Living in an Airstream trailer has definitely been one of the biggest adventures of my life. Denise and I have learned a lot as we settled into our new home, and hopefully sharing these lessons will help others:
1. Say No to Stuff
Living in an Airstream means that you have a very limited space in which to carry out your day-to-day tasks. This goes for working, bathing, cooking, sleeping, storage, and just about anything else you do. Take a tip from these movers NYC and get rid of things before your relocation! Anything that you bring into your trailer needs to be an essential item. We had quite the time downsizing from a house as big as Texas to our 200-square-foot Land Yacht. The most painful thing for me was paring down all of my beloved kitchen accessories and gadgets, but it helped me to remember that, just outside my doorstep, there’s always a ton of space. Remember, clutter is the enemy of a simple lifestyle.
2. Replace the Mattresses
This seems like a small tip, but standard Airstream mattresses are pretty terrible. Our first few nights living in the Airstream, we woke up with horrendous backaches. Invest in new ones as soon as you can afford to do so.
3. Use a Mail Forwarding Service
First and foremost, I’d recommend switching any billing to paperless to reduce the amount of snail mail you receive. Then find a mail forwarding service. There are a lot of these all over the United States, and a quick internet search will help you find out which ones are available to you. We chose iPostal1 which has several locations in Texas at really low rates ($9.99/month). They scan in our mail and then we choose what gets forwarded to us.
4. Maintain your Trailer
A little preventative maintenance goes a long way! There are great comprehensive lists out there to help you learn what maintenance needs done at specific times of the year, and a good maintenance schedule can literally save you thousands of dollars in repairs. You can also get helpful tips from other Airstream owners on this forum.
5. Invest in a DVD Player
There will be days that you can’t get outside due to weather. Since you probably won’t have cable and might not have internet, a DVD player is a great form of entertainment. There’s a Red Box at nearly every corner in America, so your options are unlimited.
6. Don’t Underestimate Expenses
Living in an Airstream still costs money, and it’s important to understand your expenses upfront. There’s gas, maintenance, food, campground fees, dump fees, etc. Make sure you budget more money than you think will be necessary for unexpected expenses and get creative with saving money. The best way we’ve learn to cut costs is by finding free parking for our trailer at public campgrounds or “boondocking” on land owned by other RVers.
7. Make a Plan
Although the idea of wandering aimlessly through the countryside is quite romantic, you can save time and headache by planning ahead a bit. Find out which campgrounds you like in a given area based on price, location, etc. If you’re in need of a tune-up, plan a stop near a shop. If you need groceries, maybe the state park isn’t the best place to hunker down for the night.
8. But Keep the Plan Loose
The appeal of an Airstream is its freeing lifestyle. Keep the plan generalized enough that you don’t go crazy trying to keep to a schedule. For instance, when we went to Florida over the winter, we had a loose idea of where all we wanted to see, but the only concrete plans we made were the dates we went to stay with friends.
9. Embrace the Unknown
This might be the most important lesson I’ve learned from living in an Airstream. There will be hiccups, blown tires, sub-par camping areas, and rain, but each day truly is an adventure. The people you will meet, places you’ll see, and freedom you’ll have far outweigh the troubles you’ll have.