Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-03-2015, 07:39 PM   #1
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar

2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Castle Rock, CO & Boulder City, NV , CO/NV
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,953
FULL time Trailer or FULL time Motel?

Hotel: A public house offering lodging, food, etc. for travelers or long term guests.

Motel: Lodging place with accessible parking.

Airstream Trailer: Lodging place with variable accessible parking.

We have two Blue Heelers... dogs, which Hotels do not want. Motels charge extra to have them in your room sniffing the carpets. From my experiences of staying at a Motel... dogs take better care of the premises than the human clients.

Considering the limited number of days, weeks or months I use my Airstream, I could be bedding down upon, what I suppose, are clean sheets and pillow cases, watching HDTV, satellite service for LESS MONEY.

The first discussion between a man and wife is about the initial cost of a trailer that can induce... shock. The number of Cruises the money could buy. The Hotel with the view of the ocean. The... you get the picture. You already DID THIS ONCE and do not want to admit walking the gauntlet, without head protection.

The sticker price of a new Airstream could be the serial number of a popular vehicle, with a little room for negotiation. The price of a 15 year old Airstream is easier to comprehend owning, but there is much to learn about what was original equipment, if any of it works and does the trailer come with a warranty of any kind? Reading about a thirty year old Airstream with $75,000 worth of parts and labor invested back to... new, gets back into the initial... shock.

Once you begin to work the "raw" numbers... they do not ADD UP. You justify the numbers not ADDING UP by possible, creative financial advantages of owning an Airstream, or for that matter, a RV or any other brand of a... "MOTEL on WHEELS". YOU ARE BUYING a motel, friends. We are all owners of a branded motel. It is a mutual business arrangement between a man and woman considering lost alternatives, depreciation and future resale possibilities of your mobile motel. Your Airstream.

Even if that discussion does not work, there is a "residual value" of your new, one year old or twenty year old trailer... "selling it to another couple that have already been through the shock cycle of considering being an Airstream proprietor, of sorts". It is not a cost, but an... opportunity to be a business owner, but in a depreciative lost value without risk of losing everything. You will always be the sole or joint proprietors of a motel.

This Thread falls perfectly into the Full Timing, Winter and whatever uses that may include other plausible explanations of your reasons to purchase a motel that can be relocated for a minimal cost.

I admit it. Owning an Airstream Motel is expensive and contradicts mine and my wife's frugal existences. Counterintuitive investment at best. An aluminum enveloped riveted container, tight living conditions, limited power options and low head clearances at a premium cost per square foot of interior living space.

How we eventually sat down, negotiated a palatable price and left with a clear conscience that this Airstream purchase was in our best interests, a reasonable financial investment was forgotten within the first week admiring our nice... Pet Motel.

... our two Blue Heelers broke the tie by voting along with me to purchase this arrangement and logic of a Pet Motel as an investment opportunity of deferred kennel expenses with the savings diverted into a comfortable Aluminum Pet Porter with short term guests. Us.

My wife eventually came around to liking our first Airstream, so much, that eventually we moved into a larger Airstream Pet Motel, are currently the proprietors and brought in the two Blue Heelers as business partners and financial advisors.

... what is your logical or illogical thought process for that Airstream?

Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 07:48 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member

2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 178
You are very funny!

Buying homes can be argued as a poor investment, as well. Once one gets by the thought that a travel trailer is an investment (which to me means something that appreciates in value), or is "like camping in a tent", or "fill in the blank" one can get on with enjoying the adventures that happen while traveling! Somehow staying in a motel does not sound like the type of adventure I enjoy whereas traveling with an Airstream to beautiful places that don't have accommodations does!

Meeks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
Figment of My Imagination
Protagonist's Avatar
2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9,085
Please direct your attention to the following document, that I discovered as part of my "due diligence" when I first considered buying an RV:
Based on this report, a typical hotel/motel vacation, driving your own car, is about 50% more expensive than the typical travel trailer vacation for the same amount of time— even figuring in amortized RV ownership costs.
WBCCI #1105

Engineering: Finding complex solutions to simple problems you didn't even know you had.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 10:16 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
samb's Avatar
1961 22' Safari
Union , Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 446
Images: 11
You left out one extremely important factor in making the decision. There are no hotels/motels anywhere near where I want to be. And if there were, I would not want to be there!
A 3 to 5 hour drive each way to the nearest lodging from my chosen location..............???
Nuff said. And my accomodations always allow wet dogs and dead fish.

samb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2015, 10:38 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
Climber's Avatar
2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 96

Wet dogs, dead fish, and a dry martini.

The perfect ending for a beautiful day.
2012 27' Flying Cloud FB (Bella)
2014 F-150 3.5L Ecoboost
Climber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 01:30 AM   #6
Rivet Master
cwf's Avatar

1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
Images: 2
After the careful and fortunate lives many here have lived and are living, can't we just have fun?... After the chores, perhaps?

For some Reason I do not miss my motorcycle days, sleeping on roadside picnic tables when clear and rainy and cold. Nor the "road food we endured having quite a festive recipe list for cooking using the heat of my V-Twin covering a couple hundred miles... Not always good, but when you are hungry......

Now, pet charges of $200 for one night in a $150 room, sealed the deal.... We had to change our method, or give up traveling, especially with pets.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
cwf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 04:55 AM   #7
Rivet Master
mandolindave's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,089
Images: 4
Ray, I haven't always agreed with you.

But most times, I have enjoyed, and or admired your writings, and your talents. Thank you for sharing your gift.

However, I find myself cursing you for making me have to rush to try to make it to work on time. Ha Ha. My fault for opening the forum in the mornings you have posted.

This topic doesn't apply to me. It was never an " Airstream or Motel " issue with me. Airstreams are not my hobby. I purchased my trailer to have a warm shower and warm place to sleep at Bluegrass festivals.

It's an added bonus that I have a very cool road trip rig.

Right now I am using it as a shower while mine is down.

Darn it…I am going to be late for work
mandolindave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 05:25 AM   #8
Rivet Master
paiceman's Avatar

2017 30' Classic
Upper St Clair , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,542
Images: 1
After 45+ years of corporate travel every week the decision was an easy one for me and my wife knowing the benefits of AS life was 100% on board. Some take lots of time and try to financially justify buying an RV. We did not, we talked, we decided that we could afford whatever we wanted and bought it. Like CWF I don't miss my biker days, every weekend riding and camping, waking up wet from dew etc. I think even if we could not outright buy it, we would have figured a way to make it happen. Our dog(s) are part of our life and MUST go with us. Financially it probably does not make a lot of sense to many people, but so be it - we have it and love it.

See you on the road.

Bud & Alice (Bud posts)
Abby- Black Lab-TDI Certified
Hopey-Yellow Lab-TDI Certified
2017 30' Classic
2015 F350 6.7 Diesel Crew Cab
USAF - Military Training Instructor (TI) - 68-72
paiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 05:32 AM   #9
nvestysly's Avatar

1992 29' Excella
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,305
There are many factors for us when we consider owning an Airstream and traveling in our home on wheels - some factors are very logical and some very illogical. One that comes to mind...

I don't feel like I have to put on slippers (to remain "clean") when I get out of bed to walk to the bathroom at night.
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
1996 GMC Suburban C2500 7.4L
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
nvestysly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 06:05 AM   #10
Rivet Master

Vintage Kin Owner
North central , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,483
Although we have rvd for years, the main reason we quit moteling was not only the fee for dogs but the fact that we were always put into a smoking room. Pay extra for dogs and suffer from smoke smell. Many times the rooms were filthy, we checked non smoking rooms to prove this. I assume some pet owners are irresponsible, but if the room is cleaned each time the additional fee would be easier to handle. From our experience the pet rooms and smoking rooms seem to be not cleaned as well as others or maybe they are. Now that's scary. Appearances can be decieving. Jim
1984 Avion 30p 9.1 meter. 2006 Dodge 3500 cummins srw short bed crew cab.
avionstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 06:10 AM   #11
3 Rivet Member
Alden Miller's Avatar
1993 34' Excella
, Maryland
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 204
Images: 2
We are on our second AS. There was no decision process other than "which one" when we bought it. When we got the first one it was because my wife's family all decided to invite themselves to visit our house at the same time. We have some property but a small house. First my wife wanted to rent an RV for a week and keep it in the driveway for people to stay in. Once she found there were none available she wanted to purchase one. I said that if we were going to do that I wanted the cool silver ones I remember seeing on the highway when I was a kid. We also figured we could go on vacations and take our dogs with us. A couple weeks later we found our first AS advertised on Ebay. I realized it was a local listing and drove over to take a look. The rest is history, we love traveling with the dogs and being able to have our own bedding, bath, etc. when we travel.

1993 34' Excella 1000
2005 Dodge Ram 3500 Diesel
(No it doesn't have a HEMI in it)
Alden Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 09:33 AM   #12
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar

2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Castle Rock, CO & Boulder City, NV , CO/NV
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,953
Airstreams are Five Star Motels...

It is of interest to many other potential and current owners of an Airstream to understand how varied we are in time of use and where we find ourselves when we are on the road. Please keep your reasons coming. It will help someone, somewhere make a decision if a trailer is to be part of their immediate future.

Our Rockdocking adventures have expanded from tent to trailer to lengthen the time we could spend at remote locations, without leaving a remote campsite that required some difficulties to set camp. A trailer was not necessary, but for convenience and comfort it was the logical choice of the options we had... tent accessibility or trailer comforts. There is a compromise, but well worth the cost.

We do not need our trailer to attend various Airstream Rallies, although for the majority this is important. I would be just as uncomfortable at a Rally as many of these individuals would be camped on the rim of a canyon off the grid.

Our trailer extended the range of possibilities that a tent and living out of the back of our pickup could no longer provide. It is a rare event to encounter another camper in a tent or trailer where we find ourselves. We are not trailer tourists to visit all of the National Parks and Historical Sites in our mobile motel. Our interests are much more modest and if within range of a National Park of interest, we will take advantage of the opportunity. I am a geologist and many National Parks exhibit a geological or geographical feature that I can find at my choosing and greater access to study them close up on my own.

Alden Miller represents the Airstream spirit. Have a need... solve it. Others might find his and his wife's discovering that their trailer fulfilled a variety of options and opportunities.

My wife and I are outdoor people. Our Airstream provides home comforts located within the most desolate and the most beautiful environments that a road can take us. We avoid the crowded conditions of commercial campsites when possible, although not always avoidable.

I have began to ease up a bit in disclosing favorite campsites and invite others to participate in the travels we find routine, but not routine to others. Just taking those first steps towards becoming independent from group camping is difficult, when not within your range of experiences. Most would rather not and I cannot blame them for choosing what they are best suited.

How did you discover the flexibility of trailer travel? Did you find your first trailer was too small and the next was larger? Were your original purposes for a trailer fulfilled? Who was the first to bring up the idea of a... trailer?

Although I indicated myself and two Blue Heelers were the driving force for our trailer purpose, it was a bit of humor of literary license. My wife and I decided at the first discussion of dropping the tent camping to trailer travel at the same time. You will KNOW immediately when the time is right. Never design your dreams to what others are doing, but create your own. Begin modestly and build upon those ideas over time. Getting older is not a limiting factor to your options. Being older is what has created these options. Maybe we will see you become proactive and share a comfortable breeze under a star studded black sky at a place where the road ends and the adventure begins. Even if it is your driveway.
Human Bean
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
2007 19' Bambi
2015 23' FB International
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 388
Ray; I'm impressed! You must have had an extra double latte this morning to get this going.

As with others, we were tent camping and one day decided to look at a slightly used pop-up camper being sold by an oil company employee who was being transferred to the Middle East.

It was all set up in his driveway and others were looking at it at the same time. Very clean and a great price.

After looking at it, my wife and I got in the car, and I said that if we are going to go to take the step of pulling something around, I want it to effectively replace a motel room. To me, this meant that it had to have a shower.

And of course, there was the issue of the two dogs.

This led us to purchase a Casita for $10K. We used it for 10 years and sold it for $6,500. Not too bad in my opinion.

We then entered the Airstream lifestyle.

We use it for adventure camping, but also for travel. Having been in the hotel business for 35+ years, I am well familiar with the intimate details. Let's just say that I enjoy having our own space with a bathroom, bed, pillows, etc. that I don't share with strangers.

So it is the intangibles that influence the price/value relationship of owning a trailer.
Steamy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 11:54 AM   #14
1 Rivet Member
CherylJoy's Avatar
2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2014 16' Sport
Fair Oaks , California
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 6
Totally agree with you all!

My husband & I are fairly new to the Airstream lifestyle and have loved our newbie year since purchasing a 16' Bambi AS! We soon realized we wanted more space and upgraded to a 25' FC TwinFB we named Lucy, and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Kona, our chocolate lab even has his own space between the twin beds on his dog bed.

I couldn't agree more with our AS being a 5-star hotel...I even went so far as comparing our Lucy to towing our own Stylish Loft in a blog post I wrote here Empty Airstreamesters: From Compact & Cute to Big & Beautiful

Our youngest daughter graduated from high school last year and soon after, I convinced my husband to look at Airstreams. We drove to Bay Area Airstream and we haven't looked back! Even though we're only weekend warriors for now, taking local trips 2-3x/month, our plan is to Airstream more full-time once we retire, hopefully in about 7 years.

We know that we put a lot of cash out for our lovely Lucy, but we look at her as our vacation home...our stylish loft where our view can change whenever we want it to!

CherylJoy is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Full Time Streamer versus other full time RVs rodsterinfl Full-Timing 31 01-18-2016 05:31 PM
First time living in Airstream full time. MyNancy1977 1977 Excella 500 0 02-23-2015 08:09 AM
First Time and Full Time! JRoss3030 Member Introductions 9 03-20-2010 11:28 PM
Part Time vs Full Time (Days/Year) InsideOut Community Polls 30 10-23-2005 09:43 AM
Vintage Camper Motel :) sfixx On The Road... 6 12-31-2004 10:51 AM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.