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Old 07-07-2010, 11:12 AM   #29
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Josh,

My reply will be very short here. We are a young family of 4, our unit is a vintage 24'er and has twin beds and I can tell you that it works beautifully for us and we wouldn't have it any other way. I hope this helps you out. The fun starts now!
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #30
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But never full-time with kids, nor would I want to. I think it is irresponsible to discuss airframes without the realities of two youngsters.

You have youth, family, and a great job. The quiet desperation you sense may be relieved without scrapping the assets.

Get a used compact Airstream and hit the road at every opportunity. Mow the grass on Thursday and go to church wherever you are on Sunday morning. Wisdom is gained only by experience, and it is foolish to jump into deep water before you learn to swim.
I'm not sure I could disagree with you more. Like I've tried to say repeatedly, I'm not looking for life counseling or help deciding which road to go down (I'll take the one less traveled, thank you). I'm a smart and capable person with a tolerance for pain and I've got a trajectory that I'm excited about. I was hoping this would be a community of like-minded people, not just some folks who've owned Airstreams for a long time. I'm sure there ARE some of you out there, but I don't expect advice like "mow your grass, go to church, keep your 9-5, consign your life this unsustainable plane of existence we've created for ourselves."

I have a beautiful, brand-new (2006), huge house in a quiet, low-traffic, family-friendly suburb of a college town in Kansas. It's the thing I've always been promised I could have if I worked hard, and I have, and it's not for me. It's a mindless, self-entitled way to live. "Mow the grass"? Maintaining a yard is part of the problem. We've chewed up a beautiful prairie hill, imported non-native grass, poured chemicals all over it every year, bury expensive sprinklers to spray expensive water, run gas-guzzling mowers over it once-a-week, and now I have watershed experts telling me we need to put in all sorts of fancy drains and swales and wet gardens because we're screwing up natural ecology of the creek that runs through our backyards. Well, duh. I just don't want to be a part of that anymore. At least not until I get to decide the terms.

And that's just one, measly example.

I'm also curious about your "I think it is irresponsible to discuss airframes without the realities of two youngsters" bit. Are you implying that I haven't considered my children in this plan? That I'm being an irresponsible parent? That I'm endangering my children? What am I supposed to read into that? Because what I hear is that you're against children living on the road because it's irresponsible (heh, because that's what you said). I'd love for you to clarify in what respects it's irresponsible, and try reconciling that against the FOTR folk that swear by it. I'm NOT saying you're wrong, I just find it incredibly presumptuous to call it irresponsible so readily when you don't even know me.

Josh
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:16 PM   #31
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>the trip back to searcy is worth it.
I think you're right, of course. If at all possible, I'm going to take a few days off near the end of July and take a quick roadtrip. Their website has either not been updated in a while, or they only have 6 units right now. That makes me nervous about the value of that trip.

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>there are units more ideally designed for either work space, a dedicated desk, seclusion, sleeping, privacy or whatever. those are NOT all NEW units and the decor won't be wenge, but that's another issue.
Heh, yeah, I realize that. Like I've said (and I don't expect most people to find this reasonable, let alone understand it, but), there are some aesthetic things that are very important to us. Critical is the aluminum interior wall paneling (not the textured fiberglassy stuff). Wenge SEEMS important, but I'm more wishy-washy about that every day now.

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>rv living is only simply in some wayz and MORE complicated in others. / so realizing your initially planning for 1-3 years is good. / finding a gently used unit to tweak for this adventure means a LOT LESS depreciation and nagging repairs that go with new units.
An excellent point, and one I've had a lot of trouble following all my life (like buying a NEW house and Jeep in 2006). We've been searching very hard for a particular used model of Airstream for 10 months now, and just when I felt we'd have to resign to ordering it new, I think I'm learning to step back and consider *different* models of used trailers instead. We're just so good at isolating our idea of perfection, it's hard to see beautiful things on the periphery.

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>BUT on the road and after the fact ALL of that stuff becomes many times more important (especially if done wrong) than wenge-etics ...
Touché! I think you're spot-on with that. I don't know how "easily/least-expensive" it really is to replace all the laminate veneer, but I do understand your point about other, more practical things, being what really counts when you're on the road. And I totally agree. I would just hope those are the things the Airstream engineers have spend the last 80 years perfecting.

I just know ya'll are going to be so proud of us when we end up buying a trailer with "golden alchemy" interior!

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>you are PRE conceiving a/s owners (old retired childless) while believing your personal needs are unique. / the demographics have changed and your family is DEAD CENTER on that new target. / even old childless folks are different in 2010 than they were in 1960.
I thought I was careful not to "preconceive" Airstream owners into any particular demographic. However, I am fairly confident that a huge majority of Airstream's sales go to 1) Retirees, 2) Childless younger folk, or 3) Hobbyists. I'll bet working families with children make up an incredibly tiny sliver of Airstream's sales. I agree that the demographics are changing, but Airstreams interiors are decidedly NOT. They haven't made ANY substantial changes to layouts for at least the past 3 years (2009-11) and none in the preceding few that are aimed towards these changing demographics. And I don't fault them for that, really, because market forces prevail.

This may be a stretch, but it's only when broadband internet can be sucked out of the sky, anywhere, anytime without expensive equipment or subscriptions (like FM radio) that families like mine could make a sizable-enough portion of Airstream's sales to become the new DEAD CENTER of their market. My point is that it's kind of naïve to suggest we're "dead center" of the new demographic, while knowing all-too-well that Airstream's layouts haven't changed to match that. That's the whole problem.

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>the simple truth is that except for a VERY SHORT list of campgrounds and a very FEW types of locations... a 34 can go anywhere a 19 can.
That is definitely reassuring! You're right that, as a novice, I have a certain amount of anxiety for the towing itself. And I agree that with a little time that will mostly fade and no longer be an issue. You're right that it shouldn't unnecessarily burden my process in choosing a trailer.

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>go out into your driveway and chalk out 8 x 22. then sketch in all the floor intrusions (beds, galley, closets, lav/shower) and the floor space gets VERY very small.
Once this rain lets up, I'll do exactly that. Anyone have a diagram with precise measurements for each section of space in a 25' International?

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>any pets?
Yuck, no.

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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
>
1. cosmetics are easy to tweak
2. moving structural bits gets sticky quick.
3. finding a PREexisting floorplan that works is a LOT EASIER than inventing this.
4. everyone UNDER estimates their space needs
5. go 2-3 feet bigger and u won't regret it...(unless u really need 6 feet extra)
6. sort out the TV after the stream.
7. look at a LOT of units, visit gatherings, VISIT rv parks (stream or not, rvers have many thingz in common)
8. READ the archives here (it's all been asked/answered many times over)
Cheers, friend. I truly appreciate your time and your help.

Josh
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:10 PM   #32
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Josh, you are taking my poor writing too literally, and I sincerely apologize.

No, I don't think you are irresponsible at all. (Well, maybe a little bit, but I have also been free-spirited much of the time.) But you may receive advice to throw it all to the wind, and it will be alright if we can just find the right trailer. That is irresponsible advice, to me.

I also hate big, dumb houses that "have it all", houses that own you. We have spent years constructing a tiny Usonian house, as described by Frank Lloyd Wright, so we can live a simple lifestyle surrounded by the beauty of honest, natural materials in comforting form and nice proportions, with as few gadgets as possible, placed on a site with rugged natural features. That is also why we have the Airstream.

Mowing and churching were only mentioned to suggest you keep your weekends and vacations free to get the heck out of town.

Knowing full well all you asked for was trailer advice (many will cheer you out the door with a perfect trailer), I offer only a note of caution. We don't know your experience, but life on the road can be difficult and expensive, especially with kids.

So dump the McMansion, get an Airstream, and hope for the best. A couple feet here or there won't make any difference, the four of you will know how sardines feel. Or proceed toward your dream with measured steps, but do proceed.

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Old 07-07-2010, 01:35 PM   #33
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Josh, thanks for the compliments about the Alaska writing. The motorhome suggestion was partly in jest, partly to shake you up a bit. I applaud your looking for a simpler lifestyle, not easy to reach in an RV—same things, but a lot smaller, and a lot of gasoline. I agree with Bob your Jeep may be undersized for a 25, but haven't checked it out. Don't let the tow vehicle determine the trailer size, the trailer will be with you a lot longer. I don't know how to keep 2 year old finger off the keyboard except you can unplug it when not in use. Still having questions about your remodel as it seems very expensive for not the best results, but that's only my opinion. Battery getting low, must send.

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Old 07-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #34
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>-they don't do a great job with the website, these days...

but a quick call to AOA will get info on how many units are on the lot.

bt in st.lou also stocks a lot of units, buying there is another issue.

when i last purchased there were trips to 4 dealer lots and nearly 1000 photos taken.

this helped me enormously when winnowing down to specifics.

it also allowed me to get a feel for service centers at each.

i also included a trip to j/c to LOOK and see the builds...

but i'm sorta obsessive (in a good way) with these things.

>-yeah we (here) all care about beauty...

and new buyers expect the insides to look like the outside,

even though naked shinny aluminum was never part of the a/s legacy or functionality.

the acoustics inside bare naked are different, in a bad way...

cooling, heating, condensation are different

and the bare walls are UNFORGIVING to wacks from kiddos.

no question the foam padded vinyl has less appeal but functionally it's still a good thing.

they need more creative wall treatments 2b sure.

i'm reminded of this older thread from a YOUNG couple

and their eventual choice for full timin' (which lasted LESS than a year)...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...-it-21921.html

>-your demographics really are DEAD CENTER on their target.

however they are using more than one bullseye these days.

and the execution of providing exactly what their targets THINK THEY WANT....

is still not complete. (ok they are way off sometimes)

but IF you think most units are still purchased (new or used) by old folks...

well, you clearly don't know much about a/s buyers from the last 10 years.

it may SEEM to you like their model/update intervals are slow...

but a/s has created MORE models/trim and significant decor changes in these last 10 years....

than the previous 30-40 years easily.

wallys mantra was "make no changes, only improvements" and they still hear that message echo in j/c.
_____________

there are dozens of threads here started by folks

who would appear to be in almost exactly the same circumstance and mind set...

reading those threads WOULD be useful, if only realize u r not alone...

but somehow it seems providing those links would be wasted effort.

lastly you may have come here ONLY for a/s particulars...

that doesn't mean you won't get replies on other topics...

it's all related to the airstreamtreencircleolife...

or as scar might have said...

"I know that your powers of retention
Are as wet as a warthog's backside
But thick as you are, pay attention
My words are a matter of pride
It's clear from your vacant expressions
The lights are not all on upstairs
But we're talking kings and successions
Even you can't be caught unawares
So prepare for a chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining new era
Is tiptoeing nearer
"

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:57 PM   #35
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Thank you Doug! I hope I didn't come across too irritated! I appreciate the input, but we're so far beyond deciding WHETHER to go, it's a bit frustrating to get advice to the contrary. But I do understand the spirit in which it was given, now, and I appreciate it.

I assure you we're not sprinting towards anything. I feel like I've been as deliberate and careful in planning our dissolution of established life as I can, given my experiences and knowledge. As I've said many times now, we'll make mistakes; we're counting on having to continually adjust, and we're even open to the (slim) possibility that we'll hate everything about it and won't find any way to make it work. But NOT trying isn't an option anymore. The cost may be steep (quitting a very secure, well-paying, high-benefits government job; selling our beautiful, cozy house (with a sauna!!); flipping life-as-he-knows it on its head for our two-year-old; breaking the continuity of seeing our 10-year-old every-other-day; and so on), but we've been through all of this, repeatedly, and calculate it as a net-positive change. But there's a far higher cost to NOT trying, and that's squandering this one life we have wondering if we should have taken this chance.

There's a long continuum between wild-risk-taking and obsessive, calculated contingency planning. We're probably closer to wild-risk-taking than most people, but I feel like we've got enough toes dragging in the safer end of that pool. (Please forgive me making up metaphors on the spot; it's not my strong-suit.). We'll be alright.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #36
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I applaud your looking for a simpler lifestyle, not easy to reach in an RV—same things, but a lot smaller, and a lot of gasoline.
I keep seeing this sentiment, so I'll comment on it. No doubt you're right we're not trading a complicated life for a simple life. We lead a pretty simple life as "lives" tend to go, and I don't suspect life-on-the-road will get more simple in that respect. I guess by "simple" I mean more "primitive", closer to nature, more in the spirit of our evolutionary roots. My big house shelters me from too much that is a part of my humanity. I miss FEELING the weather, let alone HEAR it. When I took our trash out to the curb last night (and isn't that a modern luxury! bring your trash to the curb, poof, it's gone, not your problem), I saw a shooting star and was so disappointed that I was going to retreat back into my opaque fort. Most people don't even have to GO outside these days, with attached garages and all.

So simpler? Not exactly, but you know what I mean.

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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I agree with Bob your Jeep may be undersized for a 25, but haven't checked it out. Don't let the tow vehicle determine the trailer size, the trailer will be with you a lot longer.
Yes, I agree with all this. I definitely don't want to limit our options because of my Jeep. But I love my Jeep, and frankly, I don't really find it financially responsible to part with it just yet. (The Nissan Titan is really tempting me, though). I haven't found a whole lot of people towing with a Commander, but I've seen enough reports from people who've towed 25's and 27's with my TV without any problems. I'll take your advice and ignore my TV for now, see how it goes (tows), and then decide whether we need to upgrade or not. Thanks!!

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Still having questions about your remodel as it seems very expensive for not the best results, but that's only my opinion.
Me too, Gene. Me too. The fact remains: I NEED a place to mount my 27" iMac that can provide me a reasonable amount of comfort and privacy for extended periods of time. We'll work it out. Step 1: find a trailer.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:13 PM   #37
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>there are dozens of threads here started by folks who would appear to be in almost exactly the same circumstance and mind set... but somehow it seems providing those links would be wasted effort.
Do you think I'm defiantly turning a deaf ear to your ancient, sacred wisdom!? Or do you just think me thick as a brick? Or are you always this insensitive! I assure you there is tumult, absolute chaos, in my house because of this thread. Rethinking trailer sizes & tow vehicles. But: closer, closer.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:35 PM   #38
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Do you think...
my thinking is not relevant

and clearly not important in the search for personalized rvnirvana

the goal is simply 2 promote awareness.

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:43 PM   #39
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I don't currently own this Airstream, but hope to soon. The wife and I have been looking for a late-model (2008-2011) 25' International FB for many, many months, and will be buying one soon, even if it means buying new.

Once we find the right one, we have plans to remove the queen bed and customize the front "bedroom" with a desk along the curb-side wall and a sofa along the street-side wall. I'm wondering whether any of you seasoned restorers have any advice for such a project?

Specifically, I'm curious what components are installed under the queen bed that will need to be relocated, probably within this new furniture? Also, what "scars" will removing the queen bed leave that will need to be repaired?

Thanks so much for any wisdom you could pass on.
worksology.....Another member of the forum removed the bed on his 25' FB and posted pictures of the project showing all the electric gear under the queen bed on the 25' FB. See post #12 of this thread.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f468...-se-56222.html
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:07 PM   #40
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Oh brilliant, 2dabeach. That is precisely what I've been unable to find! Thanks so much. I'll take a closer look.

Also, many of you on this thread have said that there's no place a 27 (or 30 or 34) can't go that a 25 could, but in my afternoon's perusing, I've found half-a-dozen threads that mention State & National Parks having some "25 foot limit" to the RVs they allow in. Is this bollocks or is this a legitimate concern (aside from just lying and saying my 27 is actually a 25)??
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:33 PM   #41
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didn't include that link since 01's unit is a safari/flying cloud,

not an ccd/international and the assembly bits are slightly different as are the locations.
__________

in general the posts or threads u've found

with concern about fitting larger than 25s in state/national parks...

are from folks who DO NOT own larger than 25s, this issue has been BEAT 2 death.

(gotta check the poster info and view what trailer they have)

posts from folks with 30 or bigger suggest something much different.

is it dual realities?

perhaps.

again it's the folks who HAVE longer units who should know if they have issues FITTING...

also take a look around at the massive number of 5th wheelers out there or IN state/fed parks.

and the 40ft PLUS motor homes.

yes there are a few famous parks with strict limits (sorta like LOW CLEARANCE overpasses)

but 99.9% of the fed/state/county/private and boondocking locations can and do take larger streams.

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:27 PM   #42
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internet and other satellite comm usage

with enough $ a satcom setup to allow you to internet at will can be built. you will, however, need some other "stuff" that may not fit in a 25'r. There is a dichotomy here about the "office" and the "work" that occurs. Earning a $ from technology while decrying its insensitivity to the environment is an example of mild paranoia. It is similar to eliminating dams on our rivers: good for enviro, good for fish, but flood control, potable water issues, electricity generation, irrigation all suffer if dams are eliminated. Take a look at the music industry: once we all purchased recorded music on some sort of media that we possessed and took with us. Now the music is "on-line" and a credit card sized iPod can hold more music than Frank Zappa can listen to. so, record stores are on the wane as well as major Recording Labels-sophisticated recording studios capable of producing better sound than the Beatles had are found in basements throughout any city-manned by capable 20 year olds. And, many more "jobs" that existed have been displaced with changing technology. Right now, the technology provides income for you. For you being part of that surburbia neighborhood is just plain wrong, but remember it was young GI's coming home from WWII that created the demand for such housing and also were responsible for the basic technology we enjoy today. Not everything has been done right, nor wrong. But one thing we on this forum have in common: we enjoy trailering, and we encourage others to get into it. We openly display our brilliance and density with the words we provide others. We want only the best for you and yours, and want to meet you on the road. Make your own mistakes, cuz you ain't gonna do this adventure perfectly. Just realize that when you ask what day it is, you are gonna get a lot of differing answers...
'ol humble bill
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