We spent years deciding what travel trailer or RV we were going to buy. Almost 10 years as a matter of fact. Ten years of RV shows, forum posts, campground exploring, trips to dealerships… For us, we wanted something that was slick, fun, livable. We were downsizing, so we didn’t want a behemoth on wheels, just something big enough for the two of us and our dog to live in comfortably.
Of course we discovered Airstream early in our research, but come on – those things were more expensive than my first house. I can’t tell you the number of fiberglass boxes with tan carpet and faux wood trim we wandered through in ten years, but it was a lot. Other than a few “toy haulers”, with floor plans that didn’t really work for us, there weren’t any campers or RVs that seemed to be designed for younger people. Now, I suppose these builders know their market, but I have to imagine there were others like us who wanted to hit the road in something more contemporary than our grandparents living room.
It was at the Hershey RV show in 2013 that we hit the defining moment. We were speaking with another RV salesperson, representing a different large RV brand and asked him, as we had dozens of salespeople before, what do you have that’s competitive or comparable with Airstream? His honest answer, if price isn’t part of the equation, nothing. Now, I won’t throw him under the bus for his answer, as a matter of fact it was that honesty that led us to refer a friend who purchased a Class A from him. But for us, that was the moment we realized we were chasing our tails. It was time to just pull the trigger and get ourselves an Airstream.
We were lucky that Airstream was represented at this show by the folks from Colonial Airstream. We had actually visited Colonial months earlier to browse the lot and ask questions. Much to our surprise, the salesperson (Patrick) remembered our visit and yet didn’t run away when he saw us coming.
The models on display were the 2014s and pretty much one of each was available to explore. We decided that the right fit for us was something in the 27′ range. Perhaps the overdose of wooden interiors took its toll on us, but we were drawn to the newly released International Sterling. Well, most of it. The bright carpet choices were certainly eye catching (your choice of neon green or purple) but not only did we feel they would wear on us in time, but the material is a “thatch” design which we knew would be immediately destroyed by our 110lb bulldog companion.
Turns out, you can modify the Airstream flooring if you order a new one from the factory. Hmmm.
After a brief stop over at Troeggs brewery for some lunch and a thinking beer, we decided. Airstream it was.
We returned to the show and signed the paperwork for a brand new 2014 International Sterling 27’FB (front bed) with the Serenity flooring.
Now it was just waiting for our unit to be built and delivered. Delivery took several months, we picked her up in April in NJ at Colonial Airstream. (We actually took a trip out to the Airstream factory to see her being assembled too! Check out that post here).
So that was 6 months ago and today we are still confident that this was the right choice for us. Are there some things we would like to change about the layout, sure (you’ll read more about that here) but still, compared to any other travel trailers we come across, this is definitely the one that suits us. Easy to tow, compact but comfortable, sleek and shiny with all of the amenities of home and a footprint small enough to park nearly anywhere.
We’ve lived full time in the Airstream for about 6 weeks at this point and as of writing this, are just 15 days away from heading out on a six month journey across the continent in search of adventure and great beers. We look forward to sharing some of our adventures and more about our experiences with the Airstream here and hope you’ll join us for the ride!