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Old 12-29-2016, 04:14 PM   #1
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House divided on full timing

Hi everyone! I am coming to you from a house divided on buying and living in an Airstream. I am the apprehensive half between the two of us. My husband has had a life long dream of living in an Airstream full time. I used to draw up RV plans when I was little and tell my mom I would live in a camper in her backyard. But I never really thought I would DO IT.

Background: We are in our early thirties. No kids. One big mutt of a dog. He's a rottie mix, around 80lbs (of love). Husband is a pilot (hence my username) and I've been in banking the last few years. We don't have jobs that will allow us to travel a lot, maybe one day. But for now, we don't really have a home and that's where the Airstream comes in. We are in a transition period and living with his parents.

Anywho, now that we are in a situation where buying and living in an Airstream is feasible, I'm feeling all kinds of nerves about it. What about my stuff? I love to decorate, it's a creative outlet for me. I don't have our current (temporary) home filled with stuff, but it is decorated tastefully and with things I love. My husband could wear the same outfit every day and never think twice. He could fit all of his stuff in a backpack and be fine. I like to think I could do that, but when it comes down to it... I'm just not sure.

I feel like I'm not explaining this very well, but mostly curious if anyone can give me some peace of mind about making this huge step?
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:19 PM   #2
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Expect to transfer as much furniture, art, kitchenware, clothing, garden utensils, food among many other comforts of home... that will be allowed onto a commerical passenger plane.

Now that the conversation has started, others might have some other items to add onto my short list.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:41 PM   #3
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Living in an AS will be a lesson in what 'stuff' is important to you. It's liberating to shed the weight of accumulation. And, at least for us, experiences replace the need for a lot of material items.

Best wishes!
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:46 PM   #4
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You're right, it is more about the experiences we will share rather than the stuff I think I can't live without. Now that I've re-read my post, I feel as though I came off pretty emotional about it... truly, I'm not THAT attached to my things. I think it's more about the fact that NO ONE our age (that we know) is doing anything like this... probably doesn't even cross their minds. I was talking to a guy at work about it today and he was trying to convince me that the smarter thing to do is go in debt $230k to buy a nice house out here in Colorado, where we have our money invested in something that will retain it's value. The market is so inflated out here that we would probably be upside down within six months. I'd rather invest my money in something that will provide more than a headache every month as I write a fat mortgage check, or pay for a plot of land where I could touch my neighbors house from my own. It's just not heard of much at our age.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:46 PM   #5
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OK. Seriously. I think you have already understood what I have said in Post #2 was in jest.

Full Timing in any kind of a trailer requires sacrifice of anything larger than a Manhattan, NY apartment. Mainly essentials and not much of that, as well.

Full Timing... can be done. I advise that you RENT one of those small rental RV's and spend a week or two traveling and getting adjusted to the lack of space for anything but... essentials.

As long as you have a place to store, what cannot be hauled in a trailer, of any size, that is a plus. In the event this idea does not work out.

My wife and I discovered there are many things we possess that really are dead weight and not necessary... at HOME! Purging stuff now is a Craigs List windfall. We enjoy camping for days, weeks or a month on the road... but there is no place like home. I doubt if we ever could become traveling gypsies.

Before you purchase a trailer, check out the comforts of the bed and seating around a table. The rest then falls into place. Is the storage space flexible enough for your needs. Is there enough space separation for your own little corner of... trailer paradise? Our 25 foot is more than enough for us and two blue heelers... temporarily.

The costs to 'park' the trailer at an RV Park will possibly change your mind as to the economy of your choice of living quarters. It is not an inexpensive way to live full time with hookups and power. Even if you own the spot you consider home at a private RV Park that you own the location and pay upkeep for the facilities provided.

You are young. There should be no hurry to make a change of living quarters, yet.

I spent three months a year, while a full time student at the University of Wyoming, camped out on ranches to collect fossils to cover the nine months of University meager living expenses. A small tent or the back of a Ford Bronco as home was easy as a student. I owned very little needing storage.

It did place a damper on meeting young women looking for financial security, that did not include a remote campsite with a hundred mile view of sunrise and the sunset... as a future possibility.

A trailer today?... there still is no place like home. Be it your trailer, some day... or a place you can store all your stuff and live with it. You will know when. How to do it is a much more difficult decision.
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Old 12-29-2016, 04:52 PM   #6
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We are in our early thirties and transitioning to full time. Forced minimalism is one of the things that attracted us to this lifestyle. We are both attracted to the prospect of having and consuming less stuff.

It's been tough to get rid of things. Houses, furniture, kitchen appliances that look useful but we never use. Clothes, tools, books. Failed hobbies. Stuff that must be important because we've held on to it for decades.

A while back, after we had both lost jobs, we realized how much our posessions were controlling us. We were tied down to homes that housed our stuff. We couldn't travel because we had to pay for and maintain space that our stuff could live in. We didn't own our stuff, it owned us.

So here we are, wriggling our way out from under our piles of stuff. We're still not ready, but we're getting there.

You can decorate and fill an Airstream with things you love. They are just likely to be smaller and lighter weight things than you would put in a house.

For us, it's nice to see something beautiful that we would love to have, but pass on buying it without a second thought because we don't have room for it. And it's nice to make the most of every little detail of our small space.

I hope this helps. This is just where we are and what we are feeling. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:28 PM   #7
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Hello pilotswife and welcome! I chuckled when I read your post because when I was a little girl, my best friend lived in a mobile home, and I loved going to her house!! Owning a trailer became a lifelong dream from WAY back then- lol!

Back to your topic, Ray made some good points, and I will also say- you are young and in a developmental stage where you may not be decluttering yet, but figuring out the nuts and bolts of your careers and lives. For many of your generation, having kids and owning a home (paying off a mortgage) is not the be-all and end-all. Technology and mobility have opened the world to all of us. Lots for the two of you to consider together.

We do change as we move through life- maybe this is a good time for you to try full-timing out. Try a 6-month lease and see what issues and decisions arise with regard to your careers, families, and lifestyle. Nothing is set in stone. Listen to each other and have fun! Keep us posted
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:28 PM   #8
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Dear PW,

At age 28 & after spending 5 years in grad school, I finally graduated, & my graduation present to myself was a 1940 Alden-designed cutter, an old wood sailboat. My wife, age 24, I, & our 100+ lb Great Dane moved aboard it at Fleitz Bros. Marina, in San Pedro, LA Harbor. We lived aboard in San Pedro for two years, & then moved the boat to Newport Beach, where I got a job in Corona del Mar, at the entrance to Newport Bay. A year later, after three years of living aboard, I got another job back in San Pedro, "swallowed the anchor," & bought & moved into one unit of a duplex. Personally, what I can say is that the three years of living aboard was the best three years I've had as far as shear living.

A year ago, I bought an AS FC 27 FB. What I can say is that the AS has considerably more room in it than did the Alden. So it can be done, and if my experience with living aboard is any guide, living on a boat or in a trailer gives one the opportunity to decide what possessions are really important & what others are not so.

I bet that you "can't go wrong" whatever you decide is best for you. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Sincerely,

Richard Wills
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:39 PM   #9
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If I may, allow me to play a bit of devils advocate.

Consider these ideas and see how they hit you. If they don't apply, then please disregard.



You don't have time to travel because you are young and working. You don't have a lot of extra money to travel either. You aren't sure you want to buy a house, because it's in 1 place and they are expensive. You need someplace to live.

Airstreams look cool, and that looks like a fun way to live. And you can move it if you want to.

Reality is that Airstreams depreciate like a car. So you are not building wealth by owning one. It is not free to live in one, even if it's owned free and clear. Because you will need to either own the land it's on, or pay rental fees for where you stay.

If your reality is that you need a place to live and don't want to buy a house, then maybe an apartment would be a better financial decision. A modest apartment could allow you to save up for a recreational airstream and vehicle. Consider that a recreational one can be a lot smaller than one you are in 24/7/365.

If you would not live in a 5th wheel, or a mobile home, then I think you might be romanticizing the full time Airstream thing.

I recommend you review this post, and particularly the comments by poster BoldAdventure.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314...be-156401.html
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:08 PM   #10
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Wow, thanks for all of the great responses. You all have given me a lot to consider. We aren't quite ready to bite the bullet and purchase an AS, though we've looked a lot and have a pretty good idea of what we want when we are ready. My post today comes from a place of being closer to take that step than ever before. Reality is starting to hit on what a big decision it is and what it will really mean. I'm sure we will figure out all kinds of new things about each other and tiny living that we didn't know/think of before!

Thankfully, we do have a place to store our most valued possessions if/when we make the move to full time AS living.

One main reason we are considering this lifestyle is because of my husbands job. As a pilot, we can pretty much live anywhere. We have been pretty mobile the last few years and have often said to each other how nice it would've been to have our home go with us, rather than having to search for a place to live each time a new job opportunity comes up. How nice to be able to have the stability of "home" when everything else around you changes.

So while we will most likely park our AS for lengths of time, we do intend to travel here and there for pleasure and for work (as needed). I do realize that an AS comes with expenses just like owning a house would. And I understand it depreciates - but the value for us is not having to play the game of renting or moving every year when a job changes.

I've been reading through a lot of the forums here today and have gained knowledge on things I never considered about going small. These forums and your responses have been eye opening and so helpful. I thank you for your time.

I will keep you updated on what we decide to do. Right now, we are considering a 27ft Flying Cloud.
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Old 12-29-2016, 06:19 PM   #11
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There's no point in living in a three-season Airstream in Denver as a tiny, tiny house in a RV or Mobile home park. Airstreams are built to travel. You can live small in a small house, i wonder if big houses are the great long term investment they used to be.

We spend 6-7 months each year as snowbirds in the southern states, traveling extensively coming and going from our winter destination(s), which are very active Senior RV Resorts. Love it, but we would never live in this little camper unless lots of travel were involved. We absolutely love to return to our home and family, great friends and neighbors, our shop, gardens and projects. It is all the more meaningful and happy to come home after a many months away.
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:14 PM   #12
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I have a friend that is a pilot. He lives full time in an Airstream. In the winter, he keeps his Airstream in the south so that he does not need to worry about it freezing. As long as he can drive to an airport to hop a flight to where he has to fly out from, he is good.
In the summer, he travels further north to visit places that he would like to see and try new things. It works for him.
Real estate is not the only way to invest your money. If you have things that you would like to keep, you can rent storage space for them. Perhaps your inlaws would allow you to keep some things with them.


John
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Old 12-29-2016, 07:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trnpk Crsr View Post
I have a friend that is a pilot. He lives full time in an Airstream. In the winter, he keeps his Airstream in the south so that he does not need to worry about it freezing. As long as he can drive to an airport to hop a flight to where he has to fly out from, he is good.
In the summer, he travels further north to visit places that he would like to see and try new things. It works for him.
Real estate is not the only way to invest your money. If you have things that you would like to keep, you can rent storage space for them. Perhaps your inlaws would allow you to keep some things with them.


John
Thank you John. We do realize there are other ways to invest our money - I more meant that specifically towards where we live. My in laws have said we can store things at their place which is a huge relief!

We might have the option of pulling the Airstream into hangars when visiting airports for jobs. Colorado is just a short term stop for us, we wouldn't necessarily spend the winters here. Your friend has a good thing going - very lucky!
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Old 12-30-2016, 08:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotswife View Post
I think it's more about the fact that NO ONE our age (that we know) is doing anything like this... probably doesn't even cross their minds.
Interestingly, a majority of the full time Airstreamers we've met have been late 20's, early 30's. The common thread, other than being adventurous, is the ability to work remotely or wherever work calls- a pilot, a nurse practitioner, some web folks, graphic artists, etc. And when the camp fire gets going, and drinks are in hand, the stories shared are inspiring and validating.

As to investing your money. When we told our finance guy we were gonna sell everything, buy a trailer, and travel, he cautioned us that it was not a good financial move. When we told him it was an Airstream, he reflected and said "scratch that, you'll be okay."

Our first AS was a 2010 International Serenity we bought used in early 2015. We sold it in Oct of this year for what we paid for it. So, there's opportunity for making a good deals out there.

And finally, I'll leave you with my mantra as to why I retired early from a life sucking career in law enforcement. I think you might appreciate it-
You can always make more money, but you can't make more time..."
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