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Old 02-23-2007, 05:50 AM   #1
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2004 25' International CCD
Lakewood , Colorado
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New Member/25' International

We just bought a 2004 25 foot International. We're towing it with a Land Rover LR3. I have lots of questions and some experiences and look forward to being part of this community.

We live in Denver, CO. Our first trip was a 75 mile drive to Rocky Mountain National Park last weekend to test it out. It was my first tow of a big trailer, it towed great, no problems.

Weather was cold, we ran the furnace a lot. Camped two nights. Only complaint was the batteries ran low after the second day. It was a good test, lots to learn.

I'll post my questions under new threads.

Steve and Shawn
Denver, Colorado
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:56 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. Sounds like you had a good time on your inaugural trip. The furnace fan is not a dainty eater as far as power consumption. If you want to boondock (camp without being plugged in to 120 volts) a lot, you may want to look into a catalytic heater for your coach.
Most importantly, though, is to have fun.
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:26 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums and congrats on your new Baby! As overlander had stated, your furnace eats batteries for lunch, dinner and breakfast. Sounds like you did have a great time for your first trip put! Catalitic heaters do use almost no battery power at all [only when igniting and that is nothing] but personaly have never been a favorite of mine, but that is personal opinion which is what this forum is all about. We don't always agree on everything together except we love Airstreams. We tote around a little 1000W generator to keep out baterries charged when boondocking. We live quite nicely in our AS while boondocking, no TV, A/C or any of the other stuff. Have fun and welcome to the forum!
J. Rick Cipot
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Old 02-23-2007, 06:35 AM   #4
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Welcome, Steve and Shawn. Glad to hear that you hit the ground running. We have an '05 25 footer and love it. You're really gonna like this Airstream thing, and the Airstream people are great.
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:01 AM   #5
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We have the base 25' SS. It's a great unit...not too small, not too large and I love the dinette and couch.

Do a search to find out of your fridge is falling under the Dometic Recall:

I will admit, I am a bit concerned with you towing a 25' widebody RV with a 113.x size wheel base. Though clearly, the combo looks cool, I'm a bit uneasy, having towed with a short wheelbase and now a longer wheelbase, the same size and weight RV, what might happen in an emerg situation....there were many times when my 118" wheelbase felt like the RV was driving the tow vehicle.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:14 PM   #6
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Lakewood , Colorado
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Wow, first day as a new user and great responses. Exactly what we need and want.

Had never heard of a catalytic heater, I'll do some research on that. We plan on boondocking more than full hookup.

The tow vehicle is the main reason we signed up here. There is little to no information on towing with a Land Rover LR3, the information I did get was conflicting. It has plenty of power, the worry is tongue weight, the automatic suspension and as Silvertwinkie points out, wheel base.

I'll take any feedback, experiences, observations. On this site, is it best to start a new thread for each topic? My immediate areas of need/interest are:

Tow vehicle
Tongue Weight
Battery life
Solar charger
Installing a TV
Dealing with an Airstream dealer for repairs

Steve & Shawn
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:22 PM   #7
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Wow - welcome to the forums. Sounds like a great time in the RM National Park - I've been there and it's one of my favorite places to camp - elk hunting that is . You can begin to find lots of your answers using the SEARCH feature at the top of the page. Loads of answers there. If you have a very specific question - there will be lots of replys for the members. Post pictures please - both to help with questions and because we love to see new Airstreams.

See you on the road.
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:11 PM   #8
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Welcome, and sounds like you're getting a good start enjoying your new rolling home.. You can find lots and lots of data and feelings and opinions using the search tab above, typing in key words of subjects you interested in... You could start threads or search threads, as there are several on each subject you've mentioned above..

That said, herewith some views..
1. Tow Vehicle - Power OK, reliability not sure thing, and many here will tell you wheelbase too short and suspension too soft for the job. Youu shoudl be sure anti-sway and weight distribution hitch are working well, and make your own decisions after doing some towing
2. Tongue Weight - Will be a lot, use WD hitch to spread as much as possible
3. Battery Life - Two Group 24's or 27s will run out of power in ~48 hours running furnace. Switch heating mode or get the little quiet generator if you like places to camp without 110V power
4. Solar is good, won't keep batteries charged for heavy use daliy unless you get really big and efficient panels on roof, and then still might not keep up.
5. Most today with Televisions are getting flat panel LCD or using laptops with TV receiver cards. You can use VESA wall mounts with extra screws since walls are not super solid structurally. We pad and stow ours in side compartment by couch, and hang on industrial picture hook when parked, using small 12V to 110V inverter to drive TV power supply. Those who tow with TV mounted on wall need to reinforce mount and wall...
6. Airstream dealers range from great to not great in service shops. Check with some of members in greater Denver, trying perhaps the "Send Private Message" feature, to get recommendations on good service shops. Most dealers expect to do lots of service and hope to make money at it, and some really believe good service is part of long term success strategy. Those are worth establishing relationship with...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for your comments. Seems like everyone has something that's going to help us. I hope others get something from this as well.

I should probably put all this under a towing thread or Land Rover thread:

The Land Rover manual states "do not use weight distribution". The vehicle has auto-leveling that must get confused with weight distribution systems. Have not tried anti-sway yet.

Tongue weight scares me. The vehicle may be too light duty for the 25 foot International. Again conflicting information from Land Rover. Others have used an LR3, I want to do a few short trips to see how it handles.

We had an old RV before and learned a lot about battery life. Conservation seems to be the key. We were hoping the solar panel would be the answer as well as charging from the vehicle. Neither was the case on this test trip. Temperatures were well into 10-30 degree range, furnace was kept higher than normal to see what it could do. The LP warning signal went off around 3 a.m. the second night, not enough juice to run the fan.

TV: We saw the 2007 models that had a flat panel TV. We're trying to make our new to us Airstream as nice/new looking as possible. It came wired with a 10 disc CD changer/stereo in the front. The Airstream dealer said there is no way to hook up a DVD player and run the sound through the existing speakers. He suggested a TV/DVD combo and just using the TV speakers.

The Denver dealer seems nice enough, but sometimes I feel like they've never seen one before. Example: fixing window seals/questions about rivets... My wife asked how much it would be to replace all the shades. They tried to charge us $50 in labor for the estimate, they took that off the bill upon my request.

The flamingoes helped us decide to purchase this paricular Airstream.

We're also having trouble deciding how to discuss our Airstream. We've called it a camper/trailer/Airstream/RV. I use camper when I don't want to brag!
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:47 PM   #10
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There is a thread on Land Rovers as tow vehicles.. Try typing the words "Land rover" and "tow" and "Vehicle" and tongue" into search tab above and see what you can find... Without WD and anti-sway, I feel (note: Not hard data based facts..) you'll be uncomfortable towing at freeway speeds on rough roads and in windy conditions.. Majority view here is that Suburbans or longer trucks (Crew cab pickups) are better tow vehicles for 25' and longer trailers, but many tow with Expeditions, or Tahoe/Yukon, and some even with Tauregs... Hard to combine maneuverability and mileage and comfort with vehicle to pull 7,000# up hills and safely downhills and around corners in all kinds of weather...

Stereo/DVD issue is around stringing wires. Airstream frame has hidden vertical ribs that make it very difficult to snake wires between inner and outer skins. If you are less concerned about cosmetics, you could run wires down along floor edge and splice them into existing speaker wires inside cabinet, but dealer won't offer to do that, probably. Might also find a wireless setup to put DVD signal into stereo, but I haven't seen one..

Many "generator" discussion threads here as well.. Boondockers who can live without A/C usually go for inexpensive Honda EU1000 to keep batteries up during day, folks who want some power for coffee and microwaves will go for EU2000, and those who need Air conditioning buy a pair of EU2000's and connect them together.. They and the Yamaha's (inverter models) are quieter than any other generators on the market. One of members does offer solar service and consulting, and can spec and install cells, which a few boondockers use, but efficiencies are such that few solar installations will drive furnace loads and tv and other appliances without need for some 110V charging from plug-in or generator every other day. There are also threads of those who've changed to LED lamps and catalytic heaters and use very little electricity, and can stay "off the grid" for up to 4 or 5 days with solar setups.. Refrigerator fans and defrost system and propane leak detectors are also consuming power usually.

You might try private message to "Shari" (one of moderators who lives in Denver, and is active with WBCCI Airstream owner group and Vintage Airstream Club) to see if she has recommendations for service work.

We switch between Airstream and camper also, depending on audience and probability they'd recognize and appreciate what an Airstream was...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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