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Old 09-18-2015, 11:00 AM   #1
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First Airstream // Used Final Checklist Before Buying

Howdy Everyone,

Super excited to say that I'm about to purchase my first airstream. I'm currently finalizing plans on a 2013 19' International Signature model. While super excited also still nervous as heck.

I've been reading as much as possible on the forum on what to check for and look at along with key things to do on a final inspection and feel I'm in good shape but if any had any advice or suggestions on top 5 or 10 things to check out that would be great to hear.

The trailer is in the northeast and the dealership has ran it through their pre-certification checklist but again as a soon to be Airstream owner.

Thanks in advance,
Rodney
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:05 AM   #2
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Hi from AZ. . . Welcome to our Forum, from a former Atlantan. You might consider contacting a local Airstreamer to do a walk thru with you PRIOR to writing the check. People willing to do so are listed here on the Forum. . . Good Luck, Craig
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:26 AM   #3
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Is the dealership an AS dealer?

Try to find an Airforums inspector.

Have the dealer set up the trailer as though you will be camping in it. Fridge on, on shore water and power. Check all the plumbing for leaks. Run all the faucets. Hook up the black tank flush and run some water through it. Take the trailer off city water and run the water pump. When the pump has pressurized the system listen to hear if the pump burbs or runs for a split second. This could indicate a leak or pump issue.

Check all the lights, verify the fridge is cold, use a thermometer inside both the fridge and freezer. Run the furnace and AC. Run the stove and oven burners. Turn on the TV and play a DVD to it. Check the antenna works as well as the stereo.

Buy a Sonin moisture meter and probe inside the outside storage compartments and along the perimeter of the floor for moisture. Check for any issues with the vinyl floor. Make sure floor feels solid everywhere including under the dinette.

Check the condition and age of the tires. There is a code on the tires that shows when the tire was manufactured. Check the batteries. Verify there is water in all cells. Check voltage while on shore power (>13v) and while off shore power (>12.6v). Have the dealer check the brake linings and bearings and correct tire pressure.

Check the general condition of the interior and exterior including the roof.

Good luck
Kelvin
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:28 PM   #4
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we had a different situation than yours in that I towed the family trailer to our home after it had been sitting for 30+ years unused. While it has been family owned since new and it was loved and well stored, checked on, and cared for over the years I was also realistic that it would need work to be done before we could use it with confidence.

You have a brand new trailer so your list of things to check will be different but in many ways it is the same. I think KJRitchie has covered it very well.

Here's what I would say that may be helpful as well. First I found a qualified mechanic that knew more about Airstreams than I do or ever will. He checked the trailer out then he and I built three lists - 1) safety items, 2) systems required to live in and enjoy the trailer that, if they don't work, life & health safety is not a factor (like if the refrigerator doesn't work), and 3) cosmetic items inside and out. The mechanic I found did most of the testing and work that needed to be done on the first 2 categories and I've handled the cosmetic items myself. Here is what I learned, take it for what it may be worth:

- Safety items is the shortest list but the most important. Ensure you can tow the trailer safely day and night (check the lights), brakes work, axle(s) are secure, tow hitch is secure and has full integrity on both sides of the ball (check the tow vehicle side thoroughly to be sure it is secure), tires are safe, LP system, electric is working with no obvious overheating signs or odors, and of course the CO2 & smoke alarms have fresh batteries and they work. For me, I don't cut corners on safety items.

Be realistic. A trailer gets bumped around a lot and things come loose. Sometimes things come loose during the short trip home from storage. I guess what we learned is to expect something will either not work or there will be a leak somewhere when you get to your destination. When no problems pop up then it's a great weekend. When an issue does present itself, try not to let it ruin your whole trip. If you are handy then bring the basic hand tools you may need for most anything or situation. If you are not handy or it's a bigger problem than you can solve yourself then know you can call a mobile RV service that will come to most any trailer park and while you wait just unplug the trailer and / or turn off the water source.

I used to fly airplanes and balloons and anyone else that has been or is a pilot you are familiar with checklists. These are widely available online from various sources and I use a standard checklist for departure day, gas & rest area stops, and parking/setup. I can say the checklists have saved me time & money by catching little things before they turn into big things.

Just some ideas that may or may not help - Ken
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Old 09-19-2015, 05:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Guy's.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:37 AM   #6
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Print this out and take with you,

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...8&d=1215128295
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Old 09-19-2015, 11:35 AM   #7
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Michael, I tried the posted url and got an error message: "Page not found". Can you check it out and let me know. Perhaps it is a problem just with my isp. Thanks. rday@zipcon.net
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:22 PM   #8
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Michael was referring to the list referenced in this thread; maybe a moderator has insight as it doesn't load for me either:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f138...ist-43294.html

Here is are other generic lists that covers many bases though not all (like searching for floor rot):

http://www.angelfire.com/trek/buenav...PDI_V113_2.pdf

http://www.rv.org/enc6969.pdf

A list of lists:
Need An RV Checklist?... Here Are All The Best Checklists For RVers | Fun Times Guide to RVing
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Old 09-19-2015, 10:01 PM   #9
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"Seemore" these are great reference Links. Thank you.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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Quick up. Thanks for all the great advice. I flew up to NJ and checked the trailer out and it went great. Super excited about it. I closed the deal and we are picking it up in a couple of weeks an making our way back down through VA, TN, to GA. Thanks for all the help and advice.

Don't be strangers.. as i'm sure I've got so much to learn about Airstreaming!!
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