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Old 07-28-2011, 06:40 AM   #15
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I want to second some stuff Paula said. With some looking, you can indeed find good-condition (maybe even renovated) vintage trailers. But they can still need work. With the amount of traveling you intend to do, a vintage unit will need a recent set of axles (they lose their shock absorption capability with time) and definitely recent tires.

I'm also thinking about how you'd finance this. Thanks to rising gas prices and a shortage of used cars, your Civic is probably worth a lot of money ($13k-$15k). That could get you a nice 2004+ Toyota Tundra (smaller than the typical 1/2-ton truck but plenty capable for a smaller trailer) in cash.

Then it might be easier to finance a newer (say 4-6 years old) 19-23 foot Airstream (around $25k-$30k) rather than trying to finance a vintage trailer. (You'd obviously want to apply for that loan while you're working.)

This would likely get you a trailer without big problems - it will likely have little bugs, but not need extensive work. When we did our five-week trip, we were new to RVing. While I also looked for an Airstream (with a smaller budget), I'm really happy we wound up just buying something newer for that trip. (Vintage came later.) It was great to go cross-country with fewer (not zero, but fewer) problems.

Tom
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:42 AM   #16
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One more thought - Airstreams are cool, but expensive. Since you're travelling solo, you might want to consider something like a Casita. Your budget would get you an almost new 17-footer, and you could tow it with a mid-sized SUV. (I admit - I'd do your solo trip with a used Honda Ridgeline and a used Airstream Safari 20', but that combo is about $50k.)

A useful blog for full-timing with a small trailer is Technomadia - they full-timed in a TAB teardrop (which is borderline crazy) and a small Oliver trailer (but recently sold it for a vintage bus.) There's lots of good info on that site.

Tom
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:39 AM   #17
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All great info here and lots of good things for me to think about. I definitely know I should look at other options besides Airstreams. I guess I just feel like while I'm living out this dream it would be amazing to live the dream of owning one. I'm kinda going by what I want and challenging myself to make it happen. Plus, this community isn't helping...it's just making me want to be a part of it even more!

My number one priority is to not set myself back financially though. So keeping that in mind I may have to give up on the airstream part. Part of that is also something you hit on... the resale value of my car. I also need to realize that if I want to unload this stuff after a year I may not get as much back like I will for my civic. I need to sit down and write out all my options and figure out the financials of each.

Thanks for the info and the link. So much info to digest here! I love it!


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Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
One more thought - Airstreams are cool, but expensive. Since you're travelling solo, you might want to consider something like a Casita. Your budget would get you an almost new 17-footer, and you could tow it with a mid-sized SUV. (I admit - I'd do your solo trip with a used Honda Ridgeline and a used Airstream Safari 20', but that combo is about $50k.)

A useful blog for full-timing with a small trailer is Technomadia - they full-timed in a TAB teardrop (which is borderline crazy) and a small Oliver trailer (but recently sold it for a vintage bus.) There's lots of good info on that site.

Tom
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:39 AM   #18
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This is so awesome! I will most likely be messaging you soon. Thanks!

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I have a '76 Tradewind and live in Carlsbad. You are welcome to check out my trailer and ask me any questions. Just send me a private message.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:44 AM   #19
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@everyone-

Thank you so much for all the info! I can already see that this is an amazing community of people who are happy to help eachother.

You've got my brain on overdrive and now I just need to sit down, organize my thoughts, and write down some different plan options.

I don't want to leave this nice little thread I got started here. I already feel like you're all my friends! But should I take some of my questions to a new thread?
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