“Adventure is where you find it, any place, every place, except at home in the rocking chair.”Wallie Byam
Some History On Our Camp-Life Experience
I grew up camping with my grandparents in their camper. We would spend the weekend at the local campgrounds riding bicycles, playing in the lake, roasting marshmallows and making memories. Later, they traded the camper for a motorhome and they took my middle school best friend and me to Myrtle Beach for a week. I remember being able to move around, nap, prepare food in the kitchen, and play cards all while riding down the highway. Beyond this experience, I have very little knowledge about camping (had never camped in a tent) and no experience with the idea of full-time travel.
David has spent many summers adventure motorcycle riding solo. He has gone all the way to Alaska and back from Georgia, and through his adventures, he spent many nights tent camping and he’s now basically a pro.
Together, we spent many weekends adventuring in the Jeep. One of our favorite things to do on a beautiful fall weekend is to take the top off, and then head to the mountains for a couple days of exploring new places and off-roading. We love jeep adventuring so much that in January of 2020 we took it on a road trip all the way down the coast along the scenic State Road A1A from North Georgia to the Southernmost Point in Key West! (Of course, A1A began when we reached Amelia Island, not while we were still in North Georgia)! If a trip to the Key’s is in your future and you love eating as much as we do, check out some of the best restaurants in the area.
What I Thought We Would Be Traveling In
We had toyed with the idea of traveling full-time, and I remember seeing a set-up similar to the photo below on a road trip to the beach. I snapped a photo, sent it to David, and from that point on I was convinced a pop-up trailer in tow behind the Rubicon was the way to go! When he wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as I was, I was a bit confused but still knew this would be the answer to our travels! The other option I had in my mind if we dropped the idea of taking the Jeep altogether, was to renovate a school bus! A “skoolie” is a thing these days, and it is a retired school bus converted into an RV. While this is a really cool option for lots of people, neither of us are really the DIY type, and many campgrounds and RV Parks prohibit skoolies. If you love DIY projects and are most interested in boondocking, renovating a school bus might be perfect for you! You can expect the project to cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000.
As our road trip to the Key’s began, we started talking more seriously about taking a year to travel the country. I was still stuck on the idea of a pop-up behind the Jeep, but David insisted he had a better idea and he wouldn’t tell me until the end of our trip. Oh the anticipation! Our road trip was somewhat of a test to see if we would enjoy living on the road full-time and the answer was an absolute YES! He wanted to know this unequivocally before sharing with me his brilliant idea. So I waited. Patiently(ish).
Little did I know, two weeks before our trip, David had already been shopping for RV’s. He went to our local RV dealership and browsed all they had to offer. He considered a Class B or C Motorhome, but the big drawback on those for us is that we would always have our home with us. It’s impossible to go to the store or a restaurant without taking everything with you. He also didn’t like the swoopy graphic design typically seen on RV’s, so that steered him away from a traditional towable trailer.
Leaving the dealership without an answer, David began researching and this is when he discovered Airstream! The classic aluminum design caught his eye. He found the Basecamp X and knew it was made for us. With only 96 square feet, the Basecamp is the smallest Airstream travel trailer, but big enough for the two of us. It was built for adventure and it’s small and compact enough to go anywhere your adventure may lead. Another selling point for us is that with a maximum trailer capacity of 3,500 lbs, it’s made to partner with your mid-size SUV so we would have no problem towing with our Jeep Rubicon. The Basecamp X is a variation of the original Basecamp with some additional features, and we chose it because it is geared up to go on even bigger adventures. It comes with a lift kit partnered with larger wheels and tires to ensure you have the ground clearance needed, plus the departure is naturally increased. Stainless steel stone guards and panoramic front window protection is added, shielding the aluminum shell and glass from road debris that may come up while traveling. The Airstream Basecamp X is a bit more pricy than most comparable travel trailers, but it is unlike any other RV on the market. Every Airstream travel trailer is crafted by hand at Airstream headquarters in Jackson Center, Ohio, and each one takes an average of 350 hours to complete. The typical travel trailer takes about 50 hours to build, and they have a lifespan of 15 years. Airstream is made to last for generations and generations to come, with 70% of the Airstreams created since the 1930’s still on the road today.
Finally, on our way home from the Key’s, we stopped at Airstream of Tampa. I had no idea where we were going and I was so excited when we got there! We had the best experience. We walked in and the Basecamp X was set up right there in the showroom. Our awesome salesman, Tyler, gave us a tour and told us all we need to know. We fell in LOVE with the Basecamp X and Airstream, it was meant to be! Less than a week later, we found ourselves driving 4.5 hours up to Airstream of North Carolina to purchase our very own 2019 Basecamp X! I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so excited about anything in my entire life!
Is An Airstream Travel Trailer Right For You?
Everyone has their own unique needs and plans when it comes to traveling, and that is why there are so many “rolling home” options to choose from! I will say though, you can’t go wrong with purchasing a Basecamp or any Airstream travel trailer. If you’re like us and planning to invest in something to travel full-time in that you can pull with your mid-sized SUV that you already own, you care about quality, and plan going off the grid at least occasionally, the Basecamp X is a perfect choice for you!
If you’re more of a DIY person than we are, consider purchasing an older used Airstream and renovating it! This is a super cool and popular option for the creative minded. Check out tinyshinyhome for all the inspiration you could dream of as Jonathan and Ashley renovate a 1972 Vintage Airstream Land Yacht into a modern full-time travel machine.
If you’re a DIY person without a vehicle to tow a travel trailer, or you just want an all-in-one-vehicle and are open to the boondocking lifestyle, consider a skoolie! Even if you don’t have the skills to renovate a school bus on your own, check out companies such as skoolie.com with a fully staffed team ready to turn your vision into a reality!
No matter what travel trailer or RV you decide on, the important thing is that you’ve made the decision to get out and see the world through adventure! That’s what brings us together as a community. Whether you’re traveling in an Airstream, a Skoolie, a Scamp, a truck camper, or any RV or travel trailer of any kind, we chose a lifestyle outside of what’s known as the typical “American Dream;” a house with a picket fence, a 9-5 job, and growing old in one place, and through that, we are united. We’re excited to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below what you travel in or what your future home on wheels will be, and why. Happy adventuring!