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Old 09-05-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Got a phone call today

So, Traveland RV in Langley, BC (just east of Vancouver) called us today to tell us that our 2013 28' Serenity finally showed up. We have been patiently waiting and wondering when we would get this call. We ordered the trailer back at the end of May. They assured us the trailer would be ready by the end of July. We then made plans for a 10 000 km trip from Victoria, BC to central Ontario (family) and back for the month of August. We booked flights for the kids to meet us part way so we could do some of the shakedown without the added distraction they would definitely bring. Unfortunately after all plans were set, we got an email mid July saying the trailer won't be ready till late August, early September. After saying a bunch of colorful metaphors, I calmly asked about a loaner. It took them a week to figure things out, but agreed to loan us a trailer for our trip. They could have said no way, not our problem, but in the interest of maintaining good customer relations, they gave us the keys to a 26' trailer. A SWB. We took this in stride and looked on the bright side of things, after this trip, we would have a base to compare the Airstream to.

After spending a couple of hours at the dealership on the 8th of August so they could set up the hitch and prepare the loaner trailer, we were off. I learned a huge amount about towing a trailer very quickly. One of the things that surprised me the most, was the amount of gas it takes to haul one of those things. The SWB they loaned us was quite tall and had about a 4' X 8' section of flat surface hitting the wind. Any headwind and we saw a huge difference in gas consumption. I really hope the Airstream is better on gas than that thing.

All in all, it was a good trip. We got back to the dealership on the 30th of August, dropped off the loaner without issue. We were hoping that they had received the Airstream while we were gone and it would be sitting there waiting for us all shiny and ready to go, but alas, no. So, we are making arrangements to head over to the mainland to pick up our new toy for next weekend. Can't go this weekend, moving from one house to another across town, closer to the kids' school, better RV parking on the property, shorter commute for work, etc. We plan on camping locally on the mainland for a couple of nights to flush out any issues right away. It is about a 2 hour drive and a 90 minute ferry ride to the dealership from Vancouver Island. So any warranty work is a 4 hour trip and approximately $275 for the ferry one way. Don't want too many of those trips unless we incorporate it into a camping outing for a few weeks.

Looking forward to becoming a member of the Airstream community. Hopefully we get to enjoy the trailer a bit more this year, at least here on the island anyway. It's a big island, lots to see from a new perspective.

Interesting side note, we pre-booked all our campsites before we heard about not getting our trailer. At two of the sites we ended up parking right next to an Airstream. Coincidence? Some divine influence rubbing our noses in it! Either way, great conversations and interesting stories. More to follow, I'm sure.

Stephen and Daisy
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
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Glad to hear it worked out for you. I wonder how many dealers would do that.
There is a plus side. You put all those miles on someone else's trailer.

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PS the cat in my avatar is named Daisy. She has 10,000+ miles in an Airstream. Just to clarify, she rides in the TV
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #3
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What a story. You sure live in a beautiful part of the world. We are looking forward to our trip out there from Virginia this Fall.
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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Stephen and Daisy, good to hear that everything is coming together with the new Airstream. While I do enjoy my vintage Bambi II I would buy a new Airstream in a heartbeat if I could afford one. Good plan you have on spending a couple of nights in the new unit before taking her home. I suspect you will find a few minor issues for the dealership to deal with. I also think that you see a huge difference in how the Airstream tows compared to the SOB. Good Luck with your Airstream and hope you have many years of enjoyment with the best looking travel trailers available.
Stand by for lots of ohs, ahs and questions everywhere you take her in your travels.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:39 AM   #5
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We picked up our trailer yesterday. It was quite a sight. It was super shiny and clean sitting on the lot. A 2013 28' International Serenity in Mint Green decor. Traveland RV did a great job prepping the trailer. We were at the dealer for about 3 hours going over systems, setting up the hitch and getting the final paperwork done. A few heart palpitations as I handed over a very large cheque to the business manager.

There was quite the buzz about this trailer. I'm guessing they don't get too many in this size, model and colour. Lots of people saying they absolutely love the interior and the layout. We were kids in a candy store.

We upgraded a few things, got the inverter, bedroom TV, convection microwave, second A/C (which bumped us to a 50 amp service) AND we got the Eddie Bauer 16" wheels and tire set. 4 aluminum rims, 1 steel rim for the spare and 5 Michelin LT tires. Too many stories on this forum about blowouts. I was a bit surprised that the original 5 wheel and tires were not in the coach as I read one forum member describe. The tire sticker on the outside of the trailer reflects the 16" wheels. Maybe they will do this more often if people ask hard enough like we did.

Once we drove away, lots of looks from drivers and people on the side of the road. We only drove 10 kms to a local RV park so we could run trailer systems through their paces. Everything works, no issues at all. The A/Cs are heat pumps as well, so they took the chill off the air at night. They are quite loud though. That will take some getting used to. Ran up the furnace, water heater, fridge, all of it. The other campers must have thought we were nuts, lights on and off, A/Cs flashing and shutting down, stereo, TV, you name it, we tried it.

This is one sweet trailer. It has LED lights everywhere except the range hood vent lights. Should allow the batteries to last much longer when dry camping. Might do that next weekend just to really check things out.

Even the short drive from the dealer to the campsite, we noticed a big difference in the way the whole rig felt. With the loaner SWB, ever bump sent an extra, fairly noticeable wave through the truck, and this was so much smoother. The weight difference was dramatic too. The 26" SWB was 6700+ lbs without our gear in it, and this is 5800 ish unloaded. Almost 900lbs and this is 2" longer. I'm looking forward to our next trip that will take us a few hundred, or thousand kms so we can better appreciate the way this tows, fuel economy, headwinds, sway when trucks pass, etc. As a side note, we got a dual cam sway control hitch put on. Don't know if wI will need it, but everyone says its the way to go.

Anyway, we've rattled on long enough. Time to call it a night and enjoy the day tomorrow. $251 ferry ride to Vancouver Island and home.

Stephen & Daisy

PS-thanks to everyone who passed on some advice via PM about the tires and other things to look out for.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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Great story! Congrats on the new baby. May you have many great Airstream adventures.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #7
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Congratulations!!! Just got back from Jasper NP and Banff. Had some 40 mph headwinds in Wyoming up and down those hills on 125. She pulled beautifully. I am sure you will notice a difference.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StokerDoc View Post
We picked up our trailer yesterday. It was quite a sight.
Stephen & Daisy
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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These AS's are notoriously fuel efficent because of the aerodyanmic design. You will most likely see a "+" in the fuel economy side of it!

Congrats and welcome to owning an AS!
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:19 PM   #10
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Wow!!!! Really cool!
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #11
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Thats sooooo coool. keep us posted on your adventures!
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #12
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Hi Stephen and Daisy!

I bought my trailer from the same dealership. I am fairly happy with their post-sale service. They also went beyond the call of duty, i.e. towed the FaN home for me because I did not have a hitch. Did they leave a rose and note on the bed? I thought that was a nice touch.

You are probably home by now but was going to suggest you spend a couple of nights at a RV park on the mainland so you could try everything out and revisit the dealership with any issues/questions before heading home.

One thing to consider in future - their service department is very busy, especially in the spring/fall when people want their units dewinterized/winterized and any issues attended to during the pre/post heavy camping season. So, if you wish to incorporate a service visit with a trip, you'll have to phone/plan in advance (three weeks minimum).

BTW, I haven't seen any new Airstream inventory there for quite some time. I wonder if they are only taking custom Airstream orders now? I purchased my trailer off the lot (and there were at least four other new Airstreams to choose from).
I see another Airstream in the service yard - that's where they always put the Airstreams.

Your unit sounds beautiful. Please post some pictures of the interior. I have some Spring green in my interior and I love it.

I know that -- gulp! -- feeling when you passed the cheque over. However, every Airstreamer smiles when handed the key, and we should never regret anything that makes us smile.

Keep your trailer washed and Walbernized and it will always shine!

I bet you were a bit freaked about taking it on the ferries. I always worry about people bashing their car doors on the side. Hope they put you with the tractor-trailers.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the kind words. We are home now. According to the girl at BC Ferries, we are 48' long, so that equates to $240, truck, trailer, 2 adults and of course, the fuel surcharge. Pretty sure fuel prices aren't going down, so why the surcharge? Just raise the price and be done with it!

They put us in the lower level, 4 lanes wide, but only used 3 lanes, so we were straddling lanes. Much more room between vehicles side to side. No issues at all. We hopped in the trailer, turned on the inverter and watched a movie the entire transit across. Very nice way to spend 90 mins on a ferry. Lots of looks and a few folks took pictures of our rig as well.

We have a single car driveway leading to a garage. The trailer occupies the driveway until we can get a landscaper to set us up with a nice pad to park the trailer on. The ground on the other side of the house needs some grading and a driveway put in for the trailer. So for now, the car and truck sit in front on the road, and my motorcycle is trapped in the garage. I may end up playing a bit and get the trailer as far to the side of the driveway as I can so I can get the motorcycle out. Although I can ride year round most years here, the really nice riding weather is slowly fading.

FaN, yes, there was a rose on the bed. It was a nice touch. Most people commented on how shiny the tires were. Pretty hard to mistake that the trailer was new with the glossy black rubber rolling along the roads.

Speaking of rolling, in our transit to the ferry, we had a section on a highway and were able to settle out at 100 km/hr and it cruised nicely. It was fairly calm wind wise, so we noticed that it was consuming about 20 L/100 kms on average in the Tundra. It was a short run, 10-15 kms, if that. I will be keeping an eye on it to see how it does long haul. Overall, we were impressed with how it handles thus far.

Stephen & Daisy
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:43 PM   #14
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Congratulations!

Im glad this story had a happy ending. Enjoy your new Airstream and make sure to take us along on your adventures.. and we love pictures :-)

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