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Old 03-07-2013, 08:35 AM   #29
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Maybe I missed something but if he got $30,000 for his 04 then resale is great!


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Old 03-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #30
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In his blog, Doug (opening poster) calculates a cost per night stayed at $153 not including tow vehicle costs. Doug's costs are driven up by a higher than average storage cost but contained by better than average resale at the end of 8 years.

The economics were a big deal to me when I embarked upon the Airstream journey, but my point of comparison wasn't the price of a single, cheap hotel room. We have kids and pets which means we need two rooms, and besides, that's not a fair comparison. Even hotels with kitchenettes don't have cooking facilities like our Airstream's (oven? outdoor grill?). Hotel rooms as nice as the inside of my Airstream are rare and are expensive.

My point of comparison was lakeside resorts, Disney hotels, and other more truly comparable travel experiences. And they are typically more expensive than Doug's daily rate.

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Old 03-07-2013, 10:07 AM   #31
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An Airstream is a luxury item. Its like cost comparing a Austin Martin to a Hyundai. The Hyundai costs less, but the Austin is just so cool.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:20 AM   #32
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If one is going to compare Airstreams with hotel rooms, the hotel room should include: Full kitchen and eating area, sitting room, bathroom stocked with favorite shampoo and robe, well insulated from other guests, with direct access to outside for seating and barbecue. And can that all be found at the shore of the lake or tucked under that gorgeous mountain? Those are some premium hotel rooms, more like vacation cabins and they don't come cheap.

Add to that the convenience of not having to pack and unpack between locations, being able to bring and use things that don't fit in a suitcase, knowing where your sheets have been and the consistency of layout that lets you find the bathroom in the middle of the night while half asleep and you've got some "priceless" additions to that fancy hotel room.

Another consideration is that an Airstream (or any trailer) can be taken to places where there simply are no hotel rooms. We spend time every summer on land adjacent to our in-laws. There are no hotels within walking distance of their house. Likewise, Burning Man has no hotels. Boondocking takes you places you couldn't otherwise go, even with a tent.

Airstreams are not generally an "economy vacation" deal, but they could be. If one were willing to buy a vintage unit and do only safety and basic maintenance work, one could camp fairly inexpensively. The cost of that would be more on par with an ordinary hotel room, and you still have the option of getting away from civilization in the trailer. If you are going to the financial comparisons, they should be apples and apples in comparing the experience you are getting with your money.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:29 AM   #33
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Going through life and putting a price on everything you do makes for a miserable way to live.

Personally I live by the motto "He who dies with the most toys wins."
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The good news: it was never locked."
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #34
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A couple of additional thoughts.....

You can be conditioned by your prior hobby. As a "retired" cruising sailor, Airstreaming looks like a huge bargain.

My last 10 years of employment required extensive travel-hotels and airplane. If I never check in another hotel or board another plane, it will be fine by me. Our Airstream is a great, enjoyable luxury we always look forward too.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:25 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by sailorii View Post
A couple of additional thoughts.....

You can be conditioned by your prior hobby. As a "retired" cruising sailor, Airstreaming looks like a huge bargain.......
Amen to that! Anyone who complains about the cost of an Airstream should avoid boating....
Our Airstream costs less and is far easier to deal with on a day to day basis than our sailboat. We love both though .
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:46 PM   #36
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As a recovering sailor I agree sailboats are very expensive to deal with. I now have a small trail-able trawler, no slip rent, no $600.00 to haul out. Do like I do know a lot of other sailors they always need crew.

We just love our Airstream, berthed behind our home, no storage fees. Can run from weather if need be. No danger of sinking. I can always work on the bottom. Performs great on all points of sail. Very stable.

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Old 03-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by xo1rider View Post
Going through life and putting a price on everything you do makes for a miserable way to live.

Personally I live by the motto "He who dies with the most toys wins."
Another way to look at it....

I don't want to be the richest guy in the cemetery.

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Old 03-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #38
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I'd be surprised if anyone bought a new AS and TV based on saving money on motels. It's hard to compute the cost vs. value of intangibles, so doing a serious analysis is tough.

How could I put a value on the new friends we've met in out WBCCI unit, for example? When we stayed in motels, did we enjoy that kind of comaraderie?

I think of the AS much like "yachting or boating". A kind of luxury that is only economically justified by adding in the value of fun to balance the equations.

Most advertising is misleading. However, when the Airstream company talks about adventure, that really is the whole idea here. Ok, it's not the adventure of those who blazed the Oregon Trail maybe, but travel really is an adventure we can take advantage of.

There was much time in my life where I could not have afforded this fun. But when I could, it was an easy decision. We are now organizing our life around the AS idea of mobility, travel, adventure, less junk, downsizing, staying light.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:53 AM   #39
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My math was easy

I have spent about 24K on my trailer, had it 10 years, use it about ten times a year. That comes out to $240 per trip. But I still have the trailer to sell or use.
Airstreams and vacations are not about saving money. They are about rewarding yourself for getting beat up at work.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:46 AM   #40
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I bought a 17 year old AS ,camped in it about 8 to 12 times a year for 5 years then sold it for what I paid for it. I tinkered with the shocks and brakes and made a few minor repairs , probably spent $1ooo in repairs. Seemed pretty economical to me. I now own a 24 yeaar old AS MH. It needs alot of work. I don't think this going to be any where near as inexpensive , but I'm having fun!
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #41
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My folks kept their Silver Streak twenty-seven years. Knew well in advance what they'd enjoy in retirement so bought this premium trailer during peak earning years in their late forties. Some years it didn't travel much. Or, for a few years, was parked at a local lake. And in other years was occupied more than "home". Sold when they were in their mid-70's. Two tow vehicles over that span, a luxury car and an SUV. Each went close to 200k before sale.

The annual number of nights aboard is the direct cost, agreed. The indirect costs (storage highest among them) is the make-or-break one, IMO. No ease of use or maintenance; lack of security, etc, if the choice of home precludes such (a bad home choice, IMO. After all, if one must have a garage for cars then room for a TT isn't that much more difficult. Sort of like parking a $50k car outside a garage with $2k of junk in it. Not smart).

A house is far worse proposition when one understands value received for monies spent. Only a few zip codes in the entire US show actual appreciation past the 2008 bubble burst. 1992 appraised prices are the benchmark . . the number of Americans fearing to sell has meant that moving in favor of economic opportunity has fallen to it's lowest level, ever. Remove the blinders, folks.

A trailer built so well as to be a permanent acquisition means one can move between other dwellings (if needed) making them the optional purchase. So long as one chooses to have a car, then a TT of this type makes more sense than a house all other things considered if one wants to play the dollar & cents game.

Being able to move at a moments notice to pursue opportunity, to avoid the worst effects of weather & climate change, and to keep long-term costs at their lowest (again, given the use of a car) makes what was once a "vacation" into something else entirely.

The posts of Foiled Again make good reading about long-term area parking/living/working. (Hell, ALL her posts are worth reading).

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Old 03-11-2013, 04:24 AM   #42
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Blinding flash of the obvious

Slowmover - thanks

My business partner and I have been working with a consultant who's working on our website, etc. He said something which hit me like a brick. A "BFO"

It's HARD to live on $20,000 per year. It is MUCH EASIER to engage in some entrepreneurial activity that will get you $100,000 than it is to live on $20K. Having grown up poor I knew exactly what he meant. Every nickel was needed to do twenty five cents worth of work.

One of the few benefits of growing up poor was learning to make choices and deal with "delayed gratification". 60% of all lottery winners go bankrupt because they don't have the ability to choose or to say "NO" and with more money, everyone has their hand out. I simply decided in my early teens that I wanted a good CAREER, not a dead end job.

This thread is good, because it asks newbies to carefully consider "Can you afford to be an Airstreamer?" If you've got 20 hobbies that you've given up on and are looking at an Airstream as the solution to your discontent - you probably NEED to spend money on counseling - financial and psychiatric! If you want an Airstream but have 3 kids with no college money set aside... tent camping is a better choice. If you want family TIME together, or want to travel in the USA and contiguous countries - and you've covered your basics, then YES you can... OR you can do something else that you prefer.

The original poster may be missing some of that balance.... It's almost like he needs to beat himself up for "wasting" money on his Airstream. That's a shame too. Saving money when carried to extremes is NOT a virtue. When family "fun" is a waste of money, you're in trouble. When your children can't invite friends over because you won't make cool-aid since it costs too much... You've gone off the deep end!


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