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Old 04-12-2016, 10:00 PM   #1
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Rental Inquiry - Try Out Airstream

My husband's 60th birthday is this July 4th. We have been considering a retirement that includes an Airstream, so I'd like to plan a vacation to celebrate his birthday and also test-drive an Airstream. We live in NJ and are planning a retirement further south, along the east coast, so we'd like to explore the coast south of NJ on this trip. Our dates are somewhat flexible; thinking of no more than one week. I recognize that there is concern for renters who are respectful of property -- we are owners of a shore house that we have rented out on very few occasions, and we're also renters at my university's property, and come with stellar recommendations. We are raising a very well behaved puppy for The Seeing Eye and will need to bring him.

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Old 04-12-2016, 10:10 PM   #2
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You should search for this subject. You will quickly learn obstacles to overcome.

Do you have towing experience? Do you have a properly equipped tow vehicle?

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Old 04-12-2016, 10:55 PM   #3
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If you search under Airstream rental, you will find companies that rent Airstreams of various sizes complete with tow vehicles. Kind of pricey, but if the experience convinces you that you really do (or don't) want to get into Airstreaming, I think it would be worth it. Even more than whether you do or whether you don't, it can be expensive to buy an Airstream only to find out you should have bought a larger one (in most cases) or a smaller one.

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Old 04-13-2016, 09:53 AM   #4
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A poor camping/traveling experience in an expensive Airstream rental is MUCH BETTER than a poor camping/traveling experience in an expensive Airstream you have already purchased.

Better to RENT an Airstream before purchasing an Airstream to find out if the Airstream lifestyle fits your retirement plans if you are unsure or newer to the RV lifestyle!

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Old 04-13-2016, 10:24 AM   #5
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One possible option


I don't know anything about these folks, but they ARE on the East Coast, which might be helpful to you.

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Old 04-13-2016, 10:43 AM   #6
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Cool Rentals

I do believe your will have to go commercial rental to find one available to rent for a camping experience. We were tent campers before buying our first (and so far only) Airstream.
One of the things we are absolutely certain of, is no one but us uses our baby. It is just the way things are. If you had a relative that had one, you might (but it would be unlikely) have a chance of using it for a weekend. They become much more than a piece of property. I rented our home, let people stay in our home to sit it while we travel, but no one but us gets to use the Airstream and break things in it. That privilage is reserved to us. Most (I would guess 90% plus) owners feel the same way.
Your only chance of renting one is going to be commercial, unless you find someone "retiring" from Airstreaming, who would maybe let you try it as a condition of buying, but that is not likely.
We love ours, highly recommend the experience, and love the people we have met through the club and Airstreams. They are special vehicles.
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:50 AM   #7
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Some places rent and deliver Airstreams. I go to a camping party every September where the local dealer delivers and sets up the Airstream.

It takes a while to really enjoy the Airstream experience. There's a learning curve if you've never trailer camped and so a week may not give you what your looking for.
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Old 04-13-2016, 01:21 PM   #8
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KOA Oceanside in Bar Harbor ME has 8 Airstreams they rent out like a rental cabin. Can't tow it but could be fun. We did it before we purchased an Airstream and it put us over the edge

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Old 04-13-2016, 03:53 PM   #9
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Assateague Island State Park Airstream Rental in Maryland, Berlin, has an Airstream trailer that they rent out and bring to the campground.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by asugerma View Post
My husband's 60th birthday is this July 4th. We have been considering a retirement that includes an Airstream, so I'd like to plan a vacation to celebrate his birthday and also test-drive an Airstream. We live in NJ and are planning a retirement further south, along the east coast, so we'd like to explore the coast south of NJ on this trip. .
It sounds like a good idea doesn't it? Rent one first before you buy? I would throw out a word of caution on this...

I bought a used (2004) 22 foot Safari and have used it some over the last two years but I am still working 40 hour weeks, so maybe not as much as I hoped.

I have used it twice for 10 day 'dry camping' visits to the Okie-Tex Star Party in 2014 and 2015. Both were enjoyable events, and my wife and I had planned for some water conservation and had the trailer in a single location for 10 days each time. The main event, of course, was to start at dark and stay up until 3:00 AM or so each night, then grab some sleep until noon and prepare a viewing list for the next night. POINT IS -I liked stargazing and my wife liked to read. Fun! Much better than tenting which was the only other real option since Star Parties are held in dark areas and dark areas are far from cities. Dark areas also have limited lodging like this one with two B&B's for 500 registered attendees! Lodging options have been booked for the event for years and are booked up forever!

We have also attended a few WBCCI Rallies, and they tend to be shorter (a few days) and the effort to pack, load, camp, unload and unpack seems hardly worth it sometimes. Getting to know people and getting to see the people you have met is nice, but somehow when the dust clears I am not sure that I would buy the unit for the "short camping" experience.

I often had said that I didn't think a trailer (or Class C) was worth the money and cited all the folks I have known who paid top dollar, hardly used their rigs, and then sold them and lost lots of money. I figured I could stay in a 4 star lodge or hotel for the cost of gas to tow one of these things around. It seemed the only way you 'won' economically was to go somewhere and stay in one place a long time, or if you parked it semi-permanently on a lake or river lot as a cabin 'stand-in'.

I now own an Airsteam, and am surprised to have purchased one. My reasoning was simple. I developed a keen interest in two hobbies that take me where there is no 4 star hotel... and often not even a B & B. Metal detecting and stargazing focus on ghost towns and out of the way dark sky places where tenting is the only other option. When I was 22 I backpacked all over Colorado. Forty plus years later backpacking has lost some of its charm, and a queen bed with a 3 inch space age foam topper is much more alluring. I started looking at pop-ups, but many were so tall that I figured if I would tow something big, why not go all the way?

How does all of this relate to the original post?

Depending on the individual, it may be you rent for a week and hustle through some whirlwind experience and draw the conclusion that you don't like it... too much work for the enjoyment.

This could be the wrong conclusion, since longer more leisurely stays might be fabulous but you didn't build your trial case that way.

For me, the Airstream has to be a means to an end and obviously not an end in itself. For others, maybe not. In any case if you rent a unit and do a 'short' trip, you need to establish ahead of time what it is you expect to get out of your experience; then measure success or failure based on your pre-established criteria.

I am just saying that a short trip might not be optimal if you are trying to relax and lay back; and it might be more effort that it is worth if you are expecting a "Wow" experience but park along the freeway and dislike the sound of semi-trucks. Tying the experience into things you like to see or do is more likely to give you a true measure of your "Satisfaction".
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:28 PM   #11
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Old 04-13-2016, 08:45 PM   #12
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Rental Inquiry - Try Out Airstream

I have a German cousin that rented from Airstreams2Go for two months. On their way back across the US they stopped at Jackson Center and ordered a new Euro spec Airstream for delivery to Germany. They have had their trailer for a few months now and have even been to a couple of club rallies. The Euro WBCCI is very active and has had several rally's with more planed.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:08 PM   #13
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I agree with Silver that all satisfied Airstream owners probably have their own unique reasons for traveling with an Airstream rather than using commercial lodging and restaurants. In a side by side economic comparison, I'm sure the commercial accommodations would win. In my case, I like traveling with my dog. In my wife's case, she really doesn't enjoy staying in commercial lodging and eating in restaurants. For some, it is the camaraderie of being with groups of like minded people. For others, the places they want to go to don't have convenient commercial accommodations nearby. Some like having more stuff with them than they could carry in a car. I'm sure there are lots more reasons than these. But I'll bet there aren't too many people who hang on to an Airstream for very long unless there is some particular reason why an Airstream works out better for them than the alternatives, because it is more expensive than commercial accommodations, it's not as luxurious for the amount you pay, it takes a lot of effort and time to get there and get set up, and there's always maintenance and the risk of expensive repairs.

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