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Old 07-25-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
Ron and Lilla McClendon
 
2013 27' FB International
Watkinsville , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 23
Questions from Newbies with new(used) Airstream

My wife and I will be picking up a 2013 International Serenity 27FB from a dealer in a week or two. We have never owned a travel trailer and have really enjoyed reading the forums for the past couple of months. We need some advice on what we should have the dealer check before we pick it up. The dealer is about a 5-hour drive away so we would like to get it right the first time. The dealer is installing window awnings on the street-side and rear of the trailer. They are cleaning the exterior as well. The dealer has assured us that they do a thorough job of preparation and I believe them, however I would like to get some advice from experienced Airstream folks.
Thanks
Ron
(Our first post!)
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Old 07-25-2016, 12:13 PM   #2
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Toledo , Ohio
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Have it hooked up to shore power and check all systems to see if all is working . Also check all external lights . Look for signs of internal leaks and water stains .
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:25 PM   #3
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
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First, congratulations!

Bottom line is they should check everything before you show up and commit that everything is working properly. Critical items would include operation of the brakes from the tow vehicle, operation of the breakaway switch, battery condition, propane system operation and leak check, floor condition (no soft or wet spots), all lights work, including interior, clearance, backup, and brake lights.

Let them know you will want them to do a full walk-through to show you how everything works. Do this in two modes - one with shore power and water connected, and one without. Make sure they provide the trailer manual and the set of manuals, instructions and data sheets for appliances. Otherwise you will have to run all that down on the net.

Some examples:

How to connect city water and bleed the air out of the system before turning on the water heater.

How to fill the water tank and bleed the air from the system using the water pump.

How to put the unit in storage mode to minimize battery drain.

How to operate electrical devices from shore power.

How to operate electrical devices from batteries. If fitted with an inverter, how to use that and what to expect in terms of battery life, particularly how to turn it off so that there is no drain on the batteries when you don't have shore power available.

How to hook up and use dump hoses and tank flush.

How to hitch up and set weight distribution properly. The setup may change from the light load when you pick it up to when you have a full camping load.

How to turn on, shut off, and change tanks on the propane system.

How to deploy and retrieve awning(s).

Basically, if there is a plug, valve, faucet,or switch, have them show you how to use it. Video it if you can so you can refer to it later.

The forum publishes a checklist for trailer inspection. You can find it at:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...ist-43294.html

It will suggest things you should look at, or have the dealer show you.

Al
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:42 PM   #4
Ron and Lilla McClendon
 
2013 27' FB International
Watkinsville , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 23
Thanks so much!
Ron
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:57 PM   #5
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: May 2011
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Look for leakage around everything that penetrates the external skin: vents, skylight, A/C and windows. Ensure the brakes and tires are in good condition. Your Dexter Axles and all things attached are very important to safe towing and very expensive to replace/repair. And the wheel bearings should have been repacked at least once if not more depending on mileage. Open and close every door, window, cabinet, draw and vent to ensure proper operation. Try to have the fridge operating on propane before arriving to ensure it cools properly.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:16 PM   #6
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Livingston , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
First, congratulations!

Bottom line is they should check everything before you show up and commit that everything is working properly. Critical items would include operation of the brakes from the tow vehicle, operation of the breakaway switch, battery condition, propane system operation and leak check, floor condition (no soft or wet spots), all lights work, including interior, clearance, backup, and brake lights.

Let them know you will want them to do a full walk-through to show you how everything works. Do this in two modes - one with shore power and water connected, and one without. Make sure they provide the trailer manual and the set of manuals, instructions and data sheets for appliances. Otherwise you will have to run all that down on the net.

Some examples:

How to connect city water and bleed the air out of the system before turning on the water heater.

How to fill the water tank and bleed the air from the system using the water pump.

How to put the unit in storage mode to minimize battery drain.

How to operate electrical devices from shore power.

How to operate electrical devices from batteries. If fitted with an inverter, how to use that and what to expect in terms of battery life, particularly how to turn it off so that there is no drain on the batteries when you don't have shore power available.

How to hook up and use dump hoses and tank flush.

How to hitch up and set weight distribution properly. The setup may change from the light load when you pick it up to when you have a full camping load.

How to turn on, shut off, and change tanks on the propane system.

How to deploy and retrieve awning(s).

Basically, if there is a plug, valve, faucet,or switch, have them show you how to use it. Video it if you can so you can refer to it later.

The forum publishes a checklist for trailer inspection. You can find it at:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...ist-43294.html

It will suggest things you should look at, or have the dealer show you.

Al

Good list. Also, make sure you are shown the hot water bypass valves, how they should be set for normal operation, how (and why) they are set in bypass mode. All other items which are behind panels or inside cabinets, should be opened for you to see what and where they are. If you can spend your first night at their lot, hooked up to all utilities, so you can be sure everything works and have them fix those which don't. Also, make a list of questions during use, which might arise.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

Tom
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:58 PM   #7
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Have them show you where to read the date on the tires and batteries. If Airstream has been sitting long time outdoors and it is a 2913, you may need new tires. Have them show you where spare is and make sure it has air. Get youself a tire changing kit with proper tools and sizes.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:46 PM   #8
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Kansas City , Missouri
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Congratulations.

Some of the other things you would want them to show you on the "walkthrough" would be how to fully hitch up to your vehicle, do safety checks, drive a short difference, "drive ahead" looking for turns, low overhangs, and other potential problems. How to park in a basic back in parking lot scenario, and how to adjust tow mirrors.

If possible have tow mirrors for your vehicle before you pick up your trailer. You may need to order online.

Also have them show you how to unhitch, level the trailer, chock the wheels for safety, put down the stabilizers, and open and close the windows.

Have them show you underneath where you should put a jack should you ever need to.

Fuse locations, and how to work and turn on and off the tv, radio, dvd as these can sometimes take some time to figure out surprisingly.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:12 AM   #9
Ron and Lilla McClendon
 
2013 27' FB International
Watkinsville , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 23
Excellent suggestions! Thanks for all of your posts!
Ron
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:59 AM   #10
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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Is spending the night in the trailer on the dealer's lot a possibility?
You can find anything that doesn't work, isn't right, or things that you have a question about.
Then you can get all settled, squared away, answered before you drive off into your adventures.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:21 PM   #11
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Wheaton , Illinois
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Al and Missey provided a great list.

However, you will be overwhelmed with information, especially since you don't have any context in owning and operating a trailer.

Download and read the user manual accessible on the Airstream corporate website before you arrive at the dealer, to build your awareness. Print a copy and mark up areas you want more clarification.


Greg
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:35 PM   #12
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
Friday Harbor , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 38
Live in it for a day or two

As I am about to purchase my first AS, a 25'RB,Flying Cloud, new, my Seattle dealer -- as I have many quality concerns -- and live on an island (so no easy trip for service) -- is allowing me to take the trailer to a campground and live in it for two days so I can check everything out before final deliver to the island. Anything discovered wrong will then be taken care of, as I am likely to go camping in another vehicle until the Flying Cloud is (lets hope) truly defect free on purchase.

As long as I am here, maybe readers will give some advice on how much of a deduction from MSRP might be expected. It is now listed at about $81K.

Finally, I have benefited greatly reading all the solid advice given. Thanks to all.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:44 PM   #13
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1966 22' Safari
Williamsburg , Michigan
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Helpful question

Just bought a vintage, renovated 66 Safari. As a total newbie, I've been trying to figure out a lot. The seller was helpful, but could only do so much by phone. I have an appointment with a local dealer to fix a couple issues and will use some of the questions posted here to better understand stuff. Thanks
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:47 PM   #14
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Princeton , Iowa
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Get the newly book it is on the airstream life site and on the airstream site. Stay in it overnight at the dealer on shore cord and try everything.
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