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Old 08-31-2016, 11:59 PM   #43
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This thread is not about boon-docking as much as off road trailering.
I admit to not reading everyone's post but it seam most want all the comforts the new trailers offer but want little of the restrictions that come with them. There is a cake saying about that.
I have an old trailer that I pretty much built/rebuilt. When I open the door and the closet has detached and yes it has happened more than once, I blame my inadequate skills and fix what I created.
There is freedom in not having to rely on other's work, even if their work is better. I have no one to blame but myself. Makes for less harbored anger.
You value your hard earned money and then exchange it for a trailer. So now your trailer has to live up to your equivalent standard/value you placed your money. It is constraining. It constrains your ability to enjoy your adventures.
I think instead of lusting after a better trailer which you will probably just place even higher expectation on, downsize to a lesser trailer that you have less expectation for its providing your joy.
Have fun. And sorry for my rant.


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Old 09-01-2016, 09:11 AM   #44
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We replaced ALL the catches for the doors and drawers with these at the link below. They stay closed and are probably 25% of the price of the Airstream "replacement" parts that are the same as the original failure prone stuff (polite phrasing).

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Hardware...=3,41399,41405

On the Flying Cloud models, I would think finally giving up in disgust and drilling through the press board doors and using nuts and bolts to attach to the hinge will be the best solution. Chrome headed hardware does exist as well as stainless steel.
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:27 AM   #45
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Awesome...doesnt seem too horrible...crazy that the factory skimps on dollar parts...thanks for the information.

-anthony
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:07 PM   #47
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Boondocking - Off the Grid - Base Camping: Not the same to everyone!

FC7039 should read all of the previous posts. It is like skipping the chapters that explain why this thread even exists.

Many do not associate Boondocking with Off the Grid or Base Camping. Dry Docking is another term commonly used as a definition of Boondocking. So just saying 'Boondocking' is an individual image of an extreme variety of activities.

Minimalist living... those who served in Southeast Asia or the Middle East might have a different opinion that someone with horses packing out to Yellowstone for a week on a hunting camp.

I have already confronted the diverging understanding of my meaning of Off the Grid and Base Camping on some Boondocking Adventures. I have also come to the conclusion that many are not totally prepared for these true experiences of using their Airstream.

Advertisements of an Airstream next to a still lake in the forest... may be only ten feet from a Resort and black top pavement. The family are dressed for tea time at the Resort. Some customers may not realize that advertising can be confusing, as well.

I have been able to take our two Airsteam trailers and FIX the interior weaknesses that probably are found in all mass produced trailers. Use will determine if the fixes are successful, or not. If not... you keep testing options.

Sometimes it is just a matter of inserting a wood screw at an 'angle'.

The hardware that Switz entered a website are used under the sink in our former 23 foot and our current 25 foot. The steel ball on the 23 foot popped out at one time and as long as we opened the cabinet, carefully, the latch performed well. We still tied the two handles with a cord... just... in case.

Having the retaining straps for the fresh, grey or black water tanks have never been an issue. Good!

Water leaks, none that we noticed. Good.

Dust coming into the trailer. Lots of issues in the 2006, but resolved at Jackson Center. Very little dust within our 2014.

Many do not understand that when an Off the Grid camper with an Airstream has a change in weather, you can change your elevation, location or sit tight. This is the first rule to be followed from years of experience. Mountains: Drive in Dry, Leave Wet. Not all of the time, but add snow in some cases.

To be an actual Off the Grid / Base Camper you have to be quick thinking, able to read a topographic map, 'read' the condition of a road before driving onto it and pages of actions that are 'automatic'. It is a challenge. To tow vehicle, trailer and campers.

This thread is just tossing out ideas on how to prepare, in advance, your trailer and maybe another Thread is needed to separate the Tea Time Boondocking from actual Off the Grid and off the beaten path type of camping. There is no comparison. Even then, the trailer may not be able to handle paved roads over improved dirt roads any better.

If you get frustrated with dust, mud, clipping brush & tree limbs, pot holes full of mud and water, no road identifications on forks or three roads coming to where you are confused... this may not be your... Cup of Tea.

Some on my Adventures were experienced and others learned very quickly from just doing Off the Grid camping. Some... just were not prepared for what can occur during these kinds of trips. Traveling Solo gives the Boondocking (OTG and BC) hundreds of options at just observations. With a group, you have the entire spectrum of travelers who can adjust to changes due to conditions and others... are totally unprepared to changes.

To really understand, one must do the best you can yourself. Push the limits as you gain confidence and experience in your judgement and your trailer's ability to hold together.

It is a Team Effort: You and your trailer. Everything else is unpredictable and you have to be able to make quick judgement of the current situation and options.

Enjoy your version of Boondocking, Off the Grid, Base Camping or whatever you might call it, but do not confuse YOUR definition with those of others. You might not be a happy... camper.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:18 AM   #48
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Great videos, information and perspective, all get me very excited...I had some 2nd thoughts after all the damage on my first trip, but you folks helped me to see things for what they really are and im eager to make a few additional mods to my trailer...i did not notice in either video their black/grey water plumbing hanging down like on my 23ft fb fc...I am curious to know if any of you modified same, besides adding some type of guard.

Thx,
-anthony
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:36 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa Lee View Post
I have had some of the same thoughts as you. I have had 4 Airstreams, and am getting tired of the pore construction methods they are using. From the paper then aluminum to the sub floor material that fall apart once it gets wet. I have had two Avion, and they have a lot thicker aluminum then Airstream.
So what I am going to do is take all of the experience that I have gained working on Airstream and build the RV that I want out of an all aluminum horse trailer. It comes with truck wheels, and heavy duty axles. All aluminum flooring and a roof that so strong one can store hay up there. Hope to see you in the Boonies some time.
right on!
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:24 AM   #50
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Tea time boondocking, now you're talking!
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:18 PM   #51
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Find your place of Peace... it exists.

Kelvin... enjoyed your Off Road adventures. Your videos will inspire others to take those first steps into the unknown. The sights and isolation are earned by persistence... and the willingness to attempt what most haven't the courage. Well done!

My Macho Trailer is being assembled while Boondocking and when we return from a trip. It is a slow process to discover any weak points to improve. The improvements may not be pretty... but they resolve the issue(s) one item at a time!

I get many emails... "Give me the GPS location of a place to go".

Kelvin made one statement that rings so true among 90% of Off the Grid trailer campers and tent campers... never disclose your favorite sites.

MY four Adventures, I took other Airstream owners to sites that were not discovered in one weekend, a month, one year... but within a TEN year period of success and failure. Notes and locations on the borders of well used maps. At times, scribbled on the edge of a map, "nice location, nothing to do, mosquitos".

Camped by sunset in the Oil Patch in Wyoming with twelve drilling rigs running 24 hours and lit up derricks, or camped upon Mine Tailings in western Montana, sometimes are the best sites available, before sunset eliminates any possibility of going forward.

I must also be careful not to disclose more remote areas. Kelvin and wife understand it takes a skill to travel some routes that most do not have, or never can accept as possible. No different that skiing the black slopes of Colorado, or trail biking along the Hog Backs of the western USA.

When some members decided they had enough... of the Wyoming Adventure it was not unexpected. Rain, cold, hot, wind and sunshine are never something that is ordered when Off the Grid. Many do not understand it is the 'getting there' that there is a need for a Guide, of some sort.

That was my mistake once arriving at various destinations. A more organized tour was possibly expected en masse. It is just not in the genome of a Off the Grid or Base Camper. There I failed miserably. By ourselves... we are free to make changes immediately and always to places that offer the most for the least amount of effort. It is also a skill, like Kelvin, that you have to FIND your reward without the location marked with a big, fat 'X'.

Once camped and settled... it is up to you what you make of the achieving what the majority never attempt. Pay the $75 a night at the RV Park... and take the easy way for the rest of your life. There are others who are ready to push into the unknown and never regret one moment of inconvenience.

My soul is among those that do take the less traveled rutted road to campsites, only known by the American Indian, and those who accepted the risks of true Adventure.
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Old 09-02-2016, 03:27 PM   #52
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Doctor's Orders: A wood screw or lathe screw keeps your AS strong

FC7039 in post #33 mentioned "This thread is not about Boondocking as much as off road trailering."

An interesting observation that is not even close. 'Off Road' is taking some jacked up Jeep or other Four Wheel Vehicle with oversized tires, tearing up the sod and marshes on public or private land.

This is not Boondocking, Off the Grid, Base Camping, Dry Camping or Dude Ranch vacationing. It is tearing up where there are no roads and not intended to be traveled with a motorcycle, ATV, Snowmobile or 4x4.

I have been on Forest Service roads that went from nearly two full lanes, to one and a half lanes, to one lane at locations that were cost effective and then an ATV track up and into the wilderness. Did it last month on the Wyoming Adventure. Although the ATV track was across the gravel stream channels to the Ranch access to the East of Double Cabin.

Where there is an improved road... an Airstream can manage.
- It may not appear pretty, but the width beneath your tires is what is important.
- The overgrowth of brush and lower tree limbs may need some trimming.
- The squeaking of your hitch is telling you your trailer is still attached, firmly.
- Your passenger's head hitting the window on an uneven spot is getting their, full attention.

Once the rivets, bolts and cabinets are tested and need to be examined how to improve them for your camping needs... there will be less and less over time to 'improve'.

I have not had a catastrophic failure that shut us down. Flat tires with our 14" Marathons on our 23 foot Safari... and needing changing on the side of a one and a half wide improved mountain road is not catastrophic. It means you need to 'upgrade' your tires... not sell your trailer and play it safe for the rest of your life, as many will decide is the smarter choice.

Carry a jar of bolts, screws and assortment of tools. Look at yourself in the mirror. You may need some work yourself... but you keep going. Your feet hurt. Your back hurts. It is raining outside. Just sit back... read a book, study a Forest Service map for where you want to be tomorrow. This is your Airstream. You can fix the aches and pains. Some of us... very little will be needed in cost out of pocket.

There are more who give up when the drizzle persists... at least the road will no longer be dusty.

There are those who complain about the wind, the noise of boulders rolling below the surface of a fast running river next to camp... the possibility of a bear or a moose to come near the campsite for a good look. Ignore them. I have heard it all, survived it all and you will manage as well.

Is there a perfect trailer for traveling the Forest Service and BLM roads? Maybe there is. Maybe there will be. Will it be your Macho Airstream with another $50 of improvements... or another promising brand gaining a reputation. I do not know, but am not waiting for someone to give me the green light to find out.

If you need a flushing toilet and a daily shower... maybe Boondocking is not for you. You may be around others who find it better to share a campsite with those that appear to be vagrants from the City Center in Denver, Colorado... but... YOU are an Airstream Boondoocker. Your home is just behind your tow vehicle. What you smell is the fresh air of success in your Airstream and just getting away from what others say... is not the purpose of your trailer.

Prove them wrong. I will give you the Lathe Screws to prove them wrong. An Airstream is capable, even if YOU need to tinker around with it a bit.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:39 PM   #53
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Talking of alternate campers, might consider Lance, Big Foot with the Oliver, Consita Egg and Northern.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:40 PM   #54
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I meant nothing disparaging about boondocking vs off-road. My thoughts were boondocking is no hookups. That may be a poor definition. By off-road I meant going places most most people would not take their trailer. Hookups or not. Roads or not. My points about wanting a better rig to me is contradictory to the desire to go to these places. The more you spend the more you value and the more you care about what you just spent money on. You can go the other direction and have a great trip.

I enjoy your many post as the make me long to be out doing what you are doing. Please don't give my views and comments much thought.

When I bought my trailer one criteria was I did not want my trailer to dictate what I could do.

As you are pointing out. As with being a Boy Scout. Be prepared. And if not, be a Rastafarian. Don't worry. Be happy.




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Old 09-02-2016, 06:05 PM   #55
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Can't wait to get my trailer back and make some improvements in it, and in my abilities to drive and manage the AS. While im brand new to the whole RV thing, I'm not new to taking the road less traveled in all areas of my life... I love being a beginner as well 😎
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:08 PM   #56
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FC7039 has helped everyone...

FC... you brought up interesting things to discuss. I just expanded upon your ideas and ran off with your 1950 Flying Cloud while you were distracted. Where have you taken this 'beast'? What did YOU improve on your Airstream?

Your 1950 21 foot Flying Cloud is a great example. It survived those 1950's roads and... what roads they were, indeed for another twenty years later. Who knows the stories your trailer could teach the Office Engineers at Jackson Center, Ohio! Each ding and bump has its story imprinted onto its aluminum skin. They may say that an Airstream's beauty is only skin deep, but YOU and I have the keys to explore what is inside. Only the gawkers study the skin. The heart and soul is built within...

I did not purchase our Airstreams or our current F350 pickup to keep them pristine in our garage. They are to use... and use... and use. Only someone with your trailer knows what needs do be done to get back onto the road. Those of us with a ten, twenty year old or newer Airstreams need to clean the cob webs out of their cranium cavity. If YOU do not use your trailer, whomever you sell it to for the depreciated value... WILL.

Thalweg with his 1962 24 foot Tradewind polished like a smooth silver dime did not hesitate to make the rounds on several Boondocking Adventures. The last I heard... he is back in Buffalo, Wyoming wondering what happened to Summer. Connie might be asking what happened to his Tradewind, but that would be his story to tell.

AAP. I know with a new Airstream and still recalling the price paid... put it behind you. Behind your... tow vehicle... your Airstream and let nature take its toll.

Whatever warranty service should cover, it will. These are usually the components that Airstream has others covering the warranty at a local RV dealer.

The rest is minor work involving bolts, screws, cabinet hardware, latches. You are now getting to know your trailer better. After two years... you and your trailer will be healed. Your wife might not agree... but find a Casino RV Park outside Las Vegas and have everyone take it easy every once in awhile.

Do not be embarrassed to add NON original hardware. If you do not... the original hardware can be swept off the floor into a carton for safe keeping.

I am doing some 'back and forth' with Oliver Trailer owners and looking forward to get in and under one... or two. There are some interesting aspects that would attract those Boondockers to actually taking them out into the wilds and give it a mud bath or a good ol' Wyoming frosty summer morning to test the insulation.

We are all better for using what we have used or new. In ten years no one is going to care what you or your trailer looks like. Although... you may want to get outside more often. Your looking pale.
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