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Old 09-26-2013, 04:07 PM   #1
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1973 Argosy 26
St David , Arizona
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Living life 6 days at a time...

Backstory first.

I used to be a computer programmer. End up the Vice President of a small high tech firm in AZ. I was stuck in the corporate world with unrealistic deadlines and very high stress levels.

My whole life, I wanted to be a paramedic. But never started down that road. One day, I was watching TV and the "Post 9/11 GI bill" was announced. I did a small 12 year stint in the US Army Infantry (sound off 11b's) and realized that I qualified for it!

Jump 3.5 years into the future and I am a full time paramedic on a 5/6 schedule. As I worked as an EMT prior to receiving my paramedic cert, I worked with a full time paramedic who was always traveling around and had tons of stories of his adventures. He was on the 5/6 schedule. Essentially the 5/6 schedule is work five 24hr shifts with a day off in between and then you get 6 days off in a row. This is how he was able to do so much. I longed for that opportunity. At the time I was in school and still in the cube jungle of corporate America.

When I graduated, I was able to work for the ambulance company as a paramedic. Soon after, 2 full time openings became available and I was hired full time! I put in my two week notice with the corporate job (still consult) and started living my paramedic dream.

Now I had that 6 days off every ten days. At the time I was living with my girlfriend and it was really reaching it's logical end. We finally called it quits about 3 weeks ago. I had a choice at that moment. Get a house or an apartment... Or buy that airstream looking trailer that I had been watching for months. I chose the Argosy. Granted it isn't shiny but it is mine!





I am a lieutenant fire fighter too. I am parked at the fire station and this happens on occasion.


Added 390w of solar with 4 large deep cycles and a good MMPT charge controller.


Added the battery monitors and the remote inverter switch. The spider came with the trailer... No extra charge(wolf spider is harmless unless you have a heart condition).


My (new to me) 1997 Ford F250 7.3l Powerstroke turbo diesel 4x4 tow vehicle on the day I bought it.



So, I have set my life up to travel. I am 4 new tires away from going someplace on the trailers first shakedown tour. The tires on the argosy are done and have a couple miles left in them ( I hope so I can get it to the tire shop) There has been so much change in my life but I feel now is exactly where I want to be!

I wanted a place to document this change and the adventures that I take. This seemed to be the logical place. I hope you all don't mind.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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Welcome Gee

That is a great, and inspirational story. You sure seem to be keeping busy, which is probably the best way for a post GF situation. Your Argosy looks great, and please know there are some of us, that prefer Argosys over Airstreams.
From your location, six days will get you back and forth from so many national parks, and great BLM camping spots. Enjoy! MD
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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If I had a spider like that in my trailer I'd be doing a shell off just to sure there wasn't another (I hate spiders), Great story though. :-)
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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Go for it!

You're doing a great transition to the 365 off mode, which I highly recommend.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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That is one handsome Argosy! Bravo to you and hope to see you at a rally sometime.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:20 PM   #6
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Allow me to be the first to invite your to join the Four Corners Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International.
Contact Terry Rich our Membership Chair for more info: TERRY@TBRICH.COM
(He lives in Tucson)
Then, plan on joining us for the Thanksgiving Rally 27 Nov - 1 December at Lost Dutchman State Park
and/or
The New Year's Rally at Picacho Peak State Park 28 Dec - 1 Jan 2014.
For a shake down cruise, may I suggest the Kartchner Caverns State Park campground.
Happy Trails and thanks for sharing your story.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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1973 Argosy 26
St David , Arizona
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To say I am happy is an understatement. I am at a point polar opposite of where I was. I answer to 3 people right now, me, myself and I. I will travel and see things people only talk about or see on Google.

I am my own Travel Channel.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
Allow me to be the first to invite your to join the Four Corners Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International.
Contact Terry Rich our Membership Chair for more info: TERRY@TBRICH.COM
(He lives in Tucson)
Then, plan on joining us for the Thanksgiving Rally 27 Nov - 1 December at Lost Dutchman State Park
and/or
The New Year's Rally at Picacho Peak State Park 28 Dec - 1 Jan 2014.
For a shake down cruise, may I suggest the Kartchner Caverns State Park campground.
Happy Trails and thanks for sharing your story.
Since I jumped right into dry camping/living, I feel Kartchner caverns may be a bit close. I can actually see it from my trailer right now! HAHA! However, a shot over to Patagonia lake may be the ticket!
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:53 PM   #9
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No doubt your occupation - and exposure to the fragility of life - had something to do with your decision to pursue your dream..... now! I wish I bought my Airstream ten years ago.

Go for it. You have a good-lookin' rig there too.
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:55 PM   #10
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St David , Arizona
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Thank you FaN. These dreams have been in a holding pattern for a really long time. Then I realized that "when you start, you are already half done." That made goals much easier to attain. I am so darn close.

Today I picked up my tow vehicle. I have been a week without a vehicle. Though I have no problem pedaling 10 miles to work and then ten miles home, being without a vehicle made me feel very naked.

My paycheck was smaller than I expected so it is going to be a tight 2 weeks for sure. May have to post a couple craigslist ads.

Next paycheck brings new tires to the Argosy.

At a garage sale today I found a load leveling hitch and sway bar combo for... Wait for it.... $25!!!! I was really happy about that. Tomorrow I will reposition the Argosy. For one it will give me longer sun than I get near the building and two, it will give me much better views and three, it will give me a place to sit outside and have a whiskey coke and watch the Arizona sunset.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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The truck was christened "John Gault" today. The wiring of the hitch wires was a breeze. The trailer brakes work!!! Took the Argosy on its maiden voyage with John. Gault and it was awesome. If the tires weren't so bad I may have just kept going to the lake! Today was awesome!
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic View Post
Allow me to be the first to invite your to join the Four Corners Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club International.
Contact Terry Rich our Membership Chair for more info: TERRY@TBRICH.COM
(He lives in Tucson)
Then, plan on joining us for the Thanksgiving Rally 27 Nov - 1 December at Lost Dutchman State Park
and/or
The New Year's Rally at Picacho Peak State Park 28 Dec - 1 Jan 2014.
For a shake down cruise, may I suggest the Kartchner Caverns State Park campground.
Happy Trails and thanks for sharing your story.
I second Ken's suggestion that you come and meet some of the 4CU folks at our Thanksgivnig Rally or maybe the New Year's Rally. It's a great bunch of friendly, welcoming, knowledgeable and easy-to-be-around Airstreamers. You're just down the road from us, so please feel free to contact me by email or PM for information. You can come as a guest and take it from there ... two things are sure...you'll be welcomed and you'll have a great time! Until then, happy trails!
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:24 PM   #13
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I have had 3 separate careers in my lifetime and never had the opportunity to do what you are doing. It is nice to follow a dream and the chance to do something different. My choices always led me to 5 days a week, 3 weeks off. You managed to make a career change and a lifestyle change at the same time. I applaud you. I have 8 months until retirement, already have the Airstream and ready to go.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #14
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1973 Argosy 26
St David , Arizona
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The changes happened really fast! I am still getting used to how different my life has become. It has been really fun getting the trailer ready for the road and all the upgrades I have done and the ones still to come.

The interaction on this site has been fun and welcoming not to mention the knowledge here is astounding to say the least. I truly appreciate all the help and input from the members and the encouragement I have received from all of you as well.

The shakedown tour is still about a month away. I need the tires and I still have a couple of bills I am absolutely sledge hammering away. I can only imagine the accounting depts at these places. They probably think I won the lottery or something! HAHA!

I would really like to make the Thanksgiving get together but if that doesn't work out I Will definitely be ready for the New Years airstream bash!

I am really encouraged by the drive test today. Everything went just like it was suppose to. Things will be getting really interesting soon!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:09 AM   #15
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Tires, brakes, brake controllers and hitches (and how to set them up) are covered here in real depth. I recommend your attention to sorting things and prioritizing. As well, with LED replacements for all exterior lighting on that new trailer.

Shiny is over-rated, IMO. I'd much rather have a paint job on ordinary aluminum (why anodized was used on the premium aluminum trailers).

Your work schedule sounds perfect, to me. Literally so.

Look forward to more.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:53 PM   #16
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I am so close to being very mobile. 4 tires for the Argosy and I am off.
"The truest of freedom comes from changing nothing but the view from you front door."
- Michael S. King
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #17
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Saw this today. It is the Norman Rockwell Legend Airstream. Really rare.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:55 PM   #18
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You're making me jealous! Congrats on your lifestyle changes, I think you're going to love the traveling life.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #19
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Yay for you to follow your dreams. So few actually put them into motion. (I'm lining up my affairs to make mine happen too!) Wishing you many safe travels, amazing experiences, and much happiness!
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:34 PM   #20
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Thank you all. I am bored to death right now. With all the massive outlay of money this past month, I can't get tires until next Friday and I am planted here until then... Ugh.

I am getting very used to the solar now. My entire electrical need is easily met by my solar setup. I barely put a dent in the charge and it is full by 10:00AM. I find that I can keep my inverter on all day and plug things in at my leisure as if I lived in a house.

I seriously want brighter bulbs in here. While I can see just fine it feels dark still. It doesn't feel like a home and while I could read, it would be a strain.

My favorite upgrade besides the solar, is my stereo. That probably brings me the most joy. I am rocking out most days while I am here.

The weather is starting to turn and it is definitely cooling off. I hate using the inboard heater because it is a gas hog. I am leaning toward adding a wood stove. I know that many people have strong feelings about this but I feel it will be necessary before the clutches of winter really get here. I found a really neat stove made for wheel houses on boats that I am considering. Of course there will be the appropriate insulation to go with this addition. I have no shortage or wood available to me here. I can save a ton on gas this way.

Knowing that the trailer is ready for travel is exciting. My first shakedown adventure will be to a family local lake. Patagonia lake is about an hour and half away. I will of course be dry camping but I will be right on the shore of the lake and I will just have to bring the canoe along. They say the time spent in a canoe doesn't count against your life expectancy. A little fishing and a whole lot of relaxing someplace new and beautiful is exactly what the doctor ordered.
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