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Old 01-20-2021, 11:22 AM   #1
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2021 22' Caravel
SEATTLE , WA
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 39
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Picking Up a New Airstream in a Pandemic?

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 01-20-2021, 11:33 AM   #2
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2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
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It seems like lots of information but really nothing is that complicated. Get what you can from however the dealer feels safe running the orientation. Any questions you have after will be easily and promptly answered on this forum.
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:44 AM   #3
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2021 30RB Classic
West Sayville , New York
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 79
We picked ours up three weeks ago. Standard precautions taken by both us and dealer. Sanitized the inside of the trailer, six feet socially distanced, masks, sanitizer whenever wanted, etc. Not sure what other precautions could be taken.
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Old 01-20-2021, 12:01 PM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
Rochester , WASHINGTON
Join Date: Sep 2020
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RVs are pretty much the same.
A bunch of systems, that are fairly basic from one type to another.A lot of people recommend staying overnight at dealer, to see if you have any quality issues.
If you are new to towing RVs, safe hitching is #1.
Get 2 good black rubber semi type wheel chocks (Harbor Freight Tools) has decent ones cheap.
You don't want that trailer ever moving on its own.These trailers can hurt you.
Use wheel chocks every time you are hooking/ unhooking trailer.
If you can put it in your driveway at home, that's a good place to get familiar with the systems.
It's all a big learning curve.
Learn to do a pre trip+ post trip inspection, of your running gear especially ( check tire pressure frequently, tow vehicle also) and always inflate to maximum cold pressure shown on sidewalls of tires.
Make sure all your windows are locked before towing, and hatches all secure.
Always lock your hitchpin down, and cross your safety chains.
Safety with these combination vehicles is #1.
Keep your speed down, and stay as much as possible in far right lane, ( for a number of reasons)as you learn to tow.
As example, as you approach interchange, move to next lane to left.After you pass interchange, move back to far right lane.This keeps you out of a lot of potential trouble situations.
Ex multi million mile Semi driver, excessive speed is #1 cause of combination vehicle accidents.
Always keep your rig straight when braking.Watch way ahead for problem situations developing.
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:06 PM   #5
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2021 22' Caravel
SEATTLE , WA
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 39
Blog Entries: 2
Thanks for all of the responses. I guess I'm thinking about things like how the tank monitors and water heater controls are in the bathroom for instance. Not sure how you could have multiple people in the bathroom so someone would walk you through their operation and still maintain distance.

I'm sure I'll be able to figure it out through the manual though. Also found a detailed hour + walkthrough of my model from Colonial Airstream (feel like I should send those guys a tip, they have posted so much helpful information online) that was extremely detailed. Just curious how other dealers have handled the pickup and what to expect when I get there!
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:15 AM   #6
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,296
Hi

You very much *do* want the "in person" orientation. You will not "absorb" all of it, there is no way you could. However, what you will learn is well worth the time spent. Typically there is one person doing the walk through. They pretty much will have to be in a mask as will you. Keeping 6' apart at all times in any Airstream is going to be tough.

If it's an option (it was for us) , "camping out" in the dealer's lot overnight was worth it for us. After playing with this and that, there were questions that came up. There also was the chance to get minor things fixed / adjusted / installed. One more subtle thing - trying to do the whole purchase / hitch install / hitch adjust / walk through / fix up / hook up / learn to drive the trailer / drive home / unhook process all in one day .... yikes .... You will be deep into overload by the time you get home.

Bob
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:20 AM   #7
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
Huntley , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 174
Video

Film your walk through. Talk with the sales rep they will reassure you about the precautions. Take pictures on where the fuses are, water heater access, Battery hook up, you will get a lot of information but a person can only hear and take in about 15% of verbal instructions. Make sure you have the manuals for the heat and AC. Take video of that demo. The refrigerator is a critical info. It does take time to be thoroughly acquainted with your coach. That is why we have Airforums!
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:29 AM   #8
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2021 30RB Classic
West Sayville , New York
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 79
Film the walk through, and view the Airstream DFW service videos on YouTube. Chris is extremely thorough.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:43 AM   #9
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2014 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vero Beach , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2014
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I hadn’t thought about this... good question!

I’m w Uncle Bob... you want the walkthrough.

As a brainstorming thought... what if the dealer made a walkthrough video before you arrived and you watched it together? It would also be a reference for you after you left.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:47 AM   #10
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2021 25' International
Winder , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 258
We took delivery in November. Their employees were wearing masks and so were we. They had thoroughly cleaned the trailer and the tech that did our demo was wearing gloves. Not sure what more could be done. Your mattresses will still be wrapped in their original plastic and of course you supply your own sheets. etc. For new owners, a good demo is very valuable so I would not forgo that. There will be a briefcase in the trailer full of owners manuals. There is a manual for everything in that trailer right down to the doormat. Make sure you receive that and make sure that all of the manuals are included before you drive away.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:49 AM   #11
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2021 25' Globetrotter
Poulsbo , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 23
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!
---------------------------

I just picked up my 2021 25 FB Globetrotter From the Seattle dealership and they observed all precautions. It felt like the walk-thru was kind of rushed, but most of my questions were answered -focusing on the new features. I didn't need an extensive walk-thru since this is my second Airstream. I would recommend this - don't be rushed, and ask any/all questions. They will call you a few days before your pickup to see what types of questions you might have. Be honest with them and explain you are new to the whole process and they will take care of you. Also - you will get lots of reading material including a booklet for newbies - it will be very helpful. Check this out - . Patrick Botticelli from Colonial Airstream has a bunch of video reviews and they are excellent. They are just like your walk-thru.

Have fun!

-------------------
Daniel
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:17 AM   #12
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2020 16' Bambi
Patuxent River , MD
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 4
Manual Canopy

Welcome to Airstream. The hardest part to remember for me after the walk-thru (in Nov '19) was the manual canopy operation. We had to watch Patrick at Colonial on more than one occasion until I finally got the hang of it. It's fairly easy, but if you get the steps out of order it can be frustrating.
Pull the canopy all the way down (as far as it goes)
Hold it there and attached the side arms (or you can attach the side arms before you bring the canopy all the way down)
With canopy all the way down and side arms attached, pivot to outside front of canopy on either corner, pull the side arm hard towards you until you hear the click (quick/hard action, not slow)
Go to other side and do the same
Next step is to raise the canopy, (hold on to cylinder portion of the canopy)grab the round knob piece that faces towards outside/side of canopy (located on each side arm), pull the knob out to release the holding pin, lift the cylinder piece (canopy) up two clicks (two positions), go to other side and do the same, you can raise it four clicks - they say "four at the door" to help people remember. I do two on each side, then two on each side a second time to keep from overtaxing the side arms and where the canopy cylinder attaches to the main side arms (where the Zip Dee emblem is located).
My ramblings make more sense after watching Colonial Patrick.
My main issue was not bringing the canopy cylinder down as far as it will travel before trying to lock the side arms. The side arms won't lock unless the canopy cylinder is as far down as it will travel. Enjoy that Caravel. That is one nice rig!
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:36 AM   #13
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2019 25' International
Washington , Washington, D.C.
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Use your smart phone to do lots of videos during the orientation. If there are two of you doing the orientation, one of you take notes and take photos too. Invaluable later.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:39 AM   #14
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2017 27' Flying Cloud
Volente , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 36
A safer way to do this would be to open all windows and shades, and watch from the outside, while the person demonstrates from the inside. Fully masked, of course.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:39 AM   #15
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2020 28' Flying Cloud
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 3
Hi,
We picked up out FC28tb in june 2020. Ask the dealer rep to open all the windows for maximum cross ventilation during the walk through. Hopefully the airstream will be parked where there’s a breeze. Be prepared there’s a lot to go through during orientation. I used my phone to video record the rep’s talk (ask if it’s ok with them first) Which was very helpful to review later.

Please Ask them to wear an n95 mask and you should as well., if they don’t have one and u do, offer one to the rep if u have extra, anything less than n95 or at very least 3 layer ASTM surgical mask plus a cloth mask over it, i would skip the walk through.

Best,
John
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:44 AM   #16
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2020 28' Flying Cloud
Los Angeles , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 3
Also, we were relying on our dealership to do the math for what our vehicle could tow. I double checked after our purchase prior to p/u and turns out the tongue was over what our vehicle could handle so we had to purchase a new tow vehicle. So, if u haven’t double checked your tow vehicle’s specs do so as soon as you can.
Best,
John
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:57 AM   #17
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2017 25' International
West Lake Hills , Texas
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Take a video of the walk-through. Read the manual a few times before the orientation, and take notes.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:57 AM   #18
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Napa , California
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 256
Watch all the Airstream videos you can find online. There are a couple of dealerships that have one for each model. When it starts to seem as if you have heard everything twice-then you will be ready to pick up.

You also will be ready to ask questions about things you find perplexing. It is not only how to push the buttons to get something to work it is also understand when and why.

One more caution, if you hear something that seems odd or untrue it very well maybe. There are as many theories of trailering as there are people who own them!
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:15 AM   #19
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
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We were all newbies at one point. Some of us need more assistance than others. I felt a bit overwhelmed when we first bought our trailer (from my parents).

The manual will be your friend. As others have said, be sure to review it thoroughly prior to the walkthrough. Camping a night or even two at the dealership is a great idea. Regardless of what you do in advance, it's certainly important to have a walkthrough if at all possible.

COVID-19 is here to stay in one way/shape/form. Somehow we have to live our lives with this reality. Two people, each temperature checked, no outward symptoms, each wearing a mask is about as careful as you can be. Ask the dealer to wipe down the surfaces prior to the visit and after the visit if that makes you feel more comfortable.

If we learn anything from this COVID event... wash your hands regularly and don't touch your face!
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1992 29' Excella Classic / 2010 Interstate
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 01-21-2021, 12:19 PM   #20
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1991 34' Limited
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Nov 2014
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I would hope that dealers really serious about reducing customer’s exposure to COVID would consider having their walkthrough team tested regularly. Weekly would be good for me.

You might ask them to do this before you sign the check prior to the final walkthrough. Especially since you have the lead time.

I’d hate to spend $100k to only spend the next three months in the ICU.
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