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Friday, March 21, 2008

I Want My RVTV!

Toshiba Regza - The one to watch from Sean on Vimeo.

Today's blog entry is a 29-second advertisement for a Toshiba television. Kristy and I are available to shamelessly hawk your corporate product. We'll conceptualize, shoot, edit, and distribute your ad. For a typical 30-second spot here on The Long, Long Honeymoon, we charge a reasonable $1.7 million -- which is a substantial discount over what you might purchase for the Super Bowl! And yes, we do accept PayPal.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ranch on the Rocks

Sadly, it may be curtains for Airstream Ranch. Or so says this story.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Why RVs Are Like Mexican Food (And Other Deep Thoughts)

Airstream RV Blog - Why RVs Are Like Mexican Food from Sean on Vimeo.

When I was a college student, my net worth at any given time fluctuated. But it typically hovered between five and seven dollars. This led to developing a taste for such culinary staples as ramen noodles, spaghetti, and ketchup-covered cardboard. But for a special night on the town, I’d go to my favorite “Mexican” (and I use the term loosely) restaurant: Taco Bell. Utilizing some coupons, I could manage to purchase three tacos and a drink for less than two dollars.

But the Bell’s head chef was crafty. He was always unveiling a tempting new, yet vastly more expensive, dish. This concoction would boast an exciting name, like the legendary Grande Double Decker Gordita Cheesarito Crunch Supreme. It would be advertised everywhere throughout the restaurant, often on huge posters featuring talking chihuahuas. Its price might even approach the three-dollar stratophere.

Sometimes curiosity would get the best of me. I would splurge and try one of these relatively costly meals. Invariably my reaction was the same -- because all of these entrees were composed of the EXACT SAME INGREDIENTS! The SAME lettuce, beans, cheese, and “meat” (again, I use the term loosely) were packed into the SAME taco shells. In the end, I felt like a sucker for getting the expensive meal, which was little more than a shameless repackaging of obligatory cheap taco ingredients -- but had to begrudgingly respect the inventiveness of Taco Bell’s marketing wizards.

There’s an analogy here with RVs. All RVs toss together the same basic ingredients. You get a bed, a bathroom, a couch, and a kitchen wrapped together in the shell of your choice. But these core ingredients get cooked up in an amazing variety of ways.

And here's where my Mexican analogy falls apart like a soggy flour tortilla. Because when it comes to RVs, there are substantive differences between ingredients. While Taco Bell may shovel the same government-issue cheese into every menu item, there's no denying the difference between formica and granite, or between plastic and stainless steel. There are some real differences that are worth extra cash; the question is whether they are worth it to you.

It wasn’t so long ago that Kristy and I were wading through the confusing menu of RV choices, debating which to purchase. For us, our Airstream was a Burrito Supreme -- a solid, classic choice that was guaranteed to satisfy. But that doesn’t mean we weren't tempted by the newfangled chalupas on the other side.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Married Couple Outlasts Airstreams

Here's a nice story from Mesquite, Texas. Francis and J.C. McDearman just celebrated their 74th year of marriage. Perhaps even more impressive, their union has outlasted three Airstream travel trailers!

Congrats to the McDearmans. These are the type of people who started the American tradition of Airstreaming and RV-ing. They paved the way for the rest of us.

Apparently the McDearmans were married at about the same time that Wally Byam started building Airstreams. Over the course of their lives, they have toured the country via travel trailer, wearing out three silver bullets.

Their story makes me wonder whether Airstreaming is good for marriage. My answer would be a qualified "yes," assuming of course that the marriage in question actually survives the first couple of trips aboard the RV.

It's fair to say that this form of travel tests a marriage. As I've written before, you had better really like the person with whom you're sharing 200 square-feet of living space!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Doing It Yourself

Airstream RV Blog - Doing It Yourself from Sean on Vimeo.

The old saying goes, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." Nothing illustrates this principle better than the sad saga of our Airstream ceiling fan.

When the fan malfunctioned, we first entrusted our Airstream to a local RV service center. It wasn't an official Airstream dealership because the nearest such business is located far away from our hometown. This was a local place that specializes in RV storage and repairs. But still, we're talking about a simple ceiling fan here. What could go wrong? Right?

After keeping the unit some three weeks, we got our baby back. Not only was the fan still in a state of disrepair, but the RV service guys damaged our roof! Apparently an employee walked on the aluminum portion of our Airstream's roof end cap, which is a major no-no. Aluminum stretches, and once bent it does not return to its exact previous shape. This was kind of like taking your car to a place for an oil change, and having them destroy your engine.

The RV guys offered to repair the damage, but quite frankly we didn't trust them anymore. Sure, they might be able to fix the roof. But what else would they wreck in the process?

Thankfully, Kristy's father Harry has the knowledge and skill to repair just about everything ever created by human hands. As you'll see in the video, Harry has almost restored our Airstream to its original condition.

The roof looks about as good as possible. The only way to repair this sort of damage 100% is to literally remove the aluminum roof panels (risking future leaks, etc.) and replace them with new panels -- an expensive and time-consuming process. I think we can live with it now, as the indentation is scarcely noticeable. If you didn't know about it, you'd never notice it.

As for the ceiling fan? We've made progress, but the fan still refuses to spin. Harry isolated the problem to a faulty switch. Note that the RV service guys never reached any such conclusion. In fact, they appeared to just replace one part, slap the pieces back together, and then surrender. Stay tuned, because unlike the "professionals," we're not giving up.

Special thanks to Harry for all of his help with our Airstream...and everything else he's managed to fix!