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Old 09-20-2014, 04:20 PM   #43
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We started with a Coleman pop up, then nothing for a long time and a SOB then in 08 a Sport, then in 10 a FC 25, then my wife saw a 12 30' Classic that we now have. It was barely used so wee made a deal. Been happy happy ever since. I believe that my wife would take it shopping if it was hooked up all the time. We travel with food loaded so rest area stops are lunch and breaks. We really enjoy traveling with the A/S. While we could have spent many nights at a Ritz Carlton for the investment we made, it would not have been nearly as much fun. 2016 we're planning some cross country adventures.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:23 AM   #44
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OMG. I think I need my hanky. I feel like I'm listening to a eulogy here. Interestingly enough, perhaps I am. After all, how long will people continue to pay these prices for a product so poorly designed and assembled.

Mostly our trailer is a means to spend more time with my family. Other than that it is nothing more than a hobby (as Protagonist suggests) with a high price of admission, and a high cost of ownership.

AS has not met my expectations, but, in it's defense, few products manage to get two-thumbs up from me.

The one bit of advice that I want to share with prospective owners is that you need to make sure that your wallet is still very fat after you buy your "dream" machine. It will take a lot of time and money to keep your trailer safe, reliable and usable. Remember that she may look like a Ginger, but she's nowhere near as reliable as Mary Ann.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:36 AM   #45
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For a few years we owned a nice vacation home in Colorado. We live in Kansas City, so that is a hard 10 hour drive.

We entertained thoughts about retirement there someday, but found that we emotionally really never wanted to NOT have a home base in Kansas City.

Good thing to learn. Especially before you sell your home to learn this

We enjoyed our time in Colorado very much, but found that realistically with work that our available time was limited to a few times a year.

We let good friends use our place out there, and had no real issues. But when we had others there (put it in our school auction), the family flushed wipes causing a $350 plumbing bill, and didn't pay our cleaning service. And then there was the hassle of lawn care and snow removal from 600 miles away, fixing things that need repair around the house, as well as making that payment every month. And you are limited to going to the same place for every vacation. And one of our kids has a terrible time in the altitude with altitude sickness.

We learned that for us, the cost was higher than the benefit, and sold the place.

But we love Colorado, and would like to go there a few times a year. And lots of other places also. We now know that those monthly payments (or purchase price if you pay cash) are just the cost of the hobby. You have to be able to not need that money in your overall financial picture to be able to feel OK about spending the money.

When did we seriously start talking about getting an airstream? When we travelled to Yellowstone for our 25th anniversary. We stayed at the fancy-pants Old Faithful Inn. The bed was terrible. Hubs said that if we had an airstream we would be sleeping in our own bed with our own sheets and pillows. Now saving up for that goal. Maybe for the 30th Anniversary.

Also for us, the cost of the lifestyle also includes "we have spent X of $ on this trailer, this has to be utilized over the next 20 years to make it worthwhile." To be sure, one of the pulls of the 16 over the 25 for us, is that if we spend the lower amount of $ for the 16, we still feel that from time to time we could take some non-camping vacations with friends out of the country. If we go for the 25, we would have a larger amount of money in the airstream lifestyle, and then might not feel that we could justify doing that. We also think that the 16 would be easier to take to friend's places that have lake houses. And it fits in our driveway.

And yes I know that you can find ASs at every price point, but we are not handy and have no dealer close by, so we will need to find a new or nearly new when it comes time to buy.

I agree with Pharma about using VRBO to rent places. It doesn't get you into the wilderness, and you are stuck inside at night. Fine for skiing, but not good for summer.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:37 AM   #46
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Air, I think I will put you on ignore. Jim
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:28 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Air, I think I will put you on ignore. Jim
How do yo do that?
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:42 AM   #48
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Go to user cp. jim
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:46 AM   #49
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There is an ignore check list but no apparent way to enter specific user ids that I could find.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:17 AM   #50
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Worked for me. Jim
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:33 AM   #51
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Tried to put myself on ignore list so I wouldn't have to read my embarrassing posts. Jim
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:37 AM   #52
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I find that the older I get the less I subject things to a benefits analysis. I've gotten to know myself a little better over the years and I find that I often just use my modest intellect to justify and rationalize what I want to do on an emotional level. I mean my goodness, there's nothing rational about using a powerful gas consuming vehicle to haul around a little house that requires constant upkeep. But my wife and I love it so I tell my brain to shut the hell up.

Gotta go work on the little beast...

Cheers,
John
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:31 AM   #53
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Airstreaming is a Lifestyle Choice

Piggy Bank: For a few years we owned a nice vacation home in Colorado. We live in Kansas City, so that is a hard 10 hour drive.
******
My wife and I lived in Lees Summit, Missouri and we moved to Colorado. I could do the Denver to Lees Summit Drive in 9 hours or less... My wife needed to stop more often than I, but the drive was becoming routine. We had some commercial property in Lees Summit for a few years, one with four second floor apartments over a commercial property. Trying to maintain property, do leases, and general routine keeping an eye on property 800 miles away IS nearly impossible, unless you hire someone to do it. We sold it ALL and never regretted the change. Moving from 800 to 1000 feet elevation in western Missouri and moving to Colorado "elevations" takes a year or more to adapt. Altitude sickness is common among Texas skiers at ski resorts. I know, did some volunteer work on the slopes helping flat landers get back to the bottom of the mountain.

We moved out west not only for the reason I enjoy rock collecting, exploring and having millions of acres to roam. Tent camping was fine. Airstream camping... come on... it is a New York City apartment costing $750,000 for a 250 square foot studio apartment, with a bad view. The good view is more.

For those who need a trailer a couple weeks out of the year... it is an expensive option to bed bugs, hotel noise and crowded tourist spots. BUT... for those of us who retired young and enjoy to travel and be free to move onto anything that is of interest, the Airstream is the portable New York City apartment on wheels and no amount of money will buy the view, fresh air, absence of people, privacy and outdoor recreation... worth millions of dollars.

Trailer camping is not for everyone. Some people cannot decide where to go or what to do. They worry about bears. They worry about what could be in the woods, on the desert or on the treeless prairies. Snakes. Prairie Dogs with infectious fleas. Spiders. Cannibals looking for victims. I just say to them, find a safe hotel and get in line with the rest of those individuals with that mentality.

Owning any trailer requires some aptitude for repairing, tinkering and just being on top of keeping on top of your home on wheels. I do that on our trailer and I do that at home. Some people hire plumbers to replace a gasket or tighten a drain. Trailer travel probably is not a good match for those people who depend too much on others to help them through life. Airstreamers are no different. You cannot always be in a position to find free help along the highway. You must have that independent strength that is natural for most campers. Tent or trailer.

Cost. You can get a bad meal, sleep in a bad bed, open a window for fresh air and get only horns honking and exhaust, etc. etc. at a high priced hotel. You cannot put a price on being free to travel. Sure, it costs. It also costs to travel on a tour bus. Trailer camping is a... choice.

If you have a wandering independent spirit, confident that you can handle any situation... and are retired or financially stable... an Airstream offers everything and more. An Arctic Fox will do the same... but when that time comes that trailer camping is no longer possible... the Airstream will retain a value and instant recognition of others who want to become an Airstreamer.

I am always "wordy" in expressing my great pleasures of traveling with our trailer. The Airstream expresses everything my wife, myself and our two Blue Heelers considering traveling in comfort and within a durable, well built trailer. The road vibrations after a year of camping trips is like 100 years of California earthquakes in a six month period. Remember that. When you see your trailer in this view, it is durable and can handle every kind of road trip you can put under its axles.

So if you are too wimpy to live the Airstream lifestyle... do not criticize those of us who have sacrificed "something" for our 30 year old classic Airstream or a current model. My wife and I gave up negotiating commercial leases, tenets in apartments that could not unplug their own stools, loud radio complaints, drug dealing in the parking lot, etc... WE EARNED OUR AIRSTREAM! We feel like middle aged pioneers with the strength and fortitude to get through anything, anywhere, anytime!

We are Airstreamers. You haven't anything good to say? Well, stick a sock in it and crawl back into the hole you have made for yourself. I just regret we could not afford to have done this when we were in our 30's. Thank you for those of you who are telling your story and your first Airstream. It might have needed some... or a lot of work... but over time, I want to meet you at any campsite and shake your hand. You were able to find a way to get your dream rolling.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:39 AM   #54
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My wife, when young, went on camping trips in their Mallard trailer. Five people in a trailer the size of a 16 foot Bambi. I was young and lived in a Montana Forest Service cabin with my parents and brother with no more room than a large trailer... without plumbing, electricity and a wood burning stove. My father loved the outdoors and woods... but my mother... this was not her idea of the American Dream. But I know how lucky I am to have any trailer that is nicer than I remember growing as a 6 year old. The Forest Service then... WAS the Forest Service. You lived in the Forest and lived by your wits and what income that was available. The Flat Head Lake was our playground.

When the Anaconda lumber mill was still operating in Somers, Montana we moved to town. Camping in those days, yet in a home. Today... the Airstream brings back those memories. Free to roam without worry nor barbed wire or fencing to jump for access to anyplace.

The Mallard memories for my wife, and mine living without what we accept today as a given. Airstream is my way of getting back those memories and we travel to them from time to time, just to see where my best memories were formed. It was not at a hotel. It was living in those back woods, running loose all summer and fishing along the streams and rivers of northwest Montana (Olney, Lakeside, Somers, Kalispell). This was the background information I did not have room to add on my last, wordy post.
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:49 AM   #55
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Thanks, Ray. Well stated. Clearly worth the words used.

Roy
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:57 AM   #56
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64airstream... thank you for your short comment.

It actually tears me up to find someone who appreciates the depth of my love of the outdoors and access to long stays without worry. I am a Longmire western butt kicker when a wrong is being done to anyone, even if it is unpopular among the majority. My life so close to perfection in my "golden years" and being healthy and able to travel whenever the mood strikes us, or with the current cool and wet summer... better weather, to travel.

Thank you for affirming my efforts to make others THINK. Your comment made it all worth my time and effort.
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