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Old 09-30-2015, 09:49 PM   #1
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What's the worst thing ever happened while Airstreaming?

I know we all face difficulties and situations while traveling. Wondering what the good people of AirForums have experienced. Only things that have gone really wrong while traveling in your Airstream.

We all have had something go haywire when traveling. A few years back we went to Florida in our 30' Classic to take our Grandson to LegoLand. On the way we stayed the night in Louisiana and lost our rear air conditioner. Front ran fine but rear just quit working. No problem we thought, we still have one. Got to Florida (it's summer and humid outside) and the front air went that first night. We had experienced some heavy rains on the trip but all breakers were fine. I called Airstream and they told me what to check. I checked everything. Nothing helped. They recommended us taking it in for service. No service close by so we bought some fans and toughed it out. Lucky we were out during the days and the nights were sticky but not too warm. Cut our trip short and made it home after camping a week with no air but we survived and Grandson had a great time. Dealer fixed it the day I took it in. The thermostat wire between the two units had a bad connection. Wire looks like phone cord with those type connectors. They replaced the connections and all was good. They had gotten wet from the rains I think. Never had that problem again!

OK, who is next???
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:09 PM   #2
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I was at Watchman Campground in Zion with our new SOB trailer for Spring Break. We'd camped in it a couple days in the Fall, before winterizing it for Winter. So, we had a little practice.

We pulled into the dump station to fill our fresh water tanks, as there was no water hookup at the sites. I was standing there with the nozzle in the filler hole in the camper.....biding my time......looking at the red rocks in the sunset.....whistling a tune.....waiting for a full tank. A casually looked down the curb, and my eye fell on a similar filler stand. That filler stand said "Potable Water." Now, why would that stand say Potable Water and this one said nothing of the OH $H1T!

We learned how to sanitize tanks that night.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:45 PM   #3
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Here's a guy that had a bad day:

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Old 09-30-2015, 11:59 PM   #4
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In Branson Mo. Had the wheel locks pop out and our 34' rolled down a hill, not just slowly, but at speed.....
Luckily there was a level spot where the drama ended.
Calvin Klein sold a 3 pack that afternoon!
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:43 AM   #5
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In Branson Mo. Had the wheel locks pop out and our 34' rolled down a hill, not just slowly, but at speed.....
Luckily there was a level spot where the drama ended.
Calvin Klein sold a 3 pack that afternoon!
Second time I've heard a story like that - First time as the owner was recounting it - he suddenly slapped himself on the forehead and said "Why didn't I grab the breakaway switch wire?!" He'd grabbed the tongue of his 19' and tried to stop it by digging in his heels. The mental picture was hilarious, especially since his also stopped on a level place.

Paula
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:00 AM   #6
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To enhance the image.....
Wife and I were inside!
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:05 AM   #7
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I have only two stories but will save the better one for later.

Many years ago, when we bought our current trailer from a fine gentleman in Sebring, Florida, I spent about 5 hours testing every system and inspecting most every element of the trailer, including the bearings, to ensure it was ready to be hauled 550 miles home.

Five hours into an eight hour interstate drive we had a flat tire mere yards from an exit. I was able to pull off immediately, make a right hand turn, and drive 100 yards into a tire center - phew, no damage! Distance from loss of pressure to repair, less than a mile.

Within 40 minutes I was back on the road with a new tire (cut side wall). During the stop the technician and I inspected all the remaining tires throughly and chuckled at my good luck at having checked my mirror right as it happened!

An hour later in Georgia, the scenario was repeated but involved a different tire failure. How do you pick up nails on an interstate? This time I spotted the issue a bit late, but before disaster, because we had stopped for fuel when I noticed the bulging sidewall at the pump. My handy ramp let me change to the spare in the station's lot to the amusement of spectators.

Sundown was minutes away and I was facing another 140 miles to my destination so I soldiered on betting that three flats in a day was highly unlikely.

I was right! What a joy to be finally home and only two hours behind schedule due to the two repairs. I slept great and arose enthusiastic about a day of cleaning and trailer prep to ready it for a fun weekend ahead. Imagine my dismay as I walked out of the house, coffee mug in hand, to admire our new acquisition and saw yet another flat tire! This time the issue was the rubber, not metal, stem on the spare had failed! A detail I had missed during my inspection - who mounts that kind of stem on a trailer tire?

My afternoon was spent at the local tire shop. Funny thing, we have been to 42 states, driven tens of thousands of miles, and never had a tire issue in the years since.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by cabinetmaker View Post
I know we all face difficulties and situations while traveling. Wondering what the good people of AirForums have experienced. Only things that have gone really wrong while traveling in your Airstream.
The worst thing that happened wasn't while traveling; it was while my Airstream was parked at home. It happened less than 16 hours after I bought it, in fact. I had brought my Airstream Interstate home from the dealer on a Saturday afternoon, with the intent of heading out Sunday morning for my inaugural camping trip. But then Sunday morning I went out to the Airstream with my first load of gear, only to discover the passenger-side front window broken out, and the Kenwood/Garmin head unit ripped from the dashboard with what was probably a crowbar, tire iron, or big screwdriver. Over $3500 worth of damage, and I hadn't even gotten to use it yet! It took three days to get an insurance adjustor out to look at the damage (it was Christmas weekend), two months for the damage to be repaired and an alarm system installed to prevent a repeat occurrence— I always planned to add an alarm system but the thieves beat me to it. Finally, after yet another month I got time off from work to take my belated inaugural trip, only to find that the water heater had a defective thermostat and I nearly got scalded. But that's another adventure to tell another day.

You know how when you get anything new, you're always paranoid about the first scratch, ding, tear, stain, or whatever damage? Well, that break-in took the "new" right off of my Airstream, so at least I didn't have to worry about getting it messed up anymore!
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:54 AM   #9
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One time, about two hours into a trip, I realized I had left some fresh tuna salad I had made for the trip in the fridge at home.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:59 AM   #10
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I forgot to put the hitch pin on my receiver. As I slowly pulled out of the neighborhood and made a slow left turn the Equalizer head pulled out on a busy side road. Luckily the Equalizer shank is the only part that dragged on the road. The Barker Superjack shaft got bent and the jack head dented the propane cover. Had to use the Tundra's jack to lift it and get it going again.

Don't ever get distracted or in a rush when hitching up.

Kelvin
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:05 AM   #11
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Shortly after buying my 30' AS, I was backing into my drive. I hit my usual "marks" for driveway placement of the parked trailer....problem was I forgot those marks were for my old 22' trailer.

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8' of extra trailer makes a slight difference! Hit the garage door opening overhang.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:18 AM   #12
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I installed a front hitch on my F-150 and used it to position my trailer in a tight driveway. I got an Equalizer hitch with the trailer, so I didn't have to get familiar with the Airstream's hitch details. I already had a hitch shank with what I thought was the right size ball (it's the big one, right?) on it so I was using that to move the trailer. Also to keep excessive load off the front suspension of the truck I bought a tongue jack foot with a wheel.

So I'm moving the trailer fine in the driveway until the truck front end hit a low spot. The caster wheel on the tongue held the trailer up while the truck sank enough for the coupler to pop off of the ball. The trailer then proceeds to roll down the driveway until the coupler hit the bumper leaving a nice dent.
I'm not done yet. I thought I didn't fasten the coupler so it took another incident for me to figure out that there a THREE sizes of hitch balls.

But that's not the worst. When you move a trailer with the front hitch, the combo doesn't steer the same as it does when using the rear hitch. Having put the trailer away with the front hitch, we were leaving for Canopener in January, aleady behind our departure timetable. I backed up, hitched up, and pulled out. Right after I felt a tug and heard a clank, DW yells STOP!!! When i get out to check I discover that the trailer leaned curbside when it came off the levelling blocks. Pulling out at a different angle the bumper had hung on a concrete post. The clang was the curbside end of the bumper hitting the driveway. The tilted trailer caused the upper rear curved panel to scrape on the post. Thanks to Out of Doors Mart for a great looking repair!



Al
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:22 AM   #13
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Years ago in a pop-up camper we were in SC from PA and a hurricane was moving into SC, or so they predicted. We moved out and went up the coast and second night moving north stopped in a little campground in near Chicoteague Park. Had a dinner in the camper due to heavy rains. Went to bed, awoke the next morning and stepped in ankle deep water. Looked outside and the campground was flooded and water rising as we were now in the middle of this now tropical storm. Hooked up our van and moved out and by this time water had filled the camper and almost up to the floor of the Dodge Van. Made it out, got home, dried the camper and used it for two years and traded it in.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:42 AM   #14
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Not as bad as the rest of you - on our first trip boondocking at cracker barrel we could not figure out how to get the water heater to work on propane and ended up getting to take a very cold shower. Turns out there is an issue and keeping the outside access door open to the water heater keeps it running. If I had only known then I would not have been so grumpy all day. Still have not gotten it fixed - plans to go to mother ship in spring to get punch list taken care of.
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