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Old 02-20-2007, 08:08 PM   #1
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Carting home a classic

For those of you who were wondering about the Airstream 310 that was on eBay a month or so ago and listed as Buy-It now or make offer, well we made an offer and the seller accepted The MH was located in Savannah GA and we live in Jefferson AR so we had to make plans to get out there to pick it up and drive it home. We finally managed to accomplish that task this past weekend.

While the trip wasn't quite as painful or exciting as tn2 experienced, it was not exactly uneventful

Since the MH came with a nice Falcon tow bar we decided to install the appropriate mounts on our 94 Honda and drive to Savannah and then tow the Honda back. The original plans called for us to drive down to Savannah on Friday, stay in the MH Friday night at a local campground and meet again with the seller Saturday morning to go over the MH in detail and then have a leisurely trip home.

We had an hour or so with the seller on Friday after we picked it up and he went over some of the details about the MH with us. We left the storage location with my wife Susan in the lead around dusk and headed to the local gas station about a mile down the road. She noticed that the one headlight that was on went out. While filling up with gas we checked the headlights and none of them would work. At this point I didn't know if it was a wiring issue or bad lights. I couldn't believe that 4 bulbs could be bad so I assumed the worst. I played with the spot/flood light a little and couldn't get it to work either so that option was out.

Fortunately the campground was only a couple more miles down the road so with Susan in the lead with flashers going I followed her to the campground. The sign at the entrance said campground was full unless you had reservations (which we didn't have!). Late arrivals were to stop at campsite #3 to check in with the host. Susan decided to check with the host anyway and I'm glad she did because they ended up having 3 no shows for the night. So we at least had a place to stay for the night.

First thing we noticed after getting to the campground was the coach lights didn't work even though they did when we first picked up the MH. Also we knew beforehand that the propane tank was virtually empty so using the furnace was out of the question. I played around with the wiring by the converter and found a loose connection that would allow the coach lights to come on and stay on. We had brought a little electric heater with us and used that to keep us warm the first night. The next morning I determined that the only problem with the headlights was all 4 bulbs were broken and/or burned up. Also I found out much to my chagrin the spot/flood light works just fine with the ignition turned on! After meeting with the seller to wrap up the final details we headed out to a local auto parts store for some headlights and a few other odds and ends.

Got the bulbs installed and they worked just fine. We then headed to an RV dealer/store to get the propane tank filled and do a little shopping. We bought a new converter because I found the original unit was not putting out enough voltage. Ok, now we're ready to head home!

We got to just south of Atlanta that evening and decided to stop for the night at a local Wal-Mart. After stopping we found out that the coach lights again no longer worked. After an hour or so of looking at everything I finally found a loose connection on the coach batteries ground cable. While under the MH I checked the left inner dually the seller had warned us about and found that not only was it flat but the bead had broken loose from the rim. I had brought all of the tools needed to change a tire including electric impact wrench, hydraulic jack and jack stand. The key here was being able to start the generator so I could use the impact wrench. So we went to bed Saturday night with the furnace going (because we had coach power and propane!) and feeling pretty good about the situation. Woke up around 3 am with the temperature down around 45 degrees and the furnace running slowly. Turns out the coach batteries were drained and didn't have enough juice to keep the burner ignited. Couldn't get the generator to start so we ended up with no heat the rest of the night. It got down to 38 degrees inside the coach by morning

The next morning Susan and I talked it over and decided since we were sitting in a Wal-Mart parking lot to bite the bullet and buy 2 new coach batteries. After installing the batteries we finally had heat again! I tried to start the generator again and had no luck. Even with priming it just didn't seem to want to start. I resigned myself to use the breaker bar to try to break the lug nuts loose. While getting set up I asked Susan if our RV Road Help service would come out and change tires for us. So while I'm getting set up Susan calls and finds out that yes they will come and change the tire! An hour and a half later we're back on the road. I'm happy to say the rest of the day was uneventful. We even tried to start the generator again and with the temperature up around 55 degrees just west of Birmingham the generator started and sounded really good. Got to thinking about it later and I have a feeling what is wrong is the choke is not working so in cold weather it doesn't want to start. Fortunately Sunday night was uneventful as was the rest of the trip home.

Needless to say we're both thrilled with our new MH and looking forward to having a lot of fun in it.

I do have a lot of questions and will be seeking advice from the forum.

Brad & Susan
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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Brad & Susan,
Thanks for sharing your first trip with us, and glad you made it home safely. With your attitude I'm confident you will have your unit in traveling shape in no time. Don't worry about getting it perfect before using it. Just get roadworthy to best of your knowledge, and then fix other things you uncover while getting better acquainted in the campground. I'm still finding a few things with every trip, but they are getting more minor all the time. Best of luck to you and congratulations on your find.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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Congrats! What a great story. You guys are brave to make such a long trip on the first night. I am so glad it all turned out alright. I am sure it will get even better everytime.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:48 PM   #4
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This is wife Susan--I have to say one thing about our trip: I have NEVER been afraid to drive anything anywhere EVER. But when Brad tried to hand the wheel off to me on the last leg of our trip, east to west on I-40 from Memphis to Little Rock in an EXTREMELY strong side wind, I pulled over at the next exit and let him have it back. NOT the time for me to get the first feel of driving our new baby (which happens to really, really, really need bell crank and steering stabilizer replacement)!!! Brad toughed it out admirably and we got home safely, although the rumble strip sounds are still humming through my head...
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:59 PM   #5
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Brad and Susan

It's always good when there's a bit of adventure to your new purchase but nothing that's life or health threatening, or hugely expensive. It makes for great stories around the campfire and even here on the forum when you can relate all the things that happened and your ability to just deal with them.

Pictures would be good. And congratulations on your acquisition and on getting that puppy home.

Barry
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:08 PM   #6
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Yes pictures! Pictures!
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:37 PM   #7
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Congratulations!!!

You are going to have so much fun!! We are currently working at refurbishing our 310 that we picked up last September. The sofa and chairs are reupholstered, and I am busy finishing up the curtains, padded storage doors and other soft goods. It is amazing how the "old" smells have vanished with the fabric and foam. We had planned to carpet, but are taking the advice of so many others and going with a solid surface. We are getting a floating cork floor from iFloor and will install it ourselves. (I plan to look for area carpet for the bedroom and living room.)

We replaced a tie rod end, idler arm and bell cranks which came from Super Steer online. They have vastly improved the steering for us. Last week, the Gear Vendors arrived which we think will give us better mileage and more gears for hills. Dick is still trouble shooting the genset which runs too rich. He got some great advice on the forums. The mechanical work will have to wait for balmier weather (we are in Iowa). In April we take "Ernestine" to P&S Trailer in Ohio to have her "spa" treatment and then a pilgrimage to Jackson Center.

What configuration is your unit? (We have the rear twin) Please do post pictures. The forum is like a big family and we always want to see photos of the new arrivals. It is remarkable how helpful everyone is and how well moderated.

Oh, and Susan, I admire your attempt at driving so soon! I haven't even driven a truck, so I will wait until all mechanical aspects are in prime order before my "lessons". That works our fine though. My husband has so much fun driving, I'd hate to steal the joy.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:38 AM   #8
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Pictures!

Wow, thanks for all of the good wishes! We are very happy with it. We do have the rear twin configuration, but hope to change it to a queen in the future. Here are some pictures--the first one is at the Fort McAllister campground near Savannah, GA (gorgeous place!!), and the second one is at one of our usual "camping" spots. The last three are from the auction.

(Edit: Okay, still learning how to do pictures!)

Susan


http://www.airforums.com/forum...1&d=1172058755

http://www.airforums.com/forum...1&d=1172058755

http://www.airforums.com/forum...1&d=1172058755

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Old 02-21-2007, 07:03 AM   #9
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Congratulations...on buying your 310 and getting it home. Let the fun begin. It looks to be almost all original. Remind me again how many miles are on it please.
Have you checked the DOT on those tires for age? Let us know who the progress goes. Hope to see you on the road soon.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:08 AM   #10
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It's gorgeous! Does he/she have a name?
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #11
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Thanks for the baby pictures!

She is really a find. You are so fortunate to find such a pristine interior!! I keep telling myself that all of my sewing puts that personal touch on Ernestine. It has certainly been a way to maintain the excitement while we wait for our first real camping season. There was some interest in a moho get-together this year. It would be fun to meet you. Our spring/summer is filling up, but we haven't looked to fall yet. Maybe a "leaf peep" would gather some interest.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:03 AM   #12
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Nice find! One day I may start looking for a MoHo to park next to the Globetrotter.
Looks like you have a keeper, Congrats!
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:26 AM   #13
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Ah yes, the "change the twins to a double" routine. We turned our trailer from a double to twins. We just found that when camping, with differing sleep and washroom patterns, the twins worked pretty darned good. Mind you, I did set it up so it could be turned into a double, going side to side versus front to back for the twins, in a couple of minutes.

You MoHo looks to be in pretty decent shape. As always there will be things that you will need or want to change but it is sure nice to start with an already decent unit when you can find one. I've done it both ways with a core that needed everything to one that needed mostly an interior and both are fun, but one gets you camping a lot sooner than the other.

Barry
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:57 AM   #14
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We were very lucky in that the PO had to replace the engine in 1999 and did so with a crate 454 with the Banks Power Pack (only 16,000 miles on it), plus replaced the fridge 5 years ago, replaced the front air bags, and redid the carpet and upholstery.

I am still tickled that a 1984 RV came with an icemaker!

We are calling him "Al" (hardly unusual, I am sure, but seems to fit). I also like "The Wonder Weenie" but have not run that one by Brad yet...

And yes, I am sure your sewing definitely puts a personal touch on Ernestine! Do you have pics around somewhere?

Susan
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