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Old 09-25-2015, 06:00 PM   #1
Rivet Master

2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 598
New (to me) delivery self-checklist suggestions

Hi everyone,

Well, I am realizing my lifelong dream of owning an Airstream, I will be picking up a 2013 Flying Cloud 19 FB in a couple of weeks. It was purchased late 2012, used twice, and stored in an Aircraft hangar ever since. Unfortunately, I am purchasing it from an estate, the owners lost their lives not long after purchasing it. So it's essentially brand new.

I will be traveling 850 miles to pick it up in Oregon, and then immediately doing a six day maiden voyage/shakedown trip on the Oregon Coast. Though I don't think it's necessary, I will probably head up there next week to do a visual inspection before closing the deal and taking delivery.

I know that a good dealer will do a lengthy walk-through and orientation with a new buyer, or even a used buyer. I won't have the benefit of that, nor will the seller be much help, as he is the brother of the original owner, so not really familiar with the operation of the systems, etc.

I'm studying up as much as I can online on how everything works, but would love to develop a checklist that I can take with me, to both use when I inspect it prior to final purchase, but also to familiarize myself with its basic operations. And I'll learn a lot during our six-day trip as well.

If any of you would like to chime in with suggestions on what to look for as well as any tips/hints on operational items, it would be SO appreciated. I'm quite technically proficient and know I'll figure it all out, but having an organized approach of going through the trailer will be helpful. I'll also be near George Sutton in Eugene, I'm thinking about calling them up to see if (for a fee) they would walk me through it. Would that be worthwhile?

Thanks in advance for any help/hints/tips, and I look forward to getting to know you on these forums, and hopefully see you on the road!

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Old 09-25-2015, 07:36 PM   #2
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AWCHIEF's Avatar
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,283
Images: 33


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:02 PM   #3
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2017 25' Flying Cloud
2015 22' FB Sport
Kansas City , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,166
How exciting.

My advice would be for you to read as much as possible.
Try and find a few AS forum members close to you who you can call/email with any immediate issues.

Also would recommend that you download and print out all of the owners manuals and instructions you can find on the Airstream website for your model and year. It is very helpful to review. And the original copies may be lost once you get to your trailer.

Look at you tube videos on the various components.

And remember on your way back to think of it like a tent, but with fancy features. If one of the fancy features is confusing or not working well, or if this is just too much to learn all at once, then it is OK to just camp in it like a tent until you learn more.

And the #1 advice we got from the dealer at our walk through was this.

Always always have your keys on you so you don't lock yourself out.

We each keep ours on a lanyard around our necks.

And Yes on seeing if the dealer by you will do an inspection and walk through.

Piggy Bank
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Old 09-26-2015, 02:59 PM   #4
Rivet Master

2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 598
Thanks, great advice, and handy checklist. Have a few spare lanyards from ski season passes and hill be assigning one for this task as well!
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:58 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Redmond , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 255
Blog Entries: 2
Be sure to bring a torque wrench capable of checking the required torque on the lug nuts and a tire pressure gauge and pump. Especially given the unknown status of the maintenance and limited usage. My new AS was delivered to me with 10lbs low psi on all 4 tires and several improperly tightened lug nuts. I didn't discover this until the following morning when I was simply familiarizing myself with all the systems. No one will watch out for you as well as you watch out for yourself!
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:07 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Vian , Oklahoma
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 17
Rather than a lanyard for my keys, I loop mine on a small nylon cord through the belt loop on my pants. I make sure it's long enough to reach the door from my pocket. That way I never unloop it until it gets to the next pair of pants!
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:09 PM   #7
Rivet Master

2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 598
Great Idea. I'm actually buying a torque wrench today for another purpose. I was going to borrow one, then thought about it and realized it would be very useful for checking the AS lugs, as well as properly tightening bolts when I wrench on my new (to me) tow vehicle that I installed a hitch on, changing the timing belt, etc. I'm thinking about what will go into a tool kit I'll put together to have with me at all times.
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
Rivet Master

2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 598
Great idea!
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:59 PM   #9
Rivet Master
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 819
Images: 44
If you can arrange for someone in that area from this forum who will do a walk-thru with you that would be a great plus - you will learn a lot - and presuming a deal then the next step would be to arrange for any reputable dealer in the area to check the running gear for you prior to the trip home.

Enjoy your purchase.

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)

"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
(Oscar Wilde)
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:59 AM   #10
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2013 30' International
2016 27' Flying Cloud
Jacksonville , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 3
These would be on any checklist, but given your situation you'll likely have to deal with a dead or at least "damaged" battery, plus tire pressure may be low. If you have a portable air compressor, bring it; or be ready to take it immediately to a gas station for air. The more likely issue will be the battery. You can certainly tow with a poor battery, and even camp with electrical power. The batter-only requirement will be raising the trailer tongue to get it hitched. If the battery is fully dead, consider backing up the tow vehicle close enough to plug in the umbilical cord with the engine idling. Then raise the tongue.

As to a replacement battery, that's a MUCH discussed subject on these excellent forums. To keep it simple: a Group 24 Interstate or Walmart "deep discharge" or marine battery will be the initially cheapest.

Congrats on a new for you Airstream. Happy travels.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:05 AM   #11
4 Rivet Member
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Granbury , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 409
Be sure and check the tires real good. 2012 wasn't yesterday and sitting is hard on tires. Check the valve stems for dry rot. If they are rubber they had some bad china ones a few years ago that don't hold up well. Check the date code on the sidewall of the tires. They could be older than the trailer because of remaining stock at production being used. Check those dates!

I would just replace the tires if it were me. Ever see what a blowout does to the side of a trailer? Not pretty!

Nice find and I know you will love Airstreaming. We sure do! Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:20 PM   #12
Rivet Master
1996 25' Excella
Tillsonburg , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 859
Straight forward simple advice...You won't have the advantage of a dealer walk through, and checking out all the appliances is kind of a non issue at this point, unless that is part of your deal with the current owners... so get it hooked up and check the tire pressures. Pump them up to max as per the sidewall specs. Do a few trial checks on the equalizers to get Trailer and your TV as level as possible. If not perfect at least close. Hopefully the battery will take up a charge so the breakaway will work, but your TV should be able to provide enough current to start charging the house battery a bit.
Check all the lights. You must have turn signals and brakes before pulling out . If you are going to drive a night on the way home you also need the tail lights and clearance lights. Some TVs have separate fuses for the 4-way flashers and the brakes (I know from Dodge Dakota) so make sure you can see brake lights with a foot on the brakes and then do the 4-ways and tail lights.
Run the rig up to about 20 MPH and hit the brakes using the manual override on the controller. Set up the controller do the brakes are coming on hard using the manual override. You can feather the setting as you do some driving.
When the trailer is home you can try out all the equipment. What you can't understand, you can call a friend or take it to a dealer for a check-out.

My advice is do not cheap out on a battery. Get good quality deep cycle (Not Marine duty) battery. If you are OK with going back to your supplier every two or three years OK, but that will not make your camping experience a happy one! A dead battery is a dead battery no matter what the warranty. Check out the threads on batteries on this forum...there is a wide disparity of opinion...I have tried to cheap out.. it doesn't work! Buy a size 27 battery, not 24.

Have have a good unit

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Old 10-03-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
Rivet Master

2014 23' Flying Cloud
Park City , Utah
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 598
Thanks for all the input everybody. The deal is done, I'm an owner

The trailer was used twice and stored in an aircraft hangar, original owners were lost in a small plane crash not long after purchasing it. Sad story. Anyway, the brother of one of the owners is handling the estate. He has gone through and everything is working, batteries are good, etc. I did a thorough FaceTime session last weekend, and it is essentially brand new. So I decided not to even go see it in advance. Heading up to Eugene next Friday to check it out and get the hitch sorted out, etc, then to LA for a wedding...then back to Eugene the following weekend for a Maiden trip on the Oregon Coast, before bringing her home to Park City.

Wish me luck!
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Old 10-03-2015, 01:09 PM   #14
Rivet Master
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 7,035
Bon voyage!

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