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Old 08-29-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
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Stupid Newbie of the Year Award

Well, I wish some of you could see me try to get ready for the shakedown cruise. There's some high-entertainment value here; bring your lawn chairs and beer.

Today I decided to get myself accustomed to the holding tank drainage procedure.

I figured the big black pipe with the big black cap must be the drainage pipe for the black water. I better unscrew the cap like I'm at the RV park, ready for hook-up - just to loosen things up a bit - acquaint myself with it. After all, the less time spent hooking up, the more time I can spend lounging by the pool or sitting outside the Airstream waiting for that anticipated rush of Airstream admirers and gawkers you claim will come a calling. After ten minutes of "playing" with the cap (accompanied by some colourful language and ruminations as to why I bought a trailer) I finally figured out how the cap comes off.

Okay. Good show. Now where is the tank release valve? Shouldn't it be right beside the pipe? I stick my hand underneath searching for it. My fingers skim the belly like a blind man reading Braille. What the ???
How am I supposed to drain the black water without any valve?

Maybe I better take a look underneath.

So, I get down. Now fully prone on the driveway, the dog thinks something must be terribly wrong, whimpers, and lays down beside me. Believe it or not, this is the first time I've seen the underbelly of the beast. I take a good look at the black pipe and think that's really weird. There's nothing going into the pipe from the inside of the trailer. How does stuff from the toilet get there?

I pull myself up. The cap swings merrily from the end of the pipe. I think I see some lettering on it. Pulling the cap closer, it reads "Hose Carrier."

Oh, that's where the hose to drain the black water (which is in the bumper storage) is supposed to go.

It could have been worse. I could have pulled into the sani-station and started attaching the drainage hose to the "hose carrier," then held everyone up while I searched for the release valve.

I think this merits some kind of dumb newbie award.....unless you can do better!
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:10 PM   #2
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Thanks for the chuckle! I love your narration. Did you actually get it all figured out? I haven't done ours yet. I did find the hose in one of the lockers though. Our black water valve has a straight lever sticking out, which I'm pondering how to get a grip to pull. Maybe I need to do as you did and perform the moves in a "dry run".
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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Thanks for the chuckle! I love your narration. Did you actually get it all figured out? I haven't done ours yet. I did find the hose in one of the lockers though. Our black water valve has a straight lever sticking out, which I'm pondering how to get a grip to pull. Maybe I need to do as you did and perform the moves in a "dry run".
Djm, besides my wedding night, this has been one of the most frustrating times of my life.

I think I've figured the holding tanks. If your straight lever is sticking out, it's in the "drain" position. Don't forget to push it back in before you hit the road. Those liquid trails left in your wake might cause some consternation, i.e. the motorist behind you will be on his cell calling the health department.

I'm still confused about turning the hot water tank on. So, I'm going to haul the whole blinkin' unit down to the dealership and get them to show me. The Airstream manual is very vague. They warn against turning the hot water on when the tank is empty, yet don't tell you where the tank is and if there's a way to check if it's full.

I would do a "dry run" on everything. Otherwise those shreiks in the wilderness will not be from the spotted owl, coyote, or borraborra bird in the bush. They will be from another incredibly frustrated new Airstream owner.







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Old 08-29-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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My mind was ahead of you all the way. However, the wrong way. I thought something was going to go swoosh when you were on the ground. Your ending was not as dumb.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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A man and his faithful dog. He was there for you the whole way and thankful you didnt pull the wrong valve.

Great story! Thanks for sharing with us.

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Old 08-29-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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Lovely story Fly, and so eloquently written.

Mrs T and I were never going to have that kind of difficulty because, being champion nerds, we'd both researched our new baby to death months before we took delivery. Indeed, we could probably have dumped the tanks blindfolded on day one, such was the level of study we'd applied. Yes, we admit it, we are Airstream addicts.

However, our ever so clever research didn't help us much on our first shakedown trip to our local Provincial Park, where a mix of excitement and inexperience on my part led us to have a major coming together with an outsized Stop sign at the park entrance. "Pull over to the right" says the friendly Ranger as we prepared to check in. Did I check my right hand mirror? No. Did I see the huge Stop sign on my right? No. Did I hesitate when I heard an odd noise over the howl of or new friction sway bars? Of course not! Only when we had parked our shiny new toy up in site number 66 did Mrs T look up and notice the long scratch down the the side and the big dent in one of the end panels. "Waaaaah" I said.

The crazy thing was that I couldn't work out how I'd dented the Airstream, on account of not having noticed the stop sign. However, a quick spin past the park entrance confirmed our guess; one very bent sign.

I think I'd turned too soon and dragged the edge of the sign along the trailer. The sign then met the awning support, was pushed outwards and then sprung back to add the dent. Doh!

Still, it could have been much worse and, for what it's worth, we've decided to leave the dent there as a salutary reminder to check mirrors before ANY manoeuvre!

As a postscript, we noticed on our last trip to that park that the offending Stop sign, that had to have been five feet across, had been replaced with a much smaller model; I guess we weren't the only ones to have been up close and personal with the street furniture.
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:17 PM   #7
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Regarding the water heater, hook up city water or make sure that your fresh water tank has water and turn on the pump, then open a hot water faucet. If water comes out the water heater is full.

Bill

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Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
Djm, besides my wedding night, this has been one of the most frustrating times of my life.

I think I've figured the holding tanks. If your straight lever is sticking out, it's in the "drain" position. Don't forget to push it back in before you hit the road. Those liquid trails left in your wake might cause some consternation, i.e. the motorist behind you will be on his cell calling the health department.

I'm still confused about turning the hot water tank on. So, I'm going to haul the whole blinkin' unit down to the dealership and get them to show me. The Airstream manual is very vague. They warn against turning the hot water on when the tank is empty, yet don't tell you where the tank is and if there's a way to check if it's full.

I would do a "dry run" on everything. Otherwise those shreiks in the wilderness will not be from the spotted owl, coyote, or borraborra bird in the bush. They will be from another incredibly frustrated new Airstream owner.







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Old 08-29-2011, 07:20 PM   #8
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I think this merits some kind of dumb newbie award.....unless you can do better!
Fly,
Are you pulling our leg again?
Sounds similar to your honey dipper story to me You make me laugh!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fly at Night View Post
Well, I wish some of you could see me try to get ready for the shakedown cruise. There's some high-entertainment value here; bring your lawn chairs and beer.

Today I decided to get myself accustomed to the holding tank drainage procedure.
FAN,

Here's a crazy question: did you read the Manual at all yet...?

ps: there have been many "funny" moments with the DW and I, as we learned about Henri our '74 Sov, but if you REALLY want a laugh, spend an hour or two at a local boat launch.

Trust me, you will spot the newbies a mile away...
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:32 PM   #10
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Yes just run the hot water faucet before lighting water heater. If water runs out of faucet tank is full. One other tip before starting water heater, gas oven, or refrigerator on gas, light a burner on stove for a minute till it burns cleanly.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:37 PM   #11
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Fly,
Are you pulling our leg again?
AW, no. Only the tank release valve.

Quote:
Sounds similar to your honey dipper story to me You make me laugh!
I'll have to post my date with "Mike the Bike" some day. That one is a real dilly.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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My mind was ahead of you all the way. However, the wrong way. I thought something was going to go swoosh when you were on the ground. Your ending was not as dumb.
tiger, sorry to disappoint, but I haven't used the toilet yet. It's not that I don't know how to use a toilet; I was taught that at about 18 months, I think.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #13
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A man and his faithful dog. He was there for you the whole way and thankful you didnt pull the wrong valve.

Great story! Thanks for sharing with us.

Vinnie
Airslide, glad you enjoyed the ordeal. As to the dog, she doesn't want to go inside the trailer anymore. I think she senses the frustration -
and figures she must have done something wrong.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:47 PM   #14
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Mr.Toad, thanks for sharing your trials and tribulations. I'm not going to mention that word that starts with "D" and rhymes with "Lent."

Speaking of which, I think I'll resurrect the praying before I hit the road.
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