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Old 04-30-2002, 04:14 PM   #15
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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I have been going to Mexico every year for the last 9 years. And I have thought about getting a RV instead of renting condos, tenting or sleeping in my van. So last year I rented some other brand (SOB) of travel trailer and it changed my whole experience for the better. So I decided I wanted to be an owner. I started looking at everything. I narrowed my search to A/S after a short time. And then wanted vintage only. To have a travel trailer and have a 60's or 70's vintage too was in my opinion awesome. And since A/S's have the history, were built to a higher standard, and are unique in the field the choice was made. On April 13, 2002 after a 1800 mile trip, I became an owner of a 1966 Overlander.

I have repaired the running gear, replaced the A/C, the refer, stove, furnace and cook top work. Next week I tackle the cushions and drapes. Then in the next couple of weeks I will look at the water supply system and the propane system. Last will be the water heater. I live in AZ.


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Old 05-07-2002, 08:47 AM   #16
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Redmond , Oregon
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I too have camped, backpacked and climbed mountains since a boy. I purchased a little 19' SOB (Prowler) a few years ago to see if I would like a trailer, after swearing for years I would not ever own one. I have tho admired airstreams ever since seeing the apollo 11 crew in one upon their return from space.

The SOB actually worked out well, I tend to go camping during the off season, September and later . It always seemed with the tent system it would take a week to pack everything, drive like a crazy person to get where I was going and get camp set up before it was dark. Of couse then it was often rather chilly after that local star went over the hill.

The SOB cured allot of those problems, gear was in it all of the time, a couple hours prep time and down the road we went. Darkness was no longer a problem, it came with light and heat. Was much more comfortable to be out in late October in a foot of snow.

But, there was still that lingering image of the airstream trailers. Last winter I could not stand it any longer, I started looking for an airstream.

After countless hours of research, I settled on some paramaters for a 'new' trailer. I started looking in the 25 to 27 foot range. After 8 months of looking at web sites daily, many phone calls, and many trips to view trailers (even had a real nice airstream owner in San Diego looked at one for me) I still did not have a trailer.

Finally, a real nice airstream couple in the Seattle area (who had become close friends after I was number 2 on the list to buy their 27', number 1 bought it) called me and told me that they had found a Tradewind I might be interested in.

Strangely they had found it for some other friends some 14 years ago and their friends had now decided to sell it after it sitting for 10 years. The other couple wanted some help in selling it on the internet. It never made it to the internet.

I have learned some valuable lessons in this search. If you find what you want - move on it immediately. Airstream people are not 'normal' in a very good way. I have never met such a giving group of people in my life. I consider myself blessed to now be part of the community. I will do my best to uphold the tradition!

Les Brush
'72 tradewind
'82 K20 Suburban

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Old 06-02-2002, 11:32 PM   #17
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Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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Finally, an Airstream

I started with a tiny popup so I could stay at the glider field on Saturday nights and save a long drive.

I pretty soon "graduated" to a Scamp 19' 5th-wheel. The Scamp had beautiful build quality, but it came from the factory with the tires and axle overloaded. It was also terribly cramped and the bed was too short for me. Either my head or my feet would be bumping the side of the trailer. After about 5 years and a lot of modifications, I traded it for a TrailManor 3124KS.

The TrailManor had acres of interior room and pulled like a charm, but raising and lowering it got very wearing after a few years. It is a drag to not be able to use the toidy and grab a coke at a rest stop without popping up the trailer part way. The TrailManor just wasn't built for the kind of mileage I put on a trailer, and progressively deteriorated. After a trip to Florida this spring, things started breaking. I decided it was time for a change.

Before I looked at the TrailManor, I had looked at Airstreams. The Bambi was too small for me and all others were way too heavy for my (then) Dakota truck. My tow vehicle is now a Silverado, so the weight problem is alleviated. When I found photos of the 5000# gross weight International AS on the web a month ago, I was sold. I wanted a fairly small, 8' wide trailer since I travel a lot on hilly back roads and stay mostly in state parks with small sites that date back to the '30s. The 22' International was just what I was looking for and I fell in love with it as soon as I stepped inside. A week later (5/31/02), I owned the trailer.

My baby sleeps in the storage yard tonight (darned covenants), but Thursday she comes out for the maiden trip of 2+ hours to Kerrvile for the folk music festival.
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
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Old 06-03-2002, 04:02 PM   #18
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Congratulations John on joining the Airstream bunch. I grew up in Corpus Christi and spent many a summer in Hunt, TX. at summer camps. Kerrville wasn't far away. I've also spent time deer, turkey, dove, quail and javalina hunting in that neck of the woods. Enjoy your new camping attire, I know I have.

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Old 06-03-2002, 09:44 PM   #19
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I always though Airstreams were the coolest campers. There seem to be quite a few here in NE Ohio, and someone around the corner from us has a camp-in or rally with quite a few in a field next to their house. After looking at new and used campers, I found out what I always knew, an Airstream is the best value, so I searched for a good used one, found it and bought it.
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Old 06-10-2002, 02:58 PM   #20
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My first Impression

My childhood was spend, from birth to early teens, living with my grandparents. 'Pop', was an olde Army Air Force Officer who had traveled many a post and, with my Nana, so did I. We finally settled down in Southern Pines, N.C. in the early 50's when Pop bought a Ameco filling station plus a restaurant. It was right on THE major hi-way of the era, US 1 ,which went from Maine to Key West, FL.
It was a ritual thing for a group of Gypsies to travel from N.Y. to FL twice every year and, lol..they'd stop at Pop's place to drive him nuts..lmao, when they pulled in the call RUBY went out like in the circus..Stange but, wonderful people. I used to love to watch them in action. You see, we had many that would come into the store, buy milk, bread, you name it..Then, later bring back half the milk, half the bread loaf...all wanting half their money back..lmao.
I remember even once, this man came in with his daughter,who couldn't been more than 12 or 13 yrs old, wanting to trade her to my Pop for his exchange of food, gas, etc..My grandfather threw him out, I asked what would be the harm in keepin, silly me..<grins> He said that, "As soon as she had the chance she'd leave to join them again'. Wise ole man.
To get to the point~! The Gypsies all had Airstreams among them pulled by these big Cadillac..Impressive were the dreams of mine as I wondered where they went, the things that they saw in their travels, etc. Thus was born the desires for a Airstream.~
My very first Airstream was a 1953 FLYING CLOUD, Which I found listed in the local papers. Bought it sight unseen for 1500 and, turned right around ..listed it on the internet for 4500, sold it for 4000 cash. Thus begin my quest for the search that lead to the one I have now. Found it in El Paso, TX. Bought it with ernest money and, then I had to find a tow to bring it home. lol, I drove up to the local GMC dealership and, they'd just taken in this lovely(to me) Black Suburban 2500 4x4 diesel complete with all the leather interior, towing package..etc~ I was hot to trot to Texas now. Left early Sunday morning and, I arrived in EL Paso, late Tue evening..whew~What a drive thru TEXAS..It's as big as they say and, SOME~!! I meet the former owners and, had the most wonderful two days there ever~!! Turns out, Bob was an old Army AF serviceman during the time we were at the Army base. He and his lovely wife took me out for Mexican dinner that very night..Gawd, that was fantastic~~!! The next day, Bob and I hooked the A/S up to the Burb..Perfect mate..just like a choo choo train~ We drove down to get the brake controller installed, then took the A/S over to the local tire shop to have the wheelbearing repacked and, 4 new wheels installed/ balanced.
That night, Bob's wife had the inground hottub all lite up, glass of wine..We just all had a wonderful time that evening..Talk abt your Airstream owners as being "Special"~I lov'em!! We still keep in daily touch via emails. The stories could go on and, on till time ends. But, I wanted to close this with something that happened the morning we were hooking the A/S, 'Silver Turtle' up for the trip back to NH. As Bob and myself were walking around the A/S, making sure that everything was just right, he was 'teachin me' on the fly..Karin came out of the garage toward us, holding this Wal-Mart bag in her hand and, said " Vern, you forgot the covers for your balls~" Bob and I each turned toward each other and just cracked up laughin so hard~! Poor Karin just turned beet RED and, hid her face..But, we laugh so hard for so long, soon she was laughing as well..Gawd, I thought we'd never stop..Out of breath, I told Karin she just gave me the perfect gift, for now each time I hookup the A/S to travel, I'll always have a chuckle abt that day..I still do too~
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Old 07-09-2002, 06:44 AM   #21
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My Family went to a batch (cottage) during the summers.
This was in Lake Rotoiti in New Zealand which was primeavaly beautiful. The place was the size of a garden shed, kitchen and table in one room (no fridge, just put stuff in the glacially cold river) 12 wooden pallets in the next room for all of us. We didn't stay inside at all. I would spend my days exploring the forests rivers and lake.
In America I went camping a few times, but took road trips often. It's so exciting and romantic to get on the road before dawn and watch the sun rise.
It's so big here and places smell and feel so different from each other, it's always an adventure. My son went to school in the Adirondaks, so the road trips there were awesome. My husband stated years ago he didn't want to go anywhere there was no running water or TV etc. So I went camping (on the ground) with friends at times.
Recently he and my son began to work for an RV place and learned about trailers, coaches, the lifestyle and have met many RV'ers.
I began my own business, saved my money and bought my first airstream.
In my mind it is the only choice. A real dream come true. Now we can go to
beautiful places and not worry if there is a cottage there or not.
Ken and Ed knew enough about them to love this one too, and are quite excited and are helping me with it constantly. Ken's overseeing the pouring of the concrete pad for it today in fact.
Ken is already planning our first trip, (just to the park with friends) and I will sign up for towing and manipulating the trailer lessons this month.
It was worth waiting for because now we all can really appreciate and enjoy it.
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:53 AM   #22
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My wife and I decided we were getting too old to continue sleeping in tents and truck campers and we wanted to get an RV. We weighed all the options of motor homes versus travel trailers and decided on TT. Now we had to decide which brand to buy so I started researching on the internet. Some of the horror stories were incredible! Cabinet doors falling off on the maiden voyage, windows and roof vents leaking, appliances not working, etc, etc. It didn't take long to discover that Airstream was the best product out there but the price seemed to be prohibitive. We attended the 2000 RV show in Los Angeles with the intention of buying a more affordable TT but after inspecting over 100 we decided you get what you pay for so we ordered a 2001 Safari and the rest is history.
Jerry Sullivan
'01 Limited
'01 Safari
On The Road, USA
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Old 07-09-2002, 02:00 PM   #23
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my airstream start

I live in the mountains of north carolina.but have hunted the state of georgia for years and years.camped in tents ,under tarps, and one weekend I stayed under a shower inclosure..needed a camper bad. my first camper was an old 73 volunteer.brought it home and went to fix a small roof leak.a week later i was down to the bare frame..went back ,and learned alot .sold that trailer three years later, when I saw an airstream,love at first sight. I bought a 1975 international overlander and love it, yesterday i closed a jam up deal on a 1983 sovergn, now i have i have the guts to sell.........right now no...i'll keep both.!!!!
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Old 07-09-2002, 05:27 PM   #24
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Kyle , The Republic of Texas
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Re: How did you get into Airstreams & Airstreaming?

My Dad had suffered from polio as a child and was on crutches & leg braces all of my life. But damn if he didn't love the outdoors. And as a child I figured that if he loved it enough to go thru all that it took for him to go camping, then I'd come to love it too. He was right there with me during Boy Scout camping trips, taking me deer hunting (where I got my first sight of an A/S) or on trail rides (dad slept in our station wagon, I slept anywhere that was dry & warm. Dad drove the wagon's team of mules & I rode my horse). Then I went thru the tent phase, which I never liked. Found a pop-up in the 1970's, supposedly made by the folks who brought us Dempsey Dumpsters. Heavy but it pulled like a dream and set up in seconds. But still few comforts, and I do like my comforts. Then I was married & a father and neither of them really liked camping so I gave in to pressure & took up other activities. But somehow Airstreams were never forgotten.
Was recently divorced, and with nobody to give me perfectly good reasons not to spend so much money solely on my own interests, I started the search. Loved the vintage trailers but I'm not that great at fixing & repairing. Found what my daughter calls "Dad's Other Lady", my 2002 27' Safari and have been hooked since. She now sits on my little piece of Texas hill country heaven south & west of Austin, Texas under her own special protective tin shed. She will provide me with all the comforts of home until I can retire in 6 to 8 years, build my retirement home AND be able to take off camping in my Safari to see this wonderful country of ours.

When did I get into Airstreams? As a very young child, with my very first sight of some 1950's A/S parked on a deer lease.

How did I get into Airstreams? First, I had to survive a mid life crisis, was found to be sane and thus fully able to do as I damn well pleased, and then did so. Regrets? None!!

And please - no angry cards & letters here. I'm NOT advocating getting a divorce just to own an Airstream trailer. All I am saying is that at some point in life one should be in a position to dance to to his / her / (and hopefully their) favorite tune.

Airstreaming was just one of several good things that changed in my life.
I love that old time rock & roll.
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Old 07-10-2002, 06:14 PM   #25
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I also did the cub scout and boy scout thing when I was young, Dad came along too as a asst. troop leader. Did lots of tent camping all year round no matter what the weather. As I got older, Dad and I thought it would be nice if Mom would come along. Now Mom was not a camping type person so we knew a tent wouldn't cut. Aunt & Uncle had a Apache pop-up, so we borrowed it for a weekend, not up to Mom's level of comfort. Grandparent's has a old '18 Winnebago MH, Mom felt claustrophobic. Dad was a big rig driver ( big weight lots of tonnage), on one of his moves he saw a AS & suburban combo for sale. Turned out to be a '68 International 28ft and a '75 GMC suburban, a beautiful combo. Dad bought it on the spot, I think he paid $5000.00 at the time in '78. We've been enjoying it ever since. Now I'm married and have a 4yr old daughter, took her camping in it when she was 18 months. She always looks forward to camping in the "Silver Bullet"

Needs a little work and some parts but Dad and I enjoy working on it together, though he does most of the work since he is retired now and I try to find the info and parts. Well got a little long winded so many memories as I think back about it all

Take care all
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Old 07-14-2002, 01:50 PM   #26
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Unhappy No-Van-Man...

Hi there ALL...
Just been reading your stories...all kind of GOOD know, NO matter what else is taken from you, you'll ALWAYS have your MEMORIES...ok, I don't own an A/S..( sigh )...but when I first saw a picture of one...I knew at once I liked them...I look at the pictures you Guys put on the sites, very nice indeed, I thank you for that too...also I learnt a lot, I even know what GRAY water is...LOL...
To me the A/S is a rolling piece of American History, and I are pleased they are being kept ALIVE...I saw a huge CAMPER too in FLA:, and the owner let me crawl all over it, it almost broke my heart to head back to the villa...I had NEVER seen anything like it in my life before, it was fab:....
Well thank's again for sharing all your tales, and I look forward to reading many more.
It's NICE 2B Important...but it's more Important 2B NICE...Chris.....
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:16 AM   #27
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We (my wife and I) had a small camper (S.O.B) not long after we were married and enjoyed the enthusiasm of traveling around our area and camping on Weekends.

We placed it up for sale along with the mobile home we lived in. We did this in order to keep payments as low as possible when we purchased our home. A few years after selling it we wanted to get back into the thrills of camping. We saw an add in the paper for a camper that we thought we could afford and went to look at it. I think it was advertised for about $1,800. We bought it for $1,500. It was a 1968 Safari Airstream travel trailer. It was a single axle 22' long and it really didn't look all that attractive to me at that time. It had weeds grown up around it and it didn't look like it had been moved for some time. The commode was sitting at a lower position than what it should have been. I could see clearly that the floor had rotted completely through. These kinds of things didn't disappoint us though because at that price we figured that we could fix them. We had completely rebuilt the floor in the bath room of our previous camper. I felt the challenge and we bought it. The owners even delivered it and parked it in our drive-way.

Not long after making the purchase I discovered how I felt about Airstreams; that they were much more difficult to work on due to the way they were built. I wondered if we had made a mistake; however, I got to like the sturdy frame construction and just everything about them begin to grow on us. We repaired the floor and fortunately it only needed replaced just in the open area where the commode was located. If we would have had to take out some of the walls at that time I don't know if I would have been able to. The plumbing had to be changed as well. We re-did the plumbing, re-upholstered the couch, made new curtains and placed new carpet on the floor. Our color theme was red with black inside. Very attractive I thought when it was completed. It was a very good experience purchasing it. We learned a lot and fell in love with the Airstream travel trailer. When we would be out at different Parks; we would always eye-ball the newer ones and say to each other, maybe some day. We wondered what the layout looked like inside of the newer ones. We now own our third A/S and enjoy it very much; it's a 1983 Excella 31' with a middle bath. I think I would enjoy a 34'er if one came our way.

That is how we got started into Airstreaming.
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:10 AM   #28
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Airstream fever...

I was a fortunate kid who got to camp all over the U.S. with my folks. My earliest recollections of camping are sleeping in a '59 Rambler with fold-down seats. We graduated to a tent, then to a parade of campers until I left home after high school.

On one of those trips, when I was about 12, we had a '65 King Kamper tent trailer in the late fall. It was raining and cold. A '67 Caravel pulled in next to us, and the retired gentleman who owned it invited us over for coffee. It was WARM inside! I WANTED IT!!!

After I left home, while I still knew it all, I SWORE I'd never camp in an RV again. "IT AIN'T CAMPIN", said I. Throught the '70s and early '80s, I backpacked and slept on the ground and had a small tent. Then I motorcycle tent camped, had a 13' Scamp pulled with a Jeep. Later I had a Danish Kombi-Kamp tent trailer that I pulled with a different Jeep. A couple of years later... the big "D"... a divorce. I needed a place to stay, and a friend of mine had asked me a few months earlier if I was interested in his Airstream.

I recontacted him and bought a handsome '70 Safari 23' for the princely sum of $2k. It needed a new toilet and water heater, and the upholstery and drapes were pretty sad, but it worked, and I didn't have to buy furniture or go apartment hunting!

I met my 'new' wife sixteen years ago, and we've been Airstreaming ever since (with a brief four-year hiatus for an affair with sailboats... ) Fortunately, she loves Airstreams as much as I do. I was living in the Safari when we met. (She thought I was a LITTLE strange at first, but got over it. Now she KNOWS it, but loves me anyway!) We restored the Safari, (still owned by my father-in-law), and a '61 Bambi. We bought a '57 Overlander and a '77 Minuet with the intent of restoring them, but sold both before we got 'round to it. We tried an Airstream motorhome (a 325, hence the "85MH325") for a couple of years and loved it, but decided this spring to return to trailering and found our current '94.

We've enjoyed every Airstream we've had, but I must say that the comfort and conveniences in the '94 are awesome. As much as I've enjoyed our vintage coaches, I confess I've been won over with the '94!

AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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