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Old 04-19-2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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What to buy, do, before taking delivery

We will be taking delivery on our factory ordered Flying Cloud 27FB in the next 7-14 days. Based on our forum research we have brought an appropriate TV (Ford F250 diesel) decided on the insurance carrier, ordered the ProPride hitch, the Enkay Rock Tamers, and the Sewer Solution systems. We will need to purchase potable water hose (dealer says that sewer hoses and water hoses are additional purchases). Here is my question: What are we missing, either in terms of need to have to be able to drive away and camp and or would be good to have to do our best to protect the A/S? I would prefer to buy better quality equipment up front and be satified with the performance rather than having to replace purchases that turned out to be poor quality. Thanks in advance for your help. MaryD.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryD View Post
We will be taking delivery on our factory ordered Flying Cloud 27FB in the next 7-14 days. Based on our forum research we have brought an appropriate TV (Ford F250 diesel) decided on the insurance carrier, ordered the ProPride hitch, the Enkay Rock Tamers, and the Sewer Solution systems. We will need to purchase potable water hose (dealer says that sewer hoses and water hoses are additional purchases). Here is my question: What are we missing, either in terms of need to have to be able to drive away and camp and or would be good to have to do our best to protect the A/S? I would prefer to buy better quality equipment up front and be satified with the performance rather than having to replace purchases that turned out to be poor quality. Thanks in advance for your help. MaryD.
Mary D... Get yourself a battery operated electric drill with a 3/4" socket to run your stabilizing jacks up and down. Get a tire iron capable of removing the wheel lugs from your trailer wheels (not supplied by Airstream). Purchase a Trailer-Aid trailer wheel lift so you can pull a tire off your tandem axel trailer without the use of a jack (not supplied by Airstream). Get a Pressure Pro tire pressure monitoring system for your trailer and truck if it is not equipped with one. Have your dealer install one of the Camco "Pump Converter Winterizing Kits" (36543) to make the winterization of your fresh water system a lot easier. Have fun with your new trailer.
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:44 AM   #4
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Just What I was looking for

Thanks 2dabeach, your suggestions are just what I am looking for. Very good, important advice on what the airstream doesn't come with and be how to travel safely!

Thanks Jammer, for the thread on "if I had only brought". Great help for making sure I haven't forgotten anything!

We are looking forward to getting out on the road.

Best, Mary D.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:52 AM   #5
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We like the Lynx Levelers for side-to-side leveling and changing flat tires on the road, which we have a lot of experience at. They are a must as far as we're concerned. We carry 2 sets.

We also like brass garden hose quick connects. They really make hook-ups and break downs easier.

I will second the 18 volt cordless drill. It is indispensable for the stabilizers and adjustment of the Pro Pride.

The Sewer Solution is a great choice. We have been using it for several years and would never got back to the "slinky". That being said, you should carry a 10 foot section of slinky with fittings for dumping a certain public RV dump facilities where you can not get water to use the Sewer Solution. We have needed it only once in 4 years, 50,000 miles, and 600 nights.

Congratulations on your new baby. Post baby pictures.

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Old 04-20-2010, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryD View Post
We will be taking delivery on our factory ordered Flying Cloud 27FB in the next 7-14 days...What are we missing...
hi mary

with spring MANY folks are expected airstreams...

imo the MOST important issue is understanding the purchase process.

this is more like CLOSING on a house than buying a car.

and once u sign the paperwork, it's yours...

pleasures, PROBLEMS and all.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...tml#post483683

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...tml#post528020

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...tml#post601044

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f468...tml#post483918

before signing YOU, the buyer STILL have some leverage.

there will be items than need fixing or do not meet expectations.

don't SIGN before dealing with those things.

almost no one LIKES confrontations or minor conflicts but dealing with issues FIRST means less conflict later.

and MOST of your leverage/control ENDS after signing/accepting the trailer.

this is really really important and gets LOST in the excitement.

because if something SEEMINGLY minor requires a trip back to the factory for repairs...

all of THAT expense and time will be YOURS after signing.
_____________

so spend several HOURS going over the unit before signing,

don't just assume the dealer did anything more that wash it.

in fact stay over night IN the trailer and sign the documents the next day.

again ANY problems are yours after buying and it's very hard to give this thing back, IF not happy.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...ast-39335.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ory-39388.html



_____________

when it comes to buying STUFF, there are essentials, useful, optional and USELESS things to buy.

30 years of stream'n and the slinky was worked great.

i don't have or NEED a s'SOLUTION.

i did use a trailer aid lift for a few years but would NOT recommend it.

otoh the lynx leveler blocks work great and can be used for tire changes.
___________

it's really a good idea to just GO CAMPING and use the thing.

as you sort out YOUR style and needs, it will be easy to buy whatever is important.

a LOT of the crap we purchase goes totally UNused or when needed turns out NOT to be the best choice.

the first few camping trips won't be disasters simply because you didn't buy STUFF.

but if you want lists here are some...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...tml#post818672

___________

again MAKE SURE the unit passes YOUR inspection before signing the acceptance paperwork.

make real sure.

take a LADDER or borrow one and INSPECT the top side too...

((see post #22 below for issues discovered just days after the new purchase))

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f335...tml#post221364

which was only the beginning of a LONG list of issues, angst, anger and money spent FIXING things...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f335...ops-25290.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:03 AM   #7
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Brian and 2air, Thanks for your recomendations

Brian,

Thanks for the additional tips; they are appreciated. I like to plan ahead, as much as I can, and an Airstream is a lot more sophisticated than our Coleman tent trailer. Your comments/advice throughout the forum have been very helpful.

2air,

Thanks for all the thread references and your thoughts. We already have agreement from the dealer that we will "camp" at dealership for one or two nights. We will bring a ladder. We will inspect the trailer inside and out carefully. I have made note of several inspection lists (including an official one, I think) that others have posted. We have an "out the door" quote in writing, so I don't anticipate any price issues. We are not financing the trailer, we made a deposit and will be completing the transaction with a check. Are you suggesting that full payment and sign off happen together, after the overnight and personally inspecting all aspects of the trailer and all functions, or just the actual signoff? I just want to be clear.

Thank you both for your help! Mary D.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:20 PM   #8
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mary

the primary benefit of staying over nite, is the opportunity to TURN EVERYTHING ON, run water, fiddle with every knob...

and discover hidden issues that no dealer inspection will find.
_____________

regardless of payment choices (signing a finance plan or paying cash) once the purchase agreement is final...

it is yours.

so the point is ANY problems need to be FIXED to your satisfaction beforehand.

yes issues will develop or materialize AFTER the purchase and with usage...

but ANY/all current issues should be solved BEFORE signing.

just as an example, there was a "minor" issue with the tank sensor/display system on my unit at delivery.

the very honest and competent dealer promised to fix it, or get it right in a few days.

so i signed WITH that problem unresolved.

ultimately they were NOT able to fix the issue and i had to take it to j/c for repair...

ALL AT MY EXPENSE (except for the labor and 10$ worth of parts) which was 500$ and a week of travel.
____________

there are folks here who have asked to have the units LEAK TESTED by the dealer at delivery...

and with minor leaks fixed before signing...

the leverage YOU have is all before the sale is done.
____________

again the point is don't accept it or sign for it, IF there are any significant issues UNresolved.

i suspect most buyers sign immediately and do fine, but this is a big purchase.

think of the process as closing on a house strapped onTOP of a haywagon...

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
it's really a good idea to just GO CAMPING and use the thing.

as you sort out YOUR style and needs, it will be easy to buy whatever is important.
Everyone's situation is different.

In my situation due to family and kids I felt it was vitally important to get it right the FIRST TIME... Bad first impressions are difficult to overcome.

So, I have gone to considerable lengths to be sure we have everything we need and don't end up out in the middle of nowhere with, figuratively speaking, a case of wine and no corkscrew.

There are also some things like sheets that have to be ordered well in advance. If your traylah has a 50a connector, then the 50A Marinco to 30A campground cord, not readily available but can be ordered from various sources, will save wear and tear on the expensive 50a cord, be easier to handle, and eliminate the need for the dogbone.

As for the relative merits of the solution and the slinky, well, it's all a matter of how much crap you're willing to put up with
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:42 PM   #10
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Mary, you can spend many thousands on things for a trailer, and probably will over the course of several years. You do want to make sure that warranty issues are resolved well and quickly.

I don't know the quality of the dealer you have chosen, but too many dealers are, let us say "substandard". Airstream, as I understand it, pays them to make sure everything is done right, but not all of them do. That was certainly the case with the dealer we had; they were awful.

One of the things to check is that the weight distributing hitch is installed properly. Some of the profit on those things is supposed to be for the time it takes to install them properly, but some dealers do a crappy job. Makes sure the trailer is level, and your truck is level after it is hitched up. Ask to be shown how to adjust it and for a demonstration how to hitch and unhitch.

Come to the dealer with a list of questions because you can't remember everything. Make sure the trailer tires are at the proper pressure. You will probably need more air in the truck tires too because of the added load.

Typically Airstream screws down the skylight too tight and cracks it. Sooner or later it will leak. There have been some indications they finally have changed their poor practices, but check. If there are screws with no washers holding it down, ask to have washers put under the screws; if it's cracked have it replaced right away.

Frequently when Airstream caulks the windows and all those things on the roof, you can find, or soon will find, small voids in the caulk. When caulking something, the proper practice is go back later and see if voids have developed. Apparently this practice has not been adopted by Airstream or some dealers. It's tedious looking over every place there is caulk, but it can save you problems later. You'll have to check this periodically anyway. Get some of the recommended caulks (check the Airstream website—it's there somewhere) for the trailer too and a caulking gun.

The simple and cheapest way to lift a wheel is to pull the other wheel on that side onto a couple of 2x8's or 2x10's and that should lift the other wheel off the ground. If it doesn't quite make it, use the electric jack by either raising or lowering it to get the wheel up enough.

You will be buying lots of stuff and may end up at Camping World. You get discounts for joining and they often have deals. Normal is $20/year, but business is down and there are deals around $16. That would mean you have to spend $160 to come out even. They have been selling a Telesteps collapsible ladder for $220, as good or better a deal as I could find on the internet. I got a 14.5' one for that price. After a year, let the membership expire and they will be sending you cheaper and cheaper offers to rejoin. By that time you may need even more stuff—they were down to $12 lately and we rejoined to get the ladder.

You can get locks so no one will steal your trailer. One kind goes on the tongue so no one can get the ball into it, a padlock can go on the lever on the tongue so it can't be opened, and there are devices that go between the wheels with or without locks (some have special tools to tighten them that may not be in a thief's toolkit). The last device also prevents the trailer from rolling.

You probably know this, but there are cheap white hoses with steel fittings (rust) and bad rubber that bursts easily. If you like those, they are sold at Walmart.

See if the dealer can lend you an owner's manual now so you can read it and have lots of questions.

When you sign the papers, you will be given a form provided by Airstream that says something like you've inspected the trailer and everything is ok. I added a phrase to the effect of: to the best of my knowledge at this time. They didn't like it, but it qualified the "ok" because no one can check everything. It doesn't matter much because the warranty is sort of good for 2 years, but if some glass is cracked, they will try to avoid replacing it under warranty.

Good luck with your new toy. The 27' is very popular and for good reason.

Gene
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:18 PM   #11
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Gene and Jammer, Thanks for the input!

Jammer, we seem to share the same philosophy of trying to avoid poor expriences by planning ahead. I will look into the 50 amp cord. Had a chuckle about "waste management". I am also learning about lead times...I may go look for a "lead time for equipment" thread.

Gene, Your inspections tips will be invaluable. I had been thinking that if we had two fantastic fans which seem to now be standard with the 27FB, that we would avoid the leaking skylight problem, but I guess we will get a skylight in addition...so I will add the too tight skylight to our list of inspection items as well as washers and the caulking inspection. Would you suggest we turn a hose on the whole thing as one of our inspection tests? I also like the list of questions (as well as inspection items to take along). I appreciate your thoughts on blocks, chocks and locking devices. I also will take your advice on "ok to the best of my knowledge" as a sign off.

Best, Mary D.
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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Mary, the fans can leak too. Leaks develop over time. We had none the first year, many the second. Some people have them right away, everyone has them eventually.

Caulk eventually lets go, but when it isn't applied properly or screws on things are too tight, leaks happen much faster.

Turning a hose on it can't hurt, and maybe you'll have to do it at home. Don't use a pressure washer on full blast close to the trailer—it can blow out caulk and even dent the aluminum. Stand back or turn it to spray rather than blast.

Gene
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