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Old 06-08-2018, 05:17 PM   #1
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2018 26' Flying Cloud
Morristown , Tennessee
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 227
The TT pickup/delivery process

My question is centric to Colonial Airstream, but I suppose it can apply to any dealership.
How do I make the best of the delivery process? Colonial will give me the full technical briefing and an overnight stay - all that is OK.
What would you recommend to make the best use of this experience? Things I should bring? Things I should do? Things I must do before driving the trailer away?
Thank you for your wisdom and experience.

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Old 06-08-2018, 06:42 PM   #2
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Well, bring food and other essentials. You will be spending the night in the trailer. Some recommend doing a video of the delivery briefing. An alternative is to read the threads here on your make / model. Doing so likely will make the delivery information a bit less overwhelming.

We spent part of the next day running back and forth to Target. There's *always* stuff that you don't think of. Planning the day so you can do some shopping is a real good idea.... There are also things you might buy at Colonial. The proper socket to tighten the lug bolts is an expensive ( but useful) item.

Having a single place to write down the punch list can make keeping track of this or that a bit less insane. It is very easy to forget about this or that ....

There are a lot of places to camp within an hour or three of Colonial. Doing a short run on the first trip is probably a good idea. For that matter, driving the route *out* of Colonial with just the TV is probably a good idea. There's one turn that is a bit of a surprise if you are new to towing something "this big".

Lots of random thoughts, not much organization ... sorry about that


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Old 06-08-2018, 06:57 PM   #3
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Kensington , Maryland
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The team at Colonial makes it easy. We did spend the night there. Cooked dinner, sat in folding chairs and had a beer...waved bye to the crew

The guided tour they give of the trailer is, for first time folks like ourselves, overwhelming. Try to take in the things that seem important to you but know that most of the follow up info. is here on the forum.

Relax, it's all going to be fine.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:40 PM   #4
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2017 30' Classic
Titusville , Florida
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please take Uncle Bob and Too Tall’s advice. Your have found the best source for information about your new Airstream, please take full advantage of this site. Read the sub sections that apply the model you are getting. You didn’t mention what model you are getting but if it’s a Classic, please read the Much Ado Alde thread.
There will be bugs to work out. Count on it, don’t be surprised. Everything on your punch list will get fixed. Don’t leave or go too far away until everything is 100%. Don’t expect perfection. It’s nice when it happens and it does happen just not every time. Airstream has a 2 year warranty for a reason, the first year of ownership can be a challenge. An overcomeable challenge but still a PITA. Turn everything on, use it, make notes, videos, etc. Again, spend the night on the lot before you head down the road. Colonial knows a lot of folks will spend the night, or two, or three on their lot, they expect it. Please do it.

She Believed She Could so She Did.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:34 AM   #5
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Woodinville , Washington
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In case you read over it too fast:

Spend the night, or two, or three on their lot. Please do it.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:05 AM   #6
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 5,428

One thing to consider if it's a large(r) trailer:

Unless things have changed, you get a 30A hookup. That's not enough to run two AC units on something like ...errrr ... a 30' Classic. If it just *happens* to be over 100 degrees there in the lot, the second AC would be needed to make the trailer livable. No this is not all purely conjecture ... I have data on this . Indeed if you can get the same trailer off into the shade somewhere, 30A and one AC will do ok. Also, as soon as the sun gets low in the sky, the AC does catch up. No problem sleeping ....

One other note:

Maneuvering out of the lot with the trailer in tow for the first time .... yikes .... not really a crazy thing. Just a bit exciting for the first time putting things in gear. There is no shame in deploying a spotter (or two ).


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Old 06-09-2018, 11:29 AM   #7
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I recommend starting a punch list during the walk through and be prepared to have anything that needs fixing get fixed before you leave with the trailer. In other words, don't let the sales pitch and the emotions of the new shiny toy cloud out the sensible side of the business transactions.
I've been disappointed in my self for letting emotions overrule my business sense in the past. How many times have you thought "we should have...".
Be prepared to drive home without the trailer if need be. That will spike their urgency to fix things. I wouldn't sign on the dotted line till I was satisfied all is corrected.
It's worked for me every time.
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Old 06-09-2018, 02:24 PM   #8
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Stowe , Vermont
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All of the above ideas are solid. Take a video when they give you the tour, that includes the technical things: gray & black tank; fresh water from city supply and fresh water tank (how to fill); gauges for tanks and water pump; water heater; AC & interior heat; what works on AC or what works on DC; inverter; connecting to tow vehicle with sway control system; propane operations inc. tanks, stove, fridge etc.; landline electric hook-up (how many amps needed for your AS); awning operations; AND another other items that are mentioned. Nothing is too small. Ask questions. You could also write it down, but it may be better to see it in video format after you leave the dealer.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:13 PM   #9
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First do you have any experience with TTs? If so many things will be similar. If not go to YouTube and watch a couple videos on your rig so you can familiarize yourself with the lay out and bells and whistles. I would recommend you video the walk through so you can look back on it for reference. Since your staying the night bring sheets, pillow cases, paper plates, cups, plastic utensils, water, paper towels and flashlight. Make a list of questions so you don’t forget to ask them and if you don’t understand something as for question is a dumb one. Enjoy!!!
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:56 PM   #10
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Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
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Just did this not too long ago at Colonial - great staff there. To prepare we read Airforums, watched a lot of You Tube videos - Long Long Honeymoon among several other too numerous to list and including Airstream, Colonial videos specific to our model, started reading manual for our model, made lists based on all above and especially the departure and arrival lists, packing lists that others on the site have posted. It is overwhelming at first but trying to prepare a little made the actual orientation at Colonial easier. Took videos using phone too. I didnít run out of batteries but they said most people do - take a portable charger so it will not be an issue.

We plotted ahead of time to stay overnight at dealer to test as much as we could, then two nights at campground within 15 minutes of dealer. Then stopped halfway home for another two nights. I thought those experiences allowed us to test more things out but lots still to learn and try.

We did use Google maps and Allstays to ensure route had no surprise tunnels or low underpasses, but mostly stayed on major roads though there are roads in CT, NY, NJ that I believe do not allow trailers.

Research certainly takes stress out of every aspect - but even with all that things happen!

Mostly enjoy yourselves - the entire experience is fun from planning to trips. Congrats on the AS.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Morristown , Tennessee
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Thanks - what campgrounds are within the 15 minutes you mentioned? RVTripWizard is showing a dearth of campgrounds in New Jersey. Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:50 AM   #12
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If you don't find anything wrong with the unit during your Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI), you probably aren't paying enough attention to the process.

Inspect every rivet and screw, use every feature of every item in the unit, make them show you how it works, and visibly inspect whether every feature is working properly. Also have them check the batteries in your unit with a battery tester (the one that checks the specific gravity of the fluid in each cell). You're going to find at least one thing that's not right...if you haven't found it yet, you haven't looked hard enough. Also, expect to find a few more issues when you spend your night or two at the dealer.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:57 AM   #13
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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At some point before you get to pulling the wheels and disassembling the brakes you likely will hit the overload point. Even the standard walk through is information overload for most people ( = they forget what they saw). If you are going to start pulling AGM batteries out of the trailer for extended testing, you should also plan on more than a day or two to get all of the this and that done.

This issue is not in any way unique to taking delivery on a trailer. Any inspection process is only good to some level. In a lot of cases you see numbers like 80% quoted by experts on the subject. If the objective is to hit 99%, you have to re-inspect things a *lot* of times. You also have to do it with different inspectors. They miss the same things each time.

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Old 06-12-2018, 09:41 AM   #14
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
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Things I wish I'd have done differently.
1. What about the hitch, who's adjusting it?
2. I was tired and it was a very long day, what with papers to sign, money to wire, and a walk through. I needed to get home and I shortened the walk through. Bad idea. It was also 90 degrees.
3. Even though I had a previous RV, I assumed I knew something, but there were still things I didn't think of. It's overwhelming.
4. Is there water in the tanks? Is the water heater ready to turn on or bypassed?
5. Show me the propane tanks and explain how they turn on or change over.
6. Flush the toilet. Turn on the water pump. Open the shower faucet.
(It sounds stupid, but the first time I actually used it I didn't know how far I had to turn it to get hot water! Very far!)
7. Show me where the extra stuff is. Does it come with a sewer hose? Water hose? Manual crank for the jack?
8. Bring a DVD and make it play on the TV and speakers. (I've still never done that!)
9. Ask what tire pressure is in the tires.
10. Open and close the awning.
11. Ask "how do I drain the fresh water tank".
12. Make sure the AC works. If 50 amp, make sure both work one at a time.
13. Make sure everything you noticed in the pre-delivery inspection has been addressed. For me it was simple stuff, the window shade pull, a cap on a push button. They had addressed everything.
Mine was a unit off the lot, so I had seen it several times and was confident it didn't leak, and all the doors closed properly.

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