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Old 02-10-2011, 09:06 PM   #15
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Renovating an Older Model

Sounds like there are a lot of you making this work with kids and dogs which is a comforting thought and while I like the idea of the kids being entertained on long drives, I must agree with the safety concerns of having them bouncing around the inside of a Class C. I do think I would be able to maneuver a Class C easier than a TV with a TT on the back particularly when backing up, however, my husband would be fine either way as he has extensive experience with trailering a boat and backing it into the water, etc.

While a new Airstream is likely out the of the question considering we'd need to buy a TV, I like the idea of renovating an older one in need of TLC particularly after seeing this:
An Architect's Airstream WOW!!

Our TV is a 2003 BMW X5 3.0 V6 engine - has a 6000 towing capacity (i think). I liked the Trailmanor. I thought the layout was excellent and while it isn't as stylish as an Airstream it is quite nice.

UAPachyderm, thank you for pointing out the Springfield show - we'll try to get out there. And also, nice to hear your views on Fort Wilderness.

You are all such a nice bunch! and you've got me so excited about hitting the open road.

My sincere thanks!
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by bostonrv View Post
Sounds like there are a lot of you making this work with kids and dogs which is a comforting thought...
I don't have any dogs, but I have a 3yo and a 1yo and they are the reason I bought an Airstream in the first place. My wife and I loved tent-camping, but when the kids came along, I started to think there might be a better way to take a young family out and about this great country of ours. My thoughts went immediately to Airstreams, I never even considered a white box because there's no way I could get excited about them.

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I do think I would be able to maneuver a Class C easier than a TV with a TT on the back particularly when backing up, however, my husband would be fine either way as he has extensive experience with trailering a boat and backing it into the water, etc.
You're probably right about the Class C, but a little practice with a trailer and you'll do fine. Here on the AirForums, there's a group of women who camp and happily tow their rigs with no help from menfolk whatsoever, you could search around for some of their posts. Men aren't the only ones who can barbeque, and we're not the only ones who can pull a trailer.

Quote:
While a new Airstream is likely out the of the question considering we'd need to buy a TV, I like the idea of renovating an older one in need of TLC particularly after seeing this:
An Architect's Airstream WOW!!
If you and/or your husband are handy it's doable, and much more so if you're also quite adventurous. But I'll be honest, renovating an older one isn't everyone's cup of tea, and ebay and craigslist are littered with half-finished (usually barely-started) renovations. Even the nicest-looking vintage Airstreams are going to require a lot of work in most cases. It's not dissimilar from buying a 100-year-old house, or a classic car, and the challenges associated with renovating/restoring them.

Something newer, within the last 10 years or so, will probably require much less work, but will also be more costly. Because, well, Airstreams tend to hold their value pretty well compared to the market.

Not trying to dissuade you at all, because buying an old vintage Airstream is exactly what I did. Just want to make sure you're realistic about it.

Anyway, keep reading, keep looking around, renting an RV for a weekend or two isn't a bad idea, and good luck!

-Marcus
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:05 PM   #17
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Our children (7 yr old son and 4 yr old daughter) love trips in the a/s. I suspect you'll find your rv purchase to be a quick hit with your children as well. It seems you have received some good feedback here already. I thought Jammer hit a homerun.

As others have pointed out, take your time and work through as many of the considerations as possible. If you are leaning toward an a/s, as suggested here, take a trip to Colonial and spend a great deal of time inside the models/floorplans of interest. I do not have a good dealer nearby and didn't invest the time to make a trip to a Colonial-type dealer to kick a lot of tires before buying our first 25'FB. 7 months later, I am trading out and have a bigger unit on order. Live and learn...

With younger kids, my advice would be to make sure you consider galley/pantry space, wardrobe space and bathroom layout. For instance, check out the difference in available wardrobe and pantry space in the 27 International vs. the 28 International - I think you'll find the difference to be noteworthy and something worth considering.

While it is odd for me to agree with anything a UAPachyderm would suggest (he knows why...), I do agree Ft. Wilderness is top shelf and would be a great maiden voyage if you are up for a long trip. Perhaps we'll see you down there in December.

Good luck and best wishes.
-Chris
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:39 AM   #18
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We travel with our kids (and Weimaraner) in an F150 with back seats. The portable DVD player with a screen hanging on the back of each front headrest works very well. they watch everything from movies to old Bugs Bunny cartoons on it. As someone else mentioned, they don't watch much television at home so it is a treat in the truck. They also read and we play travel games to pass the time. With stops every couple of hours for the dog to do her thing and the kids theirs, traveling is rather painless.

We initially rented a Moho from RVAmerica and decided we didn't like the idea of either a toad, or unhooking everything and trying to park a large Moho in town to visit stuff. The trailer works very well for us. Our 34 is much larger than we need, but the price was right. Our children are now 10 and 12, but they have been traveling one way or another all of their lives either for holidays or for camping trips.

Good luck with whatever you decide. It is a great way to make family memories.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:31 AM   #19
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I do agree Ft. Wilderness is top shelf and would be a great maiden voyage if you are up for a long trip. Perhaps we'll see you down there in December.

If you have questions about Ft Wilderness, you can get answers at www.fortfiends.net. It's members LOVE the Fort and some visit 3 or 4 times a year.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:55 PM   #20
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Chris, I'm expecting you to save me a spot to park my Airstream in Auburn this November. =D

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Old 02-11-2011, 02:58 PM   #21
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Chris, I'm expecting you to save me a spot to park my Airstream in Auburn this November. =D
Absolutely. Join us here:
RV Parks|Auburn AL|Campgrounds and RV Parks|Deluxe RV Park|RV Resort
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:05 PM   #22
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camping on the East Coast

There are lots of great places on the East coast that you can head to, anywhere in maine along the coast is great, new hampshire and vermont have great places too. We were up in Nova scotia and PEI and I would love to head up there and go camping! We live in calif (outside San Fran) and the drive between LA and the Bay area is great, but you have wonderful places very close to you now. I think you always want to travel where you can't get to easily!! I'm dying to get back to the East coast with my Airstream, but here I am "stuck" in California!! (ha ha we do have tons of great places here, but so do you!) when we retire, we will have alot more freedom to do longer trips than we do now!

We have camped since our kids were babies. We started out with a small toyota pick up and very small cab over camper, then graduated to a large GMC pickup with a very large cab-over camper. Our kids loved that. they would sleep and play in the bunk while we drove, but I don't even know if thats legal anymore! Then during the main school years it seemed that every weekend was swimming or baseball or soccor or football or school plays etc etc.....so camping was reduced to 1 or 2 times a year during the summer. Then after the kids went off to college, the last 10 years we have had travel trailers. Its very easy when you go somewhere, after you've parked your trailer on your camp site. Both my kids love camping now,although work and school schedules don't always make it work!
good luck, camping with kids and dogs is the best! If we could do it with cassette tapes and read along books, then I know with all the technology kids have today, they will be fine in the car!
maggie
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:07 AM   #23
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Bostonrv, welcome to the forums. My wife and I just bought our AS after a significant time studying all the options and attending RV shows, etc. We're retired now, but we camped with our three children throughout the west in a small TT (14') and eventually a tent trailer as it provided a nice bed for everyone. An AS was always something I hoped to purchase some day.

We spent some time looking at the Earthbound trailer at a recent RV show in Spokane. We were intrigued and spent a lot of time studying the trailer. My biggest concern was that this is new and not established. It looks great now, appears to be "green" (though what happens when the plastic deteriorates), but just doesn't have the reputation and reliability factors yet.

I agree with the comments above. What is your definition of camping, how will it be used, where will it be stored, how often will it be used, etc. We bought our TV first which does match up well with the AS but, if we were to do it over again, I would decide on the TT and then purchase the TV. Buying the TV first reduced the options available to us though it all worked out very well.

The International 28' Serenity is indeed a beautiful trailer, but consider buying slightly used and then use the money saved for an adequate TV.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:11 PM   #24
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Thank you again...

Have been without internet access the last couple of days - skiing in New Hampshire and was so pleased to come back and read the new responses to my post.

thank you so much for offering advice!

We chit chatted about this and our current plan is perhaps as early as April school vacation week, we would like to rent a Class C from the local place (not sure what brands they have but it doesn't really matter as this would be a trip to understand the ins and outs of a long road trip with little kids, hooking up, backing up, etc.).

If at all possible over the summer we'd like to rent an airstream trailer - I think they are available for rent from a few KOA campground sites (unfortunately none around here).

I think have a basis of understanding (via the rental experience) the difference between a TT and MOHO will be worthwhile.

As for a TV, my husband's car is on the older side. We planned to keep it another couple of years but it is a 2003 with over 100K miles on it. One of the doors doesn't open from the outside anymore. One of the seatbelts doesn't work. Repairs are getting very pricey. I could see us moving out timeframe up on replacing his car and choosing something that could haul a TT (we need a bigger car with towing capacity anyway because of the boat so it isn't that big a deal). Maybe a Suburban or Tahoe or something?

As far what type of campers we are... My husband enjoys it quite a bit - will camp out in tents, the whole nine yards. As for me, I would need some comforts of home. Mostly a comfortable bed as I have a bad back. I enjoy seeing things, going places, hiking, biking etc. BUT I know it would be a more enjoyable experience for me if I had a nice layout/floorplan with some space and not too grungy.

I could still imagine trying a renovation project although I take the comment above that it is not for the faint of heart seriously. We live in an 1890's house and gutted it and renovated it top to bottom, soup to nuts so I have a little bit of experience there. Also, I am an interior decorator specializing in kitchen and bath design so it could be an amazingly fun and satisfying project to work through... I have an open mind at this point and am excited to see how it plays out.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:42 PM   #25
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Don't forget to come see us in May, just up the road in Salisbury. Camper or not...just show up and introduce yourself. Happy hour starts at...well, its pretty much always "happy hour", but officially, 4...or is it 5?

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Old 02-13-2011, 07:10 PM   #26
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When considering newer TV's don't rule out the four door pickup trucks. The cab of our four door F150 is huge! There is plenty of room for two children and a 60# dog in the back seat.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:22 PM   #27
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If at all possible over the summer we'd like to rent an airstream trailer - I think they are available for rent from a few KOA campground sites (unfortunately none around here).
Less than 2 hours away from Boston:

Mystic KOA
118 Pendleton Hill Road
North Stonington, CT 06359
(800) 562-3451
Camping in the United States & Canada | KOA Campgrounds

They list it as an Airstream Silver Cloud. If it really is a Silver Cloud I may have to go steal it from them one of these nights. (Pre-War Airstream)
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