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Old 09-27-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
New Member
2009 19' International
Windermere , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 1
Cool Hi fellow Airstreamers!

I have a 2009 19 ft. Bambi Intl. that I bought 10 years ago b/c I always wanted an Airstream and its all the weight my Toyota Highlander could pull. I've never used it much b/c I was always too busy. Fast forward to now (I'm retired) and everyone seems to be camping, so I'm upgrading my towing vehicle to a 2019 Toyota Sequoia which will come in this week. I look forward to pulling out of the state of FL now and finding cooler weather!

A couple questions for the experts:

Should I transfer my 10 y.o. old Tekonsha braking system from the Highlander before I sell it and if so, who is the best technician to do this?

Has anyone had luck in painting the dark interiors (circa 2009) of an airstream and if so, how? I like the lighter look of the new models and would love to update the look inside.

Finally, any suggestions for learning to back the trailer (add on camera systems for the back of the trailer; on line courses?) My hubby is not retired and I may be going solo!

Thanks for any or all suggestions.
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Old 09-28-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
Trilla the Traveling Tube
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2018 22' Sport
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 160
I am the "hauler" for our 2018 22FB Sport. We have a rear camera on our Sport - it is handy for mostly driving and passing vehicles, but is not a good idea to depend on it for backing. It has been a very long time for me on backing long loads so it has been a work in progress with my hubby re-training me.

Make sure you have good mirrors and make sure you have a good spotter to help! Use terms such as "driver" or "passenger" rather than right or left because right means left and left means right...are brains are hardwired and is a bit tough to get this way of thinking in.
As Fate would have it
2018 GMC Sierra 1500
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Old 09-29-2020, 06:59 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,122
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Hello from Colorado: I recommend you purchase a new brake controller for your new vehicle. Your dealer may have one they recommend for that vehicle, or you can research and select one yourself.

Backing a trailer is an acquired skill, and you can acquire it too. It just takes practice. There are rear view cameras available. I think a spotter, agreed upon hand signals, and practice works just fine.

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Old 09-29-2020, 08:29 PM   #4
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Cape Coral , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 1
Thank you, I love the "driver" and "passenger" rather than right and left! We can benefit from changing the terminology in our backing attempts! We end up using too many words when so few are needed.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:59 AM   #5
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2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,913
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Originally Posted by rburttram View Post
Should I transfer my 10 y.o. old Tekonsha braking system from the Highlander before I sell it and if so, who is the best technician to do this?

Finally, any suggestions for learning to back the trailer (add on camera systems for the back of the trailer; on line courses?) My hubby is not retired and I may be going solo!

Thanks for any or all suggestions.
The Tekonsha controller probably has a plug coming over from the driver side kick plate. It should just unplug and there should be another plug inside the kick plate of the Sequoia. Just mount the new one on the bottom of the dashboard and plug it in. If you go to the Tekonsha website you can probably find more detail. They also have a support section and contact information as well as videos.

For backing up solo I get lined up to where I want to go. I check side and overhead clearances and pace off from the back of the AS to where I want to stop. Then I pace off from the driver's door the same number of paces and put something on the ground so I know I'm getting close. I also have a few small orange cones to guide me for any turns. It's worked so far, no problems.

The problem with cameras is there is no depth perception for clearances. Cameras use a bubble view so everything is distorted, like your right outside mirror.

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE
Most of us don't know exactly what we want, but we're pretty sure we don't have it. -Alfred E. Neuman
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:07 AM   #6
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,425
If your Tekonsha is a Prodigy proportional controller, I would not replace it. Around 2005 I had my Prodigy installed by a "pro" somewhere. About three years later I upgraded from my 4 Runner to a new Tundra. I noticed that the controller just plugged in as Rich described. I simply unplugged it, installed the controller down by my right knee and plugged it in. When I upgraded to a 2017 Tundra I again moved it myself.

In 2017 Toyota went to an in dash controller. It was terrible. It was a timed controller which meant, in my case, little braking unless I stomped on it. Approaching a stop in town I would slowly apply pressure to the pedal and then the tires would lock up. No matter how I adjusted things, the results were the same. I searched and found a bracket that allowed me to mount my old Prodigy in the dash. Even after 16 years, the controller works very well.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:41 AM   #7
1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 173
Welcome rburttram and congratulations! I wanted to comment on backing a trailer. Just do it; find a large spot, use some markers (like cones or plastic pails) and practice. Learn the feel of your vehicle and trailer and get used to it's spacial requirements. I really enjoy putting my trailer exactly where I want it and I'd rather do it by myself than with a spotter. I guess it feels like less pressure. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:29 PM   #8
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,440
Blog Entries: 13
A simple trick that works for me: When backing, put one hand on the bottom of your steering wheel. Where that hand goes, left or right, is the direction the BACK of the trailer will go.

If you are alone and need to back into a site, take your time. Start in, get out and look, go a little farther, get out and look...

Donít let the fact that someone may be waiting to go by stress you and get you to hurry. Take your time! I canít speak for everyone here but the vast majority of us are happy to wait for you to back in safely.
new (usually dirty) Nissan Titan XD (hardly paid for)
Middle-aged Safari SE
Young, lovely bride
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