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Old 03-03-2019, 03:42 PM   #29
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2004 28' International CCD
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Big thanks to everyone who has replied. All your advice and encouragement are much appreciated. It's nice to know there's such a helpful and supportive community. The deal fell through, after all, but we'll find the right one before long. In the meantime, we can start practicing!
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:55 PM   #30
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If the deal fell through, it wasn't meant for you, my Dad always said. The right one will come along, so don't be pushed to buy. Lots of good units out there!!
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:00 PM   #31
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I say tow it home. You are going to have to learn sometime...
That said, use common sense. Towing in a crowded city during rush hour is tougher than towing on the open interstate. Pick your times.
When stopping for the night, ask for a pull through site. Have a spotter. When stopping for gas, pick a big, wide open gas station if available, and plan how you will get out. Know your height - look up!
Enjoy the trip.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:11 PM   #32
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tow yourself. plan 3 short days to make it easier. take main roadways or interstate if you can. plan where to stop for fuel and overnight. you can look up gas on many apps and then look up the stations on google maps to see what is the best way in or out.
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:22 PM   #33
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I suggest you buy the Equalizer brand weight distribution system with built-in sway control. This is especially important with a half ton truck towing a larger trailer. Hitch head angle adjustment and bar weight choice are important. You can go to Equalizerhitch.com and configure the correct hitch for your trailer and truck.

There are less expensive options available but this is one of the most important investments that you will make. Many Airstream dealers tend to offer cheaper and ultimately less capable systems. I'm confident that you'll be happiest with Equalizer and that it will give you peace of mind in most conditions.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:50 AM   #34
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2015 28' Flying Cloud
Cumming , Georgia
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First time towing

TAKE IT SLOW, 62 mph. I10 huh! Bad road for towing
across LA. Use US Hwy 84 if convenient.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:54 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runtime View Post
Big thanks to everyone who has replied. All your advice and encouragement are much appreciated. It's nice to know there's such a helpful and supportive community. The deal fell through, after all, but we'll find the right one before long. In the meantime, we can start practicing!
If you get a chance, I'd take Ian up on his offer (post #19), so you'll be prepared for when a deal does go through!

Best of luck!
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:49 AM   #36
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first time towing

We picked up our AS in Ohio and drove to Va. Beach. The last thing the dealer told us was don't forget to fold up the steps. Of course after our first stop we hit the road and forgot about the steps. When we came upon some highway construction work our steps met one of the plastic barrels and the barrel won. Our first lesson cost us some new steps for $100. Not bad for starters.
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:56 AM   #37
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Hey Runtime welcome to the family. I tow a 33 with the F150, you'll be fine. All the previous advice is spot on, don't speed, leave plenty of room for stopping, and physically check stuff like tire pressure and lights etc.
When I first started pulling this big silver tube around I used to watch my mirrors a lot to see what the AS was doing. It took my attention off what was in front of me and I tended to correct my driving based on the position of the camper. That made my driving a little erratic. Drive the truck, not the camper. Your AS is going to be locked in with your truck and it's going to go exactly where the truck takes it. Focusing on the road ahead and staying around 65mph makes for a very comfortable towing experience.

That said, DO use your mirrors and watch the position of your wheels when turning in towns and gas stations.
I have a Hennsley hitch and I can tell you as far as cross winds go we have no anxiety over the big trucks on the highway, and that's a big deal crossing Texas(yup, done that trip).
Enjoy your new AS, and come back here often, this forum is an encyclopedia of AS knowledge.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:55 AM   #38
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We bought our FC 27 at Colonial Airstream in New Jersey and drove it back home to metro DC with our almost new GMV 1/2 ton pickup (rated at 1940 lbs. cargo capacity). I had prior experience driving trucks, but not truck-trailer combinations. They are quite expensive, but Pro Pride hitches really do eliminate trailer sway. We bought one and had it shipped directly to Colonial, who put it on and set it up. Not to duplicate others' suggestions. As others have suggested, make your first day very short. That way, you're not in a hurry to leave and have plenty of time to inspect everything and ask questions. We had identified a state park in New Jersey, so our first day was very short.

Having just returned in December from our second cross-country and back trip, this time through west Texas (Big Bend, Marathon, Uvalde), I know that speed limits are much higher there than here in the East. You really shouldn't drive much faster than 55-60 until you have some miles under your belt, regardless of the capabilities of your trailer's tires. (Until recently, new Airstreams were equipped at the factory with Goodyear "Marathon" tires that were maximum speed rated at 65, as some owners found out to their sorrow. Goodyear has discontinued that tire; the new tire may be good for higher speed.) With speed limits in West Texas often well over 70 mph, toodling along at 55 may be a little nerve-racking.

Gas stations will be your #1 "navigation" issue, not backing your trailer into a campsite. Many stations have their pumps perpendicular to the roadway, so the problem you will have is getting your truck close enough to the pump for the hose to reach without crunching your trailer on that side (remember, as others have said, when turning, the trailer follows a curve inside the curve made by the tow vehicle. In a typical station, where there are two pumps in line, you may reach the first pump fine (i.e. close enough for the hose to reach your truck's fill), but if you continue forward on the same path (either to leave the station or to reach the second pump) your trailer will hit the metal posts that protect the pump. You may find that reversing is the only way out. If so, have your co-pilot get out and help you maneuver and warn other drivers. Even worse are those stations where the pumps are lined up perpendicular to the roadway that also have a building (store) at the end of the pump row. So, if you are leaving the pump and going forward, you have to be able to make a turn (usually to the left) that both avoids the cars parked against the building and doesn't hit your trailer against the pump guard posts.

So, before you pull into a gas station, analyze the situation very carefully and figure out how you're going to get out.

AFAIAC, this is the number one problem that folks pulling a trailer have to deal with, not backing into a campsite. Typically, backing in can be done if you just take your time and have a spotter. Other than rubberneckers and other "helpful" people (who may or may not be helpful), that's all you have to deal with. At gas stations, there may be other people around who are not helpful, who get impatient with you and so on. You will, naturally, feel some pressure to get out of there in a hurry, which, under these circumstances, is counter productive.

Just be patient with yourself. After a while, you will be able to analyze and solve just about any situation you encounter.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:31 PM   #39
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One other thought, if you buy your Airstream from a dealer, is get them to take you out for a test drive, at your time of purchase. They can tell if it's towing properly, and probably know of some big parking area where you can practice backing up.

Then unless you travel solo, learn to work with your trusty spouse/partner/navigator so that s/he can help you from a safe point behind you. For a long trailer, some folks use walkie talkies.

Agreed with DC Bruce on gas stations. Some of the old ones in small towns are tricky, but you can often plan ahead with your choice of gas stations.

And just don't be afraid to ask for help from a fellow RVer. Most of them are super helpful. You may feel embarrassed, but you'll make him feel like a hero, and you'll get into your site that much easier.

On another thread once, someone had a super idea, for anyone who truly gets into a pickle in too tight a spot: just phone the local police. They can block a road, direct traffic, &c to get you on your way.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:08 PM   #40
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You have to tow it sooner or later. Have the dealer set up your hitch and mirrors and just take it easy until you get the feel for it. You’ll be fine.
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Old 03-10-2019, 03:32 PM   #41
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First timer- Long trip

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We're about ready to buy our first trailer (28'), and neither of us has any experience with towing. The trip from the seller to home will be about 1,000 miles. Debating whether to have it delivered or drive it back ourselves. We've done our research and know the mechanics of towing on paper, will have a sway bar and towing mirrors of course. Appreciate any feedback.
About two years ago I rented a 25’ AS in took it for a long ride to Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and over the Grand Titons. I had a 15 min. crash course in a parking lot and was ready to go. I had a blast and returned the AS without a scratch! Call it beginners luck! Haha.
I did go on YouTube and watched some basic towing skills videos. That worked for me! Just have some confidence and take it slow.
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:21 PM   #42
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That first trip will stay in your memory for a long time and we all remember it. So as seen take your time, don’t be in a hurry and stop often and enjoy it. Stay away from the interstates especially I 10 where 18 wheelers want to blow you off the road and cars speed around you. As said make sure you have your sway control set properly and you will soon forget the trailer is back there, which actually you don’t want to do. My first trip was bringing my 72 Safari from Orlando to Houston. There was no sway control on it and I thought , “well it never has had sway control in it so I guess it doesn’t need it.” wrong on that. I bought it the day after getting it home and it makes things nice.
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