Elizabeth and Doug Winters are a young couple who chose to take a detour from the standard daily grind, sell it all, and live full-time in an Airstream while traveling the US. They love great mountain bike trails, fly fishing rivers, vibrant towns, craft beers, unique restaurants, freshly roasted coffee beans, adventure motorcycle riding, trail running and hiking...just about anything that gets them outside! See what they’re doing and where they’ve been on Instagram @epicdetour.
Tell us about your Airstream:
We have a 2010 Airstream International Serenity 27fb. We installed 3 solar panels, solar controller, 3000watt pure sine wave inverter, transfer switch, inverter remote control, 2 Lifeline AGM batteries, and a smart charger (DIY project- massive!), changed to a composting toilet from Nature’s Head, removed the dinette and decreased the size of the side bench.
How long have you been an Airstream owner and how did it come to be?
When we decided to go full time in august of 2014 we considered all forms of motorhomes and trailers as a “home”. It’s a vital part of full timing- you have to love what you live in. How big, how much does it weigh, diesel vs gas, class A, B, C, fifth wheel, travel trailer, toy hauler, tow vehicle, toads, how much do we want to spend, how much storage do we need????…..the choices were endless! We visited several RV dealers and toured numerous units but felt unsettled. None felt right or good. We considered aborting the plan.
As a last ditch effort, we went to a dealer to look at fifth wheels again. The showroom floor was full of brand new Airstreams. I stepped into the International Serenity 27fb model, and all the puzzle pieces came together. Doug joined me and his eyes said the same. We’d found our home. Now we needed to find a used one.
After searching the internet for 3 months, we found the perfect match….in Florida! We were living in St Louis, Missouri. Doug’s parents snowbird in Florida, and it just so happened the RV dealer was 20 miles from their Florida residence. They checked it out for us, gave us the thumbs up, and we made the purchase.
We drove to Florida and picked it up April of 2015.
What are your favorite Airstream Brands products?
How long have you been on the road? Pros/Cons of the lifestyle/greatest tips for those aspiring to become full-timers.
We launched Sept 12, 2015. Our best advice for aspiring full-timers: 1) DO IT!! 2) have a good idea of what it will cost to travel full-time, and be realistic: if you like shopping at Whole Foods and drinking expensive beers, that’s not likely to change on the road. At least it hasn’t for us. :)
Pros: freedom, adventure, exploration, simplifying, and the biggest surprise of all: the friendships that come from meeting other full-timers on the road. Cons: limited resources (limited water, electricity, data!!), laundry, running a business while on the go
What’s the hardest thing about living on the road?
Constantly moving your house can be taxing. I’m not talking about the actual hook-up and towing, that’s the easy part! We spend hours online planning our next move: researching boondock sites, campgrounds, weather (it all revolves around the weather!), road routes, small towns, big cities, nearby recreational activities, microbreweries, cell signal and data availability, restaurants, grocery stores, dog rules, etc. I have 13 specific apps on my phone just for planning! Our average length of stay in one place is 3 nights, so we move a lot.
Where's your favorite place(s) to camp?
We love the freedom of dry camping in national forests or BLM lands. And who doesn’t love free camping?!? Our favorite spots to date are Forest Rd 688 near Grand Canyon, AZ, Angel Valley (BLM) near Sedona, AZ and Antelope Flats near Tetons NP, WY.
What’s the most important tip you can provide to someone that wants to own an Airstream? (Dreamer)
Carefully consider the cost/benefit/time ratios of restoring an airstream vs buying a newer one.
What’s the most important tip you can provide to someone that owns an Airstream? (Streamer)
Realize you are bouncing your house down the road! Every single item on board, from electrical wires and connections, screws, pipes, rivets, batteries, furniture, refrigerator, faucets, monitoring systems, tanks all jostle and possibly break. Also, upgrade the rims and tires to 16 inch.
What are your must haves for your Airstream?
Solar power, adequate power storage (batteries), gooseneck and electric kettles, manual coffee bean grinder, Aeropress and pour-over coffee makers, Vitamix blender, Ortega juicer, 4 inch mattress topper, electric and propane heaters, cell signal booster, Andersen Levelers, adhesive hooks, pizza stone, cast iron soup pot, 5 gallon water jug, composting toilet, weather station, wireless battery powered speakers, LED lights.