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Old 09-30-2014, 09:43 AM   #1
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Do you actually like towing your airstream? What to expect on first tow.

Do you folks like to tow the airstream, or is it merely a means to the destination? After all, they do say that the journey is the destination...

Can you guys give me some basic advice on trailering my 28'? I've towed boats, but only short distances. My first tow will be a nice one -- over 1000 miles.

Any advice and insight appreciated.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:02 AM   #2
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Yes, I do like to tow mine around. Out west where we live traffic is not a big issue which relieves a lot of stress. We are blessed with many rest areas but there are times when we want to stop for a break and/or eat lunch when we are out in the boondocks. Having our trailer makes it very nice.

We don't like to put in many hours each day driving. Our goal is to stick close to 250 miles and I tow inbetween 60 and 65. Take it easy, go slow and enjoy the sights.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:06 AM   #3
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For me driving it is fun in respects - you are leaving your grind - the anticipation.

Also there is the vanity aspect - showing off your AS - in ways like feeling some pride for driving around in say a sports car...sorta.

On the other hand - for me I find some aspects a tad stressful....if you know exactly where you will has up - or stop and eat etc - then there is no access stress - the notion of pulling off into a place and having a hell of a time getting out - this can be easily avoided with preparation and patience

I do not like being in tow with heavy traffic

If we play a thought experiment of say "beaming" your AS to your destination instead of towing it there - it would I suspect take away some of the fun of airstreaming - reduce anticipation - take away some of the sights you see and missing "nuggets" that you get in transition

Of course for some that take much longer trips or are full time then this is a key benefit I suspect


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Old 09-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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I love to tow my Airstream!

I've towed other trailers and the Airstream tows the best. I'm very comfortable behind the wheel with the trailer on behind. I think that is mostly the result of having a well matched combination of truck, trailer and hitch. My rig feels like it is meant to be together, the truck doesn't struggle with the trailer and the trailer doesn't push the truck around. It took some time to adjust the weight distribution set up and tire pressures to get things just right, but now I look forward to traveling with the trailer.

My mindset is also different when towing the trailer.
I travel some for work, up to 6 hours by car for 3-4 day contracts and find it is very stressful. I'm usually traveling to a new place where I will be working for/with new people and staying in a hotel without my family. Deadlines are tight and I am constantly watching the clock and worrying about arriving on time.

When I travel with the Airstream it is for vacation! We take our time and have no worries about what time we arrive, I know how to set up the trailer in the dark if I have to and i know there is warm food and cold beer waiting for me in the trailer when we reach our destination. When we're traveling to new places it's and exciting adventure!

My advice is to take your time, plan extra stops and set realistic travel goals to start. Don't be afraid to ask for help backing up or setting up your trailer, RV people are friendly and helpful. Buy a copy of "the next exit" or the equivalent smart phone App. Relax and have Fun Towing.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeanFan View Post
I love to tow my Airstream!



I've towed other trailers and the Airstream tows the best. I'm very comfortable behind the wheel with the trailer on behind. I think that is mostly the result of having a well matched combination of truck, trailer and hitch. My rig feels like it is meant to be together, the truck doesn't struggle with the trailer and the trailer doesn't push the truck around. It took some time to adjust the weight distribution set up and tire pressures to get things just right, but now I look forward to traveling with the trailer.



My mindset is also different when towing the trailer.

I travel some for work, up to 6 hours by car for 3-4 day contracts and find it is very stressful. I'm usually traveling to a new place where I will be working for/with new people and staying in a hotel without my family. Deadlines are tight and I am constantly watching the clock and worrying about arriving on time.



When I travel with the Airstream it is for vacation! We take our time and have no worries about what time we arrive, I know how to set up the trailer in the dark if I have to and i know there is warm food and cold beer waiting for me in the trailer when we reach our destination. When we're traveling to new places it's and exciting adventure!



My advice is to take your time, plan extra stops and set realistic travel goals to start. Don't be afraid to ask for help backing up or setting up your trailer, RV people are friendly and helpful. Buy a copy of "the next exit" or the equivalent smart phone App. Relax and have Fun Towing.

Ah... Tire pressure. What pressure do you tow with? My tires are rated up to 80 psi.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeanFan View Post
I love to tow my Airstream!

I've towed other trailers and the Airstream tows the best. I'm very comfortable behind the wheel with the trailer on behind. I think that is mostly the result of having a well matched combination of truck, trailer and hitch. My rig feels like it is meant to be together, the truck doesn't struggle with the trailer and the trailer doesn't push the truck around. It took some time to adjust the weight distribution set up and tire pressures to get things just right, but now I look forward to traveling with the trailer.

My mindset is also different when towing the trailer.
I travel some for work, up to 6 hours by car for 3-4 day contracts and find it is very stressful. I'm usually traveling to a new place where I will be working for/with new people and staying in a hotel without my family. Deadlines are tight and I am constantly watching the clock and worrying about arriving on time.

When I travel with the Airstream it is for vacation! We take our time and have no worries about what time we arrive, I know how to set up the trailer in the dark if I have to and i know there is warm food and cold beer waiting for me in the trailer when we reach our destination. When we're traveling to new places it's and exciting adventure!

My advice is to take your time, plan extra stops and set realistic travel goals to start. Don't be afraid to ask for help backing up or setting up your trailer, RV people are friendly and helpful. Buy a copy of "the next exit" or the equivalent smart phone App. Relax and have Fun Towing.
This sums up exactly the way I feel about towing the trailer - it is a blast!
Well except for the high traffic urban areas..... I will drive around Cincinnati before I will ever drive thru on Interstate I-75.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:24 AM   #7
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Another thought,

Stop for fuel way before you need it and when you see an easy place to get in and out of.

I hate the stress of worrying about running out of fuel and having to maneuver the truck and trailer in to a tight spot to get fuel.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:29 AM   #8
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Ah... Tire pressure. What pressure do you tow with? My tires are rated up to 80 psi.
Tire pressure is going to be specific to your truck, trailer and tires.

My setup is as follows:
Truck: 2005 Toyota Tundra SR5 V8 4x4 Double cab
Tires: Yokohama Geolandar ATS P265/70/16
Front Tires = 40psi
Rear Tires = 45psi

Trailer: 1977 Airstream Safari
Tires: Michelin LTX MS2 P235/75/15XL
44psi

I suggest you start with your door stick and adjust from there.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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Having towed Airstreams probably 200,000 miles, I have to say yes, I like towing just fine. I am not sure if you are talking about the towing experience itself (how it feels back there, power etc.) or the idea of getting somewhere.

My current rigs are both 20' which is the right size for me. The tow vehicle is a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee with most of the bells and whistles, and the Hemi V8. The hitch is an Andersen. The rig tows as if it were one unit, solid, responsive, never a wag or a pitch or sway. The nicest combination I have had in the 36 years I have had Airstreams.

As for destinations, I travel in low stress areas, mostly Idaho, Montana, Washington these days, but I have towed in all lower 48 states and have towed north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon. I boondock almost exclusively. I am out right now as I type this, the only one in a Forest Service Campground in Montana. No fees, super quiet, raining outside, all the comforts of home inside. This is my 70 th night out since April. Maybe 6000 miles of actual towing this year. I find as I get older (or just plain old) that I do like to know where I will be at night, I don't like to look for a new untried campground at 5 pm.

So, Yes, I do like towing my Airstream, both the experience and the destinations.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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If I haven't towed my Airstream for a while its a little nerve wracking for me when I start a trip. I'm afraid of getting hit, judging tight corners, backing into a campsite, etc. But after a few miles down the road I'm more relaxed. Now backing is another story. I'm getting better but I'm super afraid of pranging the AS.

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Old 09-30-2014, 10:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomotomoto View Post
Do you folks like to tow the airstream, or is it merely a means to the destination? After all, they do say that the journey is the destination...

Can you guys give me some basic advice on trailering my 28'? I've towed boats, but only short distances. My first tow will be a nice one -- over 1000 miles.

Any advice and insight appreciated.
Have a quality hitch system, a quality trailer brake controller, and an adequate tow vehicle. Take your time. We usually run ten miles per hour under the speed limit. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Old 09-30-2014, 10:57 AM   #12
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I think towing the Airstream is easier than towing our boat. More stable, less drag, smoother experience. We tow at 60 mph, and do not worry particularly about heavy traffic. At 60 mph, in the right hand lane, we view ourselves as being on an "island". Traffic approaching from the rear will see our rig and immediately change lanes anywhere from 50-100 yards behind us. At the speed they are traveling, they are well past us before they move back into our lane. Thus, the "island" concept. We are just out there by ourselves.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:13 AM   #13
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Go to a large parking lot and practice backing up into parking spaces in the day and night..Get comfortable with your abilities to use your mirrors.Develop a pre flight check on your Airstream prior to leaving.Pulling is easy as it will follow you but backing up is stressful to some especially after traveling all day.Set lower mileage goals untill you are used to the procedure.and above all have fun.
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Old 09-30-2014, 11:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AldeanFan View Post
Tire pressure is going to be specific to your truck, trailer and tires.



My setup is as follows:

Truck: 2005 Toyota Tundra SR5 V8 4x4 Double cab

Tires: Yokohama Geolandar ATS P265/70/16

Front Tires = 40psi

Rear Tires = 45psi



Trailer: 1977 Airstream Safari

Tires: Michelin LTX MS2 P235/75/15XL

44psi



I suggest you start with your door stick and adjust from there.

I have the Michelin LTX MS2 as well and a Toyota sequioa. So they are pretty similar rigs.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:11 PM   #15
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The only stressful part for me is that the trailer is 45 years old and I'm afraid I'm going to be the one to ding it up! Once we get going we don't even notice it is back there, we get on just fine, but I worry about other cars on the road. So many people drive stupid or aren't paying attention!

It goes wherever we go without any hassle, and our rig is small enough to fit into two spots, so as long as we can find a pair of spots to pull through it fits in any grocery store parking lot. That's nice because stopping somewhere is never a problem.

So really, taking it with us is no bigger deal than going on a road trip without it. Other than worrying about its safety, I'd say yeah, I enjoy towing it.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:12 PM   #16
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One aspect of towing and the trip that we love is stopping off at a generally interesting spot to sit and eat - say and overlook or something - get your lunch - enjoy a view - then get back on the road - something so gratifying about that


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Old 09-30-2014, 12:23 PM   #17
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Towing a conventional camper trailer is a whole new realem in vehicle dynamics. Some folks can sense the forces on their vehicle and react accordingly, e.g. speed into a corner, stopping distances, wind effects, etc. Some folks aren't as good at it. Towing a heavy trailer changes everything while driving. It takes longer to accelerate, it takes way longer to stop, it takes more room to turn, fuel station entrance grades can bottom the back of the trailer, side winds and truck wind "wakes" can jerk your vehicles around. Too much speed on an exit ramp curve can be a disaster. Did I mention backing up? Did I mention down hill, cross wind sway with a turn in the road at the bottom of the hill while the brakes are fading away?

Towing is fun, I like the challenge. Hitching up, checking things out, and maneuvering down a road is "awakening". Conventional towing (bumper hitch) may be the most challenging transport in the RV arena. Fifth wheels are easier.

So you gotta practice. I couldn't recommend a curvey mountain two lane for a first trip. Nor could I recommend a run down the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago in a rain storm. Plan easy first trips, and expand from their. You will be tired after 4 to 6 hours pulling a trailer. But you will get comfortable towing with practice.

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Old 09-30-2014, 12:35 PM   #18
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I have taken the 20 ft Flying Cloud out once, and it was, well, stressful? The Airstream towed fine, I have more than enough truck for the purpose. There is some interpersonal friction, my wife would like me to drive a bit faster, she gets anxious when there are a few cars behind us because we might be going slower than the posted miles per hour (not by much...). I left a lot of room in front of us for the next vehicle because I generally knew that it would make no difference to go faster, we were all going to hit a choke point and those in front would wind up just getting to the choke point faster and we would all get to our destination at about the same time. I also don't think she realizes the truck + Airstream isn't like driving the little Audi - my goal isn't acceleration despite having enough power on tap.

We haven't quite figured out how to communicate as we back up into a spot. I'm sure we will get that one over time...

And I'm not sure where to stop in towns on the way. Where does one park this combination if you want to get a quick bite to eat? Little roadside eateries do not seem very accommodating to 50 feet of traveling fun.

We head out again this weekend - so thus far we are still alive.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:44 PM   #19
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Do you actually like towing your airstream? What to expect on first tow.

Regarding where to stop and similar points on this topic - read my thread on this subject

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...es-112390.html

Also - we bought the book "the next exit"

We look for obvious trucking type gas station once has at half tank

Bring food for trip in AS so you need not enter into towns with unknown access challenges -

plan stops ahead of time if possible including the restaurants or gas stations

Etc....planning is key for me and then no stress

For example - I am boondocking this weekend and need to find a place to dump tanks - googled - found a place on my route home - checked google maps - easy access for me and I may swing by there on my way home from work (same return course) and check it out in my car just to give me that much more comfort




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Old 09-30-2014, 01:12 PM   #20
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I do enjoy being on the road with the trailer. However I do not like driving anywhere around large cities. Too many idiots and inconsiderate boobs on the road. I am happiest on two lane backroads driving a slow and relaxing pace. Much better scenery and generally friendly locals. I do try to not be in a hurry and stop for the day early before getting tired.
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