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Old 08-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #85
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I grew up in Oregon and our family tent camping trips always seemed to end early due to rain. When my then boyfriend, now husband, and I moved to California it was our great escape to go tent camping -- but after too many years of sleeping on the ground - then later air mattress - I longed for a funky, small trailer. I remembered going to the Spokane, WA World's Fair (was that 1972?) with my cousin and aunt/uncle and everywhere along the way we'd point out those "silver bullet" trailers, I was 10 and fascinated. In 2000 we bought our first trailer, a 1972 12' Scotsman - and while we loved her bed and dinette, it had neither a bathroom nor refrig. and over the last few years we began to justify the "move up" -- there was not doubt we wanted a silver bullet of our own! I love the vintage units but we're not really "fixer-uppers" and bought our 2008 Safari Sport this spring. I still can't believe she's ours!
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Old 10-09-2008, 09:55 AM   #86
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Great Thread

I stumbled on this thread and have really enjoyed reading it - it's fascinating how so many diverse people came to the same place - more or less.
I camped as a kid and have always loved the outdoors and love to travel.
In a former life (marriage) I spent a lot of time on sail boats - mostly 40' more or less and made many trips as delivery crew and sometimes skipper from the Caribbean to New England both offshore and on the Inter Coastal Waterway - as well as a winter in Spain on a boat that we brought back to the US. The thing I loved about it was that when you got where you were going you had your home with you.

Recently I decided that I wanted to retire and see all the places in the US that appeal to me - the Southwest - particularly the Four Corners Area, the Grand Tetons and just about everything in between. I spent several years traveling for work and hotels and restaurants have no appeal for me on a regular basis - and I hate the schlepping, packing, unpacking and loathe airline travel. I hate being herded around like sheep and packed in like a sardine.

So I decided to get an RV - sell my house and travel full-time. I want to be able to stay as long as I want when I love a place and move on when it appeals to me.

I started looking at MH's and they are all so big and - pardon my snobbery - ugly. My sailing experience taught me about "windage" and I just didn't want to be driving one of those huge "refrigerators on it's side" in the wind. I started looking at class B's and thought the Roadtrek would suit me. I liked the mileage estimates. I went to look at some and realized they were way too small - there wasn't room for my Black Lab to lie down. I then began looking at Class C's and went to a local dealer to check out used ones. They were awful. Too big, too expensive, and the decor was so not me, too over the top pretentious. I thought I would have to dye my hair purple or go into business as a bordello if I lived in something like that. I looked at new ones and didn't like them any better. The in your face busyness of the upholstery and all the walls that looked like they were covered in contact paper or formica turned me off. I was looking for a home, a place I could relax and be calm, not something that was going to annoy me with it's ugliness every day. One dealer had Airstreams and I poked my head in a 25' Safari out of curiosity and was instantly smitten. I checked out everything they had and went back the next week and looked some more. None of them were quite THE A/S for me, but I knew wanted an Airstream. I liked the classy good looks, the low key decor, and most of all the superior quality. After lots of research on the web nd lots of reading on this forum I found a Safari with the layout and length that I thought would work and then I found a couple of them for sale. I went to a dealer who had the one I thought I liked to check it out and I ended up buying her - all sooner than I expected.

I named her The Silver Schooner - a nod to my sailing days and in anticipation of crossing the prairies going west. Now I'm learning about her and figuring out what I really need to take and what I need to give up. In a year or maybe less we'll be sailing about the country.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:13 PM   #87
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Can't remember when we didn't camp, tents all the way.

But it was the dog who made us do the Airstream thing. He just wouldn't put up with a tent at the Dog Show. After all, what would the Poodles think?

Haven't looked back since, come 'ta think forward either.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:38 PM   #88
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Yep! We Love 'Em!

Murray grew up camping. He and his family would hitch up their pop up trailer and camp on their land in northern Arizona.

Gemma's a city girl and never went camping but loved the idea of it. (She also likes Manolos-quite the dichotomy!)

When we met each other we'd go hiking and backpacking. We'd pitch our North Face tent after a couple of hours of hiking and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

Then we learned about Burning Man and Burn Stream Court, a theme camp made up of Airstreams! What an art and music festival that celebrates creativity and individualism, yet encourages community, and operates on a gift economy, in the desert and a camp made up of shiny, silver twinkies? How awesome! We so wanted to go! We've always admired the shiny silver twinkies when we saw them down the road.

We searched determindly for an Airstream in time to participate at Burning Man. (Did we mention Gemma's a city girl? She likes showers and toilets that flush.) We found Sweetpea I near Seattle and picked her up the first weekend of August 2006. We left for Black Rock City the third week of August. We didn't have a clue about any of the systems but the folks at Burn Stream Court were so helpful and kind.

We've brought Sweetpea I to Burning Man every year since and have brought home two new friends for her, our 1961 Bambi and our 1962 Safari.

Can you tell we like aluminum?
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:39 PM   #89
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On property I owned in Quebec, on the ocean near Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island I built and operated for 14 years a classy small campground (www.gaspecamping.com) And in those years saw the lumbering 5th wheels come into fashion with underpowered trucks, the huge ...sometimes double-decker MHs..and all the other ego types of travel units. I decided I wanted none of them and found out about vintage Argosy's. After four months of looking for the right one at the right price I found one up in the Poconos of PA. It is a wonderful unit, needing very little repair and is just what I want. Yes, I am sure some of the "big guys" turn their noses up at my little 20footer, but I am truly happy with it. That is why I went with this unit!! And, if it sits it will not lose value like all those other big things.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:52 PM   #90
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Cart Before The Horse!

We forgot to mention that we bought the trailer before we had a tow vehicle. In no way do we suggest and/or endorse this sequence!

No worries, it all works out.

Happy and safe travels,
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:04 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campman View Post
On property I owned in Quebec, on the ocean near Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island I built and operated for 14 years a classy small campground (www.gaspecamping.com) And in those years saw the lumbering 5th wheels come into fashion with underpowered trucks, the huge ...sometimes double-decker MHs..and all the other ego types of travel units. I decided I wanted none of them and found out about vintage Argosy's. After four months of looking for the right one at the right price I found one up in the Poconos of PA. It is a wonderful unit, needing very little repair and is just what I want. Yes, I am sure some of the "big guys" turn their noses up at my little 20footer, but I am truly happy with it. That is why I went with this unit!! And, if it sits it will not lose value like all those other big things.
I'll have to bookmark your (former) campground for a future visit!

As for how I got into Airstreaming - it was simple. I wanted to camp, so I bought a big tent. Used it for one weekend, and decided I wanted something a wee bit bigger. Talked about either a cottage or an Airstream, and thought the Airstream would definitely give us some neat adventures.

Plus, it was interesting to hear my mother describe Airstream caravans that would rumble through her town when she was a girl in Grand Falls, NB. She said all the kids in town would rush to watch the parade of shiny silver trailers come through - very exciting and heady stuff for kids back then I'd imagine.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:07 PM   #92
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My wife bought our first, a 19' Bambi as a present for my 50th birthday. Best present I have ever gotten.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:32 AM   #93
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Dan & Sherry: My former campground is north of the congested little tourist town of Perce by 15 minutes....quiet and scenic. It was chosen as the local stop for the 50th Anniversary Wally Byam Tour. We had 35 units each time for three days with three sets using the campground; they really packed them in, as we are small. It was a lot of fun.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #94
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Not only did my family not camp, but my father didn't even take a vacation until I was about 10. One summer when I was around 4 my mother, her mother, a couple of her sisters and I went to a place in the Catskills called Big Indian for a few weeks. I had never seen mountains or so many trees before. We stayed in some rustic cabins. I think that's when I got my desire to go to remote places into mountains with pine trees.

When my mother shamed my father into taking a vacation around 1950, we traveled by car and stayed at motels and until I went to college, we traveled around the country that way. When I was in my mid-30's, a girlfriend was determined to turn me into a camping and hiking fan. It worked and over the next 15 years I backpacked into many remote and wonderful places, but aging knees (no doubt skiing had a lot to do with it) put an end to that. I really miss being able to hike into remote and special areas in the Colorado mountains. Barb and I found when we met in 1986 we shared the desire to backpack and that help us bond early in our relationship. We used an old Microbus a couple of times; I had gotten it in a trade. On our honeymoon in 1986 we backpacked into The Maze at Canyonlands NP.

As my knees couldn't take the stress of backpacking much longer, truck camping became what we did. We'd find 4WD roads and go to those remote areas. Over the years, the ground got harder. Long ago I could just throw a sleeping bag on the ground and be fine; then came the Thermarest, then the air mattress. Camping got less desirable. When we retired in 2000, we started taking long road trips—New England for tree peeping, Florida to see relatives, California and NW coast. Before our long anticipated Alaska trip in 2002, Barb suggested we had to find a better way than motels and bad restaurants. We always brought a lot of food with us so we could eat healthy and well. Carting a big cooler in and out of motels, boxes of food and utensils and the rest, was getting old.

I didn't want a Moho of any size and have to tow a vehicle behind it. I didn't want to tow a trailer, though at least I would have my tow vehicle to explore or just go to the supermarket. I thought popups were a really bad compromise. Conversion vans seemed much too small and expensive—given the reliability reputation of the manufacturers generally providing the basic truck chassis, I didn't want that either. That left truck campers. We went to a new company with people with a good reputation that made campers that fit our 2002 Tundra. We bought the high end model and waited and waited and waited for them to build it. Months late, we drove to the Front Range to pick it up—it still wasn't ready for a couple of days and when we finally went to pick it up, it was leaking water. They said they fixed it and we took it back to the Western Slope. We tried it out on several short camping trips so we would be ready for Alaska. Many, many things didn't work and I had to fix them when I could. It started leaking water again. The air bags they had installed were installed incorrectly and one blew out; I had to fix that. We didn't trust this thing even if they fixed everything. We returned it though the conversations over that were pretty tense. We went back to motels, cabins and a few tenting times on our trip to Alaska.

It took 5 years before I would take a chance on an RV again. To be honest, my image of RV campgrounds was not good and I didn't like trying to pass them on the highway. Between the camper experience and my prejudices, I was traumatized. But Barb had been quietly looking at Airstreams on her computer and finally admitted her secret vice. When I saw the prices, my eyes bugged out. But I agreed to go look at them—I thought the design to be excellent both aerodynamically and aesthetically. We both like Art Deco anyway. I started reading stuff on the Forum and printed out the company brochures. I was getting sucked in fast, but was going to be strong and refuse to spend that much money. Barb knows how to work me into something and I didn't know the force of aluminitis. Besides, I was even sicker of chain motels, bad restaurants, uncomfortable beds, and carrying all our stuff in and out of rooms everyday. From when Barb admitted to her secret vice to picking up our Safari took about 2 months. I went down fast.

I still miss the wilderness, but I don't miss the hard ground. I prefer getting out of bed to walk a few feet to a bathroom to getting out of the tent, sometimes in the rain, and going in the bushes (or digging a hole, or packing it out). It still feels somewhat decadent—camping with an HDTV? We're still figuring this out. Because there are fewer campgrounds than motels, sometimes where we can stay is limited. Shoulder seasons can mean even fewer campgrounds open. Driving in winter has issues. Because towing in certain places is difficult, there's a certain loss of spontaneity, but I'm figuring out where I can find places to park the rig in towns and cities and go to that weird museum or that special restaurant we find out about in midday. Parking in shopping center lots is also a learned experience and taking 10 spaces feels better all the time. Maneuvering through those strange road "systems" in those lots takes some experience also, but I've noticed people in their little cars are generally afraid of this big truck and trailer coming at them with an old guy taking the whole road.

"It's been a long strange trip" and I wonder where it leads. I certainly never thought I'd own an Airstream, but it's right outside.

Gene
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:33 PM   #95
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I like many have been an avid hiker and tent camper in my youth. I also tent camped out of the cap of a pickup truck with my mom and dad for family vacations (these are fondly recalled as the vacations from H#*&). I am by no stretch of the imagination "old", but I am at a point in my life where I want all the amenities of home when I go camping. Plus when our daughter got married we were sure we would be grand parents in short order (we were not disappointed and were blessed with a grandson on 10/16/07). In preparation for the eventual arrival of a grandchild we purchased an S.O.B. from a large volume dealer. The price on the trailer was great, but as we soon learned the service was a nightmare. The slide leaked immediately and ruined the compressed cardboard "wood" surrounding the refrigerator. It was back to the dealer twice and still leaked, so surreptitiously I started looking at and researching Airstreams on the Internet. I finally broached the subject of Airstreams with my wife and much to my surprise she was very receptive (mostly because she got physically ill anytime we had dealings with the S.O.B. dealer). In a week we had our first Airstream. Within a year we had a permanent lease at the Penn Wood Airstream Park. The next year we had Airstream number two. And now I am looking for Airstream number three for my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, because they are planning on another child and there just isnít enough room for four adults, two grand children and all their accouterments, our beagle, and their pug!

It has been a lot of fun and we are looking forward to many years of pleasure and enjoyment with out Airstreams and extended Airstream family.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:36 PM   #96
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We no longer camp, we live on the road!

My wife has been the best sport! Without a complaint she has endured:
1. Sleeping bags in the back of an open Toyota pickup
2. Then a camper shell for the same.
3. Then a 67 VW Westy, her commuter for awhile. It had to go when we moved out of town. Too much whipsaw from the big rigs. Not to mention, it would be nice to be able to cook.
4. It took a few years but we justified a trailer when we needed accommodations while working the safety crew for the NASCAR event at Sears Point. A 19' Aerolite that I pulled with an ex-CHP Crown Vic. Until it scattered an engine but that's another story.
Then..... time for an upgrade. More room, queen bed and I wanted something modern looking, something finished looking more like an aircraft interior and a lot less like a living room on wheels. After a lot of web surfing and dealer visits only one fit the bill...28' International CCD. Perfect. It helps that she is an IKEA fan. My son took one look at it and said "That's on sweet lovin' oven". The name has stuck.
So, now we "live on the road" every chance we get.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:24 AM   #97
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We camped as kids, with Scouts and family, then did the tent camping thing as our youngsters were growing up. As we approached retirement, sleeping on the ground at 50 something was simply not an option. We became Airstreamers quite by accident. Always wanting a small Class B and no-tow, our focus was on the long-standing competitors (they shall remain referenced, only). When we happened across our Interstate, it was love at first sight and no turning back. Nearly 2 years and 41,000 miles later, not a moment of regret. Our beautiful, well-appointed, diesel-powered little-bitty is perfect for us, we go anywhere and do anything, alternating 8-10 weeks at a time on the road with a few weeks at a time at home. It's a good life.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:03 AM   #98
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Why I got into it

10 yrs. ago, I met my wife at a seedy bar on my birthday, by falling flat on my face in front of her. This clever move resulted in us being married a short 3 years later. Thus, a honeymoon would need to be planned. She liked to go caving, so I bought a small rv, and we went to Carlsbad with the intention of lurking in various caves for a week or so. It was, I must say, a truly horrible experience. The trailer was too small, too hot, and too poorly constructed ( I must have broken half the plastic fixtures almost instantly). Shortly thereafter, I sold the trailer with a sigh of relief, and forgot about it. Years later, I bought a bunch of land in Colorado to hunt/fish/behave poorly on. My wife spent one night in a tent there, and said, "No. Just...no". So, once again I was lead inevitably to the idea of rving. But this time, I would do it right. Luxury! Space to roam! Working terlits (hillbilly for "toilet")! Clearly, only an airstream would do. After many weary hours of searching, I finally stumbled upon an '05 30' bunkhouse. "I love it!", opined the wife. So I bought it. The rest is history.
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