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Old 06-23-2013, 09:16 AM   #1
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New orners: 2013 Int Sig. 23D

Just picked up our new International 23D yesterday. New to Airstream and new to travel trailers as well. Always wanted an Airstream and spent the last 2 years making this decision. Went in to look at a FC20, Sport 22 and the 23FB but liked the lounge area of the 23D much better and decided to live with the smaller corner bed to get the inside sitting area. TV could not handle the 25's which had it all but are happy with the choice...just need to learn to be better (quicker) at backing up and parking which I am sure will come with time. Anyway...looking forward to time at sites and in the trailer.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:47 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Airstream ownership. I recently looked at basically the same trailer you bought. I really liked it over the FB also. If I am ever able to swing a new trailer this will be the one I would strongly consider. I am with you on the issue of backing up. For me it has been a steep learning curve. I usually draw a crowd, maybe I should charge admission for the thrill of watching me trying to back in to a tight spot.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rrrobertskit View Post
...just need to learn to be better (quicker) at backing up and parking which I am sure will come with time.
You only need practice, it'll come. There's no time limit, either; always take your time. Don't forget to take a deep bow when you finish, your audience will appreciate it
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:01 AM   #4
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Find an open parking lot, bring camp chairs as cones and practice. I used the local VFW lot. Rule #1: when backing put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and move your hand in the direction you want the back of the trailer to go.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #5
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...For me it has been a steep learning curve. I usually draw a crowd, maybe I should charge admission for the thrill of watching me trying to back in to a tight spot.
:-)

I'm in the same boat. I'm always looking for the pull through but will struggle through a back in when needed. It's one hell of a show though :-)
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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Welcome Rrrobertskit! Plenty of great insight in the forums - most important, enjoy everything!!
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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I was where you are not too long ago. I did the "back up in an empty parking lot" routine and it really did help out. I had a couple of cones to mark areas. Frankly, once you get out and just do it you'll find that it isn't as difficult as it first seems. Welcome to the Airstream family...lots of great people on here who will bend over backward to be helpful!
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Leave a TRAIL for your TRAILER

Here's the Idiots guide to backing (mine). Get an empty dish detergent bottle, fill with water and draw a trail in the dirt/pavement from your driver's side back tire to the point where you want that tire to rest when you're properly parked. Then just back that one tire over the trail. If you don't have pavement and are on gravel and grass, use a generous teaspoon of detergent and about a cup of water and shake. The soapsuds trail will last about 5-10 minutes.

This technique also instantly showed me that I had a tendency to not pull forward far enough to make a reasonable (not jackknifed) turn. I also saved the rear bumper a few insults by drawing a "stop backing HERE" line when the rear of the site had obstructions.

You CAN use this even if you have to make the turn from the right side, though I try to avoid those.

If you have to squeeze between trees, or have a really tight site, get out and manually check as many times as you feel the need to do so. I don't trust the nice people who want to help - not that they are evil, but that helpers and drivers need to have an agreed upon set of signals AND walkie-talkies. Strangers with flopping hands yelling "your other left" ... not so much.

Oh, and a backup camera for the rear of the trailer - priceless!


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Old 06-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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Sometimes it is good to have someone coach you through it- someone outside the car telling you a little left, a limitless right, hard left, hard right. You will surprise you that with someone coaching you it will go into the campsite on the first try.
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