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Old 08-02-2015, 09:03 AM   #1
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Video: The More We Explore - Shopping for an RV

Hi everyone. We are "the more we explore." We just sold our house, and we're gearing up to hit the road full time.

We've documented our journeys so far, and we invite you to join along. We are avid oudoorspeople, typically spending 50+ nights a year in a tent backpacking, packrafting, mountain biking, and enjoying the great outdoors.

We've been shopping for RVs lately, and after stopping by our local Airstream dealer in Salt Lake City, UT, I can't imagine us being happy with the quality of anything else. Check out our Airstream shopping video:

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Old 08-12-2015, 11:18 AM   #2
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If you have questions about Airstream ownership please ask away.

I watched your videos renting the Class C and will watch your other videos. That is a great way to learn about using an RV.

When we were shopping we decided a preowned Airstream was for us. We didn't want a motorized RV and having to deal with maintaining the automotive side of the RV and having to tow a small car behind it. But as in all RVs there are pros/cons about each.

We decided the 25' size was the optimum size for us, not too big not too small.

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Old 08-12-2015, 12:47 PM   #3
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Charming couple…enjoyed the video

You maybe preaching to the choir on this forum, but this video is great for Youtubers thinking about Airstreams ( Airstream should pay you ha ha )

I really liked Theresas ( sp?) Do Rag. She really " embraced " the " I Love Lucy/ The Long Long Trailer " vibe.

I'll check out your other videos. I'm interested about how folks your age can pull off such an adventure, and your long term plans and goals ( cost of trailer, work, etc , yeah none of my business )

I do have some advice ( maybe I'm preaching to the choir now ) Hiker to outdoors type folks. I'd be prepared to unhitch and leave trailer, when searching for, or getting to trailheads and other out of the way destinations. And I am guessing you know that many of your views out the windows aren't going to be Redwoods and streams. But it's great to see folks follow their dreams.

OOOps just saw your blog….I WAS preaching to the choir. You know your stuff
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:11 PM   #4
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Welcome, what made you want to join those of us of similar age already on the road?
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:09 PM   #5
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Explore More, welcome! Watched your videos and read the blog. Good work.

You look like you are on the right track. Love your enthusiasm. Looks like you are doing lots of research and planning.

There are many different types of folks on this forum but they are overwhelmingly helpful. We're full off opinions, even on things we know nothing about, but mostly want to share, help, be included etc.

Many will also gladly rain on your parade, just put up your umbrella and carry on. Yes you don't have the wealth of experience they have. So what. Learn the basics, put safety high on your list and enjoy and learn as you go.

Check out the blogs for:
Long long honeymoon
RV Sue and her dogs
Technomadia

There are also threads here for the best blogs and someone will likely post a link.

Visit an Airstream Rally, Vintage Airstream Club gathering an Alum(anything) event or Tin Can Tourist get together in your area. They usually have open houses to let you come in and check things out.

Pinterest has lots of Airstream boards now for ideas.

This is your thread now ask whatever you want.

Relax and Stream On!
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Old 08-12-2015, 05:09 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

We look forward to following your assent of the learning curve......

Sweet Streams

Bob....an 'old fart' who don't do facetwit or blogs.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:33 AM   #7
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Wow, what a friendly forum! We're on a lot of different forums, and while I'm sure there are all types here, we're blown away by the friendliness. Add one more to the "benefits of owning an airstream" tally.

We thought we had instant notifications setup for forum replies, but it looks like we're on a weekly notification.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
If you have questions about Airstream ownership please ask away.
Thank you! We have lots of questions, but we're betting they've been answered before. We'll be sifting through the forum to see if we can find the answers first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
When we were shopping we decided a preowned Airstream was for us. We didn't want a motorized RV and having to deal with maintaining the automotive side of the RV and having to tow a small car behind it. But as in all RVs there are pros/cons about each.

We decided the 25' size was the optimum size for us, not too big not too small.
We're in a very similar boat. We figured if we had a travel trailer we'd be able to unhook and go exploring more without the airstream, which really appeals. The thought of towing a rig behind a motorhome was overwhelming and overly complicated.

We like the 25' bed in the flying clouds because of how the bed is oriented. We like the 27' too, but we'd rather have the bed oriented sideways than having our heads near the windows. We figure it's easier to look out the windows when they're not by your head. We may look into a rear bedroom option too.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:44 AM   #9
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You maybe preaching to the choir on this forum, but this video is great for Youtubers thinking about Airstreams ( Airstream should pay you ha ha )
Oh man, that would be a dream come true! We'd love to work for Airstream's media team.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Hiker to outdoors type folks. I'd be prepared to unhitch and leave trailer, when searching for, or getting to trailheads and other out of the way destinations.
That's exactly what we're thinking. We've narrowed it down to a travel trailer, and we haven't found any other travel trailers we like half as much as an AS.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:47 AM   #10
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Welcome, what made you want to join those of us of similar age already on the road?
We're excited to join people of all ages on the road. One of our biggest fears is that we'll be lonely and we won't have many friends while on the road. We love hiking and camping in groups, and all our hiking buddies are here in Utah.

We love the outdoors, we don't like the confining feeling of home ownership, and we realized we could do anything in the world that we wanted.

We initially wanted to backpack europe and asia for a year or two, but then we realized we've hardly even seen our great country. Even though we've spent almost every other weekend of the past 5 years exploring Utah, there's still so much more of Utah we want to explore. Which led us to realize there's so much to see in this great country.

We initially wanted to get a tiny house, but as we started researching those, we decided that we'd rather be more mobile and be able to travel. Then blogs like Gone With the Wynns and Technomadia inspired us that it was possible.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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I was checking out one of your youTube videos about your requirements for an RV and one was a place to store the bikes and another was having additional ground clearance for taking an RV off improved highways. The Airstream will not meet those requirements. You can purchase external bike racks for the Airstream but Airstreams have lower ground clearance but that what makes them tow well.

One other note is you mention using an induction cook top. You will have to run a generator to power it while boondocking. To run it off an inverter you'd have to have a lot of battery and solar capacity. I'm not sure why you are into using induction cooking appliance over a propane cook top.

Another requirement is a 4 season RV. Airstreams are not a 4 season RV and are not as well insulated as conventional trailers due to the design the roofs are not as deep as conventional RVs. One brand that is 4 season is Arctic Fox but you may not like the build quality as much. You'll need a 3/4T truck to pull it so you have payload capacity.

We plan to fulltime or travel 6 months at a time in our 25fb. We are looking to have the queen front bedroom converted to twins. It opens up the trailer and allows more convenient storage. Hate lifting the bed to get to everyday stuff. The Airstream Flying Cloud series offers twin bed floorplans.

Another disadvantage but also an advantage is the aluminum construction. The shell wont take hail and if damaged very expensive to repair or replace. The advantage is if you do get a roof leak there is no wood involved unless the water run downs the wall interior to the wood subfloor. Conventional trailers have luan under the roof membrane. Once water gets past the outer surface the luan can rot. Many conventional trailers while having aluminum siding use wooden roof trusses. The fiberglass siding is usually backed by luan so any window/roof leaks can cause the sides to delaminate over time.

But for the price of an Airstream you can buy two or more conventionally built trailers.

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Old 08-13-2015, 09:18 AM   #12
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I'm interested about how folks your age can pull off such an adventure, and your long term plans and goals ( cost of trailer, work, etc , yeah none of my business )
We'll be interested to see how we pull this off too.

Very valid questions; we're happy to answer. Here's the answer: we don't have it all figured out yet. But we're highly motivated, and we'll find a way to make it work. We're flexible and hard workers.

We've been pretty good with money. We don't have any debt. We've always paid cash for vehicles, and we don't use a credit card. We got a little equity back when we sold our house, and that will cover the cost of a used AS, or a down payment on a new one. We'd like to pay cash for our trailer so we don't have any debt, but that will probably mean waiting a few more months so our savings doesn't get depleted with the purchase of a trailer. Most people our age don't understand the concept of paying for vehicles and large purchases with money you actually have, so we get a lot of weird looks from our friends.

We both worked hard to get a good education and go into good fields that we love. We're blessed to have good paying jobs, but after embracing a minimalist lifestyle, it's amazing how much money we've saved already. Once we're on the road we won't have to make as much money as we do now.

How will we make money on the road? We're still figuring that one out, but we will be working full-time. Tess has a good, solid plan, and Steve has a MS in Instructional Design and lots of skills (video production, product reviews, program evaluation, instructional design, teaching, welding, repairs, fabrication, etc), but we're working on marketing them and deciding which ones to pursue.

The dream would be to work for an RV company doing media/promotions/how-to videos, etc. while on the road. We've got a handful of business ideas that could all be great, or they could all be flops. We're still working on this element. We're lucky to have stability and great jobs right now, but it'll be a little scary (and exciting at the same time) walking away from those to start this adventure. We have a place to live in an AS on family's property until we figure this part out.

We're always game to suggestions. We figure there are plenty of jobs where we could download our work online once a week, the upload it the next week.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:22 AM   #13
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You didn't mention what vehicle you currently have. Could it tow a 25 or larger Airstream or conventional trailer?

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Old 08-13-2015, 09:24 AM   #14
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Check this blog out about a young women who works seasonal jobs while living full time in a Casita travel trailer. She is currently working for a concessionaire in Yellowstone NP.
Interstellar Orchard | Lessons on the journey to full time RVing
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:29 AM   #15
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Question Where to start......

"We initially wanted to backpack europe and asia for a year or two, but then we realized we've hardly even seen our great country."

Love your priorities.....WWWD?

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Old 08-13-2015, 09:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I was checking out one of your youTube videos about your requirements for an RV and one was a place to store the bikes... The Airstream will not meet those requirements. You can purchase external bike racks for the Airstream but Airstreams have lower ground clearance but that what makes them tow well.
Really good info Kelvin, and we share some of the same concerns. Thanks for posting this info, we really appreciate the great discussion.

We've already decided on a tow vehicle: a 1997-2003 Ford E350 7.3L diesel 4x4. They're EXTREMELY rare and extremely expensive, but we'll be able to store the bikes in them full time (along with our sleeping bags, tents, kayaks, etc) so they won't have to go into the airstream. Basically, our daily living stuff will be in the airstream, and the rest of our stuff will be in the van. It's kind of like a storage unit on wheels. We're scouring craigslists to find the right one, but they're extremely rare and tough to find. Steve has the skills to convert a 2wd to 4x4, so we're looking for ANY extended body (EB) 7.3L van newer than 1996. We've got our eye on one in a different state, but the seller has decided to raise the price, and we're in negotiations right now. Buying a tow rig is our next immediate stage in going full-time. If anyone knows of a 7.3L diesel ford van for sale, please let us know!

We've read that when pulling with a 1T truck you'll need the appropriate hitch setup. We've got some research to do in that area; we don't want to beat up or destroy our airstream.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
One other note is you mention using an induction cook top. You will have to run a generator to power it while boondocking. To run it off an inverter you'd have to have a lot of battery and solar capacity. I'm not sure why you are into using induction cooking appliance over a propane cook top.
You hit on a few disadvantages we've found with an AS. An induction cooktop is one of the most efficient electric cooking options. We're not totally opposed to cooking with propane (we do it all the time at home), but due to how we'll be using our trailer, we need solar and a battery bank anyway.

Since we'll need to live in this full-time and work from it, we need to be able to charge laptops and cameras all the time. Whatever solution we get, we plan on a big battery bank and as many solar panels as we can fit on the roof. As tent-campers, boondocking really appeals to us. The more we can live unplugged, the better. I question whether an airstream can handle the weight of the batteries we want, and the water storage capacity is a little low for what we want. We plan on using a composting toilet instead of the traditional toilet, so that means the blackwater tank won't be used. That'll give us extra greywater capacity, which will be good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I was checking out one of your youTube videos about your requirements for an RV and one was... having additional ground clearance for taking an RV off improved highways. The Airstream will not meet those requirements.
Agreed, this is a bit of a bummer. We're not going to go rock-crawling with it, but we definitely want to get off the beaten path. An extra 6" of ground clearance would be very welcome for us, and we would use it. I'm not sure about the rest of the states, but in Utah and Idaho, some of the best boondocking spots are down a bumpy, rough dirt road.



Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Another requirement is a 4 season RV. Airstreams are not a 4 season RV and are not as well insulated as conventional trailers due to the design the roofs are not as deep as conventional RVs. One brand that is 4 season is Arctic Fox but you may not like the build quality as much. You'll need a 3/4T truck to pull it so you have payload capacity.

Yeah. Despite what our AS sales associate told us, living in an AS in the winter isn't going to be fun. This is an issue we've considered a lot too. We could follow the seasons, and that's not a bad plan, but I don't want to be worrying about freezing pipes if we hit a freak snowstorm or cold spell. I've got some researching to do here.

There are other TTs out there that are better insulated and better prepared for true 4-season living, but they lack everything we love about the AS: quality build, and those glorious panoramic windows. We're going to have to compromise somewhere in our purchase. We're just trying to decide if we want to compromise quality and an open/windowy design, or if we want to compromise insulation and ground clearance (and cost).



Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
We plan to fulltime or travel 6 months at a time in our 25fb. We are looking to have the queen front bedroom converted to twins. It opens up the trailer and allows more convenient storage. Hate lifting the bed to get to everyday stuff. The Airstream Flying Cloud series offers twin bed floorplans.
Really good feedback. We need to go back to our local dealer and look at the options more now. We were just getting an initial feel of AS and whether or not it'd work for us full-time when we went. We weren't expected to be so blown away by the quality, fit and finish, design elements, and aesthetics. Now we need to go back and look at floorplans. I think we want a RB, but it's not a deal-breaker either way.


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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Another disadvantage but also an advantage is the aluminum construction. The shell wont take hail and if damaged very expensive to repair or replace.
True. We will undoubtedly encounter hail in our travels. This is a concern.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
...for the price of an Airstream you can buy two or more conventionally built trailers.
Or 3 or 4.

Agreed. Part of our minimalist mindset has been shifting from buying the "cheapest" items in life to purchasing quality. Since we don't have space for all the extra gadgets most people have, we make very conscious purchase decisions now. We buy exactly what we need, even if it's a little more expensive than the budget options. Since this will be our house, we can think of it as being cheaper than a condo. That being said, we want to make wise purchasing decisions. We are smitten by AS's design, windows, floorplan, lack of slides, and overall quality. We haven't found another TT out there that even comes close in the quality department, or in the visibility department. We even like the fact that the awning isn't motorized.

We appreciate a voice of reason. We're smitten with the Airstreams. We love them, and nothing else makes us even half as happy to consider as our home. That being said, we want to go in to the purchase with our eyes wide open and not make a super emotional purchase and ignore our true needs.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:45 AM   #17
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Regarding jobs, with Steve's video production and instructional design skills and passion, it makes more sense to pursue those jobs more than some of the traiditonal workcamping jobs like being a campground host or working at a NP. Not that we're against those jobs, they're great ways to make money; but with his skillset and interests, we should probably pursue those venues.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:17 PM   #18
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My only question is how do you stay motivated to work? We just came back from a month on the road in Wyoming and I am sitting in front of my computer dreaming about another trip when I should be doing my work...
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:32 PM   #19
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Reality and romanticizing boondocking

You said, "Once we're on the road we won't have to make as much money as we do now."

Well over 10-15 years ago, a full timing guru, published one of the first blogs. The guy could fix or make anything. His one year adventure turned into five. I would call him an expert in the field of full timing. He traveled alone. His annual expenses, including everything, was about $22 K. That was for one person. Another frugal expert boon docker boasted that he averaged $8 per night camping fees. My point is…I can kinda tell that you two are smart cookies. Do your homework, do the math. Your expenses, and your income will both be variable. And….you never know when trail magic, OR a pothole will pop up. I'm not trying to discourage you. It sounds like you HAVE researched. It's just that I have a few LONG term road trips planned, and sometimes it freaks me out.

You said "One of our biggest fears is that we'll be lonely and we won't have many friends while on the road "

The great thing is that you have each other. The guru talked a lot about the emotional aspects of full timing. ( Both going on the road AND going back to a conventional life style.) He said both were a blend of excitement, fear, and sadness. I've lived alone in the sticks, lived alone in suburbia, lived both ways in a relationship. All of those lifestyles were VERY different.
Another point that the guru made was about the excruciating goodbyes that he was always making while on the road. You will make friends on the road with people you might not ever see again. Those are tough goodbyes. For me, I am the loneliest at night, while on the road, dark, desolate, just some occasional headlights.

Sorry for getting all heavy. On a lighter note, I am guessing that I have walked in many of your footsteps, before you got there. I spent every vacation for ten years hiking in Utah. Sleeping in a tent, or within 5 miles of a vehicle was for punks. Then I fell in love with Bluegrass, and the mandolin, and I go to festivals, towing around a bathroom, bed, and kitchen. You just never know what life has in store for you.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:28 PM   #20
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Great points dave! We are excited for the ride.

I hope you brought your mandolin with you. We are both musicians, and if we ever cross paths, we would love to jam sometime. I play guitar and tess sings. She's got an amazing voice.
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