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Old 03-24-2019, 11:46 AM   #1
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Apple Valley , Minnesota
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Newbie questions

Morning everyone (at least when I started writing this)


I've been publicly lurking (viewing) this forum for years and finally setup an account when we got back from ordering our 2019 FC 27FB with dual A/C, awnings and solar in early January. I have tried to find the time to search for answers to all the questions I have in my head, but perhaps I have the wrong terms. Here are a few questions I have that I came up short on. I may just be to technical to get the gray areas to line up exactly.

From the dealer (last year they converted to Lazy Days RV from Shorewood RV in Anoka/Ramsey, MN) we get the factory gear (awning tool, 50 amp power cord...), a 50 to 15 amp dog-bone, the propane tanks filled, a $25 store credit and the new owner walk through and how-to. It is what it is, and we settled on that being the price for going all in. We added a Blue-Ox WD hitch to pair with our 2018 F-150 with max-tow and pro-trailer (think pole position joystick for your Commodore 64). They recommended Blue-Ox (because they sell them for profit and) you can backup without needing to remove the spring bars/tension chains.

Eventually I plan to acquire basic chocks, a robust 15' sewer hose/elbow/adapter, 15' sewer hose support lattice, a (black water) 10-15' rinse hose, at least one 25' fresh water hose, a hitch lock, a socket for the lug nuts, and an inline water filter. Those are for day one heading out into the world to use the trailer. I have an accurate torque wrench, high PSI compressor, Honda eu2000i, various tools (most will be in the bed of truck and small set for inside the camper to address the eventual emergency of the door latch malfunction resulting in us being locked in), and a multiple first aid kits.

The questions I have are:


1 - What do I need day zero when I park on my driveway? Are basic chocks and some wood to protect the asphalt from the hitch jack enough or no? My driveway is 45 feet of asphalt with a 3-4 degree constant slope down to the road. I plan to back in with the hitch facing the road. I can fashion some 3-4 degree ramps out of wood to flatten the axles while parked if needed.

2 - Should I take care to prevent the bumper from bottoming out and scraping on the driveway in anyway or is a 3-4 deg incline not a concern short of me hitting the driveway at 30 MPH unintentionally?

3 - We plan to stay at campgrounds out of the gate, most without hookups initially. We have been tenting it for years, so this is already leaps and bounds ahead of where we were for comfort. While camping, outside of basic chocks, and leveling material (lego like blocks, 1x8 boards sections for the OCD tolerances I may have, or "Beech Lane" version of "Anderson Levelers") and the supplies I listed, what am I missing?

4 - Are there any suggestions for an installed safe to store a few things such as laptop/iPad/passport/emergency funds?

5 - Are there any nice-to-haves that I am missing that are (almost) necessities by your standards?


I plan to get a 30 amp cord (and a 50/30 dog-bone) down the road if not a easier to maintain 50 amp from what I have read, and/or extension cords beyond my 15 amp cords I have.

The Easystart for both A/C units might be needed eventually if we find that we need to run off the single Honda EU2000i or add a companion generator instead.

A surge protector (installed or inline) is up in the air due to results I have seen from reviews, and our solar/generator setup today. If we never plug in to shore power it would not be needed in my head.

A weboost amplifier sounds great, but until I start working remote it is not needed. I find it odd that Weboost claims it is designed to handle both 50 and 75 ohm coax/antennas, but that is what they told me when I asked. (I am a ham radio guy.) The option of an external antenna and an LTE modem may also be sufficient and cheaper. Also, in another year or two satellite internet from SpaceX's Starlink, O3B's OneWeb, or the next competitor in the low/mid orbit space may have a $250 user terminal to cover my needs and negate the booster/antennas for cell service. Data is a priority over voice phone calls being in IT, and options of VoIP via Skype and whatnot.

A basic SAME alert weather radio is on the list to get along with a TMPS for the trailer.

I know, I am all over the place, but I figured it was worth asking the crowd that knows Airstreams.

Thanks in advance,
Squeegee
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:43 PM   #2
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Welcome to the world of Airstreaming!

Sound like you have a good list of items. I would add a set of the chocks that go between the wheels and prevent them from turning. When you level on top of a stack of legos, normal chocks are not very helpful.

Since you are in Minnesota, you might want to consider a visit to the Airstream Park in Clear Lake after the open in the spring. We will spend some time there when passing through.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:05 PM   #3
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Welcome! You did check the weight numbers for truck and trailer, didn't you? Remember that the general rule of thumb is that 10-15% of the trailer's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the tongue (hitch) weight. In other words, if the GVWR of the trailer is 10,000 pounds, you will put 1000-1500 pounds on the truck's hitch. While your weight distributing hitch will spread that weight around, putting some on the front axle and some back to the trailer, you ought to figure that all of that weight will actually be carried by the rear axle of the truck.


Remember that sales people often quote only the empty (dry) weight. That works only if you never have anything in the trailer. Airstreams don't have large carrying capacities, nor do they have large outside storage areas, so most people have a fair amount of stuff in the bed of the truck. Guess which axle carries most of that weight?


What I'm getting at is that you may not have enough truck for your trailer.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:40 PM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us. as to your many questions, there are generally no set answers. You have apparently thought this out and have answered most of your own questions. There is a learning curve to the RVing, but it's not launching rockets. Take your time; it will all come to you.

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Old 03-25-2019, 09:09 PM   #5
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Congrats on your new trailer. The 27 FB FC is a great choice. And I wouldn't worry too much about your tow rig. No matter what you use to tow there will be someone here who knows you made the wrong choice. As along as both the trailer and truck are level, you should be ok. You can weigh your individual axles for peace of mind, and fine tuning. Watch the Blue OX videos for tips on adjusting your weight distribution. I would add a small 6 ton bottle Jack to your tools. You won't need it often, but if you ever need it you'll be glad it's there. In 25 yrs plus of trailer camping I've needed one 5 or 6 times. They don't take up much space. And wood, composite, or plastic for under the tongue Jack is reccomended. (actually, since plastic is pretty much destroying the planet, maybe strike that.) At camping world, I found these dense rubberized squares that I put under stabilizers on the trailer, and I think they work good to take some of the bounce out of the trailer when walking inside. You might check those out. After you go camping a few times, you'll figure out what you want to have, and adjust. It's nice to check out a AS rally and see what others have done to meet there camping and traveling needs. You might check into that.

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Old 03-25-2019, 09:15 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies everyone

Thank you for the feedback everyone.

Azflycaster - I wanted to make sure you were referring to x-chock or similar units. I believe the campground you mentioned is the one the dealership includes a two night voucher for to be used in the next year. I for got to mention that on top of the $25 store credit. We should be able to find a window that we can stay there this summer.

KBb0zke - the truck payload sticker on my vehicle says 1615 lbs after we fill the gas tank, not counting any people/stuff in the truck. The FC 27fb weight is 5868 dry and a max weight of 7600 with the hitch weight being 791. We can add the Honda generator (47 lbs), and just under two hundred pounds of stuff in the truck if we have our two boys (13 and 15) with us. In my mind, if we need to haul much more, we should have gotten a bigger Airstream as an F-250/350 will not fit in the garage. Seat comfort for the wife who has had two back surgeries is the decider on which brand of vehicle we buy.

Also, as I understand it, a WD hitch if setup correctly will take some of the hitch weight off the hitch/truck and shift the weight back into the trailer. I believe this is seen most directly when the spring bars/chains are added and the squat is reduced with no other changes to the setup. There have been reports of people mis-adjusting their WD hitch and shifting too much truck weight into the trailer, and overload the trailer's limits causing trailer tire blowouts. I plan to weigh things to be safe and compliant, but the one scale I found that fits in your glove box seems to be for Australia only despite having KGs and Lbs.
https://reich-web.com/en/products/ve...279c3ba149a572
Hopefully my numbers are within tolerances that you can agree are not dangerous, but possibly even acceptable.

Moosetags - thank you for your response. I am still hoping for someone with a similar driveway slope and a 27 ft to speak up out of a my concern and advise me on any prep work I need to perform to preserve the axles for as much of the life of the trailer as I can. I read a thread a while back about how having the trailer on an incline will stress one over the other.

Squeegee
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:40 PM   #7
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Yes, I use a pair of these. https://www.amazon.com/BAL-28005-Del...gateway&sr=8-6

I'm sure that we are talking about the same place. We have several friends that own sites there and we stop by when we are traveling in the area. I will get a few rounds of golf in while there.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:21 AM   #8
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welcome Squeegee, you have it down already. my driveway is about the same and whqn i had my 64 overlander[26'10''] i rarely scraped. this is with the old axles/ go slow and you should be fine. kurt
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:16 PM   #9
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Apple Valley , Minnesota
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Thank you everyone

Thank you everyone again.

Ke6gkv - thank you for the info about your driveway. I know me scraping on the ground will happen at some point, somewhere, but I wanted to at least know if I was going to have it happen every time I pulled in or out of my driveway.

Here's to getting the call from the dealership any day now to go get the new trailer.

Squeegee
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