It’s been a while since we sold the Airstream. We sold it back in March. Though now that we are finished with our year of adventure and back to full-time tech careers, I’m just now getting around to publishing a post about it. There’s also a measure of disappointment about the departed Airstream and nomadic life that I’ve been avoiding.
Selling the Airstream
The family that bought the Airstream is not unlike ours, a young professional family with a small child. The father and I texted on and off throughout the week, and he said he’d be coming on Saturday to look at the Airstream. He was traveling from Charlotte, a 2.5 hour drive from Raleigh, and I suspected that he might not come at all given the slough of tire kickers who approached by email, text, and phone and never actually showed in person. On Saturday morning though, he and his son arrived.
Our oldest daughter, Jane, was anxious the moment they arrived. She knew that I had the Airstream for sale, and in her limited capacity to understand what buying and selling meant, she at least knew that it meant the Airstream would be gone if sold.
Her eyes teared as she stood on the stairs in the foyer when the prospective buyers parked in front of the house. She pleaded that I not sell the Airstream. I told her it likely wouldn’t happen, as my expectations for a sale were pretty low.
The buyer inspected the Airstream top to bottom. Every corner, nook, and cranny. He tested the flooring, the latches, and all the mechanical systems. I even fired up the generator so he could observe the plugs, appliances and air conditioner working. There was no hiding the broken window from our roadside accident. He had clearly done his research on the potential problems of vintage Airstreams, though he was surprised to find that the his plans to inspect the undercarriage were ruined by the Airstream belly skin. I laughed when I saw him come to the realization that skin covered the entire underside of the Airstream, as I did the same thing when I bought the Airstream.
A two hour story cut short, he inspected the trailer thoroughly and made an offer. He offered $17,500, a price I accepted after some consideration on the condition that he take the Airstream that day. I was ready to have it out of the driveway.
If you’ve read the post in which we discussed the purchase price and costs of modifications to the Airstream, you’ll know that after all of the repairs and improvements we put into the Airstream, we spent $25,813.56 to acquire the Airstream and make it road ready. Not including the cost of new tires and some other repairs and improvements along the 29,820 mile road trip, our net cost to own and use the Airstream for nine months was $25,813.56 – $17,500 = $8,313.56.
The is perhaps a little more costly that I would have liked, however when we bought the 47 year old Airstream, I bought it with the expectation that it would survive the trip. I could have purchased a newer, cheaper travel trailer, though I wasn’t convinced that one of the new fiberglass trailers could survive the trip without a major overhaul.
In all, I’m pleased with the performance, durability, and construction of Airstream, and if I had to do it all over again, I would buy a vintage Airstream again.
A sad goodbye to the Airstream
So with much sadness, we watched another family drive away with our beloved Airstream, our home on wheels for most of 2016. My daughter, who I softly assured did not need to worry about the Airstream being sold, balled uncontrollably at the loss of her home. She hugged the Airstream and thanked it for all of the adventures, promising she would never forget it.
Today, months later, she hasn’t forgotten it. She has many memories about life in the Airstream, on the road, and in the national parks that she regularly recounts at randoms times throughout the day and at dinner when we are telling stories.
A new adventure family
I’m glad to see the Airstream go to a family, one planning to use it for short and long excursions. We keep in touch, and occasionally they share a picture that makes me long for nomadic life.
One day, I fully expect to see the Airstream again. With its dings, dents, and red wheels, I imagine I’ll spot it coming down the highway. And I also expect that I’ll be pulling a different Airstream when I see it.
As for our next adventure
For now, we’re back in corporate, continuing to refine and pursue our approach to a life of adventure.
Katie is with a giant software company, and Mark is back at a digital agency. We’re planning and saving for our next adventure, which will likely involve lots of water.
In the meantime, we got momma a new toy for weekend adventures.