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Old 12-01-2002, 11:38 PM   #1
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Seattle/Quartzsite In January

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to make a decision whether to tow my '65 Safari down to Quartzsite, AZ for the RV show in January. We make a computer designed for rv use and we will show and sell it there at the show. Here are my choices:

A: Hook up the A/S and leave a week before the show with our stock of computers in the Dodge Van we tow with.

We can save a lot of money doing this, but would be the first time towing a long distance since getting the trailer last June. The trip home was smooth as silk, but QZ is a bunch of miles.

We absolutely have to be at this event without fail, or risk loosing our space which cost in excess of $1000.

B: Ship our computers to a location in Phoenix and fly down. Rent a motorhome there and drive the 150 or so miles to QZ, hope to sell out and reverse the process less inventory getting back home. This is a more expensive option, but less chancey in terms of guaranteed arrival.

The trailer is in like new shape, with new tires (I will get them off the split rims before leaving) and wheel bearings/seals. We spent much of the summer restoring the interior and installing computer/sound equipment so we can demonstrate the computer and have internet on the road. All the appliances also work, or have been fixed with the exception of the univolt. We will replace this with something new.

I am not a kid anymore, but can average 7-9 hours of good driving time per day with frequent rests. I am also a careful and experienced driver in large/small rigs, with and without trailers/toad. Any guesses as to drive time, Seattle/QZ?

The other thing I am concerned about is sway, since this is a single axle trailer. Should I have anti-sway bars on this trailer/van combination?

I know that's a lot, but most of the good advice I have received in the last six months has come from this newsgroup. Anyone have suggestions, routes, cautions, encouragement, advice, discouragement or anything they want to add. Will appreciate all.


Michael Lewis
Seattle, WA

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Old 12-02-2002, 12:12 AM   #2
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Seattle to QZ is apprx. 1500 miles. Nine hours at 65 mph is 2 1/2 days. Take your time and make it in 3 1/2 with time to spare. Sway control, YES, get it, use it. It will make a huge difference in control. Your biggest concern is the tow vehicle, it has more running parts than the AS. Make sure it is road worthy also. Personally, my choice would be your first choice. Oscar

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Old 12-02-2002, 06:50 AM   #3
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Thumbs down Pushing the limits

If I may offer one bit of advice:
This is based upon experiences~Leave the 'night time driving' to the Truckers...
Accordingly, plan your trip for the required stopovers each day so as, you don't find yourself in a "timearrival crunch bind"...
I can't begin to tell you just how much more relaxing your trip will be~!


"sparks from the edge of the quarry"
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Old 12-02-2002, 06:58 PM   #4
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planning it out

If I might suggest - there is a site called "", within the site is a link to "plan a road trip". If you go there and follow the directions, it will print you a road map from start location to finish, with distance, best possiible route, and some possible suggestions for stops along the way. The directions are pretty step by step and it's a good tool when planning to venture to someplace new and uncharted. Good Luck - the computers sound interesting!! Leigh
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Old 12-02-2002, 07:07 PM   #5
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From a retail-show perspective, trade shows are stressful enough - PLAN double the time you think you'll need. Setting up booths and the whole show experience is nerveracking without trying to get to the show in time. My wife usually sets up on the first day allowed (usually the day before) and it's an all night job. Don't forget the roads and SNOW. I know here in Seattle it hasn't snowed much, but come January, the snow usually hits the passes. It DOES sound like a fun trip to warmer climates, but I wouldn't want to stress out on the traveling + the show on three days. It takes three days of SOLID all day travel by car - the trailer will slow you down. (My record solo to Seattle-LA is 22 hrs non-stop - it was grueling). Just plan more travel time and I think you'll have fun.
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Old 12-03-2002, 12:27 PM   #6
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Michael, I have made several trips of 1500 miles or more and all have been enjoyable. We stop every two hours for stretch/snack/potty breaks and I find I can drive 8-10 hours with no problem. It is nice to have your kitchen and bathroom right behind you. Enjoy your Airstream-it's what you bought it for.
Jerry Sullivan
'01 Limited
'01 Safari
On The Road, USA
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Old 12-03-2002, 05:13 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Seattle/Quartzite

After reading your thread, Marlo and I agree that you should go and just leave extra time for problems and weather. Bad weather can stop a flight plan for an airline too!!! So where is the guarantee there?!?
We fulltime in our 67 Safari 22' and really enjoy the fun and freedom of having our home on wheels. We plan to visit Grandma in Sarasota (just made res. at Oscar Schearer State Park for the holidays)
One of my best friends is retuning from a semester at Oxford and we will spend a week at her farm in Atlanta on the way.
We got an Intellipower 55 (with charge wizard) from Progressive Dynamics in MI and it has run our 12v. system flawlessly--- charging the big honkin' golf cart batteries ( we plan to go solar soon). Make sure those suckers can not roll over!!!
Friction Sway control is recommended, lots of peace of mind for under $100-- remember to disengage in snow as it may hinder realignment.
Take a practice run and check wheel bearing temps and handling performance so you can prepare for the long haul.
Find our good friends Chadwick and Tiffanny in Quartzite. They just remodeled a school bus (white) and have been there for the past 6 winters. Beware of desert dust in everything!!!
Interested in RV computers, do they run on 12v.? or have special efficient inverters? Sounds like a good adventure, we were just in the olympic penninsula in September and loved it! Best of luck! Todd and Marlo
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Old 12-03-2002, 06:17 PM   #8
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Chiming In

I agree with most of the replies to your original post. Allow extra travel time and enjoy the trip. My wife and I traveled 4400 miles in two weeks and had three stops of at least three days each, Phoenix to Jackson, MI. Daytime driving only, set up while its still light enough outside to do so. What are the dates for the event in Quartsite? We might just come over and see all of the happenings.

Brad & Julie
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Old 12-03-2002, 06:29 PM   #9
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Why, except for the fact you are doing a show and trying to sell something) would anybody want to stay in Quartsite?

BLM has low rates...but watch where you walk...someone may not have looked for/found a dump station.

Also there is no Walmart, Dillards, KMart, Macys, Gotschalks, etc.

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Old 12-03-2002, 07:55 PM   #10
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I re-read my post - gosh, I didn't mean to seem so negative - I just don't like doing the shows. If you do go by road, just smile and take deep breaths, you'll probably have a great time! The computers do seem interesting. Do you have a web site? Do they use wireless technology? Good luck whichever route you take!
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Old 12-05-2002, 01:46 AM   #11
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Seattle/Quartzsite in January

Thanks to all who have taken time to answer my questions. I did buy this A/S to travel in, and have almost completed all the restoration work, so I am going to allow a week for the trip down, and hope for the best. Yes, it is nice to have my own kitchen, bath, sheets and pillows and towels.

I will, before we leave, change out the split rims, install a new deep cell battery and a new inverter. I also need to add a anti sway bar and have the brake shoes and electric brakes checked. I know that the breakaway is not functional, so that gets fixed, before I pull out.

If anyone can recommend an experienced A/S repair shop in Seattle, I would appreciate it. Anybody think I'll need air conditioning there in January? The original works, but probably has junk above the fan houseing, because it is noisy.

Yes, selling from a booth can be really frantic, with long days and usually being in unfamiliar places. But, a lot of good people have encouraged me to be at QZ, and I will.

For those who asked about our RV computer system, we have a web site at: That's as commercial as I want to be here. Hope to see many Airstreamers at QZ.

Oh, while I'm here, does anyone have any suggestions as to replacement wheels? Is the bolt pattern standard (Chevy, Ford). I really like some of the alloys I have seen. Since the PO put the new tires on prior to selling me the rig, does anyone have tire suggestions? I'll also search the archives, where I'm sure I can find plenty of tire threads.

Thanks again,

Michael Lewis
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Old 12-05-2002, 05:18 AM   #12
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Oh, while I'm here, does anyone have any suggestions as to replacement wheels? Is the bolt pattern standard (Chevy, Ford). I really like some of the alloys I have seen. Since the PO put the new tires on prior to selling me the rig, does anyone have tire suggestions? I'll also search the archives, where I'm sure I can find plenty of tire threads.
You were going great until you got to this point. ONLY use tires and wheels designed for your Airstream. There is no "matching" automotive/truck wheel for your Airstream.

Last year we drove the 1400 miles from Houston to Denver to attend the NACE conference. Corrosion engineers show, or as I like to tell them, the show for engineers "ate up with rust". We hauled the booth for the show. Got there 2 days ahead, set up the booth and then enjoyed the town for the show week. Then drove back at a nice leisurely pace.

Secret: By driving you get to legally be out of work for several days. Be sure and complain about the "horrible" drive when you get back to work.

AIR# 123

-"You want to make it two inches - or, if you're working in centimeters, make sure it's enough centimeters for two inches."-Red Green
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Old 12-05-2002, 06:28 AM   #13
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Hi Michael,

I have driven through Quartsite many times and marvelled at the number of RV's parked there in the winter. I have often thought of taking my Airstream there for a few days just to see what all the fuss is about. I don"t think an air conditioner would be necessary in January. Being from Seattle myself, I can say it will be a pleasant reprieve from the normal Seattle January weather.

What days in January will you be there and where will you be located? I live near Phoenix now, and it is not too much of a drive to Quartsite from here. This may be the year I satisfy my curiosity.

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