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Old 12-03-2014, 11:11 AM   #1
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2014 27' FB International
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New 2014 Intl Onyx Owner

Hi

I have enjoyed reading this forum for the last few months prior to deciding on the 2014 27' International Onyx. I just could not resist the beautiful interior!

I have owned motorhomes in the past, so some things are familiar/similar in terms of operation/setting up but am still facing the steep learning curve of all things Airstream...in particular, TOWING! I had the dealer tow my new AS to a park near my home yesterday so I can practice with all the systems/components, etc...and, of course, towing.

I am planning an extended trip with my 18 month old son as soon as I feel comfortable operating everything. No set plans except sunny climates, most likely Central and Southern California deserts and maybe some coastal areas like San Diego...(We are from Northern California in Sonoma County).

See You On The Road!
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #2
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Hands down, the best venue for practicing towing, including the all-important backing, is your nearest shopping mall, early on a Sunday morning before any of the stores open. Lots of areas to practice your turns, painted lines to guide yourself by for backing practice, and nothing much to hit if you mess up a time or three.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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If you can find a deserted, abandoned warehouse with truck docking you can practice there. This is where I taught my wife to back up, she has driven a school bus without any incident for 25 years so big vehicles do not scare her, but trailer backing is a different animal. The warehouse set up allowed her to use the areas used by the tractor trailers, no traffic and in one location lines on the pavement to follow, arching lines which she could easily follow up to the loading dock. This also gave her perspective as to how close she was to an object are the rear of the trailer. I was outside using a walkie talkie, much as she does when I back. We do this mainly just in case a dog or small child were to get behind me while I was backing and could not see it. Our rule when using the hand held units is if I don't here her for about 15 seconds I stop and call her, otherwise I am silent, mumble under my breath occasionally, but silent.

Practice, you'll get it down in no time and enjoy.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by paiceman View Post
If you can find a deserted, abandoned warehouse with truck docking you can practice there. This is where I taught my wife to back up, she has driven a school bus without any incident for 25 years so big vehicles do not scare her, but trailer backing is a different animal. The warehouse set up allowed her to use the areas used by the tractor trailers, no traffic and in one location lines on the pavement to follow, arching lines which she could easily follow up to the loading dock. This also gave her perspective as to how close she was to an object are the rear of the trailer. I was outside using a walkie talkie, much as she does when I back. We do this mainly just in case a dog or small child were to get behind me while I was backing and could not see it. Our rule when using the hand held units is if I don't here her for about 15 seconds I stop and call her, otherwise I am silent, mumble under my breath occasionally, but silent.

Practice, you'll get it down in no time and enjoy.
Husbands do have their uses I guess..... been so long since I had one....
Being on my own, when I back up I get out and CHECK what's behind the trailer. If you DO back into a tree stump or picnic table or any other obstruction you won't FEEL it when it hits the trailer. And new bumpers aren't cheap. Me? I think a wireless camera would be lower maintenance than a husband. But well I would appreciate some help getting the awning down FAST when a storm is moving in rapidly!

Paula
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Old 12-03-2014, 01:32 PM   #5
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Being on my own, when I back up I get out and CHECK what's behind the trailer.
Even if you have someone to help, getting out yourself to see what's behind you is not a bad idea. Doing so can help you decide where you want your helper to stand, as well as verifying for yourself that there's nothing (and no one) behind you that you don't want to run over.

I suggested this on another thread just recently, but if you carry those reflective triangles in case of breakdown, they can come in handy for backing the trailer, too. Put the triangles alongside where you want the trailer to be, on the driver's side, and that gives you easily visible landmarks to gauge by when using your mirrors to back into a space.
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