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Old 04-07-2014, 05:31 PM   #1
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Seattle , Washington
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The New Airstream!

Hello Airstream Friends!

It is official: after a five month waiting period, we are finally new Airstream owners! A couple weeks ago, we picked up our new 27' Flying Cloud from the Portland dealership. By the way, every person we have worked with there has been really great. They are a smaller dealership but super friendly and definitely customer oriented.

After a few days getting our feet wet at an RV Park located not too far from the dealership, we were finally ready to haul her back to Seattle. While in Portland, we were initiated into new ownership status by a few glitches resulting in some head-scratching, and then two trips back to the dealership. This back-and-forth provided us with much needed hitching and unhitching practice, so that part was good.

Despite the issues (water leaks and a hitch install issue) bottom line is we are totally smitten with the our new Airstream! Our first time out proved to be both challenging and fun, and we are looking forward to more short trips before taking to the road on some extended adventures.

Two gadgets during this initial break-in period have come in very handy: a point-and-shoot camera with short video capability and two-way radios. These two devices have made life so much easier. We took videos of the problems in action, which I think helped to show the dealership exactly what we were talking about. We also videoed some of the walk-through instructions. Unfortunately we forgot we had brought our camera until Pat, our friendly Airstream walk-through guide, began instructing us on the ins and outs of operating the Zip Dee awnings. At least we managed to get that part on camera! The rest of the instructions are stored somewhere in the memory files, but fortunately there is a briefcase-sized packet full of Airstream manuals and information to help with recall. Needless to say, we have our reading cut out for us.

The two-way radios came in super handy during the hitching and unhitching process. I did not have to run back and forth between my check-point stations and the truck to report whether the turn signals and brake lights were working, etc. We are especially thankful for these since at least half of our hitching and unhitching time, thus far, has been spent in heavy downpour conditions. Talk about a steep learning curve and getting our feet wet! On the bright side, we are quickly becoming adept at this particular task, having been dragged through somewhat rough weather that really tested our abilities, not to mention our patience. Someone here in the forums mentioned that walkie talkies would save a marriage, and I do not think they were kidding

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for the much needed tips, advice, and encouragement thus far! I am sure we will be back with more questions plus a few updates on our adventures.

Happy travels!
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:52 PM   #2
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I see some couples communicating with their cell phones. We use hand signals and shouts. Keep it simple. I get out and decide where I want the back bumper to be. Then i get my wife to stand even with that spot and holler "whoa!" When I get there. I also have a rear view camera on the truck and trailer.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
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Congratulations! I know you'll be happy with a brand new AS. We've been very happy with our "new to us". That first drive home is a great feeling.

We have the walkie-talkie radios too, but I can never get the wife to use hers. She'd rather just talk through the open window. We manage to get the job done without any damage
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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Kent , Washington
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Congratulations on your new Airstream!

I agree with your comment about videos! I made a video of our entire walk-thru, or rather a bunch of mini-videos. Having each "topic" on video sure helped us later. We refer to them often.

As far as the manuals go...I put each manual in a folder with a label. All the folders are back in the bag, and now it's very easy to find a manual when we need it. I use this same system at home and it's worked very well. I basically have a folder for every single thing we purchase. It takes a minute to label a folder and throw everything in there (manual, warranty info, receipt, etc.).

I also downloaded as many pdf manuals as I can find on the internet...for the Airstream, all the appliances, electronics, refrigerator, etc. Having an electronic version of the manuals is a great timesaver as well.

As for a two-way radio...never tried that. You're right, that could come in handy.

Again, congratulations!!
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:47 PM   #5
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
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Thanks for the good wishes!

Love the idea of organizing all those manuals that come with the Airstream and downloading any electronic versions, too. It's good to have everything in order.

The walkie-talkies were especially good to have during bad weather. Cell phones would work great too. My phone decided to die just before our trip, so I am glad we had the backup radios.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:40 AM   #6
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Congrats ...welcome to the tin can family. Curious as to why you went all the way to Portland instead of buying in Seattle?
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mefly2 View Post
Congrats ...welcome to the tin can family. Curious as to why you went all the way to Portland instead of buying in Seattle?
Thanks! We were in the area and stopped by, and they had the exact one we wanted on the lot. Our experience with both dealerships has been great so far. We have had warranty repairs done at both dealerships.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #8
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Congratulations and Welcome to the family! And like all family members, we looooveeee to see pictures!
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:30 AM   #9
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The two-way radios are stress-busting devices. The spotter can stand anywhere and know that they'll be heard. Their relative cost (tiny) is well worth the outlay for us.

Ours have a long range and we tried giving the kids one half went they went exploring; we had reports back about every seventeen seconds so that good idea was quickly forgotten!

I have to admire people's organisation with their manuals. That's all way too sensible for me so when manuals are needed they get tipped out of their bag onto the bed and I hunt for the right one. Disorganised? Moi?
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I see some couples communicating with their cell phones. We use hand signals and shouts. Keep it simple. I get out and decide where I want the back bumper to be. Then i get my wife to stand even with that spot and holler "whoa!" When I get there. I also have a rear view camera on the truck and trailer.
Easier way than yelling whoa and maybe not hearing. Have spotter stand where wants spotted drivers side when at spot raise arm closed fist this means stop it is universal signal for trks. excavating, etc. Bill
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:56 AM   #11
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A raised open palm hand will do it, too...another universal symbol for stop...
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:23 PM   #12
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Congrats!

We have about a month before we pick ours up and we can't wait! Hope you post pictures of your new adventures!
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:35 AM   #13
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We have about a month before we pick ours up and we can't wait! Hope you post pictures of your new adventures!
Very exciting, and congratulations on your new Airstream! Ours is back at the dealership getting some warranty repairs wrapped up. We are planning our first big trip for early June (Oregon Coast), and there will be several smaller nearby trips before that time. Spring is here and we are looking forward to getting out and about. I will post some pics of our adventures. We are newbies ourselves, still much to learn, but feel free to PM me if you have any questions This forum is a great place to ask questions and search for answers. It has helped us quite a bit. Good luck with your new AS!
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:48 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
The two-way radios are stress-busting devices. The spotter can stand anywhere and know that they'll be heard. Their relative cost (tiny) is well worth the outlay for us.

Ours have a long range and we tried giving the kids one half went they went exploring; we had reports back about every seventeen seconds so that good idea was quickly forgotten!

I have to admire people's organisation with their manuals. That's all way too sensible for me so when manuals are needed they get tipped out of their bag onto the bed and I hunt for the right one. Disorganised? Moi?
On the organization of all those manuals... I have to say that becoming an Airstream owner has really forced me to become much more organized. Both my husband and I seem to be enjoying this new level of 'organized chaos' we are experiencing, and I am discovering a latent affinity for binders, accordion files and tote bags!

So far, I really like having the walkie talkies, and especially when visibility is not so great they come in handy. We have so much rain up here in the Pacific Northwest and grey skies too, even in daylight hours visibility can be a challenge sometimes with the weather. They are also kinda fun! Make me feel like a kid again...
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