Just bought my first airstream. If you continue reading you may be entertained or experience boredom.
Ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with Airstreams, they shine with such great eye appeal. Most my life I lived next to a state campgrounds which to me was just an extension of the back yard. I spent a lot of time in the campgrounds all the way up to my teenage years. Even as I grew older I was still drawn to the nostalgic looks of the Airstream; in fact, my desire to own an Airstream grew. "I am a tent camper, and I could never afford an Airstream", is how I talk myself back to reality. My wife joined me in this thing called life about 4 or 5 years ago, she is great, however, she was raised up RV camping. She does well roughing it with my old tent, but I knew that some day she would truly want to have a nice pull behind like the rest of her family. Once again, "I could never afford an Airstream", and in my world their is only two options Airstream or tent. Knowing that ultimately she would win, i started to get my ducks in a row and bought a tow vehicle, not just for the future Airstream but for towing everything and anything. Since my birthplace was just an hour from The Motorcity I did what any other wise Michigander would do and I bought a newish F250. So with the proper towing equipment to hull an Airstream with my eye somehow grew more and more keen to the shiny silver bullets, I even spotted one from a plane on a recent trip I took. I could spot one from about a quarter mile away without my glasses, and that is how it happened. With excitement I told my wife who was in the passenger seat, I see an Airstream over in the "For Sale Lot". She was unable to see it until we got within a half mile and just as I stated the For Sale lot at a nearby Army base contained a somewhat rounded two axle aluminum gem. I stopped to take a look, "I could never afford an Airstream" repeated in my head. As I approached, I first noticed the size, "not too long I thought". Then I started to read the For Sale sign, 1971 25' Tradewind. "Nice, older and mid-sized" I thought then I continued to read. I was startled when I read the price, $2000. What can't be? No it was true, this little Airstream has had a hard life, after a window was broken and the front suffered some water damage, the owner gutted it and installed new 3/4" marine grade plywood. Then the owner bought almost everything to put it back together and either lost interest or ran out of time, the same reason why I own a beautiful 1972 Triumph Bonneville. It is a different yet similar story, someone ran out of time or passion, sold it two me tore apart and I finished the puzzle. I looked at the price and read over the details with my wife who might I add seemed uninterested. I took down the number and headed over to the Commissary to take care of some shopping. The whole time I was in the store I could not get my mind off the Airstream in need of rescue less than a mile away. I told my wife I wanted to take a closer look so I called the owner who agreed to come and show it to me. After about an hour of looking it over I told the owner I wanted to think about it and talk with my wife about it. The rest of the day evening and following morning I we did research. Airforums does a great job telling first time Airstream buyers to not do exactly what we were about to do. We learned new terms like "as-found", "frame droop", "Dura-torque" and "Univolt". As my vocabulary and Airstream knowledge grew so did my desire to rescue this work of art. I contacted the owner and asked to see it again, this time I was equipped with a checklist, latter, tape measure and some work clothes, I was going under it. Everything checked out, good wheel clearance, no frame droop no major holes, belly pan intact. Frame was extra solid, probably has spent its entire life in the south. Tires less than 1500
miles on them, most everything to put it back together with some remodeling needed. Despite everything I read on websites about how people should not walk right up to an "as-found" someone else's project Airstream and try to make it their dream, we did. The seller and I came to some terms and within 24 hours I held the signed title. First order of business, inventory what is in it and what it needs. I am starting with the electrical, once it checks out with a new converter, I will figure out the plumbing. When I have an idea of how it is plumbed my wife can begin the interior design. We are now happy Airstream owners, and as you might imagine, I am new to this site. Thanks for reading, comments welcomed