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Old 01-21-2021, 05:50 PM   #21
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Another option is to read the owners manual before hand. It is available on Airstream's website at
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-Caravel-Owners-Manual.pdf


That along with the Colonial YouTube video should give you a good start on knowing and enjoying you new Airstream


Welcome to the family and see you down the road.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:12 PM   #22
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2021 22' Caravel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcheever View Post
We purchased a Caravel 22FB over the summer which we are hoping to take ownership of in Feb/March. When we were shopping for the trailer here at Airstream Adventures in Seattle we appreciated that our dealer took COVID safety seriously, ie the reps were required to stay outside during the walkthroughs etc.

I know there's usually an extensive orientation when you pick up an Airstream, which we will need because we are total newbs; I'm wondering has anyone on the forum picked up an Airstream from a dealer during this pandemic, and if so how did the dealer handle walking you through the trailer interior? Seems like there are a lot of controls and features on the inside (appliances, drains, water and power systems etc) that we'll have questions about.

I made a New Years resolution to not just figure out the minimal way to tow our trailer from point A to point B but really understand and master every part of it. I've been reading these forums religiously every morning for the past 6 months and have extensive notes to go over during our orientation. This forum has been invaluable, thanks to everyone for sharing knowledge and experiences and hope to see you on the road!
We picked up our airstream in December. They opened all the windows and stood outside of the trailer and did the walk through talking through windows and doors.

It was a long walk through but very useful. We went out on our first trip that same day and another two weeks later. You might consider a trip soon after too since you'll get to use everything you learn right away and it will be easier to remember. Also, fwiw, I recommend picking up the adventure pack and a weight distributing hitch.
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:53 AM   #23
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All very good advice.
We picked up our 23FB in Tampa in June 2020, and the dealer was good about following precautions.
Communicate your concerns in advance. If the dealer’s people care, you’ll feel comfortable. If they don’t, remind them that people check on-line reviews. Your health (and theirs) can’t have a price put on it.
We always loved camping in your part of the country. There are many off the beaten path campgrounds where you can enjoy your trailer without looking over your shoulder. Best to you!
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:16 AM   #24
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

The walk through serves three very important purposes:

1) It's training for you

2) It's you inspecting the vehicle and making a list of fixes

3) It's an *different* individual at their facility inspecting the vehicle and adding to the list.

All three are very important. The first works poorly if you are not there. The second does not work at all if you are watching a video. The only way to be *sure* the third happens is to be with "the guy".

Like it or not, the dealer does a lot of work on an Airstream before you receive it. You can find a few thousand threads here with at least a couple hundred posts each going into that.

When an item is spotted at delivery, a good dealer will fix it immediately (which could mean tomorrow if it's 6 pm at the end of the walk through). Many dealers have a pretty significant wait time for service. Getting this or that done a month or two later also would involve hauling the trailer back to the dealer.

Lots of reasons for an in person walk through.

Bob
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:21 AM   #25
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Evergreen , Colorado
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I agree with the comments above. We picked up our 2020 International in September. COVID-19 was on a downward trend at that point, but it was still present. The Airstream dealership cleaned and sanitized the interior of the trailer prior to our walk through, and they locked it up so nobody could enter it and potentially contaminate it. I did the walk through with a dealership employee, and my wife didn't attend. We wore masks and tried to socially distance. it worked fine. I found the process to be useful.

One thing that you will find is that you will likely know more about your trailer than the dealership employee, especially if they sell other brands in addition to Airstream. I think you'll find that Airstream Owner's Manuals are good, but not great. They omit some details that would be helpful, they occasionally have errors or information that applies to some trailers in the range, but not all trailers. All the research and videos that you've watched really go a long way in terms of your Airstream knowledge. I think the real value comes in learning proper hitching procedures for your trailer, getting your WDH setup properly, etc.

My wife and I camped our first night at the dealership, and we found that to be helpful. We had some questions and minor repairs and adjustments to be made the next morning.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:51 AM   #26
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Fullerton , California
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Picked up two weeks ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcheever View Post
I'm wondering has anyone on the forum picked up an Airstream from a dealer during this pandemic, and if so how did the dealer handle walking you through the trailer interior?

We picked up our Caravel 16rb two weeks ago (1/8/21). We also are newbs. Both the tech and I were masked during the entire walk through, and I shot video when needed. He presented the same information as covered on YouTube videos by Colonial and DFW, with a few little tidbits thrown in during our discussion. I was comfortable with the exterior stuff, inside more ackward considering covid. Breathing the same air is easily enough to catch covid. You cannot be too careful around people outside of your immediate home. How do I know? We waited four months for our trailer. My wife was not feeling well the morning of our walk through, so I went by myself. Three days later, we were both sick with covid (felt like a bad cold with a fever). We are just now over covid symptoms resulting from having a family member come into our home. It could have been at the dealer, I could have given it to the tech, but in our case it was a family member that brought it to us.

So, unless you've had covid or been fully vaccinated, I would now strongly recommend staying outside of the trailer and watch and listen through the door or a window, YOU CAN'T BE TOO SAFE. I did not learn anything about the inside mechanics that hasn't been covered in videos, or I could see from outside (bathroom maybe not, but there isn't much there really), or you can easily figure out on your own... or read the manual, or ask on this forum. If you want a lot of detailed info, the walk through isn't going to provide it. You can ask your questions and discuss from a distance, same result.

I'm a hands on learner, and I didn't get ANY hands on during the walk through. That would be helpful with the awnings, do it yourself with the tech watching. I've never towed a trailer before either. At the end of the walk through, I backed up my truck, the tech dropped the trailer onto the ball, we connected chains and electrical (I've now installed our ProPride hitch at home myself), we checked the lights, we talked for about 30 minutes, I drove off the lot. I drove city streets for 20 minutes, a bit nervous, excited, but calm. When home, I backed up the trailer (also a first) into my driveway with only a half dozen small corrections (16' single axle turns quickly). There was NO driving at the dealer, NO overnight stay, nothing.

Yesterday was the first day my wife and I went into our trailer since it's been home (the first time for my wife), as we are both covid free now. Now the learning really begins, as does the fun. Seattle is one of our early destinations, along with the Olympic Peninsula out to Neah Bay.

I hope this helps. Be safe!

- Bob
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:34 AM   #27
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SEATTLE , WA
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There has been some great advice on this thread so far, much appreciated.

As I mentioned I’ve been reading these forums obsessively every morning for the past 6 months. I also read Rich Luhr’s “Newbies Guide to Airstreaming” and watched Colonial Airstream’s detailed walkthrough of my model several times as well as a ton of other YouTube videos. I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it, but still have a long list of questions I want to go through with the tech during the pickup.

Usually this is in the case of:

* something that is specific to how to handle Airstreams in the Pacific Northwest
* something that I’ve read a wide range of opinions on (ie tire pressure and WD hitches) and would like to get their opinion
* things I’ve read about but would like to see the correct operation of in person
* generally how I should interact with this particular dealership

If anyone has extra time on their hands during this lockdown and wants to read over my questions, I posted them below as a Google Doc. Let me know if there’s anything you think I’m missing (and if you want to comment, just type in a different color or all caps or something)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

I’m going to send these questions over to the dealership once we have the pickup scheduled to see if they can answer any in advance - feeling kind of sorry for the tech that gets assigned to us : ), but as I said, I really want to master Airstreaming.

Thanks again for all of the help and comments so far and everyone please hang in there. Open roads ahead!

Bart
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:33 PM   #28
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Safe pickup

Even with the most stringent methods, there really isn't a totally safe way for two unrelated people to be inside of a 22' AS for as long as a thorough walk-through will take, so it really comes down to your level of comfort with the precautions that the dealer and you take. Videoing the walk-thru may be a good idea for you, but it may also distract you from paying attention to the explanation and asking follow-up questions. Good quality masks and gloves are a good idea. As someone else mentioned, opening all the windows and turning on all the fans will help keep the air moving and maybe cut down on any aerosol droplet spread. One possibility, if both you and the tech doing the walkthru are comfortable using it, FaceTime or one of its equivalents can be used to allow you to stand outside the unit, see what the tech is seeing and ask questions in real-time. Obviously, the tech's phone would have the back camera turned on, not the front like you normally would, as you don't need to see his face. But again, you want to make certain that you're both comfortable using it so that it doesn't distract from the learning. As more people are vaccinated, it will become easier to do this, and although we were really frustrated when we found out the delivery date of our GT 23' is August, we quickly realized that one of our few concerns, how to do the walk-thru, would likely no longer be an issue. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:14 AM   #29
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Plaistow , New Hampshire
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Have heard of a couple of instances where new arrivals (AS s) were used to show to perspective customers due to low (no) inventory. Not crazy about this.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:10 AM   #30
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We ordered a Classic, waiting... spoke to our dealer on Monday., they said to stay at the nearby campground, they book it. Told us this allows us to go through everything and call them, they will send someone to address everything.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:19 AM   #31
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Skip it

If you are concerned, why not just skip the interior walk through/orientation?

I forgot everything the next day. There are so many better resources available to learn about your new Airstream than 20 minutes of talking and pointing.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:22 AM   #32
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Newbie Rally

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcheever View Post
We purchased a Caravel 22FB over the summer which we are hoping to take ownership of in Feb/March. When we were shopping for the trailer here at Airstream Adventures in Seattle we appreciated that our dealer took COVID safety seriously, ie the reps were required to stay outside during the walkthroughs etc.

I know there's usually an extensive orientation when you pick up an Airstream, which we will need because we are total newbs; I'm wondering has anyone on the forum picked up an Airstream from a dealer during this pandemic, and if so how did the dealer handle walking you through the trailer interior? Seems like there are a lot of controls and features on the inside (appliances, drains, water and power systems etc) that we'll have questions about.

I made a New Years resolution to not just figure out the minimal way to tow our trailer from point A to point B but really understand and master every part of it. I've been reading these forums religiously every morning for the past 6 months and have extensive notes to go over during our orientation. This forum has been invaluable, thanks to everyone for sharing knowledge and experiences and hope to see you on the road!

The Oregon Airstream Club is hosting a Newbie Rally this spring at Casey's RV Park (a heavenly spot) in May to help new owners. You could sign up at airstreamclub.org/oregon.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:46 AM   #33
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Kingsport , Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollow Point View Post
If you are concerned, why not just skip the interior walk through/orientation?

I forgot everything the next day. There are so many better resources available to learn about your new Airstream than 20 minutes of talking and pointing.
20 minutes?? When I picked up my AS, I spent over two hours with the tech going around the outside and inside, went and got a bite of lunch while he set up the WD, then when I came back, we spent another hour or so walking around it hitched up, checking measurements, then hit the road for a test drive while dialing in the brake controller. Of course, before showing up, I'd spent hours upon hours watching Youtube walkthroughs (thank you Colonial) so most of it was familiar to me beforehand, but being able to do everything hands-on with the tech there was immensely helpful.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:03 AM   #34
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All suggestions and recommendations excellent. Congratulations 🍾 Welcome to an amazing community of adventures . Watch all the YouTube videos now before delivery of yours. You wonít be a newbie soon. I love your New Years resolution to gain the knowledge and confidence to enjoy your Airstream adventureís. The Real Silver Lining traveling Airstream style is the people you meet on this journey. We have enjoyed every step of the way. Your life is about to change in a wonderful way. Safe travels. See you down the road new neighbor.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:49 AM   #35
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Extensive orientation? What's that?

It took us over a year to finally jump into our FC 23FB. Airstream Adventures was only 4 blocks away! So we visited often. The variety of sales staff was interesting, not all sales people are created equal! And not all sales people know about their product! To this day 3+ years later, I'm still figuring out the electronics, Blue tooth system through the stereo, etc...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcheever View Post
We purchased a Caravel 22FB over the summer which we are hoping to take ownership of in Feb/March. When we were shopping for the trailer here at Airstream Adventures in Seattle we appreciated that our dealer took COVID safety seriously, ie the reps were required to stay outside during the walkthroughs etc.

I know there's usually an extensive orientation when you pick up an Airstream, which we will need because we are total newbs; I'm wondering has anyone on the forum picked up an Airstream from a dealer during this pandemic, and if so how did the dealer handle walking you through the trailer interior? Seems like there are a lot of controls and features on the inside (appliances, drains, water and power systems etc) that we'll have questions about.

I made a New Years resolution to not just figure out the minimal way to tow our trailer from point A to point B but really understand and master every part of it. I've been reading these forums religiously every morning for the past 6 months and have extensive notes to go over during our orientation. This forum has been invaluable, thanks to everyone for sharing knowledge and experiences and hope to see you on the road!
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:25 PM   #36
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Get the service manager’s cell number. Ours answered my questions promptly!
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:35 AM   #37
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West Lake Hills , Texas
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We took delivery of a new-to-us AS at the end of November. It seemed to be a normal tour except we were masked. They had pulled the AS into the showroom, cleaned it inside and out, and had it ready to tour when we arrived. DW took videos while I tried to absorb everything and ask questions. We all went inside, which I was comfortable with.

As soon as we got the AS in my son's driveway, we both went over the video, transcribed it into an outline in Google Docs, organized the outline in a way that made sense to us (which may not have been the order of the tour), reconciled the outline to the manual, and executed each step of the outline so that we were certain that we understood our notes. The person walking is through the AS missed an item or two which made reconciling to the manual essential. Any questions we had at that point were answered by searching this forum. All this was done with the eager assistance of the two oldest grandchildren. The procedures most perplexing to me were the winterization and de-winterization procedures, since there are so many variations. When we got home to central Texas, I created individual detailed checklists in Google Docs for arrival, departure, and winterization/de-winterization. I'm sure other checklists will follow. (Already have one for adding the lift kit.)

The buy was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment thing...we had been casually looking but having no luck possibly because we were not devoting enough time to the effort. While visiting our son and his family in Virginia, we stopped by the AS dealership in Ashland just to look around and found a pristine 2017.

Point being, we were not nearly as prepared at the outset as you are. But being dumb as dirt about the AS we were well-motivated to nail down the procedures in writing.
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Old 01-28-2021, 10:27 PM   #38
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Congrats!!!!!!! We picked up our new (to us) AS at the Seattle dealership last month. The walk-through is definitely not the same. Officially, they don’t go in the trailer, but the guy doing ours popped in a couple times to show us stuff when we said we didn’t mind; we all had masks on and we weren’t in there together for long.

Most of the walk through was done with the windows open and the Tech on the outside explaining things to us on the inside. It wasn’t as thorough as I thought it would be, but they answered all of the questions we had at the time, and questions that have come up since have been easily answered by this forum/google/YouTube.
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Old 02-02-2021, 07:46 AM   #39
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We never had a such a detailed ďnewĒ used trailer owner orientation prior to our purchase of our 2006 30í Classic from Wentzville Airstream dealer Bill Thomas. It was a lot to absorb.
You may find searching you tube that there are some very helpful Airstream specific how to videos. The cold winter storage antifreeze process is a 1 time a year that a video review has been helpful. Hope you enjoy your Airstream. Make a checklist for departure/ arrival. List everything. Distraction and rushing can cause unexpected consequences and our list keeps us focused.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:56 AM   #40
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I just wanted to follow up on this post. We picked up our Airstream last Thursday (2/25) here at Airstream Adventures in Seattle.

We were the first pickup in their new expanded location in Milton. It was a little hectic because it was literally their first day at the new facility. But I have to say the dealership really went out of their way to make sure the pickup was handled safely. Every single person I encountered in the facility, inside and outside, even construction workers and back-office staff, wore masks the entire time and kept distance.

The tech walked me through all of the exterior features at a safe distance, then I went inside while he stayed outside and explained everything on inside. I had a lot of questions and I think I was there for about 4 1/2 hours total.

The tech told me their customer's safety was a top priority, but also that they were concerned for their employee's safety. Was nice to hear that!

Before our arrival, they fully sanitized the trailer with something that kills COVID. We had also bought and wore standard N95 masks from Project N95.

We are newbs, and I wasn’t sure what kind of walkthrough there would be, so I watched Colonial Airstream’s excellent YouTube walkthrough of our model so many times I had it memorized (the night before pickup I watched it with the sound off and narrated it myself - thank you Patrick!). Airstream Adventures also has some great walkthrough videos on their site and I read the Airstream for Newbies book. But still, I learned a ton of stuff at the actual walkthrough I would not have known had I not gone through it, including a couple of items that proved critical on our shakedown trip.


As a postscript, we got an email from the dealer a few days after pickup telling us that someone had tested positive for COVID in their sales facility and that they were completely closing their sales office for 5 days. To be safe we got tested and are negative. I appreciated them being transparent and contacting us right away.

We had a really good experience with our onboarding at Airstream Adventures and felt like they took customer safety seriously.
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