Recently I was nerding out on my site, looking at some of the statistics and I noticed in my search box, someone had typed in the question: “Is an Airstream worth the money?” And like any good question, it got me thinking. Good, hard, breakthrough-in-the-shower style thinking. Is an Airstream truly worth the high price tag?
Let me be the first to say that I love the Airstream brand and style. It’s iconic, it’s stylish, it’s Americana at it’s finest. And I truly believe that Airstreams are well-designed. 65% of all the Airstreams ever built are still on the road. That’s a true testament to their staying power.
The Airstream style was what truly convinced me to live full-time in a RV. I hate to admit this, but I can be a bit superficial and my home’s style is very important to me. Three years ago, I don’t think if I would have been easily convinced to live full-time in a RV if we bought a beat-up Winnebago.
It’s important to mention that we got an unbelievable deal on our Airstream. We bought it for $5,000 and fixed it up for about $1,500. I am well aware that most people aren’t going to be able to score a kind of deal like that. And if you are buying a new Airstream, well, you are way out of my league. (And quite frankly, most people’s league.) A new Classic model Airstream starts at $135,600. In the area where I live, $135,000 would buy a small house. If you can afford to buy a new Airstream, go for it!
But if you can’t, an Airstream is a not a requirement of this lifestyle. I would never, ever tell people to go into debt to buy an Airstream, or even a RV. That defeats the point. What’s truly important is living below your means and getting on track for a more minimal, manageable and enjoyable life. (You can read the original story about why we decided to live in a RV here.)
If all you can afford is a beat up camper and you can make it a comfortable home for yourself, I say, go for it. Living in a RV has given me so much. It’s made me less superficial. It’s made me realize what’s truly important in life. It’s helped me to save money and it’s helped me to truly live more.
The Airstream isn’t the important part. I named this blog, A Small Life for a reason. It’s not An Airstream Life. It’s about learning to live with less and gaining more in the process.
Do you agree? As always, feel free to chat with me in the comments.
Update: I wrote a book! “The Ultimate Guide to Living Full Time in an RV, Airstream or Motorhome” will show you how live a smaller, happier life in an untraditional home. This is an interactive guide designed to help you plan your journey to smaller living with worksheets and useful tips. Get it here!