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Old 05-15-2017, 08:48 PM   #1
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2017 27' International
Brooklyn Park , Minnesota
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New IS 27FB Twin on the way - finally

After a year of research, looking and hand wringing I finally ordered my new AS. Looking forward to my first adventures this summer. I'm already planning to winter in Florida. I have a job where I can work from anywhere so finally taking advantage of that.

This is a new adventure for me. I've never towed a trailer before. I'm not as worried about the highway towing as I am about other aspects. Backing up and navigating places like gas stations still seem pretty daunting.

Any tips or advice you can offer a newbie?

Thanks in advance!

Jim
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:41 PM   #2
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Congratulations! I've lived in 2 houses in NMpls, glad to see an old haunt on here!

Backing up just takes practice, no big deal, just practice.

Try to time your gas fills at big rig/semi type gas stations. Check out Allstays app, it great for many things, including finding the rv stations.

Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:03 AM   #3
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Find an open parking lot in the evening, go with a friend, use the 6 o'clock technique and practice. I tow a 30', picked up many tips from YouTube . Just traded my 2014 30' FC for a 2018 Serenity 30'', size not an issue when backing, simply strive to look over your drivers side shoulder when backing, know where you tires are. Go slow, the rest is easy.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:29 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. It's great to have you with us. And congrats on your purchase.

I remember when I towed my first trailer. It was a 27' long. It was intimidating and I was afraid of all the things you mention in your post. As I was about to pull away, a gentleman that looked to be in his 80's, drove into the dealership with a giant motor home pulling a trailer behind him. I thought if he can do it so can I and I did.

Wishing you many happy and safe miles of traveling!
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:41 AM   #5
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Jim:

Good advice above. We were in your position four years ago when we began more than three years of full-timing. Take time to scout out gas stations - we begin looking when the tanks gets to half full and big rig friendly stations are usually the best with plenty of room to manoeuvre. Backing up takes some practice but take your time and have a good spotter (and work out your signals ahead of time).

Otherwise, take it easy, watch your mirrors and be aware of what is happening around you.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:44 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Forum and congratulations on a great travel trailer selection. We have just taken delivery of our FC25FB and love it. Its very exciting to take that new Airstream out on its maiden voyage.

You have received excellent advice above and I follow all those tips. Another tip would be to develop a system for hitching up the Airstream. Always repeat the hitching process in the same order and double check everything before driving away. Its easy to forget or miss a step which could be disastrous. One important step is to check tire pressures. I always carry a tire pressure gauge in my pocket and 12V air compressor in the Airstream while traveling.

Have fun with your new Airstream!
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:47 AM   #7
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youTube is your friend. Long Long Honeymoon has some decent videos and is Airstream oriented


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Old 05-16-2017, 07:52 AM   #8
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Give toll booths, gas pumps, etc a wide berth at first. It won't matter if you have to open the door to hand over a toll. Sometimes protective bollards are out farther than the curb.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the warm welcome and lots of great advice.

I already downloaded Allstays - great app! I've spent many a late night watching loloho and have learned a lot. I plan to get a TPMS for the trailer tires and already have a 12v air compressor with an extension cord.

Planning a few long sessions of backing in a parking lot. Have to get over the self conscious aspect of that first for real back in. Lol.

Thanks again. I'm very excited about this new journey.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:03 PM   #10
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Next Exit

A really handy book to have onboard your tow vehicle is "Next Exit". It has
information (gas, food, parking, shopping) for just about every exit on the
interstate highway system. The gas stations that are "rig friendly" are printed in red. It has certainly made life a lot easier when deciding where to pull off. You will learn that the gas pumps at the end of the row are the best, as long as you have an escape lane. Pulling away from the pumps can be one of the scariest things; the nice shiny aluminum does not mix well with gas pump islands. I have walked all the way aroung the gas store many times checking the departure path. Congrats on new unit.

Don

Remember when leaving the campsite..."Look up, look down, look all around"
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:05 PM   #11
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Anyone ever have an issue with gas pump island canopies? I'm not sure of the clearance. I think the AS is 9'9"
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:51 PM   #12
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I go with a 10 foot clearance, so far I haven't hit anything yet.
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donabston View Post
A really handy book to have onboard your tow vehicle is "Next Exit". It has
information (gas, food, parking, shopping) for just about every exit on the
interstate highway system. The gas stations that are "rig friendly" are printed in red. It has certainly made life a lot easier when deciding where to pull off. You will learn that the gas pumps at the end of the row are the best, as long as you have an escape lane. Pulling away from the pumps can be one of the scariest things; the nice shiny aluminum does not mix well with gas pump islands. I have walked all the way aroung the gas store many times checking the departure path. Congrats on new unit.

Don

Remember when leaving the campsite..."Look up, look down, look all around"
I am putting this book on my "want" list. Sounds like a nice thing to have along. Thanks for the recommendation.

And btw I agree with having an exit strategy when at the gas station or even in parking lots. A little bit of thinking ahead can spare you much stress!
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyanik View Post
Anyone ever have an issue with gas pump island canopies? I'm not sure of the clearance. I think the AS is 9'9"
My 2009 25' is listed at 8'11". I have never actually checked it but am always concerned when I see low clearance. Otherwise this is what can happen!
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