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Old 08-01-2016, 08:22 PM   #15
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There arent many places our 34' Classic havent seen!
Good thing we have sacrificial frame skids (or had)!
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #16
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The only consideration is can you turn around. I've ended up on more than one front lawn at the end of a dirt road that my GPS told me went through.

Good opportunity to practice backing up your trailer.
I like to scout ahead but I still get stuck now and than on someone driveway.
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:38 PM   #17
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The only consideration is can you turn around. I've ended up on more than one front lawn at the end of a dirt road that my GPS told me went through.
There are two things you never trust; a GPS, and a Fart!
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Old 08-02-2016, 12:47 PM   #18
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We've been lots of places many people would think we shouldn't.

We've been stuck due to severe rain. It is my experience that towing services are not much interested in dealing with an RV that is off road, and there is no coverage from various road service plans.

We carry an extensive recovery kit on these adventures. Shovel, axe, saw, long tow strap, two pieces of chain, cluster hooks, shackles, jacks, hand winch, pulley. The chain is rated for a 7000# working load. If you're accustomed to pulling Jeep-sized vehicles out of the mud then an Airstream and full size truck are a whole different ballgame. The whole kit weighs almost 100 pounds.

Ground clearance, width, overhead clearance, and turn radius are all limiting factors. We scout ahead if there is any doubt.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:33 PM   #19
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I'm sure Wally Byam encountered some terrible roads on his international caravans. I'm sure they had a lot of breakdowns.

But after installing three belly pans on our three trailers, I'm not interested in ripping some of it off on a rock, rut, log or stump. I respect the Airstream for what it was designed for, and old logging and mining trails ain't one of those design criteria in my view. Example, a Hummer is a whole lot different than a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Some folks love the adventure of getting as far "off the grid" as possible. My sons backpack hike for days at a time into the mountains. They love the outdoors and so do I. They love a cold night in the rain. Me, not so much. I'm just not as adventuresome as they are, or as many other folks are.

I'm rather boring actually...

David
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:18 PM   #20
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My wife and I go down a lot of dirt roads with our 19' Bambi, but we have one rule before going down a new dirt road: "If One Says No, We Don't Go...!"
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:34 PM   #21
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You've gotten some great advice.

You might also consider packing a bucket (easier for infilling dirt that you've shoveled if you need to fill in a bad hole or rut) and travelling with a mountain bike, as this might be easier for scouting out a dubious road than on foot.

But seriously, we'd prefer to pre-scout out a road with our high-clearance 4WD truck, and then come back with the AS once we know we're not going to ding it up. We often stay in out-of-the-way BLM campgrounds accessible by graded or paved roads, and then take just the truck out on back-roads day trips.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:29 PM   #22
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I like the true sense of adventure in this thread!

I am told I will have to buy a new house to park everything, but one day I would love to have an old Bambi or Caravel with leaf springs and lift to use a way out back boondock bubble. Then a newer big until for easier accessed stuff.

I definitely second the chainsaw and extra petrol to run it as well as the shovels and extra jacks and recovery equipment.

Does anyone bring a compressor to they can air down tires for the washboards and then air back up Once back on pavement?

At 27 feet and sagging axles (new 32 degree units are on their way) Before I pull down into an old landing or spur road I want to camp in, I always check it out on foot to make sure someone hasn't grabbed the spot, and also to insure I can get turned around.

Aside from an Airstream though, other shelter options are wall tents and those super cool pop up trailers made in Australia.
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I'm sure Wally Byam encountered some terrible roads on his international caravans. I'm sure they had a lot of breakdowns.

But after installing three belly pans on our three trailers, I'm not interested in ripping some of it off on a rock, rut, log or stump. I respect the Airstream for what it was designed for, and old logging and mining trails ain't one of those design criteria in my view. Example, a Hummer is a whole lot different than a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Some folks love the adventure of getting as far "off the grid" as possible. My sons backpack hike for days at a time into the mountains. They love the outdoors and so do I. They love a cold night in the rain. Me, not so much. I'm just not as adventuresome as they are, or as many other folks are.

I'm rather boring actually...

David
After a certain age boring is good.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:01 PM   #24
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Thanks to all of you!!! I've learned a lot!!
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:29 PM   #25
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A 4 WD tow vehicle would be a plus, or maybe a locking differential on the rear wheels. My truck has both. Mud flaps to protect the trailer from flying rocks. Dexter has about a 3" lift kit for their axles. It is about $400.00, and not too difficult to install. That's about all I can add to what's been said here.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:03 PM   #26
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I like the true sense of adventure in this thread!

....

Does anyone bring a compressor to they can air down tires for the washboards and then air back up Once back on pavement?

.....
This seems like a lot of extra work and gear-- generally we try to take washboards nice and slow.

But another point to consider is that if you ding up the Airstream on a rough back road, would your insurance would pay for repairs (minus deductable) or would you have to pay entirely out-of-pocket?
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:53 AM   #27
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It could be a bit of work, but depending on the amount of road to cover it may be a net gain of time. They also make some pretty light weight and pack-able 12 volt air compressors that are common in the off road world. I don't do it. I just thought I would ask if any did.

Now a suitcase welder... That might be taking a bit too much, but hey maybe not.
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Old 08-05-2016, 04:32 PM   #28
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Another thing came to mind - if you do travel a significant distance on a washboard road (e.g., the road to Chaco), take a look at how your upper cabinets fit snugly to the ceiling and then check them afterwards. I noticed the cabinet above our bed where we rest our heads each night was only held up by only a few screws. All of our cabinets had vibrated loose, so do a thorough check on them afterwards.

Oh, and turn off the water pump. The faucet in the bathroom can jog on. Found out the hard way.
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