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Old 01-28-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
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Finally, We Made the DECISION...

Yep, after a year and a half of looking, learning and trying not to be the "impulse buyer" of an RV, we bought our first towable (actually our first RV!) at the Tampa RV show. We are now the proud (but scared) owners of a 2009 27' International....Now what??? We have an 08 Surburban as our tow vehicle. Due to my husbands recent back surgery, we will pick up the new member of our family in several weeks. Anybody have any advice for us? Anything will help! We chose a 2009 because that is the last year of a 2yr warranty, 2010 have only one year. Being RV virgins (we camped early in our married life when sleeping on the ground was easy on the bones!) is there something we should look at or do upon accepting our new "baby"? We plan on staying close to the dealer for a few days in case something needs to be done. I'm not apprehensive about towing...but the backing thing scares the you know what out of me. So we plan on backing this thing many many many times before we get comfortable venturing out too far!
We have always looked at Airstreams and every other towable made. We really couldn't compare anything with the Airstream....so the rest is history!
Any advice is helpful from those knowledgeable with these wonderful aluminum TT's!
AndiJean
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:42 PM   #2
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the only thing I found out is while backing up is to ignore anything my wife tells me and just go slow. If you are buying it from Bates recheck your hitch setup as they do not seem to be the best at it. During your walk thru at delivery, ask lots of questions, after I got mine from them it was two weeks before I found the closet in the hall and the DVD player. Also make sure they check tire pressure while you watch or its anyone's guess what you will be driving home with. If you decide to camp at florida state parks, register with reserve america and book early.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:47 PM   #3
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Have fun! I'm going to be taking delivery of a 30' classic in a few weeks.

- You might want to review some of the threads on hitches, brake controllers, and towing.
- Consider some of the mechanical accessories you may wish to have available on your first few outings. Your dealer may include a few of the basics, but probably not: Leveling blocks, "sewer solution," higher quality freshwater hose than the dealer provides, small inverter, extension cords, wheel chocks, tools (including a lug wrench)
- Think about suitable linens (ones sized to fit Airstream beds are available from several sources) and how to outfit the galley (I settled on Corelle plates and polycarbonate "glassware")
- Plan your travels!
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:50 PM   #4
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Well....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsgone View Post
Yep, after a year and a half of looking, learning and trying not to be the "impulse buyer" of an RV, we bought our first towable (actually our first RV!) at the Tampa RV show. We are now the proud (but scared) owners of a 2009 27' International....Now what??? We have an 08 Surburban as our tow vehicle. Due to my husbands recent back surgery, we will pick up the new member of our family in several weeks. Anybody have any advice for us? Anything will help! We chose a 2009 because that is the last year of a 2yr warranty, 2010 have only one year. Being RV virgins (we camped early in our married life when sleeping on the ground was easy on the bones!) is there something we should look at or do upon accepting our new "baby"? We plan on staying close to the dealer for a few days in case something needs to be done. I'm not apprehensive about towing...but the backing thing scares the you know what out of me. So we plan on backing this thing many many many times before we get comfortable venturing out too far!
We have always looked at Airstreams and every other towable made. We really couldn't compare anything with the Airstream....so the rest is history!
Any advice is helpful from those knowledgeable with these wonderful aluminum TT's!
AndiJean

Hey - I grew up in Satellite Beach!

If you have some time next weekend, you could come up to Merritt Island and hang out with us for awhile. We're camping at KARS Park and you could meet quite a few fellow Airstream enthusiasts (planning for about 25 trailers)! If you're interested/able, give me a shout and I'll give you more details.

You can look at this link to see what we're up to!
Airstream Forums - Space Shuttle STS-130 Launch Gathering

Laura
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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Only one year warranty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsgone View Post
We chose a 2009 because that is the last year of a 2yr warranty, 2010 have only one year. AndiJean

WHAT!?

how the heck did I not notice THAT? Well definitely NOT buying another new Airstream EVER again if it's true.


Paula

OH, whew.

So, I just called Colonial Airstream in NJ (it's after 5:00 pm and no one would be at the mothership) and they told me that the warranty was still 2 years on 2010 models. A salesperson might have been eager to unload the older one and told you a fib. Or of course he/she could have been suffering from acute cranial-rectal inversion.

RV shows are usually a good place to get a deal, and going for a year older model can save you considerable bucks - so don't have any regrets about not getting the 2010. The 27 FB CCD is my FAVORITE - lots of closet space! (fulltimer drooling here.)

Word to my fellow woman - hubby has a bad back? Don't let that stop you, you TOW girl! Learn. You can do it. Buy a roll of duct tape, tape hubby's hands together, place a piece over his mouth and make a start.

I will confess in a rare moment of being both nonplussed and non-assertive that most darn men seem to know instinctively how to back a trailer, and most women seem to struggle, but most of the time the thing that gets in the way is self doubt and fear of looking like a fool. One man on these forums claimed he had a mental breakthrough doing his upholstery when he started thinking of his wife's sewing machine as a "power tool". Think of your tow vehicle and trailer as being no more intimidating than a big stand mixer with a lot of attachments.

Whoo hoo - enjoy!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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Congatulations! Now you two can travel. Hope you can get to a rally soon because you can learn so much from other Airstreamers.

Paula, you have to go backwards in time as kidsgone mentioned to get the better deal. Find the AS sweetspot you really want, but hurry!
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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Don't be scared. You will feel more comfortable after your first night. Get ready to have FUN, FUN, FUN! You are going to love your new AS.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:32 PM   #8
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Backing a long wheelbase travel trailer like an Airstream is much easier than backing a short wheelbase trailer because you have a lot more time to make corrections.
When I got my first travel trailer the dealer told me to put one hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it in the direction I wanted to go.
The second tip he gave me was to go straight forward for a little bit if the trailer isn't doing what you want it to. The trailer will quickly straighten out and then you can back it where you want.
I practiced in a parking lot for a little while and I was good to go.
Extended mirrors help a lot to back as well as drive down the road. If your Suburban doesn't have them, get an aftermarket set.
Go slow. Position someone in back of the trailer who the driver can see to give directions preferably by hand signals. If you are solo, get out and look where you are going. No one is timing you. The only times I have ever scrunched anything when I have been in a hurry and thought I knew what was back there.
At night it is much harder. While you are new get in before dark. It is much easier to position the trailer and make camp well before cocktail hour. The same goes for leaving before dawn. Remember, you are on vacation, not in a hurry.
There is nothing wrong with a pull through site except perhaps a few more dollars. If you decide to save with a backin, tell the campground that you are new at trailering. There are a few sites in every park that are more difficult to back into. Let one of the Rivet Masters have that site.
You will quickly learn what makes things easier. A motorized tongue jack is a must. The same for a foam kneeling pad. Find a drinking water hose that doesn't have a bad hair day every time you use it. Spend time considering sewer hoses. Those thin cheapies are nasty, pun intended. You want to be able to quickly join two hoses together so spend the $$ to get a good system. I like those plastic blocks for leveling and putting under your stabilizer jacks. I like a level on the front of the trailer. I can tell at a glance when I am side to side level. I can quickly adjust front to back levels with the tongue jack.
I have heard of people making a video recording of their new trailer orientation. For someone new to the whole thing, it is probably a good idea.
Congratulations on your purchase. Remember if it was difficult hundreds of thousands would not be enjoying themselves in their travel trailers.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
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You can do it

Congratulations on the new trailer. Dot start getting nervous about backing until your in a spot you cant get out of.

Remember, to back up
1. Breathe!!,
2. Say "here we go",
3. Hold steering wheel with one hand at the bottom! (Only one hand)
4. Now think "which way does the BACK of the trailer have to go".
5. Move hand that way ( the one on the BOTTOM of the steering wheel!) The back of the trailer will go the same direction as the BOTTOM of the steering wheel while backing.

If you think you are in trouble get out and look (this prevents dents in the new aluminum)

Pull forward however many times it takes.

When the crowd gathers and start giving directions IGNOR THEM!

It is your trailer and YOU CAN DO IT!!
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:14 PM   #10
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Windermere , Florida
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Make sure the dealer really has your trailer prepped and ready to go before your pick-up date. Take the extra time once you get there to go over all the outside seams, doors, windows, etc. Take a ladder and check the roof seals too.
Inside, open and close every door and storage place. Run everything. Check for gaps and loose fits. Plan on being there for a good half day or more.
They will hook you up with an Equalizer Hitch, unless you already have a different one of your own. Make sure they take the time to properly set the ball and hitch height, and account for front/back tow vehicle weight distribution. You can read the Equalizer site for details on how this is done as it will all change once you add a 1000# of gear.
You will need a 7 pin electrical connection and a trailer brake control. If you don't already have the wiring in place, don't count on the dealer to do much of a job with installation.
Expect to spend the equivalent of stocking a small apartment with you first trip to Walmart.
Then, you'll find that you will be looking at generators, solar, inverters, and a whole lot of other improvements.
Take your first shake-down trip close to home. Much of what you need to know will only come with experience.
Finally, pay attention to these forums. Everything you could ever wonder has already been posted here.

Enjoy, Tom W
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
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Livermore , California
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Wow!
Congratulations!!!
I just returned from the Pleasanton, CA Rv Show. There were 10-12 Airstreams from Toscano's RV. I own 2006 25 SS, and semi-fulltime 3-5 nights a week. It is a great floor plan for me now that I'm widowed. I loved the 27' at the show but couldn't part with the $ as I have a great newer unit. My suggestion to you would be to tow your vehicle slowly (55 mph instead of 70 MPH). It took me a little time to get used to the slower pace but I see more of the countyside. As far as backing, practive makes perfect! I also found that if your a lone male your neighbors can direct you as to the kitchen supplies. I picked-up chock blocks, 2 small flash lights, several small red blinking hazard light for any incident on the roadway that might require parking on or near a roadway awaiting repair. Oh, I almost forgot, a brand new 12 guage shotgun, just in case! After all, I do camp in CA!!!! Best of luck to you and yours. You're gonna have a great time.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Expect to spend the equivalent of stocking a small apartment with you first trip to Walmart.
Then, you'll find that you will be looking at generators, solar, inverters, and a whole lot of other improvements.

Enjoy, Tom W
Unless you are like me - who is know by my family & friends as having at least two of everything. There was very little I needed for the kitchen, bath, clothing, personal items and linens, etc. We have spent a lot on additional camping equipment, since we got rid of must of that over the years. Plus upgrades to our hitch and vehicle and building a cover to protect her. Our next big purchase will be a couple generators. But it is all worth it, we are having a ton of fun with our trailer. Good luck
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:47 PM   #13
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Backing a trailer is NOT launching rockets. Anyone can learn to do it.

Start by getting a feel for it in a large open area. The back of the trailer goes the opposite way than you think it should. Once you get used to it, it will come as second nature. Just take your time, and don't let it intimidate you.

Congratulations on your new baby. The 27FB is a great floor plan. We have a 25FB, named Lucy, that we have pulled over 50,000 miles and have camped in almost 600 nights. Airstreaming is a great experience.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #14
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Congrats on the new AS! As new owners, we had much of the same anxiousness and concerns but there is some great advice here. You can definitely do it! As to backing up, it is amazing how pulling forward about 3 or 4 feet can straighten you right out. Just go slow and keep trying. We went to a large empty parking lot to get the feel for turning and backing up. And we stayed close to home for our maiden voyage. Pick someplace close by for your shake down run. Try all the systems and read the manuals! I took some pictures with my cell phone camera of certain things in case I forgot how stuff was supposed to be. Also made a checklist of things to do/confirm before heading out. There is so much great info on this site, if you are like me, you will be up all night reading and reading.

Happy 'steamin.

Rich
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