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Old 08-25-2003, 08:43 AM   #29
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1959 22' Caravanner
Atlanta , Georgia
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Wow a lot of previous VW camping folks.

My folks have always camped. They use to Ride motor cycles with The Highwaymen MC out of Detroit in the late 50's early 60's. Of course they tent camped back then. When I came around in 66 they had me out camping when still in diapers. Around 71 My dad spied a tiny light pop up tent camper at Montgomery Wards. Bought it on the spot. The tow vehicle was a 1968 VW Square back. In 73 the Square Bac was traded on a VW 412 wagon. We spent 3-4 weeks a summer camping. CO was a favorite destination for at least 1 week a year and hopped around the coast in the SE a week a year as well. Spent a LOT of time in the VW as a kid.

In 82 The 412 had a replacement (although we kept the 412 and it became my first car). A VW Vanagon was the new family truckster.
Lost my Dad in 84 to hear disease. Mom wanted to thein things out for finacial reasons and the Vanagon and camper were sold.

I tent camped off and on with friends after that. Ex wife was not into roughing it (she was not into a lot of things including reality LOL ). My misses of 8 years camps ok but we have twon kids with 8 years between them and just isn't the easiest thing too tent camp with them that young. Her family owned a Airstream.

I'm into Offroading and hit several events a year where we primitive camp. My off road truck is so trail biased that it travels packed with spare axle shafts, drive shafts, tools, recovery gear that it has almost no room for much more then a cooler unless I pull the back seats. So I built a Utility trailer into a mini 5x8 camper. Worked great for just me. Swipped twin matress off one of the kids trundle beds and slept in style.

In Feb 03 we lost My wifes Dad. While dealing with the the estate his 1959 Caravanner was still with it. My wife has 3 brothers and all but one live out of state. The one that does live instate doesn't camp and heck he works for Holiday inn in their regional HQ so he gets a heck of a deal when he does travel.

I took a liking to the Caravanner right away. I think my wifes brothers didn't want to see it just sold off but none of them had a place to store it or were able to use it for one reason or the other. So in our drive it now resides. I know here brothers are waiting to see how the old girl looks restored. Been too busy to put much time in on it but planning a week "vacation" once fall rools around and the temps come down to get a floor rot problem resolved.

Can't wait to get out on the road again with my family. (shhh don't tell my wife but I want to hit Key west for X-Mas break if I can get her back road worthy by then. )

1959 22' Caravanner
1988 R20 454 Suburban.
Atlanta, GA
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Old 08-25-2003, 09:51 AM   #30
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1969 31' Sovereign
Broken Arrow , Oklahoma
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Getting close to retirement we decided we could not afford the slip fees and up keep of a 46 ft yatch.
My wife started looking for an older AS and would not consider SOB. We had looked at a few but they were pretty rough. There was an AS parked close to the road we went by quite often and after several months she decided they weren't using it so one day she went up to the door and asked if they wanted to sell. They said they couldn't sell because they had too much in it. After a few weeks and a little negoation between my wife and the owners she got a price, $5,000 cash.
We bought it, have around $4K in repairs so far and have another $3 or $4K to go before we have it in a like new condition.
When complete we will have what I consider a very reliable AS good for many more miles/years worth around $6K on the used market.
Sorry it's not for sale I have too much in it...........

That's how we got into an Airstream Land Yatch........


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Old 08-25-2003, 10:08 AM   #31
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2002 25' Classic
Oro Valley , Arizona
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We camped since the early 60's but got our first RV (Havasu truck slide-camper) in 72. Then Terry tt in 74, back to a Jayco tent trailer in 1980, Vacationeer 5th wheel in 1986, Jamboree C in 1992, and now our Airstream in 2002.

We were thinking of a Trek or some short class A to replace the Jamboree because I was sick of making up a bed--it had no permanent bed except above the cab and that was claustrophia causing.

The Airstream had a "fancy" interior--rivaled the class A's we looked at, has low center of gravity, easy to tow, no motor/drive train/etc. to maintain AND we can tow it with the SUV.

For the $ invested it seemed to us to be well put together and well appointed.
Kistler & Brenda

2002 Classic 25'
2003 Expedition EB 5.4L, AWD, AdvanceTrac Class IV hitch pkg. Reese dual cam/Prodigy
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Old 08-25-2003, 10:42 AM   #32
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1986 31' Sovereign
Lenox , Georgia
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My history differs little.........

Growing up in Northern New Mexico and Oregon, camping has always been a way of life. I've camped every way possible, from climbing above the tree line in the Oregon Rockies and pitching a two-man tent; to big heavy military tents alongside mountain rivers. I slowly graduated from tents to vans, to SOB motorhomes, but never had anything I couldn't part with. Later, new wife, and a new life. We were soon looking at new Holiday Ramblers. They are very pretty, but don't seem to come with any atmosphere. I work in the Washington office of a big Melbourne, Florida-based company. I was long aware of the big Airstream-exclusive parks located down there. I've always heard that Airstreams are the epitome of camping trailers/RV's. I started shopping a few years ago and finally found the right one. I bought what was later dubbed the "Parrot Inn" without my wife's prior inspection, knowing she would love it. I was right. I may or may not ever have enough money to buy anything I want, regardless of the price. I don't know. What I do know is is that we are keeping this trailer as long as we can keep it road-worthy, and we are worthy of the road. We don't feel we can improve on its atmosphere nor the feeling we have developed for it.
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Old 08-25-2003, 01:39 PM   #33
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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How did you get into Airstreams & Airstreaming?

My family was never really impressed with the idea of camping so my introduction came at the age of five when friend's of the family invited me on a camping expedition in their new Airstream trailer. That one trip hooked me, and I don't think that I will ever "get it out of my system" as one relative was fond of stating my interest in Airstreaming. My parents eventually decided to give camping (but not Airstreaming) a try with a brand new truck camper rig in 1969 - - '69 C20 Chevrolet Camper Special with a '69 8' Sunway Camper - - lasted a grand total of two years before it was replaced with a '71 Buick Sportwagon.

Once I obtained my driver's license, a camper wasn't far behind. My first experience was with a Montgomery Wards tent camper - - otherwise known as the giant erector set. Less than two years later it was traded on a Coleman Minuteman tent camper - - easy to setup but lacking in ALL amenities. Finally, in 1980 it was off to Nomad to buy a brand new Nomad light weight special 19' coach - - it was so poorly balanced that it was difficult to find a tow vehicle that could handle it - - after five years, I gave up RVing until 1995.

The Airstreaming bug hit with tremendous force in 1995. I had a brand new Chevrolet K1500 Z71 Club Cab pickup with trailer tow package and it just had to have an Airstream. After searching the local classifieds for more than four months and checking out at least two dozen Airstreams, I found what would become my '64 Overlander through a blind ad in a trader publication. Shorthly after taking delivery, it was discovered that it was the same trailer that I had taken my first camping trip in way back in 1964 - - purchased from the third owner more than 325 miles from where the trailer had been located to my knowledge.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:58 PM   #34
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Sort of Stumbled into it

We started tent camping last year. I loved camping but hated sleeping on the ground. We considered a pop-up, even looked at a few. My father-in-law had a 71 Tradewind he had used as a hunting camper and offered it to us in February. It needed some work (all cosmetic or so we thought) but we thought it would be a fun project and we could be ready to camp in the spring. So, what the heck, we bought it. I knew nothing about Airstreams other than my uncle and aunt had one when I was young.
Turned out to be way more work than we expected (rotten floor, leaks). To make a long story short, we sold it and bought the Overlander within a month. It was ready to camp within a couple of weeks of bringing it home.

Our original plan was to keep it for a year or two, do some upgrades (Pergo floor, new countertop, draperies, upholstery)
and sell it in order to purchase a newer SOB with a slideout. We now have the AS fever and I can't stand the thoughts of not having one. I would like to upgrade to a newer one with a queen bed eventually.
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Old 08-25-2003, 11:04 PM   #35
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: I currently do not own a 2nd Airstream
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How I Got the Bug

My family has always camped, back as far as I can remember. We had an annual trip to the Iowa 'Great Lakes' (East & West Okoboji and Spirit Lakes) over the Fourth of July that I always enjoyed. I was out fishing before anyone else got out of bed and came home late for dinner almost every day. We had a small SOB that would barely sleep all of our growing family. As our family grew, my dad bought a bigger SOB. All this time growing up I never was near an Airstream. Had seen them on the road but that was the extent of it. Once I moved to sunny Arizona I thought my camping days were over as I always thought a good camping trip was centered around a body of water. I left all of my personal camping and fishing equipment home. Man was I wrong! This is a great state for getting out and exploring, hiking, fishing and anything else outdoors, you just have to shoose the right season. My wife and I borrowed a friend's pop-up and pulled it with our Dodge Caravan. Was that a mistake. We did learn what not to do on that trip! A couple of years ago, I went on a fishing trip with a friend of mine in a '60 Trade Wind. I thought this would be an interesting adventure. It changed my idea of camping altogether. No more roughing it! I just had to have one of these vintage units that sports so much character. After 7 months of searching, we found just what we were looking for and talked about it before jumping in. We worked on our Trade Wind almost every non-working hour for 7 straight months with about a two week break over the holidays. It has been more enjoyable than I ever would have thought possible and, although we don't have the room, we would like an older unit. Go ahead, inject some more aluminum. I'm hooked.

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Old 08-31-2003, 06:17 PM   #36
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Crystal Lake , Illinois
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Tent>>The Trill>>>"R"Stream

Devil's Lake. WI family(7 strong!) tent camping--What fun!!for us kids. That was 45 years ago. Still seeking to relive those great times and discover NEW ones.

The first step, just 4 years ago purchased on the spot a 1978 Trillium (Canadian made fiberglass camper) The Trill changed my previously motel-only man into a Happy Camper!!

But, we'd like more room. I spot an A/S on our way home, ask the owner if she's for sale. No, but he has another in a cornfield just across the river!!

Love at 1st sight. Next day the '76 Sovereign is ours!
Joe & Diane
"R" Stream
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:01 AM   #37
a.k.a. Ambassador Tim
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1960 28' Ambassador
Northern , California
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If it doesn't work out I can always sell...

We went camping once with some friends. They had a pop up and we had a tent.

After playing cards in their nice pop up and having to go back to our tent, we decided we needed a pop up.

After looking around at prices and quality, I decided to get an airstream.

I figured since we only camped once, if I bought an airstream and we did not like it I could get my investment back. I feared if I paid $5000 or so for an SOB, I would loose money.

Anyway, I did like most. Found an old airstream invested too much money and time into it to recoupe anything if we did sell it.

But we have been out 5 times in the last 2 years so I think we're keeping it
1960 International Ambassador 28'
2001 Silverado 2500HD CC 6.0L 4.10
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:58 AM   #38
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My brother had bought a 29 ' ambassador that had been in Cuba, he stripped it to the frame and put it back together to his likenings. My brother and I both work in the construction industry and travel is an intregal part of that occupation. Anyway after looking at his I was stung by the AS bug and a year or so later I bought a 71 31' Excella rear bath with center twins. we used his a model and converted the twins to a slide out double. I sold that one and bought a 73 31' Excella rear twins. This one was pretty neat ... it had the built in Onan 12vdc generator and was a great unit. I pulled it to Idaho on a project and my wife came with me. We decided we wanted more room so I traded it for a 36' Kountry Aire 5r that I work camped in till this past fall and Ivan paid a visit. As I was negotiating a settlement with insurance, I got the AS flu again and started looking for a 34' Limited. I had an appointment to look at one in SC on a sunday afternoon however I went over to my inlaws the night before to visit and my brother-in -law told me that their old neighbors had a AS for sale but he knew nothing about it. We went over and beheld a 1988 Limited sitting in the back yard. It turned out that the owner and his father had both bought identical units at the same time. The father s had been sold a couple of years ago and the man & his wife had both become ill and had not used it in 8 years. In fact it had only been used a few times prior to that. I was the first to light up the oven! Anyway, we made a deal ( included AS chairs, jackets) and I swear the man and woman had tears in their eyes as my wife and I pulled out with it. They considered the AS as family. I guess it is one of those that " if you gotta wouldn't understand things" I have it in Pensacola for a few more months and then hopefully home to Ga. Now if I can come up with a original looking twin bed to full or queen arrangement life will be good. My stepson now owns the 69 Ambassador and he has the AS bug as well!
Ga Pockets
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Old 02-12-2005, 02:21 PM   #39
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El Paso , Texas
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When I was a small kid growing up in Mexico, my dad always took me on hunting and fishing trips that would take two or three days. We rode our horses and had a pack mule for our gear. I grew up in the Sierra Madre (Mexican Rockies) in the state of Chihuahua near the Sonora border.
When we came here to the United States my dad continued taking us camping on day trips usualy to southern New Mexico (it was more like pick nicks).
When I grew up and got married and had a family I contiued the tradition but always with a tent. Now my kids are all grown up and live away and I'm too old for the tent thing, so I came across a gutted '58 Airstream and it's been my project for the last two years. It's almost finished but has already made a few trips to the mountains.
I thank my dad for the camping experience and these forums for all the help with my project.
'58 Traveler 18ft.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:47 PM   #40
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2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
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I used to tent camp Maryland just outside of DC. One of my buddies invited my family to spend memorial day with is family in their RV that was pulling a travel trailer. They stayed in the Trailer we stayed in the RV. When we got to the campground I helped him set-up the trailer. I had never done it before and I don't think he had done it very often. The front jack was manual and had never seen grease. Long story short 45 minutes or so we finally got the trailer set-up.
An older, in there 70's, couple pulled up in an International Travelall and an Airstream. They got out and looked over their site. He got back into the car and backed it in, pulled forward on some boards and got it level. Then he got out of the car hit the switch and down went the jack, it lifted the rear of the International to the point that he didn't have any trouble getting the leveling bars off. Inside of 20 minutes they were set-up and had not broken a sweat on a 90 degree day. Right then and there I knew that one day I would own one.
15 years and one wife later I did and have never looked back. We played with timeshares, boats and just auto travel with hotels. Nothing we have ever done compares to the friends and fun that we have had with the Airstream. It has been one of our best decisions.
Keep the shiny side up.
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:19 AM   #41
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1970 25' Tradewind
Cincinnati , Ohio
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My husband and I enjoy going to NASCAR races. At first we stayed in hotel rooms but the prices were terribly inflated (sometimes four and five times the regular room rate) and we sometimes had to travel over an hour just to get to the track. When we finally scored "season" tickets to the race in Bristol, TN, a friend whom we'd invited offered to drive and take his new 32' Terry. We were instantly hooked. We both absolutely loved camping at the tracks mostly because we didn't have to sit in traffic for several hours after the race and because we could enjoy a couple beers at the race without having to worry about driving (we just walk back to the camper after the race).

One year our friend with the camper wasn't able to go so we decided to look for our own. My husband said he was always drawn to Airstreams. I about fell over because I always loved them too. And so our quest began. I found several units in our area in about the $10,000 price range (which I thought was reasonable) but my hubby didn't want to spend that kind of money at the time. On a Saturday morning, he found a 1970 Tradewind that had just been listed for sale on for $3000 about an hour from our home. We called and made arrangements to see the unit that afternoon. In the back of his mind, my hubby thought there was no way I would go for a unit that old and that it probably wasn't in very good condition. We got there and learned the current owner bought it from the original owner's estate. The current owner had a stroke right after he bought it and his children wouldn't let him keep it because they were worried he couldn't handle the hitching/unhitching, etc. (he showed them, he promptly went out and bought a Class B motorhome!). Everything on the unit was original and it seemed to be in very good condition. We asked if he was willing to negotiate on the price but he stood firm at $3,000 (cash only!!!). SOLD! It was ours.
Now, the only problem was a tow vehicle....but that is an entirely different story.
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Old 02-13-2005, 10:23 AM   #42
Remember Burma Shave!
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2006 19' Safari
2000 25' Safari
1985 25' Sovereign
Fort Myers , SW.Florida
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 510
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It all started ... way back when ...

Somehow my parents took a summer off in 1957. The family drove from Detroit to California and bought a 13' FireBall. I remember that that car was Pink & White! The FireBall was red & white.

We camped way before there were Good Sam parks and such ... alone on the beach in Mexico for a week, breakfast on the Painted Desert, Las Vegas that had mostly all dirt roads & (reportedly) me crying because I thought that the hotel sign the owner let us plug into for electric (a small grassy spot under the sign) would make the lights in the trailer blink on & off just like the sign did.

Many great memories ... and they continue to be made ....
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