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Old 06-30-2015, 09:10 AM   #1
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AHA! Moments: What Have You Learned Lately?

I've been at this for a couple of years now with 12,000 miles and perhaps 300 nights in the trailer. I'm starting to feel more competent but staying aware that there is still much to learn. Here's a current example.

I went to pick up the trailer last night as we're getting ready to spend a week or so at the Oregon Coast. It's 100 degrees here in Central Oregon. At 4,000' it seldom gets to over 90 degrees so we're a little wimpy when it comes to heat. Anyway when I toggled the jack switch to lift the tongue - nothing - the batteries were dead. Very surprising as I have left the trailer for months in the winter with no problems. The heat maybe?

Well, I started with the hand crank, a tedious process that takes forever. Then I had a thought - maybe if I hooked up the umbilical to the TV things would be powered by it. Voila! It worked great. Probably pretty obvious to most of you folks who are much more experienced than me, but I was delighted.

I'm really interested to hear what others have learned in these type of Aha! moments. I'm off to check the fluid level in the batteries.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-30-2015, 10:41 AM   #2
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Here's another one of mine...

When I first got the trailer I thought the awning only extended two notches. I thought it odd that it was so low that the door rubbed on it. I even bought one of the little wheels from ZipDee to mount on top of the door. Only later did I learn that there was a third notch which enabled further extension of the awning.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:16 AM   #3
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When your co-pilot brings something to your attention while they are behind the wheel that you had not noticed.......it's worth a thorough investigation.

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Old 06-30-2015, 11:33 AM   #4
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AHA! Moments: What Have You Learned Lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
Here's another one of mine...

When I first got the trailer I thought the awning only extended two notches. I thought it odd that it was so low that the door rubbed on it. I even bought one of the little wheels from ZipDee to mount on top of the door. Only later did I learn that there was a third notch which enabled further extension of the awning.

Cheers,
John

So far, I've discovered 4 notches in mine - I'm afraid to look for a 5th but the 4 clears the door!

BTW - on a Front Bedroom trailer, the offset (4 on one side, 3 on the other) for rain, dumps the runoff in your outdoor living area since you have to use the 4 next to your door 😳

Haven't had an aha for that yet - but hope to...

Here's one that is obvious now but wasn't 2 years ago. Check side to side level BEFORE unhitching 😃

Great thread, OP!!
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
Here's another one of mine...

When I first got the trailer I thought the awning only extended two notches. I thought it odd that it was so low that the door rubbed on it. I even bought one of the little wheels from ZipDee to mount on top of the door. Only later did I learn that there was a third notch which enabled further extension of the awning.

Cheers,
John
Add me to this list. For our first few trips I thought I was doing it right but something was installed incorrectly. I used a 20 oz. Vitamin Water bottle up under the awning cover to give me that extra inch so we could open the door. One day, with the AS out in front of the house, the wife decides to read the manual (men, of course, never resort to this) and said that
a.) you've got the rafters in the wrong place (rafters? I say. What are the rafters?)
b.) you're not fully extending the rafters. If you did, you could open the door.

(On ours there is an indicator that shows how far you can extend them so I know we have 4 (I think) clicks. I set the front for 4 and the back for 3 so the rain will run off and not puddle.)

So she took me through it step by step and now we are experienced at doing that, at least for this year.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:49 AM   #6
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"Here's one that is obvious now but wasn't 2 years ago. Check side to side level BEFORE unhitching"

I finally learned that the hard way.

Also before unhitching make sure the sewer hoses will reach the ground dump pipe and the power cord will reach the post.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:51 AM   #7
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I just learned about putting the awning in caravan position by watching the video on airstream.com
0 notches. Just deploy the rafter arms and let it roll up. Very quick


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
I've been at this for a couple of years now with 12,000 miles and perhaps 300 nights in the trailer. I'm starting to feel more competent but staying aware that there is still much to learn. Here's a current example.

I went to pick up the trailer last night as we're getting ready to spend a week or so at the Oregon Coast. It's 100 degrees here in Central Oregon. At 4,000' it seldom gets to over 90 degrees so we're a little wimpy when it comes to heat. Anyway when I toggled the jack switch to lift the tongue - nothing - the batteries were dead. Very surprising as I have left the trailer for months in the winter with no problems. The heat maybe?

Well, I started with the hand crank, a tedious process that takes forever. Then I had a thought - maybe if I hooked up the umbilical to the TV things would be powered by it. Voila! It worked great. Probably pretty obvious to most of you folks who are much more experienced than me, but I was delighted.

I'm really interested to hear what others have learned in these type of Aha! moments. I'm off to check the fluid level in the batteries.

Cheers,
John
Great thread! A thought on the dead battery -- perhaps the refrigerator fan came on with the hot weather?
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:22 PM   #9
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I knew something was wrong with the awning the first few times we used it but I knew I was doing it right because it was the EXACT way we were shown by our dealer. At a campground during the middle of the day the awning rolled up a little and I said to myself that there has to be something I am not doing right so I looked up online and for sure I was not pulling out on the top arms to lock them - I felt like such a dummy for a few minutes then all of a sudden I was a genius LOL
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:37 PM   #10
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Patio mat

We stayed in Florida for a month this winder. It was our first long stay anywhere. We had to move several times and it was always just after a rain, so the tarp that I was using, covered with that green outdoor carpeting, was always really wet. The PO had left us a smaller tarp with an open weave, which I used on the street side by the power and water hookups.

The open weave tarp allowed the water to drain through it and would dry out pretty fast when placed in the sun. The brown tarp with green carpet took forever to dry because the tarp held all the rainwater. When it was raining the water always puddled by the door or on the path from the TV to the door.

After the first AS move I placed the open weave tarp in the front third of the trailer, by the door, and kept the brown tarp to the rear. The green carpet went on top and rainwater just went through that and the open weave tarp; no puddles.

For our next long trip I plan on getting the Aero-weave mat, a big one, and leave the brown tarp at home.
Aeroweave Breathable Outdoor Mat - Santa Fe, 7.5' x 20' - Prest-O-Fit 2-3031 - Patio Mats - Camping World
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:43 PM   #11
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On a long awning (mine is 21 or 22 feet) the 4 vs 3 notch won't drain all the water, due to sag in the middle of the fabric. However, 4 vs 2 will still let the door clear on the long awnings and drain completely. Learned that the hard way.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:44 PM   #12
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I had an Aha! moment with mats also. We have a nice open weave one that I found in the Classifieds here. I always used it under the awning and then we had visitors on an outing to a NFS campground and I had the thought to use it under the table and chairs setup for happy hour by the river. Very nice, made it really cozy. So now I've gone ahead and bought another one for under the awning. And you're right - open weave is the only way to go.

Cheers,
John
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:49 PM   #13
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I have two aha, make sure before you open to dump that both grey and black tanks are indeed closed all the way,and when folding up awning, dont get too excited you followed the video correctly and let go of tail and have it wrapped tight into the roll.
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:50 PM   #14
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For multiple AHA moments the value of WD40 cannot be overstated ..... the door latch, door hinges, leveling jacks, sewage valves, piano hinges on the cabinet doors, Hensley stinger (every time you hook up), polishing the stone guards, preventing corrosion on battery terminals ...... and on ..... and on ...... and on ......

Don't leave home without it ......


Jay
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