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Old 03-24-2017, 12:20 PM   #57
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Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Doesn't hurt to have zip ties, duct tape and WD40

A few words of advice. Before pulling into a gas station or store make sure you have an exit route planned (don't get blocked in or have to back up to get out), make wide turns (your trailer will track tighter than your truck), take it slow and enjoy the journey..
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:00 PM   #58
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Hi--Pmail me and I will be glad to send you a comprehensive set of checklists.
Congrats on your new trailer. We just got our 2016 FC23 FB.

Towed the first 60 miles without the WD hitch. Scary. Set the hitch up myself 70% improvement.
Had an RV mechanic go over the hitch 100% improvement. Just got back from a rally 770 miles round trip and have been 2000 miles with the adjusted hitch, effortless

Best $75 we ever spent. Wife and I never towed anything except a rowboat to the lake.
This is our second trailer..Very fast learning curve for towing..Backing trickier..

Checklist are the only way to go. Tons of instructional videos on the Airstream.com site. All manuals are also on the site.
Youtube also has instructional videos.

Don't forget to sterilize the tank with bleach...
Oh have fun and slow down...

Also WIDE--swing wide is always a great suggestion..

Checklists for pre-travel, setting up to hitch, unhitching, setting up for camping
and necessary and optional supplies are invaluable..

This forum and WBCCI are excellent for info, help and advice..
Keep the shiny side up.

c'ya on the road
Steve Carolyn #10778
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:50 PM   #59
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2005 25' International CCD
Mission Hills , Kansas
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Hello Luforia,

I'm not sure if you've picked up your new AS or not. I read your post last week, while I was on vacation and have been thinking about some things I've learned along the way. I read quite a few responses, but not all. Apologies in advance for any redundancies.

There's a great book called "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming" by Rich Luhr. I found it really helpful when I first purchased our 1st AS 5 years ago. I completely understand and can relate to all of your concerns regarding pulling an AS across the country. My partner and I took our AS to California and back (we're two ladies that live in Kansas) a few years ago. We drove I-70 to Denver, shot north on I-25 and took I-80 to Tahoe. I think we ended up on the 101 South to San Francisco. Driving through SF was a little nerve-wracking, but we survived. We took the southern route from CA to KS. Drove a little on PCH in CA (Hwy 1) and mostly route 66 and I-35 from southern CA to KS.

Here is my short list of my recommendations:

1. If possible, I would take your AS to the nearest AS dealership and have it serviced prior to your long drive home. I would request a full inspection, have your bearings packed, and check your hitch to ensure that it's properly installed.

2. Invest in a good tire gauge and use it often! I check my tires everytime I get back on the road.

3. When stopping for gas, take a quick walk around and inspect your hitch, tires, lug nuts and underneath your camper.

4. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for advice when you stay overnight at RV parks. Campers are the kindest and friendliest people on the planet.

5. I wish I would have kept a journal in my camper to record all of the great camping sights we've visited over the past 5 years. Keep records of camp sights you like and take lots of photos!

6. I know you're interested in RV parks, but I HIGHLY recommend booking a few State Parks (you'd be smart to start planning and reserving now).

7. Have your batteries checked to make sure they still have some life in them. We were camping in Estes Park in the spring after and woke up to a very cold camper. Our batteries were so shot that our furnace wouldn't ignite.

Have fun and best of luck!
Lisa
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:20 PM   #60
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Truck stop type service stations are a good fuel up resource. Usually an easy in and out like a rest stop. There should be lots to choose from on the Interstate. Sometimes easy to make a left turn into one.

Getting trapped by other cars in a gas station is problematic. The usual circumstance would be places that have diagonal or perpendicular pump configurations when referencing the building.

The Flying Js around us have perpendicular pumps, but they are far enough from the building to allow you in and out. That is not always the case.

The station on the right is usually easier, but a hard right into the station around a corner is harder than an entry mid block. Going around a block and entering on the side can be easier. It also gives you the opportunity to look the entry and exit transitions over before you commit. However, not all blocks are accessible, so watch that too.

Do not burn down to the last 1/4 tank. Fill up at 1/2 tank, so if you have to pass a station by, its not a problem. Your inner tank may help you with this pacing.

Do not look for the last two cents lower price. Buy what you need when you need it. Buy a half tank and look again down the road if your pocket book is assaulted beyond the pale (Needles Nevada is one of those places we have found - better you haul your fuel over that grade than have to pay for the fuel they haul to the top).

You might spend some time on Google Maps and visually drive past some of your fuel stops to check them out prior so you can adjust fuel stops to meet your comfort level.

Good luck with your trip. Travel safe. Pat
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:41 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luforia View Post
If you go alone, do not back up.
That's sometimes impossible. I've backed a MH and trailer at a gas station by myself with cars going by behind me. I had to. I guess at some point the driver's just said, "look out for the crazy guy!" Just minimize it until you're comfortable backing. Having a person spot for you is wonderful. In campgrounds, other campers will always pitch in to help.
Quote:
I really hope I don't get myself into such a situation.
You will. It will make a funny story...after it's over. When in doubt, ask for help.

I always liked seeing a "Flying J" station on the exit sign. I knew they'd have a "RV island" where I could pull straight through.
Gas up even if you have half a tank. If you're running on fumes, you're more likely to make a bad choice just because you're afraid of running out.
Murphy Oil (WalMart gas) usually have easy access also. (Not always) at least you can drive through the WM lot and check it out before committing.

Don't forget to check your mirrors too. That trailer is not following directly behind you in turns. Take it slow.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:48 PM   #62
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
San Diego , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickandvicki View Post
Doesn't hurt to have zip ties, duct tape and WD40

A few words of advice. Before pulling into a gas station or store make sure you have an exit route planned (don't get blocked in or have to back up to get out), make wide turns (your trailer will track tighter than your truck), take it slow and enjoy the journey..
Thanks Dickandvicki!

Yes, got the MacGyver go to tools on my to bring list.

Regarding trailer tracking tight, is there a point of reference that you have as to when it's okay to make the turn (i.e. if you look in the your tow mirrors and you hold off turning your TV until see your AS wheels clearing a curb/pole)? I posted a question on this thread regarding the turn but haven't seen a specific answer for it.
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Old 03-24-2017, 08:18 PM   #63
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1991 29' Excella
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luforia View Post
Thanks Dickandvicki!



Yes, got the MacGyver go to tools on my to bring list.



Regarding trailer tracking tight, is there a point of reference that you have as to when it's okay to make the turn (i.e. if you look in the your tow mirrors and you hold off turning your TV until see your AS wheels clearing a curb/pole)? I posted a question on this thread regarding the turn but haven't seen a specific answer for it.


Your trailer will track slightly sharper when making turns. You will be able to see where it's tracking in the mirrors ( right turn.. you can see where the right side of your trailer is tracking. Same with left turn). Just be aware you need to make slightly wider turns.

This may help:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...ile-towing.htm
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:40 PM   #64
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Truck stop type service stations are a good fuel up resource. Usually an easy in and out like a rest stop. There should be lots to choose from on the Interstate. Sometimes easy to make a left turn into one.

I was thinking the same thing, hope it works out for the first few pumps to work up my confidence before I go into smaller stations.

The station on the right is usually easier, but a hard right into the station around a corner is harder than an entry mid block. Going around a block and entering on the side can be easier. It also gives you the opportunity to look the entry and exit transitions over before you commit. However, not all blocks are accessible, so watch that too.

Really helpful for me to go along with what I visualized would happen.

Do not burn down to the last 1/4 tank. Fill up at 1/2 tank, so if you have to pass a station by, its not a problem. Your inner tank may help you with this pacing.

Funny, I fill up at 1/2 tank even at home. I am ready on that one.

Do not look for the last two cents lower price. Buy what you need when you need it. Buy a half tank and look again down the road if your pocket book is assaulted beyond the pale (Needles Nevada is one of those places we have found - better you haul your fuel over that grade than have to pay for the fuel they haul to the top).

I was thinking of bringing two spare cans, approx 5gal, to fill up for just in case situations. Was planning on pumping them in at the next station and fill up with new gas to minimize it going stale. Not sure if that's too cumbersome of a process...I wonder what others have done when it comes to spare gas.

You might spend some time on Google Maps and visually drive past some of your fuel stops to check them out prior so you can adjust fuel stops to meet your comfort level.

That is a great tip, just hope I have adequate cell signal in those situations.

Thanks Pat, really appreciate your comments.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:45 PM   #65
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There's a great book called "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming" by Rich Luhr. I found it really helpful when I first purchased our 1st AS 5 years ago. I completely understand and can relate to all of your concerns regarding pulling an AS across the country. My partner and I took our AS to California and back (we're two ladies that live in Kansas) a few years ago. We drove I-70 to Denver, shot north on I-25 and took I-80 to Tahoe. I think we ended up on the 101 South to San Francisco. Driving through SF was a little nerve-wracking, but we survived. We took the southern route from CA to KS. Drove a little on PCH in CA (Hwy 1) and mostly route 66 and I-35 from southern CA to KS.

I actually read that book just last week after someone else recommended it on this thread. Brave of you to go thru SF on that trip...it seems hard enough with a regular vehicle. From OK City, I plan on taking I-40W to Albuquerque, then I-25S to Las Cruces, then I-10W to I-8W.

Here is my short list of my recommendations:

1. If possible, I would take your AS to the nearest AS dealership and have it serviced prior to your long drive home. I would request a full inspection, have your bearings packed, and check your hitch to ensure that it's properly installed.


I think owner says there aren't too many AS dealers in the area bc of potential hail damage to all these sitting on an open lot. I'll have to google and see what's the closest one on the way home.

2. Invest in a good tire gauge and use it often! I check my tires everytime I get back on the road.

The pump compressor/jump battery has one built-in, but I probably should get a separate one. Which one did you end up getting?

3. When stopping for gas, take a quick walk around and inspect your hitch, tires, lug nuts and underneath your camper.

I love how my "to do" list keeps growing...

4. Don't be afraid to ask questions or for advice when you stay overnight at RV parks. Campers are the kindest and friendliest people on the planet.

If they are anything like people on this forum, I am in good shape. My faith in humanity has been restored by Airforums.

5. I wish I would have kept a journal in my camper to record all of the great camping sights we've visited over the past 5 years. Keep records of camp sights you like and take lots of photos!

I plan on posting photos of my trip home on this thread so all can enjoy being a newbie through me.

6. I know you're interested in RV parks, but I HIGHLY recommend booking a few State Parks (you'd be smart to start planning and reserving now).

Just afraid of backing up. Those spacious KOA pull thru for this solo trip. We love SP and NP, will do for sure in future trips.

7. Have your batteries checked to make sure they still have some life in them. We were camping in Estes Park in the spring after and woke up to a very cold camper. Our batteries were so shot that our furnace wouldn't ignite.

the ever-growing "to do" list. Thank you for all your tips. See you on the road.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:40 AM   #66
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Unless your tow vehicle gets terrible millage you will likely not need to carry extra fuel cans. Consider that one closely. They are extra trouble to handle and fuel is a hazard to pour. Fuel is better handled from a service station pump. A full hand carry fuel can is a great asset if you are out of gas, but one more thing to worry about if you don't need it. Also, gas won't go bad in the time you need to make this trip, so constantly cycling the fuel in your spare cans is not necessary.

The most important thing to focus on, is attentive and active driving. The more you allow your mind to wander over trivia, and away from checking your mirrors, looking ahead, preparing for the bus that is catching you, focusing on the distance to the next vehicle, looking for pot holes, watching for tire treads, and driving, the more hazardous your trip will be.

The todo list gets shorter if you focus on a minimalist approach ... at least a bit. We all want to be prepared for the "EVENT". Doing things to avoid the event makes an event less likely and is the best approach. Your use of pull-through sites on the trip home, filling at half tank, and asking questions here are great examples of your using that approach. The extra fuel cans might be a bridge too far. Suggest you pack them to carry fuel if you face an extraordinary situation, but otherwise forget they are in the load.

Traveling on Interstates is a bit of a leg stretcher, but you are not leaving civilization behind unless you turn off and take a side trip into the dessert. Generally, a trip like you are planning is not significantly difficult. Take "Money". It solves a lot of problems. Take "Time", it saves you from getting into problems and allows you to solve those that do occur. Do what you do without "Error". Well, with only little tinny errors that don't hurt you. But most important. Have fun, make some miles, and enjoy the smiles you'll see along the way. Pat
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:52 PM   #67
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Some last questions before I finally get on the road to pick up the AS:

1. If I stay in KOA pull-thru site overnight, after leveling & stabilizing, do I disconnect TV or okay to keep connected? Just wondering about the tongue jack potentially lifting TV at the ball.

2. I bought the Champion 2800W gas generator from Costco, still unopened. Wondering if I need to bring this for emergency? The trip home is mainly drive, stay in KOA to rest overnight, and go home. No boondocking planned. But wondering if having generator as backup for whatever reason is worth bringing it.

3. KOA's I plan on staying on the way home to San Diego from Oklahoma are possibly Amarillo, Tucumcari, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Lordsburg, and Tucson. Any tips on the these sites would be appreciated.
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:01 PM   #68
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We do not disconnect for an overnight stay on the road. Our tongue jack lets us raise up to level the coach. We have been in CGs where it was necessary to drop the coach to get it level, but it's rare.

Most sites are reasonably level. However, some folks are a bit sensitive to out of level conditions. We have developed a routine to use blocks to fine tune level so it's not a big problem. Since this is a run home, try it without leveling. If you find you need a challenge, you can always up your game.

Would not take generator. It's something that can be stolen. Low likelihood of an emergency where you would need it. Use the coach as a tent if power fails. Might take a small ice chest, some bottled water, bread and peanut butter.

Interesting that we stay in a lot of KOAs and have never stayed in those. So, only a general comment. KOAs are often close to the highway. If noise stops you from sleeping, give it a thought. Also, staying in a park on the far side of a city lets you start the next day of driving in a counter commute condition. Kind of depends how you want to play commute traffic, both coming and going.

Note, there is a Camping World on the West side of Albuquerque. Next door there is a CG and on the other side of I40 there are two more CGs. One is the American CG, which is similar to a KOA. We stayed there prior and will again. It is interestingly quiet for being so close to I40. Odd but either true, or we were really tired. Pat
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:07 PM   #69
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Luforia,
No problem having the AS lift the TV by the hitchball. You should do this each time you set the load leveler bars. Let the tongue jack do the heavy lifting.
No need for the generator if you can survive without air conditioning and television. The LED lights and pumps will not consume the charge in your batteries overnight.
I am retired Air Force. Most of your planned overnight towns have wonderful military (only) RV parks. They are my first choice. Be bold and spend a night at a Wal-Mart. It's free and with 24 hour security, about as safe as anywhere else.
Safe travels. My spouse and I are now camped at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Full hookups for $34.00/night. A great deal.
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Old 03-29-2017, 11:29 PM   #70
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Quote:
No problem having the AS lift the TV by the hitchball. You should do this each time you set the load leveler bars. Let the tongue jack do the heavy lifting.
And it's okay to leave the TV lifted by tongue thruout entire night? I am imagining the TV's rear being lifted up and that would put too much strain on the tongue...maybe I just need to actually do this to realize that it's okay

Quote:
No need for the generator if you can survive without air conditioning and television. The LED lights and pumps will not consume the charge in your batteries overnight.
It looks like 60s-70s day, 40s-50s night, should be alright with adequate blanket to sleep. Happy to leave generator behind if I don't need it.

Quote:
I am retired Air Force. Most of your planned overnight towns have wonderful military (only) RV parks. They are my first choice.
I am prior military, got out but working as CIV DOD, soon to work for VA. I think bases accept DOD ID, but not sure about VA ID. Let me know which ones in particular that you like that's on I-40 and I-10.

Quote:
Be bold and spend a night at a Wal-Mart. It's free and with 24 hour security, about as safe as anywhere else.
Would like to try this someday, but might need security of being plugged in and have KOA support considering my limited experience.

Quote:
Safe travels. My spouse and I are now camped at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Full hookups for $34.00/night. A great deal.
That is a great deal. You are <5min from me. I am off of Carmel Mountain bypass exit. Might have to go out there and say hello to you. Thanks for the tips.
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