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Old 09-11-2006, 11:22 AM   #15
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1954 22' Flying Cloud
1954 25' Cruiser
2005 25' International CCD
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Oh, I used up to much space onthe other pictures, but here's the end result...
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Paul Mayeux
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:02 PM   #16
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Got two...

Our first and most memorable was pre-Airstream SOB Trailer, but it might spare some other members a thrill... We left the east exit of Yellowstone heading for Mt. Rushmore, and enjoyed the ride from Cody to Greybull and shortly beyond on US Hwy 14, a red "Scenic Byway" kind of road on the map... All was well until we began seeing signs for "Shell Creek" and then started climbing and the signs changed to "Shell Rapids" and (shortly after we passed a couple terrified-looking motorhome driverrs coming down the hill at us..) then "Shell Falls". The road got steeper, narrower and twistier, with big rocks and rushing water, as we climbed Shell Canyon... Many flashbacks to Lucy and Desi in the mountains... There was a small reward as the alpine valley at the top in Bighorn National Forest was beautiful at over 7,000' (Granite Pass to get there was almost 9,000'...), and looked like Heidi country...

The second was our decision to casually launch on the Friday of July 4th weekend without reservations and pull the Airstream up northern California's Coast Highway or Route 1, from San Francisco to Leggett, where it joins US 101 for the trip into Oregon... Again a red "Scenic Byway" and I unwisely ignored warnings from sportscar-owning friends who warned me there were sections where you'd see your own tailpipe coming around corners. We bounced and swerved from turnout to turnout to let angry holiday drivers blast past us, and didn't really enjoy the magnificent coastline or redwoods.. Again, it ended well with a last-minute negotiated parking spot in Ft. Bragg (after being turned away at the first 5 campgrounds and RV parks...) and enjoying their "world's Largest Salmon Barbecue" and fireworks for the weekend.. Maybe on a quiet Tuesday morning that road would be more enjoyable, but it wasn't any fun on a summer holiday weekend...

John McG


In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:19 PM   #17
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Visalia , California
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Thought I would weigh in with my worst encounter, which in comparison to some, doesn't sound so bad. It happened less than 1 month ago.

We thought we would try out a campground up toward Kings Canyon. It was called Sierra Lakes. It turns out some new owners had taken it over and put a good deal of work into it. We arrived when it was dark (I hate doing that). They gave us a map and said to find a spot that we liked that was open. The RV spots are down one road, the tents another. The map showed the spots and a loop road at the end.

Well, it wasn't exactly like that. The first thing was very steep hill in the middle of the spots. It amazingly steep for a campground for RV's. They just had put down a fairly thick coating of gravel. I started up it and started slipping. Put it in 4x4 and go real slow. I did make it up. We continue looking and thought we would go around the loop. There was no loop. It was just a cul-de-sac with the spots shooting out from it. Where do we turn around? I had to pull into one spot and back into another a couple times. Good thing they weren't too full.

We went back down the hill and selected a spot that was partially up the hill. However I had to turn around again. This time in the parking lot near the office. OK. Back again. The sites were not angled at all, they were at right angles to the road. I had to pull into the spot across the street and back into the spot. Whew, made it.

I had a couple days to figure out how to get out. It was too tight to turn right and down the hill and too steep to turn left and up the hill. So forward into the spot across the street, back down the hill a bit and back into another wider spot. I could then turn right and head down the hill.

We will probably avoid this campground just due to this unless they pave the hill. Here is a photo that sort of shows the problems.
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Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
Visalia, CA (between Fresno & Bakersfield)
2012 31' Classic - Nuestra casa rodante
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:09 AM   #18
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Well caadoptees it is a good thing that wasn't me or we'd still be backing up and pulling forward! I do pretty good in the drive way , but if there is any chance that someone might be looking or if it is a strange place or tight quarters, it is like the newbie that I am.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Minnie's Mate
Well caadoptees it is a good thing that wasn't me or we'd still be backing up and pulling forward! I do pretty good in the drive way , but if there is any chance that someone might be looking or if it is a strange place or tight quarters, it is like the newbie that I am.
Backing up is definitely a learned skill. When I first started I was so green that it took many attempts to backup in a 'straight' line. However, going to different campgrounds and their various designs, it has made me learn and once you do it you feel real proud. A KOA in Salmon Arm, BC and Humboldt Redwoods SP (Burlington) are two spots that stick in my mind. You can go to a parking lot with boxes and/or cones and practice but the real world is where you do your 'real' learning.

Keep at it and it will come.
Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
Visalia, CA (between Fresno & Bakersfield)
2012 31' Classic - Nuestra casa rodante
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:17 AM   #20
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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Well, I guess part of my problem is there have been only three places that haven't been pull-throughs so I'm not getting enough experience.

One of those was at Ft. Wilderness. Talk about close corners! I had to fold my driver's side mirror down flat to the side of the truck to keep it from hitting the truck in the space across the street with it! More than once! Had to do it again getting out of the camp site, too! Spaces and street just too narrow for a 20' truck and 30' Airstream.

Then at the Top of Georgia Airstream Park, the spaces are wide with a concrete parking pad. My wife wanted me to be perfectly centered on the pad. "Dear, it doesn't have to be in the center"....she thought it did! I made three trips around the loop and back trying to get centered on the pad. And there were no Airstreams on any of the sites across the street. URRRRG!! By the way, I seem to do better backing in from the blind side than backing the trailer to the left. I just need someone to make sure I don't back into a tree or concrete pic-nic table.

And Jackson Center. Well at least there isn't anything across the street from the spaces. Except an occasional tree. I can handle trees. They are big enough I can see them and they are in front of me there.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:30 PM   #21
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Chandler , Arizona
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I'm really enjoying these stories... It's funny how you feel more "Wally like" after you put your Airstream in such a precarious situation. Hard on the nerves, but there's something to be said for that unknown adventure.
Minnie Mate, if you look at my photo gallery the picture of the Airstream in the aspen trees is at Hawley Lake Arizona I've talked about this place in other posts, to get there it's a lot of 15 and 20 MPH mountain curves but that was not the toughest part on our first visit. The campground is carved into the Aspens and with such a limited number of Aspens in Arizona, people don't like to cut them down to make a road. So some of the campground roads are pretty darn narrow. If you enter their campground from the wrong direction (which of course I did on my first visit) I had to fully jack-knife the truck to get it into my space. Talk about nerve wracking! My trucks tail light was not more than three inches from the stone guard. After a couple of hair raising experiences like this you suddenly feel like you can back it into anywhere. Look forward to more stories from all of you Wally Adventurers.......
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."- Mark Twain

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Old 10-09-2006, 08:34 PM   #22
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2005 31' Classic
Gretna , Nebraska
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We're going where?

About 25 years ago I was pulling my parents 1970 Overlander down the California coast. Although we had several great experiences, the one that fits this thread occurred when I asked my able co-pilot to find the way to Fisherman's Wharf in SF. After brief protestations, she determined the exit and off we went. We headed up a very steep street (not the one with the flowers and weaves), decided to take a quick left and ended up at the right spot - sort of.

As I slowly eyed a parking lot the attendant pulled the shade until we were by. I pulled into another parking lot and the attendant informed me that "I couldn't park that thing in here", which had become obvious. So we headed down the street until we found enough open parking meters in a row, unhooked, plugged meters and headed for our dinner at Fisherman's Grotto, if I recall correctly.

After a delicious dinner we hooked up and went on our merry way.

Great times.
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Old 10-09-2006, 10:51 PM   #23
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
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Several years ago in the fall, not long after having the TradeWind in travel shape, my wife and I decided to take a weekend trip to one of the desert lakes. We decided on visiting Roosevelt Lake, which is the fourth desert lake heading east out of the Phoenix metro area. Not having been there in years nor ever driving it personally, I completely forgot what Fish Creek Hill was like. It was completely nerve wracking. One side shear cliff down and the other side almost scraping the vertical overhangs along the top of the trailer in a few places. Single lane, many bends and gravel. Both of us had our windows down; I was looking down and she was looking up. Thank goodness we didn't meet anyone while driving to the bottom. Once we got to Roosevelt Lake, we found the shoreline was 50 feet or so below the normal waterline because of the continued drought and we had a difficult time finding a level spot next to the water. We eventually did and it was like camping on the moon. Completely barren and mono colored with the nearest vegetation off in the distance. We set up camp in the dark, fixed dinner and went to bed. The next morning, we decided to head off to another lake and got to do it all over again only this time I was watching the overhangs and Julie was watching the drop off. It took over an hour to go five miles. Wally would have been proud.

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Old 10-10-2006, 05:49 AM   #24
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Uhhh... we got thrown out of the Yosemite Valley campgrounds with our '70 Safari Special on Thanksgiving, 1993... does that count?

Actually about 6pm as we were all settling in for a nice Thanksgiving dinner, the Rangers came through and evacuated the campgrounds. The forecast was for 80+mph winds through the valley later that night, and they decided they didn't want any of the campers to be victims of "widow makers"... those big branches that fall a couple hundred feet from the top of the trees to the valley floor.

So, the entire campground evacuated out onto the roads. Ever try to find another campground around Yosemite after dark? Good luck! I think we ended up parking on a residential street in Modesto for the night! The winds never materialized in the valley.

AIR 2053 Current: 2006 Born Free 32 RQ Kodiak Chassis, & 1995 Coachmen B-van
Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:49 AM   #25
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Seattle , Washington
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I totally forgot about an ol college story. A bunch of us rented a 32 ft Winni for the USC / Stanford game (we being the Trojans) - I was only supposed to drive the first part of the trip... Doh! Put $200 dollars of booze in a MH and expect a sober driver after 4 hours - nah! So I ended up driving this thing the whole way... it was bigger than my college dorm!

But I digress. My wife to be asked me to take us around the big square in town where the big pep rally was. We marveled at the city sites, it really was a beautiful day. UNTIL it was time to negociate a sharp right turn pocket that dropped steeply midway through the turn... and the sidewalk didn't drop (imagine a steeply rising 2 foot curb). The front part of the MH made the turn... my back curbside wheels stayed up on the rapidly rising curb... the MH really felt like it was going to roll on it's side. Mindful that I had complete coverage that "didn't cover roof damage except in a totaled accident" I kept going...but asked everyone (all nine of the passengers) to the curbside.

I made it! Never will do that again!
P.S. - we won.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:34 AM   #26
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half-way to nowhere

On our way w/the kids to British Columbia, back in '86,we decided to stop to visit the Space Needle in Seattle and have lunch there, we found ourselves in our Ford 250 towing our Safari turning onto a street that was steep (similar to SF streets)..only thing, it was pouring rain, and we started slip-sliding half way up the street..we were so afraid of sliding backwards into cars following right behind my husband put on the brakes, motioning the cars to go around us..that worked..we decided to go back down and round the corner to get out of this situation..since my husband couldn't see well behind us, he suggested I stand ouside w/the umbrella, and guide him down the steet while motioning to the drivers to go around us..we almost got down to the bottom to make the turn around the corner when a Caddilac w/an older woman started honking her horn incessantly for us to get out of her way so that she could go up the hill..I almost had to go and tell her to please, just wait for a few more seconds, when just like magic, a police car appeared....he saved the day by allowing us to maneuver ourselves out of that the time we we were done with all of that, we decided to take a 'rain check' on the Needle for another time..ended up getting out of Seattle and continuing on our way to other destinations that year..l
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:44 PM   #27
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1948 22' Liner
Squaw Valley , California
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Here's a lesson no one should have to learn. We purchased our Liner off of EBAY. After we won the bid ( no one else bid on it), we were ready to collect our prize. It had a broken leaf spring so it would need to be trailered home. I found the biggest car trailer I could and we set out on or 6 hour drive to get her. Upon getting to the AS we pushed it up onto the car trailer. This is when everything went bad. There wasn't enough room to extend the front far enough forward so the AS axle ended up behind the car trailer axles making the whole thing very light on the tongue. We strapped it down and tried it. As soon as we hit 25 mph, it started oscillating and we almost lost it. We had strapped it down so well, it survived and we turned around and limped back. Probably scared the you know what out of the people behind us! Looking in the mirrors I could see cars going in every direction to get away from us. We tried to add extra weight to the front by loading the front of the AS with old tires and wheels. This didn't work either.

The seller offered to let us keep the AS there until we could come back with new parts. We gathered up a bunch of the wheels and tires from before and jacked the trailer up and slid them underneath. I then removed the wheels, tires and entire axle. These went onto the car trailer and we took them home leaving the AS sitting on a pile of tires.

6 weeks later we returned with a new axle, new springs and new wheels/tires. I spent a couple hours getting everything to fit and it came off the tire stack. The 6 hour drive home was non eventful.

Kind of reminds me of the old saying. The right tool for the right job. For six weeks, all I could think about was a sudden gust of wind coming along and then finding it on it's side.

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