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Old 01-09-2003, 03:45 PM   #1
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A few questions--

I brought our Airstream home from covered storage for a few hours today to wash it; was it's first bath.

Can I walk on the white roof? I weight 200 lbs.

Should I try to remove the "dribbled" caulking on the white part of the roof? Apparently they aren't all that careful in Jacson Center or else they were in a hurry.

The "A" in Airstream is loose at one corner-- on the rear name AIRSTREAM. Should I use crazy glue???

All letters of the name have bubbles in the fake silver on each letter.....is this normal?

When I took the trailer back a little bit ago, I couldn't get the flip lever to release the ball.....so I pulled the pin from the receiver and left the hitch and ball together.

How do I get the flip lever looser?

It is not the worst thing for me to leave the ball in the hitch (padlocked the flip lever) because it is a good place for me to store the whole thing BUT I don't like not having things work.

This is becoming a restoration project and it was new!

Kistler
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Old 01-09-2003, 04:03 PM   #2
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Some answers

Yes, you can walk on the roof. Soft shoes and stay on the rivet lines and off the end caps. If you step on the end cap, it will dent and you will likely become temporarily airborne before a sudden stop.

I popped a lot of dribbles of caulking off my white roof. Some of it looked like it was simply thrown at the trailer. I used a plastic spatula and it came up fairly easily.

To get the hitch to release, you may have to chock the wheels and pull the tow vehicle slightly forward to get the ball up in the bulge of the hitch. I usually flip the lever up before I do any other disconnecting, then jack up the tongue to relieve the pressure on the equalizing bars. Most of the time. the ball comes right out of the hitch and as soon as everything is disconnected, I can pull the truck away.

The same thing applies when hitching. You may have to pull the tow vehicle slightly forward to get the flip lever to fully go down. I know the hitch are properly latched when I can reinsert my hitch lock in the holes in the flip lever.

Join the club. I have a 2003 and I have corrected numerous careless bits of construction. I hav fixed many more small things on the Airstream than I did on my two previous, much lower priced, trailers combined.
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Old 01-09-2003, 05:27 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. Yes, some down Fleetwood (we had a Jamboree Class C for 9 years) but actually I didn't find as much wrong with it as the Airstream. However, then there was our '72 Terry....oh my.

Nice to know I can walk on the roof a little. I'll try the spatula trick.

Did I understand correctly that you release the flip lever first thing. I thought I needed to stay hitched and use the jack to life the rear of the tow vehicle to get the weight distribution bars loose easly. Then after that is done do the flip thing....that's probably what you meant?????

Guess the little bubbles in the letters should not bother me; now, if I can just get the "A" crazy glued without it running down the back.

Thanks again.

Kistler
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:27 PM   #4
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Disconnecting

I go ahead and flip the lever first thing, while the bars are still on. Then, I jack up the trailer. Usually, it will come right off the ball. I then pull the bars off, disconnect the chains, and pull the umbilical. At that point, I can pull the truck away.

Surprisingly, the bars are under very little tension when I do this. The rear of the truck comes up as the weight comes off and the bars are always quite easy to pull. I discovered this once when I unthinkingly flipped the latch open before jacking the tongue. I was surprised when everything worked so easily.

This way saves some jacking as I don't have to raise the tongue to get the bars off, lower it again to flip the lever, and raise it a second time to separate the hitch. Usually, the lever flips fairly easily right after I back into my space and set the chocks (ground chocks on one side and expanding chock between the tires on the other side). If the lever doesn't flip easily, I pull the truck forward very slightly and then it flips quite easily.

I always unhook the umbilical last, after all jacking is done. I like to leave as much charge in the trailer battery as possible.

Hope this makes sense.
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Old 01-10-2003, 01:09 AM   #5
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If all fails...

Kistler,
I've often had the same problems that you describe with my boat trailer and Argosy. Often, doing just what Pahaska saids works, but sometimes I have to jump up and down on the bumper (with jack stand retracted) to vibrate the ball up in the socket to release pressure on the coupler "thumb". Then the lever will go all the way up. I must look awfully funny to bystanders, but it's the only thing that will work! Since you are not connected to the ball, try lifting the ball up or tapping under the hitch/ball with a hammer up or forward. .......Another tip, I spray WD 40 down the lever slot in the trailer hitch occasionally to make sure it doesn't bind up.

The letters may have been put on when it was humid, and the past summer heat made the decal bubble up? I was going to suggest heating them with a hairdryer and trying to rub the bubbles out, or gently pricking them with a pin or insulin syringe needle, but then I remembered your trailer is new. Try the dealer for warranty work. Although it's minor, this should be covered.

Pahaska,
I'll have to try your trick of lever first....I did try that once, but the ball didn't release. That would save lots of time and wear/tear on the jackstand motor. Thanks again!

Marc
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Old 01-10-2003, 07:49 AM   #6
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Releasing ball

It may help that my parking spot is just very slightly downhill so that when I stop the trailer after backing in, the ball is well forward in the socket. That makes the lever a lot easier to flip.

I'll try to take a photo next time I parke the trailer.
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Old 01-10-2003, 07:49 AM   #7
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It is good to know that someone else has had this problem. I can't jump on the bumper: it is a thin one, plastic, and it is my wife's vehicle....if I tell you what it is that will open another can of worms it isn't a Tracker

The WD-40 sounds good and the old hammer stuff. Right now I am leaving the ball where it wishes to be--in the coupler and planning on sliding the hitch bar into the receiver when I hook up next time....oh joy.

Kistler
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Old 01-10-2003, 08:07 AM   #8
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Lever lifting:

I know you probably know this, but I'm not ashamed to admit that after buying my first airstream, I didn't, or if I did I forgot. Can blame it on a senior moment I guess. Anyway, you must slide the lever forward towards your tow vehicle before raising it. If this is done, it should be very very seldom that your hitch is in a bind.

I had my unit in for warranty work and membtioned that my ball release was always binding. The technician asked me if I was sliding it forward. You should have seen the look on his face when I sheepishly told him no. He and his buddies probably had a good laugh over that.

Bruce
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Old 01-10-2003, 08:41 AM   #9
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aaah, Wally, I think I am guilty of the same maneuver--just pulling up. The trailer is stored about 3 miles from here (home) and so I can't run out and see if that is/was IT.

Thank you for that tip....I guess the times before when I did it I just happened to push forward before lifting. However, am going to WD40 the thing.

Kistler
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Old 01-10-2003, 10:37 AM   #10
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The slide.....home.

Hhmmm, never tried THAT. I'll just impress everybody next time with my "long term" knowledge.
Thanks!
Marc
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Old 01-10-2003, 11:16 AM   #11
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I would be very careful walking on the roof. I use a 2'x8' piece of plywood backed with carpet when I get on mine. I usually get on the roof from the side with the awning rail. The end caps on a A/S will dent so stay off of them.

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Old 01-10-2003, 01:09 PM   #12
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I'll be careful you guys....I noticed when washing it (used one of those extension soft brushes and worked from a ladder beside the trailer) that the roof (at least the white part) is rather "flexible".....doesn't seem as unbendable as the aluminum....what is is made of?

Kistler
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