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Old 11-20-2020, 09:12 PM   #1
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2021 19' Bambi
Hastings , MN
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 2
First trip without any experience

Hi, We just got 2021 Bambi 19cb last week. We don't have any camping experience at all. But we are thinking about a long trip from Minnesota to California as soon as we are ready. But we would like to start with a small trip first, about 2-3 days, so we can learn from our experience. Any recommendations where should we go and how should we start? Do we have to drive down south enough so we can have water, electric and sewage hook-ups?
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:07 PM   #2
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Santa Rosa , California
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Posts: 835
Congrats on your new trailer! Are you storing it at your house? If so, even before heading out on the road you can do an overnight trial run in your own driveway just to familiarize yourself with the various systems and features. Run an extension cord for shore power and either connect to a water source or fill your fresh water tank. The one thing that might be problematic will be sewer unless you have a dump station nearby to empty your black tank.

It's not as exiting as a real camping trip but as a zero experience newbie it might be useful before you hit the road for a short excursion and then the longer journey you're wanting to undertake. It may also reveal any potential problems with your trailer that you can then address before they become real issues.

ďThe thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.Ē
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

"You can't fix stupid...but you can work with it"
-- Wiley Miller

2020 25' Globetrotter Twin
2017 F250 4x4 6.7 max tow Platinum
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:16 PM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Washington , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Congrats on the big adventure. IMO, understand assuming at least ele hook ups are available you'll be fine to at least the mid 20's. Don't be afraid of running prop heat otr. Lots of advice online here re winter travel & camping.

Ex of OR and CA, now in MO, it has some cold moments, but in MO, the lake hasn't frozen yet

Go for it but it and get some camp time for the experience.

Soon is a relative term but think further s than I 70 to pickmake your way west. 70 and north very soon, weather, changes quickly and snow/chain requirements may force you S.

Even I44 to 40 can be surprising in flagstaff at 7100 elevation. Watch weather and be prepared for I-10 WB.

You mayi want to post, at the OTR thread for more timely advice based on specifucs when otr.

Happy trails.

FWIW, our 2 winter xc trips ( dep jan)to key west and nashville started in OR, then bakersfield then EB i40. The 3rd xc trip was sept so we took I90 to maine.

BTW, always call ahead re stops. Generally CG are sometimes closed for winter, privates like koa are generally open. Waste/FW, is fine, use your tank heaters. You may need to top off FW. Lower than high 20's don't connect to CW, but top off the tank at the office.

Btw, we carry a small 12v compressor for winterizing otr and a small 110vac ceramic space heater to he!p keep critical plumbing areas warm. Understanding this processes is critical for winter travel. Lots of threads on winterizing and winter travel.
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:41 AM   #4
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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Get a good campground app like AllStays, which will help you target campgrounds that are open and at least have electricity in winter months.

Much where you are may be already closed til spring, but you won’t know until you look.

Short trips near to home, or driveway camping, are the best way to familiarize yourself with systems.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:42 AM   #5
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2019 22' Sport
2020 23' Flying Cloud
Sebastian , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 280
Wei Dong
You don’t mention your tow vehicle or driving experience. Towing a trailer with dicey road conditions is something to avoid, especially with a strong wind! Don’t use your speed control if you find yourself on a snow covered road.
Towing takes more out of you than solo driving. Don’t plan on averaging 500 miles a day enroute. 300 miles per day is what we shoot for to cover ground, 100 to 200 if that stretch is part of the “memories”. Then again, if you are young and full of energy... but have a backup plan if Mother Nature disagrees.
Happy and safe travels!
(That man in that tiny can)
(Same man, Bigger can)
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:11 AM   #6
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1956 22' Caravanner
Don Pedro Island , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 472
Go to you tube and check out some of the videos...KYD and LOLOHO are some of the better ones.
My Rebuild page : 1956 Caravanner

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Old 11-21-2020, 10:39 AM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 8,959

One very basic issue : Winterization

In order to store your trailer in an un-heated space in the (freezing) winter months, the water system (including the hot water heater) needs to be properly winterized. This involves blowing water out of the system with a compressor and (for most folks) adding RV anti-freeze to the system.

When you take the trailer out of storage, you need to flush out the RV anti-freeze before any of the water systems ( kitchen sink, bath sink, shower, ....) can be used. (or at least used for practical purposes ).

None of this is saying that you *can't* do this, only that there is significant work involved pre and post trip. If it's below freezing when you return, the blowout process needs to be completed before the furnace in the trailer is shut down.

One way around this is to store the trailer in a heated space. Very few of us have that option .... Another work around is to simply not use the water systems when it's cold out.

Fun !!!

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Old 11-21-2020, 11:57 AM   #8
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2004 25' International CCD
Vancouver Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 619
Images: 5
lots of assumptions here!!!

You have a tow vehicle that marries correctly to your AS - you have the correct anti sway/ weight distrbution system - you have the required equipment (wheel chocks, leveling system, hoses, 30amp? electical cable etc. etc. etc...

In other words you are "equipped to go".

If yes, then go slow no need to go over 65MPH, do not take risks with the weather, travel 300 mile or less each day on your first trip to get a feel for your rig. If possible plan ahead with reservations at campsites that provide power and water (might be a challange with freezing temps)

Above all keep positive we have all had our "first" trip ... and have fun, laughter is the best resource.
La Dolce Vita Brick & Mona
We're Married With Airstream
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2013 F-150HD FX4 SuperCrew Lariart (MaxTow) "Red Dragon"
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Old 11-21-2020, 03:16 PM   #9
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2021 19' Caravel
San Diego , California
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 1
Hi Wei:

We're in the same boat! We picked up our first trailer, a 2021 19' Caravel in October.
Obviously, we don't have loads of experience, although one of us had experience towing so that helped. It towed like a dream behind our SUV, by the way.

We took it slow and camped in our driveway first. We tried out every system, including furnace and a/c, to make sure everything was working and that we had a grip on the basics. After we were comfortable with that, we found a campground an hour away with a pull-through space and full hookups to practice dumping. I'm so glad we did because we learned things about ourselves--and about our black tank--on that trip. We had a wonderful time and can't wait to take a longer trip.

Best to you on your Airstream journey!
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:05 PM   #10
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2020 22' Bambi
Bath , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
Blog Entries: 1
On our first camping trip we went with some friends who were long time campers. They showed us the ropes. It was also a short trip of 45 minutes from the house. It took us a year to be fully comfortable and have all the little things that made it easy in our own 2020 Bambi 22”.
Lisa and Greyton
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:57 PM   #11
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Easton , PA
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 106
Best advice as a new camper I received a few years ago was ďUse your rig and run ďthingsí even if you donít need toĒ. In the Spring and Fall I run the AC for a few minutes to keep the system maintained. In the summer before a trip Iíll run the heater to make sure it works. Iíll turn the stove burners on even if we donít plan on cooking inside. On trips Iíll use propane and electric for the fridge and water heater. Etc. etc.

Yes, Iím a bit OCD, but in my experience machines and systems are designed to run and periods of inactivity arenít the best for them. I do the same for my lawn tractor in the winter and my snow thrower in the summer. Iíd rather know if something doesnít work far before I need to use it.
2018 Flying Cloud 27FB
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:37 PM   #12
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2012 Avenue Coach
Corpus Christi , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,534
Thumbs up Way to go!

Originally Posted by CAMP2020 View Post
Hi Wei:

We're in the same boat! We picked up our first trailer, a 2021 19' Caravel in October.
Obviously, we don't have loads of experience, although one of us had experience towing so that helped. It towed like a dream behind our SUV, by the way.

We took it slow and camped in our driveway first. We tried out every system, including furnace and a/c, to make sure everything was working and that we had a grip on the basics. After we were comfortable with that, we found a campground an hour away with a pull-through space and full hookups to practice dumping. I'm so glad we did because we learned things about ourselves--and about our black tank--on that trip. We had a wonderful time and can't wait to take a longer trip.

Best to you on your Airstream journey!
Welcome to the forum Camp2020!

You did it right.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:00 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
​2020 Atlas​
Cleveland , Georgia
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 36
Congrats on your new rig. I wish you well. It is a good idea to take a short trip first before a long one such as Minnesota to California. We just returned from 2.5 month on the road from Georgia to Oregon and back with many stops along the way. There are many campsites with full hookups that you can find on Campendium and other apps including Google (just type "RV campsites in [name of city or town]") and Google will return the names of campsites near the location you specify. You will also find ratings from one to five stars. We usually choose 4- and 5-star campsites with full hookups. You will find them everywhere. If you travel south you may find that campsites in state parks and other interesting places are full on weekends but weekday campsites are probably going to be easy to find. If you stay in the colder regions (like Minnesota) you probably will find many campsites closed for the winter. It might be a good idea to choose campsites where there is 24-hour assistance available if you run into problems.

Some respondents mentioned the tow vehicle. Be sure you are ready to back in to your campsite or, if you are not, you should request a "pull-through" campsite.

Since you will certainly be experiencing cold temperatures, the suggestion to bring a small room heater to plug in to a 110V outlet is a good one. Be sure you have a good 25 foot hose (drinking-water quality) to connect to the water supply, a filter to attach to the spigot, and a 20-25 foot 30-Amp power cord. You should consider getting a surge-protector to put between the power source and your Bambi. For sub-zero camping, you may want to invest in a heated hose or heating tape you wind around your hose.

Oh, one more little thing. Look for the fuse or circuit-breakers in your rig. If there are fuses, you should buy a box of spare fuses to replace any that may blow. You can find them on Amazon.

Good luck on your maiden voyage. I hope you enjoy it.

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Old 11-22-2020, 08:11 PM   #14
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Our first night in our learner trailer 10 years ago was in the dealer's campground next door to the shop. They went over everything with us, then led us to the campground. No problems. The trailer was already winterized, so we couldn't use any water. The next day we took it home and I couldn't get it unhitched! Pulled the hitch out of the car's receiver and went on with the day's many activities. Two days later I backed the car up, put the hitch back in the receiver and figured out what I did wrong. In the spring we loaded up the trailer for the first trip and went by the dealer to get it ready to go. Took them only a few minutes to do that, they filled the water tank, and away we went.

I'm guessing that it is getting pretty cold dere in Many Snow Dere, so I'd second those who suggest you head straight south. I'd suggest US 52 south to Rochester, then US 63 south through Missouri. Pretty good roads and lots to see and do if you are so inclined. Let the weather guide your decisions and call ahead to find stopping places well before you get there. Most Missouri State Parks used to be open in the winter, but no water or restrooms. Same thing for most COE parks.
David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:23 PM   #15
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2016 22' Sport
2018 25' International
Chino Hills , California
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 23
Congratulations !!! Welcome to an amazing community. California coastline wonderful. One of our favorite dry camping BLM land -Free Alabama Hills -lone Pine. 500 westerns movies -200 sci-fi movies were produced there. Also many truck commercials. Worth staying a few days. San Simeon state park just below the Hearst castle also a wonderful experience.
Do check out the Airstream clubs as you travel across the United States. The greater Los Angeles Airstream club. Check out the website for other wonderful places to camp. Highly recommend joining a club in your area. We have learned so much from our fellow Airstreamer’s . Safe travels. Happy Thanksgiving. God bless America.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:23 PM   #16
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2020 25' International
minneapolis , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 119
Images: 1
Hey neighbor, congrats on the Bambi!!! We are planning on heading to California as well sometime during the first week of January....get out of the cold for a couple months! We made our first couple trips close to home, Hayward & Bayfield, WI. Our 3rd trip was a one month excursion all around the Carolina’s. Feel free to reach out, more than happy to share some much recommended necessities or conveniences. I’ll PM my contact info.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:23 PM   #17
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
2018 22' Sport
Carlsbad , California
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Super Brave!

Congrats on your Bambi, that was our first too. My suggestion on your trip is to keep a list of the things that need fixing when you return from your trip while itís still under warranty. We had many ticky-tacky things that needing fixing on the Bambi vs our Flying Cloud. So, keep a list.

We accidentally drained the battery on our tow vehicle because we didnít unhook the electric cable from the Jeep. It could have been the Jeepís fault but we were stuck and thankfully not in a blizzard.

There were questions we had BECAUSE we were on the road and sometimes it was hard to get answers. Not deal breakers questions so we made do. We loved it. Laugh. Get over the little things!

Our first trip was 2 weeks to Bryce Canyon/Zion at the end of Sept where we later got caught in an early snowstorm at Silver Lake (June Lakes). The snow was beautiful but sketchy on the driving. Passes were closed. We had to detour. FYI, there is snow in California.
Plan your route.
Donít speed.
Have a paper map or map book. Sometimes thereís no internet.
Have fun with it.
Good luck!
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:41 PM   #18
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Washington , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,121
Good reminder, here is one i used a lot when living in Eugene.


Depending on your device lots of filters. Much easier on a laptop. I originally found this on a caltrans website, but it is excellent since it gathers all state's Rockies and west into one website.

Tripcheck for OR


Are both very good

Knowing the applicable state chain law is highly recommended. Tickets for non compliance are expensive. L ast comment, weather changes quickly especially at Donner on I80 and Weed/Black Butte/ Dunsmuir on I5
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:36 AM   #19
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Currently Looking...
Jeffeeson , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2
Hello Krikata:
I live in Jefferson, Ga., just down the road from you. Please contact me, as I would like to talk with someone regarding traveling to TX,AZ,& maybe MT next year. I'm a newbee as I bought my 28' 2010 Classic 2 months ago. My cell # 706 372 4288. Thanks, will be glad to meet you @ Creekside Deli & buy your lunch. John Peebles
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:23 AM   #20
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2021 33FB Classic
Cumming , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 85
Weíre in Cumming and would like to join - we want to head West this coming Summer too. Iíve always flown & never driven so any info is appreciated. We should meet up at Top of GA this Spring. I know @Bcc75 just got a sweet International & would come too.
Chas & Cindy
IG: @AnnaBelletheAirstream
2021 Classic 33 FB
2019 RAM 2500 Limited (6.7 Cummins Turbo Diesel)
WBCCI# 8026
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