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Old 02-03-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
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Thumbs up Satisfaction

We tend to post problems herein. Iíll share one of satisfaction.

Jalan Jalan, our 2011 FC23FB, is approaching two years old. I just put her in storage as we transition to our sailing season, and reflected upon the satisfaction that she has provided. (Boats are regarded as female, Iím not sure about travel trailers).

Weíve truly enjoyed using her for both remote camping and cross-country travels. From her first 17ļ night in Chaco Canyon (yes, we towed our brand new Airstream right into Chaco), to the long haul meandering trips to and from our home in Durango, CO in both summer and winter, she has provided convenient and comfortable accommodation for 21,583 miles and 179 nights. Normally itís been the First Mate and myself, but weíve really enjoyed having our young grandchildren aboard for up to a week at a time.

For the most part the trailer has been trouble free. Of course there have been some equipment failures. The black tank level sensor, range hood switch, radio antenna (it blew away on the highway), and sink side-sprayer were all replaced under warranty. Screws are constantly coming loose. No popped rivets yet, though. No leaks! One brake failure (stuck actuator) and a cracked front rock guard (UFO on I-10) were at my expense. One of the Interstate batteries failed at 14 months. That provided my excuse to install two AGMís.

The original 14Ē Goodyear Marathons have rolled 21,583 miles on blistering interstate highways as well as frozen washboard gravel roads, and have had no issues other than one nail-caused flat. (50 psi inflation, 60 mph towing, rotate and balance every 8-10K). Knock on Rubber!

My best upgrade was the solar. Two 85w panels mounted fore and aft of the AC shroud paired with a BlueSky MPPT controller and two GP24 AGM batteries provide all of the quiet, worry-free 12v that we require. Second best is the padded headboard for reclining in bed. Third is the 12v water pump that I installed behind the fridge exterior access panel that allows me to easily pump from a water jug on the ground, or in the back of the jeep, into the water tank. My least used addition is the Yamaha 2400I generator. Fine machine. Weíve used it three times for AC in June/July and donít carry it at other times.

I hope others enjoy their Airstreams as much as we have.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:17 AM   #2
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Can you post a picture of your "padded headboard"? Thanks
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
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Good to hear!

I haven't experienced any catstrophic problems with the FaN - but did have to attend to two minor leaks before they became catastrophies.

Have weathered this winter w/o any leaks or problems - but am only using it as a crash pad at present.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #4
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Great Post

I enjoyed reading your post JamuJoe. I have been looking for a TT for a while and hope to be able make a purchase this spring or summer. An International 23D is my dream. Thanks for sharing the the details of your first few years.
Was your solar factory installed? If not, who installed it?
Donna
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
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Would you mind elaborating a bit on the drive into Chaco ????? I read mixed reports about the road and it's suitability for AS travels. We might be interested in making the trip the next time out west. Is there any way to get an advance heads up on sites in there when you get there ?????

Thanks, enjoy your travels. And Sailing
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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You're right, Joe & Joan ... we hear more about problems than positive experiences. Human nature, I guess... or maybe it's because everyone's too busy having fun to post.

We will add our voice to those who have had a very positive experience with our 19' 2006 Safari SE. We love it. Yes, we have had minor issues here and there, but nothing extraordinary considering we pull these things down the road at 65 MPH and things get shaken and rattled. Getting our AS has been one of the best moves we have ever made. I can't imagine not having it to enjoy as frequently as we can.

I might add that not only have we enjoyed the Airstream itself, but we have become friends with so many fellow Airstreamers ... some through the 4CU and the Airforums, of course ... but some who we simply happened upon during our travels. You're a great bunch, you Airstreamers!
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #7
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I loved reading your post! Ours is in storage now and were dreaming of streaming this Spring and Summer! We too have have very minor issues with our new to us 2006 19' Bambi CCD and she's been through some rough roads! Very minor issues and mostly do to age and wear and tear, we all tend to post only bad reviews so thanks for your thoughtful post! I agree with TBRich, the people we have had our three years and have met some really great people we now call friends!
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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That was a wonderful post. Our 2007 23' Safari SE is also in storage, and absence makes the heart grow (even) fonder. I'm grateful that we are able to have this fine trailer (and tow vehicle, and vacation time) and are able to enjoy it.

Your post also has me thinking about installing more than the one 95W panel that goes on the trailer in March...

Tom
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
Would you mind elaborating a bit on the drive into Chaco ????? I read mixed reports about the road and it's suitability for AS travels. We might be interested in making the trip the next time out west. Is there any way to get an advance heads up on sites in there when you get there ?????

Thanks, enjoy your travels. And Sailing
Polar - Here's the link to my post on the Chaco trip.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...nhp-76141.html
You can call the ranger there for info on campsites and road conditions.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mutcth View Post
That was a wonderful post. Our 2007 23' Safari SE is also in storage, and absence makes the heart grow (even) fonder. I'm grateful that we are able to have this fine trailer (and tow vehicle, and vacation time) and are able to enjoy it.

Your post also has me thinking about installing more than the one 95W panel that goes on the trailer in March...

Tom
Tom,
My suggestion regarding a second panel would be to try to get as much separation between the panels as possible. That way if a campsite is partially shaded, you have a better chance of one panel catching some sun. I removed our unused TV antenna (just the antenna itself, not the crank mechanism) to install our second panel. Using the newer connectors, it's pretty easy to add panels if your controller is adequate.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JamuJoe View Post
Tom,
My suggestion regarding a second panel would be to try to get as much separation between the panels as possible. That way if a campsite is partially shaded, you have a better chance of one panel catching some sun. I removed our unused TV antenna (just the antenna itself, not the crank mechanism) to install our second panel. Using the newer connectors, it's pretty easy to add panels if your controller is adequate.
Installing solar panels on the roof of an Airstream, creates several good questions.

For a panel to produce maximum, the sun must be direct over it.

That being the case, mounting three panels side by side in the roof, assures a good consistent charging rate. As the sun moves accross the roof, it will at some point provide maximum charging.

Of course, then the trailer must be parked so that the sun rises on one side and sets on the other side, as opposed to end to end.

Andy
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:30 AM   #12
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Nice write up Jamujoe. We don't speak often enough about the good stuff, do we?

A question or two on the tires, and no criticism intended at all, but why do you feel the need to rotate the tires? I can see why on a car where one pair may be the drive wheels but I'm interested to know your reasoning for the Airstream. That 50 psi, how far is that off the posted maximum? I always run mine at about 10 below the max, on the advice of my towing guru, and it seems to work fine for me.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:28 PM   #13
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Andy, You are correct. I've observed the charging current from my panels on my Blue Sky MPPT Controller, and it begins charging as soon as the sun rises, increasing the amps as the sun rises to overhead and then decreasing as the sun moves down horizon (and as the batteries become more fully charged). I added my second 85 watt panel specifically to help counter the tree shading issue. The separation has been beneficial.
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:37 PM   #14
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Nice post!!! I too am curious about tire rotation as we have not yet been advised to do this.
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