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Old 02-19-2003, 07:19 PM   #1
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Maiden Voyage

Hi. I am about to set out on a maiden voyage, at least for me since the '76 Sovereign has been out many times. The former owner had her out last fall to the the Pendelton Roundup and says all went well. There were a few things to fix when he got home in preparation to turning her over to me. THIS, however, is my very first trip with the "NEW?" trailer. I have been thinking it might be a good idea to take a practice haul somewhere before going a longer distance and have even thought about taking it to the local camping world or to the local AirStream sales outlet for a check over. Has anyone done this prior to a trip and what was the result. Are these places honest or will they hand me an arm and leg bill. I know there are a lot of "little" things we just put up with and I don't want a HUGE BILL to pay before setting out, but at the same time I want to know I will get there and back without incident of a serious nature. ANY SUGGESTIONS? Is it possible I can do a check that will assure me she is travel fit.

Joan in Seattle

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Old 02-19-2003, 07:30 PM   #2
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Maybe one of our members in your area will be able to recommend a dealer for you?

I'm going to sit back and give the other members a chance to share their insights to this question.

Just trying to be a team player !


p.s. I just love helping out people. I was new to A/Sing not too long ago and many folks helped me out. And still are !

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Old 02-19-2003, 08:31 PM   #3
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Greetings Joan!

That is one of the challenges of RV ownership - - finding qualified, caring service technicians and dealers. I wouldn't think of embarking on a trip without first taking my Overlander to my regular repair facility (Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, IA) for a thorough check-up. In fact, my Overlander is there right now being readied for its first Spring outing; and my Minuet will be making a trip there prior to embarking on the trip to the International Rally in Vermont. For me, this is especially important as I am a Free Wheeler and in addidition am not mechanically inclined and want to insure as near trouble-free travel as possible.

I am sure someone on the list closer to you geographically will be able to recommend a qualified service center. I might suggest, however, that you contact your local Camping World prior to taking your coach there - - I know the Camping World closest to me has almost quit working on Airstreams regardless of the task requested.

Good luck with your first expedition, I am sure that it will be a wonderful learning experience.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:11 PM   #4
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Thanks John and Kevin. This is quite the adventure. I have never owned a BIG truck and feel very mistressful in it. My friends are about to fall over. Here is the committed environmentalist driving a diesel. Oh well, there comes a time when one has to try out what one has always dreamed of. The first obstacle was just getting into the truck. I am of the short legged gender and it was quite the struggle, but I made it. (No step yet) Getting out is a leap of faith as well. I sorta slide off the seat with my legs extended and hope I make a safe landing. Diesel is an entirely new experience, but I figure everyone learned about it at some time. You fellas just act as if you know from birth about such things because it is culturally expected. The former owner of the Truck, he calls it the Black Beast and I call it Black Beauty, has been incredibly patient and is teaching me all about glow plugs and block heaters and the right kind of filters and what I can do myself and what I will probably want someone else to do unless I enjoy bathing in diesel and on and on. Black Beauty is an 86 F-250 4x4 supercab. Thanks again. I will try for a local contact who has experience with the local dealer. There is one on I-5 in Fife (About half-way between Seattle and Tacoma).

"Wisely and slowly. They stumble
that do run fast."
Wm. Shakespeare
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Old 02-20-2003, 05:34 PM   #5
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as another member of the "short legged gender" I can assure you that in a short time you will be wondering why you thought all this was such a big deal.
We bought our truck in July 2001. The first time I drove it (without the trailer), I found myself with no road to been seen ahead: my leg had bumped the lever for the air seat, and with my head suck to the ceiling, I was staring above the visor !!!
Next, a very bumpy interstate in northern PA: I was going up & down & up & down on the seat....for about 50miles !!!!
I drive barefoot to make sure I have a firm contact with the pedal, afraid my sandals could slip: last winter I could not fit in my shoes: I had sprained my right big toe on the accelerator all summer.

One last thing: I am lucky to have a husband who at some time in his youth worked on big trucks !!! That helps.

One last - last thing to cheer you up: diesel engines are simpler than gas, will have a lot less problems, will outlast them and need a lot less maintenance. (my personal diesel expert just confirmed that I am right).
Just relax, it's not a big deal.

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Old 02-20-2003, 05:57 PM   #6
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There was a story on Forum about a guy who delivers A/S with a Dodge diesel(I think it's 7 yrs old) and he just turned 1,000,000 miles.

I plan to keep my current truck for many yrs, but if I do have to get another truck, it will be a diesel!!!

I believe in running a vehicle into the ground.


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