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Old 11-07-2004, 08:35 AM   #1
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Question Q's fr newbie, starting 4k-mile trip, today or manana

Howdy: when I've time, I'll break-out these Q's to specific forums...but am in last-minute packing for solo-towing "new" A/S on a 4000+mile, 5-7 week journey [going to see kids & new grandchild ], and hope to pick up some replies as I get net-access enroute.

1) URGENT: Am missing the latchdowns fr my just-repaired rock guard [“Solar-Guard“?]: a knurled cylinder, flat- blade screw slot at top, smaller diameter where it penetrated the guard and screws into recessed threaded hole in window frame. Am using 1/4" dia. hex-bolts, hopefully, temporarily. Any sources, or a better substitute?
………………………………..................
2) my folding shower stall [is called?] has broken plastic-trim on top, the part that buttons to wall. Anyone know where to find replacement, or something else that will slide onto the panel & work?
………………………………..................
3] trailer came w/ 6-ply LT tires [not the ST's I've grown to believe over the years] Are ST's not available in this 7.00x15 size? And -since the manual mentions an 8-PLY in that size, can I go to that, and inc. my GVWR?……………………………….................
4) if adjustable-height equalizer-hitch wants to be slightly off, is it better for "slight" to be in front or rear? [Given my experience, am embarrassed to need to ask this, but I DID experience "different" towing characteristics when retrieving this A/S from WI]
………………………………...............
5) not having a Gray-Tank makes Boondocking-While-Traveling difficult [which I do a lot, and especially when in central Mexico] I’m told that adding one is costly & time-consuming. There’s the “trick” of keeping the discharge cap closed, and the waste-valve open, letting gray-water back-up into the black-tank. But 1] I think the latter is only 18 gallons, [REALLY?!], and 2] that must be REALLY MESSY when you go to draining it! Has anyone found a better solution? {it needs to be 1 usuable in a store parking lot ]
………………………………................
5) while my A/S has even more inside storage than the remarkable amt. of same I had in my 38’ 5ER [yeah, WOW!], the non-living-space storage is limited. I’m looking for places to install add’l. batteries [deep-cycle 12V, or a pair of golf-cart 6Vs] There’s some room under the couch in front; the always-on 12v line, and the trailer- tow ground, are right there inside the 7-way access panel. 2 short wires [#8 or #10, whatever] would seem to put the add'l. batt. in parallel w/ the trailer's battery and the Aux, batt. in my truck [which is downline fr my Isolater & Main Batt.]
So…w/ modern sealed batteries, what REALLY is the danger of having batteries in the living space, and HOW “dangerous“ might that be?
………………………………...............
6) although it's my intent -to generally avoid deep-freeze conditions in "My Golden Years" :> -I'm unhappy having solder-connected copper water-lines….thoughts of their freezing, and the replacement ordeal, is making me lose sleep! Despite wanting to stay-original in appearance, I’m quite open to upgrades in function: I’d rather replace the lines w/ that gray-type [Butyl?] that are easy to install, only expand upon freezing, resist splitting. [And SO-O-O much easier to replace!] Might this reduce-value of a mostly original rig?
... ……………………………….........
7) I HAVE READ, READ, READ, AND STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN! :>
E.g., I still don’t know how to determine if the shocks need replacing, or how often the bearings need repacking…

All info, advice, encouragement glady accepted.

Tom, recent new owner -and LOVING IT!
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Old 11-07-2004, 10:48 AM   #2
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I'll try and help on a few questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gringo9779
Howdy: when I've time, I'll break-out these Q's to specific forums...but am in last-minute packing for solo-towing "new" A/S on a 4000+mile, 5-7 week journey [going to see kids & new grandchild ], and hope to pick up some replies as I get net-access enroute.

1) URGENT: Am missing the latchdowns fr my just-repaired rock guard [“Solar-Guard“?]: a knurled cylinder, flat- blade screw slot at top, smaller diameter where it penetrated the guard and screws into recessed threaded hole in window frame. Am using 1/4" dia. hex-bolts, hopefully, temporarily. Any sources, or a better substitute?

You should be able to get these locks from a Airstream Dealer
if not try WWW.Inlandrv.com
………………………………..................
2) my folding shower stall [is called?] has broken plastic-trim on top, the part that buttons to wall. Anyone know where to find replacement, or something else that will slide onto the panel & work?

Same answewr as #1
………………………………..................
3] trailer came w/ 6-ply LT tires [not the ST's I've grown to believe over the years] Are ST's not available in this 7.00x15 size? And -since the manual mentions an 8-PLY in that size, can I go to that, and inc. my GVWR?

I do believe that you should have at least load range D or maybe E rated tires on your rig
……………………………….................
4) if adjustable-height equalizer-hitch wants to be slightly off, is it better for "slight" to be in front or rear? [Given my experience, am embarrassed to need to ask this, but I DID experience "different" towing characteristics when retrieving this A/S from WI]

If you are talking about "nose down or tail down" I believe that nose down would be better . However, spend some time and make it right. It is very important to get level before you start your trip. Also pay attention to trailer weight distrabution..
………………………………...............
5) not having a Gray-Tank makes Boondocking-While-Traveling difficult [which I do a lot, and especially when in central Mexico] I’m told that adding one is costly & time-consuming. There’s the “trick” of keeping the discharge cap closed, and the waste-valve open, letting gray-water back-up into the black-tank. But 1] I think the latter is only 18 gallons, [REALLY?!], and 2] that must be REALLY MESSY when you go to draining it! Has anyone found a better solution? {it needs to be 1 usuable in a store parking lot ]

No, don't do it!!! Get yourself a BLUE tank for grey water and use that. Available at most RV centers.
………………………………................
5) while my A/S has even more inside storage than the remarkable amt. of same I had in my 38’ 5ER [yeah, WOW!], the non-living-space storage is limited. I’m looking for places to install add’l. batteries [deep-cycle 12V, or a pair of golf-cart 6Vs] There’s some room under the couch in front; the always-on 12v line, and the trailer- tow ground, are right there inside the 7-way access panel. 2 short wires [#8 or #10, whatever] would seem to put the add'l. batt. in parallel w/ the trailer's battery and the Aux, batt. in my truck [which is downline fr my Isolater & Main Batt.]
So…w/ modern sealed batteries, what REALLY is the danger of having batteries in the living space, and HOW “dangerous“ might that be?

Can't help you there.
………………………………...............
6) although it's my intent -to generally avoid deep-freeze conditions in "My Golden Years" :> -I'm unhappy having solder-connected copper water-lines….thoughts of their freezing, and the replacement ordeal, is making me lose sleep! Despite wanting to stay-original in appearance, I’m quite open to upgrades in function: I’d rather replace the lines w/ that gray-type [Butyl?] that are easy to install, only expand upon freezing, resist splitting. [And SO-O-O much easier to replace!] Might this reduce-value of a mostly original rig?

I would use PEX tubing for a copper replacement. Much better than Butyl. Don't wory about a value drop it will improve the value.
... ……………………………….........
7) I HAVE READ, READ, READ, AND STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN! :>
E.g., I still don’t know how to determine if the shocks need replacing, or how often the bearings need repacking…

It never hurts to replace your shocks. (We'll maybe your pocket book) If they are original replace them, they are long gone. Repacking the bearings is done at least once a year. I will do it every 10,00 miles or once a year.

All info, advice, encouragement glady accepted.

Every body has opinions, take them or leave them. The most important thing to remember is your in it for the fun. Break downs will flatten that fun real quick. A little extra maintenance won't hurt.
Good luck

My $0.02

Tom, recent new owner -and LOVING IT!
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Old 11-07-2004, 12:16 PM   #3
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Hi,

Some additional input.

#3 - Airstream recommends, and many of us use, the Goodyear Marathons in the 225/75-15 LR D. I had them installed on all 5 of mine (incl spare) when I picked it up in Wisconsin, have almost 10K on them, and feel that they work well. They almost never need to be "topped up" with air, even for months, and improve the ride and handling as they are a radial. I plan to pack wheel bearings once per year.

#4 - In my original manual (1971) it recommends slightly nose up. I also think this looks better going down the road and also might facilitate tank drainage if stopped for a night and not leveled. Plus, with the heavy tongue weight, over dips it will prevent a tendency to bottom.

#5a - Blue tank works fine.

#5b - Be careful adding golf cart batteries to the front - they are very heavy and emit fumes. Airstreams are carefully balanced and already tongue heavy so you want to avoid unbalancing the trailer or overloading the tongue weight on your tow vehicle. I would think you could add an Optima or maybe two, the glass mat kind that are sealed and lightweight. They do not emit any fumes, or very minimal. Perhaps you could vent the box if there were still a concern. Actually, the stock battery is in a location that can slightly vent into the trailer anyway, from behind the closet and couch, at least on mine. There is also room to squeeze one more in back on mine, where my original battery is located and I may go that route. If so I will do two Optimas to save weight, gain capacity and keep the battery storage balanced. Old and new, or mismatched batteries together cause problems as they only charge to the level of the weakest one and you never get the full capacity.

Have a great trip.

-john
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