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Old 10-01-2020, 03:05 PM   #1
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2020 23' International
Evergreen , Colorado
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Shakedown cruise for new International 23FB

My wife and I just arrived at home from an eleven day camping trip, the shakedown cruise for our new 2020 International 23FB. We camped in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. I’ll start off by saying that we had a great time, and we are very happy with the Airstream purchase so far. We slept for ten consecutive nights in the Airstream at campgrounds that included private campgrounds, state parks, a KOA campground, and a winery in the Harvest Hosts network. It was a fun time and a wonderful leaning experience. My 2018 GMC Denali 1500 towed like a champ, even in heavy headwinds and crosswinds across the Badlands of South Dakota. This was serious wind; the kind that blows highway signs over and makes it difficult to open your car door.

I have a few observations, comments and questions for those of you with more experience.

Observations:

- I’m pleased with the overall build quality of the Airstream, but there are a few things that seem odd to me. The first is the wire shelves in the pantry. They don’t lock into place firmly, and every time we set up camp, all the shelves were piled up in the bottom of the pantry and all the food items went all over the place. Is this normal? I have remedied this situation for now with some zip ties to hold the shelves in place, but it seems like a poor design.
- The Airstream website and promotional materials lead one to believe that there are USB ports for charging devices in many locations. I’m stumped by this. The only ones I’ve found are in the bedroom nightstand. There’s one in the locker above the dinette, but it connects to the stereo and doesn’t appear to have enough power to charge an iPhone. What’s up with that? Only two USB ports in the trailer for charging?
- The refrigerator and freezer worked very well! They kept the food cold and the ice frozen on either LP gas or electric power.
- The ZAMP 180 watt solar panels installed on my roof by the dealer seemed to work well. We camped for four days in Custer State Park with no hookups, and we had plenty of power.

Comments:

- The other Airstreamers we met seemed like very friendly people. They were eager to talk and share their experiences.
- Highway towing was very easy. The trailer never felt like it was swaying or bouncing around, even in heavy wind or when we were passed by an eighteen wheeler at high speed. It was very stable overall, and I’m impressed with the design. We did experience some bucking/bouncing of the truck over highway expansion joints in some places, especially Illinois and Wisconsin. That was unpleasant.

Questions:

- When using battery power, how low is “too low” to continue to provide power? On the fourth day of our South Dakota trip, the power meter read 11.4 volts, but everything worked fine. How low can you go before things won’t work?
- When in storage with a 110 volt trickle charger, will setting the battery disconnect switch to “store” prevent the batteries from charging?
- Is it good practice to put some fresh water and a tank deodorizer in the Black tank when storing the unit, or is it better to empty and flush it?

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post and for any thoughts or advice. We’re thrilled to be part of this group.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:36 PM   #2
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1. 11.4 volts is as low as you want to go (probably too low); really 11.6 is better. After that you want to charge them. Remember that wet cell batteries are a little more picky than AGM’s. They thrive best on full charge, and DO NOT like low charge.
2. Turn to “store” mode if using trickle charger.
3. If you are going to use again and it isn’t going to freeze, I put water in the Black tank (4 or 5 gallons) as well as deodorizer. If you are winterizing then I put the antifreeze (gallon) in the black tank after cleaning it. This will keep you seals moist more than anything else. It doesn’t prevent damage to the tank.

Since we are about at the end of the camping season, we may take one more trip with it. But after October 15 in Wisconsin not many campgrounds open and it starts freezing. Just about time to winterize.
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks. We have one more trip planned before winterizing. We camped a couple of nights in Sturgeon Bay in Door County on the most recent trip. It was nice.

My batteries are AGM, so hopefully they’re not any worse for the wear. We were in a really shady campsite In South Dakota, so the solar panels didn’t get much sunlight. The batteries are fully charged now.
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
Thanks. We have one more trip planned before winterizing. We camped a couple of nights in Sturgeon Bay in Door County on the most recent trip. It was nice.

My batteries are AGM, so hopefully they’re not any worse for the wear. We were in a really shady campsite In South Dakota, so the solar panels didn’t get much sunlight. The batteries are fully charged now.
AGM’s are a bit more forgiving.

I grew up in South Dakota. Where did you stay?
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Old 10-01-2020, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
AGM’s are a bit more forgiving.

I grew up in South Dakota. Where did you stay?
We stayed in Custer State Park, at the Center Lake campground. It was great.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:52 AM   #6
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Hi Dennis and “welcome” to the AS family.
One of the fixes for the pantry wire shelves are small zip ties, which you figured out already.

If you have a recessed storage shelf in the dinette, you have 4 USB ports tucked in the top of the shelf. Very easy to miss.

Glad you are enjoying your new AS.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:39 AM   #7
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Welcome. Nice unit. Enjoy the adventure !!
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:45 AM   #8
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Dennis C’s Comments:

- “The other Airstreamers we met seemed like very friendly people. They were eager to talk and share their experiences”.

I think it is time for you to confirm if Airstreamers are friendly! Join a local WBCCI club, get your red trailer number on your trailer, attend some rallies and then make a definitive statement like “Airstreamers are confirmed to be friendly people!

Of course you will need to start flashing your lights and waving your non-driving hand at any Airstreamers you pass on the road, and become “friendly” yourself (joking)!

You are now an expert on towing Airstreams and can share with others how your TV handles the 23’ trailer, along with your WDH/Anti-Sway hitch! Only question some of us have is: “When will you upgrade to a longer AS”?
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:10 AM   #9
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2020 23' International
Evergreen , Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superChop View Post
Dennis C’s Comments:

- “The other Airstreamers we met seemed like very friendly people. They were eager to talk and share their experiences”.

I think it is time for you to confirm if Airstreamers are friendly! Join a local WBCCI club, get your red trailer number on your trailer, attend some rallies and then make a definitive statement like “Airstreamers are confirmed to be friendly people!

Of course you will need to start flashing your lights and waving your non-driving hand at any Airstreamers you pass on the road, and become “friendly” yourself (joking)!

You are now an expert on towing Airstreams and can share with others how your TV handles the 23’ trailer, along with your WDH/Anti-Sway hitch! Only question some of us have is: “When will you upgrade to a longer AS”?
Expert on towing Airstreams? Haha. Hardly. I've got about 1,621 miles of Airstream towing under my belt. It's a continuous learning process!

I've been flashing my lights at other Airstreams when I pass one. Sometimes, they respond, sometimes they don't.

I'm not so sure about a longer Airstream. We like camping in state and national parks, as well as some boondocking. The smaller trailer works well for us. My opinion may change in the future, but right now I'm happy with the 23.
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