Buying my first Airstream Flying Cloud
My "new" 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB

Buying my first Airstream Flying Cloud

Crossing another item off my bucket list – buying my first Airstream travel trailer – a 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB last week!

Airstream travel trailers are one of the most iconic pieces of “Americana” with its distinctive silver-bullet aluminum shell look and reputation for quality as a higher-end priced travel trailer. I had been looking on and off at Airstreams over the past 4 years after my first introduction to “Airstream glamping” with a stay at a custom renovated Airstream by AutoCamp in Santa Barbara. Talk about an amazing intro to the world of Airstreams! Granted, these Airstream trailers with designer tiled showers and a claw-foot tub in the one we rented, aren’t moving anywhere, but the experience had me hooked!

My parents owned a 20-foot Mobile Traveler RV back in the day and I have fond memories of camping trips into New Hampshire and Maine and “roughing” it. But also recall arguing with my younger brother which of us would get the top bunk and that Dad spent a lot of time cursing our local mechanic Dickie about repair costs on the Mobile Traveler. They had a love-hate relationship that was interesting to see close up when I spent a summer working at Dickie’s gas station.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m fairly financially secure except for owning a house and finishing up a divorce. I looked at buying out the soon-to-be ex-wife from the house, but after looking at what the carrying costs would be, I started looking at other options and places to live if we decided to sell the house instead.

One option was to take the proceeds from the house sale and roll the money into another post-divorce bachelor home. But the divorce also made me rethink the rest of my life, including current employment and I decided that I didn’t want to have a mortgage payment tying me down to my current job. Sure, renting would be another option with fewer restrictions other than a lease, but I kept coming back to wanting more freedom and starting looking into either living in an RV or on a sailboat or houseboat.

house boat on the water
One of my alternative living choices was looking at houseboats.
(c) Michael Coughlin on Flickr

I currently live near Sacramento California, and while the American River runs through Sacramento, there currently are not a lot of marinas that offer “live-aboard” options and I also soon realized I didn’t know enough to be able to properly evaluate a sailboat or houseboat for purchase.

So back to looking at RV living…

I’m a firm believer that Life creates an opportunity for us if we are open and aware enough to realize when those opportunities are offered to us. About 6 months ago I was driving back from the Bay Area while thinking about Airstreams. I punched in “Airstream dealers near me” into Google, and of course, Google was nice enough to inform me that one of the largest Airstream dealers on the West Coast was less than 10 minutes away just up the road. I pulled into the parking lot of Bay Area Airstream and spent the next 2 1/2 hours in their expansive warehouse looking at pretty much every single 2019 Airstream model available. It was a little overwhelming but definitely solidified my desire to own one.

I spent the next couple of months looking for used Airstreams and would occasionally find one that fit my budget and/or interior requirements (queen size bed) but then may have been too big or heavy to be towed by my current vehicle, a 2008 Land Rover LR3, that I’m not ready to part with.

my 2008 Land Rover LR3 that I use to tow my Airstream Flying Cloud
My 2008 Land Rover LR3

So search the Internet I did, looking for that “perfect” deal on an Airstream that my Land Rover LR3 could tow (it has a tow weight of 7700 lbs and a 770 lb tongue weight limit) and had settled on looking at 23 foot Airstreams. Last week I finally found a Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB, with the queen bed in the front of the Airstream trailer, the exact model and size and price range I had been looking for. 

Remember how I said before I was a believer that Life creates opportunities for us? 

This Airstream was a perfect example. When I looked to see how far away this particular Airstream was that fit all my parameters perfectly I was gobsmacked to find out that this 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB was located less than 10 miles away!

What are the chances of that happening? 

So after contacting the seller of the Airstream (Vince at A to Z Motors in Winters, CA), I made my offer, counter-offer and counter-counter offer until we were able to agree on a price for the Airstream.

I signed all the paperwork this week and Vince and his team are replacing the tires and doing a little maintenance for me before I pick up the Airstream Flying Cloud and take it out for my maiden voyage with it!

 

My "new" 2009 Airstream Model Flying Cloud 23FB
My "new" 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB
Airstream trailer exterior
Interior of the 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB
Interior of the 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB
Kitchen area of the 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB
Kitchen area of the 2009 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB

So now that I bought my first Airstream, its time to figure out a name for it and take it on its maiden Airstream camping trip to Napa wine country 

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