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Old 04-24-2012, 11:18 PM   #1
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Walnut Grove , California
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New guy question

My wife is retiring in June and I have already done so. We're purchasing a 2012 Flying Cloud 25 and picking it up next week. Very excited, and I was so pleased to find this site, very nice group of folks. I've wandered about the site, and picked up some good information. However, the Search function has yet to yield the 2 topics I'm most interested in. First, is there a Tips and Tricks for the first time Airstreamer giving practical advice for those of us just starting out? Avoid this, always do that, this helps, that hurts. I realize the best teacher is experience and we're willing to pay our dues, but would like to avoid common pitfalls if possible.
Second, I can't find a basic list of tools and equipment to carry. Logic will dictate most things but are there somethings every Airstream should have?? Thanks in advance, and we can't wait to start.

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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Port Orchard , Washington
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Welcome to the forums.
When you click the search label, there are two search boxes. I have found the second (google) function provides much better results for my searches.


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Old 04-24-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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Walnut Grove , California
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Thanks Ken, I'll try that.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:44 PM   #4
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2005 22' Safari
Gresham , Oregon
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Congratulations on retiring

We are into our 2nd year of retirement and loving it. We bought our A/S just over a year before retirement, and spent that time gearing up for how we would travel. Our biggest factor was safety, so new tires, hensley hitch, tire pressure monitors, etc. As we have made our trips have added things we like and removed what we do not.
One of the biggest piece of advice that many others mention - you will load way more than you will use. Pack sparingly at first - or as I did packed what I thought I couldn't live without. 4 years later and I'm still taking stuff out.
More than anything - enjoy
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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2011 27' FB Flying Cloud
Moschelle , Nova Scotia
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I bought a new 27' Flying Cloud last summer and have found the Newbies' Guide to Airstreaming to be very helpful. If you have a Kindle or an iPhone or iPad with the free Kindle app, you can download it for $8.99. Another helpful book (so far - I'm about 20% in) is Living Large in a Small Tin Can ($2.99) by Sean Michael of the Long, Long Honeymoon website (check it out if you haven't seen it).
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Sean Micheal is also on you tube with his wife . Their channel name is The walk about group. He is a cool guy and Kristy is pretty cool too. Here's a link.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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Perrysburg , Ann Arbor
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Welcome to the Forums and congrats on your new, shiny toy!

There are many threads on tool kits and "always take withs" and I'm pretty sure there are several on "first trip" or "first tow" issues. What I always tell new folks is this:
a.) spend the first night on the dealer's lot if you can. No matter how thorough the walk-through you get, you will forget a bunch of stuff, 'cause there are just a lot of little bits to remember. Also, you may well find a quality issue or two that needs to be taken care of, and that way you can do it right there. And pay special attentnion to hitching and unhitching. It's not hard, but there are certain "must do" items.
b.) then spend a night and a day in your driveway, with a note pad at hand. You can jot down what you need but forgot to put in the A/S the first time ... oh hon, did you put toilet paper in? Where's the can opener? etc.
c.) then and only then, spend a weekend at some nearby nice campground not too far from home. If you could, it would be great to attend a nearby Forums rally. There you will meet a lot of nice folks and get more hints and tips than you would get on your own in two years of solo learning. I went to one of these for my second outing, and a very nice fellow there showed me how to turn on the furnace ... had to remove an exterior panel to find an "on-off" switch that apparently had always been in the "off" position! You won't go wrong doing this.

Finally, take it slow. For your first few trips, make sure you've got lots of extra time to load, hitch up and go, so you get to your destination WELL before dark. Nothing much scarier than the first time you have to back into a narrow, tree-girded site in the dark, with rocks and stumps all over the place and you forget and leave the flashlight at home! You will soon learn all the "secret decoder ring" deals this way ... have fun, and don't forget to grin when you goof! We've all been there!
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Many thanks to one and all, what a great place.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:52 AM   #9
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Sitck around here and you'll learn a lot of stuff. Some of it even may be true!

And I also highly recommend the thread on "your favorite "ooops" stories." It'll tell you a lot of what NOT to do.

Have fun.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:59 AM   #10
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2012 27' FB Classic
Jamestown , Rhode Island
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Congratulations on your new purchase. We bought a 27 FB Classic a year ago. On our first trip from the dealer we seaeched for the lug nut wrench to tighten them as the books say to do. It is not there. You need a 3/4 inch thin wall socket and torque wrench. We also carry a small bottle jack. When you pull into your camping spot, always, always use your wheel chocks.. The trailer moves when it comes off the ball...Enjoy Greg
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:16 AM   #11
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
gresham , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by greybeaard View Post
Many thanks to one and all, what a great place.
I highly recommend that you operate each system and break them out by plumbing/electrical ect.Have fresh water tank full so you can energize elect.heating elem as an example while you are doing your walk thru. Be sure to get instruction on entertainment system.If dealer not familar with system their is a large cheat sheet by airsteam in your manual packets. The ent. system is not intuitive. If you have two tvs check they both work and how. Also,if you have a buzz in your speakers the factory could have left out the ground loop isolater which requires some effort to check.Finally,after you've checked the shore power and equip.that functions on ac .Shut down the power and be sure refer.cycles to propane automatically and all propane appliances are functional.Get instruction on shut off swithes for elec.pluimbing ect. Congratulations and do your walk thru at a pace you are comfortable with.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:32 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum. I too am recently retired and really enjoy getting out to see the sights. Put the Balloon Festival on your list of things to do.

You will figure everything out soon enough but be careful to not over pack. It is very easy to do.

On my old SOB trailer I had trouble with the power tongue jack and had to resort to lifting it with the auxiliary handle. Since I am a bit of a pessimist I was planning on doing the same with my Airstream. I have the handle but realized that you need a small allen wrench to get at the place where the handle goes. Look into this and make sure you have one of these.

Also I carry a deep socket to remove the wheels and a short phillips head screw driver to adjust the stop on my sliding pantry door.

Have fun an enjoy retirement.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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2014 23' FB International
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Wilton , California
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Welcome to the Airforums Greybeaard!

So glad you found us and congrats on your new Airstream! Lots of information here for you to discover and dont hesitate asking again.. someone can always send you a link if its a well rehearsed topic. I would suggest finding a big empty parking lot where you wont be bothered and get aquanted with your rig. Practice backing up.. left and right.. figure out how tight you can turn .. what your load bars do when during that situation.. practice an unhitch and rehitch.. without everyone watching you. The couple hours you spend doing all this might just save you that stressful hurried unknown situation that ultimately causes damage... and make sure to have fun.

Congrats again..

"Old fashioned service on your late model Airstream"
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:54 AM   #14
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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Wonderful....your adventure will be exciting and the minimal frustrations will be resolved if you keep in touch with this group. We have been retired 6 years now. We were 'forced' into retirement when both of us encountered medical issues. No matter, I was past 'retirement age' anyway. We travel vintage...'66 Trade Wind towed with a '71 Buick convertible. We dry camp much of the time in Forest Service and State Parks. We prefer that over full hookup parks EXCEPT at Airstream rallies. Be sure you try such a rally as the are really a lot of fun and you get to meet personally some of the folks here on the forum. We frequent the NorCal spring and fall rallies. Enjoy.
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Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
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