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Old 02-16-2017, 07:09 PM   #1
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2017 16' Sport
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Picking up new Airstream what do I need to know?

Hello everyone--
I'm very excited to be picking up my 2017 16' Bambi Sport tomorrow. The salesman told me to allow 2-3 hours for our orientation session. I have never owned a travel trailer of any kind. I live on a 40-acre hobby farm and have pulled old trailers with goats and cows in them, but that's the extent of my experience. Anything I should be sure to ask about while I'm at the dealership? I'm a complete newbie. Thanks,
Elizabeth
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:14 PM   #2
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Congratulations and welcome!
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:29 PM   #3
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Congrats! I'd suggest a checklist like this one:

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/0...checklist.html
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:14 PM   #4
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Please don't take this the wrong way and I'm trust me I'm not being sexist, but learning the in's and out's of any new trailer or RV is daunting at best, terrifying at worst. Your Bambi may only be 16', but there's a lot cramed into that 16'. Your only concern at this appointment is not to fuff it up and damage something.

I remember when I bought my 1983 310 turbo diesel and the PO showed me all the systems, (at least the ones that worked) I missed critical information that should have had me asking questions but my brain was just overloaded with information trying to absorb it all. It was too much too fast.

So, would it be possible to take someone that is knowledgable about trailers, towing and preferably about Airstreams with you? Even if they don't know about Airstreams, having two heads to listen to what's being said will help, as sometimes when we're are thinking about a question we tend to miss new information. Also they would be another set of eyes to help you with towing your trailer home.

Yes, we all hope the dealer will be helpful and all knowing, but the check has cleared and in typical salesman fashion it's onward to the next conquest.....

If you can, record your interaction with a camcorder or smart phone as he/she shows you the trailer and how things work so you can watch later.

Watch You Tube videos on Airstream Bambi's before you go so you will understand most systems and have questions written before the showing. The less NEW information your brain has to process, the more new information is absorbed (at least that's what works for the lesser of the two genders; that's me).

Good luck and God speed
Cheers
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:39 PM   #5
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If you have never towed an RV trailer, it may take a bit longer to do the walk through.

The moisture meter suggested is to look for leaks. A conversation is worth having, but a new coach should be dry.

The majority of the list is appropriate. Opening all the compartments will help you get to know the coach. Ask how to winterize it and where the valves are located. Have them show you the fresh water pump. Note the mention of 50 amp is not correct. Your coach should have a 30 amp shore power connection and cable.

You should operate all the systems your self with their instruction. It's easy to think you understand, but if you do it you will learn more.

Have them show you how the propane valves work, the propane detector, and how to turn on and off the gas.

The heater and air conditioner control is difficult to program. Have them show you and practice it yourself. Understand how to set all the functions. Have them show you how to clear all programs and reset them.

Have them show you the 12 volt power battery switch and explain how it works.

Have them show you how to connect all the cables, hoses and drain lines.

Lower and extend the awning yourself with their instruction. Have them show you how to open the windows and discuss carefully opening them if they become stuck to the window seals.

Have them show you how to hook up the hitch and weight distribution if you plan to use one. Have them show you how to hookup and set the brake control.

If possible, have them go with you and demonstrate how to tow and stop your coach.

Spend some time viewing every video available for your coach on you-tube. There are good videos on dumping tanks and likely the features of your model that may provide you with more questions.

Ask the difference between your tanks and those on other coaches and how to use them. I believe the grey and black are combined, but have no direct experience, so ask.

Good luck. Hope to see you down the road. Pat
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:27 PM   #6
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More - develop your own checklists for each phase of towing - setup, loadout, departure, and on the road tire and brake checks. Always concentrate on your driving. Towing requires active driving. Also, you need a spotter if you are going to back up. Practice, ask questions, and never stop learning. If uncomfortable, slow down, stop or leave. Take it slow. If you can't see something, stop and get out to look. Much easier than fixing dents. Pat
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:39 PM   #7
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Congrats Elizabeth! Your in for a wonderful adventure.

Ask your salesman for his cell phone number...so you can call with the questions you didn't know to ask until after your on your own.

It's really not that hard just different. After you have done it once your good to go.

I would walk through with them showing you everything then start over and have them observe you doing it all yourself.

Good luck...I truly admire all the Lady Airstreamers out there!
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:33 PM   #8
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Picking up new Airstream what do I need to know?

I was in a similar situation to you, although my previous experience was limited to towing a boat trailer. Absorb what you can from the orientation, but be aware that there is a lot, some of it important, that you won't get. For example, in my case, I didn't get that leaving the emergency brake plug pulled out while camping would quickly discharge my battery. I didn't get that the battery doesn't charge when the trailer is plugged in to shore power and the switch inside the trailer is on "store." I didn't get that despite the fact that I have a high IQ, I really do need a departure checklist (and to really LOOK at things as I do a final walk around) or I will leave the hitch stand down and will plow a furrow with it as I drive away. None of these things are anybody's fault; just too many new things to absorb at one time. You will get it all in time, but just like a 16 year old driver, the first year can be a little hairy.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:09 AM   #9
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Gfi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth28 View Post
Hello everyone--
... Anything I should be sure to ask about while I'm at the dealership?
Ask them to demonstrate how to test the GFI circuit (ground fault interrupter) and how to reset it if it trips. The reset button is in different places in different coaches. If this device trips your 120 volt circuit will stop working.

Welcome and congratulations.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:24 AM   #10
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I'd allow more time than your dealer suggests. Done thoroughly, the walk-thru will take up to four hours. Don't let them rush you.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:18 AM   #11
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Welcome to the "cult" and congratulations!

If you have time, download and read The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming, available on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble. It is generic to all Airstreams, but will give you the basics for all the systems.

Edit: I just noticed that your post was yesterday, so you are picking up today. You won't have time to read the book before, but it is still a good reference to have on hand.

Al
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:57 AM   #12
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I found the hardest thing to do on my first RV was to look up.
I did a walk around; jacks up? check. Power cable stored? Check. Tongue jack up? check.......Then I'd almost drive away with the antenna up or an awning still deployed, or a roof vent open. I've seen many others making the same mistake.
I finally made a check list, "arriving" on one side and "departing" on the other. Some things are easier in a certain order, like getting out the wood blocks and power cord before opening a slide over them.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth28 View Post
Hello everyone--
I'm very excited to be picking up my 2017 16' Bambi Sport tomorrow. The salesman told me to allow 2-3 hours for our orientation session. I have never owned a travel trailer of any kind. I live on a 40-acre hobby farm and have pulled old trailers with goats and cows in them, but that's the extent of my experience. Anything I should be sure to ask about while I'm at the dealership? I'm a complete newbie. Thanks,
Elizabeth
Purchase 2 manuals by Richard Luhr, editor of Airstream life magazine. "Newbies guide to Airstream" & " the nearly complete guide to Airstream maintenance " . Invaluable to learn and as reference for new owner. I was in same boat as you and these were very helpful. Best wishes!
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:51 AM   #14
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We are still newbies and we have had out 16 footer for almost 1 year. The one thing we did wrong for sure we did not inspect the trailer as well as we should have. We also were told to give ourselves a couple of hours and we were done in 1 and a half. I have seen other posts that have a complete check list to go over.....get a copy and use it. I am sure it will take longer but well worth it. Now the fun part......the trailer is a blast we have really enjoyed it and look forward to using it more this year. Have fun
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