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Old 03-06-2013, 09:02 PM   #15
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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I can't compare the cost of staying in a motel to the cost of owning an Airstream, or any other trailer, because I enjoy traveling and camping.

I enjoy traveling and camping. If you are going to travel a lot and camp, then an Airstream makes sense. If you are going to camp a lot and stay close to home then an SOB might work, but I would still rather have an Airstream.

I like the ability to be self contained. I enjoy going to music festivals. At music festivals the best camping places are the cheapest which means boondocking. I enjoy the challenge of this- to stay comfortable, have bathroom facilities, cold beer and food readily available.

So an Airstream works for me. If I could afford it, I might have a 60k diesel TV and a 90k Airstream. I can't go that route. I have a 25k TV and about 10k into a vintage Airstream. My TV depreciates minimally and my Airstream probably not at all. This works for me.

We all have to do whatever works for us. das997 is doing what he thinks he has to do. I wish him well.


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Old 03-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
......the primary consideration, weed never have started this journie.

Say what?

Tom & Lori

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Old 03-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #17
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I'm with you TouringDan!
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #18
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TV - $30,000

Airstream - $10,000 to $80,000

Waking up in your own Airstream and the freedom if the road - priceless.
Tom & Lori

2013 27 FB Classic Limited
2016 Nissan XD Turbo Diesel
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:37 PM   #19
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Fulltiming is a different can of worms - or caviar - depending on your viewpoint.

Cost of owning an Airstream and tow vehicle don't change... but if you have a very inexpensive "base campground" as I do, it can be significantly less expensive than owning a brick and mortar house. Of course you're looking at a lot less space and no long term profit as the value of the property goes up (not that we've seen any of that in the last 5 years).

I don't get to travel as much as I'd like, but the comfort, and not having to pack and unpack, and sleeping in my own bed and enjoying my own short shower... there's no place like home on the road.

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #20
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Another factor that has not been mentioned in this thread is that a high percentage of Airstream owners (as well as other RVers) travel with our dog(s) or other pets. In addition to finding motels that are pet friendly, how many of us would prefer to leave our pets in a more pet friendly environment that they feel at home. This month's Airstream magazine even has a feature article on traveling with pets.

We bought our Airstream after selling our airplane. Both may be more expensive than driving a car, but they are a hell of a lot more fun.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:49 PM   #21
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Hi, well I have to say that for us, it is just the price we paid for enjoying our elderly life. We can afford it and we enjoy it. And I never do the math. As long as we can afford it and enjoy it and healthy enough to still do it, the cost per day or cost per mile Etc. means nothing. Also as mentioned above, we travel with a little dog, that adopted us. We have had our trailer for about eight years now and we aren't done yet.

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:36 AM   #22
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Great thread.
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Go often to the house of a friend, for weeds choke the unused path........Emerson

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:28 AM   #23
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Yes...great thread indeed!

I'm just in the initial stages of selling up to FT in an AS....always great to gain some economic/financial insight from AS owners and full timers.

I agree though that the payoff comes from the experiences you gain in your AS, in that sense, the economics take a back seat :-)
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:45 AM   #24
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As the OP mentioned in his post, he could not put a value on the time spent camping. So was his investment truly a loss?
The numbers are simply fodder to complain about or rationalize for whatever reason.
At our house, we have chosen to afford the equipment we wanted and simply enjoy the choice.
We have friends that have chosen condos, timeshare situations, boats or cars.
With few exceptions these are all losers if considered exclusively from an economic viewpoint.
Most leisure endeavors are.
I want enough to get to the end, but you can’t take it with you.
And the old cliché’:
It may not buy happiness, but it can make misery a hell of a lot easier to tolerate.


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Old 03-07-2013, 05:51 AM   #25
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Bowie , Maryland
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There are plenty of reasons to want to avoid hotels, not all of which are monetary - bedbugs, nickel and dime fees, noise, and staff that just can't seem to figure out how many towels a room should have.

Additionally, our Airstream has helped a LOT when the power was out at home. That's hard to calculate, too.
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:13 AM   #26
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Back when I was still shopping for an RV, I ran across studies performed by PKF Consulting. There were two studies, one for Canada, and one for the US. Here is a link to the US study writeup:

RV ownership is actually a very good way to spend one's vacation budget, as opposed to some of the alternatives.

Also remember, just staying at home on your vacation days costs you something as well, so the true cost of Airstreaming is only the difference in cost between Airstreaming and staying at home.

In my own case, my Airstream Interstate will pay for itself, and then some, during my first hurricane evacuation with it. All of the camping before and after that is just gravy.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:21 AM   #27
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I guess you could stay home and read your bank interest statements every month.

Now that's fun!
This is the strangest life I've ever known - J. Morrison

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Old 03-07-2013, 07:48 AM   #28
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I agree with just about all of the above posts. We've RV'ed for over ten years, new to AS last year, because it's something we wanted to do. We've worked the finanacial numbers and can make a case, in our minds, that there's a positive benefit to us considering fun and the value we've received from our travels. But more importantly, it's the way we want to live in our later years and we're willing to spend our money to do it. The kids can't believe the money we've spent, with them believing it would be better spent on motels, cruises, etc, and most importantly, it's money they would have liked to help us spend. It's a personal decision and one that should fit with how you want to spend your healthy time and remaining money. As stated earlier, I would rather go blow my money than have them blow it.

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