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Old 11-10-2002, 10:22 PM   #1
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Full timeing Airstreem T/T/

I'm thinking of buying a 28' or 30' Airstream and use it for full time living and travel upon my retirement over a 5 to 10 year period on and off the beaten path.. Could I get some input from some of oyu Airstream owners of good and bad point of teh Airstream and any other information you think i might need before my spend $45000!!!
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Old 11-11-2002, 09:13 AM   #2
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Hi Tec,

I haven't found anything negative about my Airstream. I'm 44 and now retired due to an auto accident in Yellowstone over 2 yrs ago. Two trees were blown down as I was driving by crushing me inside my truck. I was left with internal spinal cord syndrome but still wanted to travel and see this country. I bought a used 1994 28' Airstream for $17K and it's been great. It doesn't matter where you spend the night because you're always at home. I removed the front sofa/sleeper and added a lay-z-boy and a swivel chair. Now it's comfortable on my back. I spent the summer up in B.C. and didn't ahve any problems up or back. I hope this helps a little.
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Old 11-11-2002, 09:17 AM   #3
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Since Airstreams don't deteriorate qucickly over time, you may want to look into buying a late model used. I believe Airstream updated their interior in 1994.
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Old 11-11-2002, 12:02 PM   #4
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The size of the trailer you need for fulltiming depends upon your feelings about space, as well as those of whomever travels with you. Some can get by with a lot less, some need a 40' fifth wheel (fiver) with 3 slide-outs.

The 8.5' wide Airstream models are just wide enough that slide-outs really aren't necessary. They're just something else to add weight, leak or break and they sometimes block interior access to the whole trailer when retracted (like when you want to use the trailer at a rest stop or truck stop). Compared to most fivers, Airstreams are lighter (yet longer for the same floorspace, given the tongue and behind the bumper hitch), and about 2-3' less overall height with an aerodynamic shape. Much less aerodynamic drag and better fuel mileage. A 3/4 ton truck will do as a tow vehicle. The tongue weight of a travel trailer is 10-12% of the gross trailer weight, and you can shift some of that weight to the tow vehicle front axle with the weight distributing hitch. The fiver pin weight is 20-25% of an even heavier trailer, mostly all on the rear axle. You really need a one-ton dually to be safe with a fiver, not only for the weight carrying capacity, but for stability for the higher hitching point and higher center of gravity of the fiver... even one where you have to bend over in the "upstairs" bedroom.

Yes, you can park a fiver rig with equivalent floorspace in a shorter site, but I personally like a travel trailer better when backing. It takes a LOT less cranking on the steering wheel and less angle on the tow vehicle to turn a travel trailer than a fiver. The fiver does have inherent resistance against sway, but a Hensley Arrow hitch on a travel trailer works as well or better against sway, and doesn't give up the advantages of a behind the bumper pivot point.

How well you can stand full-timing in an RV depends on how much it's like a home. It should have a "real" bedroom with permanent bed, not having to fold a sofa down at night and trying to dodge the cracks between cushions. Unlike what you get with many fivers, you should be able to stand up in the bedroom! There should be access to both sides of the bed, not only so making it up is easier, but so one partner doesn't have to crawl over the other to go to the bathroom at night. Speaking of bathroom, it should have a "real" one, not a toilet and sink inside a shower. The amount of wardrobe space required will depend on the occupants. My wife has finally convinced me that you really need BOTH a couch and dinette for fulltiming. RVs have limited kitchen counterspace and the dinette table across from the kitchen provides more. And, while some folks would feel right at home eating dinner on the couch in front of the TV, most will still want to eat at a table. I personally could've gotten by with the 31 without the dinette to gain the additional wardrobe space over the 30 (both are 31' long), but she couldn't, so we wound up with the 34.

I feel like I'm in a quality home, not an RV, when I'm in the Airstream. It's something that's rugged and that you can take pride in. I know mine will long outlast me and continue to give outstanding service to the probably several owners after me. Just like a house.
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Old 11-13-2002, 10:38 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Full timing

Maurice, I thought your advice to Tec12 was marvelous. Now I know why I am an Airstream rooter!!Tom
There is Something Worse than Dying--- That is NOT LIVING !!!
PERFECT Trailer- Dog loves it- Wife hates it!!! You're not camping until you're miserable!
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Old 11-13-2002, 12:27 PM   #6
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Full Timing

There was a thread over the summer from "Loopy Chenelle(?)" about her adventures getting ready to full time in her TT and new truck. Can anybody help me remember the thread? Has anyone heard from her? I loved reading about her pre-trip adventures, and I was just wondering how she is doing. I believe the threads where in the over the road section. RoadKingMoe has excellent advice.
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Old 11-13-2002, 12:50 PM   #7
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I think This is the thread you are referring to.

Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 11-13-2002, 02:13 PM   #8
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thanks from tec12

I want to thank everyone for their kind posts to my question... Its some good informations... Now all I have ot od is find a unit at the right price at the right dealer.. I was thinks about going to Ohio to the factory for a tour.. Has anyone been there? Is it worth the 650 miles trip from Catskills in NY for a look see!!!!
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