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Old 01-07-2013, 02:49 PM   #1
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New Member // Need a crash course!

Hi Folks!

I recently joined the forum and have been trolling around for the last few days in the forums and on the classifieds. This seems like such a great community of helpful people!

The notion has creeped into my mind that an airstream would be a really great way to have a get away outside of New York City, where I live. I'm interested in purchasing a somewhat dilapidated trailer and getting it up to a livable state, doing most of the work myself. I want to try and do my research first, and talk to some folks who have been down this road to see if it is feasible, or if I'm being a little bit too aspirational. : )

Also, never having owned one of these I have a lot to learn with regards to general livability, maintenance, etc...

If there is someone out there who would be open to emailing with me, or even having a phone conversation I'd be really grateful. Someone who has done an extensive renovation on a trailer would be even more helpful!

Thanks in advance for your time,

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
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Yo, Phil.

I've been fulltiming in mine for years. I can certainly understand your desire to get out of the big city and "ruralize" yourself from time to time.

However, let me suggest that (even though it is expensive) you RENT an RV for a week or two first. Repairing a basket case can take years - it's called "the full monte" on these forums, and many people run out of money, drive and patience about 1/2 way through the project. Plus there's the gentle fragrance of mouse poop, etc.

I'd strongly suggest that IF you like the experience of renting, then consider the best used Airstream you can find. See our classifieds. If you still have the yen to customize one from the ground up, wait for the first great vintage to find you. You'll know more certainly that YOU are up to the challenge of a big rebuild if you've done minor work on a road worthy unit first.

Storage is going to cost you a lot and you'll probably have to find a place far out in Jersey. Just driving there to do the work will take an hour out of your work time every day.

Last - go visit Colonial Airstream - it's in the NJ "notch" between NY and PA. They have a huge inventory of new Airstreams. And occasionally some pretty decent used ones. See if the fire goes out or burns hotter.

BABY STEPS! and happy trails, Paula

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Old 01-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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I think it comes down to personality. If you're a seize the day kinda person well then you know what to do. If you're hum drum then you should DEFINITELY get one anyway. It will wake you up...make you laugh, make you cry but more than anything you will learn a lot more about yourself in the process or refine who you are. It's very spiritual experience owning an AS. As I've posted before, life is TOO short not to own an Airstream. Proof is that you're on the forums testing the waters. Ill PM you my number if you want to chat. I absolutely love talking ASS!!! That's AirStreamSyndrome
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums, great place to learn lots about new and old Airstreams. You have started on a great adventure. Here are just a few steps among many along your path of discovery.

First: Go out and rent a travel trailer or motorhome BEFORE you put down the money to own one. Make sure this lifestyle fits your expectations.

Second: Do lots of research here on the forum and elsewhere.

Third: Get 'The Newbies Guide To Airstreams' by Rich Luhr. Great book to get you properly oriented if you are new to Airstreams.

Have fun and happy hunting!
Scott, Becky & Heidi (our standard poodle and travel companion)
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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ogden , Utah
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Welcome to the group.

You will find lots of support here and from what I have seen friendships too.

I wish you lots of fun....can't imagine how anyone living in the big city could deal with storage, security and such.

Best of luck to you
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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Hey Everyone! Thanks so much for getting back to me.

Scott - thanks for the recommendation on the book. Looks like a really great way to start wrapping my mind around some of this. I will likely buy it on my kindle tonight and start reading it.

Paula - You make some great points. I actually have a place in mind upstate NY where the trailer would pretty much live. I'm more keen to use it as a get away than something I would tow around and use to camp in different places. This way, it would be less about storing somewhere like Jersey and actually heading up for long weekends/several days at a time to do work on it.

I have some, albiet limited, experience with early 90's, pretty dumpy RV's. I learned pretty quickly how temperamental and frustrating they can be to operate and maintain. With this in mind, the prospect still is exciting to me. But I know I have much to learn, and I would like to be as educated as possible before I go out making any offers, etc.

As folks continue to read this, if you have experience going 'full-monte' (ha ha) I'd love to exchange some PM's with you.

Protohyp - thanks for the message earlier. Looking forward to chatting tomorrow.

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Old 01-08-2013, 10:13 AM   #7
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If you visit some of the parks upstate (that's north of the GW bridge to most of you in NYC), you'll find that there are quite a few folks who rent space and just keep their trailer parked as a weekend getaway. While I am a devout Airstream owner, if I were only going to park and not travel, I don't think I'd spend the $ for an Airstream. And, interestingly, you will only rarely see an Airstream used for this purpose: why? $. I'd bet most of us with an Airstream feel kind of sad to see one of these "never travel" trailers. Airstreams are best if you take them out to stretch their legs, which is what most of us do. Having said that, I had an Aunt and Uncle who bought their Airstream in the 50's and parked it lakeside for more than 20 years. It made a couple of annual vacation trips, but lived its life primarily as a lakeside cottage. The trailer (a Trade Wind) had a full, frame-off restoration by my brother-in-law, and is now in full operation.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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I agree with Paula! Go see Lauren and Patrick at Colonial. We just purchased our AS from them this past November! Good luck!
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:27 AM   #9
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Hey Phil

Great talking to you yesterday. I hope you are able to make your decision based on some of the info that I gave you. Again I think you being single, self employed and some knowledge of construction gives you a leg up on most others. It doesnt mean frustration won't set in or that the fire wont die but all that depends on you. Whatever the choice feel free to call me anytime.

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:43 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forums. Now you have done it (found us). Aren't you glad you did.

If I were living in NYC I can just imagine the draw to having your own trailer to go to, your little oasis out of town. Good luck in your search.


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