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Old 08-21-2016, 07:06 AM   #1
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How many days using the AS...... really?

My wife and I are headed to the Hershey RV Show in September to look at Airstreams. We love the AS. I have done a lot of research (including reading Rick Luhr's excellent book "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming") and it would appear that the 23' Int'l Signature would suit our needs and style. Normally it will just be the two of us. Assuming that money is not the issue, the question we are grappling with is how many days we would actually use it. I know this is a question that only we can answer. I am retiring in December (I am 56, wife is 53). We plan on traveling 3 weeks per year without the AS. So we figure between kids (one a sophomore and one completing a Masters both at Penn State) and other things we will use it about 3 weeks per year. Between storage and headaches etc... is it it worth it?

So the question I am asking (excluding full-timers) how many days per year are you actually on the road with your Airstream? If you would like please identify if you are retired or still working and other relevant circumstance. I am trying to determine what more experienced people feel is the "over-under" in number of days on the road.Thank you everyone.

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Old 08-21-2016, 07:21 AM   #2
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Also consider that if you "store" it in an RV park, you can "use" it every weekend without going out. My wife and I both work and won't retire for another 10 years. But the plan is to "use" it 45-47 weekends a year, including two full weeks (vacation). If I had to store it somewhere and only use it when I pulled it, I would not have bought it.

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Old 08-21-2016, 07:28 AM   #3
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Being an Airstream forum made of Airstream enthusiasts, the likely answer will be "it's worth it". To answer your question, my wife and I work full time but somehow manage to average about 30 nights annually in the trailer. We are wrapping up our 4th season with it.

We bought it with the expectation of retirement and using it for more extensive travels. Also, if you like to tinker, the Airstream provides hours of entertainment.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:28 AM   #4
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We still work. Kid not at home anymore.

We use ours at least one weekend per month year round, plus 2 weeks a year.

Never do the math.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:39 AM   #5
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For the three years of Airstreaming that I was still working for a living, I managed at least 45 nights and up to about 60 nights per year camping in my Airstream. The longerst trip was eight nights, the shortest was three nights.

Now that I'm retired, last year I managed 112 nights, and I'm well on track to exceed that this year. The longest trip was 22 nights, the shortest was 4, and all but that one 4-night trip were at least 7 nights. After that 4-night trip, I decided that every time I leave home, I will be gone at least a week.

My target is to spend over 180 nights per year Airstreaming in the future— half of my time camping, and the other half planning where to go camping— other commitments permitting. I might have managed it this year, except that my cardiologist, ophthalmologist, and an oral surgeon all had other plans for me. I'm hoping that medical science can keep putting me back together as fast as I fall apart!
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:45 AM   #6
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I think the worth is in the traveling to destinations, spending a few days, weeks or months there and having the comforts of home while away.

We travel a lot, retired and doing this twelve years, snowbirds seeking winter refuge for at least six months a year. Find a winter destination or more, and try to pick a different route to get there each year. Many times have gone to the East Coast on the way to the Southwest, wonderful things to see and do along the way. This year we will be on the beach at Calif, the deserts of AZ, and the mountains of New Mexico. And plenty of places along the way.

If it was just about camping rather than travel, it would be much less expensive and much easier to simply rent a cabin a few times a year in some remote mountain or lake retreat. Airstreams are for travel and comfort along the way, they do a great job both.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:51 AM   #7
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First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your questions, SuEllyn and I are both retired since our early fifties. We got into Airstreaming over ten years ago. We had no RVing experience when we started. We have had three Airstreams, a 2005 Safari 25FB, a 2012 Flying Cloud 23FB, and a 2015 Flying Cloud 25FB. We bought the two 25's new and the 23 at a year old.

We have enjoyed them all immensely. We are now approaching 1,800 nights out in our Airstreams. We have towed them all over the country. We have been spending almost half our time on the road Airstreaming.

We have seen more of this great country than most folks ever get to see.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:55 AM   #8
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Easing into full timing. This year over 110 days so far.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:57 AM   #9
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We are working and a few years out from retirement. We bought our Bambi last spring and are doing about 25 nights/year (which includes a 9 night roundtrip to Florida). That does not cost justify the trailer compared to better mileage/hotel room alternative but it is nice to sleep in our own bed and have the promise of more travels to come.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:58 AM   #10
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We are close to your age, still working, 2 sons graduated from college and a younger daughter still in school. The winter takes 4 months out of the equation, but work tends to be the biggest impediment. Our usage has been 1 full week trip plus 4 to 5 long weekenders (20+ nights) over the past 3 years.

We bought a quality used model, so I do not fret about usage. To us, it's quality time given the beautiful places we visit, nice folks we meet, and slower pace of life. I would observe there are some minor hassles with 'care and feeding' of the beast, but nothing remarkable vs. owning a home, cars, etc.

Good luck!

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Old 08-21-2016, 08:00 AM   #11
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Speaking of Moosetags and us, we both tried a little smaller Airstream size for our extended travels and found we needed the 25'. Big difference in interior space and feel, little wider, little longer, larger tires and brakes, larger storage tanks, 25 is the smallest of the large Airstreams and has most of the amenities except a separate dinette.
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:39 AM   #12
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Our situation is very similar to Utah Man's.

We live in the midwest and both still working, so Halloween to Easter it is winterized and in storage. Empty nesters with 2 adult children in their 20s. One lives in our city, the other in Denver.

This is the second summer and first "full year" of ownership for our Airstream.

We have used it 1 to 2 weekends per month for the spring and summer months, and took a 10 day trip to Yellowstone over the 4th of July. On that trip our 2 adult children came along and tent camped with us.

We find for us this is a good balance in time away "chillaxing" vs. time in town doing things with friends and family.

We have found 3 different places to camp we like that are close to home and that can be reached before dark if we leave work about 3 on a Friday. Which puts us back home to get the dog, packed, hitched up and leaving with the Airstream hooked up by 5/5:30 on a Friday. Tried a few others spots to camp that we didn't like for one reason or another (sites not level, too crowded, lack of scenery).

We currently have reservations in place for 10 more nights before Halloween when we will need to winterize. We will be trying 2 new places to camp in that time.

We have found it best to get reservations in place; we can cancel them if something comes up.

All in all we are enjoying it very much. We have friends who have lake houses and they have a lot more "chores" to do than we do with our Airstream.

But that is just the "doing". To me, the learning, planning, and focusing on the experience has been very rewarding and it's nice to have some downtime that is planned. And long term, we are both working out at the gym with more focused goals so that we will be able to safely camp and hike once we do retire in 15 years. Having that long term goal is certainly going to have a lot of health benefits.

So for us it's worth it.

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Old 08-21-2016, 08:45 AM   #13
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My wife and I work, with two kids. My official answer is "not enough." We try to get in 2 week long trips a year, and then long weekends every couple of months.

Also, if you store the AS at your house with hook ups, it can second as a guest house.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:08 AM   #14
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Very much appreciate all the answers. We also have a second home at the beach (where our family has spent the summers). When the kids start work they will probably come most weekends in the summers to be with their friends and "perhaps" find some time with us. So our trailering season will likely be September - November and then mid-March through mid-June. Although limited, those are beautiful times of year to visit national parks and other sites. May also trailer to the Penn State games but would be boondocking as there are no hook-ups. I guess we could also use it in the winter if we drove down south but we will start with fall and spring.

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