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Old 09-28-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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San Jose , California
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Getting 1st Airstream

Hi all, I'm new to this forum and to Airstreams. I have been looking at the possibility of getting an Airstream for a while, and am finally able to take the leap. However, I don't know what is best and what can help me to enjoy the most of my buy. Would love any advice!
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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Dayton , Texas
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Welcome Paul,

You've made the easy decision! What are you wanting to do, travel, camp, both? How many are going to be in your AS? Pets? etc.

If you have a tow vehicle now, that could be a consideration.

Just noticed your in San Jose, I used to live in Fairfield....had some fabulous camping out there!

Parking/storage considerations could come into play as well....have you looked at any yet? That would give you an idea of what you'll see here and ebay, etc.

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Old 09-28-2009, 06:28 PM   #3
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ozark , Missouri
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Welcome to the Forum.....This is the place to get all of your questions answered.....ANYTHING...and remember, the only stupid question is one you don't ask
I'll be following along to see what you end up buying....
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:39 PM   #4
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Saint Louis , Missouri
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Welcome to the forums! You now have a lot more decisions to make.

Are you a fan of vintage? New? Are you handy at fixing up or do you pay someone to do the work? How quickly do you want to start using your trailer? Where do you store it?

These are all good problems to have!

Air #4056

"Oooh - They have the Internet on computers now!" - Homer Simpson
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:45 PM   #5
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Head up to Jackson Rancheria for a day trip this weekend and solicit inputs from everyone attending the rally - I have never met an Airstreamer who will not enthusiastically talk about the virtues and vices of their rig. Where are you located in San Jose? I'm right next door in Campbell.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:55 PM   #6
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Sometimes Airstreams will 'come to you' keep your heart set and watch and see!
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:22 PM   #7
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Dallas , Texas
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What is the maximum "practical" length for government parks in our South and mountain West and the various private camps, as a rule of thumb? The Northest has little interest for me currently.

Slow recovery from neck surgery last year forced me to pass on a perfectly equipped 31'. I like 34' for the chilly weather month's travel storage and sprawl as diesel vehicle capacity is not an issue even in mountains. 4 to 5 tons of trailer is a given. My 5 ton crew cab trucks are 20+ feet long. Is 31' too long for backing into most spaces between trees or grass?

How LONG fits in most trailer's parking spaces so Wally World is not one's only choice?
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:33 PM   #8
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Welcome! Toddsters right. We will have a nice assembly of new and old rigs at Jackson Rancheria this weekend. You are more that welcome to wander around and should have a good idea what you like after seeing 30 or so...

I'll be there..

"Old fashioned service on your late model Airstream"
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:10 PM   #9
U.T and Texas A&M
Dallas , Texas
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Anything about your 30' Slide you don't like?

In coler strong winds does the slide lose heat or leak air?

Catch winds rocking the trailer?

Is the slide a weak point or too helpful to pass up?
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:15 PM   #10
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Wilton , California
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The slide is perfect for us. It really opens up the trailer and great for entertaining. There are large rubber gaskets and seals to protect against air and water leakage. The trailer is stable and tows very well. The only down side it the weight. I'm nearly 9200lbs loaded. The tongue weight is up towards 1300 lbs. We are very happy with our decision but we are no strangers to the far right lane...

"Old fashioned service on your late model Airstream"
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:41 AM   #11
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Trailer length is strongly influenced by the kind of camping you enjoy. If you plan on using your Airstream as a highway cruiser/vacation home, then big-rig pull-thru's with full hook-ups will be important.

However, if you like boondocking and National Parks, etc., smaller is better.

We've got a 19-foot Bambi, which works well for us; but our kids are grown and it's just the two of us. The 19-foot allows us unrestricted driving in nearly all areas, which sometimes limit length to 20 feet maximum (trailer) or 40 feet overall length. Plus, it's lighter than the larger trailers, so tows easily on long grades and narrow mountain roads. Besides, it has most of the amenities of the larger trailers (just more compact), so we can camp alongside the big rigs when we are on the interstates.

We think it's great at both boondocking and full-hookup sites, but that's just us. See if you can go camping and spend the day with your relatives or friends that have RVs. Or perhaps, you might want to rent a motorhome or trailer to see what it's really like. There's a huge difference between the extremes in what people consider "camping". That will give you a better idea of what is important to you.

Also, I'd take your time deciding, because your purchase will hopefully be long term experience. Changing canoes mid-stream is really costly, especially in this economy. Making the right choice for you the first time, will save you money in the long run.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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battle ground, , Washington
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89 34 footer for 6000$ on Portland's CL

Paul, I hate to push (right!) but there is an 1989 34 footer on Portland's Craigslist right now for 6 grand! I'd love to go look at it for you my wife cannot fathom my fascination with MORE AS's. Keep in touch.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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I'd recommend doing your homework, not only on the model, but on the dealer you're buying from... a knowledgeable/reputable dealer is very important.
A family of eight, blogging all things camping from our Airstream
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