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Old 04-18-2007, 12:46 PM   #21
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Hi Myra and welcome,, think 2 air is absolutely correct,,, for my 2 cents worth,, small trailers are wonderful but minimalistic ,, bought a used 25 footer for long stays, perhaps snowbirding,, i find that is most more home feeling and requires less concern over tanks,, fresh water and the like,, larger fridge and stove with an oven,, but after all, is up to you ,, do the research and take your time,, good luck and happy trails,, donna,,
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:00 PM   #22
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bikrmikey - WOW! I commend you for suriving 2 months/8500 miles in your Caravel. Though I would think it would be a bit more difficult to work & live full-time in 18-feet if you weren't on "vacation" or on an extended trip where you can get away with the same shirt scenario...it's true though, when we pack for vacation we take very few clothes - nobody knows the difference!

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Old 04-18-2007, 01:38 PM   #23
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2.5 years and counting

I've been fulltiming for 2.5 years now. I bought a 22ft CCD in 2005..... and moved up to a 25ft Safari FB SE in 2006. (Then in 2007 they came out with the 27ft FB SE... and it's got much better closet space, a better pantry with a built in mini-microwave, and a queen bed that isn't transverse. I'm resisting temptation valiently, but ooooooh, why don't you buy one and maybe my itch will stop... )

That answer your questions about size?

Go a little bigger than you feel comfortable with. Get someone really good to help you with initial setup and towing (Thank you 53flyingcloud!) so that you understand how to balance your trailer, how to hitch it properly and how to adjust the brake controller. It's not that much harder to tow a bigger unit than a smaller one, but it could take a bigger vehicle if you move up like I did. Fortunately I already had a honkin' 2500 Suburban so I'm fine. If you buy an Airstream in haste OVERDO your tow vehicle.

Cost - vintage will be cash, as will most used. Maintenance IS going to be needed even with new, but it's much more predictable than with older units. If you have even semi-decent credit and a small down payment you can get a new Airstream financed for 15 years. Compare a payment of $400 - $600 to your L.A. rent and you'll probably be on a dealer's lot today!

I'm not a fan of long term debt, but consider this: even in Virginia Beach halfway decent apartments rent for $1200-$1400 per month plus utilities. I financed my second one, and have thought of paying it off, but even though I know I'm paying a lot of interest, I'm spending conservatively $700 LESS to live in the Airstream every month. I bought membership in a condo campground where with all utilities it will cost less than $1500 per year to stay my max of 38 weeks of the year. I travel on business at least 6 weeks and for personal stuff at least another 3 weeks, and stay at local campgrounds when I have to be off the condo. That averages $200 per week for FULL hookups: 14 weeks x $200 = $2800. Not bad. Now the next big cost is the tow vehicle - premium fuel $3 per gallon, with 10 to 14 mpg depending on whether I'm towing. OUCH! You'll definitely want a wireless internet connection and a good cell phone - the two together will probably be over $100 per month.

Living in an Airstream does affect MANY levels of your life, and if you don't think ahead the adjustments can be rough. I write about 5 checks a month. That still seems odd to me. Cold weather entertaining - gotta do it at a restaurant. Summer - good cookouts! (Park near a bath house so the drunks don't try to use your tiny pissoire!) Do you hate laundromats - get over it. If you buy new, they put cheapie mattresses in them (I hear the Classics have better ones) so assume you'll be looking for something new in a year.

I like dual axles, and I'm not into the constant restoration and maintenance that an older one will require so I bought new. I will say that LOTS of folks buy then upgrade, so your best bet may be to find a 2005-2006 that is "newer" but not brand spanking new. (Save $8K or so).

Look in the classifieds here, look at Colonial Airstream's website, Look, look, look..... Now of course with the cost of living in LA, you might want to just LEAP because you can hardly go wrong to bail out of that! I totally agree with the idea of hanging out at rallies. People love to show off their units.

If you're looking at used rather than vintage you'll quickly notice that bigger is often surprisingly less expensive than you'd think compared to the smaller ones which go at a premium.

Welcome to the forums . You couldn't have found a better place to do your research.

Paula Ford
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:17 PM   #24
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Welcome to the forum. I agree with previous posts. Research is they key to making a good decision.

When you are dealing with vintage rigs you likely will not have a gray water holding tank. In RV terms, a black water holding tank is for toilet waste and a gray water holding tank is for all other water waste. My understanding is Airstream started adding gray water tanks to some models in 1973. Mine doesn't have a gray water tank and is an inconvenience in parks that don't have full hook ups. State and federal parks often only offer water and electric and not sewer.

Good luck on your quest and keep us posted.

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Old 04-18-2007, 07:04 PM   #25
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I'd say you have to analyze your style, traits and habits. What do you like most about the places you have lived in.

What is your kitchen style - do you appreciate counter space for prep and storage? Single or double sink? Appliances, Oven vs Mircowave, count the small appliances you use. The meal style fancy with lots of ingredients or plan and simple.

These will dictate the size and style of kitchen.

Bathroom - are you a fancy pants that likes all the room in the world for all the frills or down to earth with minimum fuss. Do you like showers or do you prefer a bath once and a while? This determines the importance of a full rear bath or a wet bath or combo with a shower and toilet with sink outside the bathroom.

Bedroom - do you like to make your bed every day - or like it to be handy when ever you crash??? Do you like to be away from the rest of the living space or don't mind being in the thick of things. Like smelling your dishes that you never got to the night before???

Living space. At home do you spend lots of time in the kitchen and at the kitchen table - or do you spend more time on the couch infront of the tv or is it a nice mix?

Storage. keeping in mind your tow vehicle style will also play a big role in storage. Are you a pack rat or do you plan on carrying only what you need. A good way of starting out is to spend a few weeks and when you have a need for something you purchase it - thus you will only pick up what you need -instead of packing stuff you may never need and just drag around with you.

Then of course is the budget....new vs used vs vintage - they all have their pros and cons.

With gas prices today and the environment concerns I personally would lean toward the 60's smaller trailers. They are thinner providing increase vision for travelling safety. Lighter and more gas efficient.

The only problem with the 60's not many had the layout of the 69's and the 70's went back to the couch in the front with side table.

If I were in your shoes which sound very adventurous and a chance of a life time!!! I would be more than comfortable in the 21' 1969 Globe Trotter or the 23' 1969 Safari. If you have some time you could pick up one in about 3-7 monoths then take a month or so to fix it up (as they all need work)

Or take a 50's-60's 19-26 and gut it and design your own perfect layout to suit your needs. They all cost money - whether you buy a late 90's/80's or a 50'60's and retrofit - or a 70's that just needs new running gear and possibly a few appliances. (if you find a dry one) Look at spending 8-15K or more on a used or vintage. For a new one look at it as the monthly payments for a year - but watch the depreciation values - try and find recent year trade ins especially those who have started out with the 20's and moved up to the 30's - you can catch a few good deals on the lots if the dealer has too much inventory.

Good luck in your search...and adventures...
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Old 04-18-2007, 07:20 PM   #26
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Myra, have you considered the mid 1980's 25 ft. dual axle trailers? Beginning in 1980 (I believe) they beefed up the frame and began offering rear twin beds or a corner full bed in the 1985 model year in that length. The advantage to the rear bedroom is that it is at the far back and can be closed off so no one can look back there. Depending on how tall you are, the mid twin beds offered in the 70's can be rather confining. I had a '77 Excella 500 31' and at 6' tall, the mid twin bed was confining head to toe. A visitor also had to go through your bedroom to use the bath also. The mid bath of the '85's/'86's do not have a tub but it was easier for me to shower in than the rear bath/tub in the '77.

One single female forum member I haven't heard from lately has a mid 90's 28' Excella and she really likes the rear queen bed and split bath of her trailer. Walking toward the rear bedroom, a shower is on the left (curbside) and the bathroom with sink/commode is on the right. She tows it with a newer model Suburban. I saw a '03 28' Classic not long ago with the same setup. Sweet.

My advice is to look at some of the diagrams/photos/layouts some members have posted on the forum (search feature) and see what might appeal to you. Then, see if you can go to a rally to check out the layouts of various models from the '70, 80's and 90's. You will only know what will work for you if you walk through some of these.
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:28 PM   #27
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Myra

Have you considered writing about how, when you post a question on a forum, you can tell just how passionate the people are who participate by the quantity, variety, and quality of the responses?

When I post a question on other sites, generally automotive related, I get everything from very well thought out responses to others challenging me on my ability to form a logical thought.

That never happens here.

I'm sure by all the responses you've received in such short order you must realize that the folks on this forum love their babies with a passion, want to see others enjoy theirs the same way, and are reluctant to send you down a path that doesn't work out for you. Maybe it's because many of us have stumbled ourselves in our first few acquisitions and hate to see others suffer the same way.

Barry
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Old 04-18-2007, 09:40 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by mwinter
I would love to tour the country and just be free for once in my life. I want to do this for a year. When I find a town I like enough, I'll put down roots.

Myra Winter
Hi Myra,
You might be interested in this blog:

Tour of America


Good luck in your search for answers!

Randi
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:14 PM   #29
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Hi Y'all,

Oh, my gosh. I am so overwhelmed by the number of responses to my humble little post. What a warm and wonderful welcome to the forum! I'm so excited. What an encouraging lot you all are! Today I drove 50 miles to visit a place called Travel Land in Irvine. It was an opportunity to actually see, stand inside, and walk around in several Airstreams. I really liked the Bambi. It seemed to have everything I needed. I think there was another one called a Bambi Special Edition (Maybe this was a Safari?) that was 19 feet and had a little shower in it. I liked that as well. I'm not sure if I need much more room then that since I'm only a little person. The new models have everything in them, A/C, heating, stove, fridge, TV, bed, table, and so on. Looks like I could just tow it off the lot and head for Canada. I'm a bit worried about the price tag though. It was $45K. Do I need to spend this much money on a trailer? If I'm serious about doing this full time, I need something decent to live in. By the way, the salesperson was utterly hopeless. I kept saying, "Well, is there anything you can tell me about this model?" And he said, "Uh, it's pretty self explanatory...here's the propane tanks, here's the fridge, batteries over here...what else do ya wanna know?" I think he wanted to get back into the sales office to watch television.

Anyhow, now I'm going to go back through all these posts and answer some questions...
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
Hi and welcome to the forums! you are not alone. I too am in my 40s, single and have a cat.

Depends on your personality. Mine. I like room. I have an 06 Classic 31. there are several of us full timing. Some move around some realatively stationary. I am a mix of both. I work for 8 months in two locations. then travel for four months. I would say in the high twentys to low thirties.
I two my 31 with a Ford F-250 diesel. truck weights 8,000 pounds when towning. trailer around 8,000 pounds. can be up to 10,000 pounds.

Pick the trailer first. get the weight fully loaded and then go shopping for a properly sized tow vehicle.
Hi Michelle!

Yes, I've been reading your posts and your website. I know all about your accident (very scary! I'm glad you're okay) and your new kitty cat! My cat Snicolas is orange. I think he'll like RVing... So you live in your RV full-time? Even when you are stationary? That is too cool. You have a 10,000 pound trailer? I'm a bit intimidated by the size of some of these things. I guess I'll get used to it. I was thinking a Bambi was perfect for me but maybe I need something bigger?

Myra
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:28 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Since it sounds like you are already set on vintage...get yourself to a vintage rally open house to look at some of the different layouts. It'll be fun to kick the tires & look at all the different models & things folks do to them. Also the Photo Archives would be helpful for you get an idea of size and layouts.

For me, for full-timing, I would want a 22-24...probably 24 foot because they do have two axles - which the more miles you plan on traveling the more likely to get a flat. Any smaller, like the 19' models and smaller typically have a gaucho/bed which is made up & down everyday/night. Not bad for camping but a PITA for full-timing - I spent 70 nights out in 5 months & it got real old real fast. Bigger ones are great, but as mentioned before they mean a bigger tow vehicle and more to tow...just depends on your "needs" & how much "stuff" you wanna haul around with you.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do...boy am I jealous!!!

Shari
Double axles? Okay. I'm learning something already. I guess that makes sense. What happens if I get a flat in a Bambi? I just stop and fix it, right? With a double axle, you can keep driving?

Actually, I'm not stuck on vintage. If I'm serious about full-timing, I need to get something that is comfortable enough to live in. But the new Airstreams are seriously expensive! I guess I need to take out a loan??? And I have to buy a tow vehicle too. I'm looking at $70,000 in loans. This goes against my "live free and easy" theme.

M.
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:39 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel interested
How much room does one girl need? Let me ask this, how many pairs of shoes have you got? Sorry I couldn't resist. I'd say 25' is a great size.
How many shoes do I have? Not nearly enough. That said, I'm planning to put most of my stuff in storage. I like the idea of living simply. By the way, I have already given my landlord notice on my apartment. Last night I sold my kitchen table on Craigs List. Several people (inluding family) have asked me, "So where are you going?" I just smile and say, "I don't know!" I think it's a hoot. I have no idea where I'm going and I'm not worried about it at all!! And for the first time in a long time, I'm happy! And I must be doing something right because everyone thinks I've lost my marbles. I'm thinking once I put my stuff in storage, I'll head to Eugene, Oregon and sublet a room for a few months. I've never been to Oregon. I'd like to visit. I also want to see Portland and Seattle. While I'm leaving on the cheap, I can continue researching RVs. If I get one late in the year, I can just head south for the winter so I don't have to worry about my water pipes freezing.

MW
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:42 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by yukionna
LOL! Someone on the forums has/had a great signature quote something to the effect of when you are planning a trip, lay out all your clothes that you are bringing but only take half of them but pack twice the amount of money!
Ha! That's a good one. True, you can always buy new clothes. I just took a trip to Austin, Tx, and Raleigh, NC. I packed a giant suitcase and lugged it with me through three airports and countless hotels. For what? We don't need all these clothes. It's just another security blanket.
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:43 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
You might be comfortable in a 19', but a 25' would probably be better for full timing. A 25' would require a more substantial tow vehicle than a 19'.

You might want to also consider a new or recent year Airstream. These units would not require as much maintenance as a vintage unit. Newer Airstreams will usually already have the equipment and systems that you will want for full-timing.

A really nice vintage unit with all of the modern bells and whistles nicely incorporated will probably end up costing as much as a new or recent unit.
Good point.
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:45 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
where does lint go?



hello and welcome...

so you are a writer?

well write more!

without information on you, your needs, your expectations, your budget, your travel goals...

and what defines 'freedom'...

and your pets....

size is ne1s guess...

russian wolfhound and tigger the cat, or garfield and goofy?

your note suggests research on full time rv livin'...

with the many forums and books exactly on this topic...

what have you learned?

cheers
2air'



true regardless of size...
Hi 2airishuman,

I don't have a budget. I can always take out a loan. But then we get to my definition of freedom, which is to not have to work myself to the bone month after month to pay off debt. So I'd like to strike a balance between keeping my overhead to a minimum and living comfortably. At this point, I don't have a lot of travel goals other than go north in summer, go south in winter. What attracts me to RVing is the freedom. I would love to be able to pack up and go whenever I felt like it. I have friends all over the country I could spend more time with. And I think about all the interesting people I'd meet while traveling. My life feels stagnant right now. I've been living in an overpriced apartment paying rent to a landlord who is utterly obsessed and driven by money. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of living in Los Angeles. And I'm tired of the work I do. I've been a slave to my corporate clients for years now. I've essentially become a public relations whore, which is not what I wanted for myself. I have some more creative projects in mind that I'd like to put my energy into.

M.W.
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:50 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwinter
What happens if I get a flat in a Bambi? I just stop and fix it, right? With a double axle, you can keep driving?
Hopefully. Although, if you have a catastrophic blowout or don't catch a flat soon enough you are more likely to have body damage with single axle than a double. You shouldn't "keep driving" with a flat beyond the next stop, but at least you have an option of doing so.

That being said, I have two single axle trailers - neither of which (knock wood) I have had a flat with - we check the tires all the time and replace them every 4-5 years, whether or not they "need" to be changed or not based on miles. It just takes more checking...

Shari
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:08 AM   #37
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hey you are back!

started to think you were a one post wonder...

nice doggie pic too!

great move to visit the dealer. go back again and just play inside a couple of units.

open everything, lay on the bed, sit on the john.

does the galley work (imagine spuds and beans and rubber chickens on the counter.

get IN the shower and close the door....

these trailers are for living INSIDE so close the main door and stay awhile.

send the saleman back inside. IF you think of questions right them down.

we can answer them later here.

a great way to save money but still buy a 'ready' a/s is to look for 2-4 year old units.

these will have most features of brand new except the sticker...

when it comes to buying a tow vehicle and a trailer,

remember that trailer purchases have deductable interest, while the tv does not.

have fun looking it's part of the ownership process.

and visit a rally, great way to see LOTS of a/s in the natural elements and pick the ears of real owners.

there is a oregon/washington rally in late may.

also visit a few rv campgrounds. seeing who lives in an rv and how they do it is helpful...

even is they aren't in airstreams...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:14 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I've been fulltiming for 2.5 years now. I bought a 22ft CCD in 2005..... and moved up to a 25ft Safari FB SE in 2006. (Then in 2007 they came out with the 27ft FB SE... and it's got much better closet space, a better pantry with a built in mini-microwave, and a queen bed that isn't transverse. I'm resisting temptation valiently, but ooooooh, why don't you buy one and maybe my itch will stop... )

That answer your questions about size?

Go a little bigger than you feel comfortable with. Get someone really good to help you with initial setup and towing (Thank you 53flyingcloud!) so that you understand how to balance your trailer, how to hitch it properly and how to adjust the brake controller. It's not that much harder to tow a bigger unit than a smaller one, but it could take a bigger vehicle if you move up like I did. Fortunately I already had a honkin' 2500 Suburban so I'm fine. If you buy an Airstream in haste OVERDO your tow vehicle.

Cost - vintage will be cash, as will most used. Maintenance IS going to be needed even with new, but it's much more predictable than with older units. If you have even semi-decent credit and a small down payment you can get a new Airstream financed for 15 years. Compare a payment of $400 - $600 to your L.A. rent and you'll probably be on a dealer's lot today!

I'm not a fan of long term debt, but consider this: even in Virginia Beach halfway decent apartments rent for $1200-$1400 per month plus utilities. I financed my second one, and have thought of paying it off, but even though I know I'm paying a lot of interest, I'm spending conservatively $700 LESS to live in the Airstream every month. I bought membership in a condo campground where with all utilities it will cost less than $1500 per year to stay my max of 38 weeks of the year. I travel on business at least 6 weeks and for personal stuff at least another 3 weeks, and stay at local campgrounds when I have to be off the condo. That averages $200 per week for FULL hookups: 14 weeks x $200 = $2800. Not bad. Now the next big cost is the tow vehicle - premium fuel $3 per gallon, with 10 to 14 mpg depending on whether I'm towing. OUCH! You'll definitely want a wireless internet connection and a good cell phone - the two together will probably be over $100 per month.

Living in an Airstream does affect MANY levels of your life, and if you don't think ahead the adjustments can be rough. I write about 5 checks a month. That still seems odd to me. Cold weather entertaining - gotta do it at a restaurant. Summer - good cookouts! (Park near a bath house so the drunks don't try to use your tiny pissoire!) Do you hate laundromats - get over it. If you buy new, they put cheapie mattresses in them (I hear the Classics have better ones) so assume you'll be looking for something new in a year.

I like dual axles, and I'm not into the constant restoration and maintenance that an older one will require so I bought new. I will say that LOTS of folks buy then upgrade, so your best bet may be to find a 2005-2006 that is "newer" but not brand spanking new. (Save $8K or so).

Look in the classifieds here, look at Colonial Airstream's website, Look, look, look..... Now of course with the cost of living in LA, you might want to just LEAP because you can hardly go wrong to bail out of that! I totally agree with the idea of hanging out at rallies. People love to show off their units.

If you're looking at used rather than vintage you'll quickly notice that bigger is often surprisingly less expensive than you'd think compared to the smaller ones which go at a premium.

Welcome to the forums . You couldn't have found a better place to do your research.

Paula Ford
Hi Paula,

Wow. Lot's of great information. I currently pay $1650 a month on my Los Angeles apartment. What a joke. I understand what you are saying about payments and cost of living expenses. I should probably just go back to Travel Land tomorrow and buy a Safari !!!

I'm truly amazed at how many women are full-time RVers here on this forum! I bet I'll meet some really interesting people out there on the road. I'm getting excited!

Mrya
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:20 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safari57
Myra

Have you considered writing about how, when you post a question on a forum, you can tell just how passionate the people are who participate by the quantity, variety, and quality of the responses?

When I post a question on other sites, generally automotive related, I get everything from very well thought out responses to others challenging me on my ability to form a logical thought.

That never happens here.

I'm sure by all the responses you've received in such short order you must realize that the folks on this forum love their babies with a passion, want to see others enjoy theirs the same way, and are reluctant to send you down a path that doesn't work out for you. Maybe it's because many of us have stumbled ourselves in our first few acquisitions and hate to see others suffer the same way.

Barry
Yeah, I've been sat here for hours reading each and every one of these posts. I'm getting more and more excited!!!!

M.W.
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Old 04-23-2007, 12:24 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
hey you are back!

started to think you were a one post wonder...

nice doggie pic too!

great move to visit the dealer. go back again and just play inside a couple of units.

open everything, lay on the bed, sit on the john.

does the galley work (imagine spuds and beans and rubber chickens on the counter.

get IN the shower and close the door....

these trailers are for living INSIDE so close the main door and stay awhile.

send the saleman back inside. IF you think of questions right them down.

we can answer them later here.

a great way to save money but still buy a 'ready' a/s is to look for 2-4 year old units.

these will have most features of brand new except the sticker...

when it comes to buying a tow vehicle and a trailer,

remember that trailer purchases have deductable interest, while the tv does not.

have fun looking it's part of the ownership process.

and visit a rally, great way to see LOTS of a/s in the natural elements and pick the ears of real owners.

there is a oregon/washington rally in late may.

also visit a few rv campgrounds. seeing who lives in an rv and how they do it is helpful...

even is they aren't in airstreams...

cheers
2air'
Hi 2 Air,

Yes, I'm back. I'm not a one post wonder. I'm new so I had trouble finding my way around the forum. I didn't realize until tonight that anyone had answered my post. I thought nobody even read it... what a surprise! And to be greeted with so much enthusiasm! By the way, I may be heading up to Oregon next month so timing might be good for the rally.
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