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Old 05-05-2008, 07:31 PM   #1
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1999 25' Safari
Lima , Ohio
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Tornadoes, Wheel Bearings, New Airstream!

Wow! What a trip to go get our Airstream. Drove 600 miles from Ohio to Marion, Arkansas to pick it up. PO drove 600 miles from Texas to meet us! If you watched national news, then you know of all the tornadoes that were in our path! We were scared to death our Airstream wouldn't survive the trip. Much less us! 2 tornadoes hit 10 miles from our campground and devastated those towns. I believe they were Oriole and Haffer, AK? Spelling may be wrong. We purchased this trailer sight unseen. My husband and I agreed that if we got there and either said "no" that we were coming home without it. All was going well, until my husband noticed one of the tires sitting funny. So they hitched it up and took it out for a drive, he said once on dry pavement, it looked fine. Thought the PO wouldn't make a 600 mile trip if there were a problem. So it was ours. I was still nervous, about the trip home. Have never pulled anything! Our first 2 hour drive home was fine, then we heard a pop. Someone, pulled up, told us to get off the road, a tire had blown!!!!!! We were sick, got out, looked like the Airstream was on fire underneath, tire still there????? Thank GOD, the gentlemen returned to help us. He looked at it, and said he was a camper himself, he said it looked like the trailer brake, or wheel bearings were shot. Got us of the 70mph highway, and we followed him to RV America, in Sikeston, Missouri. They were awful! Would not help, I believe they have something against Airstreams! Told us they didn't have time for someone who didn't purchase their RV there! So we made several calls, no one was working, it was Saturday. So, he found a tire place, getting ready to close, they said they would look at it. So we drove through town, pulled in 11:30am,they closed at 12:00pm By then I was on the verge of a breakdown. I begged for help! A guy named Butch saved us, spent 3 hours on that trailer, without a grudge! Owner of the shop stayed and kept us company. I swear an angel was looking over us. To top it off, they practically gave the service to us! It was RABEN Tire Service in Sikeston, MO. What a wonderful place! The owner told us, to stop and eat at Lambert's cafe on our way out. We never heard of it, he couldn't believe it, said people come from all over to eat there. What a nice pick me up, they are called the "home of the throwed rolls" You can search it online, they actually throw dinner rolls to you. Best restaraunt home cooking I have had. Bad thing is I had white beans and ham. So 10 miles down the road, I had to go, and I mean now. We found the first exit with a gas station, turned the corner, and I SWEAR this gas station was on a mountain! My husband was freaking out on me, saying he was going to bottom out the trailer, I didn't care, I had to go! So we pulled in. When I finished, I came out and realized what a hill we were on, the truck on top, and airstream down the rest! He went in to pay for gas, and I left the truck door open, thinking if the trailer pulled the truck back down the hill I was jumping out! Then, we had to get out, pull off that monstrous hill! My gosh, we were scared to death. There were marks in the pavement from people bottoming out. Somehow, again by the grace of God, we made it out unharmed! For the next few miles, we saw a turtle cross the road, and saw a dog, running in the median. Braced for dear life, lord knows you can't swerve with the trailer. Missed both, again thank God. Then as dusk came, we kept seeing several deer. Decided to camp at a KOA for the night. Got up early, and headed out, finally made it home, with no more problems. Oh, and forgot to say at the beginning of our story, that when we went to leave our house to pick this up, my truck would not start, battery was dead! So you can imagine, just about everything went wrong! To say the least, I hope the worst is behind us, we know our tires and wheel bearings are fine now. We did get to camp in our Airstream for 2 nights, so we got the hang of hitching up and hooking up. I must say she is a beauty, everything I thought. And we towed with a 2005 Dodge Durango Adventurer, it did great! No problems, granted wouldn't take it to the Rockies, but she did fine all the way home. I also learned that in our crazy world there are still some good people out there. Had it not been for the gentlemen who stopped, and Raben tire, we would still be in Missouri today. So, I pray it is happy camping from here on out!

Couple questions you all may be able to answer for us.........
What kind of hitch lock do you use? Finding most don't fit.
What do you clean your Airstream with? Ours needs a good wash, after the storms she went through.
And does anyone have clear coat pitting on just the front? We don't know if it is from rocks, bugs? It is only on the front, even some on the propane holder? PO said it could be buffed, and maybe, but some of it has gotten under the clear coat. There are no dings either? If you have encountered this, what have you done?

We are so excited and proud to finally be a part of the Airstream family! We hope to see you at the Rallys!

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Old 05-05-2008, 07:47 PM   #2
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Dewey , Arizona
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Congratulations on getting the trailer. Great post!
I have heard of the restaurant, think I saw something on PBS about it once.
Why look for a bathroom when you have one right behind you?

I washed my trailer last week with ICE made by turtle wax. I thought it did a good job with very little streaking. The water here is very hard and that can be a problem.

I found a hitch lock at Home Depot. I think Reese makes it. You have to install it with the key back wards to it.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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What a wonderful story! Glad everything worked out OK, and thanks for letting us know about RV America.

It reminds me of my younger years when things would go wrong. You just had to hitch up your pants and deal with it, like you did.

I don't think I could handle the excitement now.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:30 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
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We just brought our 30 footer home a few weeks ago in the wind and rain with an untested new tow vehicle. Yeah, we were a little nervous. As soon as we pulled on the Interstate a guy came up beside us and told us our door was flopping open! We pulled over but it was just the door to the hot water. Dealer didn't latch it after our walk thru.
Lamberts is a great place to eat and the one in Sikeston is the original. There is another one just south of Springfield, MO on 65HWY (on the way to Branson) plenty of RV parking room, but ya better come hungry!!
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:41 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums,
Thanks for sharing your experiences, both negative and positive.
AIR #15800

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Old 05-06-2008, 06:30 AM   #6
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1999 25' Safari
Lima , Ohio
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Forgot to add it was the wheel bearings, they were actually gone! So they had to pull off the tire behind it, just to get the numbers they needed to replace them, Butch said he couldn't believe we didn't lose the tire!!!!! Also, note on using the Airstream for the bathroom, thought crossed my mind, but I didn't want to stink her out, for the first time the family would see her come home
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:44 AM   #7
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what an adventure!

I hope you are keeping a "road diary" for your Airstream, that was some ride!
Missouri really isn't all that bad, we love it here. Might not have been a bad thing if you had had to stay! Lots of nice people here, discounting some snobbish RV dealers! Lambert's is famous around here, and really good food. If you go away hungry it is your fault! We ate at the one south of Springfield a couple of moths ago when we went to look at an Argosy at an RV dealership nearby.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:18 AM   #8
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Bad weather, especially high winds, is a great reason for stepping up to an aerodynamic, low-center-of-gravity travel trailer; a design much superior to the fifth wheels out there. And the addition of a Hensley Arrow, as I see it.

It's easy to say that one can simply pull off the road . . but the fact is that an exit may be miles away, and the shoulder not wide enough.

Sounds like a good adventure. Hope the trailer suits you in all ways.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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Congratulations on the new Airstream. What an adventure you had bringing it home. Sorry about the problems with the wheel bearings. Seems there are threads here that mention problems on a certain years axles and the lack of proper grease installed in them from the factory.
Kevin with Baity the Lab/Pointer
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:40 AM   #10
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Congrats on your new rig and I admire how you just plunged in. What's life without adventure?

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #11
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1999 25' Safari
Port Huron , Michigan
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The Good/The Bad and The Ugly

I grewup in Missouri and my Mom still lives in Joplin.You will fine some awful people who wouldn't walk accross the the street to help you like in that trailer/selling place in Siketon. But the good people in Missouri like that Butch guy from Baden Motors in Siketon are what most of the folks in Missouri are like.They are really hospitable and will will really try and help you out.Yes Ive had throwed rolls!!I'm so glad you found some of the GOOD Missouri folks to help you. Wow what a trip .Take care and good Airstreaming to you. Jim A
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #12
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Hi! We were hoping to hear when you got the "new" trailer at home. Glad that you made it safely. We were hoping to hear that you were going to come our direction (towards Cleveland) for the shake down campout. Sounds like you have already had the shake down part.
Thanks for stopping to see us at the We Can Tow IT. Hope you will join us at one of our campouts this summer. We have a few already in the planning stages. Keep us posted on your adventures!
Lou and Larry
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CP: Water/30 amp/waste dump/WIFI & Room for 2-3 units; PM us if you are headed our direction!
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:39 AM   #13
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Deer Park , Washington
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I have the same problem with the pitting on the front of my Airstream also. There is an old Alaska sticker on the thing so I can understand the pitting if it was up there and back at some point in it's 41 year life. There is a polishing system out there that uses a course medium and fine abrasive. I was hoping that would take it out. If not we will just have to live with it. Would like to know if anyone has had the same problem and came up with a solution other than replacing the skin.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by custom67as
I have the same problem with the pitting on the front of my Airstream also. There is an old Alaska sticker on the thing so I can understand the pitting if it was up there and back at some point in it's 41 year life. There is a polishing system out there that uses a course medium and fine abrasive. I was hoping that would take it out. If not we will just have to live with it. Would like to know if anyone has had the same problem and came up with a solution other than replacing the skin.
Hi Ralph-- on this web forum, there is more information on trailer compounding, buffing, and polishing than perhaps any other single subject. You can navigate to the specific "Cleaning, Stripping, and Polishing" forum and click on just about any thread to find a ton of information.

Good luck!

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