2016- An Avion Christmas

Let it be known that Christmas 2016 was truly an Avion Christmas.  Thanks to Amazon, Ebay and of course http://www.VintageCamperTrailers.com among other places I was able to find some awesome things for Kevin  (and me).

The Personalized Tee: 20161225_113532  I made this custom T-shirt for Kevin.  This will be great to wear at rallies!it was easy to create on VistaPrint.com.  More about the license plate below.

Another great source for gifts for Vintage Camper lovers of all types and “flavors” is VintageCamperTrailers.com.          I have found some great things there in gift ware but they also have one of the better selections of things you need for repairs (both interior and exterior) hardware, exterior finishes, windows, electrical, etc. etc.    The folks there are super nice too and unknown to me Kevin had actually gotten me a fabulous $100 gift certificate to the site so i am really looking forward to shopping for me over the coming months.

For Christmas, Santa brought Kevin and I a selection of all the back issues of the Vintage Camper Trailers magazine, which is available on their site too.  These, along with great logo T-shirts was what i ordered.  No doubt, the magazines are going to provide tons of winter reading as we hunker down in our Southern Adirondack NY winter…

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These magazine are of a very good quality with full color pages and terrific photography of exterior and interiors of a great variety of vintage trailers.  My only wish is that someday someone does a bang up great story on an Avion.    The magazine is a great resource for calendar listings of upcoming rallies and vintage camp outings and shows.

A Christmas could not be complete without a few ornaments….trailers of course!  Kevin laughs that perhaps the toughest thing for me when we eventually downsize to the point we are moving onto our RV full-time is going to be what to do with all my Christmas decorations.  Well, I can tell you I WILL find a place for my vintage trailer ornaments for sure!

Even our NY Department of Transportation got into the vintage camper game this Christmas….delivered was our custom license plate we had ordered for the Pewter Palace.  We figured if we got this, that a lot of the initial questions folks might have about our rig will be clearly answered just by reading the license plate as we are tooling along US highways, byways and back roads enjoying ourselves.  So check it out !

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Rounding out our fun holiday gift giving was this wooden sign that I found locally.  It is a perfect saying for a camper trailer, and we had been looking for something to put in the little empty space just above the bathroom door in the Pewter Palace.  I am hoping it fits,I did forget to measure that space before we put her into hibernation, but my eye says it will be a perfect fit.  Time will tell!20161225_131301_001

Last but certainly not least, Kevin found these tin “A’s” which are awesome and will look great as non-breakable decor in the trailer.  I especially love the battery operated one with little lights.  Both were at Hobby Lobby.  Also I found on Ebay a fellow who has reproduced the Avion Travelcade large stickers that our rig has on it but they are very old and in not so great shape.  Actually, the one on the front is not in too bad a condition but the one on the rear of the rig basically disintegrate when we gave the rig a bath this fall.  So these are excellent quality and will really look bright, neat and great on her.  The Avion Travelcade was the membership organization that originally was associated with Avion Owners.  The “travelcaders” as the members were called planned rallies and gatherings all over the USA and had signature hats, vests and programs for members. It was a great network and the numbers on the front and back of our rig indicate the membership number of the trailer’s former owners then they belonged.  Sadly, the association fell apart after the Fleetwood Company bought the Avion company from the Cayo family back in the 80’s and they started allowing any Fleetwood RV owners as members too…I suspect it just homogenized the rally experience so much that the comaraderie fizzled out.  Hmmmm do I hear opportunty knocking??  VBG

So that is a bit about our wonderful Vintage Camper Christmas this year!  Looking forward to an amazing new year !!

Inspirational folks…..

My friends look at me a bit strangely and with a bit of that….well ok, we will see….. type of look….when I explain our rationale for wanting to divest ourselves of a full time big house, of paying high property & school taxes (yes, they are separate here in NYS), working full time and spending our precious off work time and money just to maintain and keep up the property.  There is never enough time and it greatly takes away from our time of doing what we love to do which is camping and travel.  Don’t get me wrong, some folks get sheer pleasure and enjoyment out of gardening, cooking in a full tricked out kitchen, fixing this and that and doing home improvements. I am happy for them, if they are happy.   Been there, done that—about 25 years ago–and yes, it was fun and rewarding, but not any longer.

It might help readers to understand that from about 1983 to 1999 my first husband and I were totally into “fix and flipping” houses–long before the HGTV phenomenon hit.  I moved, with small children way too many times and well, that took the wind out of my sails. I also owned and operated a B & B for  time in a huge 5000 sq foot 210 yr old farmhouse.  I had to get it out of my system too, and after four years of up at 4 AM to bake muffins and to bed at 11 PM after the final laundry was done (and working part time and full time during those years)…I was done.

At this point in my life (late 50’s) I am totally done with all that.   Once my father, who had been living with us, passed away about 18 months ago, we took stock and realized that Kevin and I are literally using three rooms (about 600 sq ft) in a 2500 square foot house. And best part is..we are good with that small living space.  Very comfortable, not crowded. It is crazy to pay for and maintain a space you no longer need just to house your “stuff” that you have amassed over the years.    We both have good jobs, but work lots of hours and have minimal times during the year when our work allows us to both take time together.  Our children and grandchildren are out of state (VT and AZ) which means planned trips away. We covet our time for travel, visiting family, and being together exploring historic places and the open road.   We also enjoy researching full timing RV life from others who are doing it currently.  YouTube has a plethora of great bloggers giving good, real life tips and tribulations. Its the life we want to lead…..

These are REAL folks doing amazing things that Kevin and I love to learn about, study and digest for how it will work for us.  There is no doubt in our minds…this is where we will be in less than 10 years.

Here is one of the several Vlogs we subscribe to and watch religiously.  This is Steve and Courtney and they live currently in Tucson AZ and in their mid-30s have decided to forgo the traditional homeownership life for an “Airstream Life”.  I was quite honored when Courtney answered some questions for me and liked our FB page and this website.

Several years ago, we owned an entry level Class A motorhome for about five years.  We traveled in it quite a bit and loved it, but it was aging and becoming a money pit so we sold it.  We did not realize until it was not in the driveway ready at our beck and call for a getaway just how much we missed that lifestyle.  So, about two years ago we started looking again.  After going to the Hershey PA, huge RV show we realized how we loved the Airstream look and how much more bang for your buck you can get with a trailer versus a Class A.  We love the Tiffin Class A’s but lets be honest, when i retire, I do not want a big monthly payment over my head, so we ruled those out.  Along the way of discussing and researching trailers, we literally stumbled upon the Avion brand of aluminum, curved style camp trailers. They are no longer being made and the best years of production were 1972-1977.  Airstream actually sued the company for design infringement, but lost.   We loved the quality build, the stylish aerodynamic look and function, and well…we started doing all sorts of research, combing Craigs lists nationally and getting on to some blogs and chat lists about them. We found our ’73 in VT.   But I digress….this entry was really supposed to focus on why we want to full time in our RV.   Whether it will be in this 1973, 28 foot Avion, our Pewter Palace, or not, the fact remains we simply are really engaged in pursuing the living simple, small and somewhat mobile when we retire (or before!).  Trust me, if we lived in a climate that allowed full time trailer living we would be living in her right now and commuting to work for sure.

Every time we (well, actually Kevin) has to haul out the snowblower for the 15th time, or climb onto the porch roofs to hook in the storm windows (yes, circa 1950 and they work like a charm as long as you don’t mind heights getting them into place) or mow the lawn after a long day at work we realize there are many other things we would rather be doing. The upkeep of a large house and yard is just overwhelming at times and we do not make enough money to hire out someone to do this like some of our friends do.  Its all us…or nothing.   So we even are starting to look around the house, make piles here and there of what we want to keep and what is going to be going to auction in the spring.  I have enough to tempt some auctioneer to want to take our stuff.  Figure that is more expeditious and less tedious than trying to do all of this by tag sale.  I do not want to spend my summer weekends doing that for sure.  I want to be on my Avion, enjoying life.  We have even started looking at townhouse apartments in our area for the purpose of downsizing our living space and saving money and upkeep time in the process. We figure if we start the process now, then bit by bit things will become so easy to live tiny, simply and enjoy life rather than amass possessions.  Kevin cannot WAIT till he can sell the lawnmowers, snow blowers, lawn tools, etc. etc.  that alone has him salivating for the day!

I am going to be posting some more links to full time bloggers, etc. in this “Full Time Life” section as time goes by…thanks for reading! Hope we provided some inspiration too!

First Snow…October 2016.

As we were preparing for putting our trailer in storage we experiences the first snow of winter in Early October!

Sure wish we lived in a climate that would allow for full time use of our Pewter Palace.  I so would like to simplify living and start spending more time living a more minimal and simple life and less time trying to maintain our very large house which is daunting at times.  We love watching the many full timer blogs we subscribe to that have couples living the RV life. Some work full time, other part time and still others have managed to make ends meet enough to keep happily on the road. I envy them.

Snow pictures….here is a video kevin took during the first snow…with our beautiful Pewter Palace….

First snow 2016