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Old 03-08-2011, 08:46 PM   #1
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Cross country airstream travel!

My wife and I are moving from Nashville to Seattle at the end of this month. We bought a 1971 Airstream overlander in November and have been getting it ready for the road ever since. We will take about two weeks to travel out there to visit friends along the way. Anything we should know about? Any advice?
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:44 PM   #2
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Make sure to first off have fun. A couple of notes make sure to repack your bearings, check the tires, and also check the break away switch. Ours was seized up and didn't realize it until someone pointed it out. Have fun and safe travels to you.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If you have tested all your systems, you should be ready to go. Make sure that your tires are less than six years old regardless of the amount of tread they have on them and how good they look.

You might also consider a couple of nights of test camping before heading out cross country'

Brian
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:57 PM   #4
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I know that life is hectic leading up to a move, but if you haven't already done so and have a chance it would probably be good to take a weekend shakedown trip somewhere close to Nashville when you think everything's ready for the road. That'll give you a chance to find the inevitable last few details before you're in the middle of a cross-country trip.

PS: I swear moosetags post suggesting the same thing wasn't there when I started writing!
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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Some older models don't have propane leak and CO2 alarms. These don't cost a lot and can be a real life saver. If you haven't yet serviced the furnace, AC and water heater you should do this to ensure safe and uninterrupted service.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Two weeks is a good amount of time to make that trip. Take some of the less traveled roads and see some of America not along the Interstate system. You might find the trip to be a little more enjoyable since it will be at slower speeds and towing for the first time can be a challange, especially at Interstate speeds with all the truck traffic.

Have a good GPS with up-to-date maps. Have a basic tool set handy. Got a cell phone?

Pets? get a high quality dog kennel for them and have them chipped for tracking if lost.

Safe travels - lots of cool sights between where you are and where you are going.

Mike
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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Take each problem in stride and think through them fully. Simple solutions come from slow and deliberate thinking. Remember this is FUN and take your time. You will remember this trip for years so a camera is in order. Do it. zz
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
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Consider your route to take into account wild spring weather. If you intend to go over any mountain passes this time of year (i.e., Snoqualmie, Lookout, Donner, Siskiyou), check the road conditions. We've had lots of snow and "active" weather in the Pacific Northwest this year. Have a great time.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input! All systems checked and in running condition. Barrings are brand new. Tires are at least four years old. I am going to get a propane leak alarm and I need a new breakaway switch. We are going to be living in the airstream for about two weeks before we move to get used to it. What are your thoughts on sway control bars? Do we need one?
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:16 PM   #10
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Cross country airstream travel!

Greetings jesse_kevon!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Overlander ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse_kevon View Post
What are your thoughts on sway control bars? Do we need one?
Your question is one that has as many different answers as there are Airstream owners. My preference is to utilize one of the Reese Strait-Line hitches with built-in Dual Cam sway control. To me, sway control and a proper hitch setup are cheap insurance for a trouble-free trip. When I first started towing, I towed with a friction sway control bar; but would never go back to that design since the Dual Cam sway control requires far less adjustment. You can add Reese Dual Cam Sway Control to an existing Reese hitch, and it is a comparatively easy project -- particularly if you choose the "classic style" that attaches to the A-frame of the trailer hitch with U-bolts.

I have attached a photo of the Dual Cam setup on my Minuet:



Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse_kevon View Post
Thanks for the input! All systems checked and in running condition. Barrings are brand new. Tires are at least four years old. I am going to get a propane leak alarm and I need a new breakaway switch. We are going to be living in the airstream for about two weeks before we move to get used to it. What are your thoughts on sway control bars? Do we need one?
For that size trailer I think you will find that the general opinion here is that you will need the sway control. Reese and others sell good quality equipment at an affordable price - there are others that are very expensive. The rule "you get what you pay for" is one that applies to the anti sway and weight distribution systems on the market today. Take a close look at what you are buying - shop some of your ideas here and you wull get lots of responses but good opinions to guide your purchase.

Age on tires that are on a trailer is a bigger factor than milage. Check for bulges or bubbling on the sidewall (soft spots) and cracking of the rubber between the treads. If the trailer sat for a long time in one place the tires may have developed a flat spot that will weaken the tire in that location. Check them early on your trip several times as you stop - touch them to ensure they are the same temperature. Check the hubs (bearings) to ensure thay have not overheated and re-torque the lug nuts after about 100 miles at the start.

Overkill??? Parinoid??? Stuff happens with trailers, it's better to be safe. Some things are hard to detect in the tow vehicle until it's late in the event. You have a double axle trailer - that helps alot with safety if there is a blowout. Makes it easy to change a tire, just drive the good tire up on blocks and change the flat tire on the same side.

Travel Safe.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:16 PM   #12
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1971 27' Overlander
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Any sway bars that don't require a screw off ball hitch? I have one solid unit and most sway bars I have looked at only work with the hitches that have a screw off top.
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Old 03-11-2011, 12:05 AM   #13
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I have a 34' and use the Equalizer 4-Way and love it. I've put 20,000 miles on it in the last sixteen months with great success.
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