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Old 07-30-2009, 12:01 AM   #1
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New Guy checking in...

Howdy folks...

Just got a new 2009 Sport 17 and a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser to tow it, and I'm sure having a bunch of fun learning how to back up!

Yeah, I'm that new at this. For the last 50 years I've been driving nothing but fast sports cars, so I'm learning patience too.

Well, I don't want to take up too much of your time right now, just thought I'd introduce myself and let you know there's a newbie lurking around here, and I'll probably ask more than my share of stupid questions. I sure will appreciate your experience and knowledge.

I like to write, so I've started a blog to keep track of a lot of the stuff I'd probably forget if I didn't write it down. I call it The Adventures of Airstream Mikie. The link is in the signature, if you want to check it out.

Thanks!

Mike McCafferty, Del Mar, California
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:49 AM   #2
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Hi Mike, I have learned the only way to back up is slow. I still suck at it! When I picked up my trailer at the dealer I could not even back up in the parking lot, now I can back up with just about 1/2 a football field to work with.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:35 AM   #3
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Hi Mike,

Easiest way I have found to back up is to grab the bottom of the steering wheel and move it in the direction that you want the back of the trailer to go. I'm sure it won't take you long!


Enjoyed your blog! If you are still debating how to carry your bike, the best way have have found - and done it now for ten years or more using our last vehicle and a non-AS trailer as well as out 3/4 ton truck and Airstream is to have a standard hitch receiver mounted on the front of the vehicle and then use a standard hitch type bike carrier up front. I'm not sure if it is technically legal as I suppose it could be said to intrude slightly into your field of vision and perhaps cause slight obstruction to the headlights, but I have crossed the country numerous times with this setup and never had any problems.

Good luck on your newest adventures ................. Brian.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Best wished with your new baby.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:58 AM   #5
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Check out toppoprails.com. They make bike racks that fit over the propane tanks on the A frame of your airstrean. They work great and the hitch carries the load.
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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Welcome to the board. It's important to maintain a sense of humor when backing up. I always wanted to have a set of Olympic style score cards handy for campground entertainment when your neighbor is trying to back a 40 foot trailer into a 30 foot space.....
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
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Welcome too the site. You will find lots of info that will help. Any trips planed?
Mike
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Welcome aboard, Mike. Single-axle trailers like ours just turn a little quicker than the bigger ones. Follow the fine advice of the wise folks in this forum, and enjoy your handsome new rig.

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Old 07-30-2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Hi Mike,

Easiest way I have found to back up is to grab the bottom of the steering wheel and move it in the direction that you want the back of the trailer to go. I'm sure it won't take you long!


Enjoyed your blog! If you are still debating how to carry your bike, the best way have have found - and done it now for ten years or more using our last vehicle and a non-AS trailer as well as out 3/4 ton truck and Airstream is to have a standard hitch receiver mounted on the front of the vehicle and then use a standard hitch type bike carrier up front. I'm not sure if it is technically legal as I suppose it could be said to intrude slightly into your field of vision and perhaps cause slight obstruction to the headlights, but I have crossed the country numerous times with this setup and never had any problems.

Good luck on your newest adventures ................. Brian.
I had thought about mounting the bike in front, it would solve lots of other issues, so THANK YOU for the reminder. I'm going to look into that.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet View Post
Welcome to the board. It's important to maintain a sense of humor when backing up. I always wanted to have a set of Olympic style score cards handy for campground entertainment when your neighbor is trying to back a 40 foot trailer into a 30 foot space.....
I love that idea about the score cards. Always wanted to do that at the airport and rate all the truly outrageous landings! Great fun!
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple M View Post
Welcome too the site. You will find lots of info that will help. Any trips planed?
Mike
The first trip will be to Torrey Pines State Park Beach, which is about ONE MILE away. I want to check out all the systems, and be sure I can make a cup of coffee in it. I figure it's a great way to spend the day at the beach.

The big plan (in my dreams!) is to check out every beach-front campsite from Cabo San Lucas (Baja Mexico) to Anchorage, AK. Not all in one trip, but eventually. I figure that would be the priority before I head inland. I'd also like to tour some foreign countries... But first things first: Torrey Pines!
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Check out toppoprails.com. They make bike racks that fit over the propane tanks on the A frame of your airstrean. They work great and the hitch carries the load.
That looks like a neat idea, Thanks!

But I want to keep the bike with the tow vehicle so I can use it without hauling the Airstream. The other challenge seems to be that it would be difficult to place and retrieve the bike without somebody helping, and I travel solo. I'm thinking more seriously about the idea in another post about mounting the bike on the front of the tow vehicle... Thanks again for the suggestion.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:42 PM   #13
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Backin' that AS up!

The title of this post is a take-off on a rap favorite, and I normally hate rap, but in this situation it seems appropriate.

The good news is that I got this "Hitch Ball Finder" at Camping World and after getting all the visual noise out of the way, it works pretty good at hitching up. I feel that I have now graduated and feel relatively confident at this elementary skill.

The bad news is that backing up the tow vehicle is tons easier than backing up with the Airstream connected. It seems they always want to go in wrong directions, kinda like herding cats.

I know I'll get it figured out. Here's my affirmation of the day:

I am a highly intelligent person, with lots of patience and a great sense of humor. With practice I will soon become expert at backing up my Airstream and be able to park it in the most challenging spaces!


Thanks for the good suggestions!
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:54 PM   #14
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Hi FastMikie
I have an FJ Cruiser as well and am thinking about getting a 19' - 22' Airstream. Do you (or others) feel the FJ would be sufficient to tow this sized trailer?
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