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Old 07-11-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
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Dr. E's Avatar
1976 27' Overlander
Temple , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 12
Thumbs up First Trip - A Needed Shake-Down Cruise

Mary and I took our first trip last weekend in our new (to us) '76 27' Overlander. We both term it a success and very enjoyable experience.
We traveled about 760 miles round trip and spent 2 nights in a quiet, comfortable campground at Lake Fork, Texas, called Rolling Fork RV and Campgrounds. Towing was smooth and near effortless (not counting gasoline prices). Of course, it helps that good highways have always been a Texas tradition.
The only problems we had was leaky toilet (fresh water leak, Thank God) and yours truely neglected to reset the travel latch on the fridge when I grabbed a bottle of water just before buttoning things up. I'll have to figure out how to troubleshoot and repair the leak and Mary graciously helped me clean up the fridge mess. Any advice on fixing leaks would be appreciated. I don't think I'll need to be reminded about the travel latch anytime soon...
One thing that did detract from our generally pleasant experience was the amount of time and effort it took me to assemble and disassemble the load distribution bars and the sway bar each time I hooked up or unhooked. I have a standard spring bar weight distribution system and friction sway bar that attaches to a ball hitch platform. We expect to make another short trip in the next few weeks, but I'm not looking forward to man-handling that equipment each time I want to separate the truck from the trailer. Any sage advice on simplifying the process or perhaps unhooking via the receiver rather than the ball hitch would be very much appreciated?

Gig 'em,
Dr. E

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Old 07-12-2006, 07:23 AM   #2
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1963 16' Bambi
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Yreka , California
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Congratulations on your shake down cruise. It sound like you are ready for many Airstream adventures. Our shank down cruise gave me a few things to repair. However there was nothing serious. If you get a chance you might look into some forum rallies. It s a great chance to meet good people and share Airstream adventures and repair info.

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Old 07-12-2006, 08:12 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 27
Dr. E - have you considered a pretow check list?

Water pump off
windows latched
vents closed
fridge latched
umbilical connected

we call it the stoopid check - an accurate description
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:16 AM   #4
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
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We do the list too. I've also had the fridge mess, except in our case it was a half drunk can of pop and it ended up all over the inside of the fridge, the cabinets, and the new carpet. Could have done without that mess! Now "Fridge latched" is on the checklist!

Sounds like a fairly uneventful shakedown - congrats

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Old 07-12-2006, 08:48 AM   #5
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myoung's Avatar
Nipomo , California
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Dr. E,

You may want to take a look at the Equal-i-zer hitch for a simpler installation. The weight-distribution bars double as anti-sway bars so all you have to do is put the bars on top of the L-bracket permanently attached to the trailer tongue. It only takes a few seconds to secure the hitch to the trailer. Way cool.
Mike Young & Rosemary Nelson

Bowlus Road Chief "Endymion"
BMW X3 xDrive 28D
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:10 AM   #6
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1994 21' Sovereign
Down on the corner... , CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Guess I'm lucky..didn't even know there was a travel latch on my fridge...something I have to check out.

We made our shakedown cruise at a rally and we picked up so many helpful hints from everyone...also found the dreaded leak which was actually an easy fix in our case.

One thing that came in super handy was at hook-up and un-hooking to have the electric jack all the way in the up position. This way we didn't have to flex too much muscle to hook up the bars. It's a snap now.
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Old 08-09-2006, 07:45 AM   #7
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1984 34' International
1977 Argosy 24
Central , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 491
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If you have a crank-up TV antenna; be sure to put that on the list. I know we looked 'way cool' coming home this weekend with our wing in the air.

Travelers by aluminum roadships, loyalists to one species,
masters of convenience, herdsmen steeped in maintenance and restoration.

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