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Old 02-20-2014, 09:15 PM   #1
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1988 29' Airstream 290
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 32
Picking up my new 1988 Airstream 290 in a week

Hi Guys,

Next week I'm heading out to CO to pick up my new (to me) 1988 Airstream 290 Classic Motorhome. I've been reading this forum religiously the last few months trying to get up to speed, and I have my buddy (SebasSF) coming with me on the maiden voyage. Wanted to check with you guys to see what else I should be planning for on this trip? We've got 2 days to make the drive from CO back to SF (1000+ miles) so this is going to be a pretty major first drive experience.

The rig has been sitting for a few months in CO and was winterized prior to storage. I've had a good shop give the chassis an inspection and all major systems look good - good brakes, good tune, cold-start compression 130 +/-5 across the board. I'm putting on all new shocks and tires to and getting an alignment before the drive. I'm also working on building a roadside kit with tool and commonly-needed/hard-to-find-at-2AM-on-the-side-of-the-road-parts based on a few threads I've seen here.

Any recommendations/warnings/guidelines/driving tips/leak locations/etc welcome. I've got a lot to learn, but that's a big part of why I'm so excited to be getting a 25yr+ old motorhome.

Thanks for any help guys - appreciate it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:49 PM   #2
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 667
We flew in to Denver to pick up our supposedly road ready 310 four years ago. The trip to San Diego would have been smoother if anybody (me, or the several mechanics who looked at it) could have figured out that the ignition coil, located inside the HEI distributor, was failing. Have fun on the way, it's a beautiful drive.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:59 PM   #3
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Centennial , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I'm in Denver if you need any help. I check the forum daily. Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #4
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1988 29' Airstream 290
San Francisco , California
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Thanks Heirstream - appreciate the offer.

Waipio Rim - what were the symptoms of your failing HEI coil? It looks like a pretty inexpensive part, I'm thinking I might add one to my roadside kit.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:51 PM   #5
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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I would suggest you carry a full set of new belts, they are cheap and good insurance. Also, check your sockets and hand tools to make sure your carrying sockets and wrenches sized up to one inch, 7/8, 15/16, and 1". I have an 83 turbo diesel and my set only went to 3/4", ran into several things around the motor that needed larger sized tools. A long screw driver or pry bar is also handy. Im thinking about having to change out parts like the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, etc. while on the road back home. You'll need them eventually anyway!
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Good looking rig!!!
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:47 PM   #7
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Are you guys flying from home to pick up that stunning rig?
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:53 AM   #8
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1988 29' Airstream 290
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Thanks Mayco - I'm putting together a tool set and swinging by Napa before the drive and I'll definitely take your advice. We're flying into to CO Friday night and driving back via Las Vegas on Sat and Sun. Should be a good drive.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:17 PM   #9
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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MarshallSF, I did the same kind of thing when I bought mine.
My biggest issue was baggage weight.
I ended up stopping by a Sears in KS and picking up a Craftsman 250 piece tool set with case like this one...
I want to say it cost me about $160 on sale at that time, and now its my onboard tool kit, plus there is roof for extra tools and spares in the top lid.

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Old 02-22-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
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2000 31' Land Yacht
Central , Florida
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Double check what you have? Are you buying from original owner? If gas or diesel original motor? Genset matching fuel. Spare tire under frame and has air, tools to be able to remove wheel and mount it. Road service contract good sam or coachnet. If possible using flashlight and mirror you might be able to get number for belts. Spare fuel filters. Electric meter for trouble shooting and IR thermometer to check tire temps and motor if gauges not showing what you expected. You will know by your first fillup how much fuel you have and by the second how often you will have to stop. Pump in slow if it shuts off without showing full on the gauge. Fill the water tank enough so that you have a supply to camp anywhere.
Good Luck,
Dave
Don't forget to use same gear coming down as going up the mountain, brake fast and hard then put in lower gear if you forget.
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:16 AM   #11
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1991 30' Airstream 30
San Francisco , California
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Awesome trip, great friends, Click image for larger version

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ID:	206927and a great RV! 1200 miles and zero problems to speak of...congratulations Marshall.
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