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snappy

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Just a question? I have not read of people using airstream for full time living or part time for that matter. I would think with there long history and price tag that this would be a real contender. I have always dreamed of owning one. I understand the room with a 5th wheel but they just don't do it for me. My parent had campers growing up starting with tent campers and working up to class a. The one I enjoyed the most was a frolic with beautiful birch paneling on the inside. My wife tells me l have a bromance with airstream. Any input would be appreciated. Dwight has a couple of years before retirement were just looking ahead.

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Just like every other make and model of RV, there are some who full time or part time in Airstreams. As to why they are not very popular for such use, I can only share my own reasons. I realize others see it differently.

 

Because of their shape, interior storage is limited. The round shape eliminates all the corners that most RV's use for storage. This is a problem for many RV'ers. In addition, slide outs are rare. Being inside an Airstream is sort of like being in a tube. Space is generally limited. On the other hand, their aerodynamic shape tends to help fuel economy. The other thing worth considering is that they are bumper pull trailers. Again, many people full time or part time in bumper pull trailers, but the majority opt for 5th wheels that offer more living space in a shorter overall setup, and one that tends to tow better. I think of Airstreams like I do about Harley Davidson motorcycles. They are a cult thing, and many people love them in spite of their shortcomings.

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Howdy!

 

We have a 29 Airstream and would not fulltime in it. It has little to none storage space, and the other big drarwback its barely a three season RV hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. I have seen soom fulltime in them and to make up for storgae space by pulling it with a van or truck with camper shell and use that as their storage space.

 

"Happy Trails"

Chiefneon

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I think of Airstreams like I do about Harley Davidson motorcycles. They are a cult thing, and many people love them in spite of their shortcomings.

 

I look at them the same way. They seem to appeal to a certain group of people, not based on utility or cost, but rather on image. We have known a couple of folks who didn't own an RV, but if they did "it would be an Airstream". No reason given other than they like the way they look.

 

We bought our Hitchhiker from a Central Texas dealer who also sold Airstreams. Their approach was very different between the two brands. With Hitchhiker it was all about construction and features intended for full-timers, while the Airstreams were marketed based on image and appeal. Just a different business model and a different type of product.

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There are fulltimers in Airstreams. Here is a forum for Airstream fulltimers http://www.airforums.com/forums/f314/.

 

IMHO people who are fulltiming in Airstreams had an Airstream before becoming fulltimers. It is my opinion based upon my observations at Escapades that about 1.5% of fulltimers are in Airstream trailers. We are planning on fulltiming in our Airstream because we like our Airstream. Most RVs are better for fulltiming because they will have more storage.

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Geez, try not to just generalize us all. I mean seriously a cult thing. Image thing? It's not actually all about image. Some of us are minimalist, we're not traveling hoarders who just sit inside their campers watching TV and tow their golf cart from one place to the other. (See what I did there.)

 

In all seriousness, we bought an Airstream with the intention of full-timing in it for a number of reasons. Perhaps one of my reasons is based on image. I don't actually want to live inside a box with an interior that resembles the 1990's. So you've got me there.

 

I grew up RVing and camping with my grandfather every summer from 9 to 17. Every year my grandfather had a new RV or travel trailer. I remember them all, have photos of most of them.

 

What you like is based on experience and tastes. This is like discussing Ford VS Chevy VS Ram. Your idea of utility and my idea of utility are relevant only to each of our needs and our lifestyle. Some folks need 4WD, like us because we go off-roading and enjoy over-landing. Some folks only need 2WD because they only go from one fancy RV park to the next fancy RV park.

 

You have microwave, I don't. I have no need for one. Our Airstream came with one and I threw it in the trash. A microwave doesn't fit our lifestyle. I also ripped the HDTV antenna off the roof. Just like those examples, when looking at travel trailers, slide outs where not at the top of our list. Neither was washing and dryer or dish washer.

 

Please don't marginalize everyone who choses to own one. And I won't call everyone with more storage a hoarder.

 

There is certainly however a community around them, I wouldn't call it a cult. It's like the way there is a community around Corvettes.

 

I will say, there are those who buy them based on image, end up stuck with them, or didn't know in advanced what they where getting into. And go crying to another brand. I equate that to someone who buys a Corvette and then complains about the harsh ride.

 

We actually looked at Scamps for awhile. But something about the Airstream fit us. Especially all the windows. Both my wife and I are tech workers, and we have two under two. We love our Airstream. A lot of sweat equity has gone into it.

 

I'm sure your rig is equally awesome for you. It just wasn't for us.

 

Most of the Airstream full-timers hang out on the other forum, and there is an even larger number of young full-timers on Instagram. I haven't seen much on this forum as it does feel like Airstreams are looked down upon by SOB (Some other box) owners. :P

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Geez, try not to just generalize us all. I mean seriously a cult thing. Image thing? It's not actually all about image. Some of us are minimalist, we're not traveling hoarders who just sit inside their campers watching TV and tow their golf cart from one place to the other. (See what I did there.)

 

In all seriousness, we bought an Airstream with the intention of full-timing in it for a number of reasons. Perhaps one of my reasons is based on image. I don't actually want to live inside a box with an interior that resembles the 1990's. So you've got me there.

 

I grew up RVing and camping with my grandfather every summer from 9 to 17. Every year my grandfather had a new RV or travel trailer. I remember them all, have photos of most of them.

 

What you like is based on experience and tastes. This is like discussing Ford VS Chevy VS Ram. Your idea of utility and my idea of utility are relevant only to each of our needs and our lifestyle. Some folks need 4WD, like us because we go off-roading and enjoy over-landing. Some folks only need 2WD because they only go from one fancy RV park to the next fancy RV park.

 

You have microwave, I don't. I have no need for one. Our Airstream came with one and I threw it in the trash. A microwave doesn't fit our lifestyle. I also ripped the HDTV antenna off the roof. Just like those examples, when looking at travel trailers, slide outs where not at the top of our list. Neither was washing and dryer or dish washer.

 

Please don't marginalize everyone who choses to own one. And I won't call everyone with more storage a hoarder.

 

There is certainly however a community around them, I wouldn't call it a cult. It's like the way there is a community around Corvettes.

 

I will say, there are those who buy them based on image, end up stuck with them, or didn't know in advanced what they where getting into. And go crying to another brand. I equate that to someone who buys a Corvette and then complains about the harsh ride.

 

We actually looked at Scamps for awhile. But something about the Airstream fit us. Especially all the windows. Both my wife and I are tech workers, and we have two under two. We love our Airstream. A lot of sweat equity has gone into it.

 

I'm sure your rig is equally awesome for you. It just wasn't for us.

 

Most of the Airstream full-timers hang out on the other forum, and there is an even larger number of young full-timers on Instagram. I haven't seen much on this forum as it does feel like Airstreams are looked down upon by SOB (Some other box) owners. :P

 

 

 

 

 

Good Post.

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Most of the Airstream full-timers hang out on the other forum, and there is an even larger number of young full-timers on Instagram. I haven't seen much on this forum as it does feel like Airstreams are looked down upon by SOB (Some other box) owners. :P

I think that you are being just a little bit unfair toward the folks on these forums. There aren't many in Airstreams (or the earlier Avion which as a close relative) for many reasons but there are many different opinions on these forums over brands and your post seems to imply that there are Airstreams and all others as one lump. It may well not be intended but it clearly reads that way to some of us.

 

As far as us looking down on Airstream owners, I was once refused entry to an RV park because it was an "Airstream only" park and that is the only brand that I have ever seen do that. We have had friends for years who owned an Airstream and have twice in our travels considered the purchase of one and both times the cost was more than our budget for a similar RV. When we left fulltime three years ago, (we had a 36' motorhome with no slides) we chose to downsize to a 20' travel trailer with no slides one of the very first trailers that we considered was the Airstream, because of our close friends love of theirs. But we quickly ran into a major budget problem. We bought a new, 20', KZ-Sportsman for about $12,000 April of 2012 and even today the 20' Airstream is priced at just under 3 times as much at $35,500 on RV Trader's website.

 

As far as I know there is nobody in the Escapee organization who looks down on other RV brand owners. No doubt there is some small degree of social stratification at times among the members as is almost impossible to prevent, but I feel great confidence in my view that the Escapee management is not guilty of what you say, since Travis Carr & his family are traveling in an Airstream at this time! In case you do not know, Travis is the grandson of the Escapee's founders, the son of the present CEO, and he is in charge of these forums.

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As an observation, I have found that very often when a group believes that others look down upon them, the barrier is mostly in the mind of those who feel that way. Since I have never been included in in any Airstream gathering, I have no way to be sure but I have been excluded from the Airstream events. :) As far as I am concerned the Escapees have very little social stratification since we were well accepted by everyone we came into contact with at the recent Escapade, despite the fact that we were in one of the smallest RVs on the fairgrounds and also one of the lowest cost ones. I invite you to come and join us at any or all Escapee gatherings to experience for yourself that warm feeling of inclusion and the lack of social pecking orders. That is the only way that I can think of to support my belief and I look forward to the opportunity to share an event, a campfire, or any other type of RV gathering that you may be interested in attending!

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Well said Kirk. We have been living in our 25' Airstream since mid October when we left Vermont and headed to AZ. We also were at Escapade and while we Airstreamers were not great in numbers, we were still there and our BOF group actually met for a brown bag lunch. We like our Airstream but we like the lifestyle more. Storage is definitely an issue but one that we have worked around, utilizing our pickup truck body which has a solid raisable cover. Owning an Airstream is like being part of a special club. I cannot tell you how many times I have caught people taking pictures of our Airstream, or stopped by to say that a parent used to own one or I didn't know they still made them. It is a mystique that is kind of hard to explain. But back to the original question about full timinig in one: it involves a lot of give and take. It is space challenged. There are a lot of trade offs in order to have that mystique. Like one of the previous posters said, it all boils down to what you want and are comfortable with. After a season living in our 25' Airstream we know what we like and don't like and our goal now is to make the move to full time. When we do, based on OUR experience, it will probably be in a 5'er.

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Interesting topic...

Love the "Cult" thing..as well as comparison to Harley's..

I rode Harley's for over (51) years and was never compared to an Airstream owner.... !!

Although I certainly would consider it a compliment !!

If I were to downsize to a pull trailer, you can bet I would be looking at Airstreams too... :)

Cheers,

Bob

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We have never owned an Airstream but I still notice them on the road and in campgrounds. There is something about them... maybe the word is "mystique". They just say "adventure" to me. They aren't cheap and they really aren't "practical" but they are well built, seriously easy to tow, and... well... cozy.

 

The modern Airstreams also have very well designed interiors; sort of like a cross between a Pullman cabin and a yacht.

 

We still own our 1970s Streamline 21' trailer which I love for its convenience and the ability to quickly get to fly fishing streams or mountain biking trails. Even for a day trip it gives me a place to change clothes, to make lunch, or to take a nap. The pickup truck I tow it with barely notices that it's there (both for handling and fuel mileage).

 

Could I full-time in an Airstream? Sure. We full-timed for five years in a 32' sailboat with far less room. It's not going to be like living in a condo but it will still beat sitting on the sofa wishing you were somewhere else...

 

WDR

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If I am not mistaken, Joe and Kay Peterson, the founders of Escapees in their early years had an Airstream. We have good friends from Missouri that FT in an Airstream.

 

As has been stated, although they are interesting rigs (We had a "vintage model, a 1972 that we used as a weekender) they have little storage room; both inside and particularly little outside storage.

 

We also had a VW camper bus which was also "interesting" but it was a good thing we were newlyweds and were not in a hurry to go anywhere!

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As you can see in my avatar, I love Airstreams. Yes, in my mind they are a Harley-like product. Either you lust after them or you don't. They are exactly like Harleys in that they're NOT the greatest technologically, performance-wise, or cost-wise, but those things take a backseat to the desire to have one and to enjoy it fully. If I could convince the wife (she thinks they are just toasters with no features she values) I would seriously consider buying a 30' Airstream, and pulling it with a long-bed truck with a large shell on the back for extra storage. This arrangement would put a huge grin on my face (pride of ownership smile!) despite all of the shortcomings of these things for fulltiming.

 

Bottom-line is, choose whatever RV suits your fancy, and hit the road! We'll have a cocktail under any brand's awning with you! :D

 

Roy

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My wife and I owned a 2004 30' Airstream Limited for 4 years, that we spent the summers in, and returned to our home in PA during the winter.

 

Like others, I fell in love with the design. But, that was as far as it went. Virtually everything else about it stunk. Big Time. Probably one of the worst decisions I ever made was buying it.

 

First, the quality of our unit was horrid. Absolutely pathetic. And, the Airstream corporate management and the several Airstream dealers that we encountered during our 4 years of Airstream ownership were even worse. I won't bore you with all the details here, but I shared them in detail over on the Airstream forum at the time (and my experiences were not unique).

 

My wife and I sold that damn Airstream in 2008 and bought a Newmar Kounty Aire 5th wheel. One of the best decisions I ever made.

 

(0h, and I've been a member of the Airstream forums for nearly 15 years, and am constantly amazed at how many of the members there idolize Airstreams, and look down on all other RV's -- which they universally refer to as "SOB's).

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I haven't seen much on this forum as it does feel like Airstreams are looked down upon by SOB (Some other box) owners.

(0h, and I've been a member of the Airstream forums for nearly 15 years, and am constantly amazed at how many of the members there idolize Airstreams, and look down on all other RV's -- which they universally refer to as "SOB's).

I think this makes my point about social barriers. Even so, I think that the design does have clear structural advantages for longevity but most people aren't willing to spend what it takes to update the older ones to make them more modern or refurbish them. Those who do so probably have pretty much what the new rigs have at a much lower cost than the current prices. But most buyers of new RVs have no intention of keeping that same RV for 20 or more years and I suspect that only a small percentage of the new buyers keep that RV for more than 10 years and the majority trade in 5 or so years. That means that you have to be willing to pay the cost of that all metal design even though you only keep it for a short time if you belong to the typical new RV buyer group.

 

They have some great attributes but they just don't fit everyone, as no single type one design of RV does.

 

The fiberglass egg type of design like Casita and Scamp, along with Burro and several other brands no longer made have very similar followings and some of the same advantages.

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Just a question? I have not read of people using airstream for full time living or part time for that matter. I would think with there long history and price tag that this would be a real contender. I have always dreamed of owning one. I understand the room with a 5th wheel but they just don't do it for me. My parent had campers growing up starting with tent campers and working up to class a. The one I enjoyed the most was a frolic with beautiful birch paneling on the inside. My wife tells me l have a bromance with airstream. Any input would be appreciated. Dwight has a couple of years before retirement were just looking ahead.

Snappy,

Regardless of what others do you really owe it to yourself to do what you think would make you happy! So try it out. If it ends up not working for you at least you will have given it a chance! Otherwise you'll always be wondering "what if?"! Best of luck and Happy Trails, Dennis

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Casita and Scamp and the like are fairly small but one good thing is it seems they hold value pretty good if kept up and will often resell or trade fairly quickly. Just my opinion, based on watching some. I had and older Scamp once and it convinced me that I wanted to go for one of the upgraded ones. Actually I was going to go with a new Casita but life made a change for me and I ended up put out to pasture in a 27' TT instead. If you go that small really think it through what will work for you. I would have been using mine for extended trips and long weekends out of my S&B. The only thing is the one I had was a 13' with just a porta-potty. I would not go that route. Definitly a toilet and holding tanks.

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