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Old 03-16-2009, 10:34 AM   #1
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weehawken , New Jersey
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Airstream Newbie getting the lay of the land

Hello Everyone!

I posted to other forums before I found the member introduction so I thought I'd better say hello!

I am currently going through a divorce and am seriously considering going on the road for awhile. My sole responsibility at this point is my 4 cats-- who I cannot give up (they make me laugh, cuddle, and keep me sane). I have posted a question about how I would deal with them on the pet forum so if you have thoughts you would like to share I would appreciate it.

I have also posted threads about good gas mileage TV's and the possibility of doing a Veggie Diesel conversion and using solar and wind power-- again, thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

My friend and I went to the RV show in Atlantic City and checked out some trailers-- when we left he told me "we've learned one thing today-- you can't be caught dead in anything but an Airstream." So here I am!

I have been following other people's threads trying to get as much info as I can. If this will work out for me and my 4 cats, I have decided that I need (and can afford) a mildly used--in great condition down to the upholstery trailer, a vintage trailer that has been overhauled, or a used trailer that has had it's major systems rewired/replumbed/replaced but is ugly. I have been the caretaker and renovator of our 100 year old home. I can replace fixtures, put in flooring, install cabinets, install ceiling fans, and sew and stuff my heart out. What I cannot do is carpentry, plumbing, or electrical work. I would almost prefer to get something that needs some interior love in that it would have my own touch rather than something from the factory-- but I will be traveling solo so all systems must be a go. I'm sure that people have their opinions.

I have not decided on the size-- I know that it must be at least 22'. I need to feel like there are "rooms". I like the 25' International Ocean Breeze ($$$). I love those wrap-around windows (do you get much use out of them at campgrounds?). I also loved the Classic b/c of the real wood-- love that real wood dinette table. It felt so alive, airy, and comfy. (again $$$$). The bathroom in the Sport rocked but I didn't like much else about it. I also like to and need to cook which is another reason I liked that Classic.

The only other thing I will add to this already long post...I am looking for other women who are traveling solo to share stories with me as I have some fears about living in a trailer alone. I posted a thread elsewhere about this too. If you have tips or stories that you could share I would appreciate it. My safety and the cats are what is holding me back.

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Old 03-16-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
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hey Jolttx,
Not sure which of your posts I should respond to --- but one is as good as the other, I'm sure....

I too am a single (and mature ) woman and am try to do this on my own. One thing for certain - with this forum - you're never alone for long!

I probably won't be able to full-time for several years. So, I'm taking this time to get things in order, get my A/S (Ophelia) up-to-snuff and plan for that time!

I have tent camped for years and just recently made the move to a trailer. I have never been scared or concerned while camping in a park. I'm actually more worried sleeping in Ophelia when she's in my front yard. I feel more "exposed" and feel that someone would try to break in (for theft) at a residential area than a campground. I feel that the campgrounds exhibit a community type environment where no one ever ventures to your site without a welcome. And everyone sort-of keeps a mindful eye (or awareness) of each other. I was practically raised on a motor boat and equate a campground with a marina: both having some experienced full-timers who know what to watch for and are active/committed to keeping the area safe.

Of course, I have always camped with my dogs. They do give me some security, but that's not their purpose. They have seem to enjoy the travels (well, they sleep something like 20 hrs a day anyway) and I'm certain it's better than any kennel! I surmise that cats will acclimate as well - and find the good sleeping spots.

I too am well versed at caring for a historic home - so my purchase of a vintage A/S wasn't on accident. Unfortunately, the home ensured that I acquired a bit of understanding of plumbing & power too. But, the 12v stuff is all new. And so are rivets! Everything that necessitated a screwdriver now requires a drill and rivet gun. But one real similarity btw the home & trailer --- anything that should only take an hour to finish and a hundred bucks really requires 3 hours and three hundred bucks.

Anyway - I'd really like to be doing what you are considering. I keep reading about folks who are simplifying and living small and am so anxious to be there too.

How soon are you thinking about doing this?
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #3
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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Laura does bring up one point, if you go vintage, or even gently used, you may not be able to hit the road immediately. If you plan to go gently used and expect to find one that has all the systems in like new condition, you can expect to pay a like new price. That is why we started looking at new and found the Safari Bunk and knew that was the trailer for us. We are a family of two pre-teens and two working parents so full-timing is not even a consideration for us but we love our Airstream and can't wait to get her out on the road each month (we try for at least one trip per month). Hope things work out for you and you pick the model that is just right for you and your four cats.

Tom, AKA Minnie's Mate, sorry not Minnie.
2006 30' Safari - "Changes in Latitudes"
2008 F-250 Lariat Power Stroke Diesel Crew Cab SWB
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
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Smiths Grove , Kentucky
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I admire your desire to live a simplier life and taking the opportunity to see the country. The vintge campers can be cheaper up front but often require a great deal of work to be road ready. For example, floor issues, old appliances, bad axles and don't forget no gray tanks until 1974. I like the mid to late 80's models since they have all the requirements and are often much more reasonably priced (if 12,000-15,000 is reasonable). Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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Old 03-16-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
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Hello from Florida and welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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I prefer old and I think you can find a nice one for 15000 or less. Keep on looking and a few months is a typical search. Which ever one you buy stay overnight in it and ck out all systems. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:59 PM   #7
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1983 27' Excella
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Many good, older Airstreams change hands. One important thing is to be ready to If you find a good unit, at a reasonable price, if you don't buy it, the next person will, especially a vintage unit (25 years old or older). Trust me.

If you later find that it does not suit you for some reason, you have an Airstream to sell. If it does suit you, you have an Airstream to enjoy.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:20 AM   #8
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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You're Lucky to be in NJ

Colonial Airstream - one of the biggest best Airstream dealers in the country. GO to the dealership. Look at everything. They DO get used inventory from time to time. Oh... btw, look at the classifieds here.

With 4 cats, I'd go with a 27 or 25 model minimum. I fulltime in a 25 FB and wouldn't go smaller - and I have zero cats.

Make sure the cats are "chipped" in case one gets out. You also might want to consider a twin bed coach - because you can put a window screen (portable slide type) into the "garage door" on the side, and put the litter basket under one of the twins. The box gets AIRED out when you're in a campground, and when it's time to sift or change - you pull the box out through the door.

Some folks make a kennel or cat run that connects to the trailer via the garage door so the kitties can eat grass and be safe.

When opening your door, make sure to release the screen and see where the children are before you enter so one or more don't bolt.

Happy hunting. Paula
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:40 AM   #9
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Paula, That is a great suggestion on the cat box. We have been discussing how we could bring at least 2 0r 3 of our cats if we plan to stay out longer than 4-5 days. The box issue had us stumped, other than the shower. this is just a gret idea. Having them or even your dogs "chipped" is also a great recommendation. Some kids let one of our dogs out of her pen right after we moved and she wound up a the local vet's house. Fortunately she was chipped and they were able to trace her to us. We got our sweeet dog back and made great new friends!
The Silver Queen
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airstream, cats, safety, self sufficient

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