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Old 01-09-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
MonaxLisa's Avatar
1975 31' Excella 500
undetermined , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 125
WA to CA to AZ

That's pretty much all I know! We're pretty sure we're going to keep the Airstream, I've had lots of interest in it but cramming two people, two dogs (including a Great Dane) and seven cats into a cab-over camper on the back of a pickup with a non working heater (in the camper, truck works fine) and no electric is sounding less appealing every day.
Alma (my AS) is 31ft, the truck is an extended cab, not sure if it's a 6' or 8' bed.. so it's long and I've never towed anything before, but hey, out of the frying pan into the fire! If I go slow I should be good...I figure.
Good will and safe travel prayers gladly accepted.
So I'm thinking that I'd like to go through Death Valley (just typing out loud here, I haven't even really looked at the map yet) and Joshua Tree, and then over into AZ. The goal eventually is Colorado but I'm taking online classes this quarter so why bother going to CO in the winter if I don't have to!
Anyhow, I don't really care how I get there, as long as it's in one piece and I plan on avoiding any cities as much as possible. No way am I driving through LA or anything. I wish I could give Portland a wider berth but..oh well.
So I'm thinking of staying on I-5 as opposed to 101 because Alma and the truck are going to be crazy long.
I'm interested in route tips, towing tips, fueling tips, camp ground tips, anything you can think of! How to keep the fridge cold since it can't be on while traveling..etc.
I've been having trouble finding the length of camp sites online, and I did find one list of Joshua Tree sites and the max length I saw was around 35'. Well that'll fit the trailer but what about the truck! Also hoping to find only pull through sites, the truck does have a beeper on when backing, so if it takes me all night to back in to a site people around will be getting mighty cranky I imagine.

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Old 01-09-2011, 10:51 PM   #2
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
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Every person has their first time towing. There are quite a few threads here and on other forums to get common sense advice and you should make it a point of reading them, and asking questions to make sure you are clear on the key points.

Taking your time, being cautious, and making sure your equipment is in good condition is a good start.

Once you've towed your Airstream a few days you will realize that it is tiring, but exhileratting as well.

Make sure you practice backing up and parking it - go find a big empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice.

A buddy's wife wanted to take their SOB to a dog show and he couldn't go. She took a day's course, I think it cost $200 but can't remember exactly, it was in 2002. They taught her how to hook up and unhook, how to tow and how to back up. When she came home she backed their trailer down the long curvy driveway and dropped it right in to the spot it sits, first time. Hubby usually took several attempts and vocalizing his frustration through the process. I admit, it was humbling for him . And of course it was a source of considerable glee to those of us who found out.

So, consider checking around at the RV dealerships and driving schools to see if they offer a course and what the fees are. Probably be one of the best investments you can make for the safety of your and your fur-kids.

Barry & Donna
Life is short - so is the door on a '51 Flying Cloud (ouch)
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:32 PM   #3
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1975 31' Excella 500
undetermined , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 125
I've been reading tons of posts, and finding a parking lot is on the list...been looking for a while but still havent found one, but I know there has to be one somewhere!
Hoping for some input on good camping, routes etc too. Don't want to end up on any crazy roads with crazy camping
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