Our new baby is home and safely tucked away too. Pat made me finish the Christmas Cards before I spent any more time posting things on the forum, so that’s why there was no news earlier this week.
I attached the acceptance checklist I used, which I made based on suggestions from slowolf and others, added a few items specific to the 23 footer, and some things I was wanting to see and do before driving off. When we arrived on Friday, it was set-up with all systems operating and the awning deployed. Our sales person and one of their delivery technicians took us all around the trailer pointing out what everything was and demonstrating how it operates. We then did the same on the inside of the coach. After that, we pulled out the checklist and went over anything that wasn’t covered. There wasn’t much that we didn’t already verify. As far as we could tell, the trailer was defect free. We had been at the dealership about three hours now.
We took a lunch break while they did the hitch and brake controller work on the truck. After lunch, they demonstrated the hitch procedures and set-up the brake controller. After a few more questions, signing the final paperwork, and receiving the Airstream briefcase stuffed full of manuals, we drove off. Two pictures below were taken after we completed the inspections and just before we left the dealer.
I reported on the transits from the dealer to campground to home on SilverGate’s Equal-i-zer thread (see post #90). Bottom line is that I’m very pleased with the performance of the truck-hitch-trailer package. The hitch is noisy though, but I now know that you can lube it and it quiets down. I’ll do that for my next trip.
To get familiar with the trailer, we drove back roads from the dealer to the Kissimmee KOA. That was about a two-hour trip. At the KOA we took a pull-thru site as it was getting late and I wanted to experience backing-up in a little more space without as many eyes on me. We un-hitched, and Pat began moving everything we had in the truck into the trailer, while I did the outside set-up. No problems outside, but getting the inside organized with all our stuff took a while. The 23’ is a little challenged for countertop space. We knew this going in, but moving in and cooking our first meal was a learning experience. We’ll see how we do on our next trip. Finally, a little later than we planned, we popped open the bubbly and enjoyed a nice dinner in our new home away from home. We had rented RV and watched it that night to check out the AV upgrade, and see how not to dump the sewage.
Here are the four minor items we found on our first weekend of use:
1. Airstream didn’t complete caulking the shower door. After the first shower, we discovered a mysterious puddle on the floor, and traced it to a leaking shower door. Fixed that when we got home.
2. There was a screw missing from the door threshold that let the piece rise up from the floor. Fixed that when we got home.
3. There is a trapezoidal shaped piece of felt glued to the doorframe that completes the bug seal when using the screen door. That was not aligned properly. I used a hair dryer to heat it up and soften the glue so that it could be moved into alignment. It’s a little loose now, so I may have to re-glue it in place.
4. The ceiling “oil cans” at the street side rear corner of the rear ceiling vent (only place I found this). This makes the trim ring drop about a half an inch out of alignment with the vent assembly at that corner because it is screwed to the aluminum ceiling. I took the trim off to see if it could be fixed, but there is nothing in that area to take the slack out of the ceiling panels, no frame members, etc. I put this on my warranty list.
One disappointment to a home theater hobbyist like me was that the AV upgrade installs a 19” HDTV. The video from the DVD player however, comes over on an NTSC video (the yellow wire) cable. The DVD player doesn’t have any component or s-video outputs, so it’s a standard definition DVD player. I took the access panel off to look behind the player and encountered a “rat’s nest” of wires and cables. The television manual also says the TV has an HDMI input, but the one in my package only has a blank panel where it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t have an HD receiver, so the only way you can view HDTV is if you install a satellite receiver or cable set top box.
We did get a pretty good quality picture on the television from the DVD, antenna, and cable hook-up. The multi-disk CD player, sub-woofer, FM radio, and remote speakers all performed very nicely.
We spent Saturday reading all the manuals, and making trips to the close by Camping World to pick up things we discovered we needed. If you get a sewer hose in your starter kit, pitch it. The one we got was a cheap 10mil hose that sprung a leak the first time we used it. We replaced it with a good quality 18mil hose from Camping World.
Other than the proximity to camping supply and grocery stores, the other reason we camped in Kissimmee, FL is that we have seasonal passes to Disney World and went there on Saturday to enjoy the lights. We tried to get into Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground, but they were full.
Pack-up and hitch-up on Sunday was without incident. We had a few laughs over how to guide the driver to put the ball under the hitch, and were successful on the third approach. The pull back home was on the Florida toll roads and I-95. Again, everything performed beautifully.
We arrived at home, fixed the few items I mentioned, unloaded, which was much easer than loading, and gave it a clean up. A few of the neighbors came by to have a look, lots of complements. We took a few more pictures, sat in it and enjoyed a beer, and sadly took it to its storage facility.
Our next trip is to the Florida Can Opener Rally in January. We can hardly wait.