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Old 12-05-2018, 02:44 PM   #1
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Can a technophobe survive?

70 yr old single man w 18lb dog preparing to go full time w a Toyota Tundra and a 25-27' AS.
I have some RV experience (35' Bluebird MH and 31 box trailer w single slide).
I'm handy and have no problems w normal RV issues but am absolutely scared sXXXless about the need for more than simple roadmaps to navigate solo as well as the requirement to plan far in advance for my next stop.
I have a pay- as- you go flip-phone and will have my IMAC which I am comfortable using but neither seem like they will be much help when actually traveling.
I'm an educated man with a real phobia about technology - I love old houses, wooden boats and antique cars but just cannot wrap my head around smart phones and the like.
Am I the only stupid person out there?

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Old 12-05-2018, 03:06 PM   #2
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Be sure to get an older rig, and you should be fine.

It’s the newer ones that have all the bells and whistles.


🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by capt george View Post
70 yr old single man w 18lb dog preparing to go full time w a Toyota Tundra and a 25-27' AS.
I have some RV experience (35' Bluebird MH and 31 box trailer w single slide).
I'm handy and have no problems w normal RV issues but am absolutely scared sXXXless about the need for more than simple roadmaps to navigate solo as well as the requirement to plan far in advance for my next stop.
I have a pay- as- you go flip-phone and will have my IMAC which I am comfortable using but neither seem like they will be much help when actually traveling.
I'm an educated man with a real phobia about technology - I love old houses, wooden boats and antique cars but just cannot wrap my head around smart phones and the like.
Am I the only stupid person out there?

Well, Capt George:
In the first place, you are not stupid; you may however, be ignorant of certain things i.e. (Technology). And since you aren't stupid, you can learn. As a man who also loves wooden boats (My family and I lived on one for eight years) and have lived in a 80 year old wooden house, so I know where you are coming from.

A up to date paper map will get you from point A to point B. I would, however, trash the flip phone and get a good smart phone and voice/data plan from an established provider (Verizon, ATT, etc.) You can learn how to use it, get some help from one of your grand kids or a friend. That way you can search for decent places to camp and make reservations. You sound self-sufficient and resilient, so you should be able to deal with setbacks well.

Remember fear of the unknown, is a lot worse than the unknown itself.

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Old 12-05-2018, 03:19 PM   #4
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I am also 70 years old. We travel extensively. We have done almost 2,000 nights of Airstream camping in the last thirteen years. We have found in recent years that our style of camping just about requires a smartphone. It would be difficult to to locate and get a last minute campsite without our phones. On our recent 73 day Airstream Adventure, we stayed in 35 different campgrounds.

We decided a long time ago that we can either embrace the technology or go to the nursing home.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:35 PM   #5
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You might enjoy the adventure better than most of us. Without the worry of cell batteries, GPS directions to the ditch, tire pressures and backup camera bluetooth, you can sit back and admire the scenery. It actually sounds nice. Go for it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:09 PM   #6
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I surrendered my flip phone when it died. I finally broke down and got a smart phone. Now I can't imagine being without it.
Go have fun while you can!
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:12 PM   #7
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I am a 71 year old male with two 14 pound dogs and spouse. We use a Garmin GPS and iPhones for navigating. I always reference maps to make sure that the GPS is leading me along the route that I envisioned. I also have a cell booster and Verizon wifi hot spot in the trailer that is linked to my Mac laptop and iPhones so that we can route plan and make reservations 24/7. All of these "tools" help us travel with less stress and tend to create opportunities that we'd otherwise not have.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:58 PM   #8
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Welcome the forum Capt!
Yes you can certianly get by with very basic technology. But you can do much more easily with the aid of a smart phone and Internet connection, and a GPS navigational map plotter.

No need to try to master these devices, just learn to get what you need from them. With some help you will be able to get to that point in short order.

I'm not all that adept with modern technology, but got started some years ago with using a chart plotter on my cruising sailboat, what a tool, and fantastic help.

Now I travel mostly solo in my classic motorhome and find my GPS navigator a big help in getting where I want to as simply as possible, it just another usefull tool that takes a little learning. Then really helps get the job done.
My smart phone connected to the Internet is a big help in searching for places to park for the night along the way.

I too am more comfortable with older vehicles, pre computer. And do most of the maintance and repairs on my coach and older Porsche that serves as my toad myself. This earns me big props from my Brother and Sister, both of whom are much more computer savvy than I. And are willing to help me with the tech stuff when I'm stuck. It's good to have a coach available.

You have found a great source of helpful folks here on airforums, ask for the help you need as you get more into the RV life. You are going to love it.

Cheers Richard
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:36 PM   #9
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I like your style. Trust your instincts and do it your way.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:35 PM   #10
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I understand and use most of the new technology, but I really think I would be happier back in the 60ís or 70ís with dial phones and paper maps. The problem is, I canít take a time machine back 50 years, and I really canít live very successfully here in the 21st century and pretend that things are like they were 50 years ago either. A good example would be the freeway system in large cities. Lucille, who lives in my GPS, will tell me what exits I need to take and what lanes I need to merge into. In passing through a large city like Phoenix, thatís maybe 10 exits and merges that I need to coordinate. When I passed through Phoenix as a college kid in the Ď60ís, there was one freeway going north/south and another one going east/west, and a bunch of streets. A map worked fine. Now, I donít think I could do it with a map.

You can still call for reservations in advance, or just show up and hope for the best. Since we are not planners, showing up has worked pretty well for us. If thatís your game plan, by all means learn how to take advantage of the boondocking capabilities of the Airstream, because thatís your backup.

So, I would avoid places like Phoenix if I didnít have Lucille. Other than that, the modern Airstreams come packed with gadgets. To play a movie, you have to coordinate 3 clickers. To play the TV, you have to undo the things you did to play a movie, and the same with the radio. They do give you a pretty good cheat-sheet that bypasses the vague instructions in the barely translated voluminous instruction manuals, and of course have a hands-on demo if you buy new.

So this is what youíre faced with. If you avoid big cities and playing the sound system, you can pretend youíre still back in the 60ís, provided you donít mind playing rv park roulette.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:29 AM   #11
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Hi Capt George, I see you are new to the Forum so welcome. You will find this site to be an extremely useful tool as you learn more about Airstream and which model would work best for you. With the exception of the new Classic, Airstream still keeps thing very simple and straightforward. There’s very, very little computerized gadget in other models.
Since you have and are already comfortable with your IMac, you’re much closer to getting the hang of an IPhone than you think. If you do go with a new IPhone Apple offers classes and even individual private lessons on how to use the iPhone. Just think of it as your MAC but much, much smaller.
Learning new stuff is extremely important especially as we age. All kinds of studies have shown that individuals who push themselves mentally are much less likely to experience Alzheimer’s or any other forms of dementia. It’s easy to just stay what we are comfortable with but think of your brain as a muscle, keeping those muscles active and strong is vital to a healthy life. Without regular exercise muscles atrophy and deteriorate quickly. Don’t be intimidated by the younger generation. They were exposed to technology very young but they lack the most of the skills you have. So ease into slowing, learn one new thing each day and before you know it you’ll be texting away to friends and family as you travel around.
One more reason to jump in and get a smart phone is that they do provide extra level of security. If for some reason you should have an emergency, they can ping your phone and find you even if you aren’t exactly sure where you are.

She Believed She Could so She Did.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:25 AM   #12

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Welcome Aboard!! 👍

As I've gotten older I've found it best to have a good breakfast...and do exactly what my Rice Krispies tell me to do. 🤩

We even leave the Television at home, the DW's smart phone is still in the third semester of second grade.
Just get a good GPS/Trip planner and go for it.

Consider a gently used unit, as large as you're comfortable with.
AS builds the small ones just to get us to buy the big ones. 🥴

You will have a lot of questions, there are a lot of answers here, the best filter, common sense.

I was old once I'm just grumpy. 😉

Instead of going to íStarbucksÖI make my own Coffee at home, yell out my name rong, then light a five dollar bill on🔥

"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel itís supposed to be done"Ö..

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Old 12-06-2018, 05:55 AM   #13
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Go Old Young Man!

I too live in Michigan, live amoung antiques, have restored numerous vintage cars & trucks, and have had 2 wooden Century Boats and 5 vintage aluminum boats that I have restored. My recommendation, after having a few vintage trailers too, pick up a vintage Airstream - pre 1964 that has been previously restored and an Apple iPhone. Any RV Park that you pull into you will have someone wanting to check out your Airstream and that will be your avenue to ask someone for help with your iPhone if your having an issue and you will learn the navigation assistance that the iPhone will provide you. Also, download the Allstays App for looking for your next place to stay overnight and for other things along the way. Take the step, go old where your comfortable, things are just easier except you may have to do some service along the way. That just comes with the terriority, and sometimes with new rigs too. It will be an adventure and the vintage will make you alot of new aquaintances and friends.

1955 Airstream Commodore Vanderbilt
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:34 AM   #14
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Can a tehnophobe survive?

Greetings Capt George!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

Do not despair, it is possible to fully enjoy the Airstreaming experience without reliance upon excessive amounts of technology. I am a retired computer science teacher, and I like to get away from computers and cell phones when I travel. I do travel with an "advanced" flip-phone from ZTE (with service from TracFone) that is actually an Android smart phone that functions just like old analog cell phones until you need a smart phone function then you can call upon the smart phone features. I also travel with my Windows laptop with a car adapter so that I can utilize an electronic map program that can double as a GPS with the addition of a small GPS antenna that lies on the dashboard -- very easy to use and the feature that I like is that it allows me to point and click to adjust my route as I plan at the table the night before travel. I don't subscribe to any extra data plans for my cell phone as I make it a point to stay in a campground every third night that has WiFi so that I can catch up on e-mail and related communications.

As others have mentioned, Airstream offers a number of lines of new models with varying levels of sophistication in regards to technology built-in to the coach. Three things that I appreciate among the modern technology are the automatic ignition features for the furnace, water heater, and refrigerator. I have fought pilot lights on these devices on my Vintage coaches long enough that when the older appliances need replacement, the new replacements have the electronic circuitry to provide these modern conveniences, otherwise, I thoroughly enjoy my 1964 and 1978 coaches. Considering new as well as lovingly restored Vintage coaches allows for seeing the possibilities of experiencing Airstreaming from a variety of perspectives as the "feeling" of the coaches can vary considerably across the decades.

Good luck with your investigations!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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