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Old 08-21-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
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Going 0-60 (newbie to fulltimer)

Hi - sticking my head in here because I just purchased an Airstream (2008 Safari 28-ft) with plans to move into it fulltime at the beginning of September. Which is in a couple of weeks.

And I've never towed an RV before.

And I don't have the luxury of parking it while slowly moving into it, as I'm in an apartment complex. I'm moving in, with old cat and young labrador, and hitting the road.

Guess I'll be hanging out quite a bit a the full-time forum, and the one for modifications as I have a few upgrades I'd like to install (solar, compost toilet, etc). I've got a million questions on RVing, towing, Airstreaming, full timing.

Will be relying on fortune, fair winds, and the kindness of strangers

Thanks, see you all soon -
Diana (bliss)
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:52 PM   #2
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Do you know what the towing capacity of your Nissan is?
Does it have a tow/haul function?
Is there a brake controller in the Nissan?
Do you have tow mirrors?
An equalizer hitch?
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Old 08-21-2017, 11:23 PM   #3
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Gotta agree with TG Twinkie on this one. Get some towing experience before you commit yourself to full-timing, or your journey might prove a lot shorter than you'd like. If your towing setup isn't right it won't be safe. If you don't feel safe you won't like to tow. If you don't like to tow you won't go anywhere. And if you don't go anywhere you might as well keep the apartment and sell the Airstream.

I'm all for adventure, the bigger and grander, the better. But let me tell you a secret… The only functional difference between an adventure and a disaster is whether you can laugh about it when it's over and you're talking about it around the campfire. So the secret to making sure you have adventures rather than disasters is to prepare for them in advance so most things will work out as you planned, and keep a positive attitude when some things don't work out the way you planned.

I would also suggest that you live in your Airstream for a while before you start looking at modifications and upgrades. From Day One, make a list of "Gee, I wish I had…" every time you run across something that the factory-original trailer didn't come with. That way, you'll get a better feel for what you need to do first and what can wait a while. And you'll be less likely to waste time and money on mods and upgrades that don't really increase YOUR quality of Airstreaming life. Because what's best for some here on the Forums may not be best for you.

You can make it work. And folks on the Forums here will help you as best we can. But Airstreaming full-time, like most major life decisions, is a "look before you leap" proposition. It's okay to leap, just don't leap blindly.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:06 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums. You are in for quite a ride. We're here to help.
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Do you know what the towing capacity of your Nissan is?
Does it have a tow/haul function?
Is there a brake controller in the Nissan?
Do you have tow mirrors?
An equalizer hitch?
Thanks Twinkie....

Towing capacity of the Nissan is 9,000, and it has a class IV hitch rated for 10k

Yes on the tow function, with a big button you push that says "tow"

Brake controller will be installed by the AS dealership the day I pick it up. They'll also be installing the SwayPro hitch (WD and anti-sway)

Been getting quotes on the tow mirrors - $405 for parts plus $200+ for install at Nissan dealership. I could go with the clip-ons for now, but figured the upgrade would be worth it since I'm full timing and not just towing temporarily.

Glad for the questions - confirms I've been researching the right things
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:47 AM   #6
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Gotta agree with TG Twinkie on this one. Get some towing experience before you commit yourself to full-timing, or your journey might prove a lot shorter than you'd like. [....]


I would also suggest that you live in your Airstream for a while before you start looking at modifications and upgrades. [....]

You can make it work. And folks on the Forums here will help you as best we can. But Airstreaming full-time, like most major life decisions, is a "look before you leap" proposition. It's okay to leap, just don't leap blindly.
Thanks Protagonist. Wise counsel. But I have been researching the full time RV thing for the past couple of years. Divorce compels me to move out when I have to .

Towing - I'm most concerned about putting a dent in the trailer from backing up or not swinging out far enough when I turn. I don't believe I'll be a danger to anyone on the road.

Modifications - that's been the rub. Wisest is to wait and do exactly as you've said - live in it for a while to see what I really need. But the mods I've been considering for a while, and as the AS sits at the dealership for a couple more weeks, this would be the most convenient time to do the installs, plus I do have the funds right now for them. The only reason I would wait is if I can learn to install them (solar, compost toilet) myself down the road.

Thanks much- looking forward to more wise counsel
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:48 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forums. You are in for quite a ride. We're here to help.
Thanks Greatly - yes, yes I am. Glad to have found the community!
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:26 AM   #8
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Welcome, and congratulations on your new baby....but, seriously, if you have never towed before please don't just load up and hit the road, lest your choices result in harm coming to others.

My first thought, reading this, was....he's kidding, right?

A loaded up 28 foot trailer is not a lightweight nor small item, and towing without experience just seems reckless, in my opinion.

It may all sound exciting and simple to you, but the reality is that successful towing requires a particular skill set, as many here can tell you.

The dent you may get from not swinging out far enough when you turn could be impact with another vehicle, a gas pump, etc.

Please slow down a bit, and take the time to get your towing ducks in a row.

Good luck.

Maggie
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:40 AM   #9
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Going 0-60 (newbie to fulltimer)

Buy a set of 4 or more traffic cones, find a big empty parking lot. Lay out cones to denote a parking space, and practice backing in until you can do it easily. Try a few other layouts to get a feel for how the rig corners. Cones will take scuffs the AS won't like...

Keep the cones for later use as markers on the road.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:22 PM   #10
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Keep the cones for later use as markers on the road.
I use collapsible lighted cones in lieu of safety triangles. Drivers are conditioned to avoid cones, and they stand taller and are more visible than those red triangles that everyone runs over that you see abandoned in pieces by the side of the road.

https://www.amazon.com/Roadside-Safe...+highway+cones
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:32 PM   #11
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Good for you. Have an adventure. My first day of driving a motorhome towing a trailer was to leave on a 2500 mile trip, so if you're careful, it's doable. Don't let the naysayers get you down.
Having said that, be careful, take your time, and if something feels wrong, it probably is. Have some tools and spares.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:58 AM   #12
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rmkrum and Protagonist - thanks! Been looking into those traffic cones to help with backing up. Also watching a ton of videos! I'm quite honestly terrified of it, so I think that will ensure I'm going safe and slow

Also thanks for the link to that pop up cone! Was looking at a normal traffic cone yesterday and thought "hey that's perfect, but where am I going to store that in the airstream?". The pop up is perfect!

Mollysdad - Thanks, yes this will be an adventure. My first trip might be a drive from Portland, OR getting to South Dakota within 10 days. I'm torn between finding ways around it, or just biting the bullet and going. Gotta learn at some point, right?

Thanks for everyone's concerns. But this is my new home, one I've been planning on for a couple years. I will do as much as I can to avoid smashing it up, destroying others' property and causing bodily harm to those in my path - I promise!
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:29 AM   #13
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I'm torn between finding ways around it, or just biting the bullet and going. Gotta learn at some point, right?
Bite the bullet. After the first 100 miles, you start breathing normally again.
Then you'll hit road construction where your mind says, "Can I fit through there? Oh, crap a semi is passing me too!"
"Hey, I did it and I still have mirrors!"
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