Friday, October 25, 2013

RVing into the Future: Goodbye Airstreaming Life

My camping and travel lifestyle started at six weeks of age; or so I’m told.  This fact says nothing remarkable about me, but says a lot about my parents; and describes a pretty powerful strength from my mother, yes?  Schoolteachers both, vacations were always about camping travels.

And so I believe I can claim camping and travel as a part of my genetic makeup, and most certainly a big part of my family-of-origin influence.  And as I fledged my parent’s nest, my college years found me tent camping (when not in school or at work).  Cades Cove and Mount Pisgah were favorite destinations in the lovely days before the noise and smell of campers with generators.
Then followed the caretaking of a young family and vacations in pop-up trailers and camping vans, treasured memories from what seems a lifetime ago:

These last several years have provided me the luxury of traveling with an Airstream travel trailer, a true condo-on-wheels:


I have pulled a 30’ Airstream through much of the western U.S.  I’ve backed it into many a beautiful park’s campsite:

I’ve found parking lots large enough to stop and buy groceries and supplies:

But time marches forward, and this is a season of change for me:  driving 50’ of tow vehicle and trailer; hitching and unhitching; and lifting LP tanks off the trailer for refill are three of the main reasons it is time for me to gracefully say goodbye to my beloved Airstream way of life.
I know a LOT about Airstreams:  the good; the bad; the important; the easy; the hard; the frustrating, and the ever so convenient.  I’ll probably blog about some of these subjects, especially as I believe women frequently do not know enough about RVs before they purchase (women are a fast growing customer base for the RV industry).  Easy example:  if you don’t know the size of the rig’s grey tank, you don’t know if you are purchasing the right rig.  And if you don’t know what a black tank back-flush is, you need to, for your health and happiness and for that of your RVing neighbors.
But today I’ll keep it simple and make a statement that polarizes RVers in the way that politics is polarizing a bunch of folks that otherwise display mostly calm common sense:  I’ve never liked, and never wanted to own a motorized RV.  I like a condo-on-wheels that doesn’t include an engine and a driver’s seat.
But life is all about change and adaptation and glass half full, yes?  And so the beloved Airstream is sold and a 25’ motorized RV is on order.  And hear me now:  I am very, very excited! 

A 25’ motorized RV should be VERY easy for me to drive across the U.S, as it is only half the length of what I've Airstreamed through gas stations, parking lots, and unknown roads and towns.  I will not have to unhitch (easy) and hitch (hard) a complex and heavy weight-distributing Hensley Arrow hitch system.  The LP tank of the 25' RV is a permanent mount, allowing a remote fill without removing the tanks!  These three constraints have been MY three most difficult travel challenges--and with the 25' motorized RV, these three are solved!
Will there be new complexities and new challenges?  Yes (I’m already studying the owner and maintenance manuals for the new RV's chassis.)  But simply stated:  It is time for me to be motorized RVing into my future, and that is what I’m doing!

But first, I had to hurry up (already sold the Airstream) and wait (it’s going to be a few months) for the new RV to arrive.

And as I mentioned yesterday, there are far worse places to be stuck in fall and winter; daytrips around the upper Gulf Coast of Texas is where I’m going to be wandering and wondering for awhile. 

Today, I say goodbye to my beloved condo-on-wheels and all the beautiful places it allowed me to call home:

And the soon-to-be future will have me on the road again, wandering and wondering.  And today, I’m headed out to enjoy the outdoor air conditioning and call out:  Come on birds!


  1. I am sure this is bitter sweet for you. Are you getting a Class A or C? It will definitely be easier for you not towing. :-)

  2. This post had me concerned as I was reading it since I was afraid I was losing another neighbor. Hopefully that is not the case and I can congratulate you on your latest procurement. I can't wait to see it and share your joy and latest blessing. Thank you for the heads up on your latest posts. I was watching for new ones for quite a while but have not checked lately. Looking forward to seeing you at Retama.


  3. How cool that your pictures look like water colors!!! Love that, Susan


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