The Airstream Has Landed

Yay, we brought her home!

Well, we picked her up from the dealership, drove her down to Maryland, and parked her in storage, without wrecking, scraping, denting, or breaking her in any way!

This taking-ownership business was actually a two-day odyssey, complete with cold rain and snow, hours of technical lessons, camping in a freezing parking lot, and the much-anticipated backing up into the storage parking space between two other RVs. It’s all a long story, but I’ll tell it for anyone wondering why we’re both now sick and glassy-eyed instead of bursting with excitement. (We are excited, really! Just look past the exhaustion.)

The Most Awesome (and best in the country) Airstream Dealership in New Jersey

Okay, I’m risking this being a book instead of one blog entry and I haven’t gotten to the dealership yet. I’ll say quickly say that these guys sell a handsome percentage of all Airstreams in the U.S., and they’ve just finished their new location (showroom, service center, ginormous lot ‘o Airstreams, famous YouTube salesguy, etc.). Some people trek over to see this place just to oggle.

We, however, went our usual route of stopping by a brewery on the way, which was the highlight of the trip because rain started absolutely pouring when we got back on the road, and that turned into wind and very cold temps and a snow squall. Not what we would have chosen for all this much-anticipated outside business we had at hand.

In any case, we did make it to the dealership, and we got to wander under all the workmen on ladders inside while our Airstream was pulled into the indoor service bay and readied and our truck was taken to the outside bays to get the new, fancy hitch installed.

The 2-hr Tour

Banjo is happiest sleeping in the back of the truck, but Chris the hitch guy needed to move it, so I took her on the leash for our appointment with the technician assigned to us, Kevin. She kept wanting to sniff him (and there was a lot of bending over going on) so I wish I’d kept her in the truck. Oh well. I think the showroom needs a dog-sitting area.

Kevin gave us a thorough tour around the outside first, with all the inlets and outlets for electricity, water, sewer, air vents, storage compartments, and on and on.

He then tried to give us the same tour inside, with Banjo in the way. Finally she gave up and let him do his job. Tracy took notes; I blocked her technician-sniffing snout.

An unexpected cool event was watching a fork lift (I think that’s what it was) tow our Airstream from the indoors service bay to the outside bays around the other side of the building. That’s where an equally and ridiculously nice service guy named Chris demonstrated and explained and taught how to use the fancy hitch Tracy decided on. That was another hour or so.

Did I mention we had beers at lunch (well, I did), and it was super cold? And we’d driven far and were full of anticipation?

Hands-on Learning

After the classes and tours and walking around this basically campus-sized dealership a million times looking for Chris and Kevin and Patrick and whoever else was next in line to be exceedingly nice and informative and patient with us, someone parked our new Airstream in the part of the lot with electrical hook-ups. They filled the water tank and turned on the propane, and we were instructed to spend the night there, pressing every button we could find to uncover questions we could ask the next day.

Sleeping in a Parking Lot

I, for one, had been so looking forward to this. Our first night in our new home! Every time you move, that’s exciting, right? I was so so tired though—just like every time you move—and overwhelmed.

We’d packed the back of the truck with boxes and boxes of things we needed to get in the Airstream (like sheets for the night) and things I wanted to see how they would look/fit/feel inside. So Tracy (bless his patient self after doing all the driving and the majority of learning and asking questions all day) unloaded the truck while Banjo and I became increasingly squished in the middle of crap I realized I would never have room for in that tiny trailer.

I have to admit I was disheartened at first. It was like the difference between walking through a pristine, airy, empty house and standing in the middle of all your own old furniture and boxes of things falling in on you. Well, it’s not “like” that—it was that. That trailer is small.

I did unpack some stuff by at least shoving things on the bed and dinette seats and handing empty boxes back to Tracy, plus I gave him at least one box of stuff that I had clearly been delusional to think would fit.

Tracy went to pick up Indian food for a late dinner (bless him, yet again) and I took the above panoramic shot in the first quiet of the day. Hard to see what it’s like inside, but heck, even when you’re inside it’s hard to see what it’s like because it’s so darned small.

Okay, complaining all done. Here we are having eaten, drunk the growler of good beer we grabbed on the road trip there—that was well earned—and walked the dog; we’re watching an episode of Firefly on the TV (without surround sound, which kind serviceman Kevin helped us with the next day).

We look exhausted because we are (plus I was using the phone’s flash.)

The Next Day

Okay, I need to cut to the chase here. We set off the fire detector, blew the full hook-up fuse, pulled a door off its hinge, slept in the Airstream, had tea and coffee, and walked Banjo in the early morning snowy ghost dealership.

Of course the next day we met up again with our new best friends, Kevin, Chris, and Patrick, and a few new guys who must be so used to bozos like us that patience now comes naturally to them. What a great dealership to help us through 24 hours of learning. Seriously.

After hooking up our very own selves, we drove away into the sunset—kind of —actually our goal was to get to the storage lot in Maryland before they locked the gates for the night, which we did!

And the climax of the story now seems rather tame: we backed the Airstream up into the small spot we’d painstakingly chosen between two RVs — beautifully!

I say “we” because I shouted and moved my arms around while Tracy did the actual backing up.

We were so tired, so relieved, so ready to collapse that I forgot to take a picture of her in her home for the next month. We’ll both visit though, installing shelves and drawers, figuring out the buttons we failed to press while in the other parking lot, filling her with the rest of what we’ll need to live, and then we’ll TAKE OFF for realz.

6 thoughts to “The Airstream Has Landed”

  1. I’m not surprised at all about the things that were stressful. Of course they were! This is a big change and will take some time to feel normal. When you finally drive off on your new adventure, you will be so excited and all the stress prepping for all of this will be left behind.

    1. Actually, I felt better the next morning … as soon as I woke up I was online looking at super-smart storage ideas 🙂 Now I have a list of things to take to the Airstream the next few times I go and a list of measurements and things to take out. I’m on this!

  2. OK, wow! It hadn’t crossed my mind (despite being obvious!) just how complex learning the whole RV trailer thing must be.