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Old 11-13-2017, 10:27 PM   #1
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2018 30' Classic
Birch Bay , Washington
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Smile Thanks for the Courage

Tomorrow's the big day--we get our first Airstream (and our first ever RV). We've been contemplating this for several years, but finally decided to make the leap and begin our adventure. I'm pretty sure that if not for Air Forums and the contributors who are so conscientious in helping those of us with limited or no technical knowledge or camping know how, we would not be embarking on this journey--so thanks for giving us the courage and confidence to make this leap.

Mike
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:32 PM   #2
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Awesome! Since none of us are born towing trailers, we all start in the same place

My wife and I bought our first ever RV 5 years ago and on weekend 1, took an RV safe driver's course at a local commercial driver's license facility. Great investment and highly recommended!

Happy camping!!
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:59 PM   #3
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We had no RVing experience before jumping in. Our learning curve during the first year was nearly vertical.

One of the best pieces of advice we were given is that other RVers tend to be friendly and helpful, and if you're camping somewhere and really stumped, don't be afraid to ask for advice. You'll make some guy feel like a hero for helping you out, and most problems have simple solutions.

The other thing is that we forgot a lot of what we learned at the dealership, despite copious notes. (Hint: that big Airstream notebook is more intended for RV mechanics than campers.) It's fine to contact your dealership, Airstream central, or this forum to ask about how something works.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Awesome! Since none of us are born towing trailers, we all start in the same place

My wife and I bought our first ever RV 5 years ago and on weekend 1, took an RV safe driver's course at a local commercial driver's license facility. Great investment and highly recommended!

Happy camping!!
Great advice! Iíve had some experience towing, but nothing the size of our Airstream. Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:03 AM   #5
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Thanks Len n Jeanne. That learning curve is one of the things that have us excited to do this—nothing better than keeping the mind active and challenged—especially when you have confidence that fellow Campers and Air Forum members have your back.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:18 AM   #6
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Langlois , Oregon
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Recent newbi

As recent new AS owners my wife and I might offer a few suggestions: 1. Make your first outing short and not to far from home. 2. Obtain the book entitled Air Stream Newbie, it provides a wealth of information, read it carefully. 3. Make a list for leaving home, arrival at destination and a list for leaving destination, look up, look down and all around to avoid undesirable damage to TT and TV before heading down the road. 4. Create a tool box with basic tools as recommended by others on this site and ad to as need arises 5. If you are not comfortable backing up a trailer go to a vacant parking lot and practice. 5. Even if you are good at backing up a second pair of eyes is a great help. 6. Our limited experience tells us that those AS owners who proceed with caution at all times are those who travel thousands of miles and their units still appear pristine. &. Don't, as was advised to us, force any buttons, switches or latches, Air Streams are built to exacting standards, if something is not working there is most likely a simple fix, ask for help before picking up the hammer.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:12 AM   #7
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Welcome to the world of camping and specifically Airstreamin'!

Also it's great to have you on the forum. Everyday it seems as though I learn something new from someone and occasionally can share a tidbit or two from my own experience.

Another book I would recommend is this one, Airstream Life's (Nearly) Complete Guide To Airstream Maintenance by Rich Luhr. It has been very helpful to me in reducing the learning curve.

I have also found that joining the local chapter of WBCCI is helpful. Great people who are willing to share their knowledge and common interest in Airstreams.

Enjoy! And remember that it's as much the journey as the destination!
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:29 AM   #8
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Slow and deliberate,all will be well. A sense of humor helps too. Ask for help if needed on anything.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:43 AM   #9
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Welcome and enjoy many miles and years of safe travels.

Bud
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:03 AM   #10
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Welcome!
I'd encourage you to write a checklist for hitching up and departing a campsite. The first version(s) will be less than perfect, but can be edited as experience dictates. Then discipline yourself to use the checklist, uninterrupted, before you roll.

The best checklists flow. By that I mean that the tasks are aligned so that you come to them in a convenient natural order. For example, exterior items should be completed in one slow, careful walk around the trailer--no running back and forth.

Another rule, borrowed from the airline I used to work for, is to start the checklist over if you get a major interruption. Don't let the jabber mouth from the campsite next door cause you to forget something important.

Meanwhile, slow down and enjoy the Airstream lifestyle. It's all about relaxing, so the travel days should be shorter, the scenery enjoyed more, the campsites chosen where you're not right up against the neighbors (state and COE parks are wonderful), and good people met and perhaps befriended.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:56 AM   #11
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Virginia Beach , Virginia
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We're 1 year into our adventure. Lots of good advice above. I'll add mine 1) Never rush anything. 2) Divide the responsibilities between you and your traveling companion ie. one be responsible for the interior and one for exterior and then review each others work prior to getting underway. 3) Keep a log of everything from departure to return and review the log as you prepare for your next trip. We have learned something on every trip. 4) Always think about what you would do if something unexpected happened. Have a game plan on how to deal with it. For example an engine problem on the interstate, when do you start looking for a fuel stop and how do you plan on getting in and out of a fuel stop, dealing with a flat tire (practice changing a tire), what to do if you can't get your awning to retract, how you plan on handling merging traffic on the interstate, how will you manage power, water and waste when you're dry camping, where do you go to dump your tanks if you are camping where there is no dump station. 5) Do not rely on your GPS - always check the recommended route before accepting it. I've had my Garmin 760 LM RV GPS take me down a 4 mile gravel road instead of the nice paved road to the entrance of the campground. Generally it's pretty reliable - just validate the route. 6) Never let yourself get into a situation when you're towing, pulling into a gas station, backing into a campsite that you are uncomfortable with. and 7) Keep your sense of humor, never get mad at your traveling companion - always remember why you purchased your Airstream - TO HAVE FUN. Welcome, enjoy and be safe.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:26 PM   #12
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I'm sure it's on all those checklists - but never hurts to say again -

In addition to both of us looking up, down all around, inside & out, the very last thing we do before pulling out is have one person stand behind the trailer to check all the lights.

Driver runs through brakes, blinkers, turn signals and flashers, while "light" spotter gives thumbs up or down.

In 12 years of RV'ing, we've found lights not working twice - once with our SOB, the turn signal bulb had broken, but the outside red plastic cover was fine - so without the check, we would never have known it wasn't working.

Second time was on the Airstream - someone didn't plug in the 7-pin connector all the way.......
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