RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-12-2007, 09:27 PM   #21
3 Rivet Member
2005 16' International CCD
Ogden , Utah
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 221
Lot's of good points here - I took my old 21', and now take my 16', on gravel roads like you describe. Here's a couple more ideas:

1) If you are fussy about some nicks and dings in the front of your A/S, by all means get the extra mudguards, but some stones will inevitable get through. My solution is to use bubble wrap (I buy thinner sheets in rolls, for not too much $$) and packing tape, and cover up all surfaces that I don't want to get dings. Works very well, not expensive (compared to fixing dings in A/S aluminum!), comes off when I get home without leaving residue, etc. If you're not too fussy about some dings, this is not a big deal.

2) If I have ANY doubt about the condition of the gravel roads, about mud holes or ruts & rocks, etc., I drop the trailer off somewhere along the paved road and check things out in the truck before commiting to taking the trailer. Another tip - if you see 'worse' rigs than yours coming out you are probably OK. Or, if people are coming out coated with fresh mud, you have a chance to think twice before going in. A side benefit, if you go all the way to the campground solo, you can stake out your campsite and relax on the drive in with the A/S, knowing in advance you already have your site. A little extra driving, a LOT less stress!

Both of my Airstreams have taken gravel road travel in stride - but be ready to take it slow, especially over the wash board sections, and keep an eye out for faster moving folks and pull over to let them pass.
RDM16CCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 09:30 PM   #22
Rivet Master
Fyrzowt's Avatar
Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,698
Images: 8
So say you are stuck on a two lane road with nowhere to go...is it just impossible to turn say a 21' around?? Can you get it to an angle that you could manuever it unhitch and turn around??...has anybody been there and done that...
Hmmm, Impossible?
Depends on how narrow the road is - it would have to be as wide as your trailer is long, unless you could unhitch, then hang the tail out over the downhill side as you turn it around. But now I would be very nervous getting the wheels that close to the edge.

How you lift a tongue with a 400# tongue weight would be an issue - depends on what tools you have and how creative you can be.

How level is the spot? Would the trailer want to roll away from you as you move it?

How many people do you travel with to assist in above chores?

Impossible is a last resort, but as you can see it would very likely be impossible for most.

Fyrzowt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2007, 11:51 AM   #23
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,497
Images: 1
Originally Posted by Ravialdo
Newbie with a newbie question:

How far 'off-road' can one take an AS? Specificially something like a 19' Bambi? I like to car camp in remote areas, places with a graded dirt road, or old forest service road, and wondering about the accessibility of those places with an AS. I know that the new BaseCamp has an off-road package; however I am looking for something that has 'in-door' plumbing for my wife.
No serious off-roading, mind you. Just dirt roads/logging roads, etc.

Ground clearance must also be considered.

If your axle is ok, then it can be shimmed to raise the trailer.

Andy Rogozinski
Inland RV Center
Corona, CA
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2007, 07:02 PM   #24
Boondocker's Avatar

1968 24' Tradewind
Louisville , earth
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,635
Images: 7
Send a message via Yahoo to Boondocker
Think narrow

Think narrow for this kind of camping is my suggestion, hence, think vintage as the bodies are not as wide. I havent done as much boondocking in this type setting with the Trade Wind yet as I have with the old pop up. However, I think narrow is important for geting into the nicest spots on occasion. Also, a word to the wise, think height while you are on these back woods excersions or you may put a big ole dint/crease into your campers roof from low hanging branches and what not.

Visit my photography page
and the
Favorite camp grounds project map
My Blog

(The artist formerly known as General Disarray)

Boondocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2007, 10:29 AM   #25
Moderator dude
Action's Avatar

1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,755
Images: 13
Going to the rim? Forest service roads? Christopher Creek? As AZflycaster pointed out these are awesome destinations. With good running gear and a narrower trailer the going will be easier. Your wife will appreciate working plumbing, a soft bed and an in door cooking arrangement. Plus it may be easier to set up and break camp. Not always setting up shelter/bed and that kinda of stuff.

1966 Mercury Park Lane 4 DR Breezeway 410 4V, C-6, 2.80 - Streamless.
1966 Lincoln 4 door Convertible 462 4V 1971 Ford LTD Convertible 429 4V Phoenix ~ Yeah it's hot however it's a dry heat!
Action is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007, 06:15 AM   #26
Rivet Master
CanoeStream's Avatar

2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,280
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Foureagles? I'm drooling in anticipation of photos of the move!

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 02:26 PM   #27
Rivet Master
silverback's Avatar
2006 28' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 703
Just what I was looking for!

As usual... Anyhow we are just about the proud owners of our get out of Phoenix in the summer spot. A nice ~1.5 acres at 5700 feet. It's just over 9 miles from the main road and the last 5 miles or so are unpaved. It is a wide well graded road but there is at least one dip into a cement flood drainage and many sections of washboard. I was more concerned about the latter. I didn't want to open the door upon arrival and see overhead cabinets on the floor. We were even contemplating something more rugged then an AS. Now I'm thinking it could be doable. Any specifics on what to tighten, brace and or bungee? My vision had always included the Safari. Anyway we still need to get a spot graded (I'm thinking our very own pull-through or two).
4CU Charter Member
silverback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 04:45 PM   #28
2 Rivet Member
Valhalla2Go's Avatar
1968 26' Overlander
2008 27' Safari FB SE
CHICAGO , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 54

We have taken our 26' 1968 AS and F150 4x4 TV to many off-road boondock camps even with the original (and soon to be replaced) axles and shocks without a glitch. The key is proper loading, hitch set up, and driving technique. Take it easy and keep your eye out for washboards or major ruts/bumps. Our only bad incident was caused by an unseen speed bump on a state park road in Kansas. Saw it too late at 25+mph and the whip lash effect cracked our bathroom sink drain pipe!

The most difficult scenario is entering landscape without an opportunity to turn around and exit. We followed a sign to a campground in NE Arizona last April to find the gate closed with sign "campground closed for season" wiht no chance to turn around. The egress was 1/4 mile in reverse up gravel road with little sun light - yuck!

Patience and Avoidance are the keys. It is well worth the effort
to go where others fear to tread!

Good travels!
Valhalla2Go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 05:24 PM   #29
2 Rivet Member
2007 19' Bambi
Colfax , California
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 45
We spent ten days dragging our new 19' Safari SE around Mojave Preserve. The closet and vanity doors fell off as well as the catch on the privacy panel by TV. All because screws pulled out of pressboard cabs. Hot water heter became misaligned and flame came out of exhaust.
We were never short of water or room for waste, though we took advantage of dump stations & hydraunts whenever we found them. our solar panel has kept the batteries fully charged since we took delivery in March.
A/S Sacto fixed all warranty claims with a smile . . . and we keep going, lovin' our Bambi & Tacoma combo.
clintn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 05:56 PM   #30
Rivet Master
silverback's Avatar
2006 28' Safari SE
Currently Looking...
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 703
hitch adjustments

Several folks commented on hitch adjustments. I believe that means weight distribution. The question is, evenly distributed on trailer and TV wheels or more on the Chevy's big rear leaf springs? The Rock Tamers look like a good investment.
4CU Charter Member
silverback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2007, 06:24 PM   #31
4 Rivet Member
Blu_Hwy_Lady's Avatar
1972 23' Safari
Placitas , New Mexico
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 305
just getting in our driveway is "off-road"

We live at the end of a dirt road and getting Airylle in her parking place requires traversing some pretty uneven and bumpy terrain. We have to use four wheel drive to park her. I would say that's a necessity if you take an AS off the beaten path. That said, we took her about 6 miles up a dirt road to a great campground in Arizona that was on the top of a plateau. The only casualty was the maple syrup bottle. It tipped over and somehow managed to leak even tho' the cap didn't come off....maybe the change in elevation.
Take it slowly and carefully.
Airylle 1972 Safari featured for 5 nanoseconds in the movie Wild Hogs
Blu_Hwy_Lady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2010, 05:50 PM   #32
Airstream Dad
28IntlCCD's Avatar
2008 28' International CCD
Orange County , California
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 14
Blog Entries: 3
We have towed our 28 foot International to Lake Victoria located in Lost Valley in San Diego County twice. To see where we were, click this link. The last 11 miles of the road are quite rough (you can see that if you zoom out). I probably won't do it a third year, but we had fun with the airstream once we got there. The advice to "go slow" is imperative. Especially when it is single lane dirt with tight turns and opposing traffic.
28IntlCCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2010, 06:54 PM   #33
3 Rivet Member
1980 31' Excella II
Drummond Island , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 140
Don't know how tough the new Airstreams are but I grew up reading National Geographic articles and pictures of the great Wally Byam caravans everywhere in the world where the only roads were a bad roads. I have towed over our A/S over some pretty bad roads. Make sure everything that can fall down is down already, keep an eye on the entry door (they like to fly open) and have some protection on the windows and front of the trailer, little rocks flying off of tires put a lot of little dents in aluminum. In my original owners manual it describes how to cut out pieces of cardboard which are attached to the front of the trailer to protect it from flying debris. Looks like heck but better to recycle some beat up cardboard when you are done.
Ahzmyrah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #34
1 Rivet Member
Agoura Hills , California
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 19
In the late 70's my car dealer Dad sold a F-250 4x4 with a 460 and low gears to a recent retiree, the guys plan was to buy a trailer and drive all the way to Artic Ocean over the summer. The guy bought a 30 foot big white box and off he and his wife went. Six weeks later they showed up at the dealership and the old man asked how was your trip, the guy answered, "the truck did fine, the trailer didn't, come on out and take a look." The trailer had four of those big black metal shipping bands cinched around it. The guy told my Dad that on the first day on the gravel road (the one that is famous now from the TV show) they stopped for lunch and realized that not only had the back window fallen out, but the refrigerator had fallen over! And that was only the beginning! The best advice on this thread...drive slow, real slow!
Jager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2010, 12:02 AM   #35
3 Rivet Member
stephenh2's Avatar
1974 31' Sovereign
Tyler , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 124
Originally Posted by Foureagles View Post
On nights when the beer is flowing freely, I even consider raising the suspension on the old gal, then I sober-up and remember the several touchy side hills with thousand-foot drops. Hmmm, button-activated quick-release hitch, or maybe just leave the seatbelt off and be prepared to jump.
Hey man, don't abandon the old girl to the drop. Build in a drag brake that you can drop if she starts sliding.

Sounds like you're in for quite a journey regardless.

Home again in Tyler, Texas
The Rose City
stephenh2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2010, 01:35 PM   #36
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,085
Always a Newbie

How many dents on the towing end of the AS from gravel being tossed up can you tolerate? How many loose screws do you have the time to find where they fell from? How many hinges do you want to adjust after finding a suitable camping spot? How much dust do you want to clean out of the trailer? How much of a tire performance test do you want? Plumbing fixtures coming loose. How many brush and branch marks can you tolerate? Can you change a flat tire, on your side without reading glasses, in a ditch, in a gully, alongside an ant hill, etc. etc..

Do you carry a chain saw, clippers, shovels, sturdy boards for stubborn dry creek crossings, fully pressurized spare tire, fresh water jugs, etc. etc..

Do you have a GPS, quadrangle maps, National Forest map, compass, State Atlas, a note book to note where you have been and are going to, etc. etc..

Other than that, I think the AS will do fine.

After that first year, you will no longer be a Newbie and all of the above will be accepted, repaired and improved. You will become a Rockdocker and not an asphalt hugger boondocker. Nothing... I mean nothing that you learn that first year will be forgotten, but pushed to the limit and then a bit more each year. How I miss that first year... Good luck and whatever happens, good or bad, you will manage to get through it and know you are one of the few that have found a home where no one else dares to travel!
Ray Eklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2010, 01:18 PM   #37
3 Rivet Member
2007 19' Safari SE
Seal Beach , California
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 215
Plan B

As a solution to access 4WD destinations where our Bambi can't follow, we added a Flip-Pac camper shell to our 4WD F-150.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Flip-Pac deployed.jpg
Views:	2434
Size:	67.5 KB
ID:	106992  
"I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In fact, I work only under duress." -Ed Abbey

Jerry & Susan
2007 19' Bambi SE; 2010 Ford F-150 5.4L SuperCrew 4x4 w/ FlipPac camper shell
ESCAPE POD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #38
Rivet Master
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
We have a homestead cabin in Joshua Tree area a couple miles from pavement. It is graded dirt in variable condition. My only recommendation is to go very slow. Not only does it keep the shaking way down, it keeps the dust down too. I get less shaking on the dirt portion than the broken up freeways, but that is due to my snails pace on dirt.

I do have the luxury of only about four miles of dirt round trip so I can afford slow.

tpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2010, 02:46 PM   #39
Rivet Master
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
tpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2010, 07:11 PM   #40
1 Rivet Member
2007 20' Safari SE
Montrose , Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 16
When you do decide to take the plunge and attack some of those enticing gravel and dirt roads, be sure you know how to back up real well. We once hit a spot that we couldn't get our AS across and my husband had to back up almost 1/4 mile to a spot to turn around. That just adds to the adventure. And the memories.
Henny is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Internet on the road Andy R Computers, Internet & Satellite 50 12-20-2008 09:23 PM
Tivo on the road... Andy R Audio, Video & TV 3 04-18-2004 10:57 PM
On the road in VA ALANSD On The Road... 1 06-27-2002 10:51 AM
1985 310 found off road ViewRVs General Motorhome Topics 1 05-27-2002 01:15 PM
Survival supplies On the Road FrankR On The Road... 7 04-19-2002 02:54 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:47 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.