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Old 12-30-2008, 10:33 AM   #29
1972 Travelux Princess 25
Cobourg , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,042
Is there an experienced Airstreamer who lives nearby? Or a friendly dealer?

Perhaps you could get someone to take you for a short ride in their rig. This might put your wife's fears to rest.

It is the unknown we fear just because it is unknown. If she could see that towing an Airstream is not a very difficult or dangerous thing to do, and that you can get help in the process of setting up your rig and learning to handle it safely. Then she might be more comfortable with the idea.

Living in the trailer park of sense, looking out the window at a tornado of stupidity.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #30
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2007 28' Safari SE
Dover , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 144
Fear is the enemy


If it helps, I bought a 28' A/S early last fall, and I can handle it just fine. I never towed anything that large before - but the A/S follows like a dream. When I picked her up at the dealers I was alone and had white knuckles when I pulled out of there for the 250 mile trip home. I just took it slow and easy through traffic and lane changes and I learned if you wait long enough you will get your chance to change lanes and go where you want to go. The secret is to not get rattled and just take your time. I bought the 28' because I plan to sell my house and full-time and it was the trailer that I thought I could live in. I'm not sorry - I've got what I wanted and needed and it was just a matter of getting used to it. So if the 28 is the trailer that you think will suit your needs buy it. If you aren't happy with your tow vehicle trade it. Tow vehicles come and go -and the A/S will outlast them. Telll your wife if this 66 year old woman can do it alone - you will be just fine - thinking makes it so!

Louisa & Jasper Joy
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:16 AM   #31
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1954 25' Cruiser
Kyle , The Republic of Texas
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Originally Posted by tinhutjohn View Post
The only thing I can add to this discussion is to take your rig to an empty parking lot and practice turning and backing. It's good to remember that you are travelling a bit slower than the regular flow of traffic. On an intestate this is no problem, as you or they can pull into the next (hopefully slower) lane and go them fly by. However, when you're on a 2 lane, it's a good idea to keep a watch behind and when traffic starts to pile up, find a place to pull over and let them go by. This is not only courteous, but it helps prevent "risk taking" by people trying to pass you and colliding with oncoming traffic and eventually the side of your rig. Airstreams were built to be towed and are happiest when going down the road.
Best advise yet!! Practice, practice, practice. Mistakes can get majorly expensive. Remember, on a 90 degree right turn, the trailer DOES NOT follow the trucks tire track (path) - it will be shorter and thus the street side of your baby can "find" curbs, sign posts, traffic light posts AND people. Solution - plan your turn a good bit before approaching the intersection & your turn - my solution? If I'm turning off a 2 lane divided street, turn on your turn signals to let those behind you know what you're doing, then take most of the left ("inside" lane"), take a wide swing into the turn, all the while watching your right (street) side mirrors to insure "You're doing it right George" and finish by getting on thru the intersection ASAP as a courtesy to those behind you. Most folks usually understand nor mind your using both lanes for that 90 deg right turn. If you are a really polite driver, you can always just go straight (past your turn) and ASAP make 3 consecutive left hand turns. You will now be headed in the direction you needed to go back at the busy intersection with the 90 deg turn (and maybe upset fewer people?).

And yes, it is a good idea to safely pull over and let a long line of vehicles behind you get around you. Unfortunately we were on "A Long and Winding Road (that leads to your . . uh, . . . sorry") with no opportdunities for me to pull over. Eventually a teenager in a hot Mustang flew around me **On My Right Hand Side** - driving like a bat outta hell on a shoulder of gravel & 2 ft high weeds, and flashing me the International signal . All was not my fault, the kid could have caused a tragic accident and sadly an abandoned gas station appeared just over the next hill where we could & did pull over, as a courtesy to others, and we felt for our own safely. I used the opportunity to go change my "un's" - that kid had come outta no where, scaring & upsetting us both !!

You have a great rig and towing & backing up will become 2nd nature. But remember - the journey is at least 1/2 the beauty & fun. Get off the Interstates!! Stop when you can & enjoy the scenery, take some photos!! Also, braking (stopping) power is also a major concern, so if nothing else, don't drive so fast (increase your mileage) and don't drive too close to others in front of you (your safety margin!!)

Remember - Airstreams were designed, at least in part, to relieve our daily stress. But you have to do your part too. Relax. Stroke the dog and chat with your wife (or did I get that backwards?).

Enjoy yourselves and the new adventures and friends your Airstream will shower on you. I guarantee you, before long you'll be fighting yourself to stay at your work/obligations/duties as long as you "should", but rather will be hitching up and heading out on the road.

I love that old time rock & roll.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:25 AM   #32

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thumbs up Two small points...

When backing into a spot always try to back looking over your left shoulder and mirror. Put one hand at 6 o'clock on the wheel, if you want the back of the trlr to move left, move your hand to the left, right to right.
Don't let those gawking intimidate you, slow-slow does it.
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:43 AM   #33
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
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Posts: 10,814
Watch what 18 wheelers do when they turn—it's the same thing, though they're usually a bit longer. Don't be afraid to take two lanes to turn. Watch both mirrors. It comes pretty easily and quickly. When going to gas stations, make sure there's room to get out forwards and look for the end pumps—there's usually more room there. We look for truck stops though if you tow with a gasser, you still have to use the car pumps. Get "Last Exit"—it lists all the gas stations and more at every interstate exit and tells which are RV friendly. Make sure the roof over the gas pump is high enough.

RobertCross has it right about backing. It's easier to back with your hand at the bottom of the wheel, and less likely to do the turns backwards. Back up very, very slowly. It takes practice and everyone watching has been there before. Usually it's harder to see anything out of the right mirror when backing.

We had someone pass us on the right. We were on a three lane road in Arizona and where it narrowed to two lanes, I put on my left turn signal with lots of time to warn anyone behind us we were moving over and someone flew by on the right just before the road narrowed. They just made it.

A lot of RV's won't get off the road when they are holding everyone else up including us; set a good example.

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Old 12-31-2008, 11:02 AM   #34
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1964 22' Safari
Savage , Minnesota
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Here is a link to a large PDF just issued by TrailerLife as a Towing Guide. Once you get past the Ford advertising, you will find good information.

I thought it would be really hard to tow our 34', but once you have a trailer in the mirror, the length means little. Just make sure you have everything within specs (e.g. weights), and you will be good to go. You will only know this for yourself with experience.
"I've got aluminum fever, and the only prescription, is more AIRSTREAM!!!"

'64 Safari Resoration Blog ("May"):

AIR 25979
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:46 PM   #35
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2005 25' Safari
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Start to Finish.

Hi, for me, the hardest part is where I start and where I finish. Between that I'm OK.
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2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:55 PM   #36
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2008 27' International CCD FB
Mill Valley , California
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Now that's amazing parking....I thought we had it bad...we have 2 feet on one side and 3 on the other. We do have the backing up into the driveway obstacle!
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:29 PM   #37
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2001 25' Safari
London , Ontario
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Originally Posted by pixiehat View Post
We are about to buy our first Airstream. It's a 28 footer and my wife is now concerned that it may be too large to handle for us. We have no experience towing a trailer of this size. I have seen many similar rigs towed with our intended tow vehicle (a yukon w/6.2 liter engine and tow package). We arent concerned with the tow vehicle's ability to pull it, more our ability to drive the combonation. The trailer comes with a sway rig for the hitch.

How do I convince my wife that we can do it with no problems.

Hi Lee;

Lots of good replies here but I thought I toss in my thoughts too. We tow a 25 footer and our previous 32 foot SOB trailer with an '01 Yukon.

Your Yukon, even if its the shorty model, can safely handle a 28 footer IF it's set up properly. You need to do a little homework on that.

Your Yukon is obviously a late model (6.2L) and has decent power. I'm not as familiar with the newer models but if they still come with the tubular style hitch, swap it out for a beefier (stronger) box hitch. The old tube styles flex under stress which detrimentally affects handing. In the odd case tube style hitches have been known to fail.

Also, unless you use a Hensley or Propride (top-of-the-line anti-sway hitches) you should consider swapping the vehicles mushy OEM "P" tires that GM puts on their SUV's with a decent LT (light truck) tire -- the stiffer sidewalls will help dampen the sway and improve handling. This is especially important if your Yukon is the shorty model.

Buy some decent mirrors -- I swear by McKesh, even if they do look ugly.

Length wise you won't have problem towing a 28 footer. Just take it easy, the corners wide, and never back up without a spotter. As a newbee myself not long ago, one of the most important things I learned to do was walk around the trailer before pulling away and don't forget to look up when maneuvering the trailer at the campground!

Best of luck and enjoy your new Airstream!
Gary & Debbie
2001 Safari 25 SS
2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD Hensley DirecLink McKesh
Set-up by Can-Am RV
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:53 PM   #38
3 Rivet Member
2007 31' Classic
holland , Pennsylvania
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Posts: 190
hi lee,have towed all kinds of trailers over the years,and picked up tips along the way from experienced people.just start out slow and take your time.i had a 28 safari at one time that towed very i have a 31 and quite honestly this trailer tows a lot easier due to the hensley hitch.knowing what i know now i should of opted for the hensley with the 28 safari since it would of made the towing experience with that trailer totally stress free.i am towing with a diesel excursion.get the right setup and you will actually enjoy the journey.of course my dw is aprehensive when im towing but i am totally relaxed,which she doesnt seem to this helps.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #39
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1986 31' Sovereign
Elkhorn , Nebraska
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What are you pulling your 31' with?
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #40
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2005 28' International CCD
Mount Pleasant , South Carolina
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Originally Posted by pixiehat View Post
We are about to buy our first Airstream. It's a 28 footer and my wife is now concerned that it may be too large to handle for us. We have no experience towing a trailer of this size. I have seen many similar rigs towed with our intended tow vehicle (a yukon w/6.2 liter engine and tow package). We arent concerned with the tow vehicle's ability to pull it, more our ability to drive the combonation. The trailer comes with a sway rig for the hitch.

How do I convince my wife that we can do it with no problems.

Hello Lee,

Tell the Mrs. "No Worries",

Our first was a 28 foot international. We got a really good lesson from the dealer on how to hook it up. Towing it is not the problem, developing a system before pulling out is: chains on, emergency brake cable attached, steps in, coffee pot off the counter, wife out of the bathroom?

These are all things that have to be checked every time. You will be surprised at how straight and easy they tow. If the ride is really bumpy, the weight distro hitch is probably set wrong. I think the most important concept of me is a high quality brake controller. Sometimes it seems the AS and TV actually brake better than the TV alone. Best of luck.

Aunt Gladys, 28FT, Intl'
"Man, it's hot here, is the heat on?"
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #41
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2005 28' International CCD
Mount Pleasant , South Carolina
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Oh yea, and one other thing, if you see an RV that says "Rent America" on it, give it a wide berth. They are probably new.

I know, we did it.

Aunt Gladys, 28FT, Intl'
"Man, it's hot here, is the heat on?"
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:34 PM   #42
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1974 27' Overlander
Grants Pass , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 45
Thank you all for the sound advice. We will get the trailer feeling much more comfortable from the get go. Hopefully that state will stay with us
for a long time. Having spent most of my career aboard ships I am familiar with the fact that living space seems to shrink some everyday at sea. Hopefully this wont be as prevailant playing in trailers. My Airstreams's primary mission howeverr, will be serving as my Ham radio shack. I just retired the 1st of December and have had the pleasure of working at my hobby aboard ships. Had done all my hamming from sea dn this will be my first shoreside radio station. My original plan was to get an old poj box trailer but my wife said that if I was going to get a trailer it would have to bve an airstream and then it would have to be big enough to serve as a RV for the rest of the family when oportunity presented itself.. So, here we are, about to embark on another adventure. Have admired Airstreams since, as a kid, I saw them featured in National Geo and Wallies caravans.

Thanks again all. You can bet that I will, as we travel the roads together, be back with more questions.

Warmest Regards,

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