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Old 02-27-2019, 09:48 PM   #1
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About to make the investment.

Hello everyone! My girlfriend and I have decided that we are going to make the investment in a new 2019 Airstream Sport 16RB. To be honest we have butterflies making such a big purchase as a young couple, but we have done a lot of research and are really excited!

One of my main questions that I wanted to ask AS owners, is how they do on washboard dirt roads? I live in Idaho, and a lot of the dirt roads I am hoping to travel on are pretty bumpy. Will the vibrations rattle a lot of things loose?

Any other helpful information for the purchasing process is appreciated. Thank you! And I look forward to frequenting this website.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:09 PM   #2
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Washboard roads are hard on any vehicle, and probably extra hard on trailers, with Airstream being no exception.

That said, I've done it and there are strategies to manage it.

A good tow vehicle that has supple suspension will help. Preferably not a 3/4 or 1-ton truck that will beat up the trailer, even on road.

The same tried and trued strategy that has been used with off-road vehicle can be applied to the trailer. Air down to something ~50% of the on-road air pressure.

Upgrading to taller trailer tires to increase clearance and sidewall aspect ratio (taller sidewalls) can really help.

I have a built in on-board air compressor on my tow vehicle so I don't have to think twice about airing down the tow vehicle or trailer tires.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:55 PM   #3
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welcome to the forums, as pteck stated slow down and air down tires. i boondock and most roads are dirt/gravel.all mt single axle trailers bounced up and down more than my twin-axle trailers. go slow and enjoy! kurt
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:05 AM   #4
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Ok thank you for the information. Doesn't sound like it will be to much of a problem! I'm really excited to take it out for the first time, already have a list of campsites to hit this summer.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:11 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard....my wife and I are the same as you, in the process of acquisition. Our starts building March 13, so we understand what you're feeling!

Lots of info here although a PITA to find certain things......but have a good long look around and ask away, lots of helpful people here.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:32 AM   #6
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Look into a cushioned hitch ball extension - the hop of the tow vehicle rear axle transmitted down the hitch A-frame can fatigue structural fastening points over time - on vintage trailers the 3/4 & 1 ton tow vehicles can/will seek to separate the front of the shell shell from frame.

https://shockerhitch.com/

https://airsafehitches.com/receiver-hitch/

Whats a few sheared rivets, oh, think of all the enlarged 'give' downstream from the damage even after the missing/visibly loose rivets are replaced...

Yeah, there may be other brands, but if I had a late model trailer I'd be hitching my wagon to one of them.

And to misquote Andy - running gear imbalance can get telegraphed to focus 12, 15 feet or more from the axles as oscillations set in, damaging stanchion points, making black-ring rivets and loosening cabinets; it'd be the same for hammering frame/shell through exuberant wash-board road travel..
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #7
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BTW, the Sport trailers don’t have shock absorbers like the larger AS trailers.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
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I recommend you also get a set of Rock Tamers to avoid damage from rocks flying up from your rear tires.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wabbiteer View Post
Look into a cushioned hitch ball extension - the hop of the tow vehicle rear axle transmitted down the hitch A-frame can fatigue structural fastening points over time - on vintage trailers the 3/4 & 1 ton tow vehicles can/will seek to separate the front of the shell shell from frame.

https://shockerhitch.com/

https://airsafehitches.com/receiver-hitch/

Whats a few sheared rivets, oh, think of all the enlarged 'give' downstream from the damage even after the missing/visibly loose rivets are replaced...

Yeah, there may be other brands, but if I had a late model trailer I'd be hitching my wagon to one of them.

And to misquote Andy - running gear imbalance can get telegraphed to focus 12, 15 feet or more from the axles as oscillations set in, damaging stanchion points, making black-ring rivets and loosening cabinets; it'd be the same for hammering frame/shell through exuberant wash-board road travel..
Thank you! So for a 2019 Sport, do you think that getting the shocker hitch would make a significant difference?
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:04 AM   #10
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I forgot to mention that the Sport trailers also don't have segment protectors, which may be available at a significant cost.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James3344 View Post
Hello everyone! My girlfriend and I have decided that we are going to make the investment in a new 2019 Airstream Sport 16RB. To be honest we have butterflies making such a big purchase as a young couple, but we have done a lot of research and are really excited!

One of my main questions that I wanted to ask AS owners, is how they do on washboard dirt roads? I live in Idaho, and a lot of the dirt roads I am hoping to travel on are pretty bumpy. Will the vibrations rattle a lot of things loose?

Any other helpful information for the purchasing process is appreciated. Thank you! And I look forward to frequenting this website.

Buy a preowned unit if you can. The cost difference between new and even a year or two old is going to be significant. If I could go back in time to late 2003, I might have done just that.



There are some inherent issues with Airstream trailers and one that has been out there for at least a year will have some of the items shaken out and if for some reason the dreaded fillform corrosion issue is going to appear, it will have started in most cases within a year or two. In that year or two, you could be talking thousands of dollars that will not have evaporated out of your wallet.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:46 AM   #12
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Yeah the dealer said that the segment protectors run about $750 each! Ouch!

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good drop hitch brand? My hitch sits about an inch to high on my truck currently.
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Old 02-28-2019, 02:24 PM   #13
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After one destructive washboard encounter at 11 Mile SP in CO I have learned to avoid at all cost washboard roads with my 25FC. Doors under kitchen sink and bath sink pulled loose at hinges, microwave came very close to fully dislodging from the cabinet and loose drain plumbing under the sinks. No permanent damage fortunately but tightened every screw in the trailer and repaired those that pulled loose with glue and tooth picks. Paved roads are tough enough on these babies! ��
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James3344 View Post
Yeah the dealer said that the segment protectors run about $750 each! Ouch!

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good drop hitch brand? My hitch sits about an inch to high on my truck currently.
Etrailer..or amzon
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:56 PM   #15
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Ok, so maybe I will do my best to avoid bad washboard roads. But how about just dirt roads? As long as I take it slow and steady the 16' Sport will make it right?
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:37 PM   #16
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We do it..

There are plenty of us that take long dirt roads to where we want to be. Last spring, my first trip was 27 miles on dirt with washboards (each way). You just have to go slow. And fix hinges (that is a promise). I added 6 more screws to the microwave, others get rid of it entirely. Mirrors fall. Rivets pop. Shower doors need additional support, etc. The rattling takes a toll but nothing you can't fix or manage after each incident. My airstream provides me with accommodation in places where there isn't accomodation outside of tent sites. I bought it for that reason and its how I use it. And I'm not at all alone.


Good luck,
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:37 PM   #17
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Slow and steady is the trick.

Airing down tires make a huge world of difference to ride. Try it sometimes with your tow vehicle solo. Drive with normally inflated tires. Then try with them down to 18-20 psi.

Jarring to plush. The trailer will experience the same thing.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:55 PM   #18
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My first question is that your tag line says the trailer is an "investment"...Please rethink that. Trailers are luxury items that cost money..they don't offer financial return like an investment. Now investment in terms of return on enjoyment, fun, family time, my own potty that my buns like, etc. they are totally there.
Second thought is that from my experience here on the forum, and with my own trailer they are a bit of a Queen (or prince or princess some might say) who felt the pea under the mattress. Meaning they don't take hard roads well. So if you are wanting to go offroad or on BLM land maybe another brand would be a better solution for you?
I know some here do take them on BLM land regularly, but I also think they like to tinker and fix stuff so it is doable. If you aren't into the handyman fix it thing you may not be as happy as you want to be.

Just some hopefully helpful thoughts.
Good luck on your decision, and enjoy what you do chose to do.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:00 PM   #19
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Ok, so maybe I will do my best to avoid bad washboard roads. But how about just dirt roads? As long as I take it slow and steady the 16' Sport will make it right?
Yes, it is great trailer. Just keep your speed low and was previously mentioned try airing down.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:32 PM   #20
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Welcome Aboard!! 🥂👍

As noted above...Airstream as an 'investment' is a bit of an oxymoron, it's more like a payroll deduction. 😂

If you end up loving the lifestyle it should last a good while.

Bob
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