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Old 10-18-2014, 10:12 PM   #1
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Raleigh , North Carolina
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Staying hitched to TV overnight?

After owning four motorhomes and towing a vehicle behind our home, we will begin a new era of now towing our home behind a vehicle. In mid November we will take ownership of a 2015 FC 25A with rear twins. Our tv will be a F250 diesel. I have several questions I would like to get some opinions on:
#1. When pulling into a campground in the evening just for overnight, do you leave your AS still hitched up to tv for one overnight stay? Providing site is fairly level.

#2. If leaving hitched up, do you put down the jacks for one overnight stay?

#3. When set up in a campground for an extended period of time. If you know there is a good chance of bad weather with high winds, do you hook tv back up to hitch to help stabilize AS should there be high wind gust?

#4. When needing diesel in my motorhome, I would normally stop at a large station such as T/A, Loves, Petro, etc. etc. and go around back and fuel up diesel where the 18 wheelers do. I have noticed that the few diesel pumps in front are normally in close quarters and seem to be hard to pull up to with about 45ft of pickup and airstream. My question is: do you diesel user try to wade right in up front with the cars or do you drive to the rear where the diesel pumps are lined up for the truckers?

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Old 10-18-2014, 10:34 PM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
San Diego , California
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Posts: 103
Hello, Air, and congratulations for your transition from Toad to tower! Regarding your questions:
#1 - We rarely find a site that's level, so rarely stay hitched. Dropping the jack and stabilizers provide a much firmer foundation for the trailer, eliminates bouncing around
#2 - Please note that on Airforums we distinguish between the jack - the device that lifts the front of the trailer, from the four corner stabilizers, which should never be used to lift the trailer - just stabilize it. We always drop the stabilizers so we can be ... stable.
#3 - Stabilizers seem to provide sufficient stability in all conditions, and I've never felt a need to hook up the TV (tow vehicle) as an anchor
#4 - I'm a gas guzzler, but I do prefer the truck stops for fueling because they have much more space

Stream on!

John and Lynn,
Silvia ('06 25' Safari SE FB) and Silvester ('05 Chevy Express 3500)
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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We're similar in size with gas Ram 1500. No reason to unhook for an overnight stop usually, nor put down the jacks. Keep it simple. We've never hooked up for stabling in high wind, just chock well, put in X-chocks between tires and snug down stabilizers.

We can usually get in the front pumps but always try for an outside pump, the main thing is to be sure you see a route out before you pull in. Now and then someone may park in a way to trap you so you have to work through that somehow, back up or ask them if they can move. The newer style stations where you pull straight in toward the store can be the toughest, parallel to the store usually easier. When leaving be sure to swing wide and watch the trailer as you weave around pumps and cars. I bypass stations often if it looks tight.
Doug and Cheryl
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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I'll only address #4 ... As its the only issue I have dealt with. I will only stop at the truck stops on the interstates if I am desperate .... REALLY DESPERATE. I fuel up before I hook up ... If I have a need to get fuel when I am towing, I have not had any issues with clearance or taking up too much room at the pump. It does not take me any more time than anyone else. I try to stop at stations that have been built in the last 15 - 20 years- multiple pumps & multiple islands w/plenty of head room.

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Old 10-18-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
1995 21' Sovereign
Hollister , California
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Welcome to the board and to Airstreaming!

We have bascially the same set up, a pair of 2006's, 25' FB and a F-250 4 door SWB 4x4. We often spend just on night in places as we travel and leave everything hooked up. I don't bother to put the jacks down as we're usually just in it a few hours before were off to sleep so any movement of the trailer is not much to deal with. If we're really on a sloped spot I may run a truck tire or a trailer tire up on a block to make sleeping more comfortable.

When we're ready for diesel fuel we usually look for a fairly large open station and go in with the cars. We have found on the west coast most of the big brand truck stops charge a premium unless you pay cash or have a membership to their stations.
We do have a membership to a large card lock commercial fuel service called "Pacific Pride" out here. We can usually find a station somewhere along our rout that's easy to get in and out of. I assume they have similar type of card lock services on the east coast.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:42 PM   #6
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Blacksburg , Virginia
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If'n you want

welcome Air Morgan. Enjoy your new Airstream. Yeah I plan to leave mine hitched to the truck for two nights on an up coming trip. I have to leave the site early in the morning. You have plenty of truck so it won't hurt its' springs at all.
If you put down the stabilizers, just remember them the next morning, I'm sure you will.
I put a post it note on the door on the inside of the AS the night before if its important and surely want to remember, to help me,LOL
Yeah the stabilizers take the bounce out of walking around, that is purely choice.
I disconnect the power/brake cable to the truck, if I plug into shore power.
If I don't connect to AC, I leave it plugged in. That's personal choice too.
Not a bad idea if bad weather/wind to connect up, in case you need to get out of dodge in a hurry, hadn't thought of that. Hope you don't mind if I use that idea, I'll cite source ,

Enjoy that AS, you will do fine.
Have a good one !
Ra, Chelle & Natasha
For my next trick, I will use my new Airstream & Dodge Ram 2500 CTD to make this pile of money disappear.
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Old 10-18-2014, 10:54 PM   #7
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I also avoid the big rig pumps cause of the price and the lack of credit card readers
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:14 PM   #8
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Longmont , Colorado
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Welcome to the world of Airstreams!

#1 We will usually leave the tow vehicle hitched up, for a one-night stop. However, we always release the tension on the weight distribution bars (I hope you have a weight-distribution type hitch) because with the bars hooked up, the compartment door in the front of our trailer binds. Your trailer does not have that door, so this is probably not an issue for you.

#2 We usually drop the stabilizers. Less chance of waking the wife when I get up in the middle of the night.

#3 Never have re-hooked up for stability.

#4 I burn gas and normally go to the pumps in front. Do keep your eyes open--some bigger gas stations have designated RV lanes. These have gas & diesel pumps, and room enough for big trailers.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:48 AM   #9
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I am small, 19', do not unhitch, but I unplug to avoided dead car battery in Morning. Sometimes if I remember I put the jack down, never the stabilizers. I make myself reminders andtape them to my car keys. I use gas both ways, but always remember to swimg wide, those pesky metal yellow poles can do a numder on your Airstream.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:55 AM   #10
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Wenatchee , Washington
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#1: If staying one night, we usually stay hitched up;

#2: I don't normally lower the stabilizer jacks if I stay hitched to our tv; I do unplug from our tv as I don't want to risk having a dead battery.

#3: These Airstreams are so aerodynamic (unlike our tv) I really don't see how high winds could be much of a problem;

#4: We fuel up wherever we can, and I don't have a problem refueling where the semis do. This is where a good navigator comes in handy. My wife is very good at spotting good places to refuel while towing as I'm busy trying to avoid those pesky yellow poles that sbb mentioned.

In addition, we stepped up to a 56 gallon fuel tank (from the stock 34 gallon) to cut down on the times we're required to refuel. On the trip we just returned from, I tried to use my CFN card as much as I could but there were times when this just wasn't practical. We have a Pilot/Flying J card coming (applied through Good Sam) and this should make things a little easier.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:23 AM   #11
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Since my 2012 Dodge with Cummins diesel engine manual states only up to 5% bio-diesel, I avoid at all costs the Pilot, Flying J and Love's as they now all have a warning notice that the diesel fuel may contain up to 20% bio-diesel. Bio-Diesell = less BTUs for more per gallon price and is extremely corrosive to the engine and fuel system.

Like the chap in post #10 above, I converted to the 56 gallon under bed fuel tank (ours was made by Titan). Out of the tank the fuel line goes to a Cummins water separator filter mounted on the frame rail beside the tank, then to the engine mounted filter/water separator and then through a Cummins 2 micron fuel filter that is mounted in the engine compartment before going to the fuel rail.

I have kept every fuel receipt since new so I have a verifiable log of where the fuel was obtained in case of a load of really dirty fuel.

The semi trucks have very large fuel filters, so they can handle the dirt that is in suspension from the large truck pumps aggatation of the stored fuel. The small vehicle diesel pumps out front get their diesel from those same tanks. Smaller vehicles have much smaller fuel filters....

We fill up only at the top tier stations - Chevron is preferred, Shell, Phillips 66 & Connoco. In Texas, one needs to be observant as even some top brands have the higher percentage bio-diesel.

I estimate that I have over a 600 mile fuel range. My personal storage tank fills up before the truck tank empties, so I get the fuel topped up while I pump my personal bilges.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:24 AM   #12
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Stay Hooked - depends on how level the site is. The Fridge needs to be level same as your MotorHomes. So if site is not level I'll unhook

Stabilizers - again depends, we usually stop by 4:00PM, and out by 8:00 or 9:00AM so unhooking and hooking is no big deal, but like another post I do always take the tension off the bars.

Hook up in weather - ONLY if I think I might need to boogie out in the middle of the night for any reason.

Fuel-I pull in for diesel whenever we see a spot that is less expensive and or easy in and out. I only have 26 Gal tank, can run up to four hours when out of the mountains, plus with two bad backs we try to stop every 2 hours or so. As noted earlier, when you start to pull in for fuel look for your out, got stuck once and had to unhook, back in at and angle re-hook without bars and pull away - Long ugly story.

Safe Travels.

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Old 10-19-2014, 07:36 AM   #13
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We stay hooked up and don't bother with the stabilizers if it is just a quick overnight stop.
Never have had a problem with high winds. The wind may rock the trailer a bit, but never to the point of being scary. We have camped when some pretty bad storms have blown through.
When we stop to fuel up we just use what is available and be mindful of the available space.
2012 30' International Serenity
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:07 AM   #14
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I stay hooked up, most of the time. I have seen to many times where a middle of the night event requires an immediate departure......flooding and hail storms mostly. My big suggestion is ALWAYS disconnect the umbilical from the tow vehicle. I know some have relays to prevent draining the tow vehicle batteries, but most do not. Especially my old vehicles. Nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere and wake up to dead drained batteries.

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