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Old 05-03-2020, 12:20 PM   #21
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Simi valley , California
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Emergency trip

I would seriously consider buying the trailer once you get to the east coast!!! Prices are lower and youíll save a lot of time driving across the country.
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Old 05-03-2020, 12:46 PM   #22
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Thank you, everyone for your insights, advice and well wishes for my father. I will definitely look into SkyMed and other options for getting my dad out here.
Update: Due to my Dad's condition it is VERY unlikely we will be able to get him across the country anytime soon- and he is now communicating as best he can (he cannot speak-yet) that he wants to stay in Georgia. He always wanted to come live with us in Seattle full time when he was no longer able to drive (before the stroke he was living with us part time, and on his own back in Georgia part time) but I am now coordinating with my brother who lives closer to Dad and understanding that after going into an acute rehab facility he will likely need to be in assisted living (I'm not sure for how long) before we are able to make long term plans- which still involve hopefully having him live with one of us kids.
My dad, husband and I had talked about traveling the country in an Airstream before he got sick since we knew none of us would want to fly during this pandemic.
My husband and I are still looking at getting a small Airstream and using it to go across the country to visit my dad but have come to terms with the fact that he will not be traveling back across the country with us in it. That was likely a desperate and impossible dream under these very scary circumstances and just really wanting to see and take care of my dad. (Thank you again for the other options listed above- I will definitely look into those.)
So- for now- we are still looking into buying a small Airstream as a way to see my Dad without flying (once he is able to have visitors), and for long term recreational adventures.

Thank you, also, for the concerns about driving across the country with a new Airstream without experience or testing it first. Since our timeline is stretching a little (due to visitor restrictions in rehab and assisted living facilities) we will likely take a small weekend trip at least to try it out, get used to towing, etc. before hitting the road for a long cross country trip.
Thanks again for the advice. Appreciate it. (and keep it coming if you have additional tips.)
This seems like a really nice community.
Wishing everyone good health,
Kim
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Old 05-03-2020, 02:47 PM   #23
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Kim, if I knew then what I know now....
I would be richer, and might not have a totalled Airstream in my past. So here is my experience.

You live in Seattle. One of the best custom shops in the country is close... Ultimate Airstreams of Seattle. Drool worthy!
Read this forum voraciously. Learn.
Lots of arguments about tow vehicles and weight distributing hitches... but lots of pure golden ideas too. Delay buying all sorts of extra stuff for the first 3 months of ownership. You need to have a really good sewer hose! Flamingo silverware? Erm.

Meet WBCCI or Airforums members at a rally, or small gathering. Have them show you what is involved in camping in a trailer. How to dump the waste tanks, use a weight distributing hitch, hook up water, electric and sewer, do safety checks on lights, brakes, etc. Then Rent a trailer for a week... any old brand. Some people think that they will love camping and then reality teaches them that they don't. Finding that out without spending $50K is a great thing.

Do NOT buy an Airstream based on the vehicle you currently own. You will upsize in 1 to 2 years. Buy a size you can live with for 5 years minimum. A 23 with dual axles is as small as I would go and I fly solo. Imagine getting caught in 4 straight days of rain in your smallest closet. That is a 16 footer. You can get a USED vehicle just for towing. Ford F150 or Chevy 1500 will pull a 25 footer... maybe even a 27 footer if you are careful with the weight you carry and speed you drive.

In today's reality you may get a terrific deal on a new Airstream. But in "normal" times a gently used one is a much better deal. Go shopping.

Kiss a LOT of frogs first. Try the bed. Got knee room in the bath. Imagine using the kitchen. Finding the right one AFTER you've finalized a purchase is a pain.

Get really great insurance, then a totalled Airstream is a bump in the road and a fellow member gets a "parts" trailer while you get a new Eddie Bauer.

"H.A.L.T." Never drive Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. It is a lot better to pull off after a near thing than it is to assure the sheriff that you are unhurt and can walk away while staring at the bottom of your Safari tha slid 50 feet past your truck.

Take care of your father, and enjoy the hunt for your Airstream as a stress reliever. Oh and you have to sex your Airstream and name it. They reveal their personalities. A favorite name I ran across was a restored Argosy called "Costalotta"
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Old 05-03-2020, 05:41 PM   #24
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Thanks for the update Kim. Sounds like a plan is slowly coming together. At this time . . . during which we all are taking some deep collective breaths . . .



. . . slowing the pace is a good thing IMO.

One small step you might want to take, is to visit your local AS dealer, and look at various models for what might be the best "fit" for you. Not sure how much sales work they are doing in person, but a call tomorrow would be easy enough IMO. Or you could email them today.

https://www.seattleairstream.com/
Covid-19 update: https://www.seattleairstream.com/covid19.asp

You could also ask about used trailers.

Colonial Airstream in NJ is well known for their sales and service, and they have a wide range of videos on all the models. To pick our favorite model as an example, Patrick does a great tour of this 20' Caravel, which is close to what we have:



Patrick and the rest of the sales staff have helped us in the past, when we were looking for a trailer or motorhome. Good folk.

The following 20-footer thread here is very long, but can give you an idea of what works for this model. The thread can also open your eyes to the points everyone has been making about not being naive about the learning curve you will face with any new trailer:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...rs-127845.html

These are challenging times for us all, and especially for folks like you facing a situation with no perfect solutions available.

One favorite quote comes to mind:
_____________________________________________
“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” [emphasis added]
_____________________________________________
John Steinbeck -- Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Please be assured that a good solution will come along, in time, and "take you" on your new journey.

Happy trails,

Peter
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:23 AM   #25
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Cross County quick trip

Comments made by Foiled Again are right on target with advice about buying a new Airstream. Do your homework and don't spend a lot of money without knowing what and how you plan to use it.

Only thing I might add is advice I give all my friends who are usually looking at the Class B type van RV's which applies to other rigs as well:

Always check the restroom and beds to be sure they are big enough for you to move around as accustomed. If not, mark it off your list and keep looking!!
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:18 PM   #26
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Kim,
Good luck with your entry into the RV lifestyle. You were wise to check out this forum. Take your time and read through the threads.
My wife and I have a 22FB sport that we will be upgrading to a 23FB FC this summer. Reasons? Ducted AC, larger gray water, electric HW, heat pump, easier to make walkaround bed, bumper storage, battery box allows addition of (light) hitch storage...
You get much of this with the Caravel. We bought (very slightly) used, and then realized that the cost of the upgrade would be worth it to us. Despite what you may hear, selling an Airstream is going to cost you similar to selling a car. Make the right choice at the outset. (More the wife's decision - I love the 7' width of the '19 22FB. Consider what it will take to park the units you're considering at your house.)
Regarding the trip, I hope you get to make it, but the number of currently closed campgrounds will make it more challenging. Consider larger tank sizes for this reason alone.
Did you say what you are towing with? Some sources (not so much this forum) will lead you to believe you can tow right up to the stated limit. Not so! We've been over Snoqualmie Pass, Emigrant Pass, the Dougherty Slide, and numerous others. Get a copy of the Mountain Pass guides (West and East) or find online resources to avoid scary surprises!
Good luck with everything, especially getting your Dad situated.
- Don
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Old 05-07-2020, 05:08 AM   #27
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Hello and Iím very sorry to hear about your dad -these are (as u know ) extremely difficult times. From a nursing perspective the the best case is to continue to communicate with medical staff regularly & itís critical to visit as often ur dad via video connect. As far as his safety goes itís really best he not travel due to pandemic. Perhaps later this summer would be better, what do his doctors say? Hang in there and we are all getting though this together
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:39 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimberlee View Post
Thank you, everyone for your insights, advice and well wishes for my father.
. . .
Hi Kim,

I hope your Dad is doing well . . . on Mother's Day it seems fitting to celebrate our Dads also, as part of the team.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Peter
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:53 AM   #29
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Stone Mountain , Georgia
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Originally Posted by Kimberlee View Post
Hello everyone,

My husband and I are in the process of buying an Airstream (either Bambi or Caravel 16) to cross the country to see my Dad who suffered a massive stroke last week. Without going into too much personal detail, we are planning to travel across the country from Seattle to Atlanta to see him and potentially bring him back home with us depending on his recovery..............
........
Thank you,
Kim
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Find out first if the doctor would release your dad for ANY travel. A long road trip has a fair level of exhaustion for all concerned, and AIR travel has different considerations.

With your dad, you should not drive long days, and that means about 7 driving days from Seattle to Atlanta with no break. At least 6 but I think 7. That's 14 days R/T of driving pulling an Airstream, having to hook up and unhook every day. Remember if he's traveling with you on the way back he's going to be a bit fragile.

Would the Dr. give him an OK to fly? If he can get an OK to fly, do not drive across the country with him where you will be hours from a hospital at many points and many hours from a major hospital equipped for a cerebral event if it should happen again. If he can fly just take all precautions and fly.

If not, then prepare for a long drive, but fortunately without the heat of July and August. As others have said, stay on the Interstates. If you cross Arkansas to Memphis you can angle down toward Birmingham to Atlanta. If you go higher you can come down to Nashville and then down to Atlanta. Don't think boondocking, think one person drives and the other is looking at a Good Sam Camping Guide, or the AAA version, and the KOA guide and on the cell phone. You'll find something.

I would suggest I-5/I-205 to Portland and then I-84 to Salt Lake, then I-80 East to Omaha, I-29 down to Kansas City, then I-70 to St. Louis. From there, decide which way to come into Atlanta. Stone Mountain Park just outside of Atlanta has lovely camping and easy access to downtown.

I don't know about how much thought you have put into buying an Airstream and having an adequate tow vehicle, but this is not usually a time to rush into an expensive $$$$ purchase, and if a used vehicle, the possibility of a break down along the way. Best wishes.
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Old 05-10-2020, 10:42 AM   #30
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Just a note about Sky-med. I used them to bring my Dad home from Florida (to NJ) about 20 years ago. He had a massive heart attack. It was in the late 90's. I flew down from NJ and Sky-Med had everything all arranged from picking him up from the hospital to bringing him to the private jet. I boarded along with a nurse and a pilot. When we arrived in NJ, they arranged for the ambulance to transport him to Deborah Hospital where he had his second bypass surgery. At the time it was $8,000, and I charged it on my credit card, much to may amazement. One day you buy shoes, the next day a medical jet.
The medical air ambulance service is more along the lines of $65,000 these days. If you are already a SkyMed member, maybe you are ok, but if you have the problem and then try to join, this may be a problem.

I would recommend that you limit travel to 350 miles per day on the return if you end up executing your plan. This is likely to take a while since it is over 2600 miles. It takes five hours to fly, even if you are concerned about the virus and airlines.

Whichever route you would take, you need to think it through. A suggestion to go to Atlanta and then buy a trailer is a good one. You would have a quicker trip to get there even if you drove your tow vehicle and stayed at motels/hotels on the way down. You could cut the trip down in half.

I presume the OP has already talked to the medical folks on the phone regarding a way forward. Considering all things, some of the suggestions here make sense.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:53 PM   #31
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Sorry to hear about your dad.
I would just go with a motorhome in this situation. You will need to give your dad constant attention and you will not be able to do that in a trailer. For a first timer, the motor home will be
easier to handle, park, and maintain. You will lose the mobility of the tow vehicle but you can lease now and plan better in the future.
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Old 05-10-2020, 03:35 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=dnas;2356724 As a retired Command Sargent Major he wanted what he wanted and he wanted it NOW> [/QUOTE]

I learned as a civilian contractor to always give the Command Sargent Major exactly what he wants. There is no alternative.
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Old 05-10-2020, 06:03 PM   #33
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Why donít you just fly? Planes are empty and clean.
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Old 05-11-2020, 11:24 AM   #34
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You said your father's stroke was very serious, please give some thoughts to his limitations as you plan this trip. How much help will he need with his activities of daily living? How mobile will he be with respect to your tow vehicle and entry and exit from the travel trailer? There have many well thought out comments posted and we all wish you and your father the best. The biggest question is are you certain you and your father are up to this trip?
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:10 PM   #35
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My personal recommendation, having driven through Atlanta with a trailer at least 10 times...is to avoid driving through Atlanta. The only time that driving through Atlanta was easy was when we hit Atlanta at 2:30 am on a way-too-early Monday morning.

If your main goal is to get Dad home, I agree with those in this forum who advise a professional Sky Med (Med-Jet) trip. I had the experience of taking a camper trip with a parent who had undiagnosed Parkinson's. Three of us had fun, but I suspect my Mother-in-Law went through a raw slice of Hell.

Godspeed on your trip. Hope it works out for you.

-Kurt-
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:13 PM   #36
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I have to add: She didn't deserve it. One of the most wonderful persons you would want to meet. This was not an anti-Mother-in-Law posting.

-Kurt-
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:40 PM   #37
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Hello,
I wanted to thank everyone for the thoughtful and insightful comments, advice and well wishes for my Dad.
Sadly my dad took a turn for the worse last Friday so my husband and I flew down to be with him. I am thankful we did because he really went downhill quickly. (We had been following the doctor's advice to wait and see and up until a few days ago dad's prognosis for recovery was promising and he had been stable.) We had a very difficult but very good day with him on Saturday- connecting and loving even though he was (is) unable to speak and was sort of in and out of consciousness. It was a special day and I am so glad we made it.
Without going into too much detail, Dad is now receiving palliative care. I am heartbroken. As are all of his family and friends. He is so loved by so many.
I am touched by the thoughtful messages and well wishes (and personal stories) that have come through in this post. Under normal circumstances I would have sent personal replies-but we have been in crisis mode. For now I just wanted to update and say thank you.
My husband and I still plan to buy an Airstream when we get back to Seattle. We had been dreaming of buying one and traveling with Dad before he had his stroke and we know he will be with us in spirit when we do end up getting one.
For now we are in Atlanta and will stay here and hold his hand until he is ready to go. He can no longer respond but I know he knows we are here and that he is so loved.
Thank you again. This community and all the wonderful comments and advice on here really warms my heart during this devastating time.
Kim
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Old 05-11-2020, 06:46 PM   #38
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So sorry to hear . . . thanks for the update . . . glad you were able to be with your Dad.

Prayers . . .

Peter

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