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Old 12-30-2016, 09:13 AM   #15
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I've found that craft fairs, swap meets, and such are only good for looking. Anything I would like, wall hangings, pictures, pottery, furniture, yard art, will not fit in my rig. Everything has to be able to stow, or remain secured for travel. Everything that travels will have to abide the gross weight limit.
Seasonal stuff like xmas decorations, I carry a Charlie Brown tree and two 50 light strings, one inside, one out.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:20 AM   #16
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Check out Lily & Me's thread "Small Space Living." She lives in an Interstate while traveling several months at a time, and has done some neat decorating things within her vehicle. The creative outlet you find in home decor just has to get a lot smaller in scale.

The pilot lifestyle varies a whole lot, depending on where in a pilot's career you happen to be. The easy commute to work that exists for airline pilots is not there for general aviation pilots. I'm guessing your husband is in the early phases of his career, because you don't sound much like a captain's wife.

Mobility to move your home to a new job location is a good thing, so long as it does not exceed the winter capability of the Airstream. Thin aluminum walls don't do much to stop serious winter cold. It really is a three-season trailer.

I'd agree with those above who have suggested that you find a way to do a test period before making the financial commitment to buy a trailer.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 12-30-2016, 10:19 AM   #17
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A couple of thoughts.

You speak as if your husband will be the primary earner. So with that in mind where does his company see business expanding and improving over the mid to long term? He will be more valuable to the company if you relocate to where they anticipate the greatest need.

Real estate is a great store of value over longer periods. One gambit discussed on these forums is buying lots where zoning permits trailer living. The cost can be very low and, if you can sniff out where future growth will be, you can have great resale potential.

Another gambit is to purchase a house in need of surface or cosmetic repair and fix it up. Fresh paint, new landscaping, concrete cleaning don't require much additional investment or skill but can make a property shine for resale in the short to mid term.

For now, unless it is to onerous to live with the in-laws, why not save, save, save so that you have the cash to buy into a house or trailer + lot that works where you want to live?

Blue skies to you!!
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Old 12-30-2016, 11:37 AM   #18
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I'll give you a different point of view. I'm neither an experienced Airstreamer nor a full-timer. But in your situation, I would probably look at it like a short term (1-3 years) proposition. It's not as if you're making a decision that is going to stay with you forever. So give it a shot. Buy a used Airstream and live in it. If after 6 months or a year you decide that you don't like it for whatever reason, then sell the Airstream and go to plan B, whatever that is. Maybe that's not the MOST financially sound thing to do, but it certainly isn't financially reckless.

On the other hand, you could buy a house, and assuming you need a 30 year mortgage to do so and with a minimal down payment, you aren't going to have any equity in the house for a couple of years anyway. The first few years you'll be paying back primarily interest, you'll have several thousand dollars in closing costs, property taxes, insurance, etc. So, IF you buy an Airstream instead and delay buying a house for a few years, are you really going to be that much worse off than if you bought a house today? I don't think so, provided you buy a used Airstream and don't lose a lot in depreciation the first few years.
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:26 PM   #19
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Lots of interesting thoughts here. We're full-timers, but retired teachers. Much as we would have liked to full-time when our kids were young, that just wasn't possible.

My suggestion is that you and your husband have some long discussions about short-, medium-, and long-range plans. If your husband is an airline pilot he ought to be making some pretty good money, if not now, fairly soon. If he is a corporate pilot he may not make as much, but still better than a teacher (us) would make.

Maybe you can find some place, maybe a smaller house, that you can buy for a reasonable price, maybe do some fixing up to make it more appealing, live in it for 5-10 years while you pare your stuff down to what you will actually need/want on the road. In the meantime you can keep doing research and eventually find the perfect Airstream (or other RV) that will fit your needs and wants. You might even want to buy a used Airstream, similar to what you think you will want, and use it for vacations and learning.

My suggestion of starting with a used coach is based on our experience. Someone else has taken the biggest depreciation hit, so you won't have to. Few people buy the right coach the first time, especially if they haven't had a lot of RV experience. You can use that "learner" coach for a couple of years and then trade it in on one that seems to be more to your liking, then trade that one on the one that is really right. Experience is a great teacher.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:32 PM   #20
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So many great suggestions and ideas. Thanks everyone, I've loved reading the varying thoughts on our situation.

To answer a few questions: my husband is not in airlines. He's been in aerial mapping/surveying for the last three years and we have moved around some because of his work. This is likely to continue for 1-3 more years while he builds time and gains experience. Long term goal is potentially the airlines. Because of his work, we've had flexibility with where we live, most recent job being in CO, hence living with the in laws since they are close to this job.

Airstreaming full time would probably only be a 1-3 year plan. It's not forever, and we have the ability to do it on our income now. We hope to settle down a bit after this period and hang on to the AS for vacations.

We do plan to buy used. We've been looking at the 2005-2006 Flying Cloud model. It's amazing how much I've learned just reading through these forums - things I never even thought of. I'm sure that will continue when we finally have our own. It will be quite the adventure! That's for sure.

I also want to clarify that I don't see anything wrong with buying a house and using our money that way - but we do both have a little bit of a free spirit, I'm just more apprehensive about actually following mine. So this idea of AS full time, while somewhat dreamy sounding in thought, totally fits our personalities and lifestyle right now.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:43 PM   #21
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It sounds like you're being very thoughtful about this, have an adequate income to meet your expenses and nothing else really tying you down...so I say go for it!

You only live once.


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