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Old 07-07-2012, 12:57 AM   #113
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Our “oops” moments have not been as funny or death-defying as some of yours. But in remembering our events since 2007 when we bought the Bambi, they’ve been sort-of non-stop. We had been tent-camping for years, but decided we were getting too old for this sort of thing. The last straw was a freak snow-storm in May, en route to my son’s graduation and meeting his GF’s (now wife’s) parents. It is hard to make a good impression when your best clothes are damp and smell like wood smoke.

Out of all of the thousands of RVs we’d passed on the road over the years, the Bambi was the only one we really liked. Maybe because it most closely resembles an aluminum dome tent. Or a toaster. We had never towed anything short of the odd U-Haul trailer, so Small was Good. So we thought.

We had never owned an RV before, but the salesman at Can-Am in London, Ontario was extremely helpful. They had a lightly-used Bambi on the lot, and the price was right. It was a rainy day, and rain was dripping through the roof onto the dinette table. Sort of like our previous tent. We liked it.

Shortly after our purchase I broke my ankle on some ice. My future daughter-in-law’s mom expressed her sympathy by asking, if she broke her ankle, could she get an Airstream, too?

We accepted the salesman’s recommendation that we spend our first night on the RV lot, so that if we needed any instructions, we could phone him; vs. Roughing It In The Bush. The atmosphere of being locked into a dark, vacated RV lot sort of creeped me out. I thought at least Can-Am could have surrounded us with a few plastic palm trees and an ocean mural. At around 10:30 pm, we did phone the salesman. The furnace died, taking half of the inside lights with it. Several unsuccessful tries to reset the fuses later, he loaned us a little electric space-heater plugged into the shop, so we could get through the night without shivering.

Our first real camping, at a provincial park on Lake Huron, also proved interesting. We wanted the full-blown Airstream life, in all of its glory. We packed romantic CDs, candles, an elegant dinner, champaign. Then we couldn’t figure out how to get the propane to work. After several calls to our still-patient salesman, and rounding-up any senior RVers in the campground who spoke English, we were at last able to boil water.

Our first real road trip was from Ontario to Vancouver, BC via the US. The entire upper back shelf pulled out of its screws and fell on the bed somewhere in Wisconsin. For a while, we forgot how to turn on the water heater; thinking that the red light should stay on the whole time the gas was lit. Once in Nebraska, Bambi sprang another roof leak. Several Airstream mechanics have now disparaged one another’s roof calking work. Once in Montana we nearly hit a moose that was minding its own business on the roadside before deciding to run in front of the truck. Whenever I opened the trailer door after a day on the road, I would routinely hunt for food and beverage items that had rolled out of the fridge, the stove-burner disks, and various screws that worked their way out doors and Bambi-parts still unknown.

Our backing stories would make you folks look like seasoned experts. Apparently a small trailer is actually harder to back than a long trailer. Fortunately, we learned that yelling and screaming help a lot. The trailer predicament remains, but it is healthy to release pent-up emotions, according to psychiatrists. It is also healthy to review with your spouse whether “STOP!!” actually means “Stop right now!!” or “Roll another two feet.” By all means, bring a chain saw: very helpful for clearing major shrubs and trees away from Tense Backing Situations.

We always let other RVers give us advice. We always accept their offers to back up the Bambi for us. Always. They get to feel knowledgeable and generous, and we get to salvage our pride on the next RV trip.

Jeanne
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #114
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1st day of owning a brand new Eddie Bauer (yesterday)...
Forgot the kids lowered the basketball hoop in the driveway.
Now I'm in the debate on fixing it with an insurance claim ($1K deductible) or leaving it as a constant reminder...
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by StagrLee View Post
1st day of owning a brand new Eddie Bauer (yesterday)...
Forgot the kids lowered the basketball hoop in the driveway.
Now I'm in the debate on fixing it with an insurance claim ($1K deductible) or leaving it as a constant reminder...
My recommendation, if it don't leak, don't fix it, because as soon as you do fix it, you'll be battling leaks there forever.

Besides, and unrepaired dent or crease is an instant conversation-starter around the campfire. Kind of like an old-time military dueling scar.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:51 AM   #116
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The day I bought my Airstream I towed it home to my gated community and the gate's security bar came down between the tow vehicle and the Airstream. There were signs clearly posted saying "one vehicle at a time" but I was so used to waving my security card at the sensor and breezing right through with my car that it never occurred to me that the stupid gate would count it as two vehicles. So I have dents on both sides, right where I see them in the side mirrors while I am on the road as a constant reminder of my stupidity.

while most communities display that sign, most ALSO have a sensor that detects obstructions and doesn't allow it to come down. What are you supposed to do? Time your entrance perfectly so it comes down in the 3' gap between your tow vehicle and your trailer?? I'd be furious if I were you.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by StagrLee View Post
1st day of owning a brand new Eddie Bauer (yesterday)...
Forgot the kids lowered the basketball hoop in the driveway.
Now I'm in the debate on fixing it with an insurance claim ($1K deductible) or leaving it as a constant reminder...
I see the ding continues down the body above the vista views. I'd get the curved panel replaced by a VERY good Airstream mechanic, and have the seams carefully recaulked, then leak test the whole unit with pressurized air just for general purposes. Reason is how deep the crease, and how dimpled. The dimples could be right on the edge of poking through.

The marks on the side panel would be hugely expensive to have done and aren't as deep. They won't be as noticible. I'd wax the Airstream and see if that would be a good coverup.

The one curved segment should be $1600 or so. (I had some done in 2007 for $1200 each at the factory.)
I feel for you - and admire how you're keeping your spirits up.
I also think you're a good parent. If that had happened to me I'd likely have written "my late children lowered the hoop..."
Paula
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #118
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Being a lifetime RV'r (starting in my parent's pop up when I was only a year old) I thought for a moment I knew what I was doing.

Last weekend we arrived at our site at Emily Provincial Park about 9pm. The site was large with a fire pit in the exact centre, and a level gravel pad on the left side of the site. I backed in on the gravel, the door of the Safari lined up perfectly with the fire pit, and no levelling blocks needed. What a perfect campsite!

I unloaded the canoe from the truck (requied to open my tailgate), unhitched, put down the stabilizers and was opening the awning when my wife came out of the woods behind the trailer with her flashlight and informed me we didn't have an electrical hookup. I know i paid for electric so I too looked in the woods behind my trailer on it's perfect gravel parking space. After verify on my reservation it was infact an electric site we discovered the hydro post, on the other side of our huge site, out of reach of our cable!

Awning in, Stabilizers up, hitch up, move the tables and the canoe, pull back out on the road, park the trailer on the far side of the site nose in, level with 3 2x6's, manuver the truck out around the trailer...
Miller time was along time comming that night!

The moral of the story? Make sure your hookups reach before you unhitch!
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:18 AM   #119
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AldeanFan, we sympathize. Our first RV/Airstream experiences ever were in Ontario, at two provincial parks on Lake Huron. Apparently the park planners figured you have got the electrical hook-up you paid for if it is within walking distance. Or even in the same county. Fortunately our CanAm salesman recommended we purchase a long extension cord before setting off. Evan Weaver, we are grateful.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:59 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by AldeanFan
Being a lifetime RV'r (starting in my parent's pop up when I was only a year old) I thought for a moment I knew what I was doing.
This cracked me up. I know the feeling!
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Reason is how deep the crease, and how dimpled. The dimples could be right on the edge of poking through.
Take a look at the magnification, think you're right, could leak...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I see the ding continues down the body above the vista views.
Very cosmetic on the main body panel above the windows... Now worries there. For me, its all about the what makes an airstream which is the curves and the hybrid aircraft/ship style windows.


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The one curved segment should be $1600 or so. (I had some done in 2007 for $1200 each at the factory.)
I feel for you - and admire how you're keeping your spirits up.
I also think you're a good parent. If that had happened to me I'd likely have written "my late children lowered the hoop..."
Paula

Definitely not worth an insurance claim then pricewise. We're going to be in Dayton Ohio next summer. Might leave the Eddie with Airstream for a week and stay with family.

What's calming my nerves is I still got that new toy glow going big time... and over little stuff like the LED reading lights. How cool are those!
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:58 PM   #122
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After camping in a pop up for many years my parents bought our 1976 Fiberglass Trillium Travel Trailer when my brother and I became teenagers and didn’t have travel with the parents any longer.
Their first trip out was only about 30 min from home to test out the little glass egg. They had a nice grassy site with a moderate slope. My father spent a good long time (his words were more colourful) backing the trailer on to a high mound to put the trailer in the perfect position on the campsite. For some reason my mother’s first priority upon arriving at a campsite it to put a table cloth on the picnic table. She went in the trailer to get the table cloth, while my father was unhitching. Since a Trillium is so small and light it has a wheel on the tong jack so you can maneuver the trailer by hand if necessary. As soon as the coupler cleared the ball, the trailer began to roll away down the slope toward the other side of the campsite, with my mother and her table cloth still in the trailer. The trailer rolled about 20 feet before it began to spin in circles with my mother holding on in the doorway screaming at my father who was chasing the trailer down the hill. Somehow the trailer missed several trees and came to rest in an uneven dip at least 30 feet from my father’s perfect spot on the mound. My mother was fine but refused to let my father move the trailer again.

My brother and I drove out to the campsite the next afternoon to see how our parents we enjoying their little green trailer. As soon as we were out of the car my brother asked “why’d you put the trailer down here in this dip instead of up there on that nice mound?” My mother said that’s where the trailer wanted to be, my father said not to ask why. I took over a year for us to find out the whole story.

Now my parents have a 34’ fifth-wheel, I hope my marriage is as strong as my parents’ is!
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #123
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Fix it. It would drive me crazy. I have to keep my toy in good shape.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:39 PM   #124
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One day old new trailer. I'd probably fix the front panel anyway.

I could ignore the scratch above the windows below the awning rail. Speaking of the awning rail, an awning would help distract from the scratch.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:01 PM   #125
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...>snip<.... we purchase a long extension cord before setting off. Evan Weaver, we are grateful.
We also have a 25' 30-amp extension cord, and it's saved our bacon a few times...and we have also lent it to friends whose shore power cord couldn't quite reach the electrical post. There's one state park in particular that we go to where the sites were laid out by some who obviously had never been camping with an RV...everything was in the wrong place...the electricity, the water, the picnic table, the fire pit...
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:48 PM   #126
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Stagr- Get it fixed. Little scratches and dings are one thing but that hurts.

As far as I go...What happens in Oopsville, stays in Oopsville.
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