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Old 07-18-2003, 10:39 AM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,398
OK, I'm leaving tomorrow to go get...

... my Airstream! Woo-hoo! It's about 900 miles home, and I'm thnking hard about what I might need to take.

Now, it's a 1978 unit, and I've only seen it in pictures. I've been assured that it's got new tires and a new battery. I need y'all to help me think of things to take over there that I'm forgetting.

So far, my packing list includes:

[ul]Money to complete the transaction
Lotsa tools, including wrenches to fit the hitch
Reese dual cam hitch with 2 5/16 ball
Locking hitch pin
RV TP and tank deodorizer for the trip home
Fresh water hose
Black water hose and connectors
Leveling blocks
CB radio, antenna, and "booster"
CIPA mirrors
Duct tape
Electrical testers
Prodigy brake controller, already installed
Credit card
4 way lug wrench
Air comprssor
Spare fuses for truck and CB
Cell phone
IR gun to read wheel temperatures
Video camera (to tape instructions from the current owner)
Digital camera (just for the heck of it)
Battery Drill
Makita grinder
Wire ties
Insurance already purchased on trailer
First quality son to help drive and generally keep me company


What's missing here?


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Old 07-18-2003, 11:03 AM   #2
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2005 28' Classic
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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Under control

Looks like a fine list to me if you aren't planning to stay overnight or cook in the trailer on the way home. One thing I would add is an assortment of small screws, machine screws, nuts, and wire splices along with a crimping tool. I carry a plastic box with these items under the back seat.

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2013 Silverado 2500HD Duramax/Allison LTZ
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:38 AM   #3
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Looks like you got most everything covered, maybe bring along some tail lamp and marker lamp bulbs. Has it been used recently? The ones that have been sitting forever can really throw you some nasty surprises. Sounds like you are dead set on purchasing it. Are you prepared to back off the deal if it ends up being a mess? 900 miles is a long haul to buy something basically unseen before and I think you should be prepared to pass on it if necessary. Of course if the price is right all is mute.

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Old 07-18-2003, 12:50 PM   #4
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I suggest you need to be able to cope with the following challenges (otherwise known as problems!):-
1. The wheel bearings may be bad, and/or ungreased. You need to take off all wheels, replace worn bearings and/or regrease.
2.The brakes may be defective. When you strip down the wheels to do the bearings, you need to service the brakes. The linings or magnets may be defective, or any of the two electric wires to each wheel may be broken.
3. The breakaway switch may be defective. A digital voltmeter would assist with this, and the other brake work at 2 above.
4. Some or all of the running lights may not work. Wire wool and dielectric grease, plus spare bulbs and the voltmeter will fix this.
5. The 7-way connector may be corroded or defective. This may need taking apart, cleaning up, and covering with electrical tape for temporary waterproofing.
6. Your hitch may be the wrong height. My hitch requires 18 1/2 inches to the top of the ball, when connected to the trailer, if my memory serves, so I had to get a drop shank for my 2 inch receiver, to lower the ball about 8 inches. Without this, my trailer would drag its back in the dirt. My 4X4 is high, so you may not have that problem.
7. I presume the Prodigy is working and tested, and you have a 7- way socket on the back of your tow vehicle, with the same pin configuration as in that year Airstream?

Before I would tow an elderly unknown trailer 900 miles, I would want to spend between one day and one week to service it, depending on what I found, and the availability of spares locally.

Been there. Done that. My trailer had all the above defects when I picked it up. A week was not enough! Good luck. Nick.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 07-18-2003, 01:21 PM   #5
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
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Good thoughts, all!

The trailer has been used very recently, and supposedly the brakes were checked in the last couple of months.

I've got the wire crimps, and electrical tape. I guess if I end up needing a light or two, I can hit an auto parts store on the way back.

We're planning on sleeping in the trailer on the way home, but not cooking.... I guess we could take along a couple of pillows, blankets, sheets and towells, huh? Thanks!!!

The hitch is the right height, as the trailer is 19 1/2 and I'm at 20"; turns out that's the closest height setting available.

The socket on my tow vehicle is the same as the socket on the previous owner's tow vehicle, so that outta work...

Keep thinking!! Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2003, 02:29 PM   #6
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Sounds like you've got most of the bases covered.
Sounds too like it ought to be a lot of fun.
Couple of things I would add to your list:
A $10.00 first aid kit.
I try to keep a couple extra doses of patience in mine.
Pack your cleanest, finest sense of humor.
And add a couple of packs of chewing gum so you don't grind your teeth down if you get caught in some kind of a heavy traffic situation.
Best of luck to you! I hope the trailer is just as described and you end up buying it.
And have fun!!
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Old 07-18-2003, 02:35 PM   #7
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Thanks, ultradog!

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Old 07-18-2003, 05:54 PM   #8
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good luck doc....

i left chicago last sun only to turn around in fla 18 hrs later to go home.... the email pix looked was the price...i wont go any further......good luck to you...
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if something is too good to be true, its usually gone before i get there-mister boffo
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Old 07-18-2003, 06:17 PM   #9
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I'm not a gloom and doomer, but I can't help think about these extra items...which I didn't see in your list.

Fire extinguisher
Flares or other markers to set out by roadside
Lug nut wrench

Don't diminish the possibility of electrical gremlins may wreak on you with brakes, lights, and 7-way connections. Have good diagrams of these readily available for two vehicle and trailer. Airstreams varied from the typical conventions over the years...
Dallas Peak, MD 'That 70's Guy!'
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Old 07-18-2003, 09:17 PM   #10
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Right on~!

You mention one of the basic requirements..
You gotta have those roadside triangles for breakdowns..

If you breakdown and, don't have those, be sure you have the red flares. Otherwise, you could be ticketed..
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:21 PM   #11
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1978 25' Tradewind
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Good call on the fire extinguisher!

Got one packed up now! I don't have the breakdown triangles; maybe when I stop for gas somewhere on the way over there I'll pay far too much for a couple at a truck stop somewhere....

Thanks for all the help, y'all!
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:23 PM   #12
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Chas gave you a very smart piece of advice that I would have needed before I felt obliged to buy a SOB , just because I drove 800 miles "BE PREPARED TO BACK OFF" .....I was not & ended with a junker that I sold with a big loss 2 weeks after.
I'm sure it will be OK as Airstream sellers are usually quite honest in their descriptions.


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