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Old 03-05-2015, 11:35 PM   #1
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Hi, I'm Wendy W. and I need advice!

Last September I realized the rest of my life was calling, and it would not be stationary. The decision to buy an RV was easy when seeing the wild parts of the country became far more important than clinging to my stuff, which had become an anchor, and having a home base. I can't afford to pay rent AND travel, so full timing it will be. My lease is up in August so I still have several months to find my chariot.

At first I wanted a used (always used) travel trailer, 16-20' feet, but my 4-cyl. Kia Sportage is a wimp. The more I thought about having an unfamiliar TV towing an unfamiliar TT, I began considering Argosys or anything else under 26 feet. I thought a Moho would be easier and cheaper than a two-vehicle combo. Now I don't know what to do. Cash is limited, but I'm trying for an Airstream to be safe.

I'm retired, single, fearless and excited beyond belief. I would love help sorting out which mode of travel would be better, and I would particularly like to hear from solo women who can relate.

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Old 03-06-2015, 12:11 AM   #2
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Hi Wendy

You will find lots of info here about technical aspects of fulltimg. But for logistical stuff and to get an idea of the lifestyle, I would suggest Youtube. Bare in mine that you might get a somewhat more rosy picture of what it's like, than what it's like in reality. Make sure you have a realistic budget. Fifteen years ago, a very skillful fulltiming expert was spending about $20K annually. You could maybe do it cheaper if you didn't move around a lot.

But what you asked about

Motorhomes limit your ability to explore, unless you tow a small car
Used motorhomes may cost more to fix up and maintain than a used trailer.
If you get a used Airstream trailer at a low price, it could cost up to $20 K to fix it up.

Price out a few brands of trailers and motorhomes, new and used. Airstreams may not fit your budget.

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Old 03-06-2015, 01:32 AM   #3
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Thanks, Mandolindave. I do have enough money saved to either fix up an older or buy a newer RV, and while the vast majority of Airstreams are too long or too expensive, I actually can afford the purchase. After that I'll be on a fixed income that I could work to supplement. Am I wrong in thinking that AS holds its value better than most?
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:02 AM   #4
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Look for a gently used 90ish trailer. And trade the Kia.

Reach out to Foiled Again. She is a veteran solo full timer.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:03 AM   #5
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Aluminum vs fiberglass

While it's true that Airstreams hold their value more than some trailers, there are tons of discussions around build quality and improvement or lack of improvement over time.

Owning a 2005 Bambi 19', I would probably buy an Oliver(1st choice) or a Casita if I were doing it over again. The Oliver build quality is amazing and the ground clearance is so much better if you need to go anywhere that might be less than smooth.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:13 AM   #6
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Joelbert makes a good point. Check out and ask questions there as well. Good luck. You can do it.
"Certainty on any matter is not one of the human attitudes the Gods admire or tolerate."
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by WendyW. View Post
Am I wrong in thinking that AS holds its value better than most?
You will pay more now to get one but will get more when you sell.
The higher your expectations the fewer your options.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:12 AM   #8
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Hi, I'm Wendy W. and I need advice!

I would buy an OLIVER or an ESCAPE before I would by an A$. Then put the difference I paid in the bank.
Most talk about resale value. It sounds like you are planning the finite years of your life. To be blunt. Why would you care what the resale value is when your gone?
Besides that, it's a lot quicker to go the the bank and get the money you saved on the purchase than it is to sell the coach. You don't have to dicker with the bank to get your money.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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Old 03-06-2015, 08:28 AM   #9
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Wendy, if you are solo and a first time RV I wouldn't buy an older trailer that may need repairs and renovations. Since you are solo I would second the suggestion for an Oliver or Escape but also consider a new Casita. The Oliver is a $45k to $50k trailer, the Escape (made in Canada) is a $18 to $25k and the Casita (made in Texas) is about $20k. The Casita is the smallest. Another solution is another Canadian trailer, Bigfoot. They offer sizes up to 25' but they are in the same price range as the Oliver. The advantage of the Oliver and Bigfoot are they are full season trailers with insulation and double pane windows. They will require a different tow vehicle. The Casita being only 17' and 3500lbs requires a less capable tow vehicle.

Any of these trailers have good resale value and sell quickly when the time comes to hang up the keys.

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Old 03-06-2015, 08:44 AM   #10
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I dont think I've ever seen so many Airstreamers try to talk someone out of an Airstream. I say buy one that is new enough that it does'nt need a lot of work, and get a good tow vehichle. Price is always an issue, but my experience having owned other brands, is Airstreams have less major maintanance. If you have to save another year it is worth it. Just my opinion.
Get right or get left, and have a blessed day !

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Old 03-06-2015, 08:49 AM   #11
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After having just finished up three months of camp hosting, I can say I saw quite a few Casitas and they appeared quite nice. I'm not familiar with the other smaller trailers but I will recommend you try to get a small trailer rather than an RV. One of the best ways to get by is to find jobs at campgrounds - it paid our rent. But being able to detach is a lot better when you have to go grocery shopping or take time to explore. I would see people have to detach their umbilical cords each time they would venture outside of their spot. So I would pay up front and go for the flexibility.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:57 AM   #12
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Want to full time or need to, by yourself - 25' AS is what I would go with. Get a new TV find a nice used 25' and go for it. It will last, it will retain value and when you are done you can get some money out of it.

Motorhome is not cheaper, not easier and if you want to tour you need another mode of transportation ie towing a car. SOME people do not tow and rent a car when they need one, enterprise delivers and picks up and I've seen them in some campgrounds. But, we have had a MoHo, went back to AS for a number of reasons.

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Old 03-06-2015, 09:02 AM   #13
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Here is a blog of a full time Casita owner. She is a young woman who workkamps.

Here is a blog of a young working full time Airstream couple.

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Old 03-06-2015, 09:07 AM   #14
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Casita talk and no one has mentioned RV Sue. Retired single woman in a Casita living cheaply. rvsue and her canine crew | Living on less and enjoying life more

Our Adventure..
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