Is an Airstream right for me?
I'm in the research/planning stages of determining if a full time RV lifestyle is for me. I do not expect to "save money" by living in an RV, I want to do it to be an air-conditioned gypsy. Call it my mid-life crisis. I've read on this forum that cold and Airstreams don't really mix well.
- Travel trailer as opposed to a 5th wheel, to be towed with a full size van. I own a half-ton right now, am looking around for 4x4 1-ton.
- Snow and cold. Lots of snow and lots of cold. Part of my expectations are that I could choose to work seasonally at whatever ski area in North America I wanted. I love to ski and snowboard and this is non-negotiable in my little list of pros and cons.
- Quality construction and durability, the properties that attracted me to the Airstream brand in the first place.
- Ability to be customized. I don't want to live in an "RV" with room for 5 to sleep, I want to create a "home" that can be towed at will. Myself and two dogs.
- A wood stove. This is also non-negotiable in my eyes. I think one designed for boat living would be perfect.
- Boondocking. Must be able to boondock.
- I can buck and gun rivets plus I can form simple aluminum shapes, another reason A/S appeals to me.
- I've built cars and 4x4s down to the bolt.
- I've worked residential and commercial construction my whole life.
- I'm as good with electrical and mechanical systems as any other "handyman".
- Those aluminum ribs. With such a good conductor of heat I worry that even with severe customization I would not be able to get the interior as heat efficient as, say, an Arctic Fox.
- If I don't use an A/S would I be able to achieve the level of customization I desire? (these two play off of each other: Do I burn more fuel or live with a trailer I don't really like?)
- The plumbing and such. I really don't know anything about A/S construction but from what I've gathered reading this forum they have a full belly pan. Can the plumbing be adequately insulated (discounting any shore connections) if the interior is maintained at 55 degrees F? What if I redo the plumbing from scratch?
Could a motivated individual turn an old shell of an Airstream into a viable 4 season platform or should I be looking at the "true" 4 season trailers? I am not afraid of fabrication work if there is some known way to create a dead air space between the skins.