The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Backin' that AS up!


The title of this post is a take-off on a rap favorite, and I normally hate rap, but in this situation it seems appropriate.

The good news is that I got this "Hitch Ball Finder" at Camping World and after getting all the visual noise out of the way, it works pretty good at hitching up. I feel that I have now graduated and feel relatively confident at this elementary skill.

The bad news is that backing up the tow vehicle is tons easier than backing up with the Airstream connected. It seems they always want to go in wrong directions, kinda like herding cats.

I know I'll get it figured out. Here's my affirmation of the day:

I am a highly intelligent person, with lots of patience and a great sense of humor. With practice I will soon become expert at backing up my Airstream and be able to park it in the most challenging spaces!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More baby steps


Still adding essentials to the Airstream:
1. Wheel chocks
2. Grease for the hitch
3. Silicone lube for all the moving parts
4. Gloves for the dumping procedure (real gloves, not those disposable ones)
4a. Lysol for above.
5. Microwavable, lightweight dishes (link)
6. Sleeping bag
7. Post-it notes and pens
8. Bike rack for tow vehicle which frees up tons of cargo space inside.

I spent some time yesterday practicing backing up the tow-yota into hitch position, and I was not pleased with my progress. The bike rack and bike hanging off the spare tire add more visual noise which doesn't help, even with the special-purpose magnet-based removable mirror which is supposed to help. What's up with that? It's only two-dimensional reasoning, but it's backwards. I either need more practice, or I have to invent my own solution that works for me. I have no doubt that I will get it down, but it's interesting to watch me fumble around with the learning process. Learning patience...


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Will it fit in a shipping container?


In thinking long range, for when I run out of beaches on the west coast of North America, I get to considering the challenge of shipping the Airstream and the tow vehicle to Europe, or New Zealand, or wherever.

The solution I had always thought most practical was to simply drive the entire rig, tow vehicle and trailer together, into a 40' shipping container and put a label on the outside, close the door, and presto!

Not so. It doesn't fit. Not by much, but a miss is as good as a mile, in this case.

Check out the standard shipping container sizes.

and

Check out the size of the littlest Airstream.

So that idea is out.
I guess it will just have to go in the hold, just like all the other un-containerized stuff. I wonder how much it will cost? That will come in another post, when I get closer to the ship date.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Triple-A, such a deal


I think it was Airstream super-salesman Jerry Handley who told me about it: there is an add-on to the normal Triple-A (AAA) Roadside Assistance plan which you can get to cover trailers, RVs, and motorcycles. So I stopped off at the local AAA office today and for only $27 added on to my annual roadside assistance premium, I am now covered for my Airstream trailer. That means that they change the tire when it goes flat, and that is so much more civilized than having to do it myself. And the 27 bucks covers up to 4 incidents, and includes towing (on hard surface roads only).

Such a deal!




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Glitches Glaore, but still something nice to say!


The backup video camera was installed off center, and too low, so trying to use it for hitching up is just too weird. It's going to have to be centered, and looking down from the roof of the tow vehicle, but it seems that the spare tire is in the way for that, so maybe the spare needs to go in the back of the tow-yota.

I towed the Airstream back to the dealer today to take care of some warranty work:

1. The monitor panel in the Airstream which shows the status of the fresh water, gray water, and black water tanks is malfunctioning. In order to get this checked I first had to dump the sewage in the tanks, and since this was my first adventure with that chore, I learned that I was not prepared with all the necessary Haz-Mat gear. I'm still learning! The trouble with the monitor is that the sending unit in the blackwater tank is giving FUBAR readings. New unit ordered and is due in 8 days! WTF? I'm learning patience....

2. Screw missing from the sewage hose storage tube. I mentioned this to them but they didn't fix it! WTF?

3. When I took delivery of the Airstream a couple of weeks ago, they forgot to give me the wheel for the tongue post. I figured I would get it installed today when they were doing other work, but it seems that the wheel can not be installed with the electric jack installed. WTF?

4. So far, 3 out of 3 and nothing is fixed. But without me mentioning it, they noticed that they had installed the tow hitch so that the front of the Airstream rides too high, and therefore the back is too low, and that means that the already-way-too-low sewage outlet valve rides even lower, so much so that it could easily hit a speed bump, and that could break the valve off and that would leave a major mess for me to clean up. So they installed a new hitch, and other adjustments to make it ride a bit better, but the valve design is just Wrong - way too low. WTF?

On the positive side, I was in the office while the service department was working on the Airstream, and I noticed a very neat 1/18 Motor City Classics scale model of a vintage Airstream, and was doing the "Wow! How cool is that" routine, and right out of the blue Jerry Handley, the salesman who helped me buy my Airstream, just up and gives it to me! Sweet! So now it's sitting on my mantle at Mikie's Fun House! What is interesting about the model is that nowhere on the box or the model does it say "Airstream" even though it is clearly, unmistakably an Airstream. Must have been a copyright battle on that issue!


Jerry Handley is a class act. He has been working there at Southwest Coaches for about 10 years and has sold Airstreams to some Hollywood headliners including
  1. Matthew McConaughey - check this story about him and his Airstream in Architectural Digest, of all places!
  2. Tom Hanks
  3. Julia Roberts
  4. Mike McCafferty (oops... shouldn't have mentioned that, he likes privacy!)
  5. etc, etc.

More on Jerry Handley in a later post, just wanted to say Thanks for the neat model, Jerry!



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tow vehicle mods


Finished major mods on the tow vehicle:

1. Backup video camera - so I can line up the trailer and the tow hitch without help. I sure wouldn't want to rely on the help of strangers, at night, in the rain. Another benefit of the backup camera is that it might keep me from running over children, pets, toys, cliffs, etc.

2. Bluetooth hands-free connection to the iPhone. It's the law in California that you can not talk on your cell phone without some sort of hands-free device. I could use ear-buds, but they kinda get old fast.

3. iPod interface to the car stereo system. Charges as it goes, and I can control tune selection and volume from the steering wheel. Gotta have tunes. audio books and podcasts on long drives.

Getting closer to heading out of town, but still need a bike rack which fits on spare tire.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Provisioning and Private Showings


The first week at home has been spent turning checklists (see post below) into reality, and seeing just how I can stuff 10 lbs. of "stuff" into a 5 lb. bag (the trailer). So far, so good, but I have lots more to go. The key piece in the puzzle is to find a way to hang my bike on the outside of the Tow-yota so I can have a lot more room for traveling stuff and not clutter up the trailer.

I have not gone for any road trips yet. The first and foremost item needed is some way to make coffee in the morning, which means a pot to boil water. I just learned that an electric coffee pot using 110 volt will not work off the battery (also no iPod charging using the 110 volt plugs). So I need either a 110 volt generator, or else use the propane stove. I can charge the iPods using a car-charger, so I ordered one of those from Amazon.com.

Meanwhile, I have been having giving some friends private viewings. Sean checked it out first, and gave heaps of approval. Then David G. stopped by to break in the unit with a few shots of Patron tequila for each of us, while I showed him the rig and he showed me photos of his recent trip to France. David offered to give me lessons in how to back up the rig in exchange for me showing him how to put music on his iPhone. He's got lots of experience with trailering. He tows his NASCAR race car in a closed trailer behind his monster motor home! Today, Peter and Nancy were given the tour after pancake breakfast at Mikie's Fun House. Nancy thought it was "cute" (I guess I'm gonna have to get used to that kind of talk), and thought it looked like a toaster, and wouldn't it be fun to have two pieces of toast sticking out of the top of it! I had to agree that was highly creative and fun, but in the final analysis it would go against my principles of keeping a low profile.

I'm kinda itchin' to get on the road...


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First Tow, Home from the dealer.


"Li'l Sport" (new Airstream travel trailer) followed me home sweetly, and I'm learning humility and patience and sense of humor when I try to back it into parking spots!


I needed help to get it into the storage space. Of course, I needed help the first couple of times I tried to land an open-cockpit biplane in a crosswind. But I got the hang of that soon enough. It might be nice to have a video camera on the back of the trailer!

Need several checklists: Hooking-up, unhooking, camp set up/tear down, walk-around inspection, storage, connecting to "shore power", TV, water, sewer, wifi.

Tonight: study the Airstream owner's documents.

Tomorrow: start gearing up, and personalizing. contact Garmin, Triple-A for trailer coverage and campground info.


Gearing up:
Clothes: underwear, socks, t-shirts, work shirts, jacket, cargo pants, swim trunks, running shoes, laundry bag, hats,
Foul Weather Gear: slicker, umbrella, boots, gloves,

Clean kit: rags, paper towels, Purelle, hand soap, rubber gloves, disposable gloves,
Laundry kit: laundry soap, quarters, laundry bag
Shower kit: towel, wash cloth, hand towel, shower gel, shampoo, razor, blades, q-tips, stick deodorant, moisturizing lotion, Sonicare, tooth paste, nail clipper, tweezers, scissors,
Bathroom kit: TP, chemical packets

iPod/phone accessories: 110 and 12V charging cables, USB cable, audio (aux) cable
Mac accessories: power cable, speaker cord, monitor cable to TV(?),

Coffee kit: coffee mugs/filter, coffee, sugar, (half and half needs refrig. so get mini-moos?), kettle (electric), spoon
Cooking utensils: pots and pans, coffee/tea kettle (electric), toaster, cookie sheet, butane lighter (long handle), butane supply.
Dishes: plates, bowls, glasses (plastic?), wine glasses, Guinness glasses, shot glasses, coffee mugs,
Flatware: forks, spoons (coffee size and soup size), knives,
Kitchen tools: measuring cup, scissors, spatula, soup ladle, can opener, whisk, measuring spoons, pancake grill, Tupperware containers, food prep knives, water filter?, can opener,
Kitchen supplies: trash bags, food storage bags, paper towels, hand towels, dish soap, hand soap,

Food kit: trail mix bars, bottled (Fiji) water, McCann's Irish Oatmeal, salt/pepper, supplements, pancake mix, V8 juice,
Fresh food, shop day before launch: bananas, fresh juices, half and half, bread, lime, mango, papaya, mustard/ketchup, maple syrup, buttery spread,
(foods requiring refrigeration go into portable cooler for first leg of travel while refrigerator gets cold enough en route)
Liquor: Murphy's Stout, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Rum, Tequila.

Pre-launch items from home:
Go-tech kit: Binoculars, camera, Mac, iPhone, Kindle, each with supporting chargers, cords, etc.
Go-food kit: Fresh food cooler,
Go-clothes: street shoes, dress shirts, jacket,
Go-info kit: files, paperwork, books, magazines, mail,

Exercise: rubber band, yoga mat,

Sleeping - blankets, electric blanket, sheets, pillows,

Outdoor living kit: wheel chocks, beach towel, astro-turf, collapsible hammock, grill kit, portable chairs, privacy bamboo curtain, tent, sleeping bag, power cord, multiple outlet,

First Aid kit: ibuprofen, Band-Aids, alcohol, Neosporin,
Emergency kit: hand crank radio (AM, FM, SW) and combination light/strobe/alarm. Also take bags already prepared from home, store in back of tow vehicle.

Personal Stuff: Cue case, ID,
Backpack: sun screen, water, Frisbees, Swiss Army knife, iPhone headphones,

Tool kit: Work Gloves, pliers (reg & needle nose), hammer, screwdriver set, snips, velcro, wire, wrenches, ratchet set, wood blocks, silicone lube, WD-40, grease, rags, work gloves, eye protection, flashlights, spare batteries, Ka-bar (WWII USMC) knife, rope, bungee cords, rope, duct tape

Security items: tongue security device, video surveillance cameras (and backup), keyed/combination access panels, water, etc.
Trailer modifications:
Interior: Hooks for towels.
Exterior: Storage box, Video cameras?, drill bit for stabilizer jacks, solar panels,
Power items: generator, extension cord, power distribution bar,



Sunday, July 5, 2009

Other Big Road Trips


There have been other extended road trips. Here are three road trips that were documented on a daily basis, and the last two have photos to help tell the story.


1996 - Six Weeks of flying the USA, San Diego to Maine, and return, in an open-cockpit biplane. Click here for the stories.

1997 - Three Months of flying all over Europe in an open-cockpit biplane. Click here for the stories.


2006 - Two Months of driving a new Corvette convertible along the coast road from San Diego to Canada, and then touring the western states, shooting pool. Click here for the stories.

Why?


A quick answer is found on the back cover of the Airstream brochure:

TO THE RESTLESS SPIRIT

The Airstream Travel Trailer beckons to those driven by an insatiable desire to see more, to do more, to learn more. It calls to those who understand the allure of the open road, and the discovery of what lies beyond the next bend. And it appeals to those who value independence and inspired design, to to those who recognize the quality and craftsmanship that have allowed one brand to stand the toughest test of all - time.

--------------

A more personal answer is that I like living as close to the beach as possible, and I like to experience different beach environments. An added benefit is that this lifestyle is a lot less expensive than living in hotels along the coast, and a lot more suited to me because I always have my own personalized living space, and food, wherever I go.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Where am I?



Where am I right now?

My exact current location will be private but most likely I'll be near a beach, along Highway 101 ("The Royal Road"), the coast road from San Diego to Vancouver, where it changes its name to the Alaskan Highway. That's vague, but hopefully conveys a sense of the geography, and the ecosystems in small seaside communities along the west coast of North America.

Treeless and flat and dry along the south coast, and forested, mountainous and wet in the north. A smorgasbord of weather!

Sometimes, when I'm On The Road, even I don't know where I am! Occasionally, when I wake up, I'll forget for a moment exactly where I am, especially after just changing locations. It's very unsettling when it happens, but of course it doesn't last long.

What is it like, Life On The Road?



Life On The Road is good for a hermit like me. I would have to say it's perfect!

I'm the last one to draw attention to myself in public, but there are two things I really do enjoy that involve being out among the General Population: pool and Frisbee. I look at these activities as my "performance art" and they are well-suited to a nomadic lifestyle for two reasons: they allow me to perform for ever-changing audiences and they require very little space for the equipment. On second thought, the ever-changing nature of the audiences may be more of an advantage to the audiences than to me!

Here's a complete list of things I most enjoy both at home in Del Mar, as well as On The Road:


1. Pocket Billiards. My pool cue, a bit of chalk, and a tip tool take up negligible space and yet provide hours of fun at a variety of locations with friendly locals. I don't gamble, so I can focus on having fun and perfecting the art form. And the great thing about pool is that I enjoy the game solo just as much with a friend I haven't met yet.


2. Frisbee. Where there's a beach, there's usually a light wind, and Frisbees love a light wind. I keep several Frisbees on hand because they like to get wet, and sometimes escape in the surf! There's always enough space to stash a couple of Frisbees. And Frisbee is another one of those things you can enjoy even without a partner, if there's a nice light wind.


3. Long walks on the beach. The best times are in the early morning, and around sunset, and low tide. Good exercise, meditation, and even educational and entertaining if you want to plug in your iPod earphones for music, audiobooks, etc. I might be walking along by myself on the beach and burst into laughter at some comedy routine on my iPod. Love to laugh! That's got to be good for you, I think.


4. Yoga. In the morning I like to do some light yoga. Breathing and stretching to wake up and get the juices flowing, and maybe a headstand just for the fun of it.

5. Reading, Writing, Music, and communicating with people for fun and profit. So easy from a mobile headquarters. Anybody can be anywhere, so why not be in a place that's as excellent as can be?


6. Meditation & Naps. Sometimes a meditation becomes a nap. And vice-versa. Gotta love a good nap. Especially in the heat of mid-day, after lunch. I have a hammock and an awning that are excellent equipment for napping, and they stow away completely. A good nap has to be earned, and some yoga, and a morning walk on the beach, and maybe some Frisbee will be payment enough to earn a good nap and refresh me for a sunset walk on the beach and some pool in the evening.

7. Learning. It seems like there's always something to learn. You can never learn enough Patience, for example, and there's plenty of opportunity to practice patience when you live close to the edge of the sea and spend a lot of time outdoors. You become more aware of the changing weather and the time of day -- there's a rhythm. It becomes like a metronome. It's very calming. For limitless learning opportunities there's all those interweb tubes. If I lived long enough to get to the End Of The Internet, I could start all over again and it would be all different.

8. Continuous Improvement. Living in a small space provides endless opportunities to organize, and to invent new solutions for everyday situations. And with me being such a hedonist, I really enjoy finding ways to increase my enjoyment of every moment.


9. Sleep. With the sounds of the surf nearby, sleep comes easy and goes deep and the morning is always energized.

I like to look at this list frequently, just to remind me how good it is to be On The Road.

Road Warrior Technology


It's an interesting challenge to live in a small space but technology has made it very easy and productive. Here's a list of gadgets which improve life on the road by an order of magnitude over what was available just a few years ago:

1. iPhone 3GS - perfect tool for on-the-road. Communicates hands-free via Bluetooth when I'm in the tow vehicle, and switches to a different channel when I'm in the trailer. And when I'm on the bike, it's a GPS recorder to track hikes, trails, etc. I also use the phone's video camera a lot, and the app called Carpenter (one of the tools is a level, useful when the trailer is parked on uneven ground, requiring jacking).

2. Kindle 2. Holds 1,500 of my favorite books, newspapers, magazines, etc, all in a form-factor of one page of a book. Battery operated and light as a feather, and easy to operate, and reads easy in broad daylight or with very little light. A perfect "reader". I'm currently involved in reading the collected works of Mark Twain, one of my favorite authors. With all the magic of the Kindle 2, I still keep a couple of "old school" books around just for the look and feel, the heft and smell of the printed page and a good leather binding. A couple of my favorites are "Song of the Sky" by Murchie; "Stick and Rudder", and a couple of other flying stories to remind me of my years of adventures flying the USA and Europe in an open-cockpit biplane.

3. iPod touch - for music library independent of the phone and computer, and a backup for most of the Apps on the iPhone..

4. MacBook Pro - Wi-Fi connection for all internet needs. Built-in webcam for video conferencing. If the campsite doesn't have internet connection, I can take the Mac to where the signal is, usually a Starbucks or library, or some other public place. The iPhone is a backup for the Mac with no wi-fi, as long as 3G or Edge is available. I use the Mac extensively for writing and video editing and photos and movies, e-mail, shopping, and so much more. The MacBook Pro that I use has the no-moving-parts all solid state storage (no hard disk) so it's quiet and reliable and fast. It has the 17" display for a reasonable computing experience, made even easier with wireless mouse and keyboard.

5. HiDef TV - The Airstream comes standard with a flat-screen display and is wired to over the air digital TV, via rooftop receiver. It has a built-in DVD player, but so does the Mac.

6. GPS Navigation system - dashboard mounted, yet removable for hiking and trip planning. Not just for navigating where you want to go, but where you might want to go... it has a database of over 5 Million points of interest, stores, gas stations, repair stations, etc.

7. Backup video camera - to see where you are going in reverse, to make it easier to align truck and trailer for hookup.

8. Inclinometer - dashboard mounted indicator shows the attitude of the truck, used off-road in rock climbing situations. Other off-road gadgets include Compass, Four Wheel Drive, locking differential.

9. Alloy materials - light aluminum alloys keep weight down on the bike, so it can be taken more places. Aluminum construction of the trailer keeps weight low so gas consumption is reduced (but of course, mileage is poor when towing, and only slightly better when not towing).

10. HiDef video camera, vibration-reduction binoculars, wind speed and other weather instruments. These goodies take up surprisingly little space, and even less with each new product release. Soon all of the chargers for most devices will be eliminated in favor on one Universal Cordless Charger.

11. Air-conditioning - the Airstream has air-conditioning (and heat) for ultimate comfort regardless of what the weather brings (and it's constantly changing along the coastline).

12. Refrigeration - it's not big, but it keeps essentials cool. Murphy's Stout, some white wine, cream for the coffee, and some frozen foods can stretch camp time into several days, even a week, before re-supply missions. Well, I guess I'd want to take on water before a week went by, for showering off that overly ripe aroma.

I love seeing the evolution of all the tech gadgets, and I'm definitely an "early adopter".



Friday, July 3, 2009

Airstream Dreamin'


Where to go?

The maiden voyage will definitely be local, probably just down the road to a local state beach, if I can reserve a spot at this very crowded time of year. I need to learn how to back it up! And how to hook up water, electricity, etc.

If all goes well with that, then I'll keep doing longer and longer trips, up the coast of California, staying in beach campgrounds all the way, space available.

And when I run out of California coastline, then there's the magnificent Oregon coastline to explore, and then Washington, and Canada. Might even make it to Alaska, but only in the summer. Lots of coastline, lots of beaches!

I should have a good bit of experience by then, so I'd be ready for longer tours, and while I'm dreaming, why not let it all hang out...

Getting off the North American continent doesn't seem very difficult. Just back the rig, trailer and Tow-yota, into a 40' shipping container, and put a label on it for wherever I can imagine, right? So...

Australia would be fun, staying on the coast, and doing a complete tour of the edges of the Land Down Under. Nice people there! I have visited Sydney and Melbourne, but I've always wanted to see Perth, and Darwin, and spend some quality time along the Great Barrier Reef. When I had done a roundabout of Australia, it's back in the shipping container for a hop over to New Zealand, for a tour of the edges of the North and South Islands. I'd definitely get back to Queenstown in the south for another visit. Then it would be back in the box for the slow boat to San Diego and a rest for man and machine alike, and catch up on the mail and friends.

Europe seems like fun, lots of coastline circling Ireland, the U.K., then follow the left coast of France, Spain, Portugal, the south of France, roll the dice in Monaco, then tour the coastline of Italy, ferry the rig to Greece, and then into Istanbul, Turkey. I'd be due for a rest by then so I'd put the rig on a train running the route of Orient Express to Paris and sit back and watch the world go by. Then, fully energized, I'd take off from Paris for Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, a loop around Denmark, across the top of Poland, then Latvia (visit a friend in Riga), and into Russia with a great visit to St. Petersburg, then south to Moscow, then follow the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok on the east coast, ferry the rig to Japan, tour that island, and then ship the rig home for a bit of a rest. Maybe a long rest!


And I have never been to South America, but I'd want to skip over the troubles in Mexico and ship the rig direct to Ecuador, then Peru's jewel Machu Picchu is a must. Then Chile! Talk about coastline! I'd just like to stay to my right all the way down the Pacific side, and when I hit Tierra del Fuego, head back north on the Atlantic side, Argentina, Brazil, then ship the rig to Nova Scotia for a trip down the east coast of the USA to the Florida Keys, then the Gulf Coast, and a mad dash across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and home to San Diego. A trip like that could be an adventure for sure!

There's a lot of world out there, and I haven't even thought about Africa to check out Morocco, and the pyramids, and done safaris in South Africa. Always wanted to get to Cape Town. I guess I need to save something for my next life...


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tow-yota delivery: Details a-plenty!


I couldn't take delivery of the Airstream today because they were all booked up, and the salesman was taking the day off, and tomorrow I'm busy mentoring, and the dealer is closed again for Saturday and Sunday, so the next open date is next week. Since I have nowhere to go, I guess it just doesn't matter.

So I spent the day taking delivery of the tow vehicle (Toyota FJ Cruiser), now dubbed "Tow-yota", and getting info on such add-ons as:

1. Cable to connect iPod to the Aux. input to the in-vehicle sound system ($9, such a deal)
2. iPod interface, about 3oo bucks, so I can charge and control the iPod from the steering wheel controls
3. Bluetooth hands-free for the iPhone.
4. Map updates for the Garmin nav. system which was already installed in the vehicle.
5. Rear-facing video camera so I can see what I'm backing into, but mostly for aligning tow and trailer without someone to spot me. It looks like the spare tire is going to be in the way of getting a good look at the tow hitch area, so I'm thinking I might put the spare on the roof, or inside the vehicle.
6. Insurance!
7. Bike rack. The factory bike rack looks like a real bear to deal with. Very awkward to get the bike onto the roof. No wonder nobody knew how it works because nobody buys that unit. I might have to put the bike inside the cargo area, or inside the trailer. Here's a photo of the bike, an Electra Sparker Special, 3-speed:


Click here to go to my bike blog: "SoCal Beach Cruiser"


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I did it ---> Airstream Sport 17





The tow vehicle: Toyota FJ Cruiser


Well, you gotta start somewhere, so why not start at the bottom?

The Airstream Sport 17 is the cheapest, lightest model in the lineup. So I bit the bullet and got it. I've been thinking about this for a long time. And preparing for it. I'll learn with the smaller unit for a season or two and upgrade later, if I still feel the need.

Yesterday I put a deposit on the Airstream, and today I signed the deal for the tow vehicle: a Toyota FJ Cruiser.

Perfect for the hermit who needs to get out of his cave... take the cave On The Road!

Tomorrow I pick up the Cruiser and drive north to get the Airstream and bring it back to put it in storage, then head back to the dealer to get some mods like

The tow vehicle is equipped with:
1. an iPod connection, so I can take all my tunes on the road.
2. a Garmin GPS, but I'll probably use the iPhone GPS when Tom-Tom releases their software.
3. 4-wheel drive so I can go off-road and really get lost.

Tow vehicle needs:
1. rear video camera to help with lining up for the connection,
2. Bluetooth for iPhone hands-free dialing/talking, while on long drives.
3. iPod interface.

What I'm going to need to get used to:
1. driving slow, patience
2. backing the Airstream into campground sites.
3. leaving lots of room between me and the car in front, for braking distance.
4. thinking ahead...
5. big turns


Equipment needs:
1. Generator. Yamaha?

I have been practicing taking short showers to conserve water, especially hot water!
That's will be a big adjustment.

To do:
1. arrange for local storage for the Airstream
2. notify the insurance company about the two new vehicles.
3. sell the Corvette
4. drill bit for powering the leveling jacks.
5. dozens, if not hundreds, of other details to furnish the trailer for living, a never ending process, I figure.

The adventure begins...