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Old 06-20-2015, 09:29 AM   #1
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Just Dreaming right now...

Hello everyone!
My name is John, and although I always thought airstreams looked "cool" on the outside, I gotta say the inside and the idea never really appealed to me. Till recently that is! My wife always wants me to go camping, to which I tell her that's what hotels are for. I need me a real bed, thank you very much. Our dream has been to have a modern home get-away somewhere, probably something modern-pre fab which is becoming more popular and affordable. Her folks live in NYC and built a prefab in the Catskills. The amount of time effort and money just really turned me off to the idea, plus they didn't do "modern" they did just plain old prefab, but by the time they are done, they should have just spent the money and done it right the first time. But I digress. Let me break down my crazy train of thought. I'm an avid cyclist (and my wife rides but not so much) and I want to travel and ride as much while I still can. I say that because at 42 I was diagnosed with Parkinson's. At 44 now, you would need a keen eye to tell, I still can ride for the most part, and I stay very active to keep the disease at bay. I can't wait for "retirement" for a 2nd home (which seems kinda wasteful anyways now) or even an airstream. I thought camping might be a good way for my wife and I to enjoy our good time left instead and help us feel as though life is more than just appointments and well, Parkinson's. So I've been mulling over these ideas, and I won't be able to pull the trigger anytime soon so I can give it some real good thought (which is important, PD meds are notorious for creating impulsive and compulsive behavior). My first idea is a VW Bus. I've owned a vintage car before and have gained some minor mechanical ability thanks to that plus I learned the golden rule, always buy somebody else's restoration. Late bay window we're talking 15-20k and the interior is still ugly IMHO, so that would need redoing. At the end of the day still driving an old vehicle and all the inherent issues, plus it's kinda cramped inside. Plus side is it can go just about anywhere. Second idea is an Eriba Puck. It would be perfect. I've always said to my wife I want to roll an old Fiat 500 into our loft and learn to restore it. The puck is the trailer version of that. Although my building skills are minor, I have a brother and a brother in law the former being a carpenter the second being an artist and craftsman. Both dabble in electrical work and are all around handy. My self, my hands are still steady and I like to refinsh furniture for a hobby. I collect mid century furniture (mainly Paul McCobb) and love the thrill of finding a bargain and giving it new life. So an Eriba puck would be perfect, if I could find one, so scratch that. So that brings me to the Airstream. Thinking small, no bigger than 22. As for the hunt for it helps that I'm a mailman, and can tap into the the knowledge base of a lot of other carriers to find out who's got an airstream sitting around and may want it gone! As for new models I like the looks of some of the CCD models, especially the ones with light interior colors (white,blue, orange) but not a fan of the dark exotic woods. I've gone gagga over Hoffman Architecture's work, that would be my ideal. I've seen enough posts here and videos to know a full blown restoration is a scary... so do I look for the best deal on something in very good shape (80s and up ) and gut it to rebuild to my tastes, or do I simply go for the CCD model used? Have they changed over the years? If you look at Chris Deam's site the models don't quite match up with what's on Airstream's site. The interior I like most is this: International ‚Üź Christopher C. Deam, Its never what you expect, but always what you can imagine. although the signature is cool too. I want something with lots of light and lots of white or aluminum. Thanks for any advice!

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Old 06-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #2
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Form follows function, true. But I'd say aesthetics, important as they are, are nevertheless a diversion from a the whole point of acquisition. Which is to travel far and easily.

The brand choice is correct as to overall engineered design. That covers one half the aesthetic. The other half is a modern overall engineered tow vehicle. A Mercedes, BMW or Porsche SUV as exemplar. The link between them -- the quality of the lash up (and trailer antilock disc brakes) -- is the piece that makes it all work.

Recommend you read all the posts and threads of Andrew_T of CAN AM RV. And his column published in RV Lifestyle, called Hitch Hints.

Interior finish is pretty far down the list of what is important. Can be expensive and the reason I wrote this, this way, is that it WILL be time consuming. Call it years, not weeks or months for a dream interior. Or a $100,000 budget on top of purchase price and other needed upgrades. Timeless Travel Trailers threads here and their website is worth the read if the checkbook is fat.

A trailer in very good condition for your budget custom-fitted behind an ideal tow vehicle is the picture on which to focus. All other ways are highly expensive or years long in completion or both.

I speak from some experience after being diagnosed a dozen years back as essentially terminal, becoming weaker and less able to leave the house over three years. Got lucky after some improved tests. But one is never again the same. We don't get back what is lost. And that is not only time.

The rig that is acquired and fitted to a great tow vehicle as above is the one to have. Interiors can be dramatically changed with color, lighting and decoration. Biking now, and more restful later (however you would describe it) is rather predicated on how difficult the rig is to make travel.

Cut the road going difficulties to the minimum. THAT is your real focus, in my opinion. A CAN AM setup is the place to start. Whether with his advice as freely offered, or your close study of how to do this yourself.

I'm sure that most would recommend a motor home to you, as would I, initially. But the trailer can someday be parked to serve as that lake or mountain cabin. The tow vehicle will also be one far better than a truck for solo travel, safety, and ease of use.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:23 AM   #3
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Thanks Slowmover. I've been giving it a lot of thought, and reading up more! As much as I'd love to polish some diamond in the rough, I'm now leaning toward a 20' Argosy, or preferably a minuet. The later the model the better. Something that's had the mechanicals/plumbing/ redone or at least worked on recently. From what I've seen of even expensive remodels of this particular model it doesn't take much. Like you said, some paint, new floor, new fabric. All of those things I can do myself or have friends who can. I had been also interested in the Happier Camper HC-1, but the price of those fully loaded is expected to be in the 20k range, which can get me a great airstream/argosy at that price!
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:28 AM   #4
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I will put in a small comment --do consider all the bring-alongs required as well, and make sure that you will be able to accommodate all you will need.

I mean ACTUALLY make a list, and be sure you will be able to have a place for everything. Measurements, weights, capacity, and will you and wife be needing for both living and for activities.

If you lean to the MCM aesthetic, you will likely not enjoy the feeling of a lot of STUFF in eye-shot that clutters up your zen.

Bikes and support equipment will either need a trailer with back bumper designed for a bike rack. Other options put the bikes on top of your vehicle or in the bed of a pickup. How much heavy lifting are you and your wife interested in for set up and breaking camp?

Will you require any specialized electronics for health equipment or monitoring that may add to electrical needs. I.E. will you always need to bring 3000w of generator power? For air conditioning, for internet, for other items? If so where and how will these travel with you.

I say this because if space inside were the only factor, I would be saving up for a 16. But I can't accommodate all I need in the confines of a 16 proper, without the undue "just throw it in the truck" for the reality of storage for what I will want to bring along.

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Old 06-28-2015, 10:20 PM   #5
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I'm leaning strongly on an Argosy 20 or minuet right now. My feelings are there's plenty of storage space, in fact I think the closet can go, maybe even the over head bins on the gaucho side. I travel light. Our bikes our light. Just found this : Cycloc - Cycle storage solutions | Bike storage UK and worldwide which I think would be a better use of space for us. in stead of the closet. Most likely have a wagon or small suv so plenty of storage in there too. Again, we travel pretty light, thinking I'd keep the front gaucho but just redo the second as a day bed and save some weight/gain some legroom since it's just the two of us. Come up with a bent plywood extension off the daybed to cup the bike wheels. That said I wouldn't turn my nose up at a good priced 22, just the 20 keeps it simple for me. The layout works (both models) and really for updating all one really needs is paint and upholstery. Cabinets aren't that bad but can redo, rethink, maybe finish ply system with rabbits and credenza style sliding doors. This is looking now to be a year out before we can do it so it gives me plenty of time to plan, obsess, learn and most importantly not do something stupid and impulsive!
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