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Old 04-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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Newbie from UK - heading to the US next week! :)

Hi all

My name is Jim, I am a British guy, soon to marry an American girl I met in Germany a few years ago.. We have been dreaming about road tripping around the south for years now and next week the fun finally begins!

We fly out to Orlando where we will hunt down a nice fixer upper, and I will spend a month or so renovating it before we head off around the US for several months!

We both work online so are lucky enough to have this opportunity so figure we should do it before we have kids! Additionally we are launching a web site & app called Roadtrippers which will help people plan routes and find new places and people much better than any of the current tools available - we hope!

I think I will be spending a lot of time in here over the coming weeks, trawling through some of the excellent posts and no doubt picking some of your brains especially when it comes to renovating an Airstream.. I'm really looking forward to the challenge though!

If anyone knows of any fixer uppers in FL/GA I would really appreciate if you would let me know, similarly if anybody knows where I could rent a bit of space for a few weeks to renovate my Airstream (preferably an existing workshop)

Thanks!!

Jim
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:06 AM   #2
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Welcome Brit!

Hi Jim,

I am also new to this community but am glad to find a Brit to chat with!
My husband is in construction and from London. Getting us into an Airstream full-time is my dream and he is considering it reluctantly. I would like to get you two together once you land. (We are in coastal Georgia and also looking for a unit to rehab over the next 12 months.)

I have a tentative lead to a workshop in Jacksonville where a man who used to live here has a business converting Airstreams to food trucks. I have not met him but we have a mutual acquaintance. I'll send more info as I get it.

My next door neighbor has a gutted 18' Airstream he is dying to sell. We think its a little small for us plus we lack experience in rehabbing. That trailer is on a property with rental apartments - not sure whether they are available or not. Interested?
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:42 AM   #3
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Hi Jim. Welcome to the US and to the group. You have quite an adventure in store for you.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Hi Jim,

A couple of thoughts:

Finding a unit in Florida is not all that easy. They don't seem to be very numerous here, except as transients in the winter. But, you may get lucky. There is a huge dealership between Tampa and St Pete but they focus on new rather than used. The only other dealership is in Alachua (just north of Gainesville) but I've never seen a used unit on their lot.

When you do find one, and if it is towable, you might want to head north before finding a workspace (unless you can find an air-conditioned space) -- Florida (especially Central Florida) is just god-awful hot in the summer. You can also expect daily thunderstorms in the afternoon.

I've lived here most of my life and I am here to tell you that the heat and humidity here can drain you of the very will to live much less rehab an Airstream. Let's not mention mosquitoes, "no see-ums", sand fleas...

Just some random thoughts...

mike
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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Hi everybody, thanks for getting back to me

@amuse We will be coming up to Savannah pretty quickly so we could meet for sure! I should have an Airstream in tow by then!

I think the 18ft one is a little small for me but thanks for thinking of it. I will probably look for something like a 25ft, and probably not a gutted one.. not quite sure yet. I am probably not going to go too crazy on the renovations - will just do about 3/4 weeks and $5-6k of work..

@n2916s

A friend suggested Bates RV near Orlando, I checked out their website and they have an amazing selection but like you say, a focus on new ones. Ideally I would buy a new or nearly new one but I expect the financing would be a problem being a Brit just arriving on US shores, so very little credit history over there..

I have had a bit of a look on Craigslist (seems thats where they are cheapest) and it looks like there are more in FL than any other southern state - at least from that source, and at this moment in time.

Good thinking about heading north before doing work! I'm going to be there from next week, do you think it will be stinking hot by then?

sand fleas.. ugh...
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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I would suggest looking at the Airstream campgounds. There is a list of them on the WBCCI website. I was at the Top of Georgia campground this morning and there are several trailers there with for sale signs in the window. You may have the best luck simply by calling the campgrounds and asking if they know of any. There is also the classified section of this website which has a lot of nice trailers.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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@ Jim
Can't post my email link but its amuse50 at yahoo- get in touch and I'll send my cell number.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:43 PM   #8
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Jim - what do you figure you can do in that much time/money on a rehab?
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Jim,

You asked -- today in Miami a mere 86 degrees and about 92% humidity. In a month it will usually be over 90 by 1000 hrs with humidity in the 90's as well. And, we get a sea breeze!

In Orlando (well, pretty much anywhere in the middle of the state) no breeze, high 90's. Yuck.

Mike
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:27 PM   #10
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Hey there Brittish folk!

Just edited my post because I had a brain-fart and suggested that I might be interested in selling my girl.

Remember that most of the trailers around here are not commonly stored inside. So, there is good chance of leaks and the issues resulting from such - as we have an awful lot of rain!!! Make sure you copy the inspeciton checklist, cost approximator form and insurance/roadside assistance threads on this site. (In addition to those about updating axles, wood rot, rear end sag, leaks, univolt, pigtail connector, etc.)

If I can be of any help to either of you, please let me know. I have a general understanding of some vintage unit issues and of the surrounding area of Central FL.

Roadtrippers - there are two Airstreams that have been sitting in a field near Bithlo (on US Hwy 50 -- near Orlando Speedworld). They have been sitting for a REALLY long time. They are located very close to the Christmas Trailer Park (near Fort Christmas, FL) which used to be an Airstream exclusive park. There are likely some A/S in that park for sale too.

If you are in town for a shuttle launch (April 29 and final one on June 28), give me a shout - might be having a little A/S rally closeby.

Laura
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrippers View Post
Hi everybody, thanks for getting back to me
@amuse We will be coming up to Savannah pretty quickly so we could meet for sure! I should have an Airstream in tow by then!
I think the 18ft one is a little small for me but thanks for thinking of it. I will probably look for something like a 25ft, and probably not a gutted one.. not quite sure yet. I am probably not going to go too crazy on the renovations - will just do about 3/4 weeks and $5-6k of work..
@n2916s
A friend suggested Bates RV near Orlando, I checked out their website and they have an amazing selection but like you say, a focus on new ones. Ideally I would buy a new or nearly new one but I expect the financing would be a problem being a Brit just arriving on US shores, so very little credit history over there..

I have had a bit of a look on Craigslist (seems thats where they are cheapest) and it looks like there are more in FL than any other southern state - at least from that source, and at this moment in time.
Good thinking about heading north before doing work! I'm going to be there from next week, do you think it will be stinking hot by then?
sand fleas.. ugh...
I can't wait to follow this thread....
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:24 AM   #12
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Great advice about calling around the parks, a very good idea, I am going to do that.

I have found a good value storage place near Ocala (where we will be based) that will also let me work on the Airstream there (although there is no power) so I have just filled up a crate with battery tools and am shipping them out for £120 airmail via excessbaggage.com - a bargain I thought! Yes it will be very hot and sweaty but I guess thats just tough luck to me! The end result will be worth it I hope anyway

@amuse, to be honest I don't know how much of a rehab I can do with that time/money until I know what the base condition of the unit I purchase is like.. I am just going to have to wing it

@Laura I will definitely be going to see the April launch and would love to come to any kind of rally! - although I don't know what I will be towing if anything!
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:05 AM   #13
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Hi Jim

Welcome to another Brit escaping London, when I left London for Canada I brought an Experian credit report with me and had no problem getting a mortgage etc straight off the bat when I arrived. Just a thought. Good luck with your venture.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:08 AM   #14
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Good thinking Truckasaurus (nice name) I will get that sent over just in case it is any use..

I am just doing some research today, and am wondering if anybody knows of some good flea markets (esp. any giant ones!) or secondhand stores around the Orlando or Ocala areas? I'm not really sure what I am looking for, just bits and bobs for the Airstream or some ideas/inspiration..

Cheers!
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