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Old 07-09-2002, 06:44 AM   #21
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My Family went to a batch (cottage) during the summers.
This was in Lake Rotoiti in New Zealand which was primeavaly beautiful. The place was the size of a garden shed, kitchen and table in one room (no fridge, just put stuff in the glacially cold river) 12 wooden pallets in the next room for all of us. We didn't stay inside at all. I would spend my days exploring the forests rivers and lake.
In America I went camping a few times, but took road trips often. It's so exciting and romantic to get on the road before dawn and watch the sun rise.
It's so big here and places smell and feel so different from each other, it's always an adventure. My son went to school in the Adirondaks, so the road trips there were awesome. My husband stated years ago he didn't want to go anywhere there was no running water or TV etc. So I went camping (on the ground) with friends at times.
Recently he and my son began to work for an RV place and learned about trailers, coaches, the lifestyle and have met many RV'ers.
I began my own business, saved my money and bought my first airstream.
In my mind it is the only choice. A real dream come true. Now we can go to
beautiful places and not worry if there is a cottage there or not.
Ken and Ed knew enough about them to love this one too, and are quite excited and are helping me with it constantly. Ken's overseeing the pouring of the concrete pad for it today in fact.
Ken is already planning our first trip, (just to the park with friends) and I will sign up for towing and manipulating the trailer lessons this month.
It was worth waiting for because now we all can really appreciate and enjoy it.
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Old 07-09-2002, 09:53 AM   #22
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My wife and I decided we were getting too old to continue sleeping in tents and truck campers and we wanted to get an RV. We weighed all the options of motor homes versus travel trailers and decided on TT. Now we had to decide which brand to buy so I started researching on the internet. Some of the horror stories were incredible! Cabinet doors falling off on the maiden voyage, windows and roof vents leaking, appliances not working, etc, etc. It didn't take long to discover that Airstream was the best product out there but the price seemed to be prohibitive. We attended the 2000 RV show in Los Angeles with the intention of buying a more affordable TT but after inspecting over 100 we decided you get what you pay for so we ordered a 2001 Safari and the rest is history.
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Old 07-09-2002, 02:00 PM   #23
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my airstream start

I live in the mountains of north carolina.but have hunted the state of georgia for years and years.camped in tents ,under tarps, and one weekend I stayed under a shower inclosure..needed a camper bad. my first camper was an old 73 volunteer.brought it home and went to fix a small roof leak.a week later i was down to the bare frame..went back ,and learned alot .sold that trailer three years later, when I saw an airstream,love at first sight. I bought a 1975 international overlander and love it, yesterday i closed a jam up deal on a 1983 sovergn, now i have two..do i have the guts to sell.........right now no...i'll keep both.!!!!
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Old 07-09-2002, 05:27 PM   #24
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Re: How did you get into Airstreams & Airstreaming?

My Dad had suffered from polio as a child and was on crutches & leg braces all of my life. But damn if he didn't love the outdoors. And as a child I figured that if he loved it enough to go thru all that it took for him to go camping, then I'd come to love it too. He was right there with me during Boy Scout camping trips, taking me deer hunting (where I got my first sight of an A/S) or on trail rides (dad slept in our station wagon, I slept anywhere that was dry & warm. Dad drove the wagon's team of mules & I rode my horse). Then I went thru the tent phase, which I never liked. Found a pop-up in the 1970's, supposedly made by the folks who brought us Dempsey Dumpsters. Heavy but it pulled like a dream and set up in seconds. But still few comforts, and I do like my comforts. Then I was married & a father and neither of them really liked camping so I gave in to pressure & took up other activities. But somehow Airstreams were never forgotten.
Was recently divorced, and with nobody to give me perfectly good reasons not to spend so much money solely on my own interests, I started the search. Loved the vintage trailers but I'm not that great at fixing & repairing. Found what my daughter calls "Dad's Other Lady", my 2002 27' Safari and have been hooked since. She now sits on my little piece of Texas hill country heaven south & west of Austin, Texas under her own special protective tin shed. She will provide me with all the comforts of home until I can retire in 6 to 8 years, build my retirement home AND be able to take off camping in my Safari to see this wonderful country of ours.

When did I get into Airstreams? As a very young child, with my very first sight of some 1950's A/S parked on a deer lease.

How did I get into Airstreams? First, I had to survive a mid life crisis, was found to be sane and thus fully able to do as I damn well pleased, and then did so. Regrets? None!!

And please - no angry cards & letters here. I'm NOT advocating getting a divorce just to own an Airstream trailer. All I am saying is that at some point in life one should be in a position to dance to to his / her / (and hopefully their) favorite tune.

Airstreaming was just one of several good things that changed in my life.
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Old 07-10-2002, 06:14 PM   #25
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I also did the cub scout and boy scout thing when I was young, Dad came along too as a asst. troop leader. Did lots of tent camping all year round no matter what the weather. As I got older, Dad and I thought it would be nice if Mom would come along. Now Mom was not a camping type person so we knew a tent wouldn't cut. Aunt & Uncle had a Apache pop-up, so we borrowed it for a weekend, not up to Mom's level of comfort. Grandparent's has a old '18 Winnebago MH, Mom felt claustrophobic. Dad was a big rig driver ( big weight lots of tonnage), on one of his moves he saw a AS & suburban combo for sale. Turned out to be a '68 International 28ft and a '75 GMC suburban, a beautiful combo. Dad bought it on the spot, I think he paid $5000.00 at the time in '78. We've been enjoying it ever since. Now I'm married and have a 4yr old daughter, took her camping in it when she was 18 months. She always looks forward to camping in the "Silver Bullet"

Needs a little work and some parts but Dad and I enjoy working on it together, though he does most of the work since he is retired now and I try to find the info and parts. Well got a little long winded so many memories as I think back about it all

Take care all
Bruce A Palarchio
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Old 07-14-2002, 01:50 PM   #26
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Unhappy No-Van-Man...

Hi there ALL...
Just been reading your stories...all kind of GOOD memories...you know, NO matter what else is taken from you, you'll ALWAYS have your MEMORIES...ok, I don't own an A/S..( sigh )...but when I first saw a picture of one...I knew at once I liked them...I look at the pictures you Guys put on the sites, very nice indeed, I thank you for that too...also I learnt a lot, I even know what GRAY water is...LOL...
To me the A/S is a rolling piece of American History, and I are pleased they are being kept ALIVE...I saw a huge CAMPER too in FLA:, and the owner let me crawl all over it, it almost broke my heart to head back to the villa...I had NEVER seen anything like it in my life before, it was fab:....
Well thank's again for sharing all your tales, and I look forward to reading many more.
It's NICE 2B Important...but it's more Important 2B NICE...Chris.....
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:16 AM   #27
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We (my wife and I) had a small camper (S.O.B) not long after we were married and enjoyed the enthusiasm of traveling around our area and camping on Weekends.

We placed it up for sale along with the mobile home we lived in. We did this in order to keep payments as low as possible when we purchased our home. A few years after selling it we wanted to get back into the thrills of camping. We saw an add in the paper for a camper that we thought we could afford and went to look at it. I think it was advertised for about $1,800. We bought it for $1,500. It was a 1968 Safari Airstream travel trailer. It was a single axle 22' long and it really didn't look all that attractive to me at that time. It had weeds grown up around it and it didn't look like it had been moved for some time. The commode was sitting at a lower position than what it should have been. I could see clearly that the floor had rotted completely through. These kinds of things didn't disappoint us though because at that price we figured that we could fix them. We had completely rebuilt the floor in the bath room of our previous camper. I felt the challenge and we bought it. The owners even delivered it and parked it in our drive-way.

Not long after making the purchase I discovered how I felt about Airstreams; that they were much more difficult to work on due to the way they were built. I wondered if we had made a mistake; however, I got to like the sturdy frame construction and just everything about them begin to grow on us. We repaired the floor and fortunately it only needed replaced just in the open area where the commode was located. If we would have had to take out some of the walls at that time I don't know if I would have been able to. The plumbing had to be changed as well. We re-did the plumbing, re-upholstered the couch, made new curtains and placed new carpet on the floor. Our color theme was red with black inside. Very attractive I thought when it was completed. It was a very good experience purchasing it. We learned a lot and fell in love with the Airstream travel trailer. When we would be out at different Parks; we would always eye-ball the newer ones and say to each other, maybe some day. We wondered what the layout looked like inside of the newer ones. We now own our third A/S and enjoy it very much; it's a 1983 Excella 31' with a middle bath. I think I would enjoy a 34'er if one came our way.

That is how we got started into Airstreaming.
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:10 AM   #28
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Airstream fever...

I was a fortunate kid who got to camp all over the U.S. with my folks. My earliest recollections of camping are sleeping in a '59 Rambler with fold-down seats. We graduated to a tent, then to a parade of campers until I left home after high school.

On one of those trips, when I was about 12, we had a '65 King Kamper tent trailer in the late fall. It was raining and cold. A '67 Caravel pulled in next to us, and the retired gentleman who owned it invited us over for coffee. It was WARM inside! I WANTED IT!!!

After I left home, while I still knew it all, I SWORE I'd never camp in an RV again. "IT AIN'T CAMPIN", said I. Throught the '70s and early '80s, I backpacked and slept on the ground and had a small tent. Then I motorcycle tent camped, had a 13' Scamp pulled with a Jeep. Later I had a Danish Kombi-Kamp tent trailer that I pulled with a different Jeep. A couple of years later... the big "D"... a divorce. I needed a place to stay, and a friend of mine had asked me a few months earlier if I was interested in his Airstream.

I recontacted him and bought a handsome '70 Safari 23' for the princely sum of $2k. It needed a new toilet and water heater, and the upholstery and drapes were pretty sad, but it worked, and I didn't have to buy furniture or go apartment hunting!

I met my 'new' wife sixteen years ago, and we've been Airstreaming ever since (with a brief four-year hiatus for an affair with sailboats... ) Fortunately, she loves Airstreams as much as I do. I was living in the Safari when we met. (She thought I was a LITTLE strange at first, but got over it. Now she KNOWS it, but loves me anyway!) We restored the Safari, (still owned by my father-in-law), and a '61 Bambi. We bought a '57 Overlander and a '77 Minuet with the intent of restoring them, but sold both before we got 'round to it. We tried an Airstream motorhome (a 325, hence the "85MH325") for a couple of years and loved it, but decided this spring to return to trailering and found our current '94.

We've enjoyed every Airstream we've had, but I must say that the comfort and conveniences in the '94 are awesome. As much as I've enjoyed our vintage coaches, I confess I've been won over with the '94!
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Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:43 AM   #29
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Wow a lot of previous VW camping folks.

My folks have always camped. They use to Ride motor cycles with The Highwaymen MC out of Detroit in the late 50's early 60's. Of course they tent camped back then. When I came around in 66 they had me out camping when still in diapers. Around 71 My dad spied a tiny light pop up tent camper at Montgomery Wards. Bought it on the spot. The tow vehicle was a 1968 VW Square back. In 73 the Square Bac was traded on a VW 412 wagon. We spent 3-4 weeks a summer camping. CO was a favorite destination for at least 1 week a year and hopped around the coast in the SE a week a year as well. Spent a LOT of time in the VW as a kid.

In 82 The 412 had a replacement (although we kept the 412 and it became my first car). A VW Vanagon was the new family truckster.
Lost my Dad in 84 to hear disease. Mom wanted to thein things out for finacial reasons and the Vanagon and camper were sold.

I tent camped off and on with friends after that. Ex wife was not into roughing it (she was not into a lot of things including reality LOL ). My misses of 8 years camps ok but we have twon kids with 8 years between them and just isn't the easiest thing too tent camp with them that young. Her family owned a Airstream.

I'm into Offroading and hit several events a year where we primitive camp. My off road truck is so trail biased that it travels packed with spare axle shafts, drive shafts, tools, recovery gear that it has almost no room for much more then a cooler unless I pull the back seats. So I built a Utility trailer into a mini 5x8 camper. Worked great for just me. Swipped twin matress off one of the kids trundle beds and slept in style.

In Feb 03 we lost My wifes Dad. While dealing with the the estate his 1959 Caravanner was still with it. My wife has 3 brothers and all but one live out of state. The one that does live instate doesn't camp and heck he works for Holiday inn in their regional HQ so he gets a heck of a deal when he does travel.

I took a liking to the Caravanner right away. I think my wifes brothers didn't want to see it just sold off but none of them had a place to store it or were able to use it for one reason or the other. So in our drive it now resides. I know here brothers are waiting to see how the old girl looks restored. Been too busy to put much time in on it but planning a week "vacation" once fall rools around and the temps come down to get a floor rot problem resolved.

Can't wait to get out on the road again with my family. (shhh don't tell my wife but I want to hit Key west for X-Mas break if I can get her back road worthy by then. )
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1988 R20 454 Suburban.
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Old 08-25-2003, 09:51 AM   #30
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Getting close to retirement we decided we could not afford the slip fees and up keep of a 46 ft yatch.
My wife started looking for an older AS and would not consider SOB. We had looked at a few but they were pretty rough. There was an AS parked close to the road we went by quite often and after several months she decided they weren't using it so one day she went up to the door and asked if they wanted to sell. They said they couldn't sell because they had too much in it. After a few weeks and a little negoation between my wife and the owners she got a price, $5,000 cash.
We bought it, have around $4K in repairs so far and have another $3 or $4K to go before we have it in a like new condition.
When complete we will have what I consider a very reliable AS good for many more miles/years worth around $6K on the used market.
Sorry it's not for sale I have too much in it...........

That's how we got into an Airstream Land Yatch........

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Old 08-25-2003, 10:08 AM   #31
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We camped since the early 60's but got our first RV (Havasu truck slide-camper) in 72. Then Terry tt in 74, back to a Jayco tent trailer in 1980, Vacationeer 5th wheel in 1986, Jamboree C in 1992, and now our Airstream in 2002.

We were thinking of a Trek or some short class A to replace the Jamboree because I was sick of making up a bed--it had no permanent bed except above the cab and that was claustrophia causing.

The Airstream had a "fancy" interior--rivaled the class A's we looked at, has low center of gravity, easy to tow, no motor/drive train/etc. to maintain AND we can tow it with the SUV.

For the $ invested it seemed to us to be well put together and well appointed.
Kistler & Brenda

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Old 08-25-2003, 10:42 AM   #32
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My history differs little.........

Growing up in Northern New Mexico and Oregon, camping has always been a way of life. I've camped every way possible, from climbing above the tree line in the Oregon Rockies and pitching a two-man tent; to big heavy military tents alongside mountain rivers. I slowly graduated from tents to vans, to SOB motorhomes, but never had anything I couldn't part with. Later, new wife, and a new life. We were soon looking at new Holiday Ramblers. They are very pretty, but don't seem to come with any atmosphere. I work in the Washington office of a big Melbourne, Florida-based company. I was long aware of the big Airstream-exclusive parks located down there. I've always heard that Airstreams are the epitome of camping trailers/RV's. I started shopping a few years ago and finally found the right one. I bought what was later dubbed the "Parrot Inn" without my wife's prior inspection, knowing she would love it. I was right. I may or may not ever have enough money to buy anything I want, regardless of the price. I don't know. What I do know is is that we are keeping this trailer as long as we can keep it road-worthy, and we are worthy of the road. We don't feel we can improve on its atmosphere nor the feeling we have developed for it.
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Old 08-25-2003, 01:39 PM   #33
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How did you get into Airstreams & Airstreaming?

My family was never really impressed with the idea of camping so my introduction came at the age of five when friend's of the family invited me on a camping expedition in their new Airstream trailer. That one trip hooked me, and I don't think that I will ever "get it out of my system" as one relative was fond of stating my interest in Airstreaming. My parents eventually decided to give camping (but not Airstreaming) a try with a brand new truck camper rig in 1969 - - '69 C20 Chevrolet Camper Special with a '69 8' Sunway Camper - - lasted a grand total of two years before it was replaced with a '71 Buick Sportwagon.

Once I obtained my driver's license, a camper wasn't far behind. My first experience was with a Montgomery Wards tent camper - - otherwise known as the giant erector set. Less than two years later it was traded on a Coleman Minuteman tent camper - - easy to setup but lacking in ALL amenities. Finally, in 1980 it was off to Nomad to buy a brand new Nomad light weight special 19' coach - - it was so poorly balanced that it was difficult to find a tow vehicle that could handle it - - after five years, I gave up RVing until 1995.

The Airstreaming bug hit with tremendous force in 1995. I had a brand new Chevrolet K1500 Z71 Club Cab pickup with trailer tow package and it just had to have an Airstream. After searching the local classifieds for more than four months and checking out at least two dozen Airstreams, I found what would become my '64 Overlander through a blind ad in a trader publication. Shorthly after taking delivery, it was discovered that it was the same trailer that I had taken my first camping trip in way back in 1964 - - purchased from the third owner more than 325 miles from where the trailer had been located to my knowledge.

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Old 08-25-2003, 07:58 PM   #34
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Sort of Stumbled into it

We started tent camping last year. I loved camping but hated sleeping on the ground. We considered a pop-up, even looked at a few. My father-in-law had a 71 Tradewind he had used as a hunting camper and offered it to us in February. It needed some work (all cosmetic or so we thought) but we thought it would be a fun project and we could be ready to camp in the spring. So, what the heck, we bought it. I knew nothing about Airstreams other than my uncle and aunt had one when I was young.
Turned out to be way more work than we expected (rotten floor, leaks). To make a long story short, we sold it and bought the Overlander within a month. It was ready to camp within a couple of weeks of bringing it home.

Our original plan was to keep it for a year or two, do some upgrades (Pergo floor, new countertop, draperies, upholstery)
and sell it in order to purchase a newer SOB with a slideout. We now have the AS fever and I can't stand the thoughts of not having one. I would like to upgrade to a newer one with a queen bed eventually.
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Old 08-25-2003, 11:04 PM   #35
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How I Got the Bug

My family has always camped, back as far as I can remember. We had an annual trip to the Iowa 'Great Lakes' (East & West Okoboji and Spirit Lakes) over the Fourth of July that I always enjoyed. I was out fishing before anyone else got out of bed and came home late for dinner almost every day. We had a small SOB that would barely sleep all of our growing family. As our family grew, my dad bought a bigger SOB. All this time growing up I never was near an Airstream. Had seen them on the road but that was the extent of it. Once I moved to sunny Arizona I thought my camping days were over as I always thought a good camping trip was centered around a body of water. I left all of my personal camping and fishing equipment home. Man was I wrong! This is a great state for getting out and exploring, hiking, fishing and anything else outdoors, you just have to shoose the right season. My wife and I borrowed a friend's pop-up and pulled it with our Dodge Caravan. Was that a mistake. We did learn what not to do on that trip! A couple of years ago, I went on a fishing trip with a friend of mine in a '60 Trade Wind. I thought this would be an interesting adventure. It changed my idea of camping altogether. No more roughing it! I just had to have one of these vintage units that sports so much character. After 7 months of searching, we found just what we were looking for and talked about it before jumping in. We worked on our Trade Wind almost every non-working hour for 7 straight months with about a two week break over the holidays. It has been more enjoyable than I ever would have thought possible and, although we don't have the room, we would like an older unit. Go ahead, inject some more aluminum. I'm hooked.

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Old 08-31-2003, 06:17 PM   #36
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Tent>>The Trill>>>"R"Stream

Devil's Lake. WI family(7 strong!) tent camping--What fun!!for us kids. That was 45 years ago. Still seeking to relive those great times and discover NEW ones.

The first step, just 4 years ago purchased on the spot a 1978 Trillium (Canadian made fiberglass camper) The Trill changed my previously motel-only man into a Happy Camper!!

But, we'd like more room. I spot an A/S on our way home, ask the owner if she's for sale. No, but he has another in a cornfield just across the river!!

Love at 1st sight. Next day the '76 Sovereign is ours!
Joe & Diane
"R" Stream
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Old 09-01-2003, 12:01 AM   #37
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If it doesn't work out I can always sell...

We went camping once with some friends. They had a pop up and we had a tent.

After playing cards in their nice pop up and having to go back to our tent, we decided we needed a pop up.

After looking around at prices and quality, I decided to get an airstream.

I figured since we only camped once, if I bought an airstream and we did not like it I could get my investment back. I feared if I paid $5000 or so for an SOB, I would loose money.

Anyway, I did like most. Found an old airstream invested too much money and time into it to recoupe anything if we did sell it.

But we have been out 5 times in the last 2 years so I think we're keeping it
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Old 02-12-2005, 08:58 AM   #38
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My brother had bought a 29 ' ambassador that had been in Cuba, he stripped it to the frame and put it back together to his likenings. My brother and I both work in the construction industry and travel is an intregal part of that occupation. Anyway after looking at his I was stung by the AS bug and a year or so later I bought a 71 31' Excella rear bath with center twins. we used his a model and converted the twins to a slide out double. I sold that one and bought a 73 31' Excella rear twins. This one was pretty neat ... it had the built in Onan 12vdc generator and was a great unit. I pulled it to Idaho on a project and my wife came with me. We decided we wanted more room so I traded it for a 36' Kountry Aire 5r that I work camped in till this past fall and Ivan paid a visit. As I was negotiating a settlement with insurance, I got the AS flu again and started looking for a 34' Limited. I had an appointment to look at one in SC on a sunday afternoon however I went over to my inlaws the night before to visit and my brother-in -law told me that their old neighbors had a AS for sale but he knew nothing about it. We went over and beheld a 1988 Limited sitting in the back yard. It turned out that the owner and his father had both bought identical units at the same time. The father s had been sold a couple of years ago and the man & his wife had both become ill and had not used it in 8 years. In fact it had only been used a few times prior to that. I was the first to light up the oven! Anyway, we made a deal ( included AS chairs, jackets) and I swear the man and woman had tears in their eyes as my wife and I pulled out with it. They considered the AS as family. I guess it is one of those that " if you gotta ask.......you wouldn't understand things" I have it in Pensacola for a few more months and then hopefully home to Ga. Now if I can come up with a original looking twin bed to full or queen arrangement life will be good. My stepson now owns the 69 Ambassador and he has the AS bug as well!
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Old 02-12-2005, 02:21 PM   #39
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When I was a small kid growing up in Mexico, my dad always took me on hunting and fishing trips that would take two or three days. We rode our horses and had a pack mule for our gear. I grew up in the Sierra Madre (Mexican Rockies) in the state of Chihuahua near the Sonora border.
When we came here to the United States my dad continued taking us camping on day trips usualy to southern New Mexico (it was more like pick nicks).
When I grew up and got married and had a family I contiued the tradition but always with a tent. Now my kids are all grown up and live away and I'm too old for the tent thing, so I came across a gutted '58 Airstream and it's been my project for the last two years. It's almost finished but has already made a few trips to the mountains.
I thank my dad for the camping experience and these forums for all the help with my project.
'58 Traveler 18ft.
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Old 02-12-2005, 07:47 PM   #40
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2001 34' Limited S/O
Moyock , North Carolina
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I used to tent camp Maryland just outside of DC. One of my buddies invited my family to spend memorial day with is family in their RV that was pulling a travel trailer. They stayed in the Trailer we stayed in the RV. When we got to the campground I helped him set-up the trailer. I had never done it before and I don't think he had done it very often. The front jack was manual and had never seen grease. Long story short 45 minutes or so we finally got the trailer set-up.
An older, in there 70's, couple pulled up in an International Travelall and an Airstream. They got out and looked over their site. He got back into the car and backed it in, pulled forward on some boards and got it level. Then he got out of the car hit the switch and down went the jack, it lifted the rear of the International to the point that he didn't have any trouble getting the leveling bars off. Inside of 20 minutes they were set-up and had not broken a sweat on a 90 degree day. Right then and there I knew that one day I would own one.
15 years and one wife later I did and have never looked back. We played with timeshares, boats and just auto travel with hotels. Nothing we have ever done compares to the friends and fun that we have had with the Airstream. It has been one of our best decisions.
Keep the shiny side up.
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