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Old 03-19-2013, 02:47 PM   #1
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The courage to make a solo decision

Hello everyone -- Greetings from Cape Cod!

I don't know where the time went but I am now 63-years-olds! And, it is getting closer to the time for dream "implementation"....selecting an Airstream and a FORD truck to tow it. I'm good at the research end of things and have been having a great time reviewing floor plans, visiting dealers, etc. Eventually, however, I am going to have to step forward and make a decision. Last week I got into a long conversation with the sales manager at Colonial Airstream in Massachusetts, trying to explain that I have no experience in negotiating the purchase of an RV....none. The fact that I am doing this alone can do a number on one's self confidence. Questions like, will I be able to tow by myself? Will I be able to handle the responsibility? Unhitch the Airstream? Take care of it properly? I adore the American West and want to spend more time roaming around out there. While I've accomplished some interesting things in life, this step/decision is HUGE. I love the Forum and thank you for reading my message. Kristine
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by AKristine View Post
Hello everyone -- Greetings from Cape Cod!

I don't know where the time went but I am now 63-years-olds! And, it is getting closer to the time for dream "implementation"....selecting an Airstream and a FORD truck to tow it. I'm good at the research end of things and have been having a great time reviewing floor plans, visiting dealers, etc. Eventually, however, I am going to have to step forward and make a decision. Last week I got into a long conversation with the sales manager at Colonial Airstream in Massachusetts, trying to explain that I have no experience in negotiating the purchase of an RV....none. The fact that I am doing this alone can do a number on one's self confidence. Questions like, will I be able to tow by myself? Will I be able to handle the responsibility? Unhitch the Airstream? Take care of it properly? I adore the American West and want to spend more time roaming around out there. While I've accomplished some interesting things in life, this step/decision is HUGE. I love the Forum and thank you for reading my message. Kristine

Yes
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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Welcome. At age 63 you still have many years left to learn new tricks. GO FOR IT.

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:57 PM   #4
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Like Jim says...YES!, YES, YES.
Be sure to research the selling prices ...ask questions here....the selling prices do vary between dealers......serious discounts are available.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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5 miles down the road and you'll laugh, wondering why you ever worried about towing. Which model and floor plans have you narrowed it down to?
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Thumbs up One step at a time....

Kristine,

Colonial Airstream Massachusetts?....or N.J.

You can't go wrong in N.J.

You'll be fully confident by the time you leave the dealership.
Plan on "camping" overnight in the lot, take notes/video your walk thru and don't be shy about asking questions.

FWIW...just got back from a visit across Buzzards Bay in New Bedford.

Good luck in your new adventure.

Bob
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:39 PM   #7
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+1 what Bob said!
We had a one year anniversary check up at Colonial today and we are just as impressed with them now as we were the day we first stopped in the dealership and purchased our Bambi.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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Go for it Red Sox !!!

Backhorse riding is mostly solo so you have nothing to worry about. Full disclosure of your intending use of your Airstream, your tow vehicle, estimated miles per year, full hook up % versus boondocking %, potential # of people/campers with you in the next 5 to 10 years and the capacity of the truck / SUV you currently have will all make it easier for this forum to offer you useful guideline. Double axle AS is easier to back up for beginners than the single axle and the list goes on .... You are already in good hands with Colonial so best wishes in your combo choice. Go for it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Life's short Kristine, go for it. You'll wish you did it sooner
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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since this all sounds very new to you i'd advise to check into someplace that has rental trailers. some campgrounds have this available. you'll get to know how things work and get a feel for the lifestyle. it will easy you gently to the world of rving.

attend a few rallies and talk to people. you'll hear about the many options open to you. talk with the silver sisters here on the forum.

once you start narrowing down the options, Colonial is a great place to deal with and you'll be able to see the configurations in person.

once you decide on a trailer, you can pick the tow vehicle to match.

i think you'll like it!
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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63?

I wish I were 63 again. I'm 70, been towing trailers for over 40 years and never had a terrible bad incident. I have had a large number of good learning experiences none of which were horrific, You're a youngster so go for it and don't look back.
I've wintered in Arizona 5 times from my home in the PNW having many great experiences in the SW. The Sonora desert at dawn, the Grand Canyon in the morning after 4" of snow. Sedona red mtns in good light are spectacular.

As to negotiating, cash helps. I think most dealers will give discounts for clean purchases, cash, no messy issues.
I have a 25' Flying Cloud which I think is an ideal size for comfortable living.

Get a good tow vehicle. I prefer diesels now just because of their power for the western mountains and their better fuel economy.

Have a good experience.

Lou
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #12
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Yes you can. I am out over 150 days a year, solo and I also work for most of that time at different venues that I set up and take down by myself. I am 59. I think every thing said previous is spot on, I love what I do and I love hitting the road! There are plenty of groups you join up with. Sbb
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKristine
Hello everyone -- Greetings from Cape Cod!

I don't know where the time went but I am now 63-years-olds! And, it is getting closer to the time for dream "implementation"....selecting an Airstream and a FORD truck to tow it. I'm good at the research end of things and have been having a great time reviewing floor plans, visiting dealers, etc. Eventually, however, I am going to have to step forward and make a decision. Last week I got into a long conversation with the sales manager at Colonial Airstream in Massachusetts, trying to explain that I have no experience in negotiating the purchase of an RV....none. The fact that I am doing this alone can do a number on one's self confidence. Questions like, will I be able to tow by myself? Will I be able to handle the responsibility? Unhitch the Airstream? Take care of it properly? I adore the American West and want to spend more time roaming around out there. While I've accomplished some interesting things in life, this step/decision is HUGE. I love the Forum and thank you for reading my message. Kristine
Hi there! As has been mentioned, Colonial is in NJ but Airstream of New England is in MA and it's at 1776 something street which only makes it more interesting :-).

As for negotiating, you'll do fine! I purchased my 2012 from them at about a 25% discount off sticker. They tell me I got it for what they paid Airstream for it and I'm not sure that's exactly accurate but I was happy with the price. Colonial in New Jersey has a much higher volume of inventory and I would assume could do even better. They also have a great reputation in this forum for service.

Life goes by too fast - you'll never be younger than you are today so I'd agree with the others and say go for it! Millions of people do this so odds are in your favor you're going to get the hang of this too. My in-laws are on the road more than half they year every year and they're in their 70s. Enjoy the west!! :-)
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:29 AM   #14
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The fact that I am doing this alone can do a number on one's self confidence.
The fact that you're doing itó at alló tells me you have no problem with self-confidence.

I bought my first Airstreamó in fact my first RV everó just over a year ago. Originally, my plan was to buy a live-aboard boat just before I retire, and then spend my first year or so of retirement navigating America's Great Loop, a 5000-mile water route around the eastern US. Right up until foot surgery and fused bones in my ankle put an end to the idea of living aboard something that never stops moving even when you park it. I thought about my new situation for a while, decided to get an RV instead, and immediately started looking. Less than two months later, I bought my Airstream Interstate.

I was nervous about the purchase, but I did it, and it wasn't so bad after all. I was nervous about my first camping trip, but I did it, and it wasn't so bad after all. When I had my daily-use car outfitted as a toad so I could pull it behind my Interstate, I was nervous about towing it the first time, but I did it, and it wasn't so bad after all. Being nervous about trying something new is only to be expected. But when you can say, "Gee, that wasn't so bad after all," you'll laugh at yourself for ever being nervous in the first place, and your self-confidence will be stronger than ever.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:58 AM   #15
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Messages like yours are inspiring and deeply appreciated...thank you! In April, I will be visiting the New Jersey Colonial Airstream dealer that has been given high marks via the Forum. BTW, I have heard of America's Great Loop as one of my close friends talks about doing it all the time. I will post a report after my April visit. In the meantime, thanks again for your kindness. Kristine
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #16
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I don't think anyone is better at matching up the best TV for a given trailer than Andrew Thomson of CAN AM RV in London, ON. Looks to be about 650-miles. They keep demonstrators of different vehicles matched to trailers. Would be the way I did it as purchase of either TT or TV is quite expensive.

A pickup is not required, much less the best choice due to it's inherent flaws.

With a certainty a trip there would be how I would have the expert do the lash up between the two vehicles for best performance no matter the details of each vehicle.

Good luck.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:30 PM   #17
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Those of us

who are (ahem!) in our middle sixties and above are all about Airstreams mostly because they are so darned towable and easy to manage. That said, they all do need maintenance, so pick/find a dealer you can live with over the long run unless you want to do the maintenance / repairs on your own.

My biggest suggestion is this: find a Forums rally near you as soon as there is one, and go visit. Drop in on Saturday afternoon and almost everyone there will INSIST on giving you a tour of their coaches and in discussing the pros and cons of various models. (They'll almost certainly also invite you to stay for the potluck dinner, where there'll be more food than can be eaten in a week!) You will learn more about the nitty-gritty of Airstreams that a dealer will ever be able (or willing?) to impart.

Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:37 PM   #18
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Kristine,

YES. Stop thinking and just do it. Worst case scenario, everything goes totally wrong- so what, you sell it and laugh about it. That was my [eventual] philosophy when my boyfriend told me he wanted to buy one. WE knew NOTHING (still don't really) about RV's except for a 2 week rental in New Zealand which was another leap of faith and learning experience. At the time I was so against the purchase for many reasons. My questions to him were constantly: Have you done enough research? How will you tow it? How will we insure it? Can we insure it? Where will we park it? How does the toilet work? Etc... His answer was always: We'll figure it out.

A year after the purchase, all I have to say is... I love it. To be perfectly honest, there is a lot of work and mystery involved and somedays I feel overwhelmed because I don't understand how everything works. (Keep in mind we bought a '79 needing TLC). But every project has been a total learning experience that leaves me feeling so pleased with myself and so much more confident in the purchase than ever. I have yet to drive/tow it by myself so I can't offer any advice on that. Ours is 31' long and honestly, if we could do it over I'd buy a smaller one because the size intimidates me and the interior is much bigger than we'd ever need or fill. I don't know what size you're looking at but if I were a single gal (or even doing it all over again) I'd go small. Bambi small. It's all based on personal preference, but depending on where you plan to haul it and camp, you may or may not need the extra space and bathroom. Then again, our 31' basically feels like a full sized vacation home which is super nice with two dogs.

Bottom line, all I am really trying to say is take the leap. Before our purchase everyone told us we were crazy and it was a stupid idea. I wanted to wait until I had time to do "proper research." After our purchase, everyone now tells us how they envy us, and "I wish I was brave enough" or "That's my dream." It's an empowering realization to know you're taking control of your happiness, freedom, and following your dreams. It really does just come down to courage, and if you've taken the time to do research and look at them in person, YOU HAVE THE COURAGE. Bottom line, I could have waited 10 more years diligently researching everything and still not been prepared. The best way to learn is by experience. Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:07 PM   #19
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most of my friends thought i was crazy 18 months ago when i bought a 1957 22 foot flying cloud that had been sitting for a couple decades. i hauled to straight to brian morrow of brians vintage trailers for a complete restoration. i had to buy a tow vehicle before i could pick it up! i am a solo mom to 2 kids under 11 so i do all it all by myself- back, hitch, park, load , unload. its been a blast. we spend most weekends last summer camping and loved every trip. this year we will be in glacier national park for 2 weeks. my goal is to take my kids to as many western national parks as we can manage until they fly the coop. i've met some fantastic folks since having an airstream. its not well known, but airstreams are man magnets! i cant go anywhere without an admiring crowd- seriously! i would have gotten one years ago had i known!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:45 AM   #20
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Kristine,
As everyone has said, Yes! is the answer. We bought ours just two years ago, never having owned an RV. It's been all grins - 39 states and 2 provinces later. Don't be shy about 25-27 feet. Many have bought too short and regretted it within the year.
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