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Old 02-21-2007, 02:24 AM   #1
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2007 23' Safari SE
San Diego , California
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Aluminumitis - Dream or Nightmare?

Aluminumitis can strike out of nowhere when least expected…

Just over a year ago a co-worker was watering her plants and explained that she was going to take her Airstream to a rally in Arizona for a week.
An Airstream… I had heard the Old-Codgers’ Laguna Side-Band Radio Club members talk about their Airstream trailers 30 years ago… and how special and wonderfully designed they were.

Tent camping had been more work than fun for me. But at age 59 and three years into retirement, I was ready for an adventure and vulnerable to the infection of Aluminumitis. I bought my first Trailer Life Magazine and subscribed to Airstream Life Magazine. Seeing the image of the newly released QuickSilver Airstream at the local dealer had me dreaming.

Then I began reading the Airstream Knowledge Sharing Forums and how so many reported that after buying their first Airstream they felt compelled to get a larger one. Well my limited resources compelled me to do extensive research and learn from others so that I could attempt to get it right the first time around.

I found that Aluminumitis is an insidious disease and, once truly infected, it tends to be a chronic condition, probably for the rest of my life. It affected my vision… I seemed to have problems focusing on the many trailer problems posted here, and spent more time daydreaming while having visions of gleaming Airstreams. I obsessed over anything that was silver or aluminum and had a curve. The Airstream trailer looked gorgeous in every setting… I was hooked!

I tried to reassure concerned others that I was neither rushing into this or away from this.
I was beginning to enjoy the journey and at a certain point in the course of this affliction we realized that it was better to have this dream than not to have it.

So at that point there was no turning back. The Ranger was sold and the Silver F-250 PSD was bought. We then decided on getting the largest Airstream Trailer that would fit comfortably in our driveway and fell in love with the layout and design of the 2007 23’ Safari SE.

And now after the maiden-shake-down cruise and fine-tuning, we look forward to a New World of adventure. And we are finding that Aluminumitis is a wonderful dream come true!

Perhaps you can share your Aluminumitis experience here.

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Old 02-21-2007, 02:29 AM   #2
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One manifestation of Aluminumitis...

Is it a shrine, vision or dream...
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:04 AM   #3
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Hi Silvergate, and congratulations on your new purchase. I am sure you will be enjoying many years of camping the comfortable way. Just like you, we tent camped for years and it was time to get something that would be fitting a over sixty couple. You however did it the easy way, by buying new.
We have purchased a 1973 26" Argosy in need of total restoration. So there we are, six months later a new SS frame was built new floor and all new wiring. I must have well over one thousand hours in it, and I begun to worry that it may not be ready for this summer with my business going into a busy season now. Last week alone I have been starting at 4 am and quitting at 7 pm. Trailer is prepared to be painted. However all new interior and new appliances are still to be done. Now I am beginning to understand how others spend two or three years in restoration. My wife claims that she will not be upset if it is not done this year, but I know she will be heart broken.
She was really looking forward to it. We even purchased new Crew Cab 2500 GMC truck for a tow vehicle. She is trying hard to slow me down, claiming that the AS will not be of any value to her if I kill myself working. Despite all this I will do my best not to let her down. One thing for sure, that our appreciation of it will be much greater because we are investing our blood, sweat and tears into it. Yes blood, as I have many cuts to prove it.
Someday we too, will be able to join the ranks of those who enjoy it rather than work on it. Wish you luck with your new addition and enjoy what you have looked forward too. Thanks, "Boatdoc"
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:08 AM   #4
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Blood, sweat, and tears... and anticipated joy!

Thanks, Boatdoc, for sharing your Aluminitis story… very moving.

And thanks for your well-wishes.

Best wishes to you as you follow your dream.

Looking forward to reading more heart-warming stories & experiences here.

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Old 02-21-2007, 10:24 AM   #5
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It can be a life changing story for sure. We looked for a LONG time to find just the right trailer. We've had it three years now and it is always on our minds. Sick eh? (yes, the "eh" identifies a Canuck at the keyboard). We love it, we wanted a vintage unit and the more vintage the better, and we got it although we are now struggling with the possible acquisition of a 47 Clipper that needs love - let me restate that, I am the one who is considering it and my wife is rolling her eyes and wondering what I might be getting us in to. The interesting part is that we have many friends we camp with and they are still thinking about it but none have bought one - they seem reasonably content with the fibreglass trailers which are the preferred trailers to haul behind hot rods in this region and most of those are now 30 years old or older. I suspect if I can find the right clipper style and get it done the conversion rate will go up but we will have to see. The aluminum fever seems to hit some harder than others. I do look at the new ones and think about how nice it would be to just have one I could slide into and not have to tinker, but I think, being a die hard tinkerer at heart, I would soon be fixing things that didn't need fixing and then get myself in trouble with my wife. Glad to see you are so happy with your Airstream. You will find the longer you have it the more addicted you will get. Life is very good.

Barry and Donna
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:29 AM   #6
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Best wishes for great travels in your new 23 footer. We have a similar story. About a year ago we were bitten really hard by the Airstream bug. We began doing extensive research, and even tried to convince ourselves that an Airstream was not for us. It was too late; we were hooked on Aluminum. We started buying magazines and read everything on Airstreams that we could find. We decided on what we wanted and started shopping in May. We found our Lucy pretty quickly, and took delivery of her on June 1st. Lucy is a 2005 25" Safari FB. She was a brand new left-tover from the prior model year. We hit the ground running and have, thusfar, logged 12,000 miles, and we have spent 97 nights in her. We like being in Lucy better than being home, and go off in her every chance we get. In addition to pleasure travel, we have used her for business travel to trade shows and conferences. We are looking forward to many great trips in Lucy.

There is a learning curving on the RVing part of the Airstream experience. Have fun learning the technicalities and, before you know it, you'll be a pro.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2020 Silverado 2500 (Vivian)
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:24 AM   #7
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Congratulations on recognizing you have "the disease" early enough to maximize the joy of treating it! The treatment is truly worth it...enjoy! Post all the pictures you helps in the treatment of other's affliction as well.

Still searching for treatment...notice I didn't say cure!

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
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RMVAC | ACI - CO Unit (Formerly WBCCI) | BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:00 PM   #8
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1989 29' Excella
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chronic aluminitus

trying to send pics
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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Aluminumitis - Dream or Nightmare?

Greetings SilverGate!

You are certainly correct about Aluminumitis being a condition that rarely subsides. My first experience was as a five year old when friends of my family invited me to go on a weekend camping trip in their brand new 1964 Airstream Overlander. I don't know which I enjoyed more on that trip -- riding in their Mercury Breezeway sedan tow vehicle or getting to sleep in the Overlander's Hammock Bunk.

From that time forward, I was constantly badgering my parents about getting an RV. While I thought that nothing other than an Airstream would do, my parents settled on a brand new SunWay truck camper in 1969. My parents always knew what my first activity would be upon arriving at a campground -- I would be walking around the campground counting Airstreams and would return quite disappointed if there weren't any.

Finally, in 1995 I was able to realize my dream and purchased my '64 Overlander International from its third owner. I must have looked at nearly 100 Airstreams from brand new to 1950s models -- I knew that it had to have a rear bathroom with bathtub, center twins with hammock bunks, and front lounge with the classic drop-leaf dining table and Leg-O-Matic chairs. The Overlander was advertised in a local "Shopper" paper, but had been mis-identified as a 28' coach so I had marked it off of my list as I wanted no more than 25' -- after seeing it advertised for the third month, I made the three hour trip to look at it -- it was the first coach to meet all of my requirements and I had placed a deposit on it making arrangements to pick it up 10-days later after I had taken my K1500 Z-71 to be fitted with the proper Reese weight distributing equipment and 7-pin wiring harness.

The twist to this story happened a few months later when I was towing the coach to my family's farm in Southern Illinois. I was passing through the town where the family friends who introduced me to Airstreaming thirty years earlier had lived. I ran across one of their relatives who remarked upon seeing the coach that it was the one from my childhood based upon the drapes that the original owner had made for the trailer a few months before the coach had been sold in 1980.

The Minuet found me through a strange set of coincidences as well, and it along with the Overlander are both keepers.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:43 PM   #10
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1989 29' Excella
afton , Virginia
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Chronic Aluminitus

Stella the Excella came first....previous pic
Then log removal....
Then shelter for Stella ....then F250 TV.......then Arnie the Argosy.... then Sally the Sovereign....then Crash the International
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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1989 29' Excella
afton , Virginia
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all in 6 months you can see... I'm obviously new to this...can't even post pics and replies properly....still learning.
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