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Old 01-19-2014, 06:33 AM   #1
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Traveling with Airstream Community

Hello,

My husband and I are deciding on a travel trailer for our retirement. We are zooming in on Airstream. It looks like a "secret club"....lol...love it.

I have two questions:

Aside from the fun factor is there any other benefits to the "caravaning trips". Are the campgrounds discounted along the way or are site-seeing tickets included? From what I found online it appeared that the fee for the trip was paid upfront.

I have seen a few posts about floor rot. We will be buying ours new and storing it inside. How prevalent is this problem?

Thank you.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:12 AM   #2
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If you are looking at Airstreams you likely share a few "freedom" genes with those travel in RVs and travel trailers

RV'ing in anything is just great. Why some of us choose Airstreams varies a lot, but much of it is not very practical or quantifiable. Some indeed like carvanning and I am sure they will chime in in reply to your post.

My wife and I only looked at one other brand before we locked in on Airstream. We had never owned an RV before we bought our Airstream, but agree we wish we had done it sooner!

Floor rot is caused by unattended or unnoticed water leaks. It may seem like a larger problem than it is on a forum like this, where folks are looking for help and sharing solutions. It is expensive to fix however so it is worth looking for carefully in any used travel trailer, not just Airstream.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:37 AM   #3
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Congrats on the retirement and your upcoming purchase of an Airstream.

Since they take people like me, it's not really the world's most secret club :-)

As to your questions - when you went online, did you explore the WBCCI site http://wbcci.org/

That's the "club" of Airstream owners and a great source of info on caravans. We're not in a position (I.e., retired) to be able to caravan yet but just met a couple who have been I'm several of them. Usually the discounted campsite fees are included as are a meal a day though each caravan would have it's own structure and fees.

Your specific question was around caravans but another interesting discount is Airstream Only parks (you can see more about that on the WBCCI site as well).

As you're planning on buying new - you'll have 2 years warranty so should anything odd happen during that time you should be covered. Storing it in a covered place is a great luxury! That will be helpful. But like a house or any other big investment, regular maintenance is a must. Floor rot happens when leaks go unaddressed. And it's likely that you read more about problems in a forum like this as folks seek help. It's less common for folks to share that things are still going well (though the exception is the "It's Thursday and I like my Airstream" thread :-)

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:45 AM   #4
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Alumalina 2014

luckier,

Can you come on down for a visit to http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...-a-111542.html March 28-30 at Wateree SP in SC? There will be over 50 AS rigs on site, meet the gang and kick some tires and share the day. The campground is full and several are on the waiting list, but figure out if you can and meet many fellow crazies.

Gary
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:07 AM   #5
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Welcome to the Airforums!

I cannot reply to your questions about the caravans, since I am not a member of a club nor have I traveled in a club caravan. Though, every person that I have met who is a member of the WBCCI or TAC has been friendly and welcoming.

When someone gets a brand new trailer it may or may not have leak issues from the time they receive it. Most likely not. However, many do report they find leaks. Inside storage will help prevent water damage, but not entirely prevent water intrusion while traveling. There is no question that water leaks will develop as the trailer ages and it gets miles on it. How bad the resulting damage from water leaks might become is really up to the owner. If leaks are neglected the results can become very costly to repair. If an owner is knowledgeable and diligent with maintenance a trailer can last more than a lifetime.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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Gary, We actually may come for the day on that Saturday. We are not 100% sure yet. Thanks for the invite!
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:57 PM   #7
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Thank you everybody for the great info! We will make sure we learn how to hunt for leaks and how to do proper maintenance.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:17 AM   #8
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What airstream are you looking into? We have had other rv's and have ordered a 27FB Eddie Bauer - due here in about another month!. After going into countless rvs - the choice was clear. I know airstreams have their share of problems, but definitely feel the quality is far better than the other SOB's. Because we are not yet airstream owners, we have not participated in any of the rallys but I believe it is a very personal choice. We are both very social and even without going with clubs have met a lot of nice people and have had the pleasure of sharing a drink or two with neighbors.

You are very fortunate that your airstream will be kept indoors - it will help tremendously with all of your maintenance problems. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:39 AM   #9
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Every other RV we looked at, when we first started kicking the idea around, felt dated and like a throwback to the 1980’s, especially for the interior. Too much plastic, too much vinyl, too much off gassing, horrible furniture, it wasn't for us.

The second we saw our first Airstream we knew we had found home. Aluminum and solid (ply)wood, what's not to love.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:06 AM   #10
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In regards to comment above "about every other SOB we looked at had the same look", we feel exactly the same way. When was the last time you saw a SOB trailer that had a retro or modern feel? We just got back from the RV show in Chicago and as we were sitting in the dining area of a 25ft International having a nice conversation with another owner, a man popped his head in the doorway and the only comment out of his mouth was "boy, they need to get rid of all the silver in here." So I guess the answer is "to each their own."
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:23 AM   #11
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We bought our first Airstream while I was in the UK. It was a 2013 25FB International Serenity with a queen bed across the frame. It was purchased sight unseen by looking at the 2013 Airstream Catalog floor plans and we had never even been in an Airstream let alone a RV.

Let's say, at best, that was a very poor way to acquire an Airstream. After the first two trips, I was very aware of my poor purchase decision in terms of that specific floor plan for us. Besides, my wife made comments on a daily basis on this choice.

We saw a used 34' Classic and loved the solid Hickory cabinets, but the length was daunting and the Gross Vehicle Weight of 11,500 pounds would push the towing limits of our new truck. Last May we ordered a 27FB Classic with twin beds for production in January 2014. The conversation continued about our likes and dislikes since the back 15' of the 25FB and 27FB have the same measurements and layout. So we changed the order and customized the floor linoleum choice and the back splash in the bathroom.

Our 2014 Classic model 30 is still sitting outside at the factory awaiting some minor standard parts. It is now over 30 days since it started down the production line on 20mDecember 2013.

I strongly suggest getting to a dealer and spending perhaps an hour or so in the models you really like:

sitting normally
sitting visualizing watching TV - straight ahead viewing or neck turned
sitting on the closed lid of the toilet to determine knee room and elbow room
visualize lying on the bed and sitting up - head clearance from cabinets
ease of access to all sides of the bed
ease of access to the overhead roof locker storage front and rear

Just some ideas to keep in mind.

Good luck and welcome to this forum which is a virtual fountain of knowledge.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:07 AM   #12
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I love my Classic 30, but I like the layout/floor plan of the 80's-90's front kitchen models.
That is the most open and airy and roomy Airstream floor plan I have seen
I also understand that there were issues with the front kitchen models not having enough tongue weight. That to me is counter-intuitive- I would have thought with the appliances up front it would have too much tongue weight- I guess those appliances don't weigh as much as I thought they would-
I think the issue was all holding tanks were aft of the axles- I still don't understand how that would matter unless all the holding tanks were full-
I guess sometimes my pea brain just don't get it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:38 AM   #13
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Welcome

Hi neighbor!

Welcome to the Forums. We live in nearby Pfafftown.

We purchased our "lightly used" 2008 27FB Safari in 2011. Even though we had it inspected by a dealer pre purchase, it did have the dreaded floor rot. We had the floor rot repaired at the factory in Jackson Center. They did a great job with the replacement of the floor and resealed all of the seams. We now store our trailer inside a warehouse while not in use which helps prevent leaks. The other key thing is to keep checking the seams and seals on the exterior and apply new sealant or gaskets at the first sign of cracking or wear. Some Airstreamers replace the cheap factory skylight with the hurricane resistant heavy duty skylights by Maxim (Link: Maxim Airstream Skylight) as the OEM skylights tend to crack and leak.

With respect to Caravans we have yet to experience one but know a number of Airstreamers who have been. It seems the chief advantages are:
1) The camping reservations are taken care of which can be an issue in some popular areas in season.
2) The caravans stop at many obscure and fascinating places the average person would likely not discover on their own.
3) The camaraderie of traveling with a group and sharing experiences
4) Safety. If you break down there are traveling companions who can help you.
5) Typically the fee includes admissions to attractions and campgrounds. Some include group meals. It depends on how the leader organizes the trip. For the WBCCI caravans it is best to email the leader for more detailed information or answers to specific questions. I'm sure the companies organizing the commercial caravans will answer specific questions as well.

Everyone I've spoken to who participated in a WBCCI caravan loved the experience.

There is an Airstream only RV park only two hours north of you between Roanoke and Floyd Virginia. It is a wonderful place to spend a few days or few weeks. Here is a link to the website of Virginia Highland Haven Airstream: Virginia Highland Haven Airstream Park

If you can do come down to the Alumalina rally at Lake Wateree in March. It will give you an opportunity to meet a number of Airstreamers as well as see a number of different trailers.

There are four WBCCI chapters in North Carolina in the event you wish to join the organization, with two located in the piedmont (Carolinas Unit and Piedmont, NC). An interesting new WBCCI option is the Southeastern Camping Unit which draws its membership from across the southeastern US and plans camping events throughout the region. Here is a link to the Region 3 page listing the units and providing links to the individual unit websites: Region 3 WBCCI Units

Please feel free to PM me with questions. We'll be glad to help in any way.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remax gal View Post
What airstream are you looking into? We have had other rv's and have ordered a 27FB Eddie Bauer - due here in about another month!. After going into countless rvs - the choice was clear. I know airstreams have their share of problems, but definitely feel the quality is far better than the other SOB's. Because we are not yet airstream owners, we have not participated in any of the rallys but I believe it is a very personal choice. We are both very social and even without going with clubs have met a lot of nice people and have had the pleasure of sharing a drink or two with neighbors.

You are very fortunate that your airstream will be kept indoors - it will help tremendously with all of your maintenance problems. Good luck and have fun!
Laura, We are looking at a smaller one so the we can fit it in a garage. It would need to be 23' or shorter. We have never owned a camper or even a pop up so at first we were thinking of getting the 16 sport but because I might want a bathroom that has a sink we might go with the 19 flying cloud. We want one that has the table at the end. The Eddie Bauer will be super sweet!
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