Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-21-2011, 05:42 PM   #1
New Member
Currently Looking...
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Just starting out...

Hi everyone,

I currently live in ABQ, NM and I have this dream. I want to sell all my stuff, and buy a 23' Airstream and a vehicle to tow it and live out of it while I tour the country. And I'm hoping to do this by the end of May when I need to leave for a job in Upstate NY where it will be perfect for me to live in it.

I'm very new to all this and would be very appreciative of any advice you could give me on the following:

I'd like to tow with a minivan. Is that possible and if so, what should I look for when I go to buy a used one. Can you recommend a make/model/year?
What kind of towing package would it require?

if that's not really possible, is there an SUV you might recommend? I'm hoping to have a tow vehicle that will get decent mileage when not towing, as that will be my main car. I don't mind small, and don't need a lot of bells and whistles.

In terms of the Airstream itself, I know there are so many kinds, but I can say this about the weight I might be pulling, I'm looking for used, late 60's into the 70's because I like all those windows, in decent condition in terms of systems, (the cosmetics I can fix along the way) and not longer than 23'.

What do you think? Can I make this fantasy a reality?

Thanks, and looking forward to your feedback!
blumonky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
Rivet Master
InsideOut's Avatar

1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 12,568
Images: 108
Is is possible...?

Couple of questions/comments...
  • Upstate New York gets pretty chilly in the winter months...are you planning on living in your trailer year-round? Airstreams are not the best for winter might get a kick out of this old thread that pinpoints some of the issues you may have to deal with.
  • "By the end of May" vs vintage trailer...chances are, unless you pay top dollar for a fully restored 60's trailer you are going to have to do some amount of restoration work. Having been through two restorations, I would think it would be pretty impossible to do one while living in the trailer at the same time.
  • Most likely a "mini-van" is not going to work out for you - they don't have the towing capacity you will need. A V8 Ford Explorer (we had one - worked great) is about the smallest (IMO) SUV you're going to be able to get away with. Other "non-truck" options include Suburbans/Yukons/Tahoes and the like.
  • Can you make it happen...sure! Are you going to be happy with the choices/decisions you have made? Only you can decide that - but the forums have lots of folks with the same goals & dreams. Do some searching through the "Tow Vehicle", "Winter Living", "Restoration" and "Full-Timing" sections to learn from others tips, tricks & mistakes.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do ~ post lots of questions, and you'll get lots of advice.

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
WBCCI #1824 - DenCO Unit Past President (2005)
AIR #30 - Join Date: 2-25-2002

RMVAC | ACI - CO Unit (Formerly WBCCI) | BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
New Member
1967 24' Tradewind
Borrego Springs , California
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1

I posted a long reply here, but it is not posted...

we have a 24' 1967 airstream tradewind international in amazingly original and barely used condition...
We are also having trouble posting here and I hope this reply goes through...

we may be able to coordinate shipping it to youin May to Albuquerque
AOKRancheria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 09:22 AM   #4
Rivet Master
87MH's Avatar
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
Originally Posted by blumonky View Post
...I currently live in ABQ, NM and I have this dream. I want to sell all my stuff, and buy a 23' Airstream and a vehicle to tow it and live out of it while I tour the country....I'm looking for used, late 60's into the 70's because I like all those windows, in decent condition in terms of systems, (the cosmetics I can fix along the way) and not longer than 23'.
What do you think? Can I make this fantasy a reality?
... looking forward to your feedback!
Welcome to the Forum, and a huge good for you for asking questions first prior to purchasing the first cutie that comes along.

Reality check - I have looked at lots and lots of 60's and 70's airstream - and all - that's A-L-L of them have required floor and or frame repair/replacement. Add the requirement of axle replacement (it's an age thing - all probably needs replacement after 15 years max) so you don't beat the poor thing to death when pulling, and you are looking at a major major investment prior to getting on the road.

Is it possible to find one and immediately get on the road?...sure it is, are simply delaying the unavoidable.

At some point in time you will HAVE to pull it apart and put a proper repair on it.

This is my opinion only - other's may vary.

Do your own "advanced search" from the right hand pull down options toward the top of the home page.

Carefully read the repair threads - here are just a few:

and especially this one:

Spend a few hours carefully reading posts and save yourself thousands of dollars.

Most important - spend a few hundred dollars and get an honest and thorough inspection by a QUALIFIED person...qualified means someone who has actually properly restored a vintage airstream, or a repair station that has LOTS of experience properly repairing older Airstreams....a "new" dealer with "newly certified" (by Airstream) technicians may or may not be qualified.

Take your time and BE SURE prior to putting down any money.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2011, 01:16 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Silverfoxrae's Avatar
1957 26' Overlander
Currently Looking...
Saint Augustine , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 703
Images: 45
Blog Entries: 3
It's too bad you won't be in Alburquerque in early June for the Restoration Rally at Enchanted Falls campground. You'd really love it.

If you can afford to buy a restored one, there are a few good ones out there for a price, and you would be ready-to-go.

I have a friend with a van who tows a 19' Bambi. But even he would not recommend it. Not for the handling- that seems fine, but the tow mileage and the struggle for the van.
Plus, if you're going to upstate NY you'll want 4x4 ability- unless you're only going for the summer.


Sent from my iPhone using AIR Forums

AIR # 42703
TCT Member
TAC # FL~6
WBCCI # 1464

'57 Overlander thread:"the end of the rainbow is silver"
Silverfoxrae is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'73 tradewind switches and starting the furnace constructor Lights - Interior & Exterior 9 01-25-2011 12:28 PM
Why bertro Axles 10 01-18-2011 12:16 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.