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Old 12-05-2022, 04:14 PM   #1
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2023 25' Flying Cloud
Muskegon , MI
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 10
Newbie with questions

Hello
My husband & I recently purchased a 25ft FBT Flying Cloud and we're planning on hitting the road next month, we'll be heading from MI to FL and then west to AZ & OR.
Is there any MUST have/MacGyver tips you'd recommend when traveling? I'm sure there's lots to learn. We're beginners and could use your help!

Thank you & safe travels
Heidi
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Old 12-05-2022, 04:28 PM   #2
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Welcome Aboard...

Cash or good credit.

Duct tape if it's broken, WD 40 if it squeaks, a hammer if it's stuck, JB weld for anything you broke with the hammer, zip-ties for everything not covered by the JBW.

Sweet Streams...Remember, it ain't Roket Sieance.
There is a Home Depot or Wally World almost everywhere.
Relax & enjoy...slow & steady.

Bob
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Old 12-05-2022, 04:59 PM   #3
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2009 25' FB International
2018 27' Globetrotter
Tavares , Florida
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Welcome to the forum Heidi.

Is this a new AS or a used one?

With all the miles you are planning to travel my first thought has to do with tires. How old are they? A must have is everything needed to change a tire and I would strongly suggest a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Many folks seem to like TST.
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Old 12-05-2022, 05:00 PM   #4
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1988 32' Excella
Robbinsville , New Jersey
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Welcome,

While it cuts down travel time per day (especially up north this time of year), it is better to plan to arrive at your destination at least 3 hours before sunset. It doesn't take much to delay you over an hour while on the road for a day. Then when you arrive it usually takes at least 15 minutes to check in, sometimes over 30 minutes. If you get a pull through site it shouldn't take long to get in the site, some back-in sites can take a while, especially when you're new and can be dangerous in the dark (hard to see overhead branches and person guiding you among other things).
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Old 12-05-2022, 05:06 PM   #5
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2020 19' Caravel
Ammon , Idaho
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Some tips are simpler than others. Don't stow soda (pop?) cans in the door of the fridge while driving. On one trip the vibration caused the rail to wear a pin hole in the aluminum. Not a huge mess but inconvenient.
Along those lines, have somebody double check that both the interior and exterior are ready for the road before departure. Some folks will use a checklist.
It would sure be unfortunate to arrive at your destination to find the fridge or pantry door is open with a mess on the floor, or discover in route that the awning was not secured and is flapping in the wind or even gone.
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Old 12-05-2022, 05:06 PM   #6
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2015 23' FB International
2007 19' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
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Welcome!

Assuming you are new to trailering and Airstream, in addition to Bob's suggestions, I would offer the following basics:

1. Safety First! make sure that your trailer and tow vehicle are a good match; tires, axles, bearings, brakes, lug nuts are all inspected, torqued, inflated, etc.; hitch is dialed in and properly installed and adjusted. Know your vehicle and trailer capacities and limitations!

2. Connections and hook-ups: gear to level when stopping, electric plugs with surge suppressor, proper water and sewar hoses and connections. Learn the various electric, plumbing, LP gas systems and how they all work. It's a mobile Municiple District in one package.

3. You will gradually learn through experience what to bring and not bring. Nose around the forum. Years of experiences to draw from. But concentrate on number 1 and 2.

Best and safe and enjoyable travels!
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Old 12-05-2022, 05:43 PM   #7
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2017 28' International
Jim Falls , Wisconsin
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Good suggestions above. My only other suggestion is to realize you can't drive as far and long with the camper in one day. We generally stop every few hours (or less) to get out, walk around, check the camper, etc. And we try not to drive more than 5 or 6 hours at a time. That means 250 to 300 miles per day; depending upon the road.

So what would normally take one day with just a car (no camper) can take 2 days with a camper. Towing will be a bit more exhausting; especially at first. This is not a race. So take it easy.

Have you done a "shake down" run? Go somewhere close for a few days and make sure you understand all the systems.

And one other thing. You are going to be traveling from Michigan in the dead of winter. I would NOT be de-winterized until you get south, and think seriously about staying in motels until you can de-winterize. Your systems will be OK if the temps are in the 30's, but if they get down in the teens and 20's you could freeze everything up. Don't take that risk.
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Old 12-05-2022, 06:01 PM   #8
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2018 22' Sport
Orange , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 549
All good suggestions so far. Make sure you are up to date on the TV and AS maintenance schedules. A short trip or two before a long one would help you get accustomed with your set up. The Airstream web site has some check lists that are handy.
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Old 12-05-2022, 06:04 PM   #9
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Plaistow , New Hampshire
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We do 2 lists, one depart, one arrive.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:02 PM   #10
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Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
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NEVER FAIL…to walk all around the trailer ONE LAST TIME before pulling-out…. looking UP. It’s only a matter of time before you wil forget that TV antenna and the overhead limbs, doorways, power lines, etc. that will rip it right off.

Use a check list and check it before departing and before breaking-camp.

(OK…so you’ve backed the Tow Vehicle (TV) up to the trailer-tongue…and you are REALLY PLEASED to see you actually have the ball exactly beneath the trailer tongue hitch….. and then you begin to crank the tongue-jack to lower the trailer-tongue down onto the ball….. But it doesn’t move!

Then you realize you forgot to raise the stabilizers….. which hopefully are not now damaged from supporting mroe weight than they were designed-for.

Now, how did I come up with that scenario..??
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:27 PM   #11
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2017 28' International
Jim Falls , Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxite View Post
NEVER FAIL…to walk all around the trailer ONE LAST TIME before pulling-out…. looking UP. It’s only a matter of time before you wil forget that TV antenna and the overhead limbs, doorways, power lines, etc. that will rip it right off.

Use a check list and check it before departing and before breaking-camp.

(OK…so you’ve backed the Tow Vehicle (TV) up to the trailer-tongue…and you are REALLY PLEASED to see you actually have the ball exactly beneath the trailer tongue hitch….. and then you begin to crank the tongue-jack to lower the trailer-tongue down onto the ball….. But it doesn’t move!

Then you realize you forgot to raise the stabilizers….. which hopefully are not now damaged from supporting mroe weight than they were designed-for.

Now, how did I come up with that scenario..??
Just about made the same mistake…..Caught it just in time.
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:28 PM   #12
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2017 25' International
West Lake Hills , Texas
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To elaborate on previously mentioned tires…

You didn’t mention the year model of the trailer. It would help forum members to be more precise in their responses if you posted the year and model of your trailer in your profile.

Back to tires…Generally speaking tires on infrequently driven vehicles age out before they wear out. A five-year-old tire is probably at its life’s end or near it. So look at your tires for “DOT”. Near that will be the year and week of the manufacture date of the tire.

If the tires are Goodyear Marathons, replace those China Bombs.

Get the brakes inspected or learn to do if yourself. It is not difficult.
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Old 12-05-2022, 09:22 PM   #13
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2023 25' Flying Cloud
Muskegon , MI
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 10
Sorry I never thought to add the year of our AS & vehicle. We have a 2023 F150 V8 and our AS is also a 2023. We are going to attend a 4 hr class offered by the dealership, so fingers crossed!!! Thank you all for the great tips/info
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Old 12-05-2022, 09:34 PM   #14
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2000 30' Excella
Shelton , CT
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Hello. Keep the Tow Vehicle fueled up, especially out West. Pick your spots pulling in and out of gas stations , and watch the road for patches of black especially at bridges ,big bump coming up
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Old 12-06-2022, 06:59 PM   #15
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2021 27' Globetrotter
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 117
Upgrade your refrigerator door restraints.

Nothing worse than opening the trailer after a long drive to find a pile of spilled food on the floor.

We use this style:
https://a.co/d/g1bHo8a
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Old 12-06-2022, 07:47 PM   #16
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1964 19' Globetrotter
OlyPen , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi Jones View Post
Hello
My husband & I recently purchased a 25ft FBT Flying Cloud and we're planning on hitting the road next month, we'll be heading from MI to FL and then west to AZ & OR.
Is there any MUST have/MacGyver tips you'd recommend when traveling? I'm sure there's lots to learn. We're beginners and could use your help!

Thank you & safe travels
Heidi

Welcome to the board! If this is your first trailer find a big parking lot and practice turning, backing and parking. Do this now.

If you are counting on travel instructions via your phone, get a backup plan; either a gps or maps. There are vast areas of the USA that have no cell coverage.

Consider a long-ish rain slicker... hitching and unhitching in rain is wet business.

After you've been traveling for a few weeks, get rid of the extra stuff you packed for "just in case" but haven't used - you probably don't need it.

Have fun, lean into the adventure
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Old 12-06-2022, 09:06 PM   #17
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
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Congratulations!

Here is my advice:
1-both partners should know how to do every task(or at least how it's done), and the related process, even if you end up (typically) dividing up the jobs between you. This way you are each responsible to double-check the other person. It's all about safety.
2-Talk then act. Before doing something you should both talk out the steps together and both agree on them. If you don't, keep talking. Or look on YouTube or your notes. Most things are logical.
3-When you make a mistake, or something unexpected happens--Always figure out WHY so you can learn and not repeat it. Maybe you need to add something to your check list or process.
4-Try to arrive before it's dark (look it up!), and get gas at the end of the day when you get off the road so you can get up and leave in the morning.
5-The internet has lots of good advice. This site and also the forum sites for your vehicle.
6-If you drink coffee, be sure to have a way to make it only using the cooktop (not electric) like a kettle/pour over, or moka espresso. One of the delights of Airstreaming is pulling over to the side of the road or the parking lot and making breakfast after an early departure.
7-Figure out a way to wear your keys so you don't lock yourself out. We have ours on a lanyard, so can go around our neck, or through belt loop and into pockets. Have an extra set in your vehicle.
8-To plan driving, I find to estimate an "average" speed of 55 mph plus 45 minutes for a small metro (Omaha) and 1.5 hours for a large metro(Denver). This accounts for gas stops, meals, potty breaks. It seems to always work out for us to compute when to leave in the morning to arrive when we want to be someplace. Don't forget time zones.
9-Red Solo Cups-I prep snacks and put in red solo cups in the fridge. Then when we stop we can eat in the Airstream or use the red solo cups in the vehicle cup holders. Great for cheese and crackers, cut up fruit, pasta salad, pepperoni, etc.
10-Ben and Jerry's fits in the freezer. Just Sayin'
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Old 12-06-2022, 09:35 PM   #18
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2017 25' International
West Lake Hills , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piggy Bank View Post
Congratulations!

Here is my advice:
1-both partners should know how to do every task(or at least how it's done), and the related process, even if you end up (typically) dividing up the jobs between you. This way you are each responsible to double-check the other person. It's all about safety.
2-Talk then act. Before doing something you should both talk out the steps together and both agree on them. If you don't, keep talking. Or look on YouTube or your notes. Most things are logical.
3-When you make a mistake, or something unexpected happens--Always figure out WHY so you can learn and not repeat it. Maybe you need to add something to your check list or process.
4-Try to arrive before it's dark (look it up!), and get gas at the end of the day when you get off the road so you can get up and leave in the morning.
5-The internet has lots of good advice. This site and also the forum sites for your vehicle.
6-If you drink coffee, be sure to have a way to make it only using the cooktop (not electric) like a kettle/pour over, or moka espresso. One of the delights of Airstreaming is pulling over to the side of the road or the parking lot and making breakfast after an early departure.
7-Figure out a way to wear your keys so you don't lock yourself out. We have ours on a lanyard, so can go around our neck, or through belt loop and into pockets. Have an extra set in your vehicle.
8-To plan driving, I find to estimate an "average" speed of 55 mph plus 45 minutes for a small metro (Omaha) and 1.5 hours for a large metro(Denver). This accounts for gas stops, meals, potty breaks. It seems to always work out for us to compute when to leave in the morning to arrive when we want to be someplace. Don't forget time zones.
9-Red Solo Cups-I prep snacks and put in red solo cups in the fridge. Then when we stop we can eat in the Airstream or use the red solo cups in the vehicle cup holders. Great for cheese and crackers, cut up fruit, pasta salad, pepperoni, etc.
10-Ben and Jerry's fits in the freezer. Just Sayin'
^ Excellent advice, especially the first three. We've only towed 14K miles. Maybe 40 back-ins. The DW is learning to back in now but is less than thrilled about driving across narrow bridges. (Me too). She'll get there.

Which reminds me...we occasionally hear couples screaming at each other as they back into the campsite. This is an opportunity to enhance your relationship by speaking very softly. Driver inside the truck while the extra eyes stand just outside the driver's or the passenger window. The extra eyes check the backside as needed but never speak from the back of the trailer. Walk to the driver and tell him/her the situation. Keep calm and carry on.
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:11 PM   #19
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2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
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+2 on Piggy Bank’s advice

Piggy Bank nailed it (again) with the advice.

I’d add one thing: Once you start a task, finish it (no matter what). For example, if you started to hook up/disconnect the trailer, do not stop and come back to the task. You’ll inadvertently pick up and miss an important step like hooking up the break-away cable, raising the tongue jack etc. *There are posts on the forum of these happening.

Good luck and welcome to the Airstream Community!
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Old 12-06-2022, 10:17 PM   #20
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2020 23' Flying Cloud
2019 22' Sport
Sebastian , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 1,135
Heidi and Hubby,
Fuses! Especially have one sized for the jack, which is often not included in the assortments, and familiarize yourself with how to replace it. It's easy to blow this fuse if the jack is at the end of its travel and you push the toggle in the wrong direction. (AHIK)
Bungie cords, in assorted sizes, preferably with plastic ends that will not scratch whatever is being fastened down. (For us, it's the closet drawers)
A remote thermometer, so you can check the fridge temps without opening the doors. (Maybe not so critical for the newer compressor style fridges) Ours has two transmitters, one for the freezer and one for the main section. It has enough range to carry the display in the truck cab when on the road.
A stick on outdoor thermometer is nice to know how to dress, and when to disconnect the outside hose when it's cold. Add to the take down checklist, or it will end up on the road!
Outside storage is limited, so I added a snug plywood platform above the propane tanks for chocks and other outside stuff. Wood blocks under the cover cross bar keeps it from tilting. (If one of you is handy...)
I also set a frame storage box from Harbor Freight on top the battery box and secured it with a bike cable and padlock for extra storage and security. (Had to swap the battery box twist closure for a sort of flush lock)
A list of things you want to do along the way. Slow down enough to enjoy the journey!
Many happy travels to you!
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