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Old 11-11-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Newbie exploring the possibilities

Hi! I'm new (obviously) here, and so pleased to find this forum, which seems like a wonderful resource!

I'm just starting to look into fulltiming, which appeals for a lot of reasons. I'm currently looking into Bambis and Sports (under 23', in other words). If my English partner and I stay together, then the rig will live for 6 months in storage and then 6 months traveling fulltime. (We're used to not having much space and we already know we can deal with the space limitations, since we've just spent the last four years traveling together.) If we don't stay together, then I'll live and work fulltime on the road!

Airstreams appeal to us/me mainly because the design sensibility and efficiency of the designs. The more I look around, the more I keep coming back to the Airstreams.

I'm about as mechanically inclined as a bush, so this all ought to be very interesting. (I'm told, however, that my tendency to wear a problem down out of sheer stubborn will be very helpful.) Especially since what I've noticed in the UK and Europe is that people haul with much smaller vehicles than in the US -- Airstream UK even shows Golf TDIs hauling Airstreams in their PR materials, and the Golf is well-known as a great hauling vehicle in Europe. I already own a 2006 Jetta TDI, so I may go this route - which means I may be taking a trip up to CanAm to have them do the hauling setup, if not just buy the whole schmeer from them. Once the Jetta wears out (which would be relatively soon as it already has 67K on it), I might move to the Golf, which has less of a rear overhang and so makes a better tow vehicle -- although CanAm says that the Jetta should be fine if not quite as stable as the Golf.

I'm really excited about the future and looking forward to learning a great deal from the forums here, and possibly meeting people on the road!

Zina
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Old 11-11-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
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Your on the right track with CanAm; stay on that track! I sourced my 2002 ASCL 31' from them in June of 2001 (see avatar). I had many phone conversations from my home in Houston, Texas, with Andy Thomson from early 2001 until I took delivery in June discussing using my BMW X5. Andy was straight forward, analytical and honest; you can trust him!

Additionally, if you do a search on "withidl" you will find lots of discussion concerning my assembly.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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You're about 300,000 miles short of wearing out the 2006 Jetta TDI, maybe more. We have one also, the last one run like new at 350k when we traded it.

doug k
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:29 AM   #4
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Thanks, Doug, that's so encouraging!
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:30 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks, withidl! I'm still doing a lot of research, but they're on my list to call once I've gotten my head around a few things.
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:34 AM   #6
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No comment on tow vehicles from me. However, I'm a bit concerned about full-timing in an Airstream in Colorado. They really are not intended as "4-Season" trailers. Although we do have mild winters here on the front range, it can be tough to keep things running as they should and warm when it gets too far below freezing. Where are you planning on staying - private property, campground, roaming? Or are you planning on going south for the winters or is that part of the time it will be in storage?

Shari
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:00 PM   #7
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Hi Shari, thanks for pointing that out - yes, the plan would be that we'd either stay in the UK during winter (completely backwards, I know, especially if the weather changes as they think it will) or we'd go south. We're having a bit of a discussion about aluminum vs. fiberglass at the moment, though, mainly because of that - fiberglass might be more practical, but I'm plumping for aluminum not least because I think I'd go insane living in something that small without the windows all the way around one end, six months or full time. If I end up living in it permanently, then yes, def south.

I'm going to have to go used though -- even used, it's going to take me about four to five years of living in it all year-round to pay it back (assuming that I'd continue my current living arrangements, which are fairly inexpensive). I'll have to cross my fingers that I can find something when it's finally time to buy. A lot will have to do with immigration law - the US doesn't make it easy to live here part of the year if you're still young enough to work and want to spend only half the year here. It'd be lovely if we could manage it, though -- I have good friends in the music we play all over the country, and it'd be great to be able to wander from session to session while we work and live.

Do you live in the Edgewater near Sloan's Lake? If so, I love that area - I've played at the coffee house on the main street near the civic parking lot, and was charmed by the whole place! Your Airstream must fit in very well there, I love the funky retro vibe of it.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zlee View Post
Do you live in the Edgewater near Sloan's Lake? If so, I love that area - I've played at the coffee house on the main street near the civic parking lot, and was charmed by the whole place! Your Airstream must fit in very well there, I love the funky retro vibe of it.
Yep, that's exactly where we live...and the "funky retro vibe" is exactly why. Let me know if you are scheduled to play at the coffee house again, we'll walk over and lend an ear ~

Good luck with your search for your (hopefully silver!) home-away-from-home ~

Shari
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:37 PM   #9
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Zlee:

I think to get a work permit you have to have played in at least 50 percent of the performances of your National Symphony in the past year.... oh wait, that's to play football in the Premier League.

Good luck with your plan

Our oldest son is a musician and I know the dedication that it takes.

Dana
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:11 AM   #10
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Sheri, it was a complete fluke that I played there - some friends of mine are in Skean Dubh (Scottish/Celticky kind of thing), and their fiddler had double booked herself, so they asked me if I could sub in for them. A uillleann piper friend of mine came along for the ride, so it was a nice evening, all in all.

Another friend (Cheryl) started a new-band festival thing in Edgewater. I've yet to make it down there for that, but it sounds like a good time.

Dana, I play Irish traditional music, so I'm not sure it's dedication exactly...maybe dedication to an excuse for a night out with friends and a drink or two.

Zina
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:48 AM   #11
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One thing you may not understand about Europe is that the trailers that are sold there are built lighter and narrower then the units sold in the US. I would never advise anyone that they could tow an AS with a small front wheel drive car. You may even find it difficult to have someone put on a hitch to pull that type of load. But in the end each to his own, there are all types of dangerous loads out on the roads these days. It's what gives the rest of us dinner conversation. Enjoy...
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:30 AM   #12
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Thanks for your concern, Christopher - I'll probably be working with Can-Am RV Centre | New and Used Travel Trailers, Motorhomes and Fifth Wheels | Towing & Hitch Specialists | Top Airstream Dealer, and they have a lot of experience working with this kind of towing set up -- in fact, if it hadn't been for the setups they've done for members here at the TDI forum, I wouldn't have realized it can be safely done either.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:35 PM   #13
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(That should have been "members here AND at the TDI forum")

BTW, I just told my English fiancÚ that UK/European caravans are lighter and narrower than US trailers. He laughed, and said that UK/Euro trailers are fat, heavy bricks on wheels, all of them towed by mainly cars and sometimes SUVs - he's not sure he's ever seen a pickup truck in the UK. (He spends lots of time in the US, having family here, so has a fairly good idea of what's normal on both sides of the pond.) I know that narrower widths are available in the UK, but so are the wider ones. (Curiously, the weights don't seem to be any different by much at all.)

My fav vid at the CanAm RV site is the one of the Mini towing a trailer. When my VW mechanic and I were looking at the site, he shouted, "no way!" and looked at that one first.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:19 PM   #14
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I stand corrected. I went to the TDI forums and went looking for a Jetta or the like pulling an AirStream and did find one. It looks interesting, what some people come up with is very surprising. Enjoy
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