Why on Earth would we choose to live in a smaller camper?! Well, when we took the leap into living this lifestyle we had two goals: 1. To see parts of our great country that we just wouldn’t be able to see while both of us were working full time jobs and living in one place. & 2. To experience living closer to nature. Although our fifth wheel was super roomy and had more storage than we needed, all that space came at a cost. We found that we were far too big to stay in state and national parks. RV Parks are nice, but we didn’t want to be limited to open lots sandwiched between class A’s. Moving days were also very stressful on both of us. When your rig is 42 feet long and 13 1/2 feet tall any driving off of the interstate would send my stomach into sailor knot mode. We chose the Airstream for a multitude of reasons. One of the main ones being the sturdiness of its construction. After visiting a dealer in Scottsdale, we concluded that the Classic was the model for us. True to its name it has solid wood cabinetry in a classic design, not the Euro design of the newer Flying Cloud and International models. The Classic has tons of storage, lots of windows that open wide, and is set up more like a home. Wouldn’t you know it, the Classic is also Airstream’s high end model. No way were we going to spend that kind of money on a new camper when used would be just as fabulous!
The Airstream would also help to solve some of our most stressful problems. The aluminum shell virtually eliminates the roof maintenance our fifth wheel’s rubber roof continuously required. This rig is also only 30 feet long and 9 1/2 feet tall, which relieves the anxiety of taking it off the interstate and into state and national parks. Deciding on the model we wanted was the easy part. Finding a used Classic between the years 2000-2013 was way more difficult than we anticipated. We searched Craig’s List, RV Trader, and AirstreamClassifieds everyday for about a month. When a camper that met our search criteria would surface it was already gone by the time we could call to see it. Many people were buying them sight unseen- frustrating!
The rig we ended up with (We named her Rhoda) is a 2012 and has had two previous owners. The first, owned her the longest and installed some upgrades, like six solar panels- bonus! They had to sell because they were moving to China. The second owner bought the camper, a super nice Hensley hitch, and the Ford truck from the first owner. Well, apparently he didn’t communicate with his wife because when he brought it home she refused to move into it because she wanted a class A. That’s where we come in. That couple immediately traded the whole shootin’ match for a class A and hoped to quickly sell the camper, hitch, and truck. The owner didn’t want to sell just the camper and the hitch to us without the truck, but it had been listed for awhile and the dealer talked him into making a deal with us.
It took us two days to move into Rhoda. We have decided to store our fifth wheel here in Tucson and hold off on selling it until we are here next winter. If we decide the Airstream is just too small, then we can sell it, move back into the fifth wheel, and more than likely make our money back. (Another reason we chose Airstream, they hold their value crazy well!) If we still love the Airstream, then what better place to sell your rig than Arizona, the RV sales capital of the U.S.
Rhoda needed a good scrubbing on the inside, and we are discussing some cosmetic changes too. For example, taking the huge dinette out and repurposing the space, pulling up the carpet in the bedroom and in front of the couch. We have even discussed painting all the wood work white. Who knows! We’re super excited for all of the possibilities that our new home opens up for us. We’ll keep you posted!
Mike laughed when I showed him the picture of his work station. He spent so much time organizing and Velcroing cords to the wall. In his mind it looked way more organized! One cool thing about his new space is that he can use the bedroom t.v. As his second monitor.
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