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Old 09-08-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
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You took your Airstream there?????? NO WAY

Wanted to start a fun travel experience thread…This community has logged millions of miles on the road and many of the best travel stories are those unexpected destinations or maybe it’s a tale that starts with… you won’t believe where I took my Airstream….

So as a newbie with only 3500 miles under my belt I want to open the floor to you… Let’s hear your wild travel story or destination… Was it half way around the world? Did your AS go to Woodstock… maybe it was a vendor at a Grateful Dead show…maybe it was the time you got it stuck crossing a mountain pass in the winter.. Maybe it has been to every baseball park in the country in one summer… OK you get the picture now let’s hear your story…
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:41 PM   #2
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From the mountains to the beach....

The first oicture is of the climb up olf Creek Pass a few years ago. Gravel and potholes for miles. Reminded me of a third world Wally caravan from the 50's...
The second and third picture are of our trips to San felipe, where beach front camping in Mexico is as it's best. You can crawl across beach sand with your airstream in tow...
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:46 PM   #3
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my airsteam story

My airstream story is not all that great. But I took my airstream
over the sierra nevada mountain range hwy 395 from lake isabella
to porterville california thinking it would be a quick little ride. I
found out getting over the sierra nevada mountain range is no little
ride it took most of the day. Then I saw a sign that said trailors
over 22 ft were not permitted on that road, but it was too late I
keep going. On a mountain ridge/cliff about 3000 ft down a forest
service truck almost slamed into me head on which would have
caused my truck and trailor to go over the cliff. Fortunlely the
forest service truck stoped in time but ended up in a ditch.
Also I have been out to Death Valley many times
if you ever get a chance to go there it is really nice. And always
remember to never ever go over 65 mph when towing a trailor.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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Does setting cruise control above 85 MPH count?

Long stretches of desert hwy get lonely.

Air in tow is real smooth above 70.
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55inyo
My airstream story is not all that great. But I took my airstream
over the sierra nevada mountain range


Come on....give yourself some credit 55inyo...that's quite a tale... and it is great... Note: journal that under Adventure Trips.... your lucky to BE.....ok I’m listening all ....keep 'em coming...
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druupy
Does setting cruise control above 85 MPH count?

Long stretches of desert hwy get lonely.

Air in tow is real smooth above 70.
I concur. On interstates I regularly tow with cruise set on 75. However, that is MY limit. Nothing more!
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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1954 Romany cruiser

Hey thanks for the nice reply azstreamin. And this is a message to
Druupy, Im just a slow driver plus the fact that my trailor has almost
fishtailed on me a couple times coming down hills in Death valley.
So Im real careful about that. Better to be alive then dead I say.
-----Or even worse lose the Airstream. But my trailor is on a
straight axel and it is dangerous for me to drive to fast with it.
check out my trailor it is just below your message Azstreamin.
It wont be there for long as you know on this web site there are
many messages that come in.---- Now the mojave desert where
I live and have grown up in is my version of paradise. I love Death
Valley, It is so vast and peaceful there.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:33 PM   #8
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Speedy 'Streams...

Wow folks!

Tow at 75+ what do you do if you have to stop? But, then I am a !!!! Besides, I think of gas mileage each time I get into a vehicle! Sometimes it is just nice to look at the scenery!

Travel safe! Have fun!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:53 AM   #9
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inyo55/54 romany cruiser

You know what I have noticed , We all live in nice
places Azstreamin lives in Channdler Az, Druupy
lives in Port Orchard, Washington. Caddygrn lives
in Yreka,calif, and mimies mate lives in Fayetteville ,
Ga. As they say in California that is sweet. By the
way I am going to have another beer.----Airstream
rules .
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Old 09-09-2006, 06:37 AM   #10
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Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia

I have a story similar to the story posted by 55inyo...

This is part of the story of our adventure to South Carolina to pick up our first Airstream trailer that we had won on eBay. At this point in our lives, we had always been tent campers and neither one of us had any experience in towing a trailer. The story starts on a Saturday after we picked up the trailer the day before and were in the process of working our way back north -- trying to get home to Massachusetts by Sunday. We had been detoured on Friday night and were trying to find a way back to Route 81 so we could reach the Pennslvania border by dark...

The question now was how to return to Route 81 without losing too much time. We had already lost precious hours due to the slow traverse on Route 29. Also, we didn't enjoy the prospect of driving all day on Sunday. So, with road atlas in hand, I searched for the most direct route while hubby drove.

One alternative was to stay on Route 29 to Charlottesville and then take Route 64 West to Route 81. Instead, we decided to take Route 501 out of Lynchburg, Virginia as it seemed to be the fastest, most direct roadway between Routes 29 and 81. The road started out innocently enough as it wound gently uphill through the forest with stunning views around each bend (see photo #1). The sign prohibiting tracker trailer trucks from taking this route was a harbinger of what was ahead. As it turned out, our "direct route" went directly through the Blue Ridge Mountain range.

Before too long, the "gently winding" road disappeared and was replaced with switchbacks and a steep grade upward. Luckily for us, traffic was light. Each time the traffic line grew behind us, we pulled over to let it by and to catch our breath. Turning back was not an option now. If we were in a convertible, cruising along with the top down, we probably would have enjoyed this leg of the journey a little bit more. Instead, we were in a Chevy Blazer with our shiny, new Airstream in tow driven by a driver with only 200 miles of highway towing experience under his belt.

Downhill was trickier with yet more steep grades and heart-stopping hairpin turns (see photo #3). There were quite a few times where I had to remind myself to breathe. Undaunted, hubby forged onward with nary a flinch. With a dozen hairpin turns under his belt, he soon became an expert at navigating the turns AND keeping both vehicles in his lane. The Airstream tracked beautifully through every turn. At times, we even forgot we were pulling it. Needless to say, the passenger side brake pedal was worn out long before we reached the bottom of the mountain pass.

In hindsight, if we stayed on Route 29 to Charlottesville, this leg of the trip might have been quicker and with less wear and tear on the vehicles -- I can't imagine it would have been more scenic. All along the way, we were treated to spectacular views of waterfall bespeckled gorges and breathtaking scenic vistas across the valleys. Around one corner, we encountered a picturesque horse farm nestled in the bend of a downward turn (see photo #2). The brick house was surrounded by a white picket fence and well worn horse paths.

Around another corner, we saw a farmhouse in the distant valley surrounded by acres of farmland with grazing cows. Aside from a few houses at the summit and in the valleys, there weren't many homes on this route.

One hour and thirty miles later, we made it through the mountain pass. At 4:20 in the afternoon, we were now well behind our original schedule of reaching Pennsylvania before dark. With one last look at the mountain range (see photo #4) we just crossed, we continued onward to Route 81 where we hoped to make up some lost time.
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:15 AM   #11
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I guess familiarity makes a big difference in the percepion of road difficulty. I grew up in Lynchburg and went to college in Lexington. The most direct route between points was Rt. 501. I know every turn. As a matter of fact, the route is easier since the Highway Department smoothed out some hairpin curves in the Coleman Falls/Holcomb Rock area.
We tow our 22' Airstream regularly over this route each summer as we camp out at Cave Mountain Lake CG in the Jefferson NF near I-81 and Natural Bridge. The scenery in the James River gorge is breath taking. Afterward, we travel east to Lynchburg to my sister's house for a visit, before heading home to Fredericksburg.
It's not an easy drive, to say the least, but truckers do drive it, and slower speeds (on Rt. 501) are safer than the 65-75 mph downhill speeds coming off Afton Mountain on I-64. A runaway doesn't have a chance.
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:37 PM   #12
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Some of these stories that deal with mountain driving, passes, and hairpin turns, causes me to point out that a recommendation was made on another thread just this week for a directory to mountain driving that is for truckers and anyone hauling a long or heavy vehicle/tow over mountains in the east and west. I just ordered ours through Amazon, reasonably priced book, expensive shipping since I wanted ours before we head out west this week. The guide is paperback and gives the map of a state indicating numbered passes and challenging highway areas, followed by entries that give details any driver should have before entering or leaving one of these: differences in conditions in directions, even tells in the extreme cases: "This pass is dangerous!" The information included is very detailed so that if you choose to haul over a pass, you know what you are headed into. The book is titled: Mountain Directory Guide West for Truckers, RV's, and Motorhomes. It's twin just changes the title to Mountain East. . . It was recommended here on the forum, and it is going to be a permanent addition to our Airstream travel library as well as a well-thumbed reference on this week's trip! Don't mean to hijack this thread, but the nature of the thread title indicates that this is a good reference for many of us! ~G
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddyGrn
Wow folks!

Tow at 75+ what do you do if you have to stop? But, then I am a !!!! Besides, I think of gas mileage each time I get into a vehicle! Sometimes it is just nice to look at the scenery!

Travel safe! Have fun!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
Well Mrs. NorCal, I only tow at 75 on interstates that I know really well. I frequent I-75 from Metro Atlanta to Central Florida several times a year so I know it pretty well including the many areas where road construction is going on. I plan my "speed" around these areas. On this stretch of I-75 you either go a minimum of 75 or you get run over or you have to stay in the beat up trucker's lane. I think the roughness of the right lane is worse on the trailer than going an extra few MPH's. The speed limit is posted at 70 and adding 5 MPH is over looked by the State Troopers. Since my family is so familiar with this stretch of interstate, we don't miss any scenery at that speed (not that there is much to see on that stretch anyway ). My observations have been that you really don't miss much scenary at any speed on the interstates. When off interstates I stick to the posted speed limit for safety and site seeing.
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:14 PM   #14
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I love reading these stories. Our wildest one took place a few years back - Labor day weekend 2003. We were on our way to Cuchara, CO, on the highway between Raton, NM and Clayton, NM. We love photographing old towns and dilapidated buildings so when we saw a sign that read "Sofia 23mi" we thought that sounded interesting so we looked it up on the map. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere and it looked to be the perfect candidate for a deserted town. We turned south on NM 453 on a wide improved gravel road. We traveled about 15 to eighteen miles down this smooth county road, stopping occasionally to take some photos of some abandoned farms. We found Sofia. sadly it had evidently been a town at some point in time but there were only a couple of buildings and they had been overtaken by a ranch and turned into some sort of ranching facility. I took a picture of Annie, while things were still quiet and we ran across a cool old bridge.

About a mile out of Sofia the road began to narrow. As quickly as it narrowed it turned soggy. We approached a sign indicating that we were crossing the old Santa Fe Trail. I stopped to take a picture. I also noted that the road was in worse shape than I thought and there was no way to turn around as the sides of the road had some standing water. Evidently it had rained the night before. I shifted the truck into 4 wheel drive and we proceeded another couple of miles. The road was slick but the trailer and truck, being driven at low speed in 4wd Low Range, were tracking fairly well. About five miles west of Sofia we came to a split in the road. I checked the map and it showed a split. Turn right to go back to 87, which is where we wanted to go. I made the right turn and we traveled about 300 yards. I was driving in the center of the road since it was narrow and muddy when a small 4wd S10 pickup approached from the direction we were heading. I pulled to the right slightly to allow him room to pass and when I did our rig slid into the ditch, sinking up past the rims on the truck and up to the belly pan on the Overlander. Things definately looked grim. I got out and surveyed the situation. The mud was so slick it was difficult to walk. The S10 had gone on by now unaware of our situation. There was no cell service - we were literally in the middle of nowhere. I got back in put the truck in gear and with liberal use of the gas we were able to pull forward but couldn't break free of the ruts along the side of the road. I put it in reverse and again with full throttle began to move backward, still unable to get out. We tried this several times over the course of about thirty minutes to no avail. I got out and with a shovel tried dig the ruts down to where tires could break free. No dice. By this time an hour had passed and the S10 comes back along. The driver stops and scratches his head knowing his truck could not do anything for a 7,500 lb truck and 5,500 lb trailer. I asked if he had a tractor. "NO" was his reply. I looked down the road in the direction we were heading and it appeared to drop after a while. I asked him what the road was like further up. He informed me that it was a dead end and the dropoff I could see was where it crossed a creek. He said good luck and as he was driving off he said if I could get into the pasture on either side of the road that the ground was firmer. I figured our only way out was if I backed all the way as far as I could then drove forward as fast as I could then at the last minute cut the wheel hard to the left in order for the momentum to help get our curb side out of the ruts, then without slowing much turn into the pasture on our left through a gate opening right about where the dropoff to the creek starts.

I got in, dropped the truck in reverse and floored it. We slowly dug our way backward until we could move no more. I put it in forward and floored it. We started moving. I began to cut the wheel hard as we neared the end of our ruts. The mud was slinging everywhere but it did start to pull its way to the left then all at once we were back in the center of the road, I continued toward the gate opening. As I approached it I turned the wheel hard to the left and we literally went sliding sideways into the pasture. I wasn't so sure the trailer wasn't going to roll. Once in the pasture we stopped and sure enough the ground was firm. A quick check of things and we drove the pasture as far as we could eventually hitting the road west of where we had turned onto it. As it turns out, the fork we were looking for actually was further on, we finally hit it about two or three miles from where the first fork, not shown on the map, was located. As far as the truck and trailer go, we hit a huge rain storm in Trinidad, CO which took care of the bulk of the mud.
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