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Old 01-23-2008, 11:42 AM   #1
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Smile new member - researching purchase

Hi! I'm a new member. I currently in the research phase to acquire my first Airstream. I plan to be a fulltimer, so I've been looking at 27' and 34' models. I'm not sure how much space I'll need and how big of a truck I'll need, so these are things I'll be studying over the next few weeks.

I'm looking forward to reading all of the posts and being a part of this forum. One thing that is certain, Airstream owners are very enthusiastic and commited to their brand. I'd like to learn more about why you've decided to own an Airstream and why you continue to do so. I get a sense that this is a very strong and tight community.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your community.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums, Karen... And you are right...this is an enthusaistic and committed group...(to put it mildly). In fact, lots of those looking at us from afar think we ought to be "committed"! But once the bug has bit, an unexplainable urge to communicate and hang out with outher Airstreamers takes over...

Good luck on your search, and you'll find a wealth of information and knowledgeable folks here to assist you in your quest for an AS...

See you down the road...
TB
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:36 PM   #3
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Welcome Karen, you are a smart one to research your options. There are quite a few full timers on this forum and I know you will find lots of advice. Good luck with your search.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:44 PM   #4
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Hello And Welcome Karen,
This forum is filled with really great bunch of folks. There willingness to help and guide is incredible. Glad you could join us. Happy Trails
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:27 PM   #5
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Welcome Karen. If you get to looking at used Airstreams, put it out there in the forum. Airstreams have a few different special details to look for in used trailers such as torsion axles getting tired or "rear sag". Lots of people would jump in and tell ya what is great or good or what to be careful of.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:37 PM   #6
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Welcome and glad to have you!

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Old 01-23-2008, 03:13 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums Karen!

A number of women travel with their own Airstreams and this forum is a great assistance in explaining how to fix/repair and generally how-to.... along with great tips on where to camp, etc.

If you are thinking about an Airstream, I suggest you check out the rally calendar and find a rally close to you and see if you can attend ~ at least one day ~ it will give you a great idea of what is "out there" and be able to actually talk face to face with others who own Airstreams.

Here is a thread that I think is a worthwhile read about things you should think about!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...eam-22920.html

Good luck, and let us know how you are doing with your search! Are you thinking vintage? slightly used? new?

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:21 PM   #8
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The search continues

So far I've looked at new Airstreams. I was really enthusiastic about the 25' CCD Ocean Breeze, then I started shopping for trucks. I'd seen somewhere that you should have a truck that can pull 20% more weight than the weight of the trailer. So, for the 25' I started by looking at the Ford F-250. I found it to be gigantic! After this I turned to the shorter length trailers.

There is a new floor plan for a 23' Safari that has the full front bed, rather than the corner bed in the traditional floor plan. I find this attractive because it has a GVWR of 6000 lbs, so I could pull it with an Explorer or an Expedition. Several people I'd spoken with said they had had troubles with theft when they used caps on pick-ups. They recommended an SUV if possible.

I've learned a lot in this process, but probably the most important thing I've learned is that I have so much more to learn! There are so many things to consider!
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:30 PM   #9
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Both the Front Bed safari 23' and the international signature series are great. I like the sig series better since it has a dinette, sofa bed, and double. The front bed safari however has a walk around bed, and a larger rear bath.

Pick yer poinson I suppose.

Steve
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:36 PM   #10
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There is at least one person here who tows a 25 with a small SUV, Volkswagon Tourag. The older Airstreams are lighter so you could probably get a larger one that you could still tow with a smaller SUV. You can find older ones that have been restored with modern conveniences. I would say however that an expedition is about as large as a 4 door 3/4 ton pickup and bigger than a standard cab pickup. If you get a cap that locks for your truck you'll be just as likely to be broken into as a SUV, if they are willing to bust the lock on a truck cap then they wouldn't balk at smashing a window on an SUV.

Welcome and good luck on your search.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:15 AM   #11
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Generator?

Good luck on your search. As you have found out, there are lots of decisions to be made.

Do you plan on having a generator? If so, that might have something to do with what you decide. We bought a Suburban but soon traded it for an Avalanche so that a generator could be carried in and and always left in the bed of the truck.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:26 AM   #12
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Go Bigger

If you're planning on fulltiming, go bigger. You'll save a lot of money in the end. You say you looked at a Ford F-250 and it was huge. I agree... that was my initial response too. Truth, in a week or two driving a big truck is simply no longer a big deal. You could also look at a Chevy Suburban if you want a more "station wagon" like experience.

I started with a 22 CCD and went up to the 25 Safari FB SE... then the *&^^!@! at Airstream came out with the 27 FB SE. More closet space, a microwave, the round lobster bowl sink AND a walkaround queen.

You'll find you want separate rooms so that you can have company in without the bedroom being right there! Especially if you didn't have time to make the bed.

Another hint on your First Airstream- go right to the classifieds here. There are many very nice nearly new Airstreams for sale - from folks who have upgraded or had financial or health problems. You get most of the benefits of new, and save some bucks, too.

Paula Ford, "Rivette"
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:40 AM   #13
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Hi Karen and welcome,,,, i agree with Paula,,, my 2 cent worth advice is at least a 25 footer,,,, could look at Ford Expedition,,, heavy duty tow package,,, i have that combination and it is comfortable both to live in and to drive,,, good luck and happy trails,,, donna
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:45 AM   #14
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you're all very helpful, thank you!

You've each raised very important points and I thank you so much.

MRMOSSYONE, thank you for your point about the theft. It does flatten the playing field between an SUV and a pick-up with a cap. STARFLYTE1, yes, I plan on having a generator, and as you rightly point out, would lead me down the path of a pick-up.

CADDYGRN, thank you so much for recommending a rally. That sounds like a fantastic way to learn.

SOLDIERMEDIC (Steve), you are absolutely right -- it does feel like a choice between poisons!

No matter which trailer I end up getting, my plan has been to remove the dinnette (and perhaps additional surrounding seating) and replace it with a desk. I will be working full time and have several computers and laser printers I will bring along with me. I also plan to install satellite reception. Unfortunately, the bare minimum of broadband I can work with is 30 down and 10 up. I must transfer large files frequently and I have a VOIP protocol that I must use for one client that requires high bandwidth.

I have yet to start the satellite research. I have been fond of the low profile models that sit on top of the trailer. I fully admit though that I have no idea what the pros and cons are of the various models and brands.

I will not move the trailer often. Given the type of research I'll be doing, I'll set up a base camp and then drive up to 100 miles in all directions to gather information. This will probably take 30 to 60 (and maybe even longer) days in each location, then I'll move to a new spot.
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