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Old 02-06-2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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New Member--Airstream as vacation home?

I have been reading the postings on this forum and they are really interesting and informative. I have been interested in Airstreams since I was small but only this year have I really considered getting one. My in-laws have a property and have been asking us to build on it for a long time. We have no interest in living there full time but would like to use it as a vacation place for every other weekend or so in the spring, summer, and fall. It is a wooded property with some large open grassy areas. I liked the idea of a trailer as I am not sure we will stay in the area forever and if we build a house we would have to sell it with the land. If we have a trailer we can sell the trailer and keep the land relatively unscathed.
I was wondering if anyone has done this, using a airstream as a vacation home. If so, did you lay a slab to support it and take it off the wheels? Is there a way to hook them up to more permanent sewer and water lines? I read that some recommend building a shelter to protect it. If someone has done this can you post a photo of it?
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #2
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It can be done. Essentially you are talking about converting a mobile Airstream to a "park model" that is not mobile. You can redo the plumbing to attach to a sewer system and replace the RV toilet with a household flushing toilet. That having been said it is not really necessary to do that, since you can hook up to a septic or sewer system and make use of the RV toilet and the holding tanks like one normally would with a mobile trailer. It's not a good idea to leave the black tank dump valve open all the time because you need the build-up of fluids in the black holding tank to evacuate the waste when you do dump the tanks... It's not that big of a deal to dump the tanks periodically as needed. The advantage of not converting to a park model situation is that you remain mobile in the event that you decide to use the trailer for traveling...

You can connect to city water as a normal mobile trailer does...I personally don't see a reason to change that. You would want to disconnect the city water (or turn of the water source) when you are not there.

If it were me I'd want a slab to be sure to have a stable space over time, but it would not be absolutely necessary either. As to removing the tires, etc, I'll leave that for others to chime in about. Tires need to be replaced every 5 years or so anyway, whether they are used or not...and sitting stationery for the long haul is not good for axles.

Lots of folks spend the summer (or winter) months in the same location and then vacate the park to either travel on or return to their stick house for the off season. There is no reason to change anything if you want the option of travel.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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I'd get a park model.
Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Thanks TB Rich for the ideas. I do think it would be nice to still keep it mobile. I could imaging that every couple years we could take a long family trip to see my folks in Arizona, so I think I will take that approach...minimal changes but setting up the space to make waste disposal easier and provide a stable footing with a slab.
Splitrock, when you say a park model what is that exactly? I mean, I get that it is made for parking but does Airstream make a "park model"? And if so, what is it because I haven't seen one online. I mean there is a HUGE difference btwn getting an Airstream and some poorly designed mobile home so if it is the choice btwn that and altering an Airstream for more permanent residence, I am going with the latter for sure.
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Old 04-04-2020, 12:38 PM   #5
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I want to know about this too!!! The park model. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2020, 06:13 PM   #6
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Park models are a subset of manufactured homes. Build your own and it is called a tiny house. Most are single wide SOB trailers that are delivered on wheels, then set up on blocks with hurricane tie downs after the wheels, axles and sometimes tongue are removed. Then you add a.big clamshell awning and screen in the porch. Florida has millions of them. Several are for sale now at Travelers Rest and Resort, Dade City. Average price $70,000 depending on age and condition. Much more living space in a park model.
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