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Old 12-18-2020, 07:58 PM   #1
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Talking Should I or should I not

My Wife and I are new owners of a 2018 classic 33. Excited about an adventure we have been dreaming about for the past 10 years. Our objective is to visit as many National parks in the US as well as some state parks.

We would also like to meet up and meet new friends along the way and maybe travel with a group. So should I join the Airstream Club? Is it worth the expense or should I look elsewhere?

Thanks
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:09 PM   #2
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Congratulations and welcome to the crazy world of airstream ownership!

Yes, you probably should join WBCCI if, for no other reason, then tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experience that comes from years of owning operating and maintaining your trailer. Whether you renew your membership depends largely on your local chapter and how active they are and so on. The WBCCI is an aging organization with a storied history and lots of, how should I put it, “interesting traditions” which you might enjoy, or find amusing, or strike you as strange, outdated or be put off by. But the membership themselves individually are great people. Like any organization, you get out of it what you put into it, and if you ignore the politics and drama, such as there may or may not be, you can have a very enjoyable time, especially if you join one of the caravan or road trips.

PS, yes, a goal of mine is to, when I finally retire, go on an extended national parks trek. There a few National parks in Alaska and Hawaii which are not accessible via Airstream, but doing all of the parks, national monuments, plus notable state parks would likely take years. And many here recommend bypassing camping in the parks directly; opting for nearby BLM spaces farther away from the crowds.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:33 PM   #3
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Yes. For us the WBCCI has be wonderful. And a very small expense as Airstream trailer expenses go. And you will probably save money because of what you learn by talking to other club members.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:40 PM   #4
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Welcome to the asylum! Enjoy camping. +1 on joining WBCCI.

Serious advice - start with 2 or 3 short trips. 50 to 150 miles max. You won't arrive exhausted and you will get the setup and takedown routine polished. (Looking like an expert rather than a clueless newbie.)

PAULA
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:19 AM   #5
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IMO, yes. But, one really needs to be committed to participating to maximize benefits. That will mostly come from a local unit should you choose that as part of your membership. Or you can join only at the international level, in which case your benefits come from the national caravans, in terms of personal interactions. And there are 54,000 friends on Airstream Addicts as well.
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:27 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Airstream world. Traveling on your adventure with a group can be good...but can also backfire if the group isn't a good fit socially for you and your wife. So choose carefully. A smaller group of true friends with shared lifestyles can be beneficial if available.

An important consideration if you're looking to do the adventure this Summer is that many state and national parks are partially or fully closed. Same with public RV campgrounds. So plan carefully and book far far in advance.

Hope you have a great time!
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:32 AM   #7
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If you enjoy other people and wish to learn and share experiences travelling all over North America we heartily recommend our Airstream Club. We have been members for over 27 years, travelled to all corners of the USA and Canada with fabulous friends. One of the great advantages of the Club is learning from others as the knowledge base is fantastic. As well the Club becomes a second and warm family. And for places to see, as we say, our caravans are the best deal around given you cannot do it any cheaper and yet have wonderful experiences. Enjoy your travels and the hundreds of friends you will meet. Hope to meet you - Down The Road.
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candrews768 View Post
My Wife and I are new owners of a 2018 classic 33. Excited about an adventure we have been dreaming about for the past 10 years. Our objective is to visit as many National parks in the US as well as some state parks.

We would also like to meet up and meet new friends along the way and maybe travel with a group. So should I join the Airstream Club? Is it worth the expense or should I look elsewhere?

Thanks
Congratulations! We found these clubs really can vary by who is running things...some seem pretty formal, even "cliq-ish", and some are pretty informal and lots of fun! The WBCC "formal" clubs can be a bit overwhelming with formality from our experience, also. We tried to meet and talke with a "traveling group" in Utah couple years back just outside Zion and were treated with obvious resentment because we did not display our red numbers and were not traveling with them, it seemed...so it can be an interesting experience.

I would say go to a meeting with the local club and see how you like it...even if you join you can always opt out if your not enjoying. We really have a great time when we attend the Alumalina event in NC and their Balloon Fest, with those folks. We also have dropped in on a few events in Texas without joining, and had a great time...you can also catch up on some of the "get together" events posted here on the Forum with these clubs and ask about attending...really bunch of good well meaning folks who give their time to help coordinate events. Covid has put a damper on many get togethers this year, but there are still many ASers like the one coming up New Years on the Florida coast...

By the way, we used to live in Thousand Oaks also, around the corner on same hill as CLU when the Cowboys used to have spring training there. I remember being at the British Pub and Grub with Ed TooTall Jones, Tony Dorsette, and Hershel Walker one afternoon there..good times back in the day! Remember Flip Wilson used to play golf there and leave his trash all over the course...legends of our time!
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:01 AM   #9
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A few quick suggestions. First, as others have said, joining the international Airstream (WBCCI) is a great start for connecting with folks, learning about Airstreams and discovering events in your area. Second, contact and attend a rally or two with different nearby local or state Airstream groups. Each group has a unique character. I belong to two state Airstream groups. One may match your interests more than others. Plus you get a feel for the kind of campgrounds favored by each. Third, consider joining one or more of the other "hosting" services. Harvest Hosts and Passport America are both very helpful for locating interesting places to visit and stay. Finally, services like Free Roam provide out-of-the way, fun and low cost camping options. Great if you want to try getting away from trailer parks and hookups for a change. As trailer ownership increases, good full utility sites are less and less available. Enjoy!
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:08 AM   #10
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Joining Airstream Group

Roberta and I have put over 8,000 miles on our Airstream in the one year we’ve owned it. We’ve found school-call never ends. First it was checklists and learning how to take steep grades. Today it’s wading through a 19-page thermostat users guide.

Ultimately, you must become master of your rig or it will master you (and PUNISH you).

Wherever we set up camp, we take note of Airstream neighbors and drop by for a visit. Airstreamers know Airstreams like nobody else. We have questions; frequently, our fellow owners have answers and questions of their own.

We’re considering joining a regional Airstream group, though eventually we’ll be crossing and re-crossing the country on our own schedule and routing.

So, if it’s coming up to speed on Airstream operations, it’s random meetings, joining a group or, heaven forbid, becoming overly familiar with your dealer and his service department.
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Old 12-19-2020, 10:23 AM   #11
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Warner Robins , Georgia
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JOIN WBCCI & a local club

You are receiving great advice. As a Past President of a local club, I can add a comment or two about politics. EVERY club, or organization of every kind has a certain amount of politics, including churches! Usually it only involves folks in leadership positions and if you stay away from them, you will do fine.

Compared to the cost of purchasing, insuring, maintaining, repairing an Airstream, the $75 annual cost for WBCCI membership is negligible. Our local club charges $15 per year.

Clubs schedule Rallys over long weekends, which is a great opportunity to accomplish what others have already advised. I would add my personal experience at Oct 19 Rally at Top of Georgia, our new to us, 34’ triple axle Excella’s electric jack decided to quit working and “died”. One of our members is an Electrical Engineer from Georgia Tech, who has built an RV repair company and he installed the new electric jack, before we began our long journey to Land Yacht Harbor in Melbourne, FL

Caravans - these are next up on our list. Our club conducted a mini-caravan in summer of ‘19 to travel to the International Rally in Doswell, VA. 12 trailers participated and we had three trailer tire blowouts which were replace alongside the interstate by several brave, strong and resourceful travelers!

Regional Rallys are also an option that we have enjoyed.

Parking in Nat’l, State, BLM, Nat’l Forest CG’s can be challenging for our 26’ trailer (trees, boulders, narrow roads, cars parked in the road, etc) and we agree with those that advise you to consider using RV parks close to the area you want to visit. Without sewer hookups, the limitations can be grey and black tank capacities. We do not like the amount of effort required to dump our tanks in the middle of one of our camping trips. Our grey/black tanks fill up in about 3 days, depending on whether our three grandchildren are with us unless there is a shower house with flush toilets. Pit toilets are not acceptable to my beautiful bride! Picture yourself doing this with a 33’ trailer that may have been challenging to park in the first place. You have to disconnect everything hook the TV and trailer, dump the tanks and reverse the process when you return to your site.

Since someone else has shared S. CA location where they have lived, here goes ours - we lived in Simi Vally, CA, about one mile from the Reagan library and remember when Nancy was buried there. We could here the protestors from our balcony! Seems like someone somewhere always has something to protest, particularly when cameras are around!

Welcome to the world of Airstream life, remember to flash your lights when you encounter another AS on the road, and let us all know that you are NOT pulling that 33” trailer with a mini-van, or mid-size pickup!
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Old 12-19-2020, 07:42 PM   #12
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Yes, join WBCCI a.k.a. The Airstream Club! If for no other reason than to be able to sign on to their well- organized caravans; attend rallies for invaluable learning; and to receive informative Airstream Club videos and the Blue Beret. I am still searching for an Airstream regional group where I “fit” but the search has been part of the fun; and is why I remain a very happy Member-at-Large (since 2005).
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Old 12-19-2020, 07:57 PM   #13
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All of the above X 2

Airstreamers are a wonderful group, and WBCCI or whatever it's called now is a great collection of Airstreamers. Some will be to your liking, and some will not. But it's a large enough group that you will find someone you enjoy being with.

And the Rallies and Caravans are simply wonderful, run at cost, so it just doesn't get any better than this. Join and have fun!

Vivian
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Old 12-20-2020, 06:07 AM   #14
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By all means join the AS Club!
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Old 12-20-2020, 08:42 AM   #15
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I started reading this forum before we even purchased our first Airstream, a 2013 25FB International Serenity. There were threads on towing capacity and I learned my existing 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI turbo diesel could tow more than a 19' Bambi. I learned where there was an excellent modification shop and what dealerships would best be avoided.

We initially joined a local AZ unit and we heard nothing until the next years dues notice came around for unit dues. We went to a second group and we switched our membership to that unit.

The rallies provide an opportunity to eat some diverse foods as the attendees provide the meals at some of the rally functions. Their cooking skills run the gamut from "Wow" to very simple fare. Great friends are easily made.

We elected to become life members to help support the WBCCI and our local chapter dues of $2.00 per year are a true bargain.

A side benefit of the annual WBCCI membership roster is that some folks can provide a parking place at their home which can be handy in a pinch.

A 33' model will provide entry and exit challenges to preclude dragging the rear frame getting into and out of some fuel stations. It is possible to wrinkle the skin.

Some of us upgraded our "mature" Classics (and other 25' or longer models as well) from the stock 15" Goodyear Marathons to 16" Michelins which raised the coach about ˝" and stopped the dismal tire failures associated with that particular Goodyear tire. I have no experience with the new GoodYear tire, but have not had a Michelin tire failure on any vehicle in nearly 50 years.

A great starting book is "The (nearly) Complete Guide to Airstream Maintenance" by Rich Luhr. You can buy it at the Airstream Life magazine website:

airstreamlife.com/store

That is also a great magazine with lots of tech tidbits.

Welcome aboard for a really great new life adventure.
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Old 12-21-2020, 07:50 AM   #16
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Absolutely Yes. In my opinion the Airstream Club is one of the best things about owning an Airstream. The benefits go well beyond the local club. We’ve made great friends through rallies and caravans.

The caravans provide a great opportunity to travel to interesting places as a group, see things you may have otherwise missed, and meet new friends in the process. Go on the WBCCI website and check out the caravans offered.

Membership is worth the few bucks if you take advantage of what it offers.
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Old 12-21-2020, 11:11 AM   #17
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Yes you should.

Not only for the fun but for the courtesy parking.

Many members let other members overnight in their yard or driveway. No fees just a kind offer.

These members get very very happy when someone asks to stray over. Hey, what Airstreamer doesn't like meeting another?

Join and go to rally's, events and enjoy free overnighting across the country.

See my sig line.
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Old 12-21-2020, 12:19 PM   #18
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It depends entirely on you. If you the kind of folks who enjoy clubs, an annual membership is a small investment to find out if the club is a good fit. Full disclosure: I didn't join and likely never will. I don't mind meeting people in the usual random ways, but one of the main attractions of camping is getting away from structure, routine, rules, etc. Whatever you choose, best of luck to you.
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Old 12-23-2020, 09:42 AM   #19
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Watch YouTube videos as well. One of our favorites is the Long Long Honeymoon. They have an Airstream and are a great source of information. We haven’t joined a club, but do enjoy reading the forum. Either way, enjoy your new AS.

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Old 12-23-2020, 10:01 AM   #20
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As a wise man named Julius once said....."I'd never join a club which would have me as a member."
Oh go join. You know you want to.
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