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Old 02-12-2016, 08:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
-Concern that the aluminum skin can be dinged, scratched or clad in mud, dust, dirt, grit or cow paddy fenders.
As far as I'm concerned, that's an indication that an Airstream is MORE durable than the competition, not less. A mishap that puts a dent or crease into an Airstream will fracture fiberglass, leaving a great gaping hole that brings a quick end to the trip.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:18 AM   #16
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Could not agree more with Ray's post - HOWEVER, having spent some time "camping" in the service, canoe and tent camping with my wife as far north as the artic circle so on and so forth. We are not "afraid" or concerned our AS can't do it, we simply do not want to do it. We purchased our AS to use as a six month motel room and love it for what it does for us. I traveled almost every day of the week in my employment and hotels became my second home(s). Lifetime Marriott Platinum - thousands of nights and just did not want to do that again for six months or so. Therefore, Rvs.

So, to those who love boondocking I salute you and love reading your tails for those who love and enjoy "glamping" I equally enjoy reading your reports. Airstreams are what we make of them, despite their idiosyncrasies and parts that are not up to our standards we thoroughly enjoy and appreciate ours'. We are very grateful for each day.

Enjoy

Bud
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:35 AM   #17
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I may need a shorter AS!...hmmmm
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:40 AM   #18
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"There is a shortage of instructors for Boondocking. Not a shortage of those who have the skills, but it is difficult for many to describe HOW to Boondock, camp Off the Grid and Base Camp. You must do it to learn how. This is why the Airforum is an asset to new travel trailer owners and those ready to progress into a different kind of experience."

This is absolutely true.

There is no reason not to boondock, dry camp, etc., if you want to, but it is a spread-your-wings, leap of faith kind of thing.

Knowing you can really expands the possibilities of travel.


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Old 02-12-2016, 09:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
As far as I'm concerned, that's an indication that an Airstream is MORE durable than the competition, not less. A mishap that puts a dent or crease into an Airstream will fracture fiberglass, leaving a great gaping hole that brings a quick end to the trip.
When someone asks why an Airstream vs a fiberglass trailer, I often tell them I can demonstrate whose RV is more durable with a claw hammer

Dents vs hole.

When full timing you can live with a dent, a hole maybe not so much.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:11 AM   #20
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Every ding in my front fender guards... is one heart beat not wasted sitting on my, whatever, at home watching television.

Every light scratch on the "right side" of my trailer will improve my judgment of where I am centered upon a narrow road.

Every pound of mud removed from the Airstream is the pride of doing what few have accomplished.

Every morning when I look into a blue sky and the brilliant sunrise removing the coolness of the mountain's drop of temperature... is another day's payment for the work and savings to afford such a wonderful travel trailer.

Every other tent camper, back packer or trailer owner camped in the desert, along a desert pullout or among the trees of a national forest... are my friend and welcome.

Every time I have someone tell me that I cannot do this or that... you have misused much of your youth and life shorting yourself, among others, of all of those things myself and others find in our life's curiosity of what is beyond our view of the horizon.

Through my wanderings to places that are beyond the comprehension of many, I stake my claim to what my vehicle or my trailer may not go... my legs will complete my mission. Age might prevent me from repelling into another adventure, but I can watch those younger and less cautious to do so. It is not my place to pull the reins on the enthusiasm of youth, or the vestiges of what youth I may still possess. If I cannot do what I had in the past... I now recognize that. It is left to others who can and who am I to be the Judge and Jury?

If you have been passive your entire life, that is a choice and a personal decision. If I drag my trailer's rear bumper, it was not a choice or personal decision but an error of judgment. I can correct for an error of judgment. I cannot help anyone who made the decision that they are unable, incapable or lack the motivation to reach for the stars and settle for reading a newspaper.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
...So, to those who love boondocking I salute you and love reading your tails for those who love and enjoy "glamping" I equally enjoy reading your reports. Airstreams are what we make of them, despite their idiosyncrasies and parts that are not up to our standards we thoroughly enjoy and appreciate ours'. We are very grateful for each day.

Enjoy

Bud
Well said Bud! Boondocker here because I enjoy the solitude but I sure enjoy reading about what everyone is doing.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:07 PM   #22
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Ray
After reading your post see if you might agree with what I'm thinking: There may be two kindsa campers amongst us. Those of us who came up backpacking and tent camping and, who by good fortune and blessings, can now afford an AS who they will (at least try to) take into the back country like they are accustomed with their tents/VW buses (that would be me). Then there might be those who, by similar good fortune and blessings, decide later in life to see what all the AS mystique is all about. Given their older age and different camping upbringing, they might be a lot more comfy in trailer parks and on paved roads. So there may be two basically different kindsa folks.
One more observation re PKI's point re the paucity of AS on the roads. It always amazes me during my 2-3 trips across the country each year (Hailey, ID to Gainesville, FL) how few AS I see...its remarkable. I bet I don't see more than 6-8 on each 2,500 mile leg. Always amazes me. In any case, safe travels. jon
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:14 PM   #23
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Wonderful Post

Wonderful post and thread! I'd love to have this shared with others. Are you reading this Blue Beret and Airstream Life?
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:29 PM   #24
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Wondering how many of the back-of-beyonders grew up with actual camping, whether with family, a rustic summer camp for kids, scouts, or back-packing. Learning how to make a wood fire and cook on it, backcountry hiking or paddling, and enjoying the Great Outdoors.

It's not their fault, but I think that many of today's RVers grew up with a far more urban life experience. They don't want the bugs & dirt, but a substitute summer cabin. (OK, we'll skip the bugs when possible, but accept them as part of camping.) So many RVers don't seem to mind the packed-in RV parks so long as they have television.

We don't want to ding up Bambi II, but by dint of scouting out areas in advance, we've found some great places for more primitive and scenic camping experiences-- just the way we like them.
I've been camping since I was a little Girl Scout. I was a Girl Scout Leader for 10 years and held a few Unit positions as well. I was a Leader in Cub and Boy Scouts for over 20 years, (3 sons kept me in longer), and a BS camp commissioner and outpost director as well. I backpack and fish and hike and bike. I use to climb rock, but I have too many injuries now. I remember when I said I would never RV, lolz. The Airstream was the retirement plan of my baby. Do the outdoors all over the states with the AS as home base.

p.s. The Boy Scouts use to call me the Bug and Spider capture and relocation leader. If there was a bug or spider in their tent I would walk in, gently grab it up bare handed, and relocate it outside after giving everyone a chance to see it up close. When I worked summer camps I was often asked to retrieve bugs for terrariums, part of a badge.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:35 PM   #25
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BOOmerang has a point. Some of us were brought up... camping.

My life began in the back forests of Montana. Had it been a trailer, it would have had more amenities that just some windows, a wood burning stove and a door.

My parents could not set up a tent. My mother was a WW2 War Bride from the Netherlands and thought the United States was like the movies she saw with Fred Astraire and Ginger Rogers. Dancing with fancy gowns and living in a Manhattan apartment. And... was she surprised when along the northwest shore of the Flathead Lake were Indians in their summer teepees in the 1940's. Living like the Beverley Hillbillies was the America she discovered. She was terrified, as the Cowboy and Indian westerns were also a European's America.

I built my first tent out of clear heavy plastic in the Canal Zone in 1958. I set up wood cartons to store collected insects and butterflies. It was a "green house" and unusable during the day. But I learned.

Trailer camping was never a thought, until I wanted to be able to stay a week or more collecting fossils on western ranches and rocks & minerals in areas that required more water and provisions I could carry in a vehicle. It was not by choice, but by NEED.

An Airstream provided what I needed and had a resale market that other trailers could not provide. The depreciation of an Airstream is slower and flattens out at about 8 years old and beyond. Actually increasing. A win/win.

For those of you looking... BUY a USED AIRSTREAM. A five year old Airstream owned by most owners has little use. Some are virtually NEW and depreciated not from use... but by the owners, being like my parents... discovering that a trailer was not better than a hotel room. It was not like the magazines, nor my mother's image of America. Still untamed wilderness with the threat of Indians and wild beasts in the woods.

Being a International Traveler gave me a great perspective of America. To travel it was safe. To travel there were roads. There were maps. Everyone spoke English if you went 100 miles or 2000 miles. I have been where I would not want to tow a trailer, even if it were possible. There are places where a trailer is not the brightest thing to do... the Arctic is an example. Some places, just plain ... suck, in layman's terms. Machu Pichu is wonderful by train... no road for a trailer, even if you thought it wise to do so.

Many Airstream Owners are like my parents. Safety among numbers. Montana and Wyoming for my mother... was not America. They settled for Independence, Missouri and President Truman's company. At the "edge of the American Frontier" was safe for them.

Myself... at 15 1/2 and a 1956 VW bug... was out exploring. I am still exploring and today have dropped my aversion of bringing others along to my favorite places in the western USA. Our culture is becoming more urbanized. I prefer still to live on the edge of urban and country life styles. I will not and cannot change.

I cannot dance well, but my wife makes the best of what I have to offer.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:50 PM   #26
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This thread is outstanding, thanks Ray for starting another one of "food for thought" threads! It took me a while to eliminate my compulsion to polish and wash our AS, after spending probably as much on it as I did in a lifetime of backpacking, tent camping, campers, and 5th wheels! After the first few dents in the rock guards, a few dings from Colorado Hail storms, I finally left the wax and ladder and rags at home as got back to the joy of traveling down unknown forest roads and boondocking on the brow of a ridge where we can wake up to a majestic sunrise, or watch a awe inspiring sunset, just like years ago when we went with only a backpack!

Sure we do use commercial campgrounds when just getting from point A to point B, or meeing friends and family that like the pool and swings for the kids. But when you boondock, the experience is amazing! After 100's of nights with the AS, there is no question in my mind, that it is is far superior to any of the SOB's we have had. Just what we need, nothing extra for these old bones that used to sleep great in a sleeping bag, but no more!
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:06 PM   #27
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I tent camped with my family as a child, then with my own children...movin' on up to a nicer something many years later, off the ground and out of the elements. It's what older people often do.

There's something about the Airstream silver.....almost ethereal, lending a special and unique quality to wherever you happen to be.


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Old 02-12-2016, 01:59 PM   #28
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Great post Ray!

I never camped until I left home but I made up for it with a vengeance living outside for the next five years. Surfing, hiking, climbing, kayaking, skiing, motorcycles, it has all been an adventure.

Boondocking in my Airstream continues the dream!
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