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noeljoy 05-01-2017 10:37 PM

Essentials for Setting Up an Airstream
So we just purchased an International 28. We've been camping with a tent trailer for a decade so we have some camping goodies already, but I'd love to hear ideas on essentials for setting up the inside AS. What must I have to get the most out of our AS experience. (I'm thinking of things for the inside, home/living items, etc.)

Thanks so much!

AirstreamCSH 05-02-2017 12:36 AM

We are only 5 months or so ahead of you so the excitement, apprehension and confusion is recent memory. Would strongly advise you to read all these hacks.

Would also advise you to spend about 20 hours (or more) reading threads even for stuff you don't care about. It will all come together in a series of ahha moments.

The easy part is the setup of the interior and it's also the most fun and least concerning as there are no wrong answers and plenty of opportunity to try again and redo. .

noeljoy 05-02-2017 02:07 PM

Thank you so much! I've been spending loads of time on the forums and youtube just trying to soak in info. I'm hoping that it'll give me at least a starting point when we're out on the road and things get crazy. :)

Are you still loving it 5 months in?

Lily&Me 05-02-2017 02:23 PM

If you're going to spend any serious time in your trailer, you want it set up to support everything you do...a small, duplicate home, in my opinion..especially your kitchen and bathroom.

Clothes will come and go, and change by season, but you don't want to try to remember all of your toiletries, all of your kitchen items, set up your trailer to care for you and your needs on the road.

It's just easier than all the carting back and my opinion. :)


dbj216 05-02-2017 02:38 PM

Hi noeljoy: New Airstream and new adventures. I saw your picture on a different thread, nice. Loading your Airstream is easy, just like packing a suitcase. Your kitchen (galley to Airsteamers) and bathroom is like Lily&me said. Just outfit it with what you will need to prepare meals and yourselves. We leave our "Airstream stuff" in the Airstream pretty much all the time.

The big deal is getting towing experience with it. Maybe you have experience hitching and towing a 28', 8000 pound trailer on a curvy mountain road, in the rain, downhill! Driving dynamics change completely once you are hitched up. Backing into a state park campsite can be a challenge even for experienced Airstreamers. Slow and easy is the best way.

Here is a good book for new Airstreamers. You may already subscribe to Airstream Life. We have since 2005 and enjoy every issue. Visit their website and learn all about it. It is very helpful.

There are items you will need that are exclusive to the trailer, not living in it. Examples might be leveling blocks, water hose, sewer hose, lawn chairs, lights for setting up at night in the rain, tools, multi meter, level, jack, outdoor mat in front of the door, etc. Some folks carry enough equipment to rebuild their Airstream on the road.

Airstream Life also has an excellent book on Airstream maintenance which will really teach you a lot about the systems in your new trailer. Order that book too.


FCStreamer 05-02-2017 02:47 PM

I'd focus on making the Airstream your second home. So imagine just picking up your car keys and heading out to your Airstream and you've taken nothing with you.

Do you have what you need?

Basics like tooth brush and tooth paste and toilet paper, clothes, water.

Not so basics, like chips and salsa, Sprite Zero, cookies.

A toaster. And butter. And jelly. And peanut butter.

A pot and a pan. Utensils. Cardboard plates. Cups.

So, it's really up to you and how you live. Keep creature comforts in your Airstream so you minimize what you need to bring with you.

Like spare phone chargers.

That kind of stuff.

m.hony 05-03-2017 11:12 AM

I leave everything in there just like a house with the exception of perishable groceries.
For perishable groceries, I go out to the trailer and turn on the refrigerator the day before travel and put groceries in the refrigerator the day of travel.
Sometimes I don't even bother with that, but plug into shore power at home and leave the refrigerator on.
I also leave the truck 'n' trailer coupled together all the time so when we get ready to go we just go.
I sometimes even fill the truck with gas so we won't have to do that when we start on our trip.
All of this helps with weekend camping trips that start Friday afternoon after work.
Sometimes I bring the truck 'n' trailer to work on Friday so I don't have to back-track to the house before I go. Leave the shop headed to a campground. On those Fridays I take my lunch break in the trailer.

Silver Otter 05-03-2017 11:27 AM

All good advice above, AND keep it simple. In our 6 years on the road we have gradually reduced the amount of STUFF we take along. Unless you're going to the outback, most things you forget can be purchased at the next medium sized town shopping center. Over time you will develop a "rhythm" for packing and loading, and even perhaps at laminated list in the kitchen pantry.

m.hony 05-03-2017 12:02 PM

There are times when we just get out of town and go to the next Walmart or grocery store on the way or the next day after we have had a chance to think about what we need.
If we are going to a remote place for a week we come better prepared/better equipped.

demijac 05-03-2017 12:07 PM

Start With Buying As Little As Possible
The answer to what you need and don't need is different for everybody.
Your own personal experience will lead to what is best for your situation.
A good place to start is with the bare essentials and then add as you go. That way, you won't buy a lot of stuff you don't really need up front and when you do need to add, product reviews for proposed purchases will make alot more sense based on your actual experience-based needs.

For us, the following guidelines have worked well:

1) Invest mainly in things you will use all the time and hopefully, can be used
for multiple purposes. Resist buying things you 'might' need to handle
every possible situation that 'might' happen.

2) Go with the reliable, quality, light weight and compact solution to your
problem whenever possible. Avoid heavy bulky items.

3) Once per year, unpack the entire trailer and permanently remove any
optional things you have not used at least once.

Back to your question, our favorite purchase that we didn't think of in advance was a heated mattress pad with dual controls. It's been a lifesaver on cold nights and has eliminated, in most cases, the need to heat the trailer on cold nights.

Good luck!

MAV 05-03-2017 12:47 PM

Congratulations.....We love our International and spend as much time in it as possible. Like the other treads have said it's the basics like you have in your house. I bought nice melamine dishes at William and Sonoma but just enough for the hubby and myself - 2 dinner plates 2 salad plates ect. We have silverware and all the basic tools in the kitchen. And do use the kitchen it is great to cook in there and the oven works well also.
Our biggest problem has been the coffee maker, but after a year we have finally settled on and Italian Espresso Peculator and it works wonderful and the grounds and water set it on the stove and we have HOT coffee (we boondock alot )
Other than that we bought towel and sheets just for the trailer and they stay in there all the time.
We also bought a floor runner to help keep the floor clean
Happy Adventuring

Jacob D 05-03-2017 12:49 PM

The best principles for inside are KISTS. "Keep It Simple" and "Think Small".
Small jar of jam, mayo, ketchup, toothpaste etc and leave your "Might Needs"at home. No need for crock pots, big cook pots or bulky electric fry pans. Speaking of fry pans, there is nothing that can't be cooked in a regular fry pan on your gas cook top.

Simple clothing which can be layered for comfort. A bulky coat will dominate a small closet but several layers for warmth on a cold morning can be shed a little at a time as the day warms up. Mix and match outfits can easily be changed up from day to day for variety. Most camp grounds and every town have laundromats so no need to carry 20 sets of underwear and socks on a long trip.

You can keep the same clothes in the camper all the time making it easy to get up and go. If you keep a little space open for special things like a suit to wear to a wedding or a formal event of some kind it only takes a few minutes to add them to your closet.

noeljoy 05-04-2017 09:00 AM

Thank you so much for all of your thoughts. We are planning to take a few trips close to home first to get the feel for everything. These suggestions have been so helpful

m.hony 05-04-2017 09:10 AM

Seems like the essentials for an Airstream trailer would be the same as the essentials for a pop-up trailer.

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