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Old 12-21-2002, 07:31 PM   #1
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Cool Just wanting to say to my new friends...

I'm a relatively new poster here, as you can tell, but I want to say that I totally enjoy this forum. Tom and I just bought our first A/S at the end of this summer (2003 Bambi), so the reason I don't post much yet is because we're such novices. But I'm reading here all the time, and learning, learning, learning. We took our new Bambi on several trips already (Canada, Tennessee, Southern KY, Washington D.C, Atlantic City), so we've at least gotten a good start...and have made some pretty stupid rookie mistakes!

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I value this forum and the new friends I'm making here. And I miss my Bambi being right outside my door poised for the next trip. But in the spring, we'll be heading out once again, and we hope to join up with some of you serious A/S folks over the coming 2003 camping season.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season!

Cherie
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Old 12-22-2002, 12:08 AM   #2
 
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Tell us more about your "mistakes" it could save some other rookie from making the same ones
Who does the driving? does Tom ever leave the bedroom area?

Ron
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Old 12-22-2002, 02:04 PM   #3
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Wink Oh, please!

Don't ask me to humiliate myself this close to Christmas!

Actually, I've posted in the past about two of our boo-boos already. But, in the interest of providing entertainment and a couple of Holiday laughs, here goes again:

One was about not chocking our tires prior to putting the front jack down. Fortunately, we were setting up on a sand based site. Bambi rolled forward as we were cranking the front end onto a too-small wooden block, the entire front end fell off the block and the jack shaft crashed about 3 inches to the ground. I'd hate to think how bad that would have been had we been setting up on concrete or asphalt! It took a couple of veteran campers and some fancy jacking to get us out of THAT fix.

The first trip we ever took was to Canada. We were driving home in a pouring rain, and Tom didn't leave enough space between us and the car in front of us. Well, he had to stop quickly, and there wasn't enough room. So he WHIPPED the truck and trailer so sharply, I thought for sure we'd dump our brand new Bambi on its side. But bless its little heart, it stayed right with us, without weaving, fishtailing or anything. We ended up sitting in the oncoming (and thankfully empty) lane, parallel to the guy who had been two cars ahead of us!! Only after that little incident did we learn about brake controllers! Can you believe our A/S dealer knew we had never pulled a trailer, and didn't even tell us we needed a brake controller?

Wanna hear more stupid human tricks?

Cherie
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Old 12-25-2002, 09:26 AM   #4
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Don't be embarrased about confessing to mistakes. All new airstreamers and most seasoned airstreamers make their share.
I'll bet you don't repeat them and that is the learning process.
Welcome to the forum and the world of airstreaming.
One bit of advise from here is this: Designate one of you to be responsible to make one last inspection before you pull off. Look inside, outside over and outside under. You probably will find that everything is ok, but once in a while you will foreget something.

Lots of Luck.
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Old 12-25-2002, 10:05 AM   #5
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Checklist

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Designate one of you to be responsible to make one last inspection before you pull off. Look inside, outside over and outside under. You probably will find that everything is ok, but once in a while you will foreget something.
I went through my trailer making notes, then made up several checklists using Microsoft Word. I laminated two checklists back to back with a do-it-yourself lamination kit.

o Before travel
o Before storage

The lists start at the rear of the A/S and move forward, then outside. I have one copy of the checklists in the A/S and a second copy in the console of the truck.

My wife especially appreciates the written checklists. I have to admit that they have saved me grief a time or two.

I tend to do everything without using the checklist and then, when I get in the truck, I scan down the checklist to see if I had missed anything.
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Old 12-25-2002, 10:10 AM   #6
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Also ...

that last walkaround outside is super important. One time in Mexico, I sleepily tried to pull away without disconnecting the water hose. I broke the PVC pipe off at the ground and had a real geyser going.

Look up, also, Once, my grandson cranked down the TV antenna without telling me. Knowing that the antenna had been up earlier, I came along behind him and cranked it right back up again. I drove several hundred miles before stopping at a rest area and noticing it was up. Fortunately, it wasn't damaged.
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Old 12-25-2002, 11:40 AM   #7
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Talking Yes, that walk around can save you!

I'm always afraid I'm going to take off one of these days with the steps still down, or the door unlocked, etc. But I'm usually the detail oriented one in our world, so I do the last walk around. We always check the signal and brake lights together, of course.

This reminds me of another, sort of unrelated story. Several weeks ago, we needed to drop off my minivan for body work. It was dark out, and we were driving two vehicles (me in the minivan in front of Tom, who was driving the Silverado truck) along the expressway, and some secondary roads. Well, I wasn't sure exactly where this body shop was, so when I knew the turnoff was near, I sort of pulled into the right hand lane hoping Tom would go ahead of me and lead the way. Sure enough, he did pass me up and as I pulled back behind him, I saw to my great amusement and surprise, that the tailgate was down, and every one of my golf clubs was making their way out of the golf bag and were edging closer and closer to the end of the tailgate with each bounce of the truck. It was such a funny sight, I could hardly quit laughing. (I should add here that I was rooting big time for the clubs to fall, since I'd love a new set!) I knew we were close to our destination, so I just decided to ride it out and see what fate would bring about.

As luck would have it, not one of the clubs actually made it off the tailgate and onto the road. You should have seen Tom's face when I lead him to the back of the truck to see what he had brought about with his forgetting to close the tailgate. It was pretty funny. And, darn it, I guess I still have to play with those dumb old clubs again at least for one more season! DRAT!



Cherie
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:24 AM   #8
 
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I never would have thought of choking the tires before putting the front jack down. Now I will.

Thanks,Cherie
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Old 12-26-2002, 06:22 AM   #9
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My wife and I have always split the responsibilities. She handles the inside stuff, I take care of the outside stuff. we switch at least 2 or 3 time a year so we can do each others job if needed. It allows for a quick and easy departure and means you only have to remenber half the list!

I have been lucky to not yet drive of still attached to utilitites, but I have seen it happen more times than I care to count.

There is a checklist in the Airstream coffee table book that I may make up, and have padded at kinkos. That way when you are done you throw away the list and start fresh.
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Old 12-26-2002, 08:25 AM   #10
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Lists

I learned as a pilot that every item on a checklist should be in a logical order. The list in the A/S book is awfully generic.

I think that it is a lot better to walk your own trailer and make a custiom list that is in the exact order and includes everything. I have everything from stowing the soap in the bathroom to finally locking the door on my interior list.

For instance, I would make a different list for a rear bath trailer than I would for a center bath trailer. My International has a rear bath and galley; that is where my list starts ... bath, galley, refrigerator, dinette area, bedroom area, and door, in that order. Back to front in the trailer and then out the door.

The idea to have a pad made is good. I chose to simply laminate my lists since we would be very unlikely to actually check the items off.
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Old 12-26-2002, 11:44 AM   #11
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Don't be so hard on yourself

Cherie,

None of that is "stupid". Cause you now know what does not work. Which is as important as what does work. And especially if you were never taught how to trailer. The owners manual does point out lots of things. And it is not the best reading in the world. So experience can be a teacher. Tap in to the experience of this forum and pass it on.

>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 12-26-2002, 12:20 PM   #12
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Kentucky Girl,

I know for a fact that it's about a $250 bill if you forget to latch a window on your new trailer. My wife a I were closing up the trailer in Western Oklahoma one morning on our way to Santa fe. We had one window she was not able to latch, and she told me about it. Of course, I forgot and off we went down I40. Some where in Texas we stopped for fuel, and imagine my amazement when I walked around the rig to "check it out". The window was gone, nothing but shards of glass, the hinge, and the support brackets. When we arrived in Sante fe, our new window was waiting for us at the campground. Thanks to overnight shipping from the factory.

One more thing on our list, "CHECK ALL THE WINDOWS!".

Have a great holiday season.
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:41 PM   #13
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Chocking tires

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I never would have thought of choking the tires before putting the front jack down. Now I will.
Kentucky Girl,

On a single-axle trailer, the most difficult wheel to chock properly is one that is up on levelling blocks. Chocks don't tend to work very well on a slippery board or on top of any of the commercial "Lego- block" levelling blocks.

My last trailer was single-axle, and I almost lost it when I unhitched with one wheel up on a plank. I had chocks behind the wheel, but they just slipped on the plank. The jack pad slipped sideways, also, and I found myself trying to hold the trailer back.

If you use the "Lego-type" commercial blocls, you can build an interlocking stack of several blocks on the downhill side of the tire and then move the trailer until you can feel it lightly bump the stack. That's what I started to do after my close call. The pressure from the wheel will keep the stack locked.

I wish they would make a commercial chock that interlocks with the "Lego" levelling blocks.
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Old 12-26-2002, 02:22 PM   #14
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Love the Legos!

John,

We do now have the lego-type leveling/chocking package. It's pretty awesome, and so flexible. I was surprised when were traveling to see how many seasoned T/T folks had never seen them before.

Why couldn't I have invented those? Hmmmppff!!!



Cherie
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