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Old 02-13-2005, 10:57 AM   #43
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Post Lots of Memories

My grandparents were campers, and graduated from a small Scamper pop-up to a brand new Sunline 25' in 1985. I loved the idea of camping even at 5 years old going along with them on short week-end trips. I was hooked. They sold the camper in about 1989 and bought a sailboat (camping on the water, but a lot more work) and spent about 6 years sailing the Chesapeake bay in their 42' boat. My parents meanwhile had bought a boat and were were doing a lot of tent camping at various lakes here in PA. Tent camping was O.K. but all I could think of was a trailer. I swore someday I would have one.
I graduated high school in 1999 and blew off college to join the work force (against my family's wishes). I got a good job and was making good money. I passed an "eyebrow" 1969 Winnebago D-24 motorhome every Thursday on my route and I fell in love. I bought it against my girlfriend's (now my wife), and family's wishes and got to work on it. I refurbished the entire MH and used it for 3 years until I had enough. I sold my VW and bought a Jeep Cherokee, so I could tow a trailer. I came across a 1997 Sunline 21' on a trip with the Winnie. I bought it 2 weeks later. The Sunline brand is made right here in PA and is a superior quality SOB, but it was too small. So when we traded her car in on my turbo diesel Ram 2500 I immediately wanted a bigger trailer. We waited a year and looked at a few SOBs and finally looked at a 1978 Argosy 25' (I think). I wasn't all that impressed with the brownish color or the overall look of the argosy, but it got me thinking of an Airstream. I went nuts looking for an Airstream in my price range. I finally found one on the other side of the state and went to look at it. It wasn't in the promised condition (excellent origional condition) that he said it was. I was hooked anyway. I turned it down only to drive the 550 mile round trip 2 weeks later to bring her home.
I currently have the floor out from the front door forward in my Sovereign. The floor was rotted around the edges so I ripped it all out to discover some frame damage. The frame damage reconstruction is to begin next week-end, so wish me luck. After thats done there is another list to deal with.


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Old 02-13-2005, 11:52 AM   #44
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I have just spent the past hour reading all of yur wonderful stories!
I am glad to see so many people actually fall in love with Airstreams and Argosys.
My story is quite a bit different.
I started camping in an Airstream before I was even born back in 1966.
My mom and dad had owned other trailers but had already moved up to an A/S the year I was born. I do not even remember that trailer. It was gone before I turned two. By then my mom had my two younger brothers, (the middle brother and I are almost inseparable to this day). We needed more space so my dad bought a 1967-27 footer.
In 1973 my dad got the itch to buy a new A/S. In Nov. of 1972 he went to the factory and took delivery of his new 31 footer.
My parents joined the WBCCI when I was about five. I had my own name badge and blue beret. I thought it was the coolest thing!
By this time the owner of the A/S dealership here near Detroit had become good friends with my father. We would go to help haul trailers in and out of the local trailer show that was held once a year in the armory. My dad would even sit in the A/S's and work as an unpaid salesman. I ran around those shows almost every night back then!
When I turned 16 back in 1982, my brother and I used our paper route money tp buy our neighbor's 1963 Bambi. All of our friends thought we were nuts. When they were restoring 12 year old Chargers we were restoring our 19 year old travel trailer! When they were looking at horsepower ratings for speed, we were looking at tow ratings.
My brother and I shared the use of that trailer for several years.
I finally broke down and bought a used, (and abused), Argosy. My brother and I spent four years restoring that trailer. I let him keep the Bambi and I think he still owes me for that!
I recently sold my bigger Argosy and bought a 20 foot Minuet. Pardon me, a Six Metre Minuet. I am not happy unless I have a project trailer that needs something to be done to it. I also like the fact that the Minuet weighs only 2450 dry.
My dad would do all of the work to his 1973 himself. It never went back to the dealership or the factory for anything. My dad was an Ironworker and knew how to fix or fabricate almost anything.
My dad passed away back in the late 80's. My brother-in-law was the only one with a tow vehicle big enough to haul the 31 footer so he left it in my mom's name and has hauled it since then. It has been in the family for over 32 years now. It is part of the family. My mom keeps asking me when I am going to finally keep one. I told her that when I find one that will need to be perpetually updated and/or modified! I love them all but I cannot stop fixing them up. I get antsy and need a new project Argosy or Airstream every few years. Plus, the work keeps me out of the bars, (the wife likes that).
I am now passing the A/S gene down to another generation of Pattersons. My five year old daughter routinely helps me and she surfs the web with me looking at pictures of them.
I have never camped in anything but an A/S or Argosy. I probably never will.

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Old 02-13-2005, 03:03 PM   #45
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The first Airstream I saw was in 1964 when I was 8. My new neighbors across the street had one. They would always take long trips in the summer with their 3 kids. I liked to go in it when it was parked on their carport. I was impressed by its shiny aluminum exterior and it's smooth shape.

My family also camped in the sixties and seventies, but it was only in a tent. I was envious of my neighbor's Airstream.

About 5 years ago, as my kids were getting into school, the "Camping Bug" bit me again. My wife, a city girl, was receptive, but not enthusiastic. She wanted no part of tent camping. So I started looking into A-Liners and Coleman pop-ups. The A-Liners were too small for a family of 4. The Coleman HAD to have a bathroom if she was going to go camping in it. But the Mrs. didn't like the canvas bathroom walls of the Westlake. She was afraid that neighbors would hear strange sounds emitting from the trailer. In frustration, I asked "Who in the woods is going to hear you in the bathroom? You're not that noisy are you?".

Anyway, as a compromise, we bought a Jayco KIWI expandable trailer. It had a solid wall bathroom, so the wife was happy. It was an OK camper, but over time, set up and take down got to be a grind. It seemed that it would always rain when I had to make camp or break camp. The canvas bunk ends were always wet and maintenance and cleaning time increased. Mildew was always a problem. I was suppose to be having fun with camping, and I wasn't!

We have a local Airstream dealer in town, so one day I started checking out their inventory. They had a 2002 22' CCD that caught my eye. I drooled over it and its new styling and big windows. But I thought it was out of my price range. In late 2003, I decided to get rid of the KIWI and get a hard side trailer with no canvas! I wanted a trailer with little set-up time, low maintenance and all-year round use. I thought about the CCD I saw a year earlier, and started researching. When we went back to the dealer, he had sold the CCD, and wasn't planning on getting another one in the forseeable future. So I got on the web and located a dealer out of state that had a 2004 22' CCD. We took the leap and bought it the day we saw it. We haven't regretted it a bit.

If I had not seen that Airstream 40 years earlier, it might not have made a lasting impression on me. Fortunately it did!
2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
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Old 02-13-2005, 03:09 PM   #46
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. , Illinois
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Went camping with our family when we were kids and would count all the Airstreams we could see along the way. I got the same'll miss this when you're all grown and on your own....I never believed them.

Until one day, about 4-5 years ago, I started to get the bug. Went to an RV show in 2003, saw a bunch of what I considered junk. Last place I saw was the Airstream display. Fell in love with the Bambi and have had the disease ever since (Airstreamitus), upgrading to a Safari, and now considering upgrading again to a Classic.......

Never thought I'd ever own an Airstream, let alone two or three in my lifetime....then again as a kid I never thought I'd be able to afford a car either.
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 02-13-2005, 03:58 PM   #47
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Wow such neat stories you all have - what it would have been like to camp as a kid across North-America in an Airstream....So now as "Big Kids" we will have a go....

My first and only "caravan" camping experience was when I was 4-5 My Parents rented a Caravan in Cornwall England - nestled in the sand dunes for the summer.

When we emigrated to Canada 1968 - "camping" was just not in my Parents we were the first on the block to get the in-ground swimming pool and that is where I spent most of my summers since I was 7. But in 1969 I saw my first ever Airstream during the 1969 Moon Landing and return of yep you know who! Neil, Michael and Edwin. (on our first ever colour TV rented from Granada TV rental).

Once married Peter and I chose the RV on Water route - "Power Boating" and had the greatest time travelling the Trent and Rideau Water Ways for over 15 years. In the past 5 years we moved to our favourite Boating spot(s) Stoney Lake - so eventually our Boating Vacations became nill. One of the big pluses with boating we always took our girls with us and they had a great time.

As we got older we had a choice to make - by a bigger boat or consider the RV life and spend more vacation time in the Winter - SOUTH!!!! where it is warmer.

We looked at lots of SOB's and then ended up at the Airstream site - well the $ amount for a new one (just after purchasing waterfront property was not in the cards) so we looked at used - then I saw the "Vintage" units and fell in love - not at the price - because by the time we finish this one it will tune in at about 15K - it was the history, the style, the wood and the similarity to antique boats - but on wheels - and a 21 foot trailer compared to a 21 foot boat was luxery!

....and so begins our adventures in MoonBeam......5 more sleeps and we are off (just took her for her shake down - all systems check - up and down the road) What a difference towing with the Yukon!
Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:53 PM   #48
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After my dad got out of the army, he decided that he wanted to be an over-the-road-trucker, and he became one. Back in the mid-60's, it was fashionable to load up the car and hit the American road, and that's what we did. We'd load up the '65 Impala hardtop every year and go visit relatives in distant places. We tried to carry as much food and water with us as we would need for the entire trip, and it was truly living out of a cooler.

By the 70's, we'd gotten a big old '71 LTD "Country Squire" wagon, and we set off for the Grand Canyon. Never go on a road trip with a trucker. We didn't stop at Dinosaur Land or the Caves of Sonora or the Painted Desert... We went to the Grand Canyon. We stood looking in the gap, and my mom didn't want to ride a burro down and my dad didn't want to hire a helicopter ride, so we headed home. We were home five days later, and my dad bragged to the neighbor about how much money we've saved on our trip.

On that trip, my dad had pointed out a couple of Airstreams and said that he wanted to get one for himself and my mom when he retired. I thought it novel that a man who made his living (and ours) trucking wanted to retire . . . and travel.

Jump forward 15 years. I had been to aircraft mechanic's school and had worked long enough to be able to open a shop and manage the airport at my hometown. The airport needed to be covered at all hours, and I decided that sleeping in a small room in the hangar wasn't cutting it... especially in the winter. So I started looking for a small trailer that I could park behind the hangar and live in.

I was looking at the ads in the Atlanta Constitution and saw one for an "Airstream Argosy." That rang a bell, so I went to look at it.

I quickly found out that this Airstream was beige. It looked sort of like one, but it was PAINTED. Right beside the door, however, the medallion, big as day, said, "From the leisure world of Airstream."

I had no idea what to look for. The PO told me that it only stayed at campgrounds and places with hookups and that "everything worked."

Well, everything did not work. in fact, few things worked. That winter I ended up pulling it into the hangar during slack times, and I rewired it and replaced all the plumbing.

I changed careers ten years later and got into computer service and sales, so I moved the Argosy to Atlanta and lived there for three years. Then I decided that I wanted to be an EMT and went to EMT and then Paramedic school and relocated to south Georgia where I found a job.

Jump forward to Christmas 2004. I had burnt out on being an EMT and went back to computer support, this time for handhelds. I had been at the new job for almost two years, and my sister said, "Isn't it about time you got a nicer place to live?"

At the time, I was slightly offended, but then I started thinking about it.

And I remembered what my dad had always said about Airstreams.

I started looking in January, discovered this forum, and finally found my Excella 500 in March. A 2,750 mile round trip to Michigan made it mine, and now I'm looking forward to my first rally... this weekend, if the hurricanes cooperate.

And that's my Airstream story. I still haven't decided on a name for this trailer.

1975 Argosy 28 "Argosy"
1979 Excella 500 31 "Betsy"
1992 Lincoln Mk 7 LSC
2003 Dodge 2500 Cummins "TowHog"
"Lucy Loosehair" the cat - Airstream mascot
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Old 09-19-2005, 07:01 PM   #49
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Old 09-19-2005, 07:06 PM   #50
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Sherri and I had a 1968 29' Streamline of the "other" tin cans. Very well built trailer, but it needed work on the soft spots in the floor. Long story short, after gutting it, I ended up selling it and buying SOB. We got the itch again, and this time we decided to get a tin can, whose manufacturer is still in business....Enter the Sovereign International.

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Old 09-19-2005, 08:16 PM   #51
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My witness protection officer said it would be a good idea ....... ummm forget I said that...............

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Old 09-19-2005, 11:04 PM   #52
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I do what I can Richard.

Glad to have you in on all the fun. Come on, we need a few more to add their stories.

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Old 09-20-2005, 12:25 AM   #53
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I'd never heard of Airstreams before December 2003. I was on the Internet one night looking to buy a horse, probably while hopped up on something legal but dicey, and by morning had bought an Airstream instead. It was months before I actually laid eyes on one of the damn things.
Of course I'm an elitist. Look around you.
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Old 09-20-2005, 02:48 AM   #54
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Did your dad ever get his Airstream?
2004 22' CCD
1997 F-150
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:00 AM   #55
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My dad was the kind of guy who could build anything from start to finish, a real craftsman. Everything had to be just so. He was completely non-rv, "that's what a Holiday Inn is for" but he always admired the Airstream as "that's the cadillac of trailers". Me, I like trailers and I travel all over the midwest for trapshooting tournaments. I got tired of restaurant food and some really bad motels in rural areas. I bought a cheaper trailer to see if I liked it and I loved the quiet and peace of my trailer and I decided that when I could afford a new Airstream I would have one. So, I'm my father's son but I took a little different branch in the road.
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:54 AM   #56
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This is an old thread and, BOY, there ar GREAT 'old' stories in here. We have one too but my wife is waiting for me to take her shopping so I will post our story later. Don't go away..

Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

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