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Old 04-09-2024, 03:07 PM   #1
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Holden , Massachusetts
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 6
Hello!

First post here.

My wife and I will be fully retired in September and we've been thinking about an Airstream.

We haven't camped since we were kids (tent camping) and hope we like towing a trailer and seeing small town America. Have been to many national parks and really want to visit some we haven't been to!
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Old 04-09-2024, 03:47 PM   #2
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2021 16' Bambi
Forest Lake , Minnesota
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Welcome! You've come to the right place if you want advice (wanted or unwanted). There are always issues but almost everyone loves their Airstream and wouldn't own any other brand. And even though you might have nothing else in common owning an Airstream gets you into a club with a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people.

We were tent campers also before we got our first trailer a 2021 16' Bambi which we loved. It was a great model to cut our teeth on and we learned a lot about if we liked trailer camping and towing, etc. But we outgrew it quickly, and last year got a 2023 25' Globetrotter.

If you do a search there are a number of threads discussing various models and how they work with different camping styles. How you plan to camp narrows things down. For us we like to visit National Forest campgrounds and places that don't always have power (boondocking). So solar is important and we added lithium batteries later. We found the small Bambi was great for weekend trips but it got cramped for week or two-week treks especially with our large dog, so a bigger size fits our needs much better.

Otherwise, we bought new in both cases but there are plenty of good deals on used and there are good discounts new (15-20%). Model years 2021 and newer have the non-rotting composite floor which was a big deal for me.
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Old 04-09-2024, 03:56 PM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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RE: Hello!

Greetings Rickoo! Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreams. Within this broad range of RV products you can find something for almost every desire from small to large travel trailers, B-Vans, Vintage Class A Motorhomes, Vintage Travel Trailers, as well as Vintage oddities such as the Square Airstreams, Square Argosy trailers, fifth wheels and those comparatively rare Airstream trailers with slide outs from over a decade ago.

Spend a little time here as well as in the Airstream Document Archive, and you can learn a great deal about the features of nearly every Airstream built for much of the company's history.

You never know what may happen as you learn more about the various Airstream products. You may find that factory new model that is absolutely perfect, or you may find, as I did 29 years ago that an older Vintage Airstream more fully answers your needs and desires. I began my search fully intending to purchase a new 1995 Airstream, but quickly learned that a 24 to 26 foot trailer with my desired large, comfortable rear bathroom and center bedroom was not offered and hadn't been for several years. Thus began a months long search for the well-preserved, but in continuous use, lovingly cared for older Airstream. I finally happened upon a 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International that had been lovingly cared for by two previous owners and was in immaculate condition. It met every one of my criteria so I left a deposit and traveled the 250 miles to tow it home 10 days later. I own that trailer to this day, and I purchased a 1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre in 2002 to keep it company for shorter trips, and it only had one previous owner and was also in immaculate condition.

Good luck with your investigation and deliberations! And, again, Welcome to the world of Airstreams!

Kevin

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Old 04-09-2024, 05:00 PM   #4
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Welcome!

Rickoo, welcome to the Airstream Community and Forums.

You're among friends here - we did the same thing five years ago. One piece of advice I can offer that you'll hear often: Buy your 2nd Airstream first!

We started with a 23' Flying Cloud FB partially because it fit the tow vehicle we had at the time. We really wanted the 25' but the tongue weight was too heavy so we settled. After one season we went back to the dealer and got what we wanted. That turned out to be a 27' Globetrotter (and a new 3/4 ton truck).

So, spend some time in each model and be honest with yourselves on what your camping expectations are. You may find a 20' Basecamp is perfect size but the devil's in the details. Check the tank sizes and make sure they'll meet your needs.

Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2024, 06:24 PM   #5
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
1969 21' Globetrotter
Conifer , Colorado
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Welcome from Colorado: We hope you bite the Airstream bullet. They tow great and hold their value pretty well. They also are kind of an American icon as the business got a good start in 1947. They came from California and followed the strong aviation industry out there, thus the "semi-monocoque" aluminum body all riveted together. Airstream owners are a great community with local clubs and an active International club. We have rallies, caravans and other events where we gather and have a ball.

I too like the vintage Airstreams as I enjoy seeing how they were built and traveling with them. They are also more basic and easier to repair for me. Here we are in my wife's 1986 Limited 34' in the pacific NW. My wife's folks purchased the trailer new and spent a lot of their retirement years in it. Now we enjoy traveling with it. It is a family heirloom so to speak.

David
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Old 04-09-2024, 09:21 PM   #6
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Welcome Rickoo! Of course, I hope the Airstream works out for you, but whatever you choose, let the adventure begin!
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Old 04-17-2024, 11:05 AM   #7
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2023 22' Caravel
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2023
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Hello, welcome and congrats! In anticipation of our retirement (12/31/2023), we purchased a new Caravel 22FB in 2/2023 and have traveled quite a bit (Canada and west US). We pull our Airstream with a 2019 F-150 - the entire setup works perfectly. If you have not already, purchase a National Parks Pass (https://store.usgs.gov/lifetime-senior-pass) - best $80 we’ve ever spent.

Have fun!
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Old 04-17-2024, 03:36 PM   #8
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Cuddebackville , New York
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We first dipped our toes into trailer camping 21 years ago. We weren't sure about it, so we bought a used hybrid (solid body, fold out tent sides). We ended up liking it, got a 2007 20' Airstream, then a 2014 25' Airstream. They say the third one is then you keep. That seems to be where we are.

Enjoy your adventure!
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Old 04-17-2024, 07:37 PM   #9
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2007 16' International CCD
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Somewhere , Colorado
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Welcome! I will pass on the best advice we were given when we joined the forum and were looking for our first Airstream: go to a dealer and spend time in each model visualizing how you will use it. Lie in the bed, move around in the kitchen, try out the lounging experience, even spend time in the bathroom!

So much depends on your “style” that only you can choose where to start. Some folks spend lots of time in their trailers (like full timers or snowbirds) and need something more like a mobile residential unit, others use their trailers for traveling and use them more like mobile hotel rooms, and others (like us) are old-fashioned campers and use them more like an aluminum tent. Only you can choose for you.

Have fun, and best wishes…….
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Old 04-21-2024, 09:46 AM   #10
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2014 25' FB Flying Cloud
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 103
We Rented One First

We rented a Bambi from a local Airstream dealership for a long weekend, and boy, did we learn a lot! About what we liked, what didn't work for us - just so much. I highly recommend it if you can find one. Not sure if all or even many dealerships offer this or not.
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:12 AM   #11
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Beaverton , Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffKim View Post
Welcome! You've come to the right place if you want advice (wanted or unwanted). There are always issues but almost everyone loves their Airstream and wouldn't own any other brand. And even though you might have nothing else in common owning an Airstream gets you into a club with a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people.

We were tent campers also before we got our first trailer a 2021 16' Bambi which we loved. It was a great model to cut our teeth on and we learned a lot about if we liked trailer camping and towing, etc. But we outgrew it quickly, and last year got a 2023 25' Globetrotter.

If you do a search there are a number of threads discussing various models and how they work with different camping styles. How you plan to camp narrows things down. For us we like to visit National Forest campgrounds and places that don't always have power (boondocking). So solar is important and we added lithium batteries later. We found the small Bambi was great for weekend trips but it got cramped for week or two-week treks especially with our large dog, so a bigger size fits our needs much better.

Otherwise, we bought new in both cases but there are plenty of good deals on used and there are good discounts new (15-20%). Model years 2021 and newer have the non-rotting composite floor which was a big deal for me.
That is the first time I've seen someone state clearly that composite floors were used 2021 forward. Invaluable for my search - thank you so much!!
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:13 AM   #12
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I should note - I'm sure it has been mentioned in 1000 other posts...I've just not seen it before, so thank you.
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Old 04-21-2024, 12:44 PM   #13
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2022 16' Bambi
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janicemd View Post
We rented a Bambi from a local Airstream dealership for a long weekend, and boy, did we learn a lot! About what we liked, what didn't work for us - just so much. I highly recommend it if you can find one. Not sure if all or even many dealerships offer this or not.
+1 on renting to give it a try before buying. We found it really helpful to spend time in a trailer to experience the layout -- some things we thought we didn't care about we found great, and some that we thought we wouldn't mind we hated!
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Old 04-21-2024, 01:02 PM   #14
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2023 28' Pottery Barn
Alexandria , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 25
Hi, and welcome!

We were a lot like you, just a year ago: Always loved the look of Airstreams; wanted to see the country from the ground and, with two (small) dogs, knew we wanted to bring our “house” with us. DH had camped as a kid, but I hadn’t. We bought a Pottery Barn, and off we went. Our first trip was 14 weeks, coast to coast. You might say we liked it!

As others have said, buy your second AS first. We should have, we didn’t, and now we’re about to pick up a Classic. Fortunately, we did get the right truck!

A bit more advice — if you do buy an AS, think about going to an all AS park for your initial adventure. You won’t remember everything the dealer or seller told you, something may go wonky, and you’ll be so happy to have a passel of experienced Airstreamers around. Plus, they’re incredibly friendly and are fond of happy hour guests

Again, welcome! We’ll see you down the road
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Old 04-21-2024, 05:56 PM   #15
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2021 33FB Classic
Box Elder , South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 50
Rent, rent, rent. Yes to that. If you need to rent a truck, you can go to Enterprise. Outdoorsy has plenty of trailers as well for you to rent. We did and decided we needed something bigger than 27' to live full-time on the road. We bought a 33 Classic and have been extremely happy.

Some Airstream dealerships offer free towing instruction. Ask. We did that before we purchased just so we could get a feel for towing a vehicle and practice backing it up.

Stay informed by getting the AirForums newsletter. No better crowd of people who are helpful, and want you to be successful. Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2024, 08:01 AM   #16
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2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
2019 25' Flying Cloud
Stilwell , KS
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 23
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Buy #2 first

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
We first dipped our toes into trailer camping 21 years ago. We weren't sure about it, so we bought a used hybrid (solid body, fold out tent sides). We ended up liking it, got a 2007 20' Airstream, then a 2014 25' Airstream. They say the third one is then you keep. That seems to be where we are.

Enjoy your adventure!
Welcome Rickoo!
Like many others, we are happy with our #2, a 2019 Flying Cloud, 25'. We have found that 25's and smaller have an easier time camping in National parks. Not as easy with longer models.

Enjoy your journey!
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Old 04-22-2024, 10:50 AM   #17
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2013 23' International
Aloha , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 65
Some thoughts to consider...
1) Smaller is better - easier to haul, easier to maneuver, less room to fill up with stuff from home that gets in the way of enjoying camping.
2) Look at 2014-2016 AS19s. The 19 is the smallest Airstream with a dry bath. 2014 is the last year with a real oven, better than a microwave when dry camping. 2015 and 2016 may only be available with the microwave - upgrade batteries, solar and inverter to use dry camping. 2015 has a ducted furnace which is quieter than the 2014. 2016 is the first year with a ducted furnace and ducted A/C.
3) an upgrade from the AS19 is the AS23 with more living and storage space for longer trips. It tows about the same as the AS19 and can still be towed with a mid-sized pickup or SUV.
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