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Old 07-05-2020, 10:05 AM   #1
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2018 25' International
PORTLAND , Oregon
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Newbie in PNW heading out--Any Tips/Advice?

Hey there,
Heading out on a roadie to the SW from the PNW to deal with my late fathers belongings. One thing we'll be picking up and bring back is a 25' International. Any tips/advice for a novice? I've pulled before but never anything that big or for as long of a distance. Should be set for tow vehicle with his GMC 2500 HD peecup.
It's stored at an Airstream dealer, but they've told me that they're too busy to be able run me through "the school" when we pick up. Hoping to get at least a cliff's notes version for dummies from them...Any tips, advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:26 AM   #2
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First off.
Do you have a brake controller in your TV?
Do you have a tow package in your TV? A 7 pin receptacle and tow mirrors, equalizer hitch for example.
The receiver hitch on the TV should be at least a class 4, preferably a class 5.
What shape (how old) are the tires and brakes on the trailer?
Do you have a 2 5/16" ball on an adjustable stinger to enable you to get the hitch height right?
Just a few things to think about.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:17 AM   #3
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Altitude- First of all, my deepest condolences on the loss of your father. I must say that I'm disapointed that an Airstream dealer can't help you out. Perhaps someone on this thread will be in your vicinity to help you out or contact the WBCCI chapter nearby. Where in the SW? In the mean time get "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming".(i think on kindle if you dont have time to wait for the book) Lots of good information. Also, YouTube is your friend. Long Long Honeymoon is very informative. They have probably have made a video about anything you can think of.
Driving back I can think of two or three things. Don't be in a hurry. Keep the speed down. I tend to drive between 60 and 65. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the engine brake on the TV. You will be thanking your father for buying that truck when you decend the siskiyous into Ashland. Fueling is always stressful for me. Size a place up and be sure you can get in and out. Flying J's make things easy when they are available. When you overnight on the trip back consider getting a pull through site. It will make things so much easier (unless you already have backing skills)
You can get a copy of th owners manuel at Airstream.com.
Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:52 PM   #4
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Guess I wasn’t thinking. I can give you a walk around of my trailer if you like. It’s eleven years older but much will be the same. I’m near the fairgrounds in Clark County. PM me if you’re interested..
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Old 07-05-2020, 03:31 PM   #5
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Look for an 'Airstream Inspector' (from this site) near the dealership, many are always willing to help out. I'm not sure if Covid would have an impact on willingness but it's worth a try.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
First off.
Do you have a brake controller in your TV?
Do you have a tow package in your TV? A 7 pin receptacle and tow mirrors, equalizer hitch for example.
The receiver hitch on the TV should be at least a class 4, preferably a class 5.
What shape (how old) are the tires and brakes on the trailer?
Do you have a 2 5/16" ball on an adjustable stinger to enable you to get the hitch height right?
Just a few things to think about.
Twinkie,
Thanks. The TV is pretty styled out, think it's got just about every bell and whistle available-tow package - mirrors, alternator, radiator, 7 pin and 4 pin electric adaptors. 2017 GMC Sierra Denali Diesel, etc... Not sure about the hitch, but know he's got sway bars. He was out on the road for a month and returned Oct '19, so all should be good.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woosch View Post
Altitude- First of all, my deepest condolences on the loss of your father. I must say that I'm disapointed that an Airstream dealer can't help you out. Perhaps someone on this thread will be in your vicinity to help you out or contact the WBCCI chapter nearby. Where in the SW? In the mean time get "The Newbies Guide to Airstreaming".(i think on kindle if you dont have time to wait for the book) Lots of good information. Also, YouTube is your friend. Long Long Honeymoon is very informative. They have probably have made a video about anything you can think of.
Driving back I can think of two or three things. Don't be in a hurry. Keep the speed down. I tend to drive between 60 and 65. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the engine brake on the TV. You will be thanking your father for buying that truck when you decend the siskiyous into Ashland. Fueling is always stressful for me. Size a place up and be sure you can get in and out. Flying J's make things easy when they are available. When you overnight on the trip back consider getting a pull through site. It will make things so much easier (unless you already have backing skills)
You can get a copy of th owners manuel at Airstream.com.
Good luck!
Woosch, thank you very much and thanks for offering to walk me around your trailer. We're heading out tomorrow. Taking the scenic way to Taos, NM. Trailer is stored in ABQ at the dealership and guess rv/trailer sales are wayyyy up during this pandemic, so they're booked.
I've downloaded the manual and have gone through it. The service guy said it wasn't filled with anti freeze, they just air flushed lines, so all I need to do is fill up. The battery(ies) should charge while towing from ABQ to Taos, right? We are planning in staying in it on return trip. NM up through CO, into WY through MT and back to OR. Taking the long way...
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:28 PM   #8
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We refuel at Pilot/Flying J’s when we’re on the road, they usually have an RV lane close to the building. They have an app that makes it easy to plan your stops. As far as travel trailers go, Airstreams are pretty easy to tow. Just don’t forget you have a trailer back there (so swing wide/ square off your turns if you know what I mean). Keep your head in the game and you’ll do just fine.

My condolences on the loss of your Dad, mine has been gone fourteen years now and I still miss him every day.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:46 PM   #9
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BTW, I like to do a “walk around” of my rig every time I stop, paying special attention to tires (truck and trailer) and the hitch. I once discovered a trailer tire that was losing air this way and was able to replace it in the rest area instead of the shoulder of the Interstate (before it blew out and damaged the trailer).
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:08 PM   #10
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Thanks. This year has been a bit rough so far... Good points about refueling. Will keep Flying J's in mind. Got to keep exit strategy in mind at all times when stopping!
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
First off.
Do you have a brake controller in your TV?
Do you have a tow package in your TV? A 7 pin receptacle and tow mirrors, equalizer hitch for example.
The receiver hitch on the TV should be at least a class 4, preferably a class 5.
What shape (how old) are the tires and brakes on the trailer?
Do you have a 2 5/16" ball on an adjustable stinger to enable you to get the hitch height right?
Just a few things to think about.
DUHYHHH read the post...he is getting the tow vehicle his father used. Just saying so you can give helpful info or let it go........READ THE POST before YOU POST.
Now if you can contribute helpful insight then add on as they are looking for guidance and help. Just saying you did the typical forum thing where you jump and want to be heard as an alleged expert...
The irony is you do have knowledge to share....but just jumped too soon (I have as well so fair calling each other out for our mistakes).
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:43 AM   #12
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Sorry to hear about your dad.

The one item I would pay special attention to is the batteries. If the trailer has solar your probably ok as they should not have discharged is stored in the light. If the trailer was in storage for an extended period with no charger on the batteries they are most likely toast. Might be cheap insurance to replace before heading out. Also do the basics tire pressures, make sure hooked up correctly, brake controller adjusted. All over Ed in the manual or on YouTube as suggested above
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:01 AM   #13
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See if the dealer would let you stay in the trailer a night. See if you can get power to the trailer. That will give you an indication if the batteries are gone. The dealer can sell you two new batteries for letting you stay. If your Dad hasn't replaced them in 3-4 years, time to buy new ones anyway.

The idea of staying there one night is a good one. Gives you time to get used to the trailer and orient yourself without rushing around. If you cannot stay, find a campground very near your location you can stop.
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Old 07-06-2020, 10:46 AM   #14
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I don't know what they do to the batteries while in storage. Probably best replace now. Good idea about staying at the dealership overnight. See if you find an inspector in the area to help you out. Maybe other dealerships could help you with hitching and the systems.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:00 PM   #15
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Thanks for the tips. We've had an awesome trip down to NM, such beautiful country. The hitch and sway bars have been located. Heading down to Albuquerque to pick up tomorrow. He was out for about 6 weeks in it last fall, think it went to storage mid Oct. It's a good 2.5 hr trip back to Taos, so the batteries should get a good charge. I've been watching you tube and reading the manual I was able to download. Allswell!
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:46 AM   #16
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So sorry for your loss.



Will you have Internet access on the road? Don't be shy about posting at any hour . . . sounds like things are lining up for you. Good suggestions so far . .. one thought . . . minor . . . check the water levels in the battery cells, using safety precautions and distilled water only if needed. If you have AGM or lithium batteries . . . no worries.

FYI this Battery School is a good reference: http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

If the batteries are not 100% up to snuff, your 2.5 hour initial tow may not be enough to restore/repair them, so don't rely on them for the first night or two camping IMO. Get a full hookup site if possible with shore power. The batteries may still be under warranty, and can usually be tested in a store that carries that brand.

Happy trails,
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:35 AM   #17
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The dealer put it on the charger before I got there, to ensure the power jack would work. I got it hitched up and they helped with the sway bars. I checked the battery charge levels on the meter inside the trailer and it read 12.4 after the drive up to Taos. Towed just fine, went up hills, down hills and through the Rio Grande Gorge with no problems. I even got it backed into a spot next to the house we're renting without a spotter. Lots of getting out and sizing up how the sides and back were lining up. Was probably a little painful to watch, but I did it.
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Old 07-21-2020, 05:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altitude View Post
. . .
. . . I checked the battery charge levels on the meter inside the trailer and it read 12.4 after the drive up to Taos.
. . .
Glad the trip went well!

12.4 is a marginal level, and is the low point at which we charge the batteries. See Battery School chart:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
FYI this Battery School is a good reference: http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

If the batteries are not 100% up to snuff, your 2.5 hour initial tow may not be enough to restore/repair them, so don't rely on them for the first night or two camping IMO. Get a full hookup site if possible with shore power. The batteries may still be under warranty, and can usually be tested in a store that carries that brand.
. . .
Good luck,
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