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Old 01-20-2015, 09:08 PM   #1
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Thank You and dreams with Wally Byam....

Hello Everyone,

I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to:
• All who originally created this forum.
• All who maintain the forum.
• And all of you who post so willingly with your incredible knowledge.

I have been cruising Air Forums frequently, and for many hours, since December and have been thoroughly impressed by the community. I first joined when we were interested in purchasing a used Airstream Motorhome and continued when deciding upon an Airstream Trailer. And after spending so much time on the forum I look forward to many more years of learning and new friendships.

On the forum I have learned (jokes in parenthesis so this hopefully stays engaging) about different Airstream sizes & models (I like the 85’ trailer best! Can’t decide FB or RB, three bathrooms or four), purchasing strategies (How does 1,000 bucks cash sound, and we’ll call it a deal?), tow vehicles (cars, trucks, SUVs, & Space Shuttles), trailer and tow vehicle weights (No trailer can be too light, no tow vehicle can be too big!), hitches (How about just using really strong rope? Crossed of course for anti-sway control), fun and useful modifications (running a line between the trailer and the public restroom so one can find their way in a blinding snow storm), boon docking (“Keep digging, we’ll hit water eventually!”), solar panels and generators (All batteries charged in five minutes or less…or your money back!), flushing holding tanks (“Don’t look too closely there, Marge!”), converters and inverters (“Are we talking Yen or Pesos?”), winterizing (Wrapping the entire Airstream in that pink insulation stuff is going to get real spendy every year), off-season storage (Tow to the Florida Keys and put in hermetically enclosed storage), and…I could go on ☺. But seriously, so many of you have contributed so much information, all of which has made our purchasing process so much easier and so much more confidence-inspiring and fun! And I picked up a new local friend, and fellow Airstreamer-to-be, to boot, via this forum. I thank you, so very, very much!

Okay, on to the “dream” that I mentioned in the subject line. The local dealer that I purchased our Airstream trailer from was kind enough to give me a spare book entitled, "Wanderlust: Airstream at 75", by Russ Banham, copyright 2005. Well, you know what happens when you get bitten by the Airstream bug and you're awaiting the delivery of your Airstream which is still months away! I ended up reading the book cover-to-cover over the course of a week. It is filled with wonderful photos and stories of Wally Byam, Airstreams, and the famous caravans. It also includes stories of Wally’s growing up, his two wives (his second wife, Stella, seemed instrumental in Wally’s success), some of the many people who helped make Airstream a success, and some of the many ups and downs of bringing his entrepreneurial vision to reality over the course of decades.

So, going to bed each night, somewhere in my brain Wally Byam and Airstreams continued onwards ☺. I woke up one morning with remnants of a hilarious dream. In the dream Wally Byam is playing on an intramural softball team. He is having a great time playing and after the game is approached by a woman who asks him if he would be willing to write about the games for a local newspaper (Side note: From reading the book I learned that Wally was a writer and publisher early in his professional career). So, Wally looks at the ground and thinks about the offer for about five seconds, then lifts his head, looks the woman right in the eyes, and boldly answers, “Well, the heck with that! I'll start my own newspaper so I can write what I want!”

And with that I realized that, at least to some degree, I had absorbed some of Wally Byam into my being. Go get ‘em, Wally!
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:19 PM   #2
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I recently purchased and finished "The Byam Books" cover to cover from the AS store. Wally hasn't started appearing in my dreams yet, but he certainly sounds like he was a character.

The funniest thing was that some of the issues discussed in the book are still ongoing in the forums today. It's like reading a 55 year message board thread.
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Old 01-20-2015, 11:37 PM   #3
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same discussions

That is funny! What are some of the same discussions?

And, yes, Wally Byam seemed like he was quite the character. Lucky for us, eh?
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
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Tow Vehicle arguments (cars vs. trucks vs. jeeps), Super Duper hitch gizmos, Crappy mobile homes or badly made trailers giving the industry a "trailer trash reputation", full timing vs hobbyists, trailer parks vs boondocking, local bylaws/covenants, propane/butane and heater issues, generators and noise,electrical setups, brake issues, insurance, travel safety, full timing and extended travel, short vs long trailers, arbitrary highway speed limits (45MPH) and tow rules meant for trucks, differences between euro and US towing, leveling trailers for the fridge to work, people who want to tow at 85MPH+, etc

I think what's different is a sense of adventure and willingness to take on challenges(manage and understand risk rationally) and adversity which is less common today. And in many ways it was a simpler time.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:58 PM   #5
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Wanderlust

I have always been a person afflicted with the "wanderlust". To make sure that I was using the right term, I looked it up and this is what I got:

The English loanword "wanderlust" was already extant in the German language dating as far back as Middle High German. The first documented use of the term in English occurred in 1902 as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering that may be traced back to German Romanticism and the German system of apprenticeship (the journeyman), as well as the adolescent custom of the 'Wanderbird' seeking unity with Nature.

Now being satisfied that this is my affliction, I can go on with my story. In 2002, SuEllyn and I were both retired and able to travel as much as were cared to. On several occasions, we headed out cross-country in our then new 2001 Suburban 2500. We had selected the Suburban as it had the room and capacity to carry most anything that we wanted to bring along.

We made a number of these trips to the far reaches of this great country of ours. We found that after three to four weeks on the road, we tired of this style of travel. Checking in and out of hotels got really tedious. After a number of these trips, we feared that our dream of travel and exploration was not going to be the great experience that we had envisioned.

In 2005, we reassessed our retirement dream, and started researching RVs as a mode of travel. Neither one of us had any RVing experience. We had done some tent camping, but that had been quite a while ago. We considered the different RV formats and decided that a travel trailer would best fit our style.

We started researching and shopping travel trailers and found that there was a big gap between Airstream and all the rest. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. We decided that we would go with an Airstream as their resale value was such that we could try it out and get larger portion of our investment back if we found that RVing wasn't for us.

Our first Lucy (Old Lucy) was a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new. We dove right in and started traveling extensively. We found out in the first year that Airstreaming was definitely for us. The more we traveled, the more we wanted to. We visited all of the lower forty-eight states, and spent 1,326 nights in her and towed her 114,000 miles. After having old Lucy for eight years, we decided to try downsizing to a 23FB. In November of 2013, we traded Old Lucy in on a slightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB who became Little Lucy. We traveled nationwide in Little Lucy for about ten months. We spent 148 nights in her and towed her 15,000 miles. We reluctantly decided that the layout of the 23FB just wasn't right for us. We decided to go back to a 25FB. In October of 2014, we traded in Little Lucy on a 2015 Safari 25FB that has become known as New Lucy. So far, New Lucy has seen 51 nights out and has covered 3,100 miles.

Jointly, the three Lucys have given us over 1,500 nights and 132,000 miles on the road seeing the USA. This has been the best time of our lives and we have enjoyed it immensely. We have gotten to spend over four years in our Airstreams in the last nine years. We are hoping to be able to spend may more years following our wanderlust in the comfort and security of our Airstream.

We are truly "living the dream". Airforums has been a significant part of making this possible. I have always been a person afflicted with the "wanderlust". To make sure that I was using the right term, I looked it up and this is what I got:

The English loanword "wanderlust" was already extant in the German language dating as far back as Middle High German. The first documented use of the term in English occurred in 1902 as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering that may be traced back to German Romanticism and the German system of apprenticeship (the journeyman), as well as the adolescent custom of the 'Wanderbird' seeking unity with Nature.

Now being satisfied that this is my affliction, I can go on with my story. In 2002, SuEllyn and I were both retired and able to travel as much as were cared to. On several occasions, we headed out cross-country in our then new 2001 Suburban 2500. We had selected the Suburban as it had the room and capacity to carry most anything that we wanted to bring along.

We made a number of these trips to the far reaches of this great country of ours. We found that after three to four weeks on the road, we tired of this style of travel. Checking in and out of hotels got really tedious. After a number of these trips, we feared that our dream of travel and exploration was not going to be the great experience that we had envisioned.

In 2005, we reassessed our retirement dream, and started researching RVs as a mode of travel. Neither one of us had any RVing experience. We had done some tent camping, but that had been quite a while ago. We considered the different RV formats and decided that a travel trailer would best fit our style.

We started researching and shopping travel trailers and found that there was a big gap between Airstream and all the rest. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. We decided that we would go with an Airstream as their resale value was such that we could try it out and get larger portion of our investment back if we found that RVing wasn't for us.

Our first Lucy (Old Lucy) was a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new. We dove right in and started traveling extensively. We found out in the first year that Airstreaming was definitely for us. The more we traveled, the more we wanted to. We visited all of the lower forty-eight states, and spent 1,326 nights in her and towed her 114,000 miles. After having old Lucy for eight years, we decided to try downsizing to a 23FB. In November of 2013, we traded Old Lucy in on a slightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB who became Little Lucy. We traveled nationwide in Little Lucy for about ten months. We spent 148 nights in her and towed her 15,000 miles. We reluctantly decided that the layout of the 23FB just wasn't right for us. We decided to go back to a 25FB. In October of 2014, we traded in Little Lucy on a 2015 Safari 25FB that has become known as New Lucy. So far, New Lucy has seen 51 nights out and has covered 3,100 miles.

Jointly, the three Lucys have given us over 1,500 nights and 132,000 miles on the road seeing the USA. This has been the best time of our lives and we have enjoyed it immensely. We have gotten to spend over four years in our Airstreams in the last nine years. We are hoping to be able to spend may more years following our wanderlust in the comfort and security of our Airstream.

Airforums has been a significant part of making this possible. We are truly "living the dream".

Brian
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2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:45 PM   #6
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Hi Meeks, I'm very glad you are going to be an Air Forums contributor from now on. Your experiences are similar to mine. I discovered the Forums and have found folks here very helpful with all my problems. I like to say that there is a lot of advice here and it's all FREE. Can't beat that!

It looks like you have purchased an ideal Airstream. We wish you many happy adventures in it.

Our 86 Limited has been in the family since new. My wife's folks were avid Airstream travelers in their retirement. They participated an many Airstream caravans and rallys. We inherited the Airstream and having just retired, plan on doing more traveling too. We enjoy being "gypsies" and just heading out with no particular place in mind. This spring we hope to travel the southeast United States. Last fall we traveled to Maine. Two years ago we traveled to your beautiful state and thoroughly enjoyed traveling down the coast. You better figure your new Airstream is going to last 50 years.

You'll find other Airstreamers flashing their lights at you when you pass each other. And you'll find folks in campgrounds asking about your Airstream and what makes it so special. This photo depicts how rare an Airstream is in a sea of white SOBs. (Although you are going to have to rotate your computer screen to see it right side up.)

David
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Old 01-24-2015, 03:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timhortons View Post
Tow Vehicle arguments (cars vs. trucks vs. jeeps), Super Duper hitch gizmos, Crappy mobile homes or badly made trailers giving the industry a "trailer trash reputation", full timing vs hobbyists, trailer parks vs boondocking, local bylaws/covenants, propane/butane and heater issues, generators and noise,electrical setups, brake issues, insurance, travel safety, full timing and extended travel, short vs long trailers, arbitrary highway speed limits (45MPH) and tow rules meant for trucks, differences between euro and US towing, leveling trailers for the fridge to work, people who want to tow at 85MPH+, etc

I think what's different is a sense of adventure and willingness to take on challenges(manage and understand risk rationally) and adversity which is less common today. And in many ways it was a simpler time.

Hi Tim,

That is very funny! Makes one think of the saying, "The more things change, the more things stay the same"! I guess it makes sense though. There are always new makes and models of cars, trucks, trailers, hitches, appliances, etc and there are always folks new to trailers, such as myself, so there is always much to learn. And that applies to 1940, 2014, and will apply in 2088!

I also agree with the sense of adventure and willingness to take on challenges. We humans each have different levels of this and they change at different times of our life too. I dream of myself in a cozy airstream and I think of an upcoming backpacking trip which are two different levels of adventure and challenge for me. And then I think of those two young men who just spent 19 days free climbing up Yosemite's Dawn Wall to summit El Capitan! Wow! Unimaginable to me.

Summiting Yosemite's Dawn Wall, Climbers Make History

Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts, Tim.

Chris
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
I have always been a person afflicted with the "wanderlust". To make sure that I was using the right term, I looked it up and this is what I got:

The English loanword "wanderlust" was already extant in the German language dating as far back as Middle High German. The first documented use of the term in English occurred in 1902 as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering that may be traced back to German Romanticism and the German system of apprenticeship (the journeyman), as well as the adolescent custom of the 'Wanderbird' seeking unity with Nature.

Now being satisfied that this is my affliction, I can go on with my story. In 2002, SuEllyn and I were both retired and able to travel as much as were cared to. On several occasions, we headed out cross-country in our then new 2001 Suburban 2500. We had selected the Suburban as it had the room and capacity to carry most anything that we wanted to bring along.

We made a number of these trips to the far reaches of this great country of ours. We found that after three to four weeks on the road, we tired of this style of travel. Checking in and out of hotels got really tedious. After a number of these trips, we feared that our dream of travel and exploration was not going to be the great experience that we had envisioned.

In 2005, we reassessed our retirement dream, and started researching RVs as a mode of travel. Neither one of us had any RVing experience. We had done some tent camping, but that had been quite a while ago. We considered the different RV formats and decided that a travel trailer would best fit our style.

We started researching and shopping travel trailers and found that there was a big gap between Airstream and all the rest. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. We decided that we would go with an Airstream as their resale value was such that we could try it out and get larger portion of our investment back if we found that RVing wasn't for us.

Our first Lucy (Old Lucy) was a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new. We dove right in and started traveling extensively. We found out in the first year that Airstreaming was definitely for us. The more we traveled, the more we wanted to. We visited all of the lower forty-eight states, and spent 1,326 nights in her and towed her 114,000 miles. After having old Lucy for eight years, we decided to try downsizing to a 23FB. In November of 2013, we traded Old Lucy in on a slightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB who became Little Lucy. We traveled nationwide in Little Lucy for about ten months. We spent 148 nights in her and towed her 15,000 miles. We reluctantly decided that the layout of the 23FB just wasn't right for us. We decided to go back to a 25FB. In October of 2014, we traded in Little Lucy on a 2015 Safari 25FB that has become known as New Lucy. So far, New Lucy has seen 51 nights out and has covered 3,100 miles.

Jointly, the three Lucys have given us over 1,500 nights and 132,000 miles on the road seeing the USA. This has been the best time of our lives and we have enjoyed it immensely. We have gotten to spend over four years in our Airstreams in the last nine years. We are hoping to be able to spend may more years following our wanderlust in the comfort and security of our Airstream.

We are truly "living the dream". Airforums has been a significant part of making this possible. I have always been a person afflicted with the "wanderlust". To make sure that I was using the right term, I looked it up and this is what I got:

The English loanword "wanderlust" was already extant in the German language dating as far back as Middle High German. The first documented use of the term in English occurred in 1902 as a reflection of what was then seen as a characteristically German predilection for wandering that may be traced back to German Romanticism and the German system of apprenticeship (the journeyman), as well as the adolescent custom of the 'Wanderbird' seeking unity with Nature.

Now being satisfied that this is my affliction, I can go on with my story. In 2002, SuEllyn and I were both retired and able to travel as much as were cared to. On several occasions, we headed out cross-country in our then new 2001 Suburban 2500. We had selected the Suburban as it had the room and capacity to carry most anything that we wanted to bring along.

We made a number of these trips to the far reaches of this great country of ours. We found that after three to four weeks on the road, we tired of this style of travel. Checking in and out of hotels got really tedious. After a number of these trips, we feared that our dream of travel and exploration was not going to be the great experience that we had envisioned.

In 2005, we reassessed our retirement dream, and started researching RVs as a mode of travel. Neither one of us had any RVing experience. We had done some tent camping, but that had been quite a while ago. We considered the different RV formats and decided that a travel trailer would best fit our style.

We started researching and shopping travel trailers and found that there was a big gap between Airstream and all the rest. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. We decided that we would go with an Airstream as their resale value was such that we could try it out and get larger portion of our investment back if we found that RVing wasn't for us.

Our first Lucy (Old Lucy) was a 2005 Safari 25FB that we bought new. We dove right in and started traveling extensively. We found out in the first year that Airstreaming was definitely for us. The more we traveled, the more we wanted to. We visited all of the lower forty-eight states, and spent 1,326 nights in her and towed her 114,000 miles. After having old Lucy for eight years, we decided to try downsizing to a 23FB. In November of 2013, we traded Old Lucy in on a slightly used 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB who became Little Lucy. We traveled nationwide in Little Lucy for about ten months. We spent 148 nights in her and towed her 15,000 miles. We reluctantly decided that the layout of the 23FB just wasn't right for us. We decided to go back to a 25FB. In October of 2014, we traded in Little Lucy on a 2015 Safari 25FB that has become known as New Lucy. So far, New Lucy has seen 51 nights out and has covered 3,100 miles.

Jointly, the three Lucys have given us over 1,500 nights and 132,000 miles on the road seeing the USA. This has been the best time of our lives and we have enjoyed it immensely. We have gotten to spend over four years in our Airstreams in the last nine years. We are hoping to be able to spend may more years following our wanderlust in the comfort and security of our Airstream.

Airforums has been a significant part of making this possible. We are truly "living the dream".

Brian

Hi Brian,

I loved reading your post! And learning about the term "wanderlust". Thanks for sharing that.

My wife and I are experiencing some of what you did in terms of your beginning RV experiences. We have two older daughters in college and one struggling fourteen year old at home with us. Last Spring and Summer (after closing our 20 year old business) we toured National Parks here in the west with our children in our brand new pop-up tent trailer which we just loved! And after 40+ years of tent camping, I might add, that tent trailer was quite luxurious! Real beds! Heat! A place to sit and relax when it rained all day. We had some fabulous family times.

And then last Fall into this Winter we spent a month each in Australia and New Zealand renting a motorhome and touring those amazing countries with our son. In addition to the fun and adventure of new countries and new places it was great to get our first ever motorhome experience which we really liked.

This Spring we are planning a four month tour across the country and back with our son. Having experienced both the pros and cons of motorhomes and trailers we finally decided that trailering was the way to go for us for this period of our lives. Hence, the purchase of our Airstream which should arrive at the end of March.

While we so enjoyed our pop-up tent trailer (had as much room as our 25' Airstream!) for us it is best when staying someplace for 3+ nights due to the 45 minute set-up and take down. We knew this when we purchased we just didn't know we would enjoy trailering so much that we would want to keep on going! So, a travel trailer vs. the pop-up trailer allows us to be on the road quicker, stay hooked up when on level ground and leaving the next day, and gives us all the conveniences without having to put the roof up. And, well, the Airstream will be a bit more luxurious, I think .

Anyway, there is some of my story. Thanks again for sharing some of your story, Brian! Really great.

Chris
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi Meeks, I'm very glad you are going to be an Air Forums contributor from now on. Your experiences are similar to mine. I discovered the Forums and have found folks here very helpful with all my problems. I like to say that there is a lot of advice here and it's all FREE. Can't beat that!

It looks like you have purchased an ideal Airstream. We wish you many happy adventures in it.

Our 86 Limited has been in the family since new. My wife's folks were avid Airstream travelers in their retirement. They participated an many Airstream caravans and rallys. We inherited the Airstream and having just retired, plan on doing more traveling too. We enjoy being "gypsies" and just heading out with no particular place in mind. This spring we hope to travel the southeast United States. Last fall we traveled to Maine. Two years ago we traveled to your beautiful state and thoroughly enjoyed traveling down the coast. You better figure your new Airstream is going to last 50 years.

You'll find other Airstreamers flashing their lights at you when you pass each other. And you'll find folks in campgrounds asking about your Airstream and what makes it so special. This photo depicts how rare an Airstream is in a sea of white SOBs. (Although you are going to have to rotate your computer screen to see it right side up.)

David

Hi David,

Thank you for your kind welcome to the world of "Airstreaming" and especially to AirForum! What an amazing group of people.

Just heading out without reservations is such a great feeling, isn't it? After decades of daily business appointments I too love just "going", with no place I've got to be!

How cool that you and your wife are in her parent's Airstream! Wow, now that is family history. I just love that! Do you have pictures of the Airstream on the Forum? I love the older Airstreams but wasn't up to the task of refurbishing one or the research right now to purchase a refurbished one. I realize that I've loved Airstreams ever since I was a kid even though I never thought I would own one.

Your photo of your Airstream amidst the other RVs is something! I wish that everyone who wanted an Airstream could get one. Then we would see a lot more of them!

Thanks for your fun post, David.

Chris
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:16 PM   #10
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Hi again Meeks,

Some folks use the photo gallery for pictures of their Airstream and their travel adventures. I just never did. And I'm not much of a photographer. I can do the "point and shoot" in automatic mode and that's about it.

Well I caught the Airstream bug pretty bad. I enjoy fiddling with them and trying to make them a little bit better.

You are fortunate and wise to get a newer model Airstream. The old ones are fun, but have more problems that can spoil a trip. Be prepared for a delayed delivery as I understand the factory is at capacity. I read some folks are experiencing 4 to 6 week delays in delivery. But it will come, and it will be very exciting to hit the highways with it.

David
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:46 PM   #11
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Thank you for your kind words, Chris.

Here is a link to our last big campout throughout the great Northwest including a several day stop in Eugene visiting relatives. We were gone for sixty-six days. We post narrative and photos to the Forums most every day that we are on the road.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...7s+big+campout

Brian
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2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi again Meeks,

Some folks use the photo gallery for pictures of their Airstream and their travel adventures. I just never did. And I'm not much of a photographer. I can do the "point and shoot" in automatic mode and that's about it.

Well I caught the Airstream bug pretty bad. I enjoy fiddling with them and trying to make them a little bit better.

You are fortunate and wise to get a newer model Airstream. The old ones are fun, but have more problems that can spoil a trip. Be prepared for a delayed delivery as I understand the factory is at capacity. I read some folks are experiencing 4 to 6 week delays in delivery. But it will come, and it will be very exciting to hit the highways with it.

David

Hi David,

Love the trailer pics! That triple axle trailer is something! Very cool looking. You could sleep 10 in a pinch, eh ?!

Fun that you have the Airstream "bug".

Reckon' our trailer will come when it does. Plenty to do between now and then to keep me busy. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

Take care, David.
Chris
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
Thank you for your kind words, Chris.

Here is a link to our last big campout throughout the great Northwest including a several day stop in Eugene visiting relatives. We were gone for sixty-six days. We post narrative and photos to the Forums most every day that we are on the road.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...7s+big+campout

Brian
Hi Brian,

Fun link to your camp out in the Northwest. You'll have to add us to your list next time you're in Oregon!

Chris
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