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Old 08-15-2003, 05:23 PM   #1
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Question Seeking Advice....

Seeking advice, resources and suggestions from those Airstreamer's living, more or less, "on the road." I anticipate my retirement in approximately a year and beginning to plan my vagabond retirement. No kids, wife or property to hold me to one place so plan to pack up an Airstream, sell the leftovers and hit the road. No cold weather for me, so expect my travels to be across the Southern coastal/border states from the Florida Panhandle West to Arizona, and hopefully Mexico and Belize. May have an occasional travel companion but it will certainly be travel by no more than two persons. Have not yet purchased my Airstream or tow vehicle. Plan on purchasing the tow vehicle when I actually retire and am 'shopping' for a (used) Airstream now to get outfitted, repaired, polished up and equipped the way I want over the next year. I will be retiring from Atlanta and have family in Northern Kentucky, Georgia and the Florida Panhandle, so I can "headquarter" myself in any of those three states, if one is more advantages than another. Know Florida has no state income tax, but haven't checked out the annual costs of insurance, licenses, tags, property tax, etc.

As I make my plans I would really appreciate benefiting from the knowledge and experience of on-the-rode Airstreamer's. I have my own assumptions and plans but many questions as well. I know that I can't have thought of everything and many may have some sound advice and suggestions that I may not have considered at all. Any comments, suggestions or advice would be very much appreciated.

Questions & Wonderings:

1. Any recommended books or subscriptions that would make me more knowledgeable?
2. Am set on the Airstream brand. Am considering a 28' to 30' trailer; perhaps a late '80 to
mid-1990's model year. I prefer the back bedroom/side bath models. Have seen some nice deals on 32' Excellas. Would love the space but wonder if that length might be too much. Will select tow vehicle (a PU truck for sure) based upon the needs of the trailer…… is that the right train of thought? Also wonder about the day-in, day-out manageability of this size trailer. Any comment?
3. I assume that not having a specific geographic residence requires some special arrangements. Like having a "mailing address" with some family member or friend? Can you still have mail forwarded down the road ahead of you, to General Delivery? Or is this a concern at all?
4. I imagine the cell phones are handy and connecting fairly well nationally. How about computer connections? Anyone using wireless Internet connections? How is that working?
5. What about satellite TV……… anyone have experience/knowledge?

More to come, I'm sure. Tell me what I should be thinking about! Appreciate any and all contributions…………

Jake Shipp, Atlanta
jtshipp@hotpop.com

P.S. If I should be posting to a more appropriate forum, let me know. This looked like the one.
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:36 PM   #2
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The model years you are considering do offer a lot for the dollar. Your question about a 32' raises one I have had: does it really exist?

Currently, AS markets two different floorplans, in models of identical length, as a 30' and 31' respectively. The layout looks an awfully lot like the older 32' models. I am wondering if it really is any longer?

Certainly an early 80's 32' will be LIGHTER than a mid 90's 28'. The difficulty in towing one over the other would be insignificant.

While there are many RV books out there, there are really none I can recommend. There is a lot of information on this forum, and you will need to spend some time in the archives to learn what to look for in a used Airstream.

As to some of your other questions, take a look at http://www.escapees.com/website/

Mark
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Old 08-15-2003, 06:59 PM   #3
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Width

Since you are intending to go outside the US, I would definitely stay with the models that are 8' or less in width. I have pulled an RV in Mexico and you don't want a wide body there.
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:14 PM   #4
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If you decide to title, and tag your airstream in Florida here is some of what you can expect. I did this the other day.
You will pay sales tax depending on the county of residence.
Your yearly tag will run approx $40 to $50
Cant tell you much on the insurance yet as Ihavent done that.

You can expect to pay approx $35 for all the title fees + what ever the sales tax is + the tag.

Good luck and Happy trails.

Greg
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
1. Any recommended books or subscriptions that would make me more knowledgeable?
The one we got the most out of before we started full-timing was "Full-Time RVing" by Bill and Jan Moeller. We still have the book even though we live in a concrete house now.

Quote:
Would love the space but wonder if that length might be too much.
Our first AS TT was 27', because Brett didn't feel comfortable towing anything longer. Less than a year later we traded up to a 31'. It was a breeze for both of us to tow. The AS trailers are so low and aerodynamic that you can easily forget they are back there. That assumes of course that your tow vehicle is well suited to the task.

Quote:
How about computer connections? Anyone using wireless Internet connections?
Many RV Resorts are starting to put in wireless networks so you can connect from your RV. Until then, it seems that most private campgrounds already have a central shared modem hook-up available.

An internet cafe or library may offer an alternative for you, if you don't plan to stay in campgrounds.
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Old 08-15-2003, 10:32 PM   #6
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I will add to what Edie said regarding the internet connection.

Most of the celluar providers offer a base plan with unlimited nights and weekends. If you plan ahead and get a phone that can be used to connect to your laptop modem, and the proper cables, you can surf at dial up speed, but without the per min. fees. This means you don't have to stand in line to check mail and can surf if you cannot sleep. Normally nights start at 9:00 PM wherever you are. I am on verizon and the coverage nation wide has been acceptable.
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Old 08-16-2003, 08:12 AM   #7
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Thanks For Responses!

j54mark wrote <edited>

As to some of your other questions, take a look at
http://www.escapees.com/website/

Mark
----------------------
Thanks, Mark, for referral to this website. Some good info and food for thought.

==========================================
Pahaska wrote:

Re Width: Since you are intending to go outside the US, I
would definitely stay with the models that are 8' or less in
width. I have pulled an RV in Mexico and you don't want a wide
body there.

John Irwin
----------------------
Sounds right, John. Driven in Mexico (from Brownsville over to Yucatan & down to Belize) several time and I definitely wouldn't want anything very wide at all. I've saw several places where I thought my Jeep Wrangler was too wide!!

============================================
Fun-Lovin wrote <edited>:

You will pay sales tax depending on the county of residence.
Your yearly tag will run approx $40 to $50
Cant tell you much on the insurance yet as Ihavent done that.

You can expect to pay approx $35 for all the title fees + what
ever the sales tax is + the tag.

Greg
--------------------
I'm working on a "cost" comparison chart right now, comparing Florida and Texas. It seems from what I've researched so far that either of these states, along the Souther coast, (both without state income tax) would be most favorable to establish official residency. I have family in both states (both elderly parents, so that may not be the case for too many years more...........). So either state's OK by me. I just want the 'cheapest!'
=============================================
Edie G wrote <edited>:

Re: "Would love the space but wonder if that length might be
too much."

Our first AS TT was 27', because Brett didn't feel comfortable
towing anything longer. Less than a year later we traded up to
a 31'. It was a breeze for both of us to tow. The AS trailers are
so low and aerodynamic that you can easily forget they are
back there. That assumes of course that your tow vehicle is
well suited to the task.

Edie
-----------------
This is good to hear! Have driven some large trucks cross-county and towed some 20' length trailers with no problem whatsoever. I love to drive! I think I was an 18wheeler trucker in another previous incarnation! But, was a little hesitant about a trailer as long as 31' Considering the AS aerodynamics/stability AND the definite intent of purchasing the appropriate tow vehicle, I think a 31-footer would workout OK. Thanks, Edie!
============================================
thenewkid64 wrote <edited>:

Re: Internet Connection/Communications

Most of the celluar providers offer a base plan with unlimited
nights and weekends. If you plan ahead and get a phone that
can be used to connect to your laptop modem, and the proper
cables, you can surf at dial up speed, but without the per min.
fees. This means you don't have to stand in line to check mail
and can surf if you cannot sleep. Normally nights start at 9:00
PM wherever you are. I am on verizon and the coverage nation
wide has been acceptable.

Brett G
----------------
Glad to get the tip on Verizon. Was wondering about the various providers.

Thanks again to all! Really appreciate the info and tips. "Keep those cards 'n letters comin'!"

Jake
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Old 08-16-2003, 09:31 AM   #8
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I would definately get a satelite dish, for TV. I see that so many people do.I dont have any experience with the satelite internet however. Since so many seasoned veterans of the road are chiming in with such great advice I thought I would ask this question. I just purchased a satelite dish, stand for my MH. I will use my receiver from the house. Do I need to make any setup changes on the receiver such as local area code when I get to the park? Is there anything else I need to consider? Thanks in advance.


Jai
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:32 PM   #9
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My first recommendation is to join Escapees. They have mail forwarding service that is top drawer, for one thing. They are geared to the full timer.

Other thought. I have a satellite antenna mounted on the roof of our Airstream - I just take the receiver from the house and place it in the trailer - aim the antenna - and I'm in business. No problems at all.

My $.02
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Old 05-17-2004, 05:42 PM   #10
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I am a cell phone "dummy"...are you saying a person can use a CELL phone to connect to the internet??? Wow! There are some great books on RVing full time. Check them out at Barnes & Noble/Borders in the travel section. Another great state to claim residence in is Nevada. It will costs me only $30 to license my AS. No state income tax there either.
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