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Old 10-11-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
Jack Dog in So Cal
 
2013 16' Sport
Orange , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 138
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First Trip Out

We just got back from our first trip out in our 2013 16' Sport. We spent four days in Yosemite national park and then headed over to the Eastern Sierra and spent a few nights in Lone Pine.

While at Boulder Creek RV park in Lone Pine we met Jack and Pam from Washington State. They were traveling in their 2012 16' Sport. We spent time comparing notes on our little tin cans.

The AS towed beautifully but I did have to do some adjustments on our Prodigy II brake controller. Coming down out of Yosemite the Lee Vining grade is 10% and we had to stop to allow our front brakes on our Jeep Liberty time to cool down.

We averaged 13.5 mpg during the trip; a little less than the 15 to 16 mpg we got towing our Casita but I'm asuming it must be due to the AS having a much bigger frontal profile than the extra 370 pounds the AS weighs over the egg.

We got home to Orange County without a scratch; Phew! I'm a little nervous using it until we get the wrap protectors installed on the front.

The weather was fantastic but the spike in gas in California was painful. We stopped in Crane Flat inside the park to use the restroom on 10/08 and regular was selling for $5.41!!!!!

We started out the trip on 10/04 paying $4.19 and ended the trip on 10/10 paying $4.73.

We saw only one other AS on the trip and gave them our first flash and wave to them as they went by. We did give six or seven tours of our little trailer to people staying in the campground.

Jack Dog
in So Cal
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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2013 23' International
Rockford , Illinois
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Excited to hear about your first trip!

Sounds like you had a successful maiden voyage! We too just returned from picking up our 2013 AS as well. I must admit to being a bit jealous of your proximity to so many stunning National Parks, and what better way to visit than in an Airstream! We too encountered many curious travelers that wanted to see and hear all about the AS! I was surprised though, each person asked how much the AS COSTS!!?? I was raised to never ask such questions, and thus had a hard time responding, LOL! One time I actually choked and my face turned red as I gasped for air. I suppose I need to work on my response as to not offend such a common question.
Regarding the gas mileage, we averaged 10.4 mpg on the hwy, so your 13.5 mpg seems heavenly to us, although we're quite a bit heavier, of course. Gas prices had little impact on our decision to buy, although I would welcome a drop. Having said that, not at the expense of drilling at or near our National Parks, but that's a different topic...
I hope to hear more about your travels in the future, and lust over your location. Safe travels!!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:50 PM   #3
Buddy and Barbara
 
2013 30' Classic
Macclenny , Florida
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It sounds like you had a great first trip. I can tell you that it will get better every time out, and you'll always have people who want to look at your rig. We recently stopped by a furniture store on the way home from a camping trip and the sales lady asked if she could go inside our Silver Peanut. Of course, we said yes, and she was like a kid in a candy store. BTW, we bought a couple of chairs while we were there and guess how we hauled them home -- inside the Peanut! Airstreams are handy for all sorts of things! Happy camping!
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #4
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Congrats on your first outing. Sounds like fun! I can relate to the brake controller dilemma...these things are much more art than science. If you are going to do a lot of mountain towing, you may want to consider also upgrading your brake fluid (high boiling point) and upgraded brakes on the Liberty--it is a tough little sucker, but not built for the kind of abuse that mountain towing puts on the brakes.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:01 AM   #5
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2012 16' International
Monroe , Washington
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Fun! We were in Yosemite with our 16' International just a month ago. We stayed in Hodgdon Meadows. Crane Flat was our go to for gas, except when the power was out. Ah, not good. We will remember our trip for two things. First, the dog got so sick we had to take home to the vet in Sonora and leave him there for two days. Second, one night two huge RVs full of guys pulled into the sites to our left. It was a dozen guys from the UK on a 10-day bachelor party. Where they got the idea that a national park campground was the place to have drinking party, we'll never know. It was hilarious. You know, given our dog was deathly and all, you've got to find the silver lining.

Once we were up there, we asked the ranger if there was a less steep way out to the west. Basically, no. He himself was trying not to think about leaving the park with his 30-foot motorhome pulling a jeep. It was his first year and he had no idea what the road would be like when he came in. He was memorizing all pull outs on the way down during his grocery runs. Going back down wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, especially since we had the practice run with the sick dog.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
Jack Dog in So Cal
 
2013 16' Sport
Orange , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 138
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Price / Brakes

Thanks everyone for your nice comments.

Concerning the price of the trailer question. When asked how much I paid I always tell them what the MSRP is and then say "but I got a great deal". I also like to make the point of the AS's resale value and that it never goes out of style. My girlfriend thinks of it as a work of art, not just a trailer.

While getting gas in Bishop a young guy came up and said he thought we did a nice job on the restoration of the AS. When I told him it was a new 2013 his response was "they still make them?" add to how many people honk, wave and give you the thumbs up when they pass you on the highway.

I spoke to my brake guy when I got back and thanks to his advice I'll be upgrading the Jeep with larger drilled disc's both front and back. He installs brake systems on high end sports and race cars so even though the Liberty will still be slow on acceleration it will now stop like a Ferrari!

Next trip out is to the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley at Christmas.

Jack Dog
in So Cal
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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2012 16' Sport
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Scottsdale , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Congrats and enjoy! We are having the best time and just keep saying " where next?"!

I was just saying to other AS friends this weekend, why do people always ask "how much?"? Drives me crazy. My response has been, all the info is on the internet and that we got a good break from a friend. Or that it was in the family and we got lucky. It's when they just don't stop! A little rude after a while. But a complement , nonetheless

BTW, we do feel lucky

Have fun tweeking it to your liking!
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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2012 16' International
Monroe , Washington
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No one asks me how much. They all ask me if it has a bathroom.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:03 PM   #9
Jack Dog in So Cal
 
2013 16' Sport
Orange , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 138
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Alot in a little space

Quilter;

That's so true, first with our Casita and now with the Bambi 16' when people see how much content is inside they are amazed.

The only funny comment I get from almost everyone who sees the inside is when they look at the fridge which has a stainless steel front their comment is "you even have a dishwasher"!

As a long time back packer and tent camper even I'm a little bit ashamed when I tell people we're going camping in our AS.

At this point it would be really hard to go back to tent camping but we really love our little tin can.

Jack Dog
in So Cal
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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Central , Connecticut
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LOL. We had people who thought our T@B had a dishwasher because of the black frig panel front.

I tell people how much the trailer cost and say that we saved up for it, the realization of a dream. I think the cost of a consumer product is open for discussion, as opposed to ones income. The trailers have a reputation for being expensive (I've heard comparisons to a Cadillac and a Lamborghini) so it's an expected part of the attention.

Tom
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #11
Jack Dog in So Cal
 
2013 16' Sport
Orange , California
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 138
Images: 5
Cost of AS ownership

When we started out RV'ing in our first unit a new for then 2002 Jayco Quest 8' tent trailer I knew that some day we would own an AS.

That was 10 years ago. Five years later we moved up to our 17' Casita. That for us was a big change.

We are a middle class couple (not sure what that means here in California or anywhere else) and are still a good 10 to 15 years from retirement (we hope).

My Uncle Don said to us "what are you waiting for, go ahead and take the plunge, it will more and likely be your last trailer". This from a guy who at 76 bought himself a new R/T Hemi Challenger and is loving every minute of driving it.

We knew we wanted the 16' Sport not so much being the cheapest AS offered but it really was all we wanted in size and towability. We also like that we can get into campsites larger trailers can't get into.

With the cash from the Casita, extra saved, a great deal from the AS dealer and low interest rate we're paying no more than we did with the Casita; of course were back into payments for 120 months but we'll get it paid off early.

I tell people who think an AS is out of reach that if even mine is too much for their budget that there are many wonderful used ones that are for sale. Like the Casita's they are owned by people who really love and take care of their trailers so finding a perfect one is not that hard.

As long as fuel is "reasonably" priced we'll be out on the road as much as our vacation time allows. We even like to go out and sit in the Bambi and have a meal just to enjoy being in it.

Jack Dog
in So Cal
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #12
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2012 16' International
Monroe , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDog View Post
As a long time back packer and tent camper even I'm a little bit ashamed when I tell people we're going camping in our AS.

Jack Dog
in So Cal
I know that feeling! We have also done a lot of tent camping and backpacking. And driving econo-cars. The Airstream is, well, decadent.

That's why the 16' works for us. I liked backpacking because I loved being out with just the minimal amount of "stuff." The 16', at least in the Airstream world, has the minimum amount of stuff.

I also feel a bit guilty that my kids, after much camping and now in college, don't get to enjoy the trailer, but the dog does. They haven't complained yet, but my youngest did say, "Wow this is nice." Pretty nice of him, considering we were at Yosemite and he was sleeping in a tent outside the Airstream.

-quilter
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:23 PM   #13
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2012 27' FB International
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Congrats on your successful maiden voyage. We pick up our AS next month across the country and our maiden voyage will be over 2,000 miles and I will be honest-I am VERY nervous!! Any helpful suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:22 AM   #14
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Salem , Oregon
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Hi,

As per the brakes, I hardly use mine. I manually down shift into third or even second gear when going down hill.

When people ask me how much my trailer was, I tell them what list price is. Now that my trailer is eight years old, I tell them what the list price is for the closest thing to mine [new]and that's about double now.

Enjoy your new trailers, we still are. We just left a great Rally and are now in Salem, Oregon.
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