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Old 10-13-2016, 07:58 AM   #1
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Mansfield , Ohio
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Smile Heading out on first trip - any tips?

We finally found a week to take our 25 Flying Cloud on her maiden voyage, heading to Hill Country and perhaps Galveston beach in Texas (we live in the Fort Worth area). Since we are newbie campers and Airstream owners, we're looking for wisdom from you experienced folks. Any tips? What are we forgetting? Make sure we bring ____??
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:52 AM   #2
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Hoses for fw and bw, black tank hose (stinky slinky), leveling blocks of some sort, electrical adapters if you are going to plug in, charged batteries if not and a big tablet to write down all the things you forgot.

Have fun. The first trip is always a learning experience.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:58 AM   #3
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Congratulations! I would recommend taking your time and don't get in a hurry. Always do a walk around before departure to check lights, vents closed, antenna down, windows closed and locked, awning secure, tire pressures, and hitch components properly connected. Have fun and enjoy your first trip!
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:13 AM   #4
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Take your time. Check and double check when you hitch up and un hitch! My wife and I take turns to do our own laps around the rig and compare notes before we set off.

A notepad/note taking device. You will learn a lot on your first trip out, write it all down!

Have fun. Embrace and enjoy your new adventure!

Take pictures, you are going to create some amazing memories, even on your first trip!!!
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Old 10-13-2016, 10:22 AM   #5
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Victoria , British Columbia
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We just got back from our shakedown cruise :

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f516...re-157835.html

We are semi newbies and not the experienced users that you were after. Here are a few things that we learned or remembered from 15 years ago.

Chocks for your wheels. First on and last off when setting up and taking down. I do this every single time, no matter how level the ground is, to build a routine.

Blocks to place under the front jack with about 1" of room when fully retracted to make it as easy as possible to attach and detach the bars on the WDH.

Blocks to place under the stabilising jacks to better distribute the weight. Even with that, you might need an extra half turn or so after the first and second nights.

Some tools and WD40. Spare fuses. Electrical and duct tape. A small level. Good work gloves, especially when dealing with your hitch.

Disposable latex gloves.

At least three flashlights.

All of your instruction manuals.

If you haven't already, watch this : I found it to be really instructive.

Above all, slow down and don't get frustrated. Give yourself plenty of time to set up and tear down. If you have time deadlines, allow yourself 60 minutes to set up and 90 minutes to tear down. You will get much faster than this over time (maybe half as long) but, in my experience, I make many more mistakes when I am rushing than when I am taking my time.

I hope that you have as much fun as we did on our first trip.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:21 AM   #6
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tips:

1) have fun!
2) make sure your stabilizer bars aren't down when hitching/unhitching
3) we leave the propane on while traveling, and we have our fridge set to "gas" when moving. "Auto" setting works too.
4) dump black before grey
5) bring latex gloves for the dump station
6) when backing up, put your hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. To make the trailer go right, move your hand to the right (and vice-versa)
7) don't be in a rush, and don't be afraid to ask for help. RVers are some of the nicest people out there
8) we prefer towing with a 100% full fresh water tank. The weight is down low below the axles and helps reduce the wind blowing it around
9) get a plastic turf "door mat" for wiping your feet before going in and out
10) bring a broom and dust pan
11) be prepared to talk to LOTS of people about your Airstream and give a few tours
12) make sure you have towing mirrors on your tow vehicle
13) don't ride/drag the brakes. Brake with intent. Shift down to control engine speed
14) use your heat pump to save propane
15) don't "lift" the trailer up with your stabilizer jacks. They're just there to keep it from swaying
16) don't use the same hose for fresh water as you do for your black tank flush.
17) Awnings are great if it's raining
18) bring a notepad, you'll make lots of lists of things to do
19) bring business cards/contact info to pass along. You'll meet a lot of really nice people
20) have some more fun. We were all noobs at some points (and some of us still are). Everyone's been there before.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:25 AM   #7
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Send me an email address and I'll forward the checklists we use, plus another as a "sample" from an experienced camper.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #8
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Maiden voyage

When we took ours out the first time , I had planned to read the manuals from cover to cover,,,,I left them In the house as we drove away

A real learning experience for us,,,,5 days no manuals
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #9
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Don't forget the wine
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:41 AM   #10
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Chicago , Arizona
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In hot weather our refrigerator does not stay as cool as I would like it on "gas" alone. I find it helpful to freeze plastic bottles or tupperwares of salt water at home and put them in the freezer compartment. It helps stabilise the fridge temperature.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:45 AM   #11
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I'm a total newbie taking delivery of my new FC 27FB in a couple of weeks. This is very helpful!

Bob662 (or others!), when convenient would you please email me your sample checklists... to jack.k.mcmullen@gmail.com?
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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I take a few "scrap" towels - both bath & hand size - use them to wrap around stuff I don't want bouncing (like glass jars, pots & pans whatever). Also use them to pad the stuff I stick in the sink when on the road. And of course they're handy for wiping stuff. Also keep a couple in the outside storage to wipe down hoses & cords.

I also have several of those small plastic storage containers from the grocery store - amazing what I stick in those (I don't bother with the covers) - toiletries, liquid soap bottles, potatoes, sponges, any kind of smaller stuff that isn't in a drawer. I even use one to keep extra single-serve bottles of juice in the cabinet or under seat. Sometimes I even put leftovers in them.

Double-check all stove knobs at each stop - it's been known to happen that one can get bumped or sideswiped & left on (don't ask, it was our last SOB and the propane detector worked great). Check fridge temp at each stop as well - weird things sometimes happen and darn thing might decide it's not on.

In our 11th year RV'ing - first year with an Airstream - and still taking notes on my phone for the stuff I forgot or new ideas on what to bring.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasterlife View Post
In hot weather our refrigerator does not stay as cool as I would like it on "gas" alone. I find it helpful to freeze plastic bottles or tupperwares of salt water at home and put them in the freezer compartment. It helps stabilise the fridge temperature.
Great idea - I use those blue no-water freezer packs, freeze them at home & put them in the refrigerator compartment as well as freezer if it's really struggling to hold a temp.
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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You should take it out to a local place first for a over night and make sure everything, maybe go with someone to give you few pointers.
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:00 PM   #15
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2005 25' International CCD
Newport , Arkansas
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small Clorox and water spray to disinfect water/ hose connections

I have trouble remembering to crank down antenna and fan covers and to take off awning puller stick from outside hook and stow it in bumper.
get a small trash can for tp( you can set it in shower for travel)... less stuff in the black tank the better !
STOW LOOSE THINGS! They will shift no matter how flat and smooth roads are!
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:05 PM   #16
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Santa Rosa , California
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To add to previous advice:
Start your refrigerator at home a few days before you plan to leave.
Put prefrozen items in the AS freezer to get the fridge colder faster.
If possible, cool other items in your home fridge before transfering to your AS fridge.
Many folks, including me, travel with the refrigerator set to Auto or LP, the propane turned on, and the "Use/Store" button set to "Use" - all necessary for the fridge to run while on the road.
If traveling in a hot zone, pull down all the window sunblock shades while traveling.
If its hot out, I often leave the shower fan vent in the open position, and/or the main (Fantastic?) vents open an inch or two while traveling.
Lock both front door locks while on the move.
Have fun
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Old 10-13-2016, 12:16 PM   #17
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I'm a big fan of Checklists! Never too soon to start making them!

I have a pretty large one for packing to depart on a trip. broken down into categories such as clothing items for me / clothing for my wife, / food items we may want to take from home, maintenance tools & equipt / eintertainment an hobby stuff / etc etc.

I have this n a spreadsheet and can modify it as and when needed.

Each item has a check box. We don't take everything on every trip, so a tick in a box means we have it, an x in a box means we have decided not to take it. There should be no box without either a tick or an x when we are ready to leave, so I can quickly scan the whole list to ensure we have considered everything!


I also have checklists to cover everything I need to take when we go to pick up our trailer from storage to bring it home, also, everything we must do when preparing to leave a campground, and also a winterisation check list.


It sounds a bit over the top, and maybe it is, but the check lists has helped up avoid forgotten items or minor disasters many times, especially as we don't use the trailer too many times in a years and things can be easily forgotten - especially with increasing age and brain cells!

I keep notes and modify the checklists from time to time to keep them up to date to best suit our needs. Easily done as they are on spreadsheets.


If you don't already have any and think it could help, then a lot of the excellent suggestions you have received above could be a good start.


Brian.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:07 PM   #18
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Bob662, thank you for offering your checklist! The site won't let me send you a PM since we're new members
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:08 PM   #19
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That's what our plan was, David and Nancy, but our weekends are always busy so we're going to have to forge ahead and learn on the go!
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:30 PM   #20
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Campground guides in print aren't bad to have on hand either. Since your first trip is staying in Texas, there is a spiral bound guide for the state that you might find in some of the larger RV parts and accessory stores. We got our copy at PPL Motorhomes (Houston location). It divides the state into regions and each section of the book is color-coded to the regions map. Just glance at the printed edge to find the region of interest. This guide covers state, USACE and private facilities. I don't remember the exact title. I'll have dig our copy out of the TV.
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