Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-05-2008, 10:34 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 18
Newbie in the North

Hello all. I am an almost newbie here, that is to say Iím not yet even a newbie.
I could use some insight from some of you experienced Airstreamers.
I have decided to change a great number of things in my life, eliminate debt, eliminate clutter and live for what in my mind are the two most important things in life: relationships and experiences. So, in pursuit of those two guiding lights, I have chosen to live full time in an Airstream.
Which Airstream remains to be decided. Which is where you all come in.
Probably best to give you a bit of back-ground: I am a single guy, early fifties. I will remain stationary sometimes, traveling sometimes. Usually alone, but with occasional visits from youngest son, and grand-children. Older kids are married, would still visit, but not stay in the Airstream with me.
I am, as said, trying to minimize everything in my life, so my goal is to live in a unit that will serve my needs, but I donít want to spend/tow more than necessary. Better to put extra money into experiences!
Forthwith, some questions:
I have looked at the Safari SE 20í online only, both at Airstreamís own site, and at several dealerís sites, most notably George Sutton RV. I live in BC, Canada, and the local dealer here has exactly one Airstream, a 23í CCD. Very nice unit, but there are a couple of things I like about the 20í better. Better kitchen area, has a little bit of counter area for food preparation. I like the idea of separate, all-included bathroom (not sure how to express that, but I mean bathroom has shower/toilet/sink all together in one space, not broken up throughout trailer). A dinette, a bed, looks like enough storage cupboards and bins for everything I own. Downside, not a lot of Ďwalking aroundí space, or Ďsocializingí space. Definitely a one person trailer, but I am only one person. CCD 23í is interesting with itís dark cabinetry, but costs about $10k more than the 20í SSE.
So, what about that 20í? Anybody here on the forums have one?
Are there any specific issues with a single axle trailer I should know about? I guess if I got a flat while driving it could be a problem, at least with a dual axle, one could at least get to a pull out, but how often does a flat occur? Is this really a concern?
I have not yet bought the tow vehicle, but my favourite at the moment is the Toyota Tundra regular cab two-wheel-drive. Wildly excessive capacity, but I will likely be carrying a small motorcycle in the truckís bed in addition to pulling the trailer.
Millions more questions to come, but maybe my first post should be somewhat less than novel-length!
Thanks for reading this much. I donít even know all the right questions to ask, so feel free to educate me or ask anything else that may be relevant.
Neal
__________________

__________________
55neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 11:22 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
CaddyGrn's Avatar
 
1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,879
Hi Newbie Neal!

Welcome to the forums. This is the place to learn all things Airstream! Lots of questions... many of the answers you will want to decide. Lots of people like the bigger trailers, some of us go for small... If you are going to full time it, then somewhere you will find just the right one for you! Here is an older thread, but it has some very useful information and thoughts, you might check it out: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...eam-22920.html

Have fun reading! Good luck on your new adventure!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My new blog: Yreka History
__________________

__________________
CaddyGrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 11:44 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
TBRich's Avatar

 
2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,486
Images: 64
Neal...Welcome to the Forums! Glad you could join in. Sounds like you know where you want to go and what you want to do, you just don't know what ride you want to get there...and that's OK...it's part of figuring it all out. The size of your AS is a very personal thing and it depends a lot on your creature needs and how you want to use it. We have a 19' Safari SE but we usually do long weekends or week-long trips and don't live in it. I'd want something a little bigger at least if I was going to be in for long periods of time...but that's me. The best thing to do is to try them out...visit a dealership that has a variety of models to look at...and just "be" in them for a while.

And, of course, there's a huge amount of information and opinions here, too.

Good luck and keep us posted as you look for your "perfect" AS...
__________________
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 12:11 AM   #4
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 18
Thanks and more questions

Hi again.
Thanks for your reply CaddyGrn... I read the thread you sent me, thanks! Very informative.
Hey TBRich! Iíve heard of you! Iíve read Gadgetís Airstream Chronicles cover to cover and youíre in there a couple of times. Good to hear from you. Iíve come to notice that there is great importance in your suggestion to Ďjust ďbeĒ in them for a while.í
I have been doing exactly that in other brands, which is what, in part at least, brought me to Airstream. Some very nice units out there, even in SOB land. (Iím even learning new terms!) But most of them just started to blend together in a soup of nondescript trailers, nothing to really set any of them apart from the others. BigFoot was the only brand that struck me as being worth looking at, but then I stopped in at the local Airstream dealer, and my search was over for which brand was going to be mine.
In my quest to minimize the junk in my life, Airstream just fits. Everything I need, nothing I donít. Simple. Pure.
But with one search over, another begins. It is difficult indeed to shed a lifelong ideology of bigger/better/more/longer/lower/wider. I look at floor plans, and pictures of all kinds of Airstreams at dealers all over the continent. It is easy to be seduced by so many of them. This one has a couch, that one has a desk. I could give myself all kinds of arguments for the Safari SE 25í with itís great room at the front, or the 27í FB with itís luxurious bedroom. And how Ďbout that 28í SE? A beauty to be sure, and you could hold a dance up front there.
But I drift from my goals. Reduce. Eliminate. Focus. So back I go, and look again at the little 20í Safari SE. Is this mine? Could I really live here? Or would I go bat-crazy in such a small space? I really must see one in real life.
So, again, thanks for reading this far.
Some more questions for those who like to participate in my search:

How can I learn which pattern belongs to which look? I have seen in pictures lots of different color schemes, but I have yet to find which pattern belongs to which name. Stratus, I think, has beige with blue accents, Oatmeal is ivory and tan stripes, Midnight Sun???, Butterscotch???, Kiwi???. The Safari brochure has a couple of patterns in it, and in the 20íer as well, but exactly which pattern belongs to which name?

Iíve pulled cargo trailers all over the country (Canada from BC to ON), just regular U-Haul crappy trailers, probably overloaded. No drama behind a Cherokee, even when trailer got a flat. Pulled a car trailer back from ON to BC, again, no drama. What do these special hitches do to earn their keep? I have never experienced the Ďswayí people say they prevent, so I canít quite grasp what this means.

Well, itís late and thatís enough for now.
I look forward to hearing from you folks.

Neal
__________________
55neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 12:20 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Fyrzowt's Avatar
 
2000 25' Safari
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,697
Images: 8
Neal,
Welcome to the forums.
Yes - the choice will be very personal to you, but most folks go to a bigger trailer if changing size. This is especially so for those fulltiming.
Another consideration living in the north is - how cold does it get where you are? Cold/freezing weather brings it's own set of problems to an RV. Lots of threads about this to research.
Nice to have you here,
Dave
__________________
AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 12:25 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
CaddyGrn's Avatar
 
1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,879
Welcome again!

A very informative thread on hitches (one of the most spendy, I might add...) can be found here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-26279.html

I don't know much about BC... but if you check the rally schedule on the top toolbar, you will likely find rallies that aren't too far from you. You are generally more than welcome (contact the rally thread and ask if you want more info...) to attend even without an Airstream. It will give you plenty of opportunity to look at lots of different Airstreams, old, new, and somewhere in between! Folks are always glad to show off their 'streams! It will also give you an opportunity to *see* what they look like inside and what folks have done to personalize them.

If you are still hesitant about this super duper down-sizing... look for a gently used A/S, put your stuff in storage, rent your house and go out on the road for 6 months! Might give you a real perspective on the full time life style. Then if you decide it is the best thing for you... sell and buy the "perfect" A/S if the one you have isn't exact!

BTW, I lived in a 25' 5th wheel for one year... it worked just fine for me!

Good luck! Keep us in the loop of what's happening!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi traveling in S Tardis ~ from the Great State of Jefferson
My new blog: Yreka History
__________________
CaddyGrn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 12:57 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
TBRich's Avatar

 
2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,486
Images: 64
Hey Neal...

The world just keeps getting smaller and smaller, eh? We were up in Prescott visiting Gadget's Airstream Chronicles blogger RichC ( Gadget's Airstream Chronicles - Documenting my Airstream Safari and what I do with it! ) last month...great guy and quite the photographer and a techno guy, too...author of The Digitial RV that is written so any of us can figure out how to get totally "wired" on the road...I recommend it. So yes, he has mentioned us a few times in his blog.

Anyhoo... you asked about the color schemes of Airstreams...I can't keep up with them all either, but I do know "Midnight Sun" as that's what our stock interior is. It's actually one of the nicer ones in my opinion, but they all have their interesting points...the midnight sun dinette fabric is a fine stripe of black and gold fine chenille and some of the bolster cushions are solid gold chenille. The curtains are the usual blah AS white in all of them I think. The standard Midnight Sun bedspread is also chenille in a black and gold sort of checked pattern...not crazy about it. My advise, though, is to not let the interior color scheme scare you away from a floor plan or model that you really like...the fabrics in the interior are probably the easiest of anything to change...in fact, they don't hold up as well as one might hope and eventually you will probably want to redo them anyway. Check out a thread we started dealing with redoing interiors... http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...n-35036-3.html Take a spin through that thread to see what others are doing inside their Airstreams... We have no fewer than a dozen decors for our Bambi that we can switch out to change the mood...some of them can be mixed with parts of others, so the possibilities are endless. A dozen decors is perhaps a bit excessive (ah, wretched excess!) but we have a great time with them...and have even helped others make their units their own...it can be a lot of fun, and then your AS is unique to you.

As to anti-sway hitches... They are highly recommended. Towing a trailer is different than the type of towing you may have done...I know it was for me. You will want to have as much control over your rig as possible and the anti-sway and weight distribution hitches are definitely the way to go, and worth the cost. I don't think you'll find much disagreement on that here. We use an Equal-i-zer hitch set up which works will with our 19'...there are several kinds...we ended up with an Equal-i-zer because that's what the dealer recommended...and we are happy with its performance... I'm sure others will chime in with more technical answers regarding hitches and why you should use one...I just know I'd be leery of being without one.

Hope this helps...
__________________
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 09:44 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
AirsDream's Avatar
 
1999 23' Safari
Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 914
TBRich is clearly correct; some sort of equalizing hitch with anti-sway is a huge safety factor when you're towing something with as much windage as a travel trailer. It helps make the trailer and the tv respond as a single unit, and it keeps sway to an absolute minimum, so you don't drive white-knuckled. Lots of good brands out there, as mentioned. Reese Dual Cam is another. Talk to some trailer owners and attend a rally if you can.

There are some BIG issues that separate full timing from more "casual" use ... issues such as condensation in cold weather. My AS manual specifically says that the trailer is NOT designed for full time occupancy. Of course, you can make modifications that help with those issues, but expense becomes a factor. In addition, even with ducted heat that helps keep tanks from freezing, there seems to be a consensus that you'll quicly get into trouble with frozen water lines, etc. in real cold weather. If you plan to winter in AZ or CA, likely no difficulties ... but I think I remember reading somewhere that it gets chilly in your neck of the woods in winter.

As to size, only you can decide that. I knew a guy who backpacked for a living, writng about his adventures, and he lived under a small tarp or at most a mountain tent. Other folks need LOTS of room indoors when it rains for five days straight. I'm not a "cabin fever" kind of person, but have discovered that my 23' gets small after a few days. Like the man said, visit a lot of them, "be" in them, and only then decide.
__________________
AirsDream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2008, 02:00 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 18
Thank-you all for your replies.
Fyrzowt, I agree that in most cases people likely do trade up in size rather than down, but on the other hand I met a couple yesterday who were trading down from their 28í to a 23í. They simply found the 28í too ponderous to move around, and this inconvenience outweighed the extra space they had in the larger unit.
As to me and my own requirements, I have been carefully observing my routines and requirements in my apartment where I currently live. I donít spend a lot of time here, and donít use anywhere near the space I have. I make meals, I sleep, I spend a fair bit of time in front of the computer reading books, watching movies, listening to music, following the news, surfing the net, photo editing, emailing and chatting and of course, reading this and a few other forums. Beyond that, not much. Iíd rather be outside taking pictures or bike riding or walking. I occasionally work too, Iím only semi-retired.
Hmmm, cold. It doesnít get really cold here, not for long anyway. It does freeze once or twice a winter, though. I suppose I will need to learn about dealing with winterizing the operational guts of the Airstream.
Hi again, CaddyGrn. I read the thread on that hitch, and a few others I found. I think I will make that part of the trailer purchase. Better safe than sorry.
I have given some consideration to your suggestion about trying out the lifestyle for a specific period of time, while maintaining a Ďfall-backí safety net. The trouble I have found with myself is that if I have a fall-back alternative, I do exactly that, fall back. I need to be bold at this point in my life, committing to the changes I need. I think I would be cheating myself out of some of the experience if I knew I could get out of it at any time. Still, talk about leaving the comfort zone!
TBRich... Smaller and smaller indeed! Yes, RichC is quite the developing photographer. I donít particularly share his love for the bold (!) colors he uses, but he does do it well. An artist to be sure.
About the color schemes; I visited the next nearest dealer to me, in Fife WA, a two-and-a-half hour drive for me, plus the stupid two hour border line-up. Worth it though, I got to see lots of Airstreams! And I have sorted out all the color schemes. I had a look at your picís of your decor alternatives. Wow. Just WOW! I love them all. Makes me want to learn how to use a sewing machine. A dozen choices would maybe be a little much, but only from the perspective of storing them all when living in the trailer. But maybe two or three. Or five. Just how tight to they pack down when not on the cushions, curtain rods etc? Just asking, you know, just in case.
AirsDream, the issues you raise about condensation and frozen lines etc are at this point some of my biggest concerns. Iím sure there is a way to deal with winterizing, Iím just not familiar with them yet. Wintering in the warmer climates is also a possibility which I will look into if I have not found a way to otherwise protect the Airstream.
Visiting the dealer was a wonderful experience, and I have a lot of thoughts on the different sizes and configurations I saw, but I will leave that for another thread.
Thank-you all again for your considerations, all have been very helpful. I am looking forward to being fully a part of this wonderful community, and meeting many of you wherever our roads may cross.
And to all you fathers out there, Happy Fatherís Day!
Neal
In loving memory, Frank Styles July 1913 - June 2001.
__________________
55neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 12:06 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
TBRich's Avatar

 
2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,486
Images: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by 55neal View Post
...>snip<...
TBRich... Smaller and smaller indeed! Yes, RichC is quite the developing photographer. I donít particularly share his love for the bold (!) colors he uses, but he does do it well. An artist to be sure.
About the color schemes; I visited the next nearest dealer to me, in Fife WA, a two-and-a-half hour drive for me, plus the stupid two hour border line-up. Worth it though, I got to see lots of Airstreams! And I have sorted out all the color schemes. I had a look at your picís of your decor alternatives. Wow. Just WOW! I love them all. Makes me want to learn how to use a sewing machine. A dozen choices would maybe be a little much, but only from the perspective of storing them all when living in the trailer. But maybe two or three. Or five. Just how tight to they pack down when not on the cushions, curtain rods etc? Just asking, you know, just in case.
...>snip<...
Hey, Neal... Glad you could visit a dealer and get a closer look at the real things...it helps a lot with the decision making process... Thanks for your appreciation of the "decors"...we have a lot of fun with them and helping others with them, too...and you're right, if you're living in your AS you probably don't want to have a lot of them... As to how much storage space they take...the covers for the Bambi's dinette, curtains, the pillow shams, throw pillow covers, window valances and bed spread fit inside a standard pillow case...not too much space. Of course, if you have a larger unit with a couch too, more storge space would be required. By the way, the covers we make go over the original covers, so we don't need tdo take those off and store them....

Good luck with you quest...and keep us posted!
__________________
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2008, 12:30 AM   #11
1 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Langley , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 18
TBRich, yes it was good to visit the dealer and see the various units in real life. Being in one helped me think that the Safari SE 20' is a good choice for me. Which brings me to another topic that you are qualified to answer. IIRC, your TV is a Toyota Tacoma, and you have a 19' Bambi. Your trailer is pretty much the same weight and size as the one I'm looking at, and though I have heretofore considered a Tundra, perhaps I could get a bit better gas mileage with the Tacoma. So, how does your Tacoma do with the pulling? Any problems? I can't go much more than an hour's drive in any direction without hitting fairly serious to VERY serious hills, so while improved gas mileage is great, killing the TV is not.
Any regrets with the Tacoma? Would you buy it again or would you upsize to the Tundra? Or get something else altogether?
Thanks,
Neal
__________________

__________________
55neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello from North Carolina ngoodell Member Introductions 2 04-02-2008 10:52 AM
Hello from North Carolina gsoter Member Introductions 8 08-25-2006 06:01 AM
North! to Alaska pmclemore On The Road... 11 08-14-2006 09:38 PM
New Member from up North Mackhopp Member Introductions 29 07-19-2006 10:10 AM
North of Bangor Over59 Forum Rallies & Meet Ups 0 06-16-2004 08:17 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.