I am also pretty new to the Airstream world, earlier this year I went for a cup of coffee at Starbucks one day and came home with a 24 foot Tradewind that was for sale across the street. I was in the grey area load wise after talking to both the Ford and Airstream companies, with trying to tow it with my 1996 Ford Explorer, but decided to take a chance. Went to Bill's Trailer Hitch in Ventura, got a hitch, wired up and had load levelers installed, a brake controller in the car and they showed me how to do everything including how to hook up the emergency trailer brake.
I found a great place in Los Angeles that does renovations and repairs for the things I couldn't fix before the trip, C&G Trailer Service in Bellflower (800) 662-3790. They got my oven, frig and hot water heater working again, cabinets fixed and checked and greased the axles.
I took it from Ojai, CA up to Montana and back, sometimes only doing about 25 mph up the mountain canyons, but I made it there and back. Every time I stopped, the Airstream campers would come by to say hi and explain to me how everything worked, I was amazed. What a great group!
Plus the forums were a fountain of information on getting things fixed. Just today I received explicit instructions from HowieE which were comprehensible for a single woman with absolutely no experience, on how to remove my catalytic heater so I can send it back to the company for a rebuild.
The down side: Right after I came back from Montana and moved my trailer onto a friend's ranch with extremely steep hills getting in there, the transmission called it quits. My mechanic put it back together, but said, don't pull that trailer with it anymore. So now I have to look for a replacement vehicle.... At least it didn't quit while I was on the Montana trip!
Anyway, get a notebook, start making calls, check the forums, do a shortie test trial to get out the kinks, and yes, I would probably rent a truck to get it out here to save yourself the cost of a transmission repair. Hope that helps, I would like to pay it forward to all the people who helped me!
Good luck, be safe,