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Old 09-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #1
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1988 32.5' Airstream 325
Mount Vernon , Iowa
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 7
Driving Tips, '89 325

Flying out tomorrow to bring the old sweetheart home! Already have Emergency Roadside on my insurance and it sounds like this little sweetheart is road ready...for my sake it better be!

Any last minute driving tips? I'm bringing her home to Iowa from West Virginia, about a 14 hour drive over two days. Any help is appreciated!
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Don't feel odd...
I flew to get mine from CA to KS, and drove it 1600 wonderful and interesting miles with 4 overnights.

Cellphone, charger, GPS, Insurance Card, and a Camera and Laptop was on my list.

It takes a few miles to get the hang of the way they drive.
Looking in the mirror to see 30' of interior is kinda odd too!
The brakes need some respect untill you get the hang of them and learn to know/trust.
Watch out for crosswinds, and road camber changes, as they tend to wander..

On any stop, take a walk around and look at your tires, and under for drips or leaks, use your nose too.

Check all your fluids and tires before you leave and every morning. This will give you peace of mind, and allow you to track any leaks of usage..

Relax, enjoy the drive and watch out for being stared at and waved at!

I cant wait for a report and how you feel when you realize you own one!
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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Topanga , California
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I picked up my 1988 32S in Lousiana I live in California. I'd say tires are number one concern (are they older than 5 years?) fill them up to to their maximum pressure. If you hit hot weateher keep an eye on them. Wheel bearings are always a concern and I would reomend a sway bar. Never had my trailer sway but you never know what migh triger it. I'm sure this won't happed to you but my fresh water tank ripped out the bottom of the trailer. Good luck Cris
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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I've had a Full-Timer RV friend of mine send me these suggestions before purchasing my '89 345LE. "On RVs tires can look good, have very few miles on them, & still be at the end of their life expectancy. The last 4 digits in the DOT number designate the week & year of manufacture. 2209 means the 22nd week of 2009 for example." My only suggestion is to be sure to look at this stamping on the sidewall of the RV tire. If tires are older than 5-7 years, I truly think I'd be looking for replacements before your long trip back home. First and foremost, be sure that ALL tires have the proper inflation pressure. Steve (KeyAir) suggestions certainly apply as well. Mine isn't moving until I find the source of gasoline odor.
But, best of all, welcome to the Airstream Forum, and be certain to keep us posted on your progress on your way home, and with the progress of your Airstream ownership.
Thanks, Derek
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:38 AM   #5
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1989 37' Airstream 370
marshfield , Massachusetts
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Welcome to the party!

All good suggestions above. Remember, it's a lot longer/wider than what that you may be accustomed to driving. If you have to back it up at all, don't feel too foolish about getting out and having a good look at exactly what's behind you. Watch your turns, and keep them wide. There could be nothing worse than putting a big crease in your new toy on day one. You'll get the hang of it in no time.

Most importantly, be prepared for the "silly grin" that will very quickly appear on your face. We'll all understand it, but passing motorists may think you're a little strange. Have a blast, take your time, and enjoy the ride.

The maiden voyage only happens once. Follow Keyair's advice, and take lots of pictures. We'll all want to see them.

Charly.
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Old 09-17-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Yes, that maiden voyage is very special!
I took lots of Pics, but now looking back I wish I had taken more!
There were several moments that I missed because I was driving, but we did 2 overnight stops that I didnt record at all...
Just for fun, here is one of those special moments that I just grabbed and have a grin everytime I think about it...
On a B mountain road in NM, we stopped at a back country gas station/store for supplies. As I came out a fierce gust of wind sent a Dust Devil twirling thru...
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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It'll feel kinda weird to be driving while sitting over the front tire, and you will find you might tend to drive over to the right a bit more, but if you use your outside rear view mirrors, you will learn to correct that. Actually, use those mirrors a LOT, but don't forget...they may not pick up low branches or overhangs...start a checklist for pre-departure...add to it, and USE it religiously(things like: are the steps up, jacks up, outside drawers fastened, tow-vehicle hook-ups??? Just to name a few...we flew to Nashville from Austin, rented a car to Cookesville, and drove slowly back to Austin in our 'new' 345LE with toad...did a rapid learning curve coming through Dallas at evening rush hour in an endless construction area...just remember, the speed bumps will occur, but they'll also show up in your rear view mirror, and will later be a source of great stories and several laughs...mike
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:11 AM   #8
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Saint Petersburg , Florida
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@ Joel, first time behind the wheel of my Airstream Motorhome, I had someone following me home. He assured me that if there had been curbside mailboxes along the way, I would've taken each and every one of them out. As I drove the moho more, keeping an eye on your mirrors and seeing where the moho is placed between the lines on the road are important. At one point, I figured out that where the drivers side windshield wiper 'disappears' below the windshield, that's where the dashed line of the road should be, as far as being centered in the lane you're driving in.
Another suggestion. Don't be in any hurry. You've got over 14,000 pounds that you're driving, be aware that the motorhome WILL NOT react like your 3500 pound car. MUCH, MUCH larger turning radius, slower reaction to braking, and this beast will not take a curve 'like it's on rails'......
Enough of the warnings. Enjoy the ride home, love to see pix of your travels. My 'drive home' was only 3 1/2 miles, so not too many pix of the drive home.....
Thanks, Derek
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:27 AM   #9
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Well Joel, you must be home today if it went to plan!
Cant wait to hear and see how it went.
Still got that grin on ya face?
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