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Old 08-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #1
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Newbie Road Trip

I have never stepped foot in an RV. But for many years I've wanted an AirStream. Probably since I've seen the movie "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?"

I am now 44 years old trying to envision life after 50. I think I'm a full-time RV person at heart. I already know I will never buy a non-mobile residence again. It will take us 5-10 years to clear our debt and buy a trailer+tow vehicle.

Wifey...she's not so sure about all this. She likes the IDEA, but she's much more nesty. So as a practice-run, we are renting this Thor for a 1-week tour of New Mexico - a state neither of us has seen.

Albuquerque - White Sands (Oliver Lee State Park) - Cloudcroft area (slide group Federal campground) - Carlsbad (KOA) - Roswell (Boondocking BLM) - Santa Fe (Los Suenos RV park) - Albuquerque (Urban boondocking).

You can see I'm trying to get a feel for a variety of overnight options. If anyone is willing to provide some input, I'm game:

I have never touched an RV, don't know how to connect different lines to it. Will 2 people need to worry about filling/emptying tanks for just a 1-week trip? How often (assuming we aren't shower hogs)?

Boondocking - I like scary, and this is fitting the bill. Because I have a BLM map but envision accidentally parking somewhere I'm not supposed to, and getting run off at gunpoint. I imagine saying "Well, this looks like it's in the BLM zone" and just dropping anchor on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Is this far off? I'm not a huge drinker, but what do you do if you've had a few glasses of wine and a cop says you have to move your rig? That would seem to suck. This is newbie paranoia, fer shur.

Campground etiquette - we're as ignorant as can be. I'm great at "common courtesy," etc. but if there are particulars I don't know them. Chain smokers and rowdy neighbors at 1am are going to be a problem for me - I can deal with that. Have you ever had to address campgrounder lack of consideration? How often do you grit your teeth and repeat to yourself "It's only for 1 night, and then we're outta here?"

I'm sure answers will generate questions. Anyway I am very thankful for this forum, which I've been lurking for years. There is a lot of good stuff here. If/when we get an Airstream I know I'll be active here.

Love and Peace Out, hippies.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:44 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are ready for adventure! I wouldn't worry too much about boondocking someplace you aren't supposed to. If there is a road leading into BLM land, it is usually marked as such and the guidelines or restrictions are posted. Stopping in at the local Ranger Station is helpful too and the rangers can usually give you good advice about where to camp.

Yes, you will run into inconsiderate campers, probably with regularity, but that is the wonderful thing about having wheels. If you don't like the neighbors, move!
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:44 PM   #3
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Hi from AZ. . . renting an RV for your 1st or several 1st trips is a good idea. The dealer persons should give you a thorough walk-thru on systems & how-to's. . . ASK QUESTIONS or get Wifey to videotape as you take instruction. New Mexico has a lot to see & do. We like state parks (Rockhound in the south, Lake Heron in the North) I prefer Santa Fe Skies in S.F., and I would NOT boondock in or near ABQ. Buy a how-to book on RVing. Most of it, you'll figure out as you go. Hope you enjoy it all. And keep asking questions here. . . .regards, Craig
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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We started with a square vintage trailer and we now have owned three vintage Airstream units, '72, '85 and now '64, downsizing each time, as each kid flies the nest. My wife was unsure about the whole camping thing but after retiring our tent for the confines of an Airstream, she would camp no other way. We've been boondocking once, with kids, it's okay, but something that we would enjoy better when they've all left the nest and are no longer as big a part of our adventures. You should definitely do your research, and gain experience, there is a lot to be had, we've been doing so since our beginnings, twenty years now. I find the boondocking forum here is the best because I have utmost faith that fellow Airstreamers' will not take their Airstream where it's going to get hurt, damaged or ravaged by the savages of the road and wilderness. Good luck with your decisions.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
get Wifey to videotape as you take instruction. New Mexico has a lot to see & do.
That's a great idea. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinManGa View Post
I would NOT boondock in or near ABQ. Buy a how-to book on RVing. Most of it, you'll figure out as you go. Hope you enjoy it all. And keep asking questions here. . . .regards, Craig
Appreciate your help. Other than looking at Amazon.com, any recommendations on such a book?
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:31 PM   #6
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We started with a square vintage trailer and we now have owned three vintage Airstream units, '72, '85 and now '64, downsizing each time, as each kid flies the nest.
Why downsizing? Cheaper on gas...harder to find lots...?
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:58 PM   #7
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Sounds like a great adventure. When are you planning on going?

It is important to do your homework about how all the systems in an Airstream work. It would be good if you could spend some time with an Airstream owner to show you first hand how everything works.

My biggest concern for you will be your ability to tow the Airstream safely. Braking and handling are a lot different than driving a tow vehicle without a trailer attached. Are you renting the Airstream in NM?

Good Luck, Dan
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:29 AM   #8
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Sounds like a great adventure. When are you planning on going?

It is important to do your homework about how all the systems in an Airstream work. It would be good if you could spend some time with an Airstream owner to show you first hand how everything works.

My biggest concern for you will be your ability to tow the Airstream safely. Braking and handling are a lot different than driving a tow vehicle without a trailer attached. Are you renting the Airstream in NM?

Good Luck, Dan
I posted a link to a class C, not an airstream.
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:28 AM   #9
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Just wanted smaller, it's convenient and easier. We learned from my mom and dad's 43 foot fifth wheel that the larger they are the harder it is to navigate and enjoy the trip.
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