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Old 06-09-2017, 05:20 AM   #1
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Planning ahead

Hello, Airforums! Name's Ed. Greetings from the Mid-Atlantic.

My wife and I recently started researching the idea of using a travel trailer to more comfortably explore our home state of Maryland during long weekends and vacation time. After I retire from active duty in a few years, we dream of striking out across the country on longer excursions. For now, we're saving up and learning everything we can about Airstream life. I'm happy to see there seems to be an active community here, and I'm sure it will be an invaluable source of information in years to come. Cheers and safe travels out there!
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:08 AM   #2
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Hampton Beach , New Hampshire
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Welcome aboard Ed! Thanks for your service! (Saw your post in the vet's section)

Newbies ourselves just starting last year with a used, but new to us TT. It's certainly been a fun learning experience getting things setup and then actually getting out on the road. Long trip for us from NH to FL last November.

Just out last week for 4 days and we're feeling pretty comfortable about all. You'll do the same as you get out on the road.

Pretty much every question or problem has been discussed in a thread here somewhere and folks jump right in to offer help. We continue to learn all the time from the info shared here.

Have fun and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:02 PM   #3
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Hi Ed, greetings from central Kentucky, center of the universe
Thanks for your service.

We started researching about the same time. We followed the commercial section here and other places, learning about the various sizes and options for AS TTs. Following the forums gives you an idea of the lifestyles of the various people here. Some are full timers, some are vacationers with families, some are snow birds. (When we started seeking warmer climes in winter we learned that snow "birds" spend 5-6 months in those areas. If you spend less time, you're a snow "flake". )

Following the forums also helped us determine the proper Airstream (AS) for our tow vehicle (TV). We learned a lot about setting up, taking down, weights, gear, places to go, things to see, etc. Both of us view the posts on a regular basis, although she spends most of her time looking for a bigger AS. [If this is your first TT/RV know that the general rule is that within 3 years you'll move up or move out. Buy used, don't take that big depreciation hit on a new one unless you're really sure that's what you want.]

One piece of advice, all advice here is free and worth every penny, so take it with a grain of salt. Lots of good, friendly people here, all very helpful. I have learned a lot about our AS.
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:52 PM   #4
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Huntersville , North Carolina
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Hey and welcome Edfromearth!

If you can make it ... maybe check out one or two of the larger Rallys. Fun and no better way to get the full scoop. They might have an "official tour of trailers" scheduled and even if they don't, many folks will be amenable to letting you check out their rig.

Good luck and happy travels.
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
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Winston Salem , North Carolina
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Greetings from NC! Welcome to the wonderful world of airforums. You'll find lots of info here. I'm four years into the renovation of my trailer & finally got to take it out for the first time about a month ago. Second trip is coming up in two weeks. It's a ton of fun to plan trips!
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Old 06-09-2017, 03:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STREMN View Post
Welcome aboard Ed! Thanks for your service! (Saw your post in the vet's section)

Newbies ourselves just starting last year with a used, but new to us TT. It's certainly been a fun learning experience getting things setup and then actually getting out on the road. Long trip for us from NH to FL last November.

Just out last week for 4 days and we're feeling pretty comfortable about all. You'll do the same as you get out on the road.

Pretty much every question or problem has been discussed in a thread here somewhere and folks jump right in to offer help. We continue to learn all the time from the info shared here.

Have fun and enjoy the adventure!
Thanks for the warm welcome and for your own service! When you were keeping the watch during the era of Able Archer, I was busy being born.

NH to FL sounds like one heck of a long haul. How many days did you take?



Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
Hi Ed, greetings from central Kentucky, center of the universe
Thanks for your service.

We started researching about the same time. We followed the commercial section here and other places, learning about the various sizes and options for AS TTs. Following the forums gives you an idea of the lifestyles of the various people here. Some are full timers, some are vacationers with families, some are snow birds. (When we started seeking warmer climes in winter we learned that snow "birds" spend 5-6 months in those areas. If you spend less time, you're a snow "flake". )

Following the forums also helped us determine the proper Airstream (AS) for our tow vehicle (TV). We learned a lot about setting up, taking down, weights, gear, places to go, things to see, etc. Both of us view the posts on a regular basis, although she spends most of her time looking for a bigger AS. [If this is your first TT/RV know that the general rule is that within 3 years you'll move up or move out. Buy used, don't take that big depreciation hit on a new one unless you're really sure that's what you want.]

One piece of advice, all advice here is free and worth every penny, so take it with a grain of salt. Lots of good, friendly people here, all very helpful. I have learned a lot about our AS.
Hey there in KY! I've still got family around Lexington and London, and my dad grew up in Corbin. Appreciate the friendly welcome and the learned advice. How severe is the depreciation on new AS TTs anyway? 25% the moment it leaves the dealership?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffn It View Post
Hey and welcome Edfromearth!

If you can make it ... maybe check out one or two of the larger Rallys. Fun and no better way to get the full scoop. They might have an "official tour of trailers" scheduled and even if they don't, many folks will be amenable to letting you check out their rig.

Good luck and happy travels.
Thanks, we'll keep our ear to the ground for upcoming rallies. Seems like a great way to take a look at lived-in TTs. By the way, is that an aussie in your profile picture? We have two little 'toy' aussie mixes who are the love of our lives.



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Originally Posted by lonewolf1977 View Post
Greetings from NC! Welcome to the wonderful world of airforums. You'll find lots of info here. I'm four years into the renovation of my trailer & finally got to take it out for the first time about a month ago. Second trip is coming up in two weeks. It's a ton of fun to plan trips!
Thank you! I lived in NC for a few years when I was stationed at Fort Bragg. Hope to be back some day to visit with an Airstream in tow. Good luck with your reno!
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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Hi

Welcome !!

Head over to a dealer (Colonial is one option, there are others). Get a feel for the size and layout you are comfortable with. There really is no way to do that without sitting in some examples and seeing how they feel. Then dig into what sort of tow vehicle you will need for the size(s) you like best. You have some time, next time you trade in a vehicle, think about how the next one will function as a tow.

With some time before the "retirement" (wife's last day was today), you have time to look and shop. One option is to buy a recently manufactured trailer and just use it. A more adventurous approach is to buy an older trailer and rebuild it. You have enough time to research all the options. If you decide on a rebuild, you likely have time for that.

Good Luck !!

Bob
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Old 06-09-2017, 05:21 PM   #8
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Hi

Welcome !!

Head over to a dealer (Colonial is one option, there are others). Get a feel for the size and layout you are comfortable with. There really is no way to do that without sitting in some examples and seeing how they feel. Then dig into what sort of tow vehicle you will need for the size(s) you like best. You have some time, next time you trade in a vehicle, think about how the next one will function as a tow.

With some time before the "retirement" (wife's last day was today), you have time to look and shop. One option is to buy a recently manufactured trailer and just use it. A more adventurous approach is to buy an older trailer and rebuild it. You have enough time to research all the options. If you decide on a rebuild, you likely have time for that.

Good Luck !!

Bob
Hi Bob, thanks for the advice! I have watched a lot of Colonial's videos on YouTube in recent weeks. One of their salesmen does exceptionally thorough walkthroughs of seemingly every floor plan. I learned a lot just watching those. Colonial is less than a 3 hour drive from us, so I think we may make a day of it at some point later this year and head over there.

I recently put my '07 Civic out to pasture and picked up a new '17 Tacoma 4x4 with the V6 tow package. I think it'll be enough of a TV to handle a Bambi, so we may end up starting in a Sport or vintage equivalent.
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:01 PM   #9
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An earlier trip to Colonial might be worthwhile to meet a sales rep, and to see the various models in person. There is no substitute for actual time inside each possible model IMO. With the new model year now hitting the dealers, good used units will be moving through for the next 6-8 months. If you have narrowed your focus to a few sizes, it will be easy to track possible buys via email with your sales rep.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
An earlier trip to Colonial might be worthwhile to meet a sales rep, and to see the various models in person. There is no substitute for actual time inside each possible model IMO. With the new model year now hitting the dealers, good used units will be moving through for the next 6-8 months. If you have narrowed your focus to a few sizes, it will be easy to track possible buys via email with your sales rep.

Good luck!

Peter
Thanks for the tips, Peter. I'd love to visit Colonial soon, but probably won't have the chance until fall due to some upcoming overseas travel. Is later in the year always the cheaper time to buy, used or new?
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:41 PM   #11
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Yes later in the year is a good time to buy. A winter trip to Florida can also be productive and double as a vacation.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:18 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum Ed. It's great to have you with us!
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:30 PM   #13
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Hampton Beach , New Hampshire
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Originally Posted by edfromearth View Post
Thanks for the warm welcome and for your own service! When you were keeping the watch during the era of Able Archer, I was busy being born.

NH to FL sounds like one heck of a long haul. How many days did you take?
We spent 2 weeks and put 3200 miles on the road. We had a great time and got to see many things and many places on our adventure. Pretty easy when your pulling your house behind you! Private campgrounds, Walmart, Sam's Club, and State Rest Areas rounded out our overnight stops.

We're looking forward to more long distance stuff in the future, including the Alumalina Rally in October. It'll be our first with over 190 AirStremers signed up for the event it'll be memorable.

Make the trip to Colonial. We did, it's worth your time to see what there is and you can get a feel for what's right for you.

All the best!
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:37 AM   #14
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Thanks for the tips, Peter. I'd love to visit Colonial soon, but probably won't have the chance until fall due to some upcoming overseas travel. Is later in the year always the cheaper time to buy, used or new?
Hi

I was going to suggest that if you can make it over there on Monday, I can show you the inside of a 30' Classic ....

Have fun with your overseas "vacation" .. stay safe !!

Bob
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