We’re just shy of the one-year mark living as nomads on the roads of North America, and wow, what an adventure it has been! 35 states, countless new friends, and more stories than we can even begin to remember. An important thing we’ve learned this past year – maybe the most important – has been that travel has changed us more than we ever anticipated and we must remain adaptable and open to new experiences, or it stops being fun.
While life in general shapes all of us, travel seems to speed up that growth, through the sheer volume of diverse people, places, and experiences a traveler encounters in a short time.
To us, its feels like several years’ worth of living were compressed into the past 12 months. It’s surreal at times to think about what all we’ve done since last summer!
We spent the last few months doing a good bit of soul-searching with our one-year nomadiversary there on the horizon, imagining what our second year as wanderers will bring and how we can continue to optimize our travel, while still challenging ourselves in this unconventional life we constructed for ourselves. We’ve decided, with much difficulty, that it’s time to part ways with our Airstream.
We’re not getting off the road – we’re just seeking a different type of RV (newer, and motorized instead of being a tow-behind) that will allow us some new experiences and comforts that our current setup isn’t as well suited for. We took a 50 year old trailer and made it as new as possible, but it’s still a vintage RV being used as a daily driver. A new home where she’ll have a lot fewer miles put on her seems like the best option to keep her in great working shape for years to come.
As abrupt as it may seem, it was a difficult, emotional decision for us that we haven’t taken lightly. While we’re really going to miss our trailer’s distinctive look, the great community surrounding Airstream ownership, the feeling of living in something we built mostly ourselves, and the pride in having taken an abandoned trailer that was destined for the scrap yard and making it beautiful again, we look forward to the new perspective and opportunities this change will give us.
We’d obviously prefer to find just the right home for our beloved Airstream.
We hope to find a new owner for our trailer who will love it as much as we have during the two years it was part of our family.
UPDATE: We sold the Airstream a mere two and a half weeks after this was originally posted, to a lovely young couple much like ourselves who will be living and traveling in it with their dog, while he’s stationed around the country for his career in the military. We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out, and it looks like we’ll even be able to pay it a visit in Florida this winter! Thank you to everyone who shared our listing and our apologies to those who expressed interest but were later in the line of people interested in buying it.
Thank you also from the bottom of our hearts for following along on our vintage Airstream renovation and travel adventures the past two years, and we hope you’ll all stay tuned for our to-be-determined adventures in the upcoming year(s)!
PS: No, we’re not renovating our next RV – or anything – EVER again! It was a lot of fun and very rewarding, but we’d rather use our time to play and explore nowadays. 😉
Phoenix USA makes a very good smaller class B+.
Thanks! We’ve seen a couple Phoenix models. We’ll check them out.
We came within a whisker of springing for an Airstream 6 months ago. I catch my wife looking at the classifieds nearly every week. Jealous!
Now’s a great time to buy, Brian! 😉
I get where you are coming from. We renovated a 75′ Land Yacht and it was/is a labor of love. We recently thought about doing exactly what you are talking about but decided against it. So, happily, it is still the Airstream life for us. On a related note is that a Grand Cherokee? The new Grand Cherokee diesel is what i am looking a for my next tow vehicle.
Enjoy your next adventure.
Thanks, Darren! It is a hard decision because we do adore this trailer, but we’re all about trying new things and this is just another extension of that! Best of luck in your adventures too. The Airstream life is a great life!
Yep, it’s a Grand Cherokee – the Overland edition. We wanted the diesel but it wasn’t in our price range. This one has the V8 Hemi and a tow rating of 7500 lbs, which is more than enough for our trailer that’s 4500 fully loaded. It tows the trailer great even up pretty big mountains and in strong crosswinds. We love the air suspension that we can use to raise and lower the Jeep, which makes hitching and unhitching a lot easier! 🙂
Wow, i wish you the best. Id love to be able to buy your airstream. Weve an 06 coachman leprachan classc that we love. Im wanting a travel trailer also. Various reasons. Anyway, again, best of luck in your adventures & purchase, whatever you buy. Im envious of pretty much all full time travelers. Lord willing 1 day my wife and i will be out there. Best wishes.
Thanks, Jeff! A lot of people who full-time use trailers and we’ve been very happy in ours, except that we move around more than a lot of full-timers, so the constant hitching and unhitching, packing and unpacking has gotten tiring for us, especially when juggling it with work. Easier set up and tear down and the ability to trade off driving and keeping up with our work responsibilities is better for this stage in our lives! Best of luck to you too, hope to see you on the road!
2 people and 3 dogs in a smaller rig?!
I forwarded your post to a friend. Good luck!
Ha, thanks Leigh! We’ll have about the same amount of living space in our next home, we’ll just end up a lot shorter in length without a tow vehicle or towed. Maneuverability is our goal for the next year as we’re planning a jaunt to Alaska and possibly Baja this winter. We were worried our vintage gal couldn’t make those trips and we owe it to her not to abuse her too much after all the great times we’ve had together. 🙂
Good luck with your RV switch! You guys did a beautiful job of restoring your Airstream, I’m sure it will sell quick.
Our 29′ Holiday Rambler class A is our third RV, our previous ones being a 16′ travel trailer followed by a 26′ Class C. Each time we’ve changed RV’s, there has been no end of discussion in our house on the tradeoffs of each type or length. In fact, there were several points where we were seriously considering a 4×4 Diesel truck and a small(ish) 5th wheel just prior to our latest RV purchase.
So in addition to hearing what you eventually decide on, I’d be interested to hear how you came to your decision, to understand the pros and cons of your top choices and hear about the ones that didn’t make the final cut. Maybe build up a little suspense before the big reveal?
Hope to see you and your new rig on the road. Safe travels to you and the doggies.
Eric and Jeanette
Thanks, guys! We were really inspired after seeing your RV and the great use of space it has in such a small footprint. Like you, we’re looking to stay in the sub-30’ range and we mainly want a more comfortable and usable workspace that still doubles as dining/living/entertaining space. We’re looking at class B’s and C’s this time around because we want to stay shorter in overall height than a class A, but also to have good ground clearance for some of the backcountry boondocking we want to do in the next couple of years. We’ve also been loving urban camping and want to do more of it, which is easier to get away with in a smaller rig.
I’ll definitely be blogging about our research process and who the top contenders are, and hopefully we can help out some other folks who are in the research stage as well. There are lots of choices out there and each have their benefits and drawbacks depending on personal preference and needs. We’re looking forward to seeing how some of those differences change the way we work and travel, for better and worse.
Very much hoping to run into you this fall or winter. We’ll be in the southeast and maybe we can catch up with you on your exodus from Key West!
Mr. & Mrs. Snow: P’tures a very indicative. Love the build. Love Airstreams – A company of longevity built on quality & customer satisfaction!
However, what’s the price?
Thanks so much! We love Airstreams too, and the older ones especially were built to last forever with their aircraft-grade aluminum.
At the bottom of the article is a link to the classified ad: http://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/ads/1965-airstream-overlander-26-colorado/
Thanks Kristin. Txs. 4 the web site 2!
When I was 14, I read Walden’s Pond. You just can’t read Thoreau and ignore him or shake off the wisdom. Been drooling over Airstreams for fifty years. You lived my dream. Now at 63 plummeting through “the safety nets” I still land on my feet, wiser, stronger. Rough five years. Lost a son and a wife of 33 years. Nothing really holding me to this spot now except memories. The bucket list is smaller, but there’s a whole lot
yet to see and do. Thinking of starting up construction on a Tiny 12′ or 14′. Then you caught my eye on the Tiny House blog circuit. I would not click on it for two weeks to avoid my Airstream Lust. Time payments anyone?
Thanks so much for the comment. We actually visited Walden’s Pond last year! It was a little disappointing in that it’s now surrounded by traffic, train and air plane noise, but the essence of it was still there. Great wisdom in that book that we try to embody in our travels!
I’m so sorry to hear of your losses. It sounds like an opportune time in your life to embark on a new journey – please let us know if you have any questions, whether you decide to wander a bit first or just settle into a tiny house. There are many great RV’s to be had out there that would give you some time to wander and live comfortably before picking a place to eventually build a home. For a single person, we’d recommend something smaller that you can drive rather than towing and doesn’t require the work of hitching and unhitching alone. It takes a lot of coordination, even with two people! We know some folks who do it and have no problems, but it’s a personal decision whether you’re comfortable towing alone or not. We’re looking at RV’s built on van bodies that fit in most normal parking lots and are easy to drive around without needing a separate car. Best wishes to you, and stay in touch! We’d love to cross paths somewhere.
Mr. Daniel Butler:
Pls. contact me thru https://www.facebook.com/david.burdick.589.
Hope all goes well with your transition. I can appreciate the differences between being always on the move versus vacation or weekend times like Roxy and I do with our Overlander. If you do make it to Alaska please do contact us. I’m sure you have mixed feelings in letting go of your wonderfully restored Airstream, but you have the benefit of your year on the road to really know what you need and don’t need to be happy and productive. I look forward to reports of your next steps.
You might mention to trailer pulling folks to look in to the Hensley Hitch, we find ours takes the sway out. It let’s us enjoy pleasant driving. Ours is a 27’x7.5′ wide Flagstaff pulled by a 2013 Chevy Avalanche. Wheelbase length makes a difference too.
What wheelbase to total length ratio does your motor home have. We have toyed with changing to motor home and looked at Tiffin Breeze and Jayco Precept. Both have a lower ratio than fully ideal driving experience but nice coachs.
Thanks, Joe, we will mention that! We didn’t have the option of using a Hensley because of our Jeep having air ride and automatic leveling (Jeep advised against it) but if we’d had a different vehicle we definitely would have. We had a short vehicle wheelbase, but also a short trailer, so it worked most of the time. 20+ mph broadside winds were the only time we really had trouble.
Our new motorhome will have a shorter wheelbase: 158″ with an overall 27′ 10″ length. The Storm we’re driving temporarily is similar, and it’s not the greatest driving experience, but it’s not terrible either. We like the higher ground clearance of the gas model, and while it’s loud up front and has a rougher ride, getting to more remote areas for off-grid camping is more important to us than a luxurious ride. We looked at the Precept as well and liked it, and haven’t seen the Breeze in person yet, but like the size. We didn’t want two slides or a bedroom that was just a bedroom, so that’s why we’re going with the Trek. We also looked closely at some class B’s with beds that lowered and murphy beds and may do that next if we think we can downsize that much and go without a car. The freedom to park almost anywhere sure is tempting! 😉
Love reading about other people’s travels and how they rv. Great service helping others to learn how to rv. Surprised to hear Jeep did not want you to use Hensley Hitch with air ride. We have air ride on our Avalanche and no problems. The air ride keeps trailer good and level if I have set close.
I have been trying to learn about wheelbase to total length ratio;s now on motorhomes. The RV Consumer Group is big on keeping this ratio in upper 50’s% to their ideal in the 60% range but sure don’t see many of the shorter motorhomes that have a ratio close to this. Wonder why, but surely manufactures know what they are doing.
Looking forward to reading more of your adventures. Enjoy every day!
Great post. Isn’t amazing how RV’s and Travel Trailers can become home? My wife and I have a Jayco Travel Trailer and we call it our cabin by the lake, our home away from home 🙂 If your wandering brings you through Montana, look us up.
Thanks for the comment! We feel more at home in ours than we ever did in a house. The whole world feels more like home once you start traveling instead of one little piece of land. 🙂
We’ll definitely look you up when we get that way – I love Montana!