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Old 03-27-2015, 06:20 PM   #1
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Travelling Solo Too

This is my first post. I'm turning 61 this month, and twice divorced. Time to start living. I think. Let me emphasize I think I've settled on the travel trailer I want/need.

After I purchase the travel trailer, I will donate most of what I own to a local church. I will take only essentials for day to day living.

I'm in central California. But I'd like to spend more time in southern California. I'd like to substitute teach there for a while. Then visit South Lake Tahoe, northern California, and other places.

When I'm much older, the travel trailer will be my permanent residence. I will have to find a place to park it long term down the road. Do any of you have the same plan? Or are you doing that now, and how is that working out? Is it possible to park it long term for free?

Do any of you work part-time? I've often wondered about this.

Is it lonely on the road where you are going solo?

Is it scary?

I have so many questions. Thank you for your feedback.

DebbieMarie
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:23 PM   #2
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Do it. Welcome aboard!

If u buy new you can get a "lifetime" warranty!
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:43 PM   #3
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Do it. Welcome aboard!

If u buy new you can get a "lifetime" warranty!
Explain, please.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:35 PM   #4
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I did not know about the warranty.

Also, does anyone know if a Camry will pull the Flying Cloud? I don't want to purchase a truck if I don't have too?
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:58 PM   #5
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Debbie, the Airstream warranty is for two years. You can purchase additional third party warranty for $$$$. Check the door plate on your Camry for weight limits. Need to know what year and size FC you are looking at to determine suitability.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:06 PM   #6
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See Trailer Towing Guides | Trailer Life Magazine.
Camry - no way, unless you want to tow a small utility trailer and live in a tent.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:39 PM   #7
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DebbiMarie,

Welcome, since you are in So Cal, the El Camino Real Unit of WBCCI is having a rally close by in Anaheim Hills the first weekend of May. PM me for info if you are interested in coming by and talking to some Airstream owners.

Bill
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:40 PM   #8
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Explain, please.
Here ya go, Chief..you'll have to buy here in Texas...

http://www.camperclinic2.com/--lifetime-warranty
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbieMarie View Post
This is my first post. I'm turning 61 this month, and twice divorced. Time to start living. I think. Let me emphasize I think I've settled on the travel trailer I want/need.

After I purchase the travel trailer, I will donate most of what I own to a local church. I will take only essentials for day to day living.

I'm in central California. But I'd like to spend more time in southern California. I'd like to substitute teach there for a while. Then visit South Lake Tahoe, northern California, and other places.

When I'm much older, the travel trailer will be my permanent residence. I will have to find a place to park it long term down the road. Do any of you have the same plan? Or are you doing that now, and how is that working out? Is it possible to park it long term for free?

Do any of you work part-time? I've often wondered about this.

Is it lonely on the road where you are going solo?

Is it scary?

I have so many questions. Thank you for your feedback.

DebbieMarie
First - there's no "free" parking. You might own your own land and park it there, but there will still be water, electricity and sewage to pay for one way or another. Wells need maintenance, as do septic systems, and solar/wind power makes it possible to live off grid to some extent - but those systems also maintenance and upgrades. Once you have a permanent lot, you can get big tanks of propane and save money, but all energy costs will continue to go up over time.

There are two Airstream only parks in Texas that have a lot of retired folks living there. Both are condo campgrounds - you buy your lot, but you do have to pay for common area maintenance and services. Compared to many other choices these are pretty inexpensive. They're nice but hardly "luxury resorts".

I donated quite a lot of stuff, but I did sell quite a bit too. Yard sales won't make you rich, but honestly you should consider how much a couple of thousand extra could be worth when it comes to gassing up the tow vehicle and traveling.

Others have already chimed in about the tow vehicle. Don't feel embarrassed about not knowing these things. Everyone starts from zero knowledge - the smart ones ask to AVOID making mistakes. The simplest answer is that there are no real "economy tow vehicles." It takes engine power and transmission power to haul several tons of towed trailer around. There are more trucks than cars that are capable. If you want a station wagon... American made - you've got the Suburban and the Expedition. Some people here use bigger Jeeps, the Ford Flex, etc. Some of the Mercedes sedans do well too, but they aren't bargains to buy. Everyone here has strong opinions - IMHO, one size does NOT fit all, but for myself as a single female, I'm happier with an oversize tow vehicle than an undersized one. You can pull up a steep grade better and you've got a more robust transmission and brakes, because it's really important to be able to STOP as well as pull.

Even if you "can't afford it" I strongly urge you to do two things:
  1. take a towing course - many truck driving schools offer one
  2. rent an RV for a week or two - it's expensive, but if you do find out you hate the lifestyle it's FAR less expensive to back out of a rental than a purchase.
The "visit our rally" advice is right on - GO and learn.

Frankly Airstreams are quite high priced trailers - which again DO require quite a bit of time consuming maintenance. I've got to get up on a ladder and lubricate my TV antenna real soon, and... and... and. (There's always some little or medium size or big task to do.)

Lonely - that depends largely on you. Can you make friends easily? It's really up to you to make the effort (HOWEVER getting really good coffee beans, grinding them and making a pot outdoors, with several spare paper cups generally works quite well.) Can you BE alone for a couple of days without getting feeling spooked? I've occasionally pulled into a campground where there are lots of resident campers who know each other - who are standoffish with outsiders. That can make you feel uncomfortable. I don't have a dog, but I notice they are great conversation starters if they're friendly - Compliment someone's dog sincerely, and that can be the start of a great conversation.

As for living in one after you're not able to tow. People do. BUT. Ugly as most park models "pre-engineered double wide homes" are - they're probably more practical especially if you end up in a wheel chair or with limited mobility and relying on canes or crutches. Most of the people who park their Airstreams have a shelter building too.

Thanks for thinking of the lifestyle, lots of people enjoy it - and lots of us still work fulltime or part time. Look up camp hosting as a way to stay for free.

Paula
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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DebbieMarie,
Welcome aboard! Paula is your newest, bestest friend! Many of us have learned a LOT from her. The Airstream community is wide and deep. Most folks are really friendly and helpful. Make this YOUR adventure.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:57 AM   #11
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DebbieMarie,
A decade older, I am planning something similar but not burning my bridges before seeing how much of solo RV life suits. You might be interested in this link showing various clubs for soloists:
RV Clubs for the Solo RVer - Roaming RV
Paula has some great points, as usual.
Best to you.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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I cannot begin to thank you all enough for your responses and the time it took you to make them.

Please let me state outright I'm confused about somethings and I'm rethinking some of my plans, including the type of purchase I will make. I have flipped flopped on this until I could scream, and I'm losing sleep.

I'm once again considering the Leisure Travel Unity Class B. I would prefer the Airstream Van, but it is not big enough.

Here is the reason for my inner conflict. The vans are self-enclosed. As a woman alone on the road I find this comforting. I don't like the idea of leaving the travel trailer at night and having to go into my vehicle for something if I'm at a truck stop or somewhere else I'm not sure about.

Starting out I will have my guard up. I have to be smart and be safe. My dog is 13 years old. He will be with him. How much protective he can give me is questionable.

By the way, I do make friends easily. I'm very friendly. I think I should be a little less friendly on the road. I don't know who I might meet up with there.

Another reason I'm considering the Leisure Travel Van is I don't have to purchase a truck. I need to keep this easy and simple for me.

I'm just starting out, and don't know what the heck I'm doing. I'm trying to learn all I can as fast as I can and not get too terribly overwhelmed in the process.

I won't make a purchase before I'm ready. But I would like to buy something this fall. I don't think I can't wait until spring 2016. I'm too restless to wait that long.

If I purchase a Leisure Van will I be kicked out of this forum??

--Debbie
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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Debbie, all very good reasons for the van as a choice. What ever you decide I can assure you that you will always be welcome here and to any forum rallies.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:05 PM   #14
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Just watched another video on the 2015 Airstream Interstate 3500 Extended Class B Motorhome. It's really nice. I love the locked cabinets.

I love everything about it. Just seems a little cramped.

Has anyone slept on that bed? Is it comfortable?

How much can I expect do get off the MSRP if I pay cash whether I buy this or the Leisure Van?

Thank you for your feedback.

--Debbie
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:15 PM   #15
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I've never been there, but I've heard Slab City is more or less free.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:49 PM   #16
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I've never been there, but I've heard Slab City is more or less free.
My last visit the cops were raiding meth labs almost nightly. It has changed and not for the good since my first visit.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:52 PM   #17
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I travel solo a lot, 20K and 160 nights. I never feel scared or lonely. I love the adventure. I just take precautions and always visually have an exit plan. sbb
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:31 PM   #18
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Dear Deb... Airstream Interstates are AWESOME. But at that price, get a small used A-Liner, and tow it with your current vehicle for six months first. Oh and get a tarp too.

Buy an Interstate and your "worst case scenario" is that backing out and getting something else is a no-go. I may be wrong but most owners don't plan to sell until their relatives (or surviving kin) are legally responsible for that choice. I've never actually looked at the used market, but anything with a motor is more expensive than a trailer to keep in usable shape. Do read threads from Protagonist and Lily & Me - both happy owners. Ask them if they'd ever try to full-time except in an emergency evacuation.

Your objections to a trailer vs a B-van or B+
are somewhat valid, but you have to go outside to hook up the water line, sewer line and power and to unhook them when you leave. Really if a campground gives you the willies you'll almost surely get them as you drive up the road or look through the gate. Just tell the person at the gate "I made a wrong turn and just need to turn around and head back to town."

With a B or B+ You can't leave to buy groceries without taking the whole rig with you (or carry a bike, motorized bike or scooter) - and if you want to visit quaint old neighborhoods in St. Augustine or even see most of the plantations along the James River here in Virginia - Girl, you're gonna wish you had something as compact as a big pickup truck! Been there, done that, couldn't park and buy the T-shirt.

Creepy Campgrounds: Most people in most campgrounds ARE a lot like the people you've met on this forum. 90% gold, 10% nuts, but nuts like Cashews... sweet & salty and deeeeelishus!

There are lots of resources like Woodalls, and several good phone apps that can give you a good preview of campgrounds along your route. With a bit of planning you can always find a very safe haven. The big national truck stops like Loves are also very safe! Of course if you've got a trip planned you can always ask here for favorite routes and favorite spots - I do. I didn't used to do all the advance planning - in 9 years I've pulled out of 2 campgrounds when the initial look and sniff gave me the "I hear banjos - Deliverance" moment. Now, I pre-plan but almost never reserve a spot... every day I choose three possible destinations, one if I get frustrated due to bad traffic, or the wreck that has me stopped for two hours offering restroom service to pregnant ladies and old people, the second one is where I really plan to stay, and the third option is good if I have a fantastic day with almost zero traffic, great weather, excellent roads and and only 5 traffic lights that all turn green for me. (Got #3 once). I did park in a church parking lot one Wednesday afternoon - and got invited to a service. Every participant had a rattlesnake in a basket. Ah dumped my teapot in the sink and disappeared faster than a faht in a whirlwind!

800 Lb Gorilla with a Moho:
The big downside to any flavor of moho IMHO is a major mechanical problem. Many garages won't touch an RV. Your RV waits at an RV or truck repair shop that never has parts in stock. Where do you stay for one to three weeks?

If my newish F-150 caught fire and burned to a puddle of molten metal, I could replace it in a day at a nearby dealer with either a new or used vehicle, especially if I didn't reject a Tundra or Dodge or GMC out of hand (it may be heresy but there are a lot of good tow vehicles out there.) Yes, I'd have to get the dealer financing and pay off a big chunk with the insurance check a month later. But I know my credit score and I'm not afraid to use it.
Go to a rally - or even visit a big RV park on a big holiday (Easter comes to mind) and just walk around chatting with owners of everything you even think you could afford... ask them about all the issues that led them to choose what they own... and if they bought a new one would they switch brand or type? Be ready to offer a Kleenex for the drool before you ask, "What about Airstream?" or "Have you heard of an Oliver?" (The devil made me say that. I saw one in person Friday.) THOR wake up and smell the coffee!

Sincerely, Paula
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:17 AM   #19
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If you buy a trailer of any brand, you can't tow it with a Camry. You will have to upgrade your vehicle.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:08 AM   #20
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For Class B living full time, check out the roadtrekking.com website and look for posts by Campskunk. He and spouse have lived full-time in a class B for several years. Another interesting blog is to simplify.net - he is solo in a VW Vanagon. RVSueandcrew.net (started as ...com) is a single full-timer in a small trailer. Cheaprvliving.com is also a good resource. kimbopolo.blogspot.com is a female full timing approx. 6 mo. out of a year. Winnieviews.blogspot.com is a female traveling full-time in a b-plus. Good luck with your decision.

Katy
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