I was introduced to a 2006 23 foot Safari new off the Dealer's Lot.
The learning curve of how to just TOW was a new experience. Just recall your first experience... We left the Dealership in Denver, Colorado and made a wrong turn into an Apartment Complex, packed parking lot. Our first five minutes of towing an Airstream.
Backing up took some practice, using the mirrors and figuring out everything you remember without a trailer in tow... was WRONG.
Tire pressure. No agreement there, either. I have no clue what the tire pressure was when we left the Dealer. The Goodyear 14 inch C Rated Marathons... did not last long. I did not realize that the 23 foot was the ONLY model with 14 inch wheels. Oh... ???
How to prime the water system. We did not rinse out the fresh water tank on the first trip. That was a mistake. The taste was immediately... bad.
Removing Air from the water lines. No manual for that and never had to do this at home, either.
The Dometic Refrigerator was fine. Until the Ammonia line weld broke and we smelled ammonia... and the refrigerator quit north of Rawlins, Wyoming. A yellow material on the cooling tubing. Food now in melting mode in the freezer and the rest... eat it or lose it, too.
This went on the First Year. We took it to Jackson Center, Ohio and spent Five Days there to get the list of issues... fixed. Kept the 23 foot for 8 Years, after getting everything fixed.
YOU need Experience and Tools owning a trailer. Any kind. Airstream is no different, just more expensive with the same appliances as many other brands.
If you cannot not do:
- Minor 12 volt
wire tinkering...you will soon enough. Batteries to lighting.
- Understand that 12 volt
Batteries are not Flashlight Batteries.
- When screws are on the Floor... they belong somewhere... not loose spares.
- Cabinet hinges are temporary. You need tools, screws and imagination.
- Flat tire... How to get the Axle into the air, remove tire and muscle the spare.
- Leaks. A leak in one spot does not indicate where the water is coming in.
- Dust. You cannot be serious. Coming mostly from under the Refrigerator.
- Small fans to keep the Ammonia performing... outside... buzzing and whirring.
You need Tools. Buying one at TIME and then not needing them for a week or five years... or ever again.
Hand held battery Screw Driver... BEST of ALL tools.
You need to be able take things apart to fix them while parts are scattered across the floor and having EXTRA hardware that was never used.
If you did not have these or any issues... we must have been unique first time owners.
What WERE your First Experiences with your first trailer purchase?
How many tools do you now carry on a trip?
Do you carry extra screws, tape and hardware... just in case?
Did you learn this by doing it, or already been a fixer upper at home?
What and How did you manage to survive that FIRST YEAR? We did. Now... after 15 years and on our third Airstream... have everything. We can repair most problems on the road, as well as others who are staring at a smoking wheel bearing and believe... their Life is over. Right there... Lets hear it.