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Old 07-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Hello from Virginia Beach Virginia

A bit about us. We have been campers for many years. The majority was tent camping. We have owned two Pop Up campers since 2006. We still own our newest one, but it's time to get into a hard side. We are very used to boondocking and prefer it to staying in campgrounds, especially RV parks. Our current Pop Up is rigged for boondocking and we took it across country and back in 2010 and then out and around northern Texas last in 2011.

As planned we sold our business of 30 years in 2009 and so we're basically retired. Although now we are thinking of full timing and possibly work camping to supplement our finances. This has lead to our decision to move into a hard sided RV. Having made this decision we've been exploring our options, we've already ruled out motor homes, as our truck has many good miles left in it and we like not being stuck with just staying in RV parks and being able to set up the camper and explore with our truck. We also have given thought to 5th wheels, but they just seem to big and again limiting as far as boondocking and where we can take one. Most hard sided tag-a-longs seem cheaply made, so that brings us to Air Streams.


The Air Stream brand has been a camping tradition for as long as I can remember. Honestly, we don't know much about Air Streams, but that is why we've joined AirForums, to learn.

We're glad to be here, but look out because we've got lots of questions.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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You came to the right place, although be warned. If you are like us who camped for many years in tents and then look at Airstreams I worry you may be smitten.

We have (with our Airstream) boon docked many times from Death Valley to Big Bend, to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, to the Smokies in Tennessee and North Carolina to name a few. I guess on the less dramatic side you include a whole bunch of Wall-Mart parking lots as well.

We particularly like National and State Parks, so picking a trailer that is not too long would be advisable. We own a 27' International and for our purposes it is perfect. I am sure you'll get many great ideas here - welcome to the community!
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Old 07-22-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
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Oh, Paula, a neighbor needs your insight!
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilesrob View Post
You came to the right place, although be warned. If you are like us who camped for many years in tents and then look at Airstreams I worry you may be smitten.

We have (with our Airstream) boon docked many times from Death Valley to Big Bend, to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, to the Smokies in Tennessee and North Carolina to name a few. I guess on the less dramatic side you include a whole bunch of Wall-Mart parking lots as well.

We particularly like National and State Parks, so picking a trailer that is not too long would be advisable. We own a 27' International and for our purposes it is perfect. I am sure you'll get many great ideas here - welcome to the community!
Thanks very much, we're feeling welcomed already. We are actually pretty excited to be here. The length we have in mind is no more than 30'. Also, we'll be looking for a pre-owned unit.

We've actually already sent out inquiry on a listing in the AirForum classifieds. At this point though, we don't even know what types of floor plans exist, standard features, etc. Since this is just the introduction sections I won't go into a litany of questions. Any tips on how we can best use this website to get up to speed will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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Re-Pete

Congrats on your retirement and welcome to the forums. If you are into boondocking, I think that Airstreams are particularly well suited for that. Also, Airstreams are a travel trailer with the emphisis on travel while other travel trailers put the emphisis of trailer.

I live in Lynchburg and my daughter lives in Chesapeake. I will pm you some time when we will be over that way for a visit as it would be nice to meet you.

Dan
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:53 AM   #6
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Hello - IN Virginia Beach

Here's the funny part - once you start looking they are EVERYWHERE.
  1. I'm currently camped at Indian Cove (either an RV park or "a gated community off of prestigious Sandbridge Road. In addition to my unit there are currently 2 other Airstreams in the park.
  2. There are 5 to 7 stored at Holiday Trav-L Park on General Booth Blvd. There is also one Avion.
  3. There's a little vintage unit (possibly a Globetrotter) that I've never seen off the lot in the houses nestled between Virginia Beach Blvd. and Oceana Blvd - it's in the middle of the old neighborhood in a big back yard less than 2 blocks from the school bus parking lot.
  4. The KOA has finally gotten their rental 25 FB back. They took it to another KOA in New England that had big storm damage - the area manager lived in it while overseeing repairs. (You could rent this overnight just to check the real vibe.)
Check Craigslist & Even the local paper. People do sell them.

To see the latest layouts - I think Colonial Airstream's website is actually better and more up to date than the Factory's. But here are both:There are three levels of trim from least expensive to highest price:
  1. Flying Cloud (Safari up through 2006)
  2. International (aka: CCD for Cristopher C. Deen who designed this concept) with variations in upholstery and laminates: Ocean Breeze, Signature (dark wood) and Serenity very white... and they've got two gawdawful "concepts" for 2013 - one silver and mustard and the other white and electric purple....
  3. Classic - heaviest, real wood, very traditional interiors.
The models and floorplans changed a LOT over the years - so start looking and don't be shy. Look for Rallies, both Airforum and WBCCI (open rallies that try to gather new members and new Airstream buyers. There are even a few Airstream Only RV parks including one in the Mountains near Floyd VA. Beautiful, and usually a few trailers up for sale.

Welcome aboard and happy hunting.

Paula
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Dan and Paula,
Thanks for the tips and information. I guess like most people we are pretty touchy-feelly when it comes to buying something we'll be spending so much time in. Prices seem to be all over the place on pre-owned units, but like anything I'm sure it depends on features and how well they've been cared for.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Dan and Paula,
Thanks for the tips and information. I guess like most people we are pretty touchy-feelly when it comes to buying something we'll be spending so much time in. Prices seem to be all over the place on pre-owned units, but like anything I'm sure it depends on features and how well they've been cared for.
It also depends a lot on the ego of the seller. Sometimes you just shake your head when someone has a unit that smells like mouse poop and black mold and looks like it's been a meth lab for ten years - and the owner describes it's condition as "excellent". Sometimes you do find a nice 5 year old unit where the seller just wants to move it rather than keep it as yard art! About 2 years ago there was a beauty - 31 classic in pristine condition that the owner sold for about half off - and it was six years old.

Paula

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Old 07-23-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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Re-Pete,

We live in Norfolk - in fact we store our AS close to where we live in Ghent. We've owned an Airstream since 2008, but bought our current Flying Cloud in early 2011 . Send me a private message and I'll be glad to provide my contact info. Jack
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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It also depends a lot on the ego of the seller. Sometimes you just shake your head when someone has a unit that smells like mouse poop and black mold and looks like it's been a meth lab for ten years - and the owner describes it's condition as "excellent". Sometimes you do find a nice 5 year old unit where the seller just wants to move it rather than keep it as yard art! About 2 years ago there was a beauty - 31 classic in pristine condition that the owner sold for about half off - and it was six years old.

Paula

Paula
Hahaha, I'm sure you are right, Paula. Ah, the journey begins.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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I feel a rally coming on!

How about Chippokes Plantation?
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