The first 7000 miles, 70 nights - reflections of a newbie: C). Memory and mistakes
We took delivery in late May of our Flying Cloud 23FB. A few shake down trips locally, then a 50 day, 6,000 mile trip from Toronto to Newfoundland and back. This is what I have learned (so far!) and some reflections that may encourage / inform others contemplating an Airstream.
a) Adjusting jack with stabilizers down. I intend to put a big notice on the jack to remind me.
b) Trying to drive forward with jack still down on lego blocks (our most embarrassing moment!)
Useful memory checks. We started with written checklists, but then I tended to ignore them and go from an unreliable memory. Instead I developed memory checks:
a) 15 items in place for hitch (must be able to check off 15 items when looking at the hitch) - starting from back and moving forward then up. For our set up this was:
2 pins in on torsion bars rear
2 pins in on sway bars rear
2 sway bar levers tightened to right level
2 pins in on sway bars fwd.
2 chains on
7 way in and connected ok - lights come on
Brake release inside TV
Hitch securely locked in place
Tow bar hitch locked in place
Jack raised up above torsion bars and lego blocks put away.
b) Departure sequence: Some Cows Have Cows Behind
Chocks securely in place
Hitch up (15 item check)
Bumper store shut
c) Pre-departure check: FACES & Wheels
2 Fans down
3 Awnings secure
Cooker vent clipped shut
Electrics and hoses away
Sewer valves firm shut, Sewer hose pipe clipped shut
Wheels Lug nuts and tires checked OK
Still learning (apart from everything)
a) Backing up - sometimes it works, sometimes it takes a lot longer…
b) Right balance of brake setting. Even though I had tried the 20 mph process to set the trailer brakes, I experienced a more painful way of dialling it in. After a long downhill run (13% grade, 5km) I noticed trailer brakes were very hot and emitting a distinct smell . TV brake setting was likely too high (8). I then set trailer brake gain to 7 before the next grade of 13% over 4km. The TV brakes got hot and trailer brakes were cool. Now set at 7.5 and we will see how it goes.