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Old 12-07-2007, 08:12 AM   #1
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Wanting to try an Airstream

I have known about Airstream trailers for a long time and have thought of getting one. Now that I am retired my wife and I are considering renting one this coming summer and giving it a try. We live in Columbus Ohio.
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:29 AM   #2
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Hello Nelson. Welcome to the Forums! You will get a general impression about Airstreams if you hang out here and read over the winter. You will be reading the experiences & solutions of owners of Airstreams of all vintages. More prized Airstreams are on the road than any other RV -- so you'll read how members are addressing the often complex issues in keeping them safe and habitable.

I've heard questions about renting Airstreams before. There aren't a lot of rental opportunities as far as I know. Perhaps a dealer would have a used one on their lot they might rent? Airstream parks may have owners who might sublet a parked Airstream? (not a towing experience)

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #3
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My, you have such discriminating taste! Do you stick your toe in the pool before getting in or do you just jump in? Of course, jump right on in!
You will soon notice how Airstream owners are an "Airstream dedicated" group of people. Look up where the rallies are and visit them. Choose the size and floor plan that you want and then go looking for the real thing! We are retired now and have two of them. They can be addictive!

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:18 AM   #4
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Hello Nelson and welcome to the forum.

I can't give you any resources as far as renting an Airstream, particularly a modern one. But, I can give you my personal opinion about them.

I have done alot of camping since I was a kid - nylon tents, VW camper bus, canvas wall tents, tent trailer, class C motorhome, etc... About 5 years ago I bought a brand new 19' Airstream. I made the decision to get an Airstream for several reasons. First, I wanted a trailer as opposed to a motorhome because I wanted to be able to unhitch and leave the trailer in camp in order to see the sights. Second, in comparing an Airstream to any other stick-built trailer the difference in materials, construction, fit and finish are night and day. When you walk into most other trailers you will notice two things right off: they have an overpowering smell of new vinyl and the floors are flimsy and often squeek under your feet. Start poking around in them and you will note that interior "walls" are cheap paper board, cabinets are thin particle and cheap veneer, "brass" light fixtures are painted aluminum, and the overall decor schemes resemble a Super 8 Motel. They are cheaply constructed, though their price tags don't always reflect this. Compare this to an Airstream and you will immediately see and feel the difference. The Airstream is much more like a home than a motel room. Everything is solid from floor to ceiling. The appliances, fixtures, upholstery and decor are refreshingly modern and tasteful. It's quiet and well-insulated. The door is automotive quality and heavily constructed. Slam it shut, and you feel safe, secure and cozy in a home away from home.

One other thing to consider: all travel trailers are depreciating assets - except Airstream. Buy an Airstream today and take good care of it and it's value will steadily appreciate over time. I paid $32k for my 19' 5 years ago. The same trailer today is selling for $42 - $48k.

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
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There are many reasons to take comfort in buying an Airstream. For one thing, if you decide camping is not for you, selling it to someone else won't be a hassle. Buy any other camper and expect to sit on it for a long time.

Second reason, be proud knowing that you can still buy an American made trailer that is hand assembled. If you are retired, you understand what hard work and American craftsmanship is all about. That is Airstream.

I could go on and on, but for me my Airstream has opened many a conversation to new friendships, and roadways to new adventures. Interested?
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:09 AM   #6
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Hey Nelson,

Welcome to the will love it here!
Airstream of Arkansas


Keeping the Airstream Dream Alive!

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:24 AM   #7
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Hello Nelson, Welcome to the forums. You and the Misses are more than welcome to come down and take a look at mine if it is the flavor you are looking for. Although it is not for rent, A rental unit may be tough to stumble upon. Good luck with you new adventure. Robert
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:30 AM   #8
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Welcome to the Forums Nelson!

Originally Posted by Nelson wife and I are considering renting one this coming summer and giving it a try.
Unfortunately, most private owners are pretty posessive & proective of their Airstream 'babies', you will be hard pressed to find someone willing to rent theirs out. Most RV rental companies will only rent SOB (some other brand) motorhomes...the liability of one vehicle vs two if they rented the TV & trailer. Or the unknown TV set-up if you used your own...there are more things that could go wrong than with a motorhome.

Your best bet would be:

1) to take advantage of an Airstream Park as mentioned earlier
2) or a place like Shady Dell in Bisbee AZ
3) buy a mid-sized used (5-7 years old) Airstream, see if you like the lifestyle. Use it for the summer, then sell it - for most likely what you bought it for - and then buy a new one or different used one. You'll have a much better idea of what fits your bill....if it's too big or too small and the "perfect" layout. There are lots of 5-7 year olds out there and they are reasonably priced and at that point don't require the maintenance of some of the truly vintage units.

The first two options, will give you a flavor of what it would be like, but without the footloose & fancy-free side of things...which is really what it's all about! The third is the way to go IMHO! Check out the classifieds here or some of the dealer's lots...they will have lots of nice units this age that have been turned in as trades.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do...and I hope you enjoy the experience as much as we have!

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:08 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm not sure that there are many Airstreams for rent out there.
We bought ours new three years ago from Caldwell Airstream in Columbus (Morse Road - East of 71, West of 270).
Stop over there some day and talk with Nick and Sid - they are VERY knowledgeable - very friendly - and they have a pretty good inventory on their lot. Ours is stored for the winter or we'd offer you a tour.

You are also very close to the Mother Ship / Birthplace of Airstreams(Airstream factory) there in Jackson Center (probably about an hour or so from you). Go over and take the factory tour to see the workmanship that goes into them. The tour guide is a 40+ year employee and can answer ALL of your questions.

We spent a year looking for a trailer - 3 RV shows, many dealers and much research - then we bought an Airstream and have not been disappointed or sorry that we did.

Ask as many questions as come to mind here on the forums - you'll find that we like to brag about our Airstreams and you'll get lots of opinions expressed for any question you ask.

Best of luck in your search - we ALL hope to see you pulling a silver bullet down the highway soon!

Steve & Susan
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2005 28' CCD, 2011 Sierra 5.3L, Equal-I-Zer
Empty Nesters - spending our money on OURSELVES for a change!
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:37 PM   #10
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Farber RV Superstore: RVs For Sale in Columbus, Ohio

There is one up there in your town for sale just buy it and if you don't like it sell it.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:38 PM   #11
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

A couple of years ago we decided that we might like to have an Airstream. Not being RVers, we decided that it would be a good idea to rent an Airstream for a month, and try out the RV lifestyle, and the Airstream.

At that time, we could not find anywhere that would rent out an Airstream. We then looked into renting an SOB travel trailer to try out the RVing part of it. We found that it was going to cost us $4,000 to rent the travel trailer for the month and we would have to go 420 miles to get it.

We regrouped and reconsidered, and spent a lot of time researching. At that time, we found these Forums which really helped us. We decided to put the $4,000 that we would spend on a rental TT, and put it toward a new Airstream and take a chance (we are not generally chance takers).

Well, it turns out we made a good decision. We have been all over the country in Lucy (that's her name) and have spent nearly 200 nights in her. We have pulled her over 25,000 miles, and can't wait to go again. We absolutely love Lucy!
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:41 PM   #12
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Rental opportunities will be few and very far between, but as previous posters have said, you'll find many rallies to attend and Ohio and there are several good Airstream dealers in Ohio. Also, go northwest until you find Jackson Center and take a factory tour. Wear comfortable shoes, it's a long one, and Friday is your best day to go as production is often shut down so it's not so noisy and you can climb through units on the line.

Two SERIOUS suggestions:
1) sit on the throne - in the smaller units these are often ridiculously small to the point that you can't close the door without bashing your kneecaps (or get your elbow far enough to the side to wipe!)
2) stand in the shower - (or wet bath). Can you maneuver enough to wash?
2) lie on the bed(s) again if it's smaller than 25, the "full bed" is tight and one person has to roll over the other to get up for a midnight tinkle.

If you can't stand the bed or the bath, you won't like the trailer! Make sure you can sleep, bathe and attend to your necessary functions comfortably - then you'll have an Airstream you can live with and in for the long run.

DON'T limit yourself to an Airstream your current vehicle can tow. You'll have the Airstream LONG after your current vehicle is a pile of rust in the junkyard. Pick the Airstream, then evaluate your vehicles and upgrade if needed.

If you're planning on long trips, consider going to at least a 25 ft length - that's the point where you have really separate living and sleeping areas. My personal favorite if I were pulling the trigger today? A 27 FB - available in Safari, Safari SE, CCD or Classic model. Why? Good closet, good pantry, slideout microwave, more counter space than the 25 FB, lobster bowl sink (A single LARGE sink that you can actually put a full sized skillet into).

Consider carefully whether you want a queen or twin beds. Twins are FAR easier to make, you have more storage access from the outside, and they make the trailer feel more open. On the other hand twins aren't good if you toss and turn, and they aren't the best "cuddle space"..however drop the dinette and bingo (plus you can watch TV while reclining).

Soooo many Airstreams, Soooo little time!

Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Okie
Farber RV Superstore: RVs For Sale in Columbus, Ohio

There is one up there in your town for sale just buy it and if you don't like it sell it.

This is a triple axle trailer and may not be for you?
I don't know what your level of towing comfort is, or what kind of tow vehicle you have or would purchase. These must be considered.
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:31 PM   #14
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Nelson - welcome to the forums. What a great place to learn about AS and 'streamin. My wife and I started looking many months ago (it was still warm, sunny and fun to look.) We looked at nearly every make available in central, northern and southern Ohio. Every weekend and many week evenings we toured RV sales stores, campgrounds and anyplace else we could find travel trailers. We seldom was an AS. In fact, only once did we come across an AS and that was in Hocking County State Park - and it was empty. I watched the classifieds in the Dispatch - none available! We visited Piqua, Troy, Findlay, the Mohican area, southwestern Ohio, Mansfield, and so many other towns with RV sales stores but so many SOBs all looked alike. I swear the same decorator does most of them. Having boated on the Great Lakes for a number of years, we knew there were good boats and outstanding boats. We figured the same to be true with travel trailers and finally a salesman at Greer RV Sales up on Alum Creek told us we needed to look at an AS. Went to Bob Caldwell on Morse Road (directions above) and met the sales manager. Nice fella. And they had lots of ASs. It was great to see so many in one place - look at them, compare them, sit in them, walk around in various ones - then we went home and talked about them. You've got to decide what size will be a comfort to you. We started looking at the 19' and right away thought it would be too small for extended travels. We decided we liked the 23' International CCD. Bigger than the 19' and we really liked the designer look of the CCD - the Paprika really appealed to us as compared with the other CCDs. But we couldn't find one for sale (currently one is listed in the Classifieds on this forum.) After visiting more places, we went back to Caldwell to purchase one he had on his lot - you've got to go see Nick at Caldwell - knowledgeable, honest, straight forward and so helpful! We went back to buy one of his 23' and sat in two of them trying to decide which one. We decided and on the way to the office to work the deal, we took one more look at the 25' International. And for "just a little more" it could be ours. So we talked a deal with Nick and told him we had to sleep on it one more night. The next morning we drove back to Morse Road and purchased the 25' - we thought the extra two feet would make a difference on long trips and the sink didn't stick out into the living space like on the 23'. We've been thrilled with our choice. The only problem is that is still sits on the lot as they prepare and add a couple of items we wanted. They will store it for us for the winter (price is certainly right). Anytime you would like to visit Caldwell or would like to see our 25', I'd be happy to show it to you. It is really difficult waiting for the spring before we get to go 'streamin in our new baby. I work in Gahanna and would have no problem getting away for a visit with you......Good luck with your selection. You really don't need to rent one - if trailering is what you want to do, you'll not find a better way than with an AS. We've toured the factory in Jackson Center (on a Friday when no production was going on) and we've visited an AS rally where several had gotten together for the weekend. They love showing off their ASs - a good way to see a variety of styles. Again, good luck with your search. Don't forget to think about your TV (towing vehicle). What you might have or what you'll need to get. Check the weight of a potential AS and then check the towing capacity of the TVs. You might be surprised - lots won't work, several will but its not like the old days when you could hitch your trailer up to your auto and take off. BIG SUVs and good size pick up trucks are needed today for anything larger than the smallest of trailers. Search, research and ask questions. Take your time - lots to learn and this is certainly a good place to do that. Learn your way around the Forums - search out topics - read everything. It really is a lot of fun!
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Old 12-07-2007, 02:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nelson wife and I are considering renting one this coming summer and giving it a try...
hi nelson and welcome to the forums!

if you have never rv'd, renting is a GREAT IDEA for getting a taste of the mobile lifestyle...

lots of rental options for class a, b and c mohos but not so much on the trailer/towable side with any brand....

there IS an iowa/chi town a/s dealer that does rentals of other brands, and used to do fractional leasing of silver bullets...


rental or fractional leasing is sort of expensive, but is all inclusive,

and much less than 'buy high sell low' cuze we didn't like it...

go for it, and good luck!

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 12-07-2007, 04:59 PM   #16
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Welcome to you and your wife. A long ways away but this summer we saw an Airstream in Anacortes, WA that is a rental. It would appear that an entrepreneur has a couple of them that they will tow to a camp ground in the area around Whidby Island, WA and set up for you to rent. I believe they offered a couple of location choices.

I believe I can get the info in you need it. The West coast is a great place to camp, maybe not this time of year in particular, but spring is only what, 5 months away, and it comes a LOT sooner on this side of the country.

Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:18 PM   #17
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Nelson - You can test the life style an any RV so if you want to rent one, the brand is not a big deal. So, after you decide that you want to be come a RV'er, then look into an Airstream. Lots of phrases - cream of the crop comes to mind. The forum group might have more fun RV'en than anyother semi organized group of Rv'ers and the entry fee is naught.

Put yor paddle in the water
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Old 12-07-2007, 07:54 PM   #18
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Renting an AS

I have driven by a dealership that has a sign up that it rents its RVs. It is on I57 going south out of the Chicago area. I don't know if it rents Airstreams or SOB only. It is an Rv dealer that carries Airstreams and SOB of RVs. Has a large sign up that says you can rent from them. Sorry I cannot remember the name of the dealership. Hope this helps.'shaker
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