry climate and many are used only in winter by snowbirds. Sooner or later health fails and the Airstream, often fairly new, must be sold.

Good luck, Sorry I can't advise about parking in the San Diego area - but give us more details on where you'll be working or stationed and I'm sure someone from the area will chime in.

Paula Ford
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I respect and admire vintage owners who do the "full monte" and restore older Airstreams. But I don't have the energy, the place, the time or the drive to do it myself. If you're working full time and are looking for an "affordable, portable apartment with equity" look for something 3-5 years old.

If buying new is out of the question, be aware that buying a close to new one can be quite economical, and buying brand new can allow you to finance it. (You do take a hit on the first year depreciation).
Some excellent advice Paula! Used Airstream values can be checked out at http://www.nadaguides.com. Financing interest on an RV or boat is deductible same as mortgage interest if they have a bathroom & galley. Put cash into the tow vehicle and borrow for the Airstream if you have to. For financing used I would talk to your credit union or bank.

This is a closed eBay sale but would have had a minimum age requirement: eBay Motors: Vintage Airstream Safari in Oceanside gated senior park (item 250024606651 end time Sep-01-06 13:07:41 PDT). I wasn't impressed with the now-missing photos when the sale was still active. The trouble with trailer park Airstreams is that the axles take a set after 5 years or so and often need an axle replacement to be roadworthy.

What do you think now after getting some feedback?
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:45 PM   #6
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good ideas

good ideas all! i appreciate the feedback. bottom line from posters appears to be "you can't hurry love"

so far i am concerned but not overwhemced by the anticipated travails.

as much as the vintage units appeal to my sensibilities, i am more concerned about livability, availablility, and reliability at the present point. hence considering a newer unit. need to stay under $15k. wife has chemical sensibilities so unit has to be old enought to have finished outgassing the original construction materials, not have had new toxic vinyls, adhesives, or carpeting installed. and of course no mold.

i want to live somewhere pleasant in the san diego area. i will be working in the kearny mesa area, with frequent trips to grossmont, chula vista, sorrento valley, coronado, and mission valley. rather a spread, is it not?

currently own a 2000 V6 toyota 4runner. doesn't sound like it's going to suffice as a tow vehicle.

permanent home is in new mexico. would consider buying there and transporting to sd and back after job.

cannot really make a hobby out of finding a workable solution to a housing problem, but would love to end up with an airstream to cherish after this is all done.

arnie
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