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Old 11-09-2013, 06:17 AM   #1
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Hello from Boston

Just introducing myself.

My family camps in a large popup and I am researching a TT for cross country travels, the goal being showing my kids as many National Parks as possible before they get older and don't want anything to do with me. It's my life's goal. I just bought an immaculate 2005 Ford Excursion with a Powerstroke solely for this purpose.

I love the Airstream and have for many, many years. However the wife is not hot on them, and I am concerned about space and sleeping arrangements. If it were me, I'd have one in a heartbeat, but I need to keep the wife happy and I think it important each kid has a little space of their own.

So I am here to learn, perhaps I can either mod a trailer to suit or will find something like the bunkhouse. Hope to learn from you all.

Thank you

Ted Staples
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:57 AM   #2
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Not having kids myself, I don't know that I have much to offer by way of advice but you'll get lots of great insight here. Welcome and good luck - your goal is very admirable!
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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Do it if you can...even if on SOB (some other brand)!

Once your wife has to crawl up and down into an SOB to load and chase kids, the practicality of lower AS will Make sense!

Also, you will have a helpful group here to help with trailer issues... Mechanical issues.. Not where the kids leave their socks...

Good on you.. Wish we coulda!
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:20 PM   #4
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How many kids? All I can say is... Follow the dream. I only wish I had done it when my kids were young.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted S. View Post
I love the Airstream and have for many, many years. However the wife is not hot on them, and I am concerned about space and sleeping arrangements. If it were me, I'd have one in a heartbeat, but I need to keep the wife happy and I think it important each kid has a little space of their own.

So I am here to learn, perhaps I can either mod a trailer to suit or will find something like the bunkhouse. Hope to learn from you all.
One of the fastest ways to expand you living space in any travel trailer— not just an Airstream— is to make or purchase walls to enclose the area under your awning. Takes a little longer to set up and take down, and you would need to carry a stepladder to attach and detach the walls each time, but it's doable.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:19 AM   #6
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We have 4 kids, ranging from 2 to 20. It's a long story but the older two are my step kids. We are all very close and I am lucky because the older two are always game for fun as opposed to getting older and not wanting to do anything with us.

I am an architect and a builder, so the thought of modifying a trailer is possible. I thought maybe getting an Excella or a Classic and rebuilding the back bedroom into bunks and building a nice front bedroom for my wife and I. The biggest challenge is finding one with the right door placement. Most of the doors look really far forward which would interfere with the bed. The rest of the trailer I would leave pretty much as is with some freshen up.

I walked through SOB trailers yesterday with my little one. Honestly, my heart has been and always will be with the Airstream. I tend to be moved by nostalgia and buy ' the last of' items such as the Coleman Popup which I love dearly. My wife likes the bigger ones, she is less moved than I. She was never a camper and so we've come a long way with the popup. Little did she know it was all preperation for bigger trips.

So this plan is work in progress. If I could do this in an Airstream I think it would be a time the family would never forget. Seeing this great country and doing it in an Airstream. It doesn't get any better then that.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:44 AM   #7
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We raised our kids camping in a pop-up and now they are grown and on their own and I have my beloved Airstream. I LOVE my Airstream which works great for my husband and me and our two dogs, However, if I had four kids in there too, I would have to have a camper of my own. As much as I hate to say it, I think some of the other campers with more space would be my choice as a young mom. Get the Airstream when they are grown and you only have to take one or two kids with you.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:47 AM   #8
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Ted, our 2 sons grew up in a travel trailer, roaming the country 3 weeks each summer. Took them out West twice to all the big NP's. Best thing we ever did with them, they now both have their own families and rigs. We camp together often.

You would need to pull a 60' mobile home for everyone to have plenty of room. All you really do is sleep in the trailer so if eveyone can have a bed then , everyone is happy. We had one trailer that we had to fold down an overhead cabinet to create the bunk. We put a cot on the floor. Really had it made once with bunk beds in a rear corner. Still lowered the table and unfolded the couch. We usually traveled with the 2 grandmothers (widows) so 6 of us in 30' or less, no slide out.

Met a family once that travels regularly with 6 kids, all just glad to be there. They had a full size van to haul them around. 6 bicycles and all.

You already have the value of the family camping experience figured out, only issue now is what brand.

Most any Airstreamer, including myself, would say go AS. If road trips/cross country travels are to main priority, they can't be beat. Plus the AS family that comes with ownership is tops.

Keep moma happy, 'cause "when momma not happy, nobody happy".

John
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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The easiest way....don't pressure.

Take a trip down to Colonial Airstream in Lakewood Township NJ.

The best place for all things Airstream.

Bob
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:06 AM   #10
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From 2009 to 2010, my wife, my seven-year-old daughter, my 12 year old dog and I left in a Volkswagen Eurovan to tour North America.

Let me say from the onset that this was the best thing I've ever done in my life.

When I announced my wife that I intended to bring her on the strip she immediately broke up with me. Seriously.

We stayed apart for the space of one weekend. It turns out that she could not imagine us selling our house, quitting our jobs and leaving to be on the road for one year.

On top of that, I was suggesting we move from Montreal to Sherbrooke, a small city in the Eastern townships of Quebec.

I'll spare you all the details but we did our trip and we are very happy all together now. We've been back for 3 years now from our trip. We are so very happy in our townships.

Okay enough of the sappy stuff.

We now own a 1975 25 foot land yacht AS bathroom and double bed at the back. On our way back from the trip, we quickly sold the Westfalia as it has been great but we could not see ourselves traveling anymore in this small vehicle.

Our dog has passed but our daughter is 11 years old and she loves traveling with friends. we have the very small gaucho bed at the front. However this is all about to change. I will change to gaucho into a dinette with a queen size bed for me and my wife in the kitchen.

For your needs I would recommend the back bathroom with single beds twins at the back as well. You could then modify to get bunkbeds on each side of the trailer.

With the gaucho modification you can hang out at the front while the kids are in bed and when ready put your bed down into a nice queen-size heaven.

I have all the plans you need to do this if you need to contact me and I will pass them along to you.

I am also removing the carpet and will sand the plywood sheets on the floor to then color them and keep them waterproof.

I have removed all appliances and refurbished them to make them reliable and like new. Have also redone the plumbing to have flexible text and redone the electricity to have reliable wires. Although no not much change but it made it very nice and comfortable for our trip last summer.

With the new dinette bed at the front next summer is going to be a dream and I think I will have a hard time coming back to our home when will be on the road.

As for my wife, you should see how excited she is about the community and about traveling in the airstream when she has experienced a rally with other airstreams owner.

When traveling Volkswagen style we fell in love with the community and we dearly missed it after selling our vehicle. Years later the airstream community we have found has been so nice. We feel that we are back home with them.

I think the trick will be for you and your wife and children to try a rally even maybe before you buy an airstream and then experience a friendliness and warmth that you will get from the people in the community. you will leave that rally with a new family and I suspect your wife will become the keenest follower of your whole family.

If you are close to me you're welcome to use my airstream for that first trip.

Good luck in your projects keep in touch if you need my help.

I apologize for the very long message. Yours went back to my heart and made me wish I was starting to do this again.

Sincerely,
Ghislain

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Old 11-10-2013, 08:10 AM   #11
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Whoops I forgot to say one piece of advice:

On our trip we rarely spent any time in our trip in our vehicle. We set a six hour maximum travels time rule and then stayed at least three days in every part that we visited. We also had to be done traveling and ready to install our by four in the afternoon so we had time to rest and cook and have a nice evening.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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Thank you all for your replies. What a great "Community" Airstream is. Ghislain, thank you so much for the offer. Perhaps we will camp together in the future.

So today we are headed to New England Airstream. It is close to us, if we go new we will probably take a trip to Colonial as well. Although they don't have a bunk model on the lot, I just want to see my wife's reaction. We were in one at a RV show and as I said, she was not much into it. Maybe it was all of the extra zeros on the price tag, I don't know.

I designed and built my house, all concrete, took me 12 years. Well I am not done yet, but just about there. So I feel the urge for another project. Maybe it will be an Airstream. I am they type that is always building something and right now I am without a project.

To be truthful, I don't think we will end up with a SOB. There are just too many kids and I think we need slides, my top priority is keeping the wife happy. I am so lucky to be married to someone who is willing to go along with this especially since she was the non camper type.

However, if not now, I am sure there is an Airstream in my future. A nice 27-28' with a nice living area and queen bed would be sweet. But I'd need 30'+ now with bunks.

Regardless, my family traveled the US with my sister and I when we were small in a VW camper so I would think an Airstream is a palace compared to that!
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:24 AM   #13
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Welcome from another Boston resident! We just purchased our AS this fall and got to use it once before winterizing. We're totally hooked!

I can't address your issues about a large family traveling in one. It's just the two of us and a dog. We bought one of the smaller ones. But I can reiterate advice that I read here -- keep walking through them (SOBs and Airstreams), see as many as you can in the sizes you're interested. Spend some time in them with the whole family.

We did a lot of research on SOBs and AS. In addition to the nostalgia and just-plain-gorgeous factor, we really loved the styling and, more important, the quality.

The recommendation to visit Colonial in NJ is a good one; however, there are a couple dealers closer to home to get a feel for them. New England Airstream in Stoughton seems to have a decent selection of models. I see you're heading there today. We bought ours in NH at Profile Stateline Superstore in Nashua (where we are also storing it). Much smaller selection, but we really loved the service and the location. Prefer storing it there than in the Boston area where we would always have to deal with lots of traffic just getting it out to go somewhere.

Your goal to travel with the kids sounds fantastic. My family did long three-week vacations every summer (in a car and only down south), and I have fond memories of every relative we visited and everything we got to see. It is what fed my desire to want a TT.

Good luck, and read everything in here you can. We found this site to be a treasure trove of useful information! The people in the AS forums seem super friendly and willing to help. I would also recommend three books: How to Buy an Airstream (C.S. Michael), The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming (Rich Luhr), and The RV Book (Mark Polk). All had great information.

Good luck and maybe we'll see you on the roads around New England in a TT.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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Ted,

What I learned.....

If the DW falls in love with with the interior of any Airstream and you can live with the mechanicals....that's the one!!

SWMBO

Bob
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