We purchase an Airstream

In April of 2009, during our Spring vacation, (Michelle and I are both teachers in the same school system and our son Jackson attends school there as well) we found that we were outgrowing our beloved Scotty. We finally had a tow vehicle that could handle a bigger trailer so we began our search.

It’s funny that I used the word “began” our search because the truth is for the eight years that we had the Scotty, I was always trolling the internet looking for used Airstreams. It was kinda tortuous because I knew we couldn’t buy one because we didn’t have a vehicle that could pull it.

So, after that trip in April 2009 we began our search in earnest. I learned to things very fast when searching for a used Airstream: 1) is that there are plenty of them around. 2) hardly any of them are around Connecticut!

I’ve heard estimates that 70% of all Airstreams ever sold are still around! This, I assume, has to do with their construction, which is an aluminum body and shell (nothing to rust or rot out) and the fact that their styling is iconic, so people love to preserve them.

Another reason that so many of them may still be around is that new ones are so damn expensive! I paid $3,500 for our trailer and at last count am into it for about $7,000. A new 27′ Airstream will run you about $70,000!

Note: That $7,000 figure includes the purchase price, and improvements. We did most of the work ourselves but I do include labor that I paid others to do. That $6,000 figure does not include new axles and a new fridge that I have paid for but not installed. It also does not include a few other rather costly renovations that I have planned before our trip to South Dakota this summer.

I don’t know why there aren’t too many Airstreams around Connecticut. Most seem to be down south, or in California or the midwest or Texas but just not near Connecticut.

Then one day on Craigslist I see a trailer for sale in Bristol, Connecticut! Bristol is only about 1/2 hour from here so I drove up to see it. It ends up that the trailer was owned by a school teacher and her husband. They already had another Airstream in the family when they bought this trailer a few months earlier from a lady in Maine. The family trailer needed work and they decided that they would take that on as a project and resell the one that they had just purchased in Maine. Three days after my initial visit, the Airstream was sitting in our driveway.

If we had a bigger piece of property, (we live in a city on a lot that measures 50 x 150) we might have kept the Scotty. We decided however to sell it. It was purchased by a very nice couple in Wolcott, Connecticut. They had just adopted a child and wanted to start camping. I hope they are enjoying the Scotty as much as we did.

The Airstream we purchased is a 1972 Overlander. The Overlander measures 27′ long. It was all original on the interior and we decided to keep it as close to original as possible. We travel to Bar Harbor, Maine every summer so since it was May we only had a few months to get her ready.

The first thing we did was pull up the old carpeting. It looked original and smelled alittle funky. We decided to replace it with a composit tile floor. Michelle also recovered all of the upholstery and made new curtains. I built new countertops and purchased new tires and batteries. It may not seem like alot of work, but we worked our tails off for two months and were ready for our yearly trip to Bar Harbor and our first boondocking experience in August.

Our first boondocking experience. August 2009, Walmart parking lot, Chelmsford, Mass.

Our first boondocking experience. August 2009, Walmart parking lot, Chelmsford, Mass.

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