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Old 11-11-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
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benicia , California
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I pick up my AS this Saturday (so excited!!!). Any towing and driving tips for newbi

I've never towed anything longer than a utility trailer. Any towing and driving tips would be greatly appreciated. I'll try to post pics of my rig on Saturday night. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:59 PM   #2
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Congrats!


Best advice I can offer to your question - find a local Commercial Driver License (CDL) training center and see if they offer a safe RV drier course. My wife and I did this the first weekend we had the trailer. So glad we did!


Good luck!

(On edit)

Oh - and your user name...learn how to slow down :-)

Seriously. It's camping. Relax. And you're driving several tons more than before - keep it slow. You'll get there :-)
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:04 PM   #3
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My user name is due to my sports car which is now for sale to help finance my new AS lifestyle!
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
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Turns a little wider, especially in gas station with those pesky yellow poles, be very aware of your surroundings, get your mirrors set, be mindful of cutting in and out of traffic. This setup little longer than your sports car. Have fun, welcome and camp!
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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You're going to find that it's a lot easier to back up a bigger trailer than it is a utility trailer. Our 34 footer is a breeze to back up but a small utility trailer is much more difficult. Reason is the pivot point of the trailer in relation to your hitch pivot point - the greater the distance the easier to back up since a small turn of the wheel relates to a very small change in a bigger trailer. A small turn of the steering wheel relates to a much more rapid change in a utility trailer.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
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Stay to the right.
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Old 11-11-2014, 10:01 PM   #7
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Welcome

1) Find a fairly large parking lot (Wallmart?) and take a few orange cones with you. Mark out with the cones the outline of a typical right turn, say 4 cones marking the turn lane and another 4 cones marking the lane you're turning into. If you can master a tight right hand turn successfully without knocking over any cones, then your good for lefties as well. Cones don't damage Airstreams like curbs, trees, tree branches or signs.

2) Never back up an Airstream with out a spotter, EVER!! Also teach the spotter to look UP as well as what's behind.

3) Check air pressures in all tires including tow vehicle. Tires play a really important role in how your rig tows and handles emergency situations. Trailer sway really can ruin your day if going down a long hill at speed.

4) Gradually increase towing speeds....don't hit the freeway right away.

Final tip and the most important.....If unsure, STOP, get out and take a look for yourself, even if you feel embarrassed it's small potatoes compared to how embarrassed you will feel driving around in a trailer with a big dent in it.

Goodluck and happy camping
Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:07 AM   #8
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Add 'never get in a hurry' in tight quarters to the list.

I can attest to a bent step and a skin wrinkle from the bumper skid hitting when I got into too big a hurry it a tight area.

Be deliberate, look twice, and if you are still not sure, set the brake, put the TV in park, shut it down, and go take a look. Ignore the honking and hand waving from the others. You are in command of a lot of weight and precious cargo(family and pets)


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Old 11-12-2014, 12:08 AM   #9
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Add 'never get in a hurry' in tight quarters to the list.

I can attest to a bent step and a skin wrinkle from the bumper skid hitting when I got into too big a hurry it a tight area.

Be deliberate, look twice, and if you are still not sure, set the brake, put the TV in park, shut it down, and go take a look. Ignore the honking and hand waving from the others. You are in command of a lot of weight and precious cargo(family and pets) and it's not time to hurry.


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Old 11-12-2014, 11:12 AM   #10
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Congrats! I did the exact same thing in September. Probably not advisable, but drove my 27 foot Onyx Intrnational home from the dealer, which was 10 miles. Loaded it up and drove 1,000 miles to CO. Scary for first 400 miles through rain and wind but I had the hang of it, was safe and it was a great experience. Easy. Good luck!
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:13 AM   #11
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Having just reached day 40 of our first trailering experience I would say the most important thing is to go very slowly on both your turns and any bumps you might be encountering whether thats speed bumps or dips or even up onto the driveway -- not for the sake of the ride comfort but really for the sake of the contents. We found a number of times when we've opened the door after trailering that stuff has come knocked loose from inside the cabinets and resulted in timely clean up duties including broken mugs...

Don't try and change lanes - pick one and stay in it -

Love driving 60-6mph max -

Think about a elect brake controller - just installed a primus IQ - it's awesome
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:13 AM   #12
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Slow down and enjoy!
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #13
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Congratulations, Cantdr55
In addition to what the others have advised (and note how all suggestions sound like they come from first-hand experiences/mistakes), make sure to walk around the AS a couple of times...and look underneath...to make sure all the hook-ups are in place and the stabilizers are up. Adjust your new set of towing mirrors (that you will need). And when you start driving...put on the brakes once to make sure your electric brake is engaged and set to the right level. Adjust as necessary. Wiping the big grin off your face will be harder to do. Jon
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Old 11-12-2014, 11:31 AM   #14
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The above advise is all good, but put in a slightly different way, all your 90 degree turns will have to be made wider, the trailer's tires do not "track" those of your tow vehicle (TV). Example - watch an 18-wheeler make a 90 degree turn & learn from him (or her). The last thing you want to do is damage the side of your Airstream!!
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