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Old 07-29-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
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Bothell , Washington
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First ever long haul

We leave sunday 07/31 to travel from western washington to north easternish Indiana. This will be the first time that i've "camped" that far away from home. We plan on taking a week to get to Chain-o-lakes in Indiana, but i'm wondering if there are any last minute tips from the experienced 'streamers here.

I feel like we have everything ready, but i'm sure there's something that i just haven't thought of, that i'm going to really wish i'd have either done or brought with me.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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Good luck on your journey. Enjoy the trip, and don't worry too much. Things usually work just fine.

Safe travels.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:56 PM   #3
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An adequate weather radio, our first loooonnng distance trip was last year from Western WA ST to Gillette, WY and it was smack in the middle of the thunder/tornado/hail/ season. Keeping a watch on the weather (especially hail) was a big deal for us. We had just rehabbed our Argosy complete with new paint and I sure did not want to take it out on its maiden voyage and "sink" it. It all worked out fine but a weather radio was important.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:57 PM   #4
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Hi from GA. . . Take your time, be safe, make it fun ! We just did ATL to Yellowstone to Boise to Grand Canyon and back (43 days) and it was BIG fun. You'll have a ball. regards, Craig
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:45 AM   #5
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First ever long haul

Greetings Uzzah!

Since 1995, I have spent from four to six weeks traveling in one of my Airstreams every year. The following is a list of items that I make sure are in my coach:
  • Six-ton bottle jack to change a flat . . . a necessity with my single axle Minuet, but nice to have even with my tandem axle Overlander.
  • Lug wrench and breaker bar to fit trailer lugs.
  • Compact air compressor for daily tire pressure adjustment (I always check tire pressures in the early morning prior to departure).
  • Tire guage that reads to at least 100 psi.
  • Spare bulbs for all exterior lights.
  • Spare 12-volt fuses for all coach circuits as well as tow vehicle circuits.
  • Spare 30 or 50 AMP fuse for underhood tow vehicle trailer wiring junction box.
  • Spare air filters for air conditioner and furnace.
  • Torch for lighting pilot lights.
  • Flexible bottle brush for cleaning air intake for water heater.
  • Spare car and trailer ends for umbilical cable . . . . before switching to round pin connectors, I had to replace one or the other umbilical cable ends every season due to corossion.
  • Spare water filter cartridge.
  • Heavy duty brass water pressure regulator (I attach this to campground water supply before connecting my hose).
  • Electrical adapters
    • 30-AMP to 15-AMP
    • 30-AMP to 50-AMP
  • Extension cord . . . rated for 30-AMP RV use (25 feet) . . . . as strange as it may sound, several of my favorite campgrounds have inconvenient electical connections and it is necessary to have an extension of at least 15 feet to connect to shore power.
  • Under patio awning mat. I initially thought that these mats were just a lot of extra trouble, but I have learned that they really cut down on the dirt tracked into the coach and they make the under-canopy patio area more appealing.
  • Weather radio . . . regardless of time of year, it seems like there is always some type of storm to be prepared for as well as the other emergency messages that may be broadcast on weather radio.
  • Citizen Band Radio . . . I have a 40-channel permanently mounted in my Overlander and a portable that I keep in my Minuet. Often cell phone reception can be unpredictable in some of my favorite camping areas and the Citizen Band radio can come in handy to summon help in an emergency.
  • Reese On-the-Ball lubricant for the hitch ball.
  • Distilled water for coach batteries.
  • Blue ice containers for temperature maintenance in refrigerator.
  • 12-volt wiring repair kit.
  • PAR water pump rebuild kit . . . I refuse to give up on my PAR water pumps when a $30.00 rebuild kit will add another five to 10 years onto the pump life (my '78 Minuet still has its original PAR pump).
  • Spare Snap-Up Bracket retainer clips.
  • Spare safety chain retainer clips.
  • Spare hitch pin with cotter key.
  • Rebuild kit for coupler assembly. Marvel rebuild kits continue to remain availalbe and the cost is minimal so I carry a kit for each of my coaches in my tool kit.
  • Safety triangles for use if it becomes necessary to stop along the edge of the highway during and emergency.
  • Rubber mallet for reseating wheel covers that try to work themselves loose during a day's travel.
  • Lynx levelers or leveling boards, and a reliable level for properly leveling coach.
  • Heavy duty wheel chocks for blocking coach when parked on a slope.
  • Spare Thetford dump valve covers (with and without garden hose adapters).
  • spare thetford dump hose adapter.
Two of my three under-lounge storage tubs are filled with the various things named above, and I just keep a list of items that need to be replaced as each trip progresses.

Enjoy your getaway!

Kevin
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:13 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Enjoy the trip....

I too was very nervous on our first trip, developed a habit that has served me well and lasted 24yrs.

At every rest stop do a complete TV and AS walk-around, the first thing I discovered....the trailer plug dragging the road, it now gets zip-tied on every trip. If we we are going to continue into the night, check all lights.

You'll be surprised how quickly the travel becomes part of the adventure.

Stream Safe...

Bob
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:34 AM   #7
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I really agree with the walk around the trailer at every stop , especially checking the tires for any sign of trouble. Also , I advise not towing at night if possible , as any issue on the highway is compounded at night.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
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Along with " ALL THE ABOVE" on your walk arounds put a hand on the wheel hubs. An early warining to any trouble with your wheel bearings. Warm is OK. Hot means trouble may be brewing.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:05 AM   #9
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Wow, thanks so much.... we are very excited.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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The list that Overlander64 dropped on me here, would make me think that there is a high likelyhood that my trailer is going to get damaged on this trip. Guess if i leave the house with that in mind it wont upset me too much when it happens. Do you all find that something breaks on the trailer regularly when on long trips?
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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First ever long haul

Greetings Uzzah!

I didn't mean my list to be alarmist, rather a tool to make for more enjoyable. travel. It is rare that I have to remove more than one or two spare parts from my supply bin, but it is so very nice to have those things available without having to search for them in an unfamiliar town or while on the road. The greater likelihood is that I end up sharing some of my spare parts with fellow caravannners who have parts failures.

Good luck with your adventure!

Kevin
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
Along with " ALL THE ABOVE" on your walk arounds put a hand on the wheel hubs. An early warining to any trouble with your wheel bearings. Warm is OK. Hot means trouble may be brewing.
I actually carry an infrared thermometer for this. We bought it for other reasons but I've ended up using it for all manner of things, such as a quick check on the temperature of a frying pan or pizza stone, and this new Airstream habit I've developed. I check the tire and hub temp before we set out and then again at every stop.

A these temperatures, "warm" would probably have to be less than ambient air temp, so a "hard number" is good for me. Besides, I'm a geek, I love toys like that. It was about $40 from Amazon and fits in the door pocket of the truck when we're traveling.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:52 PM   #13
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Things will break when you travel because that's when you use it. Being prepared for reasonable (and maybe some unreasonable) repairs make life easier.

A recent thread went over this: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ler-77664.html

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Old 07-30-2011, 02:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
I actually carry an infrared thermometer for this.
Agree. This on one of the most valuable items one can have.
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