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Old 08-24-2012, 12:55 AM   #1
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2005 25' International CCD
Petaluma , California
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Upsizing from a roof top tent in Central America to an AS

We're new to Airstreams but not necessarily life on the road. After getting married in October of 2010, my new wife and I hit the road in a 2004 Nissan Xterra with a roof top tent and custom storage/kitchen setup and headed South towards Mexico and Central America.

(huh, forum won't let me show you pics from another site so in the meantime, click the links if you're interested!)

Pic at http://resources.advodna.com/blog/Ve...D/IMG_8189.jpg

While we thought we might possibly continue across the Darien Gap into South America and then who knows, after 5 months, we were ready to return to the US and start the next chapter of our lives. Within two weeks of returning, we learned we were pregnant (well, mostly my wife). Still, settling down wasn't going to be easy for us; On the weekend we planned to go house hunting in a little town north of San Francisco, we learned there was also an Airstream rally nearby. Alas, we looked at the house instead of the silver bullet - actually four acres and a barn too! - and ended up buying it.

Pic at http://resources.advodna.com/blog/d4...B/IMG_3340.jpg

But after a year or so of bucolic bliss, the aluminum fever started to creep back in. We scoured the classifieds and held lengthy debates on the merits of refurbishing or buying new. In the end, with the increased time commitments of a new baby and a burgeoning farm, we opted for a 2012 19' Flying Cloud. Within the first month, we'd had it out 3 weekends and are loving the flexibility of such an efficient and self-contained living space with the benefit of being able to unhitch and explore. Of course, we were coming from needing to climb a rickety ladder to a tent on a roof rack.

Pic at http://resources.advodna.com/blog/In...E/IMG_3622.jpg

Now we're talkin'!

Pic at http://resources.advodna.com/blog/Ai...G_2625-001.jpg

Pic at http://resources.advodna.com/blog/Ai...G_2659-001.jpg

For now it's weekends at music festivals and camping up and down the coast of California but Summer 2013 will likely involve a loop through the Rockies and British Columbia. Our trusty 2004 Nissan Xterra got us from San Francisco to Panama without a problem and is dutifully attempting to fill the role of tow vehicle (with weight distributing hitch and brake controller), but we fear - I say fear because I really don't want a big truck or bigger SUV - that a new tow vehicle may be in our future.

That's it for the introduction for now. We appreciate the community and voluminous amounts of info here on the forum and are excited to get to know the crew.

Dave
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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Biloxi , Mississippi
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Dave, welcome. I also had and was using an Xterra for a TV. While it did the job I was never comfortable towing with it. It just seemed to have to work too hard to get the job done. Recently traded up to a 2012 F150 XLT SuperCrew Ecoboost. Perfect for me and my trailer a 1964 Bambi II. Much better gas mileage and so much more comfortable. If I move up to a larger trailer in the future I will not have to worry about if the F150 will do the job or not.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
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Yeah, I feel about the same way with the Xterra. On paper it should be able to do it, and it gets the job done, I just arrive with white knuckles (and I'm usually pretty comfortable towing). My wife loves the Touareg TDI option for comfort and fit and finish of the vehicle itself while I like the idea of having a smaller vehicle for around town and for venturing unhitched up mining roads and the like, but there's the cost and that lingering feeling that a truck should do a truck's work... Then again, a lot of success stories with that setup on this forum.

Thanks for the welcome.

Dave
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Sounds like you've had some real adventures.

I'm sure that the trailer feels like a luxury condominium after your former quarters, but will certainly be easier with a baby in tow.

Travel safe,


Maggie
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:42 PM   #5
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Welcome! It's a different world, traveling with an entire, albeit, small house. And there's a lot to be said for it.

I'm of the keep it smaller school, been towing our 20' with a Mercedes ML500. Just got a slightly bigger vehicle that I'll be setting up tomorrow.
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Old 08-25-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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Come on, don't hold back, Wayne&Sam! What'd you get to replace the Mercedes?

doug&maggie, yes, even our little 19' does feel like luxury. Honestly, we lie in bed looking *all the way* across to the dinette thinking "look at all this space!" I'm sure that'll change but in the meantime, we're loving the flexibility of the small footprint with all the amenities.

Dave
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