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Old 12-08-2009, 08:51 AM   #1
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Land of fruits and nuts , California
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Mothership travel tour

I needed a few minor warranty repairs on my 'Stream, and that was all the excuse I needed to come visit the Mothership. I wanted to do the tour and visit a few Man Vs Food (travel channel tv show) eating hotspots as well so my dad and I planned a trip. Picked him up from the airport the Airstream in tow and began our trip towards Jackson Center.

I'm now towing with a ProPride hitch and man am I ever glad I sprung for one. Not four hours out of Virginia Beach, taking backroads we crest Shenandoah mountain in NW Virginia and there it is, 9% down grade covered in snow. Flicked the transfer case into four dig and smoothly decended the mountain without any issues. Nice. This is what I'm talkin' about.

Currently sitting in the Airstream customer lounge burning up their wireless internet.

Here's a few photo's to get us started, more to follow as the trip progresses.

Airstream Service Center

Thats wayner61's (of Worst Camping Weekend fame)'Stream right beside mine. We got to talking about why we came here and he mentioned backing into some unknown object while camping a few weeks ago, and I had remembered reading that thread, so I asked him if he was an Airforums member, and low and behold he was.

For those that are wondering, Airstream has a new Seal-Tec leak testing machine, and charges two hours flat rate (about $94 an hour, so ~$200) to check for leaks.

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Old 12-08-2009, 09:10 AM   #2
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Great pics - keep em coming

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Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

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Old 12-08-2009, 10:42 AM   #3
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That busy service bay looks like the coziest, happiest place on Earth to me right now.
Snow blankets the midwestern fields outside, as countless little elves in blue toil away on giant, aluminum ornaments.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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It's a pity they can't let you take pictures in the factory building. I'm sure that for those who haven't taken the tour it would be fun to see how they actually go together.

When we did take it a few weeks ago, we saw a trailer in the leak test / shower bath room. Man, some storm in there!
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quick update, made it to East Lansing, MI after a stop at Slow's BBQ in Detroit, awesome BBQ and the best mac-n-cheese I have ever had. Woke up this morning to about 2" of snow and 15F. The airstream kept us remarkably warm, but you got to stay away from the walls and preferably stack cushion or pillows against them as you can feel them sucking the heat off you.

Heading to Joe Roger's Chili Parlor in Springfield, IL for some good Chili, then start heading back to Virginia Beach.

I'll post more photo's in a bit.
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:21 PM   #6
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Somebody's been watching Man vs Food. Ha ha.
Cory, Angie, and 'Lucy'
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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Good for you to be brave enough for a winter trip. Travel karma to you (if we still could give it).

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Old 12-12-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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I'm planning some minor warranty work in early January so will travel to JC. I don't think I'd enjoy driving through some of the snow you had - and I'm simply driving about 100 Ohio miles. I look forward to my return trip to JC - we've been through on the tour before we purchased our '07 International - neat tour! Enjoyed your photos. Guess you can navigate through about anything if you drive accordingly. When we purchased our 37' Egg Harbor, the salesman told me that going "Dead slow" will save a lot of problems. I think that's also true of trailering. Hope they got your warranty work taken care of - enjoy your travels in 2010! Nothing like 'streaming!
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:22 PM   #9
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We have made it safely back to Virginia Beach. Total trip mileage was just under 2300 miles.

The tour at Airstream was very good, though I did see a few things that made me go hmmm. Service was outstanding. Got all my little warranty issues fixed up and had them run the Seal-Tec leak checker on it. My tech, Bill, only found a few minor spots, none that would normally leak in the rain, however, but he sealed them up. Got topped off on LP and stayed that night at the Terraport. Bill did say mine was the first ProPride 3P hitch he had seen.

Wednesday morning we got up and got on the road for Detroit. Got there just before noon and found a place on the street to park near Slows BBQ. Good food, if you are ever in the area, stop and try it.

Next up was the Henry Ford Museum. Huge place, lots to see, and would probably take all day to do it. We saw what we could in 2 hours. They did have a few vintage travel trailers, one a 49 Airstream. Looked real good.

Then we were off to East Lansing, MI to see my old friend Sonny. We spent about a year together in Afghanistan, so we sat around talking about old times and telling lies. That night was frigid, and it snowed. The next morning we got ready, said our goodbyes and we were off to Springfield. The roads were initially clear, however, that didn't last. About 20 miles into the trip we hit snow and ice covered interstate. Not good. Combined with the 40 knot cross winds made for treacherous conditions. I can't say enough good things about the ProPride hitch. I am quite certain without it, we'd still be in a ditch in the middle of Michigan. The snow and ice lasted a little over 100 miles. With the PP hitch, good tires, 4-digg, and smooth driving I was able to keep everything on the straight and narrow. We saw numerous jacknifed semis, flipped and spun out SUVs, cars etc. We were able to maintain 35-45mph depending on the conditions. I tried to stay in the left lane as it was more snow than ice, which in my experience improves traction. A 6hr trip took about 10hrs, and by the time we got to springfield (around 1730 local), the chili parlor was closed. They are apparently open from 1100-1600. Who the heck closes a restaurant at 1600! To say I was dissappointed is an understatement, but we made the best of it and went to another Man Vs Food location on Rt 66 called Cozy Dog Drive In. Apparently they are the inventor of the corn dog. The food was good, though nothing to write home about. After dinner, which was about 2000, we got on the road again and made it to just past Indianapolis by midnight, where we fueled up and parked next to the semis to get some shut-eye in the airstream. By 0800 the next morning we were back on the road. Nothing eventful happened and we arrived back at my home in Virginia Beach 13hrs later.

Sonny's home, East Lansing, MI

Interstate between East Lansing and Chicago

Rest Area

Flipped van

Fueling up, the snow was coming in sideways, and brutally cold

The entire trip, other than at the Airstream Factory, I never saw another Airstream on the road.

Now to unpack and get the loads of salt and dirt off the truck and trailer. That's gonna take a while.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #10
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nice pict-o-story!

good 2 see the trip was only fun and food and a little adventure.

there's a famous chile place near by that's only open ~11-3...

i think it allows more time for antacids...


all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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