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Old 08-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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1952 15' Cruisette
1967 20' Globetrotter
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La Cañada Flintridge , California
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Now what?

After contracting aluminitis at the young age of 10, I have finally bought my first Airstream! I pick her up on Tuesday but other than securing storage, I am petrified and have no idea what to do next? I suppose driving around a big open space is helpful and tackling my fear of backing up would be wise. Do I head off to a lock R. Park so I can figure it all out and have supplies nearby? I am in Los Angeles for goodness sakes! Excited and petrified I will damage my beautiful 2010 19' Ocean Breeze... All tips appreciated!

P.s. just got my Newbies Guide in the mail and voraciously working my way through.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:09 PM   #2
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One time at a rally where folks were giving hints and ideas.... one fellow suggested layout out a garden hose alongside where you want to park your trailer. When backing up keep the trailer straight to the hose and line it up.... keep your eyes on the mirror and follow the hose. Sounded like a good idea to me.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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We run a business and our employees most times pull trailers of various lengths. The first thing we do as employers is teach backing up since that is where most accidents happen. Either to the trailer, tow vehicle or an immovable object...
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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Got it. Learn to back up comes first. I did rent an Airstream before I bought but all of my backing was in wide open spaces and I did pretty good. Later I had reason to rent a small uHaul trailer and I could not back that thing into my driveway for the life of me! Now I am all wigged out.

I will pick up my beautiful Airstream and drive straight to Santa Anita or the Rose Bowl and practice backing up. If you see a crazy woman in a parking lot backing up for no apparent reason...

And I will get a hose!
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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Smaller trailers are often more difficult to back up as they can move so quickly.... Have fun with your new AS!
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:56 PM   #6
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Be carewful of those tight backup turns. You could make it to tight and contact the tow with the towed. If it looks tight...stop. pull forward and then adjust the next backup. These things sneak up on you. My motto is if you say to yourself..."I think I can make it.'.....you can't. Go slow and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #7
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Backing is tricky, easier with experience. You are in LA. Watch turning corners, you need to swing the tow vehicle wide as the trailer will cut the corner shorter than where you steer, hitting curbs etc. Have you noticed the sign on the big tractor-trailer trucks that say "This vehicle makes wide turns"? Applies to all trailers.

Good idea, big parking lot and practice for a while, you'll gain confidence.

doug k
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #8
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I guess that you have had the disease for a long time.

Glad that you got your first Airstream and good luck with it.

There is a lot to learn, but it is lots of fun. Then you will get to pass on your wisdom to another newbie.

Just take your time backing up and get out however often you need to to make sure that you are ok.

I suggest going to an Airstream rally to meet other folks with aluminitus. Those mutually infected love company.

Dan
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:19 PM   #9
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To this day (and I have back a lot of trailers over the years) If thru my mirrors the angle looks to short, put it in park, get out and check your tv to trailer angle, then any obstacles. It may take longer, but its cheaper.
Just take your time and if you get frustrated, pull out, go around and try again.
Once you get the hang of it don't get cocky, then you will dent something. I always tell my employees (and myself) "its like backing up a snake". Just take your time there is no hurry...
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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It gets easier with time and practice; wide open spaces are a good place to start. Personally I found that tips offerred by other well meaning TT owners only served to confuse (it's a me thing) and there was no substitute for just trying. And trying. And trying again. Never be afraid to pull forward and start your back up again - after a deep breath of course!
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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Holy heck I survived! I got to C and G in Bellflower where a few minor items had been taken care of, hitched up, navigated the Los Angeles freeways to the Rose Bowl for towing/backing practice, made it home and parked her in front of my home. Ahhhh...sweet relief. Now to figure out what I need and where to go?

Love my Bambi
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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ummm... you have forgotten pictures! We love pics

Congrats on the new rig
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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Congrats on the new rig, wheres the pics?
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:41 PM   #14
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Congratulations and good on you for towing in LA traffic..... now go to Seattle, Chicago, Boston and NYC and you will be completely fearless... lol
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:47 PM   #15
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I love my AIRSTREAM! I got it all checked out today. Did my best to figure out what was what and am hitting the road tomorrow for my first outing. Yippee!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #16
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I am very excited for you! We pick up our new 16' Sport in two weeks. I have the same fear of backing up. Please keep us posted on the progress of your learning curve. I am wondering what the Newbies package is?
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #17
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"Now to figure out what I need and where to go?"

Come to the SoCal rally in Kernville! It's only a few hours from you. It would be a great time to meet other Airstreamers and get all kinds of helpful tips. See the link at the bottom of my post for all the info. It would be great to see you there.

I love the Ocean Breezes, but don't think I have seen a Bambi model.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
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Congrats on your new Airstream.

Even with all the practice, my camp neighbor help me backing in on my first trip. All the people I meet at campsite are friendly and helpfull. Also, the forum members has been the best resourses.

jonathan
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