From Sailing the Air to Airstream-ing
So we really weren't going to sail the Loop. But the idea of travel, now, would not let us go. We had several false start forays into Great Loop boat research. Which as you might imagine is not an easy task, never mind doing it from the heartland of America where there are no Loop worthy boats to lay hands on.
So, how to start to the travel adventure, self contained, in a vessel we can effectively research, and obtain, while living in the middle of oHIo? Somewhere in that quandary an idea presented itself. Melinda asked, why not an RV? But of course! It may may not live on the water but it certainly can take us to any lake, never mind any mountain, plain, or river in North America! Not to mention all of the National Parks, Forests and BLM land etc.
We read more and more about full time living and working from an RV. It feeds the wander lust, its certainly within reach, here and now, and is no less an experience of learning to live with the tiny home you take with you, just like a boat! Not to mention the learning curve is not so steep, given that we already know the the asphalt rules of the road and the road itself is thankfully not subject to cycles of the moon. We can leave that learning curve to a future date, and yes, we do still look forward to that eduction.
We reviewed the types of RVs. In the mobile home world, driving a class A intimidates both of us, seems overkill in terms of space and we both need to be able to handle whatever RV we end up with. Class B's (van conversion) are over priced, seems they're in high demand, and the facilities inside are pint sized. Pretty much the opposite of an A. Class C (they have the distinct bunk over the cab) have the worst fuel efficiency and simply do not appeal.
And as with all mobile homes your house and your car are one and the same. If you need engine work you have to give up your home. If you need plumbing work you have to give up your home and your car. Some folks resolve that issue by towing another car (a towed or toad), which doubles the amount of engines and related parts that need to be maintained not to mention the higher expense.
We immediately eliminated the tent/pop-up camper, the tiny tear drop trailer as all too small or insufficient to handle edge seasons and the attendant cold weather we expect to travel to and through.
So, we settled on the travel trailer platform (TT). House and car (tow vehicle or TV) are separate, the car can be a 4x4 truck which can take us farther afield. If we have to repair or want to swap houses, we get to keep the car, and vice versa. One drive train and a lot to choose from in the way of tiny or not so tiny houses to tow with it. Simple.
Now, which travel trailer? There are SO many! While I headed down the 4 season TT path Melinda followed the beat of another TT drummer. We quickly got turned on to the Airstream trail. It so happens the Airstream factory is in Ohio and there happened to be an Airstream dealer in town. Our TT education began there.
I walked away with 2 notes: 1. Airstreams are WAY too expensive new and 2. given that we want to take in the National Parks, the dealer suggested we keep our trailer under 30 feet in length. Airstreams do have a good reputation for build quality and they certainly have the cache that goes with a continuous 80 year build history, never mind the airstream forums and clubs. We set our sights on a used not too old Airstream.
We already knew from viewing many Airstream floorplans that we wanted something in the 25 foot range so that was good news. One stipulation in our full time work/live in a TT imagination was the desire for a separate bedroom with a queen size walk around bed. In part because someone can be in bed while the other is working. Smaller than 25 ft and the bed starts to get crowded and intrudes in the walkway. We also wanted at the time a separate bath and shower (not a wet bath). Again the 25 footers covered all of this for us.
So what did we find? A 2006 75th edition 28 foot Airstream Safari located not too far away in Kentucky.
NEXT UP: Airstreaming