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Old 11-24-2017, 12:04 PM   #1
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2007 27' Classic FB
Richfield/SLC , Utah
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Beautiful AS myth and painful reality of life on the road... ??

See attached piece from the LA Times - interesting (fair?) contrast of takes on Glamping vs. workamping in Nomadland:,amp.html

Me: I’ve no doubt been duped, just another “constantly moving happiness machine” who’s fallen for “insidious messaging” - a small part of the “...great trick of democracy hijacked by consumerist capitalism...”. Heck, I just thought I liked to use my limited free time to go camping to neat places in a fun and iconic RV.

Regards - Ron

(Oops, perhaps too controversial for a Forum that loves controversial topics like tires, hitches, and TVs - before I get railed-on by someone for perceived insensitivity to RV nomads, I would note that I do exercise my freedoms by giving back to those in need in the community.)
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:26 PM   #2
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2017 is the first year that we've had to live on only our retirement income (no Laborers jobs). We also spent six weeks in a hotel room while the engine was rebuilt in our MH. We did some campground hosting and some Habitat For Humanity RV Care-A-Vanners volunteering. Counting the hotel costs as campground costs we have averaged $22/night. We don't eat out as much as some, more than others. We enjoy our chosen lifestyle. We don't feel that we have to work, but enjoy the opportunities to do so when they match up with where we want to be."
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:01 PM   #3
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Interesting article.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:42 PM   #4
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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We have all encountered folks that fit the author's profile. I know lots of folks in my age group (60 plus) that have nothing saved. Most will work until they can't, some are banking on Social Security, others seem to have no idea what they are going to do.

Worse places to end up than in a RV...
Sorta new (usually dirty) Nissan Titan XD (hardly paid for)
Middle-aged Safari SE
Young, lovely bride
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:17 PM   #5
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Titusville , Florida
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Honestly I don’t think life is any different for full-timers RV dwellers compared to stick house, real mortar and bricks traditionally owned home. I am in my late 50’’s, recently retired after 30 plus years in Healthcare and I have many, many friends who are just 30 days away from being homeless. They have very very little saved, if any, don’t have retirement funds, nothing and have no idea how they will survive after 65 not to mention 75. One major illness or injury and their whole life would go up in smoke.
I went into full-time Airstreaming with my eyes wide open as to the costs associated with this lifestyle. It isn’t cheap. The article mentioned $25,000 per year as the cost, I disagree, I would say it is much higher. When I was planning for my retirement (at 20 years old) I was taught that it was my responsibility to take care of me which meant that I needed to plan decades ahead. Living expenses do not go down with age, in fact they go up, medications, foods, clothing all go up every year. If you can live on $25,000 this year, the very same expenses will be $30,000 in 5 years, plan for that. The last years of life are often the most expensive! Nursing homes, hospitals, illness, etc. As an example, my Dad’s last years of life cost very close to $200,000 per year because of hospitals, nursing homes, meds, food, clothing and on and on, not to mention my mom also needed a place to live and food, etc.
I kinda get blown away by people who expect someone else to cover them when they didn’t save a penny ever. No, I know, life isn’t fair, some folks just have a really hard life not because they didn’t try but just because they never caught a break.
I know, I am point is...Airstream life isn’t any less expensive than traditional home ownership (by the way, lots of folks never actually own a home). It is just a choice. Living poor in an RV isn’t any better or worse than being poor in the projects. Some people will always have money, some never will.

She Believed She Could so She Did.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:26 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Well said, Lauri.

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Old 12-02-2017, 12:35 PM   #7
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Got about half way through the article and quit reading. Are they trying to lay a guilt trip on us? Sorry, not gonna work.
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Old 12-04-2017, 10:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
Got about half way through the article and quit reading.
LA Times drivel.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:44 PM   #9
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Not sure what the message from this article was anyway. Not sure it is bad that there are things that look nice to buy. Am sure that I am not going to sell my house and live in a camper. But we do spend about 5 months a year in one currently. People dream. Some have more rational dreams than others.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:49 PM   #10
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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One is not allowed to color outside the lines.

And unlike an above post, the misfortunes of some wipe out whatever they’ve accumulated. There are many reasons to be broke in a society which has as its goal the impoverishment of every ordinary man. Debt past schooling, unaffordable family formation, and asset-stripped at the end.

Were “healthcare” actually subject to laws on the books re conspiracy and racketeering, the prices would drop 80% overnight. Bye-bye unneeded staff overhead. And their exorbitant salaries. Quite a few would have to become economic assets, versus parasites.

Those who’ve had guaranteed incomes not subject to the forces the majority face have no business pointing the finger. Military, police, fire, etc, as well. Not just doctors and lawyers. All of whom have also produced no surplus for society.

An RV is a bid for freedom. Even if it doesn’t align in perspective with those able to retire with some comfort, the advantages of being able to freely move are big. Head out to opportunity.

We may wish it were, but 1966 is a long time ago in any sense of reality as to the actual opportunities afforded the majority today.

Is the public or private sector retirement fully funded? Expect that with any serious downturn one may be left only with what’s presently available. If that.

An RV has its place, if one wanders outside the lines to look back over the whole. For anyone, in my opinion.

Figure out how long one can go without utilities or re-supply in that RV. Maximize that. Whether it’s ones self or family, it’s high up in terms of responsible use. It isn’t just a toy. Give something back in retirement so that one is self-sufficient no matter the circumstances. 10-Days? A month? Longer?

“Cowboy up”, as they say down here.

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Old 12-04-2017, 01:01 PM   #11
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I have grown to be an independent-minded, not-color-inside-the-lines, freedom-loving, non-herd-follower.......

Seems to be a dying art.
I this great country!!!!
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:11 PM   #12
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Woodstock , Georgia
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i bought an airstrream to travel to other cities and scenic places, to stay in and avoid hotels and many restaurants. Now on our fourth one, we have come to a 1960s model from mostly 80s prior models. i restore these to functionality and attractiveness while on a budget, and we truly have enjoyed more than 17 years of travel, fun and some rally fellowship, and visited numerous towns to explore from our portable home in a nearby park or campground. it is affordable,fun times that we have sought and found. Also new skills and hobbies to explore.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:50 PM   #13
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tucson , Arizona
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What a sneering, jealous, sounding article. My wife and I worked for what we have and there's no reason to look down your nose at us as we enjoy the fruit of our labor. We've not bought into some false vision of freedom: we have planned for and now travel in our AS because it's a tool we use to nurture our souls.
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Old 12-04-2017, 02:40 PM   #14
Vintage Kin
Fort Worth , Texas
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Originally Posted by dvgofaz View Post
What a sneering, jealous, sounding article. My wife and I worked for what we have and there's no reason to look down your nose at us as we enjoy the fruit of our labor. We've not bought into some false vision of freedom: we have planned for and now travel in our AS because it's a tool we use to nurture our souls.
You, and those likeminded, aren’t the intended audience. It’s a coloring book line to delineate the deplorables of flyover country from those woke. Enlightened. A couched warning.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:01 PM   #15
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We received the book "Living the Airstream Life" as a Christmas present this year. At first skim, the impression was one of complete negativity. The photos are of coaches that very few folks would ever embrace for camping. Much more art than practical Wally travel tools.

After actually reading and doing the study thing, it has some info of interest. Not sure of the accuracy, but it certainly adds knowledge to the history story.

Like the layout pictures for the Ambasador, Sovereign, and similar vintage coaches. It's more that just a shiny exterior to grab the interest.

Like the frontal profile drawing that details how the trailers grew wider over time. If you want a narrow coach to get in a tight site, look at vintage.

Like the hand drawn specification drawing that shows the "drawn by" box signed and the "checked by" box empty. Kind of says a lot about the culture at AS, even in the past.

Like the history time line that documents when models were released and events occured.

The book is more focused on a variety of AS related subjects and less focused on AS specific subjects. Credit given to some recent contributions by owners and renovators. Somewhat a composite of history, coffee table picture features, and full timer interviews. Pat
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:19 PM   #16
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I have similar concerns about full timing….

I know there are some that do it.

Some that love it.

Some that try it.

Some that give up on it

Some that hate it.

I was thinking that we don't hear to much from the people that failed at it, or hate it.

Ten or fifteen years ago I followed blogs from a guy that was GREAT at full timing. He was young, handy, hard working, frugal and smart. He lasted 5 years, then built a house. It cost him $22K a year, that was a long time ago.

I knew a guy who was retired and a full timing guru. He boasted that he averaged $8 a night for JUST " parking ". 8 times 365 is almost three grand a year. Not so bad. But there is a quality of life issue. Ya wanna live at Walmart or a campground? ( He got old and is living this daughters house )

Then there is the periodic people whose first post is " I have a great idea.Buy a really cool Airstream and live in it to save money "

I am thinking that Airstreams ( or SOBs even ) are luxury items. ( money pits ???)

One financial advisor tells new retirees " DON'T BUY AN RV "
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:26 PM   #17
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Tampa , Florida
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
One financial advisor tells new retirees " DON'T BUY AN RV "
I'll bet most would advise their clients that. They can't make a commission off your RV.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:18 PM   #18
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For our 2014 31' Classic acquired new and heavily modified, the fixed costs for our storage space, insurance and annual license plate fee use up around $5,000. We can put the unit on our Airstream only RV park lot (which cost $25K) for $1,800 for the season for power, water, trash service, park wide internet, etc. Some folks have left their trailer there for free over the winter in storage mode, but we had several broken into this winter. New alarm systems may help in the future.

Of course there is the acquisition and modification costs of the tow vehicle plus license & insurance and the fuel costs of getting the trailer to the RV park.

Turning on cable internet for our lot at the park (for security) is mostly compensated for by dropping the unlimited cell data plan on Verizon for the summer to a fixed data plan.

Food costs are similar to being at our home in Phoenix where the summer energy costs skyrocket due to the heat whether we are there or not.

Since the acquisition costs are now history for us, we could winter in Quartzite for the winter with no lot rent, but it would be really a spartan existence.

So allowing for about $8,000 in fixed costs, we still have to eat and pay operating costs for the drive around vehicle at the RV park.

There are some RV parks in Apache Junction that have year round rates of just under $1,000 per month plus utilities, if you can stand the heat. So if the Classic moved between an AJ trailer park and the mountain park, one might get by on $25,000 per year.....before medical insurance, cell phone service etc....

Airstreams can be a lot like a boat, a bottomless pit for money.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:03 PM   #19
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Beautiful AS myth and painful reality of life on the road... ??

True, the AS does suck money like a boat, but the convenience and the beautiful places you can go and see make it worth it.

Besides, as an old fart, having my own, clean, comfortable bathroom only 20 feet away at all times is a serious plus!!
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:41 PM   #20
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Hey nothin' beats a tent under the stars on a summer's eve in LA
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