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Old 11-12-2007, 11:59 PM   #1
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Smile Greetings from London England! We plan to fulltime soon.

Hi everyone,

We are newbees here. The 'we' being myself, my wife, and our cheeky Jack Russell, Abbey Moon! We have a little plan and so over the next year to eighteen months, I am going to be reading as much as I can about Airstreams and other peoples experiences. Oh, I might also ask a few questions along the way.

I'll start with the plan and if you want to learn more about our background you can read on afterwards.

The plan is (in a year to eighteen months time) to buy either an almost new Airstream which is already good to go, buy an older model for much cheaper and then spend a chunk of change on renovation, getting the chassis in tip top condition, and fitting the interior to our own specifications.

We then want to let the world (well at least at first the USA) be our oyster, travel around, experience different states, meet new people doing the same thing, and get to see more of this big wide world of ours.

We are still quite young, no kids yet, but that may change.

Lots of questions running through our heads. Not so much 'can we do this?' but more of 'how do we do this?'

What is life going to be like on the road full time?

Is it going to be similar to a year out of backpacking? ( see below )

What size Airstream should we be looking at? We like the idea of a 25-27 foot for convenience and the ability to move around with a bit more ease, but if this is going to be our home for god knows how long, would we be better off looking at a 30' or 31'?

What about an Airstream with the pull out side bit? (forgot the name of it).

If and we we have a baby, does that make it that much tougher to be on the road?

And then the big tough can we earn enough money along the way, moving from place to place to make this work?

All questions I hope people can help us with!

Here is a bit of background on us. The missus and I are both from England, but met in the USA about 4 years ago. I was living there for 13 years, and my other half was there for around 21 years having moved there with her family as a child.

When we met, one of the major things we found we had in common is wanderlust! When I was younger, I backpacked for a year around the world. After we got together I found out that this is something she had always wanted to do, and so after selling up her car, my car and motorcycle, off we set! It was the most amazing experience we had, and I enjoyed my time away the 2nd time with her, as much as I had on my own the first time. We have trouble staying for too long in one place and get itchy feet.

We are back in London right now, helping my sister who still lives in the UK take care of my Dad in his old age. Since we returned from backpacking a few years ago, we have been trying to figure out where we want to settle down. We were looking at either moving back to the USA again (not sure which state), Mexico, or Central America. Both of us are not into the 9-5 routine. Both of us are definitely free spirits

Unable to decide without experiencing different places for an extended period of time, we got the idea to see if we could 'fulltime' in an RV. Both of us LOVE Airstreams, and we like the idea of living simply.

Neither of us are materialistic (I'm a very lucky guy because Mrs LondonOllie does not care for fancy diamond rings and the like). We are used to living in close quarters together for extended periods of time too. (Try backpacking with your other half, living on almost no money for 24/7 for a year in sometimes stressful situations and you will know if you can make it together).

So, that's where we are at. Excited for the future. Lots of thinking and planning to be done, but no reason why we can't do this!

The things we have read on here, and elsewhere, have been really inspiring to us. I'll try not to ask too many silly questions, but if I do, please excuse my ignorance

Please feel free to give your thoughts on some of the questions above, let us know if you have done the same thing, or add anything you wish. Any input will be really appreciated!

Thanks for listening, and we hope to maybe meet some of you on the road in the future!

Ollie, Kim, & Abbey Moon


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Old 11-13-2007, 02:19 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. You guys have a great plan--strange, wonderful, and gutsy.

I don't know the economics of buying a vintage Airstream, getting it to England, fixing it (well, I do know this part), and then getting it to the USA. I'm all for the vintage route, but depending on the condition of the trailer when you buy it, it could take a year (or more) to get it "perfect." If the frame, floor, and tanks are good, you can have something "good enough" in 3-5 months, depending how good you are in the woodshop.

Most of my time in the Airstreams has been in the 27' Overlander (mostly solo) and the 18' Caravel (mostly a twosome). The Overlander is long enough that you will find some places you can't (or don't dare) go. I'm settling in on a 23' Safari that I've just started to restore, with the intention that it's about as short as you would ever want for two people if you're out for more than a couple of weeks. I think you are right in wanting something a little longer.

Looking at your planned geographical preference, I can say that you need an air conditioner in the summer in Arizona, New Mexico, Vegas, etc. and if so, then the shorter Airstream the better.

I think you'll find 27' trailers are more available than 25'. Maybe the community here can comment more on this. But I need to check on one that appears to be 25' in Ft Garland (CO) that has been in a storage area for a few years and looks to be in great shape. PM me later and remind me.

Good luck. Hope to see you at a rally in a couple years!


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Old 11-13-2007, 07:16 AM   #3
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Hi Zep,

Thanks for the reply. Sorry, I might have not been so clear. We don't intend on shipping it back to the UK. We will just move back to the USA and if we decide to go down the 'refub' route, then we will just have to stay put for 6 months, work in one spot while we are fixing up the Airstream.

It definitely seems like we need something larger, but it's a payoff as we would like to have the freedom to go wherever we want, and that may not be the case with the size restriction.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:14 AM   #4
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WE LOVE ENGLAND!! Were just there this past spring - my wife attended a two day conference at the Vicki & Albert Museum. Flew in on Tuesday and returned to USA on Sunday. Probably have visited a half dozen or more times - on the continent another twleve to fifteen. Brother in law lives in Germany. As you start looking, you'll find an ample supply of 19' and 30+'. The small and the large are plentiful! We looked for three months for a one to four year old 22' or 23'. Found exactly two - neither close to the layout we were interested in. Finally decided to purchase a new 23' - went to close the deal and ended up with a 25'. More living space than the 23' - much more comfortable. Go into all you can find - pretend to live in it - check it out - see what size is most comfortable. It'll be with you for a long time, if you want it. Make sure you read the specs very carefully and get a TV (tow vehicle) that matches the trailer. Lots of folks have under powered TVs. Then, ENJOY!!!! So much to see and do. We've traveled the European world extensively - that's why we've now purchased our first AS and plan to see the USA. This country is so big and so varied and we're going to see as much of it as we can. Good Luck!!
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:57 AM   #5
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Greetings and welcome. Look at for jobs that have you working anywhere from 15 hrs a week for a site , all the way to 40 hrs a week for a site and $$. We have full -timed in our airstream for almost 2 yrs and love it. We also have campground memberships that reduce the cost alot...even less than state and national parks. Since you are used to staying in close quarters adding a baby shouldn't be hard , because this life style is not as tough as packpacking. Best of luck...there are several AS parks you could get into if you go the route of an older model and need to fix-er-up
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:01 AM   #6
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Thanks guys! Very useful information again.
Pilgrim, glad you enjoyed England. The V&A is a great museum. I'm sure there are some things here that we will miss such as museums and such easy access to Europe. In the last year, we have gone to Provence France, Fes in Morocco, Amsterdam, Wales, amongst other places. Still, there is LOTS of North America still to see and we do both miss the friendly people in the USA.

It's very exciting to have a future plan and not continue to drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out what to do!

We read that it is important to have the right vehicle for the size of your trailer. Right now we drive a tiny Diesel car here in London (a 1.5 litre turbo diesel) and we love it. I think a diesel suv or truck is the way to go. We love the low down torque compared to a gas engine.

I'll definitely check out and take your advice.

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