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Old 11-08-2014, 08:25 AM   #29
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2014 27' FB International
Western WA , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2,200
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After a couple of years with an RV (first a B+ MoHo and then our AS), I'd suggest not getting into it to "save money." Get into it because you love the experience. Maybe you've rented a couple of RVs and had an incredible time. Maybe you've camped with friends who have one and noticed how much more fun it is to camp in comfort.

However, if my primary justification for getting into *any* RV had been to save money, I would thus far have been (1) greatly disappointed and (2) missing the whole point. Instead, I'm (1) happy and (2) enjoying every minute in our RV, even though we don't get as many of those minutes as we would like.

So, whenever someone approached me to ask whether I was saving money this way, which happened when we were driving our B+ MoHo, my answer was, "Absolutely not, but we're having a wonderful time!"

With the AS I never get the saving money question...I get a different one... "Wow, what a beautiful trailer, do they still make those and how much did it cost?"

Then I throw them off their "wow, he must be rich" assumption by telling them they get to decide how much to spend on an AS and how much work they're willing to do to make it theirs, because AS has been building trailers continuously for 80 years and still makes them today. Then I suggest they visit to begin their research.

Rocinante is our 2014 International Signature 27FB
(Named for John Steinbeck's camper from "Travels With Charley")

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Old 11-08-2014, 08:32 AM   #30
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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I think one thing I overlooked when joining the Airstream community 10 years ago was the adjustment needed in driving habits while towing. I was nervous at first. I had lots of concerns about getting in and out of that gas station, backing into a campsite between the trees and rocks, taking a wrong exit in a city, trailer sway, wear and tear on the tow vehicle, and forgetting to dead bolt the trailer door. I'm still very cautious in tight curvy mountain driving.

It was mentioned earlier about the excitement of forgetting the hitch pin. My son had a trailer rental yard drop a 2 5/16 coupler on his 2" ball with very exciting results at 60mph. Safety chains work! It's easy to make a human error in conventional towing.

I'm now comfortable hooking up and towing, but it took me a while. I just didn't have much experience with it. Newbies need to practice conventional towing in my view.

Conventional trailer towing is probably the most difficult method of RVing. Fivers and motorhomes are easier to maneuver, which is a selling point.

The challenges of towing a conventional trailer is maybe one thing people overlook in the showroom.


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Old 11-08-2014, 09:43 AM   #31
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2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I'm now comfortable hooking up and towing, but it took me a while. I just didn't have much experience with it. Newbies need to practice conventional towing in my view.
Shopping mall parking lots early in the morning before any of the stores open are a great place to practice towing.
WBCCI #1105

Engineering: Finding complex solutions to simple problems you didn't even know you had.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:51 AM   #32
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Chelsea , Michigan
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Shopping mall parking lots early in the morning before any of the stores open are a great place to practice towing.
When we first got the Airstream, I spent four hours practicing in a high school parking lot on a Sunday morning and it was time very well spent! I was able to get a very good sense of the dynamics of backing up with no pressure and no obstructions that I could hit. I never realized what a challenge it would be to simply back up in a straight line, much less getting the trailer to turn where I wanted it to go! After having backed into dozens and dozens of campsites since, I'm still far from an expert but I am not nervous.
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WBCCI# 5766
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:58 AM   #33
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Obrien , Florida
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After years of the boat ramp, the camper was no trouble at all...

-Red, practicing backing whilst also fishing....
Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:23 PM   #34
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
...if my primary justification for getting into *any* RV had been to save money, I would thus far have been (1) greatly disappointed and (2) missing the whole point. Instead, I'm (1) happy and (2) enjoying every minute...
Exact A Mundo.

We're talking about leisure here. Expendable income, "frivolously" spent.

As a lifetime boater, I know: There's no good reason to buy a boat. And yet, as soon as the economy starts to pick up, folks are always ready to throw their money away on a boat. Or an Airstream. Because they can. Because they want to.

Buying the AS and the Tundra took a sizable chunk out of our retirement funds, but how much would we have spent on a cabin on the Oregon Coast, or in the San Juan Islands? More, just for the down payment! And then, we'd be stuck going to the same place time after time, working on the place, paying property taxes, blah blah. Are we saving money by towing our house behind our humongous truck? I actually have no idea. Who cares?

And how much we spend a day when we travel is just so variable. When I was motorcycle touring, I'd spend $25 a day on fuel, and $100 a night for a motel. A friend would spend $100 a day on fuel and $25 a night to park her RV.

I started towing a sailboat with a '65 Chevy van right after college, and spent a couple of years towing a '71 18ft Caravel about 25K miles - once around the planet - when I sold my business back in the 90's. So I'm no newcomer to the realities of towing. It's all new to my wife, and she's lovin' it! We depart for the SW in early February and will live in our 27FB until late April, then home to watch the garden come to life, then off again in June for the WBCCI rally in Farmington, NM - full timing again for about a month - then home briefly, then off on our boat in the San Juans for about a month or six weeks of living aboard. That takes us through Labor Day. We're already starting to plan for 2016! We'll probably head for the SW a month earlier then.

We're retired. We worked hard and lived beneath our means and built our savings. Now we can afford to do what we want, and we're doin' it!
Like the tortoise, travelin' slow with the house on our back
2012 FC27FB "Ted Zeppelin"
2010 Tundra Crewmax Platinum "Silver Rhino"
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:16 PM   #35
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2014 19' Flying Cloud
Eugene , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2014
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What I wish I knew 5 years ago

One issue we face is that we like to travel to some fairly "high-end," locations. For example, Carmel-Monterey, CA, where condo-cottage costs are between $160-250-plus per night, or Sisters, OR, where condos-cabins are about the same. Campsites run $35-70 per night for full hook-ups. We went to both of these favorite locations twice each last year, for a total of 30-days each. We also took similar area trips for 5-7 days each.

Being conservative, I figure that we pay about $1,300 less in cash for the 2-week trips and $700-average less for the shorter ones, post-AS purchase. Rough calculations put us at $4,000 under what we would normally spend without the AS, per year. Note: we always try to cook our own meals, wherever we stay, except a couple of special lunches or breakfast each week or trip. Also, we never stay in a cheap motel, or one with no kitchen, when traveling by air or car, non-AS.

We calculate that the AS, if kept for at least 10-years and we travel as seldom as we do, we are spending about $2,000 in today's dollars more by using it rather than staying in rented properties. That's amortizing the FC-19 AS over 10-years, not accounting for resale value. And, including adding 30% to the gasoline bills and the $900 RV storage costs. If we travel more often, the numbers should get better.

This is a good exercise ... It forced me to do some actual thinking, even in retirement!

While on the road we are not spending as much to keep our home livable, which I have not calculated in, here.
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Old 11-30-2014, 05:58 AM   #36

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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Question Knowing...

Is habit memory?, if so I’m good.

I know what I now know now but I can’t remember whether I knew it five years ago or not.

“Education is what other people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself”


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