Now that we are a family of 5, traveling in the Airstream is a bit more challenging than before. Our last extended trip was our tour of the southwest in the fall of 2011 when we attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Since then, we have installed new solar panels and added Luka to the roster of our road trippers. Both additions worked out surprisingly well in their first outing a couple of weeks ago at our local KOA. We intentionally opted for a dry campsite to see how much the solar panels can handle. Although it does not completely replenish our batteries daily with only 100-watts of maximum output, it reassures us that we will at least put enough juice back in to run the bare necessities.
Luka slept with us on the bed just like Mila did when she took her first trip at a month old. But at the rate these weeds seem to grow, we are desperately in need to make better sleeping arrangements soon. Unfortunately, the modern Airstreams like ours are not designed for families our size to travel full time. Our evening routine while on an extended trip is to give the kids baths or showers and then put them to bed so we can get some work done at the dinette table. With 1 more kid, we are trying to find ways for them to sleep comfortably without having to breakdown the table. If you have ever full-timed, you would appreciate not needing to reconfigure your living and sleeping space daily.
One of the ideas we are entertaining is to build a bunk bed in the bedroom. After talking to Timeless Trailers briefly at the Palm Springs Vintage Trailer show earlier this year, we are a little sticker shocked to hear that the minimum cost for a professional job was in the 5 digits. We want it to look nice and professionally done but we don’t need to hack off one of our arms to afford it. I’ve got some ideas for a project that might work without a full custom job by the pros. Once it is more ironed out, I will try to document it in a post or two.
As if having a new baby is not challenging enough, we are looking for more. Ever since we returned from our cross country trip in 2010, we have been vying for another opportunity to head out again. Last year’s 6 week span in Europe and a short jaunt to New Mexico was not enough to satisfy our road cravings. The first time around, we weren’t confident enough to sever our roots with the home base. We paid dearly for it with our California-sized mortgage. Now that we’ve got several hundred nights in the Airstream under our belt, we are taking the leap to lease our home and be real full timers for a change.
It isn’t going to be easy to execute this plan. Having lived in this house for 8 years and more than doubled our family size during that time, we will need to drastically downsize. Lots of things will need to go for everything else to fit into a storage space. Even though our home is small by American standards at around 900 square feet, it is surprising how much crap we can pack into it. As usual, the only rock solid plan we have right now is to be in Denver for Alumafandango in August. The rest we will deal with as it comes. Tentatively, we are hoping to be living out of the Airstream towards the end of June. We will probably hover around Southern California from campground to campground for another month or so, or until all the loose ends are tied up. I am starting to get the jitters but I think it is the good kind.
over and out,
Lani · May 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm
Very cool! Look forward to following your journey. Now that we have stopped full-timing, I need to live vicariously through another family! Good luck with all the preparations!
Sennie · May 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm
I will definitely follow along, and please do share if you figure out a way to sleep more. We part-time travel in our Airstream motorhome, which sleeps 6 when table & couch are set-up as beds, but we already have 7 passengers, and would love to add one more little one… I’ve tried to think of ways to hang hammocks, and we’ll probably have to remove the two captain’s chairs and put a couch there (opposite of the one already there). Hate to do anything that drastic to our (vintage) 1991 original RV, but have to be able to sleep everyone…
Missy · May 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Good for you, sounds like a challenging fun thing to do. We are headed the opposite way, after 8 years we are looking at buying
a small house. lol
There are several full time family groups on Face book if you are interested. The most active (and least legalistic..lol) is
Fulltime Families. There are lots of families out there, but as you know, not many in an Airstream.
Hopefully once we get in a house we can sell our 5th wheel and get us another Airstream. 5 years later we still miss her.
Fernweh · May 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm
Im SO excited for you and cannot wait to read all about your adventures!!!
tiffany of camp1899 · May 25, 2012 at 8:24 am
wow! you guys are so brave.. 5 in an airstream (; my parents did it with 4 plus a dog, but as a child of it’s a whole different perspective. it will be so exciting to follow your journey of full-timing. and i hear you on simplifying, 9oo sq ft is not a lot, we have 528 and i just wrote on our blog today about some new challenges of small space living (; constant battle! congrats on the decision and can’t wait!!! xo, tiffany
Valynne · May 25, 2012 at 11:14 am
Ohhh, good for you! I am hoping to convince Paul to give full-time Airstreaming a try, fingers crossed. Meantime, I will live vicariously : )
Joy · May 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm
Wow! You guys are so adventurous! Looking forward to read about your life on the road. My husband and I bought a 2012 Flying Cloud 27FB last Fabuary. We really enjoy you blogs. It is very informative. We are taking our 2 year old son and our Airstream to Disney world next month. We are traveling from Chicago suburb area. We will stop at Nashville and Chattanooga because of your posts about these places. Thanks for the wonderful blog. We are fans.
Ellen Hamlett · May 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm
Good for you! I’ve read your blog for a couple of years and am inspired by your travels. My husband and I have just retired 2 weeks ago and are moving into our Airstream on Wednesday for a full-time adventure. Believe me, a house can produce lots of stuff. We have given away or stored all our house needs. The trash is another story. Be brave and courageous. I believe you can do this.
dan · May 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm
thanks everyone. We are really looking forward to it and will be hopefully once again blogging daily about our adventures. If any of you guys are going to be in Denver for Alumafandango, we look forward to seeing you there! Otherwise, I hope to run into you on the road!
Clarke Hockwald · May 28, 2012 at 5:40 am
Dan that is the scary part isn’t it……severing ties with the home base? It certainly makes fulltiming more affordable when you don’t have to worry about the mortgage at home. We’re in the second 1 year lease on our home to two of our children, and it has worked out well so far. The longer we live in our coach the more normal it seems. We are now approaching 121 days on the road in our coach the end of this month. Also, at the end of this month we will have been living in our coach for 486 days consecutively. We really don’t need (and I’m not telling you anything you don’t know) a lot of stuff to be comfortable and happy. Of course you will be coping with something we don’t have to consider…..living with 3 young children in a small space. Elaine and I wish you and your family all the best as you adjust to living full time in your Airstream!
Loren · August 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm
Best of luck and safe travels! Give us a shout if you ever get towards Northern Ohio 🙂
Steve Lenker · March 15, 2013 at 8:26 am
Hi Saw the Trailer parked on 13th St and looked up your web site. I live in pedro. Use to have a 1972 Ideal 21ft trailer. Sounds like you had a great trip!