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Old 04-20-2024, 02:22 PM   #1
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What's it like to live in an Airstream?

"So, what's it like to live in an Airstream?"

The answer to that question changes about every two weeks.

The short answer is, "It's magical."

We just released a short documentary about living in our Airstream, pursuing moments that add up to dreams.

https://livinginbeauty.net/2024/04/20/day-in-beauty/

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Old 04-20-2024, 05:13 PM   #2
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Fantastic

Very nice
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Old 04-20-2024, 07:02 PM   #3
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My wife and I did it for over 3 months in 2018… TX to MT via NM, CO, WY, MT, ID, OR, NV, AZ, and back again. We only came back because of obligations.

It’s liberating to get rid of all the encumbrances of a rock/mortar home and all those associated anchors.
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Old 04-21-2024, 08:06 AM   #4
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My wife would miss her grand piano.
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Old 04-21-2024, 09:13 AM   #5
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Our 22' Bambi is great for camping trips, and snow birding. That said, it wouldn't be comfortable enough for all of my husband's camera equipment and my lino cut printing station/supplies. We love seeing the USA, and then translating that beauty into art be it in photographs or in lino prints in our "studios", the extra rooms in our houses. Living full time in the Airstream is an art in itself.
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Old 04-21-2024, 10:05 AM   #6
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There's a difference between "camping/living" while traveling in an AS (or any TT) vs staying in one location and "living" in that same TT for extended period. I can attest! We spend 4 months last 4 years, "trying" to be comfortable in our 28'AS at our property in Star Valley Ranch RV Resort in WY. Honestly, it gets "very" cramped, for us. Talked with others who feel same way. We have ended up purchasing a used 40' Montana model 5th wheel last 3 years in a row....purchase one each year, beginning of season and selling it end of the season; except this past year, we held on to current model over the winter. Had to pay someone to clean the snow off) There is a big difference in a 5th wheel if your "living" in it vs our AS. Start with King bed, big slide out living/kitchen area, and of course, bathroom. Room to spread out if you have guests over also. We still love to travel with our AS all summer, but when camping we are always out doors and exploring the area we camp. In Star Valley, we golf and socialize mostly when we are there, so 5th wheel is nice, especially when cold and rain hits.

This year, we will be away from home for 5 months, starting June 1 living in the AS most of the time... Glacier, Teton, the International Rally, and Alumalina, been wondering if we should sell our home!
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Old 04-21-2024, 11:51 AM   #7
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Hey Boxite!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
My wife and I did it for over 3 months in 2018… TX to MT via NM, CO, WY, MT, ID, OR, NV, AZ, and back again. We only came back because of obligations.

It’s liberating to get rid of all the encumbrances of a rock/mortar home and all those associated anchors.
Hey Boxite!

Yes! Freedom of movement is exhilarating! Waking up, most days, in a natural environment or a place dedicated to the preservation of nature is a perspective building experience!

Because we see RVs everyday – have looked at them all our lives – so we don’t take time to consider that they are most common efficient homes in almost every neighborhood. Fully functional RVs are residences that partner with nature and leave no trace. They are water efficient and when solar equipped, they are power and fuel efficient. Efficiency is a beautiful quality of these machines we live and travel in that should be recognized.

BTW: Love your name! Bauxite is the principal ore of aluminum! And rubies – the precious gemstone – is related to aluminum 🤓

Thanks so much for being with us, Bauxite. Please visit often.

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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Old 04-21-2024, 05:54 PM   #8
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Hey there Gypsies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
There's a difference between "camping/living" while traveling in an AS (or any TT) vs staying in one location and "living" in that same TT for extended period. I can attest! We spend 4 months last 4 years, "trying" to be comfortable in our 28'AS at our property in Star Valley Ranch RV Resort in WY. Honestly, it gets "very" cramped, for us. Talked with others who feel same way. We have ended up purchasing a used 40' Montana model 5th wheel last 3 years in a row....purchase one each year, beginning of season and selling it end of the season; except this past year, we held on to current model over the winter. Had to pay someone to clean the snow off) There is a big difference in a 5th wheel if your "living" in it vs our AS. Start with King bed, big slide out living/kitchen area, and of course, bathroom. Room to spread out if you have guests over also. We still love to travel with our AS all summer, but when camping we are always out doors and exploring the area we camp. In Star Valley, we golf and socialize mostly when we are there, so 5th wheel is nice, especially when cold and rain hits.

This year, we will be away from home for 5 months, starting June 1 living in the AS most of the time... Glacier, Teton, the International Rally, and Alumalina, been wondering if we should sell our home!
Hey there Gypsies!

Your lifestyle – living in one class of RV and traveling in another is an exciting and wise option for those who want to be house-free.

We wouldn’t mind settling down in a winter location for a spell, a place near family, maybe install a larger Airstream (probably a new 33′) in the primary location or “home base” and travel the remainder of the year in Beauty.

Unfortunately, our family lives in a county where it’s illegal to keep residence in an RV unless the area is zoned for agriculture. Sure, there are allowances for “hardship” but all it takes is one NIMBY neighbor to file a complaint and you’re packing up.

There are a few wonderful Motorcoach resorts for Class A’s, Super C’s and 5th wheels where we’d be thrilled to establish a semi-permanent winter residence, but we’re Airstream people through-and-through. If there was an Airstream park in SoCal, we’d probably sign up immediately.

Yes, there is a radical difference to living in a residential RV community and living on the road. There really is no comparison to the two different lifestyles. One is actively mobile and the other is established residential. Yet, as we age, we like the idea of having both options available.

If I am ever handicapped or afflicted with limited mobility I would prefer to live in a residential RV park rather than a house. If I were handicapped that “cramped” feeling may translate more into “the safety of a close-knit community.” Most houses are not built for community and you have to spend major dough to make them serve the needs of a frail person. RV’s are more manageable and characteristically equipped for easy access to all features throughout the structure. If I ever need RV housing to assist me, physicalIy, I would have to live in a completely different area than my family and support network because state, county and city policies are not RV or RV community friendly – which these days, with the housing crises – adds up to “not senior friendly” as RVs have a long history of serving as desirable and safe housing for the elderly.

You’ve given me a lot to think about, Gypsies! I can feel an editorial brewing 😆

Hey, enjoy your travel this year and be sure to say hey to our friends David and Kathy Titley who work seasonally with Grand Teton National Park.
They are wonderful folks and have an Airstream blog:

https://underwayshiftcolors.com

Wonderful to have you with us, Gypsies. We need to sit around a campfire and talk about how we old people can change the world 🤣

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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Old 04-22-2024, 09:26 AM   #9
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Great thread! We're full-timers, starting out in a 40' MH with no slides, now in a 38' TT with three slides. After we get back from Alaska next summer we'll begin the search for an Airstream. We're looking at 28' and longer, 2005-2017 (approximately). We're thinking that the 28' is the bare minimum, with the 30' much better and the 34' the best. Apparently the floor plans changed a bit during those years, so we will have to start narrowing the search a bit.


BTW, the Airstream will NOT have a slide!
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Old 04-22-2024, 11:38 AM   #10
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I can't imagine tolerating being that cramped for any length of time greater than a week, two at the most. I like to go camping, but living in any travel trailer would be impossible. There are reasons we all live in homes with separate rooms for lounging, sleeping, cooking, and eating.
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Old 04-23-2024, 05:29 AM   #11
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Thanks for the riveting discussion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TR Anderson View Post
I can't imagine tolerating being that cramped for any length of time greater than a week, two at the most. I like to go camping, but living in any travel trailer would be impossible. There are reasons we all live in homes with separate rooms for lounging, sleeping, cooking, and eating.
Hey TR!

Thank you for bringing this up. It’s a fascinating topic – what people can, cannot and will not adapt to. I know that I cannot adapt to living on a marine vessel with living quarters same size as our 30′ trailer. At least, I think I can’t. Many college freshmen who were raised in spacious McMansions think they can’t adapt to a cramped dorm room and share it with a stranger. Sailors are forced to adapt to tiny bunks on ships, and millions of migrants have no choice but to share a small room with an entire family. In our culture living in a small space – such as a Prius, which many young people call home these days – is usually a unique or temporary situation. But it hasn’t always been that way.

Before the 1950’s most homes were a fraction of the size they are now. Radio and television caused houses to increase in size as the need for privacy grew – privacy, a new concept in house design – which gave us the “den” the “romp room,” the “tv room,” “guest room,” and giant suites with walk-in closets and private baths called Master Bedrooms. As more of these new large houses were built, the divorce rate went up. To save the marriage you had to get a housekeeper, then a gardener.

Then, in the 80’s technology enters and over the next few decades the need for all those rooms slowly evaporates. A set of ear buds is a lot cheaper than a private room for every member of the family. Personal computers and Ebooks eliminate the need for bookshelves, dens, and private studies. No one’s going outside anymore so you don’t need the big yard …

The feminist history of housing presents the argument that the quality of women’s mental health declined from being isolated in the suburbs in oversized houses (see The King’s Song by Jim Croce) Efficiency experts said the time and labor required to run the traditional American household in the 60’s-70’s was equivalent to running a business. So many countries are adapting away from the large single family home to other types of group housing and co-op communities. Many Americans have already adapted away from the large home and are gravitating to full-time RV travel because it’s a more time efficient way to live.

I kept big homes and gardens most of my life. I did a pretty good job and even enjoyed it sometimes. I was proud of my work. But every day of living in Beauty is a day I don’t have to clean a big house, go to Home Depot, or shop for a rug … Every day I live in Beauty I feel that I’m clawing back a day I spent dusting and vacuuming and decorating and cleaning a kitchen twice the size of my trailer. Now I’m hiking more, cycling with Jim, reading a book under the awning, playing with my dog …

No, I don’t have a house anymore and may never have one again, but the mental health benefits of my current RV lifestyle is priceless.

You never know what you can adapt to until you make the attempt.

Thanks for the riveting discussion!

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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Old 04-23-2024, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBeaubeaux View Post
Hey there Gypsies!

Your lifestyle – living in one class of RV and traveling in another is an exciting and wise option for those who want to be house-free.

We wouldn’t mind settling down in a winter location for a spell, a place near family, maybe install a larger Airstream (probably a new 33′) in the primary location or “home base” and travel the remainder of the year in Beauty.

Unfortunately, our family lives in a county where it’s illegal to keep residence in an RV unless the area is zoned for agriculture. Sure, there are allowances for “hardship” but all it takes is one NIMBY neighbor to file a complaint and you’re packing up.

There are a few wonderful Motorcoach resorts for Class A’s, Super C’s and 5th wheels where we’d be thrilled to establish a semi-permanent winter residence, but we’re Airstream people through-and-through. If there was an Airstream park in SoCal, we’d probably sign up immediately.

Yes, there is a radical difference to living in a residential RV community and living on the road. There really is no comparison to the two different lifestyles. One is actively mobile and the other is established residential. Yet, as we age, we like the idea of having both options available.

If I am ever handicapped or afflicted with limited mobility I would prefer to live in a residential RV park rather than a house. If I were handicapped that “cramped” feeling may translate more into “the safety of a close-knit community.” Most houses are not built for community and you have to spend major dough to make them serve the needs of a frail person. RV’s are more manageable and characteristically equipped for easy access to all features throughout the structure. If I ever need RV housing to assist me, physicalIy, I would have to live in a completely different area than my family and support network because state, county and city policies are not RV or RV community friendly – which these days, with the housing crises – adds up to “not senior friendly” as RVs have a long history of serving as desirable and safe housing for the elderly.

You’ve given me a lot to think about, Gypsies! I can feel an editorial brewing 😆

Hey, enjoy your travel this year and be sure to say hey to our friends David and Kathy Titley who work seasonally with Grand Teton National Park.
They are wonderful folks and have an Airstream blog:

https://underwayshiftcolors.com

Wonderful to have you with us, Gypsies. We need to sit around a campfire and talk about how we old people can change the world 🤣

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
Thanks for the sentiments and I enjoyed your webpage! I don't know David and Kathy Titley; where do they work in GTNP? We go several times throughout the summer as we are only an hour from there in Star Valley; first of June we will spend 5 days in Grose Venture by South Entrance when our daughter and grandson fly up from TX. We try to stay there if we can...lots of moose sightings and away from the daily traffic inside the park.
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Old 04-23-2024, 11:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBeaubeaux View Post
Hey TR!
Before the 1950’s most homes were a fraction of the size they are now. Radio and television caused houses to increase in size as the need for privacy grew – privacy, a new concept in house design – which gave us the “den” the “romp room,” the “tv room,” “guest room,” and giant suites with walk-in closets and private baths called Master Bedrooms. As more of these new large houses were built, the divorce rate went up. To save the marriage you had to get a housekeeper, then a gardener.

Carmen@LIB

Good points, JB.



However, we never had a large home with a big yard, no need for walk-in closets, and I never thought that "house size" contributed to the increase in the divorce rate, but rather the advent of the uncontested or no fault divorce enabled it.
When you look at it realistically, you are living in an 80 square foot room that is only 7 feet high and the furniture is not comfortable. You ARE living in a dorm room, on a small boat, or in a walk-in closet. That's OK for vacations, for camping, even spending a few weeks on a road trip, but realistically, it's just a bedroom, a tiny multipurpose hotel room on wheels.

My wife and I love to travel by car, cruise ships, airplanes, and trains. Recently it's been one trip to Europe every year and a long cruise each year, with occasional camping. And like camping and hotel rooms, ship cabins are for sleeping and storing clothes. We leave them in the morning and do not return (other than to change clothes and shower) until late at night.

We both also like being home - the personal privacy of other "rooms", seeing our children and grandchildren (they still drop by every week or so), having friends over, and sitting in the back admiring our gardens over wine and cocktails. At home I have my overstuffed La-Z-Boy rocker/recliner that is soooo comfy and too big to even get through the trailer door - and I would have to remove my bed to make room for it.

I'm sure you are accustomed to living in your silver dorm room and are happy with it. But for me, all my hobbies, all my loved ones, my friends, my comfort, is at Home.
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Old 04-24-2024, 06:05 AM   #14
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Happy Airstream hunting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
Great thread! We're full-timers, starting out in a 40' MH with no slides, now in a 38' TT with three slides. After we get back from Alaska next summer we'll begin the search for an Airstream. We're looking at 28' and longer, 2005-2017 (approximately). We're thinking that the 28' is the bare minimum, with the 30' much better and the 34' the best. Apparently the floor plans changed a bit during those years, so we will have to start narrowing the search a bit.


BTW, the Airstream will NOT have a slide!
Hey David!

A 28′ would be quite a downsize for you. Besides a little extra space the primary benefit to the 30′ is tank capacity for dry-camping. We like the 34′ but it needs a lot of space. Often we are utilizing every inch of our site.

Happy Airstream hunting! Even though we’re not in the market for one, I love to look at what’s available. I wouldn’t mind a 33′, but Jim isn’t pro-that (right now &#129325.

Enjoy Alaska! I hope the weather is sensational!

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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Old 04-27-2024, 06:55 AM   #15
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If life isn’t joy, then what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TR Anderson View Post
Good points, JB.

However, we never had a large home with a big yard, no need for walk-in closets, and I never thought that "house size" contributed to the increase in the divorce rate, but rather the advent of the uncontested or no fault divorce enabled it.
When you look at it realistically, you are living in an 80 square foot room that is only 7 feet high and the furniture is not comfortable. You ARE living in a dorm room, on a small boat, or in a walk-in closet. That's OK for vacations, for camping, even spending a few weeks on a road trip, but realistically, it's just a bedroom, a tiny multipurpose hotel room on wheels.

My wife and I love to travel by car, cruise ships, airplanes, and trains. Recently it's been one trip to Europe every year and a long cruise each year, with occasional camping. And like camping and hotel rooms, ship cabins are for sleeping and storing clothes. We leave them in the morning and do not return (other than to change clothes and shower) until late at night.

We both also like being home - the personal privacy of other "rooms", seeing our children and grandchildren (they still drop by every week or so), having friends over, and sitting in the back admiring our gardens over wine and cocktails. At home I have my overstuffed La-Z-Boy rocker/recliner that is soooo comfy and too big to even get through the trailer door - and I would have to remove my bed to make room for it.

I'm sure you are accustomed to living in your silver dorm room and are happy with it. But for me, all my hobbies, all my loved ones, my friends, my comfort, is at Home.
Hey TR,

You are so fortunate to have found your place in the world and have ample opportunities and resources to get out of the house and spread your wings. If life isn’t joy, then what?

Thank you for the enlightening conversation.

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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Old 04-28-2024, 06:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnas View Post
Our 22' Bambi is great for camping trips, and snow birding. That said, it wouldn't be comfortable enough for all of my husband's camera equipment and my lino cut printing station/supplies. We love seeing the USA, and then translating that beauty into art be it in photographs or in lino prints in our "studios", the extra rooms in our houses. Living full time in the Airstream is an art in itself.
Hey DNAS! First, how fortunate you are to live in Boothbay!
Second, we would love to see your work. Can we view it online?

The full-time RV travel lifestyle certainly is not for everyone. Artists who work with physical materials need studios. We’re fortunate that our hobbies and interests can be contained quite comfortably in a small space. I am thinking of taking up embroidery again – an art form I practiced in my youth. I will begin with small scale projects and hopefully that will satisfy my need to do freeform work. When (and if) we settle down, it will be near a pottery studio – probably a community college. But there are many RV parks with pottery wheels, kilns and power tools available for a fee.

Hmm … is living this way an art form? I’ve lived in dozens of houses – probably numbering in the high 20’s. So far, the Airstream is my favorite house. Living in Beauty is like taking a nice slow stroll through a giant garden, enveloped by nature – borders break apart and disappear and one sees the whole land and the parceling of it seems fanciful. So, if full-time travel imparts insight, maybe it is an art form as well.

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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Old 04-28-2024, 03:00 PM   #17
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Keizer , Oregon
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Hi all.

My two cents ...

I'm 64, single, work full time, and have lived in my 25-ft Airstream for 5 years, and still do. I live in an RV park, my Airstream hasn't moved since I parked it 5 years ago. I lived in a 22-ft SOB for 2 years prior.

a) 25-ft is fine for me. Would be too cramped for two. I think I could get by with a 23-ft, but no shorter.
b) I don't have any pets.
c) Must have a seperate living area and sleeping area. My prior 22-ft was a couch, turn it into a bed. Way to much work for day to day life.
d) It's not magical , but it's entirely acceptable. I look forward to coming home after a day's work.
e) I'm a bit of a hermit, so take that into consideration.
f) It works fine for me. It may not work for everyone.
g) There is a bit of a learning curve to RV life. I MUST do chores once a week. I fill propane tanks, I dump black & gray tanks. I go shopping weekly, small refrigerator. I do laundry once a week, small closets. It's all ok, but the increased frequency of these events takes a little getting used too. It only takes once of running out of propane in the middle of a very cold night to make propane a priority.

I am planning on traveling around with minimal roots when I finally retire. And am positioning myself for that goal.

Happy Travels!
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Old 05-03-2024, 08:19 AM   #18
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Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahroc View Post
Hi all.

My two cents ...

I'm 64, single, work full time, and have lived in my 25-ft Airstream for 5 years, and still do. I live in an RV park, my Airstream hasn't moved since I parked it 5 years ago. I lived in a 22-ft SOB for 2 years prior.

a) 25-ft is fine for me. Would be too cramped for two. I think I could get by with a 23-ft, but no shorter.
b) I don't have any pets.
c) Must have a seperate living area and sleeping area. My prior 22-ft was a couch, turn it into a bed. Way to much work for day to day life.
d) It's not magical , but it's entirely acceptable. I look forward to coming home after a day's work.
e) I'm a bit of a hermit, so take that into consideration.
f) It works fine for me. It may not work for everyone.
g) There is a bit of a learning curve to RV life. I MUST do chores once a week. I fill propane tanks, I dump black & gray tanks. I go shopping weekly, small refrigerator. I do laundry once a week, small closets. It's all ok, but the increased frequency of these events takes a little getting used too. It only takes once of running out of propane in the middle of a very cold night to make propane a priority.

I am planning on traveling around with minimal roots when I finally retire. And am positioning myself for that goal.

Happy Travels!
Hey Ahroc!

Thank you for the primer on what it’s like for you to live in an Airstream. Of course every Airstreamer’s story is unique but I think we can all agree that it isn’t about “living in a small space” – it’s about efficiency. I’m not an efficiency geek but I am always amused how the general public swoons about the romance of living full-time on a yacht or in a cruise ship state room but when the subject turns to RVs, suddenly, size matters 🤭.

I think it is commendable to live as you do in an RV near your place of work. I think cities should have more interest in providing beautiful places where working people can live in efficient, economical grid-independent Airstreams and RVs. Three months is the longest period of time we’ve ever parked, but we wouldn’t mind staying longer in places we like. In fact, we may soon be slowing down from two-week stays to one-month stays. One month stays would not only lower our expenses considerably, we could also focus more on our health and other projects we’ve put aside.

We still marvel at how comfortable we are in this method of travel. We do not miss living in a house at all. Those pesky jobs are more desirable to us than the aggravations associated with maintaining a property. And, as people who are independently minded, having the ability to pull out of the neighborhood whenever the mood strikes is priceless.

So far we’ve never suffered a cold night without heat, but in case of emergency we keep instant heat packs on board.

Your observations about what you can and cannot accept in terms of space is valuable information. 23′ sounds perfect for a single person waiting for that glorious day when retirement comes and you slide the key into the ignition, turn the engine and drive away into the sunset.

Wishing you all the best.

Safe & Happy Travels!

Carmen@LIB
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2014 Ram 2500 Diesel 4x4 (The Beast)
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Old 05-03-2024, 09:02 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
2017 28' International
Jim Falls , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by TR Anderson View Post
I can't imagine tolerating being that cramped for any length of time greater than a week, two at the most. I like to go camping, but living in any travel trailer would be impossible. There are reasons we all live in homes with separate rooms for lounging, sleeping, cooking, and eating.
I feel the same way. I love going for a week or so. And a week we find is our perfect time. Then it is time to get home. We like the space of our house. My wife has her grand piano. I have my office space with my books, and an exercise room. We have a large great room area where we like to entertain. We have 14 grandchildren and love to have them all over as a family (28 in all) to play games, etc. And we don’t have a huge house. But we designed it for our lifestyle and what we enjoy doing. My wife loves it.

And then there are the friends you nurture while being in one place for an extended time. We like our friends, our church, our neighborhood, etc. Being on the road for an extended time I think would be very isolating. I suppose if you stayed put for 6 mos. it would be different.

But there are some people that living in an AS would work. Different strokes for different folks. For my wife and me it would not work at all.
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Old 05-03-2024, 09:22 AM   #20
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2008 22' Safari
Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by TR Anderson View Post
Good points, JB.


… I never thought that "house size" contributed to the increase in the divorce rate, but rather the advent of the uncontested or no fault divorce enabled it..
It certainly enabled less-hateful divorced people.

Living full time in ANY travel-trailer is a “tiny home” experience…. and TTs are not designed for it. Airstream even says-so in the owner’s manual.

But if you can keep it properly ventilated to avoid humidity and mold… and don’t mind the “cheap, part-time design” appliances….. I can see a certain attraction toward a “minimalist” standard of living.
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