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Old 05-29-2007, 04:24 PM   #29
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2007 19' Bambi
Colfax , California
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 45
We spent ten days dragging our new 19' Safari SE around Mojave Preserve. The closet and vanity doors fell off as well as the catch on the privacy panel by TV. All because screws pulled out of pressboard cabs. Hot water heter became misaligned and flame came out of exhaust.
We were never short of water or room for waste, though we took advantage of dump stations & hydraunts whenever we found them. our solar panel has kept the batteries fully charged since we took delivery in March.
A/S Sacto fixed all warranty claims with a smile . . . and we keep going, lovin' our Bambi & Tacoma combo.

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Old 05-29-2007, 04:56 PM   #30
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2006 28' Safari SE
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Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 696
hitch adjustments

Several folks commented on hitch adjustments. I believe that means weight distribution. The question is, evenly distributed on trailer and TV wheels or more on the Chevy's big rear leaf springs? The Rock Tamers look like a good investment.

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1981 Excella 280 Turbo Diesel Motorhome
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Old 05-29-2007, 05:24 PM   #31
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1972 23' Safari
Placitas , New Mexico
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 281
just getting in our driveway is "off-road"

We live at the end of a dirt road and getting Airylle in her parking place requires traversing some pretty uneven and bumpy terrain. We have to use four wheel drive to park her. I would say that's a necessity if you take an AS off the beaten path. That said, we took her about 6 miles up a dirt road to a great campground in Arizona that was on the top of a plateau. The only casualty was the maple syrup bottle. It tipped over and somehow managed to leak even tho' the cap didn't come off....maybe the change in elevation.
Take it slowly and carefully.
Airylle 1972 Safari featured for 5 nanoseconds in the movie Wild Hogs

Jupiter (the Golden Retriever)
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:50 PM   #32
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2008 28' International CCD
Orange County , California
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 14
Blog Entries: 3
We have towed our 28 foot International to Lake Victoria located in Lost Valley in San Diego County twice. To see where we were, click this link. The last 11 miles of the road are quite rough (you can see that if you zoom out). I probably won't do it a third year, but we had fun with the airstream once we got there. The advice to "go slow" is imperative. Especially when it is single lane dirt with tight turns and opposing traffic.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:54 PM   #33
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1980 31' Excella II
Drummond Island , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 140
Don't know how tough the new Airstreams are but I grew up reading National Geographic articles and pictures of the great Wally Byam caravans everywhere in the world where the only roads were a bad roads. I have towed over our A/S over some pretty bad roads. Make sure everything that can fall down is down already, keep an eye on the entry door (they like to fly open) and have some protection on the windows and front of the trailer, little rocks flying off of tires put a lot of little dents in aluminum. In my original owners manual it describes how to cut out pieces of cardboard which are attached to the front of the trailer to protect it from flying debris. Looks like heck but better to recycle some beat up cardboard when you are done.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:22 PM   #34
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Agoura Hills , California
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 16
In the late 70's my car dealer Dad sold a F-250 4x4 with a 460 and low gears to a recent retiree, the guys plan was to buy a trailer and drive all the way to Artic Ocean over the summer. The guy bought a 30 foot big white box and off he and his wife went. Six weeks later they showed up at the dealership and the old man asked how was your trip, the guy answered, "the truck did fine, the trailer didn't, come on out and take a look." The trailer had four of those big black metal shipping bands cinched around it. The guy told my Dad that on the first day on the gravel road (the one that is famous now from the TV show) they stopped for lunch and realized that not only had the back window fallen out, but the refrigerator had fallen over! And that was only the beginning! The best advice on this slow, real slow!
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:02 PM   #35
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1974 31' Sovereign
Tyler , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Foureagles View Post
On nights when the beer is flowing freely, I even consider raising the suspension on the old gal, then I sober-up and remember the several touchy side hills with thousand-foot drops. Hmmm, button-activated quick-release hitch, or maybe just leave the seatbelt off and be prepared to jump.
Hey man, don't abandon the old girl to the drop. Build in a drag brake that you can drop if she starts sliding.

Sounds like you're in for quite a journey regardless.

Home again in Tyler, Texas

Please visit any time!
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:35 PM   #36
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2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
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Castle Rock, CO & Boulder City, NV , CO/NV
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,951
Always a Newbie

How many dents on the towing end of the AS from gravel being tossed up can you tolerate? How many loose screws do you have the time to find where they fell from? How many hinges do you want to adjust after finding a suitable camping spot? How much dust do you want to clean out of the trailer? How much of a tire performance test do you want? Plumbing fixtures coming loose. How many brush and branch marks can you tolerate? Can you change a flat tire, on your side without reading glasses, in a ditch, in a gully, alongside an ant hill, etc. etc..

Do you carry a chain saw, clippers, shovels, sturdy boards for stubborn dry creek crossings, fully pressurized spare tire, fresh water jugs, etc. etc..

Do you have a GPS, quadrangle maps, National Forest map, compass, State Atlas, a note book to note where you have been and are going to, etc. etc..

Other than that, I think the AS will do fine.

After that first year, you will no longer be a Newbie and all of the above will be accepted, repaired and improved. You will become a Rockdocker and not an asphalt hugger boondocker. Nothing... I mean nothing that you learn that first year will be forgotten, but pushed to the limit and then a bit more each year. How I miss that first year... Good luck and whatever happens, good or bad, you will manage to get through it and know you are one of the few that have found a home where no one else dares to travel!
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #37
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2007 19' Safari SE
Seal Beach , California
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 204
Plan B

As a solution to access 4WD destinations where our Bambi can't follow, we added a Flip-Pac camper shell to our 4WD F-150.
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"I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In fact, I work only under duress." -Ed Abbey

Jerry & Susan
2007 19' Bambi SE; 2010 Ford F-150 5.4L SuperCrew 4x4 w/ FlipPac camper shell
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:14 PM   #38
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2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
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We have a homestead cabin in Joshua Tree area a couple miles from pavement. It is graded dirt in variable condition. My only recommendation is to go very slow. Not only does it keep the shaking way down, it keeps the dust down too. I get less shaking on the dirt portion than the broken up freeways, but that is due to my snails pace on dirt.

I do have the luxury of only about four miles of dirt round trip so I can afford slow.

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Old 07-18-2010, 01:46 PM   #39
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Trabuco Canyon , California
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:11 PM   #40
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2007 20' Safari SE
Montrose , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 12
When you do decide to take the plunge and attack some of those enticing gravel and dirt roads, be sure you know how to back up real well. We once hit a spot that we couldn't get our AS across and my husband had to back up almost 1/4 mile to a spot to turn around. That just adds to the adventure. And the memories.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:18 PM   #41
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,023
Offroad? Wrong rig for the job mainly because 'streams have so little ground clearance. Truck campers are the rig to take on these sorts of trips.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #42
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2007 20' Safari
Montrose , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 63
Off road? Not really what we are talking about here. We are talking about pulling the AS on gravel and graded dirt (and occasionally two track) Forest Service type roads to remote camping areas where there are no services. We bought our 20' Safari just for that reason. It is short and very manageable in these type of situations. Have we gotten into tight spots? Yes. Will we do it again? Yes. We love our AS, but we plan on wearing it out with use, providing us with many fond memories along the way. Ray Eklund has explained this philosophy very well in his rockdocking thread. To make our AS a little bit more capable off of the paved road, we have stepped up to 16" LT tires whiach provides for a stronger sidewall and a bit more clearance. Future modifications as time permits will be a skid plate under the tank drains (currently the lowest spot) and a 1 1/2"-2" lift block between the axle and frame.

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