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Old 12-31-2015, 09:03 AM   #1
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Question Have I done a foolish thing?

In another post, I documented my recent purchase of a brand new 2017 FC 28 and a brand new F150 eco-boost to tow it. What I didn't mention is that I celebrated my 80th birthday on October 31. So here's the question: How many people in their ninth decade are still driving around towing an AS? Even if I can do it today, how many more years of towing do I have in me? Of course no one can answer that question.
My wonderful wife who is ten years younger than me doesn't feel all that comfortable driving the truck and she hasn't experienced driving while towing. I doubt she will feel comfortable being responsible for hooking up, parking, unhooking, leveling etc.
So as the title of the message asks, do y'all feel I've made a foolish choice at this point in my life?

Richard
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:08 AM   #2
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Foolish? No! Go for it.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:13 AM   #3
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Not foolish at all.

If you can still do it now safely and comfortably that's what counts.

When that changes and your health, strength and comfort are no longer there you can make the next plan.

Sometimes we need to remember that nothing is permanent except change.

Have some fun years exploring and then sell it when its right. Do your outside tasks together and she'll pick up on them and in case of emergency she can do it. Maybe if your younger wife needs to know anything it's how to post it in the classifieds when you are finished with this adventure.

Have fun, life's shorter than we know.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:21 AM   #4
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I salute you for doing it.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:31 AM   #5
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Sounds great to me! I hope that I/we are still traveling with our Airstream for many years to come. My mother and father traveled with their trailer (now our trailer) well into their 80's.

As you said, nobody knows how long you can continue and that can be said for people half your age. It may be prudent to enroll your wife in driver/towing training so she's at least familiar with the basics. By the way, I need to do the same thing for my spouse.

Another way to increase your peace of mind, and hers, is to consider a travel insurance policy. There are several to choose from. One policy that a number of Airstreamers utilize is SkyMed. They return you and your rig home if necessary. I've heard lot's of good things about this company. As I said, there are probably others out there too and you need to decide which type of coverage is best for you.
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Old 12-31-2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Sounds great to me! I hope that I/we are still traveling with our Airstream for many years to come. My mother and father traveled with their trailer (now our trailer) well into their 80's.

As you said, nobody knows how long you can continue and that can be said for people half your age. It may be prudent to enroll your wife in driver/towing training so she's at least familiar with the basics. By the way, I need to do the same thing for my spouse.

Another way to increase your peace of mind, and hers, is to consider a travel insurance policy. There are several to choose from. One policy that a number of Airstreamers utilize is SkyMed. They return you and your rig home if necessary. I've heard lot's of good things about this company. As I said, there are probably others out there too and you need to decide which type of coverage is best for you.
That's a great suggestion and thanks to everyone for their encouraging remarks.

Richard
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:19 AM   #7
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Richard,

Welcome to the forum and Airstreaming!

I just turned 70 and I'm in my second year of Airstreaming. I hope to be doing it well into my 80's. The hardest thing for me to handle is removing the hitch head from the truck while camped. It may not be necessary, but I think some states frown on driving with the hitch head hanging out. Maybe others can chime in. The good news is that there are options. The Propride and Hensley, and perhaps others, leave the hitch head attached to the trailer when disconnecting. Carrying handles are available for hitches like the Equalizer (that I have).

I signed up for SkyMed. Haven't used it, and hope I don't, but it's great peace of mind.

My wife drives the truck routinely, but she hasn't towed yet. I need to get her to do that when opportunities present themselves.

Go for it! Get out there!

Al
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
So as the title of the message asks, do y'all feel I've made a foolish choice at this point in my life?
Of course it's foolish, but that's perfectly all right, and I applaud your decision. We all have the right to make fools of ourselves in any way we desire, as long as we don't let anyone else make fools of us!

I am reminded of the novel Don Quixote by Cervantes. In it, at the end of the novel when Quixote is dead and buried, the epitaph on his tombstone reads:

"The most fortunate man of his age,
To live the fool and die the sage."

What more can any man ask of himself?
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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I can only hope to be towing my Airstream in my eighties....
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:32 AM   #10
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Good for you! I suspect it will help keep you young!

I have a friend who just turned 84 and still rides a 140hp Kawasaki sports- touring bike!

When we go on long distance rides, I like to take it easy and stop often to see the sights - he just likes to go and go - and he is no slow poke!


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Old 12-31-2015, 11:38 AM   #11
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Great question, great responses.

Foolish would be to never have done it. You and your wife will have the time of your lives with more laughs than you'll be able to remember. Enjoy!
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:45 AM   #12
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I know pilots in their 90's and would happily go up with them. The bigger concern for me as I age is being as aware of the crazies around me instead of my own driving skills. The day I think I can no longer drive safely I will voluntarily give that privilege up.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:48 AM   #13
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Enjoy it as long as you are able.
There are several couple in their 70's and 80's in the WBCCI Mississippi Unit.
One 80+ year old couple recently bought a new trailer and tow vehicle.
I intend to enjoy my rig well into 80's and 90's, Lord willing.
I am 2 weeks from my 47th birthday-
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:48 AM   #14
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The only foolish thing would have been to forgo it!

You've received some great insight and advice already - let me add a few ideas as food for thought.

Gender has nothing to do with trailering. My wife and I went to an RV driving school the first weekend we had our Airstream (a 27FB Flying Cloud - the first trailer we've ever had!) and most of the exercises were in reverse - including an exercise to parallel park it! She nailed that on the first try! Me? Not so much. We both love driving it. Maybe your wife will too.

As for hitching up - depending on your setup, it's just a question of how many pounds one can lift or "torque" to tighten links (if that's your setup). There are plenty of women who tow and handle this fine.

As a lifelong investment - if you have kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews - think about who you'd want to have the rig when you're no longer trailering. Take them with you on a trip or two so they can learn the ropes. Hopefully they'll return the favor when you've hung up the keys. I've got a Godson who doesn't know it yet, but the rig is his when we are no longer able to do it ourselves. He's gonna love it 😃

You can also enjoy this now and think about an Interstate or other mobile home option later that's self contained.

Lots of options - nothing foolish about what you're doing. Enjoy it. I find every minute I'm camping is the most delightful, joyful time I can spend. Hope the same for you!

Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:56 AM   #15
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You are my hero for today! We all hope to be active and on the move at 80.

With that said, I have friends in their 70s who went through a trial-by-fire of sorts. During a camping trip to Yellowstone a few years ago, he suddenly went completely blind (as in a matter of hours). She had never pulled the trailer before the moment she found herself driving home during a medical emergency.

I encourage everyone to get their other half to learn how to tow their trailer. None of us ever knows when the moment will come, so just have a little prep work done ahead of time.

As for the blind friend, he had a pituitary tumor that had grown enough to impinge on the optic nerve. After surgery to remove the tumor, the vision was fully restored.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:59 AM   #16
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My Grandfather was towing his until 95, that's when the State (CA) would not renew his driver license. He was from Scotland and travel to every state in the USA and all of Canada, and my GM pass 1 month from 100,she was from Iceland.

He was hoping to get another year or two, live until 98.

So, set your sights on that.
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:01 PM   #17
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Foolish??? Only if you let it site there and not use it. Safe travels to you...you made each one of us smile today, and we all wish you safe travels. And, who knows, when all is said and done, maybe you CAN take it with you...after all, its an AS. jon
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:05 PM   #18
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no, adventurous not foolish

I have met so many wonderful 80, 90 year olds who still travel extensively and several single women in that age group who are still on the move.
It seems to me, that it is when you for-go doing adventurous things that you begin to loose your spirit. It is the adventure of life that keeps you living to the fullest.
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:15 PM   #19
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Turned 80 on Oct 1st. Have three trips planed for 2016. Don't plan on my wife doing anything outside or driving. We generally travel with others and can always get a helping hand. I don't think we would take an extensive trip on our own at this point. Tow of our kids ( in 50s) have trailers and they can be a big help if needed. Bruce
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Old 12-31-2015, 12:17 PM   #20
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Good luck to you! You're an inspiration to all.

I do have some friends who are still windsurfing in their 80's, and the guy who taught me how to sail small boats continued to sail until hi mid 90's--he gave it up at 94!

In the meantime, it would be neat to get your wife onto the forums so she can talk to all the other women who are very comfortable towing their rigs. Maybe she can even meet up with some who are local to you, and go drive with them (without you!). I find that many women learn better from other women (they may be more comfortable with the dynamic.) And if you can find towing classes in your area, that's something that you could both do together--the key is to have someone other than you as the instructor, to make her feel more comfortable.

This could both extend the years that you can be on the road, as well as make each day's driving more comfortable. My wife handles the rig superbly, and we trade off all the time--I drive mornings, and she drives afternoons. Makes it way more fun!

Have fun--and good luck with all of your new adventures!
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