Thursday, May 1, 2008

Portable hunting cabin

Tired of motels and cafe food. Don't want to camp out when I'm bird hunting.

I like a kitchen, a shower, a bed, and a head. On the other hand, I'm not into microwaves and satellite TV, or carpeted floors where the muddy dogs are sleeping. After a very brief and not very intensive search, I just bought a 24' Airstream Argosy trailer. It will be making the trips with me this Summer and Fall. 

Meanwhile, in my quest for technical information, I have stumbled into the Airstream community of aluminum heads. Very helpful people, but I find it positively bizzare how people can obsess over things like original cabinets and linoleum (really!). I already know more than is good for me.

So when I get a better 12V power system, buy a generator, and put in brighter light bulbs, I'll be fine with just using it... though I might like to swap out the faux-hardwood floor for Pirelli industrial rubber flooring and add a rock guard for the front windows.


Andrew Campbell said...

I guess Airstreams are no more weird to get slightly obsessed with than bird dog pedigrees or old side-by-sides. Having said that, I happened to be in western MA one summer when an Airstream drive-in convention took place. It was like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with several hundred of these aluminum pods parked all over the place.

Nice rig. Have fun.


Jimmy Neutron said...

Good stuff Mike. We've been in the market for a medium TT for a while for family adventures as well as hunting/fishing trips. Other than Airstream, I can't find a maker that produces decent quality in anything much less than 30 feet. Most other makers seem to use pretty flimsy stuff in there smaller units. I've started perusing the various spots for used units as Airstream seems awfully proud of their new units...

TT plans are on a 1 yr slide do to my current scenario so I look forward to updates on how this works out for you.

What are you going to use to pull it? When I started this research, I was appalled at the lack of tow/haul capability of a standard 1/2 ton truck. Even the little foothills out west of King City put a decent strain on the engine while pulling a simple pop-up.

Mike Spies said...

decided to get a trailer after I stayed in Pete Houser's 22' trailer in Montana last season. I wasn't looking for anything fancy, but wanted one that I could use without putting a lot of money and effort into to get going. I may also find that I want to make shanges, but 22' to 24' feet seems like the best compromise between towability and accomodations for two and some dogs. I will immediately buy a generator to power lights and charge the batteries. I will also install two 300 AH 6V marine batteries and a marine charger.

For now I intend to pull the trailer with my Ford Expedition with the 5.4L Triton engine. Next Spring, I expect that GM will have the much discussed 4.5L Duramax diesel in the 1/2 ton trucks, and I am planning on a double cab short bed 4X4 truck. The claim for this advanced common rail turbodiesel is 525 lbs./ft. of torque and fuel economy in the mid twenties. I expect the Expedition to get around 10-11 MPG towing, and the GM about 20 - 21 MG.

The '24 ft. Airstream Argosy weighs 3500 dry. Loaded for a trip, GVW will be about 6500. The Ford is rated for 8500 GVW. I will use an equalizing hitch.

There are more Airstreams available used in VA, FL and the East Coast in general. Expect to pay $5000 to $20,000 depending on age and condition. I paid less than $10K for this clean '77 model.

vanckirby said...

really enjoy your blog and was wondering if i could add it to my link sat fladuckdays?

Mike Spies said...

Post your link and let's have a look?


vanckirby said...

well my blog is

but i was wondering if i could add your blog to my links

Mike Spies said...

Sure! I like your fishing photos. I have only fished redfish a few times (out of Port Mansfield, TX) but catching these fish on the Laguna Madre flats was a thrill - almost as good as the country itself. Thanks.


vanckirby said...

great! i will add you now.

GSP-Reprezent said...

Clean looking airstream. We do some upland hunting out my Dad's thirty one footer. They are classics, really comfortable.
Good luck with your new project.