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Old 12-17-2007, 07:37 PM   #1
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My name is Jane and i will be running away frm home next summer. I plan to live full time in my Airstream, i am beginning to look at Airstreams and intend to buy one next spring. i am trying to decide what i need and am open to suggestions. i have camped and backpacked all my life and love the wilderness and the road. I am single and 50 something so i will be alone. I have a lexus 470 lx --- and i think i want a 19' international or safari--- can i handle this on my own? if you say i cannot --- i would not believe you but i would love for you to say --- oh sure no problem--- i really need some books --- is there an Airstream's for Dummies?
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:42 PM   #2
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hang out here

I think there would be a real demand for a beautiful Airstream book filled with the practical aspects of acquiring one, what to look out for, etc. Until then you should hang out here in the forum and search, search, search.

This is an excellent link to give you an idea of what can be done with major skills, time, and sometimes, money:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ons-35399.html

I caught the bug about six months ago and today spent several hours today opening up the bath of my '69 Safari, bought in VA and driven back solo. I'd never towed anything before and we all made it home in one piece. 19' and shorter and tandem-axle trailers tow and back easier than the big ones, btw.

persistence furthers, and all that...
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumair
My name is Jane and i will be running away frm home next summer. I plan to live full time in my Airstream, i am beginning to look at Airstreams and intend to buy one next spring. i am trying to decide what i need and am open to suggestions. i have camped and backpacked all my life and love the wilderness and the road. I am single and 50 something so i will be alone. I have a lexus 470 lx --- and i think i want a 19' international or safari--- can i handle this on my own? if you say i cannot --- i would not believe you but i would love for you to say --- oh sure no problem--- i really need some books --- is there an Airstream's for Dummies?
I think your idea is a great one. I fell ike that once a day...only a 19ft would be too small for me to live full time. I think that you would better served in a 22 or 25 ft trailer.
You can handle this, Jane, definitely. This site makes a good substitute for a Airstream for Dummies book...search it, you will sooner or later find an answer to all your questions.
Oh, and welcome to the forums!
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:47 PM   #4
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Hi Jane,

Welcome to the Forums. Great advice so far....the search is a very powerful tool.

I might be just a little 'biased', but I full-time in my 19CCD for 4-5 months every year and could easily do it year round if work didn't get in the way!

Your 470 should be able to handle it and probably would do a 22' just as well. Check the towing specs in your manual. It sort of depends on how much (or how little) 'stuff' you can live with/without. Given that you're a backpacker, you should be able to minimize without too much trouble.

Have fun and don't be shy about the questions. There are lots of folks here who have been there and done that!
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:28 PM   #5
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The 19 would be great and one person could probably full time in it. I would rather have the 23 and get the advantage of tandem axles. This is a serious plus when dealing with a flat tire or blowout. I think that your Lexus 470 could handle. Also, take a look at the brand new 22' Safari Sport.

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Old 12-17-2007, 09:38 PM   #6
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Hi Jane,, welcome to the Forums,,, lots of good information and help here. i have a 25 foot Safari and find it would be quite comfortable to full time in. also have a Bambi,, which is great for short jaunts,,, have done up to 3 weeks with it and found it tiring to be always moving things around to get out what you need. look at everything,,, take your time,, good luck,, happy hunting and happy new trails,,, donna
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Old 12-17-2007, 09:43 PM   #7
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Jane--
I went from a sleeping bag and a tarp to a 12' Boles Aero trailer. What a luxury!!! I now have a 22' 1961 Safari and I think this is the optimum size for comfort and exploring. Big enought to live in, but small enough to go where I want. For full-timing a shower is more than a luxury, it is a necessity if you intend to be in the proximity of other people.
I suggest you visit some airstream dealers to get an idea of what is available in the different sizes. It would be even better to attend a ralley to see all ages and sizes and get even more opinions.
Take your time and ask lots of questions.
And most of all, have fun!
Sam
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:05 PM   #8
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I agree with all said above.
This site is "Airstreams for dummies".... I have learned a bunch here.
Welcome to the forums!!
Dave
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Old 12-17-2007, 10:52 PM   #9
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in addition

Hi Jane, Another Silver Sister here.... Spend some time looking for some of the Vintage ASs that are also out there. We have an Argosy Minuet...the painted kind of AS. It is a 1978 6.7 m. and they were both lighter weight and a little narrower. If you are a handy gal you can probably do some or most of the work to rehab a vintage unit. There are some that are in good condition and just need some updates. Ours is a dream to tow and you needn't have a huge tow vehicle to drag it down the road. Good luck on your new adventure. I will look forward to seeing you around the Silver Sisters campfire! And perhaps we will see you at the next Rivettes Rally in the future.
Lou (and Larrita) in snowy Ohio!
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:52 PM   #10
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Hi Jane,

Take a look at the new Safari Sport. Light wieght and a big bathroom all in 22 feet. Remember an Airstreams length is measured from the back bumper to the ball hitch at the front.

As far as towing, backing, setting up etc. You can do it. A little practice in a parking lot and you'll be good to go.
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:36 AM   #11
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Been there... found THIS site

I think I wrote your post almost word for word 2 1/2 years ago. Now I'm an expert (former drip now under pressure).

You CAN do it.

Now for the Airstream. Don't buy from a picture, find the model you're interested in, and then evaluate it in person, at the dealer or at a forum rally. Especially check the bathroom and bed. I found the units with the bed that's right next to the bathroom door have one problem.... the bathroom door barely opens before it hits the mattress and if you're not a size six it can be a very tight squeeze to get into the bathroom. (Sucking it in with a full bladder - no fun.) Tall people find some of the smaller bathrooms to be murder on the knees - can't sit and close the door. Corner beds are a pain in the butt to make or change sheets on. And in a totally one room trailer leaving the bed unmade is not an attractive option.

I bought a 22 ft CCD - loved it for over a year of FULLTIMING. Then just had to have something bigger and got the 25 FB SE Safari. I almost wish I'd gotten the twins instead of the queen in this one. I could use the other bed to a sewing table/Desk with very little modification and have more storage that would be easier to access inside and out. If you're not fulltiming, the 16' or 19' may be all you need. Go visit your nearest dealer!

Even a 25 limits my tendency to collect clutter. I just finished my semi-annual "throw it out" effort - where every item of clothing I own was evaluated, and 20% goes to charity or the trash can.

I love the look of vintage, but did good "reality check" and decided I did not want a project trailer, so I bought new. Knowing what I know now, I could have found a nice 2 year old "almost new" Airstream right in this forum's classifieds.

One last think over item: find the right Airstream and you'll keep it for 20 years. If you find the right Airstream and it's too big for your Lexus, get a tow vehicle to suit your Airstream, do not choose the Airstream just because your current vehicle can tow it.

WooHoo - wanna be a Rivette? We can Tow it!

Paula Ford
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Old 12-18-2007, 04:40 AM   #12
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My wife, Sam, pulls our 20' with our Mercedes (about the same size as your Lexus) all over the place. Smaller is better for maneuvering in out of the way places.
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Old 12-18-2007, 04:57 AM   #13
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Physicist maybe? but I digress. Welcome, we were all Airstream dummies at one point. You will find a few threads here that once you start reading, you will be up all night and much smarter in the morning...

I agree with all said above. My comment is that I've done 3 years in my Overlander and many trips in the Caravel. I really prefer the smooth towing of a two axle and the safety of a second tire on each side. I haven't had a blowout, but I have had major tread failures twice in the Caravel.

The Caravel is fine for one person, but you find that with two people and all the "stuff" really get in each other's way. The Overlander was roomy, but it was a little more difficult to go in the heart of the city or boondock into places with dirt roads with dips. I think 23' is the right length.

I looked for the shortest two-axle Airstream I could find for 7 years, then went to a rally where half the Airstreams were Safaris. Now I've got one and there's another unused one right next to mine in the RV storage place I use! And it's in good shape--could be used immediately.

Good luck on your search. The right Airstream is out there and available.

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Old 12-18-2007, 08:23 AM   #14
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Jane,

I can't add much to what has already been posted except my welcome. Our search took a couple of years but finally found the right rig for us right here in Colorado. We did some basic work and started to use the Minuet. Much more to do but we can camp while the updates proceed. Keep us posted.
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