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Old 08-01-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Spring , Texas
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1st time owner

I will take deliver of a 2003 26' Flying Cloud. We are planning a fairly long trip and having never owned a trailer before, especially one 10 years old, I am apprehensive about the mechanical issues.

How do I check for wheel bearings? Is it OK to have the propane refrigerator on during driving?

Anything else?
Thanks,

CJM
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
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Captain - We were just like you Spring two years ago. You're going to do fine. Folks here on the Air Forum have taught me SO MUCH. Tires are important! Be sure they look good, feel good, and are inflated to the max allowable. If they are original, they need to be replaced by all means. Brakes are important. Be sure you can manually lock up the wheels at very low speed with your brake controller. Wheel Bearing are important, as you suggested. They should be inspected and repacked annually, particularly if/when you take long trips. There are lots of opinions about running with propane on. We do it, and the fridge stays nice and cold. Be sure your water pump is off during travel, as too many have reported a hard bump opening a faucet resulting in a flood inside while riding.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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While traveling I will frequently walk around at a fuel stop and touch each wheel / hub. Warm is normal. HOT is not. If it feels too hot to comfortably touch then something is amiss. Could be bearings, could be brakes but either needs attention. Even after hard miles on a hot summer day they should be warm only. Even better yet some feel more comfortable with the inexpensive portable infared temp. devices. We travel with the propane on. Have only found a few places with propane restrictions.

Enjoy your travels. See ya'll on the road sometime.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #4
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This time of year in Texas I consider it essential to travel with the refrigerator on unless I plan to live out of ice chests for the whole trip. I like to get the refrigerator down to temperature, then load it up the night before departure with already-cold stuff and (in the summer) run it wide open that night to try to get down close to 32F in the main compartment before leaving, because with the Texas sun heating up the trailer on the road, the internal temps tend to creep up slowly on the road (in my 37-year-old Dometic, at least.)

I recommend taking a "shake down" trip for a weekend or so somewhere near home, where you know you'll be close to vendors and services in case you need to address any problems. It'll make the first "real" trip go smoothly even if the shakedown trip doesn't, and with a mindset of finding/solving any problems ahead of time, you won't be as frustrated or disappointed if you do run into a snag or two.

Welcome to Airstream travel, and to the forums!
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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Oh yeah - your wait is over!

I'm interested in the fridge question

I've read about it on forums

Mixed opinions

I expect I will leave it on

Although I will stop way short of the gas pump to cut it off...
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
While traveling I will frequently walk around at a fuel stop and touch each wheel / hub. Warm is normal. HOT is not. If it feels too hot to comfortably touch then something is amiss. Could be bearings, could be brakes but either needs attention. Even after hard miles on a hot summer day they should be warm only.
Great advice. I think that I will start to do this also.

Thanks, Dan
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the reply. I am going to pay the dealer to check the bearings, tires etc.. I noticed most of the reliys were from folks with 3/4 ton trucks. I have a Dodge 1500 4x4 with the Hemi engine. I think that will be adaquate, don't you?

CJM
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:42 AM   #8
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Thanks for the reply. I am going to pay the dealer to check the bearings, tires etc.. I noticed most of the reliys were from folks with 3/4 ton trucks. I have a Dodge 1500 4x4 with the Hemi engine. I think that will be adaquate, don't you?

CJM
I'm not 100% clear on which trailer you've purchased, but I suspect the Dodge will work fine within reasonable limits. I assume the truck has the factory tow package or you've added a transmission cooler if it was not originally equipped. What's the rear axle ratio, do you know?

If you have a 2003 25' Safari, even adding weight back in for the usual Airstream underestimate of tongue weight should leave you with room for a reasonable quantity of people and cargo in the truck. If you have the other safari for 2003 (28' slideout, it seems less likely since you didn't mention the slideout) then that's a heavy sucker and it may challenge the truck on tongue weight.

I tow with an F150, though my trailer is a '75 so it's light relative to modern Airstreams. I have no complaints, but if I want to keep it above 60 mph on real hills, I have to let the rpm come up to make good power and it sings and drinks like the crowd at an Irish pub. "I went to an alehouse I used to frequent...."
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:19 AM   #9
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I will take deliver of a 2003 26' Flying Cloud.
CJM
Welcome to the Forums!! Airstream did not make a Flying Cloud in 2003. They made a Safari, Bambi, Classic and International. Are you sure it's not a Safari, which would be the equivalent of a Flying Cloud? Also could it be a 25'? They didn't make a 26'.

The first thing I would do would be to have an RV service center check and repack the bearings and check the brakes while the wheels are off. A short weekend shakedown trip nearby to work out issues before your big trip would be highly recommended too. I see you are towing it with a 1500 PU Does the trailer have a weight distribution hitch?
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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As others have suggested, a short "shakedown" trip might be a good idea before setting out on a long trip. Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #11
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Howdy from Round Rock!

Congrats and welcome!

Take to KOA or similar. Setup, work out bugs. Several dealers even have their own parks to stay in closeby in case of questions/issues.

I would ensure I have WD and Sway Control... That I can control electric brakes, etc.

Next, make sure all electrical 12v and 120v and propane work with all turn in' and burnin'...

Edit... Pics ... Must have pics!!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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Congratulations on your new acquisition.

Nobody else mentioned this, so I will - check the date codes on the tires. Tires have a life of just 5 years, after which time, notwithstanding the mileage, they can fail. The reason is that the casings themselves start to deteriorate internally and by the time 5 years has elapsed, they may be sufficiently weakened to the point that you could experience failure (such as a blowout).

I recently posted a thread showing the failure I had with a tire date coded 1211 - i.e., manufactured in March 2011. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1334231
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:28 AM   #13
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Oops. You're right. It is a Safari
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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Spring , Texas
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Round rock? We're in Spring, TX. I beleive previous owner of my 26' Safari is from Elgin, TX. I have # 2683 in red on the front. Is this some kind of club?
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