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Old 03-24-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
Portsmouth , Rhode Island
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3
Picking up new Airstream

Our big day looms near! (this week!) I have dreamed of getting an Airstream since I was a small fry. When we would see one on the road, my dad would point it out with the wistful sigh of someone who longed to be the one towing it off to some pristine spot on the Maine coast! He passed away two years ago, and here I am, not too old and not too gray, preparing with spouse to pick up our first Airstream, (first any kind of travel trailer for that matter...) and wondering if anyone out there has any helpful advice for getting the most out of the dealer orientation-- not that we won't be giving it our full and utmost attention! Any and all helpful hints gladly accepted!



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Old 03-24-2009, 10:05 AM   #2
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1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
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Posts: 1,445

You've come to the right place, both to find people to share your excitement and to help with the questions you haven't asked yet.

Will you have the opportunity to spend a night in your new Airstream on the dealer's lot?

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We are glad to have you with us.

Congratulations on your new baby!

The only thing that I can recommend at the orientation is to take notes and some digital photos. Also, take your time; do not rush through it. Also, keep in mind that sometimes the person giving you the orientation has never spent the night in an RV in his life. We recently had a novice RVer come on the Forums, having trouble with his black tank. He had been told by the salesman to leave the black tank valve open while camping with full hook-ups. This is something that you never, never, never, ever do. The results are catastrophic. Ask the person giving you the orientation about leaving the black tank valve open while hooked to sewer. If he or she tells you it is alright to leave the valve open. ask to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about.

You are going to love the floor plan. We have a 25FB that we have towed over 40,000 miles and spent 360 nights in. We have not tired of it yet. We go out in Lucy every chance we get. We had never owned an RV before either. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it ain't launching rockets.

On the Forums, you have found the place to get all of your questions answered.

Be sure to take some baby pictures and post them for us to look at.

Safe travels.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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2009 International 532
Royal Arsenal , London
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Like you we pick up our first Airstream - BUT this is the Airstream Europe 532 model.

Not new to Caravans (travel trailers) but new to Airstream!
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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2006 25' International CCD
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Video Camera! Enjoy and congratulations.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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Since the purpose of an Airstream trailer is to hook it up to your tow vehicle and tow it to various destinations, one of the primary things you will want to become very familiar with is hooking and un-hooking the trailer. This procedure can vary by the type and make of your weight distribution hitch and sway control system. If you have not pulled a Travel Trailer before you should hook and un-hook at the dealership a few time to make sure you have the process down.

Then as Captain Kirk always said. Beam me up Scotty and take us to warp speed.

Have fun

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Filiform Corrosion

Make sure you inspect it carefully for filiform corrosion.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Willoughby , Ohio
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We are jealous of the anticipation and we remember it well!
Ditto the video camera, hitching/unhitching, take your time etc.
Have them take you for a ride while towing too to show you the ropes and let you try it as well.
Make sure you fine out how EVERY LITTLE thing works!
Don't be afraid to ask questions - they only seem silly to you - a good dealer has heard them before and should be prepared to answer them.
Come here often for lots of answers, advice, discussion, etc.
Best of luck!
Steve & Susan
WBCCI# 03876
AIR# 6511
2005 28' CCD, 2011 Sierra 5.3L, Equal-I-Zer
Empty Nesters - spending our money on OURSELVES for a change!
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:48 AM   #9
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Lum', congratulations. You choose the same one we have and I'm sure you'll be happy with it.

Did you get the owner's manual yet so you can read it and asks lots of questions? I read a few books on RV's and read tons of threads on the Forum before we went to pick up ours. I had two pages of questions on a legal pad. They alloted us two hours, but we took four.

They did not have a camping facility at the dealer, but we did stay nearby and had to come back the next day to have a few things dealt with. We didn't have the time to stay longer, but I recommend you do if you can. On our way home (240 mile trip), about halfway we stopped and found one of the large side windows gone. Neither the dealer or factory had adjusted the latch correctly, one latch opened, the window got sucked out. Now we always check the latches to make sure they are tight on all the windows. This is just an illustration of how many things there are to learn. It is overwhelming, but you'll figure it out. Everyone makes mistakes, so expect to do some dumb things and they won't hurt as much when you do. After a while things will become second nature, but even then it's good to have a check list of what to do, especially when you leave a campsite.

We had never owned a travel trailer and our experience towing anything was miniscule. Driving out of the dealership, making a tight, narrow right turn down the block, making another left on a busy street and not hitting the sign at the end of the median, then parking in a campground for the first time were scary, but nothing got hit, and nothing has since. When we got home, backing for the first time* was an adventure, but the trailer got parked just where we wanted it.

Some dealers are good, some are not. Make sure when hitched, the tow vehicle and trailer are on a level surface and the trailer is level. Bring a level with you to check. The tow vehicle should be level too and you will probably need more air in it's tires.

Then go enjoy yourself.


*back slowly, turn wheel slightly until you know how much the turn does to the trailer, hold steering wheel at the bottom and turn it towards the direction you want the trailer to turn.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:03 PM   #10
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I saw this one in Flagstaff the other day; the guy was very happy with it, towed it with a fresh F-150. It was from Maine and showed no corrosion.
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"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:36 PM   #11
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Thank-you all for your speedy responses. It is a lot to digest, but i am so excited about it, I couldn't sleep all night, nor wipe the silly grin off of my face! All of your suggestions will be heeded and I will charge up the batteries on the video camera. We will not be spending the night at the dealer.. it is still too cold to commission the water and holding tanks. I think we have been given a 5 hour time slot for our orientation. Thanks for cheering us on. 'Lum
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:11 PM   #12
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I'm a very satisfied owner of an '05 Safari I bought new. It still looks great inside and out.

If you live in a marine environment (I'm bringing this up due to Rhode Island) or drive on salty roads, please see the corrosion thread for some helpful tidbits buried there.

The corrosion starts by salts or minerals getting in the disturbed finish usually at a rivet hole. Or a chip from road damage.

In general, wash the trailer often, apply some kind of anti corrosion agent to the rivets (acf 50, etc) on a schedule. Inspect trailer monthly for corrosion, beginning when new, and apply anti corrosion agent to spots which are forming.

Use the least harsh cleaning agents possible, clear water only if possible, and flush a lot of rinse water over the trailer. Car cleaner wax is a good way to get off grease or deposits missed by clear water.

Some sources I've read indicated water softener's output is more corrosive than the city water prior to the softener.

Enjoy your new trailer!
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:25 PM   #13
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Welcome luminumluxe and Congratulations!

Record the orientation! Video if ya got it, voice if not!

Many dealers will let you overnight on or at a local trailer park and then re-orientate!

Enjoy your new stream, better yet USE it!

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Old 03-24-2009, 05:25 PM   #14
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Peoria , Arizona
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You will love the floor plan and have the time of your lives. This is our first trailer, also. Right off the bat, you may want to replace the factory mattress with a quality one. The curtains will eventually have to go, also. Other than that, you're good to go!

Janet & Leon
2007.5 Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins 16+ mpg towing
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