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Old 02-21-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
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Upgrade or change brands?

When researching your full-timing rig, what other brands did you consider? What else should someone look at?

I'm thinking of upgrading from my current AS, since it's become a full-timing home for me. I'm looking at bigger AS, but they all have tiny kitchen counters and aside from the bed, AS seems to just stretch the seating area vs adding more amenities as size increases. (I'm also annoyed at some quality issues from AS, but maybe that's true across the board?)

I'm discovering more specialty manufacturers as I do more research. For example, Americana RV ( Americana RV ) which designs their trailers for full-timing and have many enviable features (like a washer/dryer and LOTS of storage)

Has anyone looked at them, or other well-built trailers that might be more suited for full-timing by design?

thanks!

PS: I'm also considering joining the Tiny House movement instead. If anyone has done that, I'd love to hear from you.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:10 PM   #2
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Okay, you're considering a bigger RV or a tiny house?

Kidding aside, if we full-timed (but we won't) it would be in an Airstream 30' with recliner option. The Airstream concept was for "all the comforts of home" but not necessarily the luxuries.

If looking at a very small house I would look at the Usonian designs by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930's and 1940's as a concept, with special attention to the Seth Peterson Cottage. Google it, magnificent space in a very small home. We've got one in progress as a retirement project; I'd rather live in our Airstream than the "tiny house movement" dwellings.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:26 PM   #3
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The tiny house is a good idea for some people if you don't want to move around. We'd need 10 of them to fit all our stuff. One would be just for my tools. The Usonian idea never really got off the ground, but trailers did, literally. The present day tiny house movement seems to have started with housing ideas in New Orleans after Katrina and some of these floorplans look pretty nice. If I were in my 20's, I'd be more attracted to that.

Having spent as long as 8 weeks in our 25', I suppose we could full time in it, but we like to have a home attached to the earth. If we fulltimed, we'd have to spend a lot of time in warmer places we don't want to spend a lot of time in. Colorado is home and we want it that way. Airstreams are not for winter unless you want to spend a lot of time keeping it warm and keeping a close eye on the water and sewer hoses. There are brands like Arctic Fox built for cold climates.

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:46 PM   #4
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I have read many times on this forum that Airstreams are for traveling.

If you want an RV to live in full time, in some traler park down south or out south west, then there are several that could be much better for that purpose than an Airstream.

Although I have lived full time in an Airstream trailer, it was intended to be a temporary situation. I cannot see myself retiring to full time travel in any RV. I must have a home base, where the bulk of my stuff lives.

The same goes for a tiny house. If I had lived in a tiny house this past winter, I would have already died from cabin fever.

I have a lovely Airstream trailer, and I love to travel with it. However, after a certain amount of time, I'm ready to come home and take up other interests.
I have a disease called EB (Easily Bored), and must do something else every now and then.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:57 PM   #5
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Depends on the person and where they are in life I suppose. The Airstream is just right for us for full-timing. Washer/Dryer does not appeal to us. That means compromises elsewhere.

One family we follow was just complaining about how their 40ft 5th wheel excludes them from about 90% of state parks.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:02 PM   #6
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I would want more room and amenities than an A$ provides if I lived in one full time.
Arctic Fox and Nash are on the list of what I would consider if full timing. Not sure if it would be a 5th wheeler or a standard trailer.
They are both built with four season living in mind. Standard on the AF. Optional on the Nash.
I am pretty sure there are other 4 season brands out there.


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Old 02-21-2015, 11:48 PM   #7
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Thanks all, I will check out the couple of brands mentioned. And I love Frank Lloyd Wright and the Usonian (and other) homes, but that's not my question ;-) I'm looking for the best RVs to full-time in. Some people do full-time in AS, but based on my ownership experience, I think there are probably better options for that purpose. And yes, I'd be looking at going where the seasons are temperate.
Oh, and yes totally agree that very long trailers are problematic when trying to park, as well as increasing your park fees if you do find some free extra-long spots. I have liked that my 22 fits everywhere.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:58 PM   #8
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If you look to the right of the door and roof sections you can see major patch work, I would concede that the glass door is impressive, but the patch work is terrible! Funny how we all look at pictures of Airstreams in different ways. My guess is this was the trailer that was on Ebay last year with the entire side bashed in and the add stated mild damage, I guess this is a nice way to take a salvaged trailer and bring new life into it even though it will never see the open road again!
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:27 AM   #9
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In looking around I kind of liked Lance trailers. They seem to have some quality to them. Half the price of an Airstream and in some respects appear to be a little more comfortable.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:46 AM   #10
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Vinstream... there's an AS in that photo? Lol
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:46 AM   #11
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If you can stand living in roughly the same size unit you are now, you might consider the Oliver Legacy Elite II. They advertize 4-season camping. I almost chose Oliver over AS for that reason and because they offer greater technological features for those of us that like to also use our campers as rolling offices. Biggest reason I chose AS was bedause mine sorta fell into my lap, and because AS has a dealership network. Oliver doesn't.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:59 AM   #12
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Had many different RVs, all types, including 3 AS. We keep coming back to AS and are now done with our expensive "habit" of always looking for something bigger, better, newer, easier, etc. We simply love AS, no one has perfect quality, everything is assembled by people and robots, neither of which are perfect. We think AS does a better job than most. The important aspect on delivery is the dealer and their shop people.

We like Gene have the 30' FC with recliner option. We put recliners in our other 30', bought this one with them factory installed. We do not and will not go full time as my wife refuses to give up her house and it's very close to our adult children and their homes. But if we did, it would be just what we have.

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Old 02-22-2015, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbdesign View Post
When researching your full-timing rig, what other brands did you consider? What else should someone look at?

I'm thinking of upgrading from my current AS, since it's become a full-timing home for me. I'm looking at bigger AS, but they all have tiny kitchen counters and aside from the bed, AS seems to just stretch the seating area vs adding more amenities as size increases. (I'm also annoyed at some quality issues from AS, but maybe that's true across the board?)

I'm discovering more specialty manufacturers as I do more research. For example, Americana RV ( Americana RV ) which designs their trailers for full-timing and have many enviable features (like a washer/dryer and LOTS of storage)

Has anyone looked at them, or other well-built trailers that might be more suited for full-timing by design?

thanks!

PS: I'm also considering joining the Tiny House movement instead. If anyone has done that, I'd love to hear from you.
I will always have an Airstream and I think I could full-time in my current trailer.
Other brands to consider for amenities, luxuries, space and storage:
Tiffin motor homes
Redwood 5th wheels
Mobile Suites 5th wheels
Continental Coach 5th wheels
These are the only ones that catch my eye in a campground. I have no interest in a Jayco, Montana, Cougar, whatever, whatever...
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:55 PM   #14
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To those of you who say that A/Ss are not winter trailers: our present 34' Ltd was in Alaska for 4.5 yrs. as the residence of a civil engineer and his wife. To allow for the cold, he replaced the central vac (just behind the big closet) with a second furnace, coated the underside with spray-on truck bed liner, and made skirts of aluminum panels with styrofoam glued on behind to go all around at ground level.

I'm sure he made other changes, too, but that is all I can remember. They were fine for 4.5 yrs, and had they wished, probably could have stayed out indefinitely.

And yes, it was moved around as the project progressed. So there is no need to go with an SOB instead of a beautiful, iconic Airstream.

Thus speaks a hopeless aluminum addict,

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Old 02-22-2015, 10:43 PM   #15
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Sell your 2004 AS. Buy longest 1950s single axle you can. Gut it. Follow my buy/do list Invest $5K to $8K. Stay in SD or go north to Big Bear Lake for the winter or to any spot in the Mojave in summer. Do not, repeat do not, buy any other AS as their engineers were incapable ( or did not want to) design for minus 40 to + 120, off grid, full time, low carbon footprint, ultralight/ My 22' Caravanner may soon have a Water Mill @ $1,299 @ 42 Pounds. Most AS run for, or hook to, CS water. I'll make my own water. Go private to me and we'll email or phone chat. AS designs have been in the "dark ages" for years and are fully always 10 years behind state of the art "off the shelf" stuff: TODAY ---Fresnel to thermoelectric for power ---VAWT Savonius for power---Go green-go solar-buy an Edsel
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:13 PM   #16
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Stay with AS ... even up north we use it... except for Halloween / Thanksgiving until Valentine's Day "dry".
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:42 PM   #17
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Perhaps a 5th wheel of some flavor might do the trick. The few that I have been in did seem comfy and roomy. However one 5th wheel owner of a relatively new unit said that he has spent way to much time in the shop and he thought I did well by going with an Airstream.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:23 AM   #18
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What is meant by full time?

Hi, what exactly do people mean by full timing in a trailer? To me that would mean that I'm constantly traveling in my trailer. Stopping for a short time to see the sights and move to the next location. I also see people who live full time in their trailer while it is parked in an RV park. So to me this is someone who can't deal with, or afford, a real house. Next would be a prefab on a lot, then a mobile home in a mobile home park, and then a trailer in an RV park. And some in a mini house where ever they are allowed.


So is full timing, traveling in your trailer year around, or living in a trailer that is permanently parked somewhere? And if that's the case, why do this things have wheels?
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Old 02-23-2015, 02:42 AM   #19
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If I were going to full time, it would be in a 5th wheel, and most likely a New Horizon. They are heavy, however, and best towed with a MDT or a HDT. Another good 5th wheel for full timing is an Excel.

I have had a 38' Newmar Kountry Aire 5th wheel for 7 years now, and it is so much superior to an Airstream in virtually every respect, save one - it is bigger and heavier.

Anyone who claims that Airstreams are so much better quality-wise is simply misinformed.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:23 PM   #20
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Terry, yes! I saw the Oliver fully-formed fiberglass trailer mentioned elsewhere here and checked it out. I got their catalog, had a long talk with them by phone, etc. I was highly impressed. They've really thought it through and the design is very smart. I'd be very confident of a leak-resistant rot-proof and termite-proof, well-made product from them. If I were only vacationing in it, the Oliver would likely be my choice. But it has possibly less storage than even an AS, and of course only one model of reasonable size. And although you can customize by adding many smart features, you can't customize the layout beyond the 2 stock configs, or ever reconfigure it yourself, since everything is fully formed from one giant piece of fiberglass. But I did really like it. I tried to convince myself to order it, but I'm still looking, since this is more than a vacation item for me.
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