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Old 09-18-2007, 07:17 PM   #57
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2005 25' International CCD
Everywhere , North America
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We were hiking our fourth four-day section of the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina over Easter Holiday in 2004. Backpacking is so peaceful and relaxing and a wonderful break from the thing we cannot speak of which formerly required fifty + hours weekly. What if we had some sort of camper and could pull it to within striking distance of trails all over North America? We could leave the camper, take the truck to one end of the trail or the other, get a ride, and hike in between for a week or so.

Shopping for campers and never had pulled anything but utility trailers, we started looking for something we could tow with our 1988 four-cylinder Volvo because it was the more robust of our cars. In no time at all we outgrew the idea of a 2,000 pound trailer. The decision to look for high quality came in a funny way -- an RV dealer in Lexington, SC steered us away from a TAB teardrop because, he said, he could sell us two or three of these other trailers for the same price as one TAB. We looked at his back lot specials and realized a person can buy a real pos and would have to buy two or three of them to last any time at all. At the end of the decade or two you wouldn't have anything left -- these things were falling apart on the lot.

Vintage Airstreams seemed cool. We were working our fannies off and liked taking our time on the trail, not on projects. Couldn't find a Vintage anywhere around us so thought we would bop up to the nearest AS dealer, Out Of Doors Mart in Colfax, NC near Winston-Salem, and see if they had any old trade-ins. Well, like Bob Seagle said earlier in this thread (was it really two or three years ago? What an old thread!) we were hooked when we found the CCD22. Out of Doors Mart was good to us, we loved it, and sold it for a 25 when we decided to start full-timing.

Quality, craftsmanship, colors, durability, design, cool factor, and great looks. Wow!

Jim N5RTG & Deb N4RTG
WBCCI #4822 - SKP #094415
find us here
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:07 PM   #58
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Camping and seeing North America!

Hello all,

Interesting thread and great stories, folks! Lots of differences and we all wound up with 'streams. Cool.

I didn't camp as a kid, maybe once. My Dad had a dairy and always stayed home to milk the cows, 24/7, 365. But once I got to college, and the 60's were here.... I got a VW Bus! Good times. Went places, met folks, and enjoyed seeing country I had never seen before!

Through life we have had a variety of camping experiences and vehicles. Had a small motorhome for years, enjoyed it very much even though it was a white box ! Then got a teardrop. Perfect, easy to tow, fit in small places. But, where to put the kids? Did tents, wound up with a big 5th wheel. Roomy, but ugh, so much work to tow around! Had to have a big truck to pull it, didn't pass many gas stations. Kept the teardrop thru many of the years (last 27 anyway...) and decided upon retirement that would be the ticket. Easy, simple, economical. Saw a Bambi Airstream at a teardrop rally.... Bug bites hard! Wanted to camp in seasons other than summer... and longed for a bathroom where you didn't have to get dressed, find a flashlight, and head out into the dark night to trip on something!

Looked for a long time.... suddenly one day, we found her! Ours is an Ebay Bambi. She was perfect! Still is! A wonderful part of the Airstream experience is the great people we have met! It is a real bonus!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)

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Old 09-18-2007, 10:11 PM   #59
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1959 22' Flying Cloud
1972 25' Tradewind
1962 30' Sovereign
Navarre , Florida
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Lifetime Journey to Airstream

My love of Airstreams started as a child. As a family we went camping on several occasions and now and then I would see an Airstream. They were cool, and I always wondered what they looked like on the inside. For a brief period in the summer of 1973 my family stayed in a travel trailer for about 4 months while my father had training for the Air Force in California. We lived in a Kit trailer along with one dog, and 3 cats, 2 kids, and 2 adults. At the trailer park Airstreams would come through and they were so impressive. Fast forward 3 years later we were moving from Wyoming to Florida, but our home sold in 2 days so my parents bought a Barth Trailer I told them I had seen on my paper route. It was very well built and already 20 years old back then. For me as a kid, I felt pretty cool having found the trailer they bought. The reason we needed the trailer was my father was leaving ahead of us to find a new home and my mother was staying with us to complete her MBA. What started out as a short-term plan ended after 15 months of living in a 22-foot trailer while we look for then finally built a custom home. For me I bonded with the old Barth, it was really great. My mother used to go stay with my father at the Officerís Quarters while my brother and I stayed in our trailer. At the time I was 12 turning 13 my brother was about 15, we had 2 dogs, and 3 cats (along with 3 litters of kittens). We moved from that 22-foot trailer into a 3,300 square foot home, but I missed the trailer in ways. The old Barth was sold to someone else with needs of an old trailer. As I grew up I would see the Airstreams and say someday I want one of those. Fast-forward again this time almost 30 years. After having major damage from Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis, I was in a repair rebuild phase for my home. Complicate this with having an ex-wife who wanted to revisit my having full custody of our three sons because of house damage. Keep in mind after living away from the house for a year for some rebuilding we came home. Although it was not finished, it is a 3,400 square foot home with only about 900 square feet still needing work, so the 2,500 finished parts were better than staying in a 975 square foot apartment. So we moved back and were doing better, day-by-day getting more done. BAM! Well more like Knock, Knock, my ex had sent out Child protective services because she was worried about our 15, and 17 year old sons being around power tools to finish the house. To keep everyone happy I bought my 2 Airstreams for the boys to use while the house was completed. My dream of owning an Airstream had come true, but not by the means I would have hoped. As I finish up my home and plan for a future that will take me on new journeys, I am thankful to have new dreams based on my old dreams. Two sons off to college now, and my youngest is a high school senior. My youngest has informed me he plans to take the Tradewind with him when he leaves home, he told me he bonded with it, funny thing is I do understand that. Recently I have been looking for one more Airstream, knowing it will complete my collection, and allow me to leave an Airstream for each one of my sons for when I wonít be around anymore. But I figure I have at least 40 more years to make use of my Airstreams. By that time my Flying Cloud will only be 89 years old.
Watch your thoughts, they become your words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:58 AM   #60
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2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
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What a timely question! My wife and I spent three years boating on the Great Lakes. We put over 1,000 hours on our 37' Egg Harbor each summer - and we miss it a lot!!! We thought a land-yacht would help us get over it and fill the void created by selling the boat. We started looking at travel trailers several weeks ago, but wasn't happy with the "average" trailer we saw. After several weeks, we stopped by the local Airstream dealer - NOW, that's a trailer!!! We saw quality in the construction and design and knowledge on the part of the sales staff - not like most other places we went.

We have made our selection of an Airstream but when we looked at our calendars, we discovered no open week-ends until late November so we will wait until spring to make the jump to Airstream. We will tour Jackson Center in October and would LOVE to visit a Rally to meet Airstream owners. We've enjoyed reading the many threads. We look forward to RVing. So much of this country to see and we hope to see it in our new 23D Airstream starting next spring. Weekending at first and then some 2-3 week jaunts. Eventually a retirement that takes to the far reaches of the USA.

We've been to Europe 15-20 times, its time to see our own country and we'll do it in an Airstream.

See you all soon!!!
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Old 09-19-2007, 01:56 PM   #61
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1975 25' Tradewind
Post Falls , Idaho
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WOW! Loved reading everyone's stories. It all began in Huntington Beach, sleeping on an old soggy mattress with friends and family...later VW camping on Mexican beaches...

My first A/S was not love at first sight until a friend bought it. We all went camping...we in our SOB, they in what could have been our A/S. As soon as the awning went out I knew I'd been hasty. So... $$ later I talked the friends into trading. Now Brian and I are on our second Vintage...a 1975 Tradewind and we love it. We've been to only one rally and can't wait til the next weekend!
More stories please!!
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:12 PM   #62
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1953 25' Cruiser
Brandon (near reservoir) , Mississippi
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Originally Posted by davidz71
I lived in TX. when growing up, was a Boy Scout and loved to camp out. I have tent camped for 22 years while deer hunting and finally got tired of the rain blowing tent sides in, twisting poles and putting pans on the floor where the tent leaked. I was always warm in my sleeping bag but those 14-20 degree mornings were rough getting dressed for the morning hunt. I finally had enough. Some of my friends were in popups and then graduated to the hardside trailers. I bypassed the popup and bought the Airstream and have never regretted it. It is the only Airstream in the hunting camp of some 50 trailers during hunting season and does it stand out. I've always wanted an Airstream and get chills whenever I see another one on the highway.
My story is pretty much the same as yours. Boy Scouts, tents, and hunting camps. I started out at deer camp with a tent, then graduated to a back yard storage building built up on a plywood base. I then bought a 26' SOB. It had leaking problems and smelled "funky" no matter how much I cleaned. Another guy in the camp had an Argosy trailer. Even though it had sat under an oak tree for years and the white paint was green with moss on the outside, the inside was perfect. No leaks, no smell. A "perpetual trailer"!!. I sold the SOB and bought a 1963 Overlander. I restored it and even took a vacation to Branson Missouri in it. I then bought a 1953 Cruiser to restore. When my family came along, I bought a 1991 34' Excella. I owned 3 at once. (crazy ). I am now down to the 1953. My wife wants to buy a 5th wheel trailer when finances work out .
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:34 PM   #63
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Belgrade , Montana
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Smile Newbie - just applied for the loan

How did we get into Airstream? Like the original post we love camping and the kids are finally at the right age to actually enjoy it. They proved that they were ready this summer when we went camping for an entire week in my minivan and 4-runner! We ended up folding in the seats and bedding down right in the cars. We actually own a Vogue motorhome that is ready to haul to the scrap yard and the cars were better than the Vogue! After an entire week without privacy, no place to change clothes as the outhouse develops a line if you are in there too long...we started shopping for a motorhome (not into towing trailers anymore). Everything in our price range was soon to be needing siding and we just couldn't see making payments on something like that. We decided to sell two vehicles in combination with a loan for the rest and made a deal with my dad that we'd by his Airstream motorhome. My oldest is 10 and we are worried he'll only have a few "kid years" before he might decide it's not "cool" to hang out with us or maybe we'll win him over for life into camping with us!
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:34 PM   #64
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1966 17' Caravel
Fairbanks , Alaska
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Growing up, my parents sold antiques. So, I always had a special place for things that were old. I always thought "WOW" when they have driven by.
Now that my children are getting older and the sports are becoming travel events. It was time to look into something. One plays competitive soccer (they just won state!!! Hawaii here we come) and they both do freestyle wrestling. That includes about 5-6 road trips a year for us. Hotel bills in the summer here are crazy. I could have payed off a few Airstreams by now. I kept telling my husband "What are we doing?" So we began looking. After looking into a Land Yacht and being heart broken when someone outbid us. We found a Caravel in the paper a week later. First callers in the morning and it was ours. WE LOVE OUR AIRSTREAM...
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:21 PM   #65
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1975 27' Overlander
High River , Alberta
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It was during a conversation with a brother-in-law a few years ago that I realized a travel trailer made a lot of sense for family vacations - economical (once the initial cost is addressed), convenient, comfortable, flexible. I started researching, and my wife and I came to the conclusion that we could settle for something less than an Airstream, but we wouldn't be happy. For us, form follows function, and quality is something worth paying for.

The old Overlander always needs some attention, but it's a hobby, and we've gotten plenty of use out of it in the first year of ownership. We're looking forward to many trips with our sons.
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:34 PM   #66
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1974 31' Sovereign
1970 23' Safari
1956 26' Cruiser Overlander
Lambertville , Michigan
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It was all her fault...!!!! She found it and had to have it. That's about all there is to it.
Operation "Save Rudy" Strike Team (charter member)

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Old 01-28-2008, 09:08 AM   #67
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pelzer , South Carolina
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Hi, Well back in the late 50's my folks had a airstream and I was facinated with it. They later sold it and had a custom FAN trailer made. When my Dad died in 1982 I inherited the fan, never really thought of going camping, but loved it, took a year off work and traveled the USA.
Over the years we owned many trailers..from hard sided pop-ups, to a string of Cab Over campers, but always had a bug that I would like a airstream. After I retired we spent a few years as volunteers at wildlife refuges etc, one of the couples had a restored 1969 Airstream, and that go me hooked. So after hunting around for over a year I found a 1975 Soverien and I am in the process of working on it. Paid way to much, finding out all the things that can hide in them, even had a family of pack rats. But hope to have it on the road by spring, maybe not polished, but in excellant working order.
Jim in Pima Az, enjoying our 1975 31 ft Airstream Sovereign
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Old 02-01-2008, 04:27 PM   #68
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1959 24' Tradewind
BREA , California
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Well for me it started with classic cars. Ever since I was little ive gone to car shows with my dad. So it was only natural for me to end up with classic cars. First car ever was a 55 chevy truck. I have had a couple since then as well as a couple classic caddies and lincolns etc etc. Got married and my wife and i wanted to get something to camp in. So I actually was looking for tear drops or pop up trailers. Well I stumbled upon a couple ads for a 1959 airstream 24ft tradewind. Lucky for me i was the first to respond so the owners gave me dibs on it. Turns out the guy i bought it from was the son of the original owner, making us only the second family to own it. And even better yet, when i negotiated it was with the wife, not the husband. I dont think they discussed it ahead of time cuz she sold it to me for 5k!!!! The next day when i picked it up, he was P!SSED. Nonetheless, i bought it. The thing is all original, with some upgrades done by airstream throughout the years. They installed a wraparound dinette in the front and also installed a bunkbed above the double bed. At the time we were towing it behind a 74 cadillac eldorado. My wife ended up finding a 59 cadillac from a coworked that i bought immediatly. So we now have a 59 cadi to tow the 59 airstream
This is a set that i cant see myself ever parting with. I am only 27 now, and we bought these about 3 years ago. We have used the trailer 6 times or so and love it. Will never look back, and will never give up the classics.
1959 Airstream TradeWind
1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:12 AM   #69
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2008 28' Safari SE
Placitas , New Mexico
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We were all ready to buy a pop-up. We went to an RV show down in Albuquerque to look at PUs and saw the Airstreams. At that point it was all over. It had to be an Airstream or nothing at all.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:39 AM   #70
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1969 31' Sovereign
atlanta , Georgia
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I started out camping with my family on a trip to Nova Scotia in 1970 in a 1970 VW camper. I was 9 months old - so it has been a constant in my life in varying degrees for 37 years. But for as long as I can remember my Dad always commented on Airstreams when he saw them. He said alot of things, but the primary jist was his impressions of their build quality and advanced design. He was and is a "quality" obsessed person. In my 20s I did a lot of long trips (4-7 weeks) tent camping with my dog and then started my own business. Ever sisnce I began my business I've been trying to figure out a way to be able to be mobile and productive. After 10 years of design work and problem solving I figured I could resto mod and AS with some expert help. So I did. BTW - my dad will be 90 in a few weeks - he stepped inside my AS and was blown away - he was one of the first people to see it when
I was done. Cheers.

Atlanta, GA + Steamboat, CO
1969 31' Sovereign
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