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Old 01-31-2016, 06:19 PM   #1
Newbie -- 1981 280 MoHo
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Minneapolis/St. Paul , Minnesota
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 268
Airstream Motorhome Instructional Videos???

I'm obviously brand new to RVing, Airstreams, and these beautiful Airstream motorhomes.

Besides getting my 1981 280 fixed up and tuned up, once it's running well, I have to know what I'm doing in it when I actually hit the road. :-)

So I'm wondering if there are some really great and helpful videos available online or elsewhere that teach and explain where everything is, what it is, and what I need to do with it, to do well on the road, as well as not screw everything up?

I'd love to see any that relate to the AS classic motorhomes, but I assume a lot of Airstream trailer instructional videos would be helpful to me even if it's not a motorhome.

Where should this clueless beginner start?

Thanks so much in advance!

"The Aluminum Falcon"
1981 Airstream 280 (28') Motorhome
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:20 PM   #2
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1936 20' Clipper
1947 22' Liner
Curtis Wright
1989 37' Airstream 370
marshfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 695

Just get in it and drive it. Watch your turning radius, and maybe keep a spotter in your mirror when you have to back it up at first. Otherwise, just do a lot of camping in the driveway and figure it out piece by piece. Basically, its half truck, and half house. Hopefully it came with a manual. Crawl under it and see what's there. You won't figure it out all at once. There are several systems to sort out. Take them on one at a time, and it will eventually all make sense; kind of. When you run into something that you can't figure out, just post your question, and there are a bunch of really knowledgable folks here that will be able to answer it.
These old things are best understood through hands on experience rather than books or videos. You have to develop a personal working relationship with your new pride and joy in order to savor the many precious moments you will share together in the future.

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Old 02-02-2016, 11:16 AM   #3
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,934
X2 what Streamquest says. One thing to realize is that the coach systems are the same as any other motorhome for the most part. So when searching for systems related issues you can glean information from about any brand of motorhome. The propane, electrical, appliances etc are all pretty much industry standard. You will find that locations of various items like your converter, 12v and 120v panels, water pump, etc etc may/will be unique to your year and model....even then, two coaches coming off the line will have the possibility of being unique to that coach. Best thing is to dig in and go through your systems one by one and the picture will become more clear as you go.
The chassis however is a chevy p-30 series and we all face similar issues. Continue to post here in the classic motorhome thread and ask questions as you go. There is always someone ready with help and info. Dont get too freaked out about anything you come across, chances are SOMEONE here has dealt with it. Youll be fine. Just smile and open up your checkbook. Youll also need to get in the habit of offerring regular sacrifices to the Airstream Gods.....they are watching.....always.......watching.......

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Old 02-04-2016, 10:23 AM   #4
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,374
Images: 1
My personal fav is this gem...
I think when you watch it and begin to grasp how it was built, it is your foundation of understanding.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:50 AM   #5
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Sausalito , California
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 366
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Smile Love that video!

Keyair, that's a great find. Thanks so much for sharing it here. For some reason, it's never occurred to me to do a search for videos about these coaches. I guess I think of them as having been built too long ago.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:11 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Franklin Park , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 96
New to me 2

I've had our 345 for almost a year now and I've learned a LOT
One of my first "dha" moments when I couldn't figure out why the rear AC and microwave wouldn't work I tried tracing wires and circuits and searched the forums, that's when I found out about the "Slector switch" hiding behind a closed upper cabinet!
Boy did feel stupid! After replacing all the covers on the fuse panels some outlets & both AC units I chalked it up to "live and learn" and "the only stupid question is the in asked one"
I have since rebuilt serviced and cleaned both LP heaters, added LED market lights, had a blow out on the road and then installed a Tire monitor system, had a trans rebuilt (housing had a large crack in it) replaced a bad front suspension air bag, replaced that ever so cool chrome horn on top, new toilet, rebuilt / reinforced the back Bed in the bed room, added a front end "steer right" stabilizer, and a few other things
This forum has been a HUGE help and if weren't for the Internet and Google I'd given up on my first week
My new wife and I have also gone to a few airstream camping get to gathers
I love looking at and seeing what others have done to their airstreams
The only draw-back is the "classic airstream motor home" is a rare bird and so far I've been the only at these events.
The motor home and the trailers basically the same, except for the front end, motor, trans, gauges, dash, drive axle, tag axle, air suspension, tires, leveling jack system... Well ya get my point
But yes, camp in your back yard a few times and go out and enjoy it!
Oh and make sure the car passing you on the road IS waving or giving you the "thumb's up" and NOT pointing at your open outer compartment door or something that's about to fall off!
For the record, (even though mine has a crack in it, and it's a $700 fix) I love looking through that huge windshield!
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Old 02-05-2016, 01:54 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Morton , Illinois
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 41
3X the advise to 'camp in your drive' - We've had our '94 360 for almost two years now, and learn something new all the time. Ditto on open checkbook. As I type this, I'm trying to remember the sequence to de-winterize, including the three, yes three, valves on the water heater. Sigh. Ours is on a Spartan chassis. We were delighted to find out that Spartan offers owner classes that were still relevant to our coach. We learned a lot about maintenance, found a little work that needed done ($$$) and the class even included driving lessons. Maybe you could find that for your coach. This forum has been really helpful, also.

We are Dreamin' of Streamin' - enjoy!
Connie n Bruce
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:07 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
Lindsay , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 332
Images: 3
Looks like 2 more candidates for the Classic Motor Home Spring Get together in May 13to 15 at Pennwood Park PA. come on guys join us
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:37 PM   #9
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,374
Images: 1
Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
Keyair, that's a great find. Thanks so much for sharing it here. For some reason, it's never occurred to me to do a search for videos about these coaches. I guess I think of them as having been built too long ago.
I have probably watched that 50 times and see something new and interesting every single time...
Today it was the Original, Factory parking position for the Drivers side wiper arm!
Seems so stupid until you are in a position of wondering why the wiper hits the center divider, or doesnt sweep your field of vision as you hoped!
In Tap's case, when he replaces his wiper arms after the new glass is in... he will know!
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:30 AM   #10
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Center Moriches , New York
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 126
Mark Polk runs He has numerous training videos on DVD. I was able to get many of them from my local library system. I purchased others ($10 ~25 / DVD). YouTube is another great source of training videos. "GoneWithTheWynns" and "RVGeeks" both have excellent videos on YouTube. If you're new to RVing (or experienced but would like a "refresher") find and attend an RV Boot Camp. Escapees RV Club runs an EXCELLENT one. Other groups also offer Boot Camps. Mistakes made with RVs are often costly and, sometimes dangerous. The time and money you spend attending a Boot Camp WILL be well spent and, you'll be a safer, more knowledgeable RVer.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:37 AM   #11
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
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the motor home is really an Airstream trailer mounted on the truck chassis. understanding that you have two sets of systems to deal with. both require different maintainance.

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