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Old 06-02-2007, 09:09 PM   #1
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How Easy Is It To Drive One Of These?

We've been thinking about this Airstream thing for a long time and now have an opportunity to buy one at a very good price. It's a 22 foot CCD. I've never driven with one of these before. Will those of you who have experience please mollify my concerns? Is it really all that difficult? How about the backing up bit? Thank you journeymen!

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Old 06-02-2007, 09:19 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the group.

Since you have not listed your tow vehicle I'll assume it's a 1/2 or better with a tow package.

It's a breeze to tow. It will behave nicely. You really for saftys sake should have a wieght distribution hitch.

Backing up. Really easy to master if you have some patience and practice.

Put your hands at the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it whichever way you want the trailers back bumper to go. You want the back bumper to go towards the passenger side. Push your hands towards the passenger seat. Viola.

None of this is hard once you practice a bit.

I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 06-02-2007, 10:32 PM   #3
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Goin campin is right.....make sure you have the tow vehicle (TV) that will safely tow your trailer. then take it slow and easy. As Goin campin said. Put your hand on the bottom of the wheel and move it in the direction you want the rear of the trailer to go. It may help to have your spouse/significant other (or maybe not as the case may be) help guide you into the parking spot. We are still married, so it can work!! Good luck and welcome to the Forum.
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:36 PM   #4
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How Easy Is It To Drive One Of These?

Greetings vandh016!

Welcome to the Forums!

Originally Posted by vandh016
We've been thinking about this Airstream thing for a long time and now have an opportunity to buy one at a very good price. It's a 22 foot CCD. I've never driven with one of these before. Will those of you who have experience please mollify my concerns? Is it really all that difficult? How about the backing up bit? Thank you journeymen!
With a properly rated tow vehicle, quality trailer towing rear view mirrors, and a quality hitch, towing an Airstream is far less stressful than any other travel trailer that I have towed. If you area Free-Wheeler (single Airstreamer) as I am, there are a number of hints and techniques that can be employed to make the towing experience a breeze. I tow either my 6.0 Metre Minuet (19' 6") or my Overlander International (26' 8") on most of my excursions -- around 60% of the 182,000 miles on my Suburban have been accumulated with one of my coaches in tow. In some ways, the longer Overlander is easier to tow as it is of the older "see-thru" design meaning that you can open the drapes on the front and rear windows and see through the coach utilizing your tow vehicle's rear view mirror. The Minuet (as well as most later model Airstreams) would have the same ability if it weren't for the necessity of the front rock guard to protect the expensive to replace deep-wrap front side windows.

I have been towing for more than twenty years, the last twelve with my Airstream Overlander (and the most recent three years with the Minuet as an addition to the family). Unlike my earlier box style travel trailer, the Airstream products have never given my anything approaching the frights that I had with the box-type Nomad that I started out towing as a Free Wheeler.

Considering an Airstream as your first step into RVing, eliminates one of the expensive lessons that several of us have learned -- Airstream quality may cost more initially, but how many other manufacturers coaches do you see on the road (in any significant number) that are thirty or more years old?

Good luck with your deliberations!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:55 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As the others have said. When your tow vehicle/travel trailer combination is set up properly, towing is not rocket science. Take it slow and ickly get the hyou will quang of it.
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:10 AM   #6
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No sweat. It doesn't take very long to learn how to tow an Airstream safely and comfortably. After you have your tow vehicle set up and take delivery, find a big empty parking lot, maybe at a mall or something, and practice putting it in a specific space. Try backing it in from the left and from the right. You'll soon think it's no big deal.

Here's a strange sounding idea that worked for us. I went to a toy store and bought a little toy tractor that came with a spray trailer for about $7. The front wheels on the tractor turned with the steering wheel, and the single axle trailer pivoted about a hitch at the back of the tractor. All of that's important because it needs to mimick the way a truck towing an Airstream really behaves. Anyway, I used it to demonstrate to my wife how to back the rig, particularly how one starts the trailer turning by steering the tow vehicle in one direction, then steers the opposite direction to sustain the turn. The toy really made it clear to her.

And the 22' CCD is a very nice rig. Probably the "purest" of the Deam trailers in terms of a coherent design, in my opinion. I love that desk, and the clever use of translucent panels around the bed. We had our hearts set on the 22' until we realized that it wouldn't be quite big enough for us to full-time in (with a couple of cats and a dog).
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:12 AM   #7
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Welcome, and oh, what all the previous post said too.

Driving with an Airstream is as easy as it gets trailer wise. Look ahead and drive there. Allow lots of room for pulling back into the curb lane after a pass or when turning....especially right turns.

Backing... USE YOUR MIRRORS. Do not be tempted to learn to back by looking over the back of the seat out the windows. Small corrections and pulling forward small distances can get you to where you're aiming.

The mall is a great place to start due to the lines on the pavement. Practice driving into spots frontways and backwards. Aim your mirrors so that you have a good view of the lines.

Practice makes perfect. You'll be helping others before you know it.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:25 AM   #8
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Even a girl can do it
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Old 06-03-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by David Alan
Even a girl can do it
And I DO...oftentimes by myself!

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Old 06-03-2007, 01:08 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by InsideOut
And I DO...oftentimes by myself!

I was wondering if you gals would react! Good for you Shari
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Old 06-03-2007, 01:47 PM   #11
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I think the idea of practicing in a parking lot is a great idea. The first thing you will notice is that when you make a turn, the trailer will travel inside the path of your truck (the trailer will cut the corner). If you are driving on a city street and make your normal left turn at an intersection, you may find your trailer may try to hit the guy waiting at the light. Same goes for right turns - the trailer may cut the corner and take a line at the stop sign.

Once you get some practice, wide turns will be second nature - and you will know not to turn into places that you may not be able to get out of.

I agree with the backing tips. Practice, Practice.

And welcome.

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Old 06-03-2007, 02:05 PM   #12
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Ditto on the parking lot idea. I went to a totally empty vo-tech college parking lot on a Sunday. I couldn't put it between the lines that first day. It's also useful to learn just backing straight. Then with your hand on the 6 o'clock position of the steering wheel, turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the trailer to go. It takes a while to discover how much input to give it but you'll get the knack!

A spotter is nice -- with instructions to stay within sight of you in your mirror. Susie refuses to back our Airstream so I keep her instructions to the basics of giving me an urgent stop signal. Get out yourself and inspect what's going wrong. It takes an unusual amount of experience and communication for a spotter to actually be able to give the driver useful information -- don't demand that of anybody. It really helps if both partners go and practice the backing.

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Old 06-03-2007, 03:03 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum! Enjoy that new CCD, and when you're comfortable with it, I hope we see you at a NW forum rally sometime. We have a good size group here in the NW, and we get together and have pretty good partys several times a year.

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Old 06-03-2007, 04:08 PM   #14
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The backing in will take time and patience to master. I have only backed in two times, and the smooth one was under Till's guidance. Never thought of the steering wheel bumper thing though, so that may help.

I have a chevy trailblazer with a V-6 and mine only has troubles on big hills, as would anyone pulling any trailer would.


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