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Old 05-27-2021, 06:28 AM   #1
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Winter Garden , Florida
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 11
Put an order in for a Caravel 20FB!

Hi all,


I've been a long time tent camper, but have dreamed of having an Airstream since I was a kid. Estimated delivery is end of September. Any tips or tricks for someone new to trailers/Airstream? Will I need to purchase hoses, wheel chocks, etc. or do some of those smaller accessories come with the trailer?


Thanks so much, I look forward to joining this community!
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:42 AM   #2
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Evergreen , Colorado
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Congrats on your new Airstream! The Caravel 20 is a great rig. You’ll love it.

My suggestion is to watch as many videos online as you can about the operation of the trailer’s systems. If you do, then there’s a good chance that you’ll know more about your trailer than the dealership employee who does your orientation and walk-through when you take delivery. You can also go on the Airstream website and download the owner’s manual, allowing you to read through it before delivery.

Accessories delivered with your trailer vary by dealership. My new Airstream was delivered with virtually nothing, but the dealership gave me a discount on anything that I purchased from their store. Other dealerships give buyers the minimum accessories needed for an initial camping trip. I suggest that you ask your sales associate about this before you take delivery so that you can buy the things you need to buy.

There are some things that you’ll certainly need to buy, like leveling blocks, basic tools, etc.
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Old 05-27-2021, 08:52 AM   #3
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Winter Garden , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
Congrats on your new Airstream! The Caravel 20 is a great rig. You’ll love it.

My suggestion is to watch as many videos online as you can about the operation of the trailer’s systems. If you do, then there’s a good chance that you’ll know more about your trailer than the dealership employee who does your orientation and walk-through when you take delivery. You can also go on the Airstream website and download the owner’s manual, allowing you to read through it before delivery.

Accessories delivered with your trailer vary by dealership. My new Airstream was delivered with virtually nothing, but the dealership gave me a discount on anything that I purchased from their store. Other dealerships give buyers the minimum accessories needed for an initial camping trip. I suggest that you ask your sales associate about this before you take delivery so that you can buy the things you need to buy.

There are some things that you’ll certainly need to buy, like leveling blocks, basic tools, etc.

Thank you Dennis! It looks like we have the same tow vehicle, as I also have a 1500 Sierra denali, diesel :-). The owners manual suggests using a weight distribution hitch for over 7000 lbs. The GVWR for the Caravel is 5000. Do you recommend a standard hitch set up?
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:07 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by aarstream View Post
Thank you Dennis! It looks like we have the same tow vehicle, as I also have a 1500 Sierra denali, diesel :-). The owners manual suggests using a weight distribution hitch for over 7000 lbs. The GVWR for the Caravel is 5000. Do you recommend a standard hitch set up?
Hi

Get a weight distributing / anti-sway hitch. There are a *lot* of them on the market. The hitch gets "sized" to match the weight of your trailer. You want one that is aimed at a 5,000 pound trailer and not one targeted at a 10,000 pounder.

First thing most do is to talk to their dealer and see what they sell and what they will install. If this is your first time doing this, having them install and set up the hitch when you take delivery of the trailer is *way* less stressful than the DIY route.

Why a "fancy" hitch?

First up is the weight distribution. Once loaded, the trailer is likely going to be a bit heavier on the tongue than what the data sheet gives for an empty weight. Distributing this between both the front and rear axles on the truck keeps everything "in spec" safety wise. It also results in a more comfortable ride.

Next is the anti-sway part of it. Sway is the term used for an oscillatory instability (how's that for a mouthful term ..) that can happen as speed goes up. It also can be aggravated by wind and how things are loaded. You very much do *not* want to get into a crash because of it.

You have plenty of time to read as many of the thousands of threads about which of the many hitches is "the best and only" between now and September. It's way more important that you *do* have one of them than that you have exactly this or that make and model.

Bob
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:22 AM   #5
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Winter Garden , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
Congrats on your new Airstream! The Caravel 20 is a great rig. You’ll love it.

My suggestion is to watch as many videos online as you can about the operation of the trailer’s systems. If you do, then there’s a good chance that you’ll know more about your trailer than the dealership employee who does your orientation and walk-through when you take delivery. You can also go on the Airstream website and download the owner’s manual, allowing you to read through it before delivery.

Accessories delivered with your trailer vary by dealership. My new Airstream was delivered with virtually nothing, but the dealership gave me a discount on anything that I purchased from their store. Other dealerships give buyers the minimum accessories needed for an initial camping trip. I suggest that you ask your sales associate about this before you take delivery so that you can buy the things you need to buy.

There are some things that you’ll certainly need to buy, like leveling blocks, basic tools, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Get a weight distributing / anti-sway hitch. There are a *lot* of them on the market. The hitch gets "sized" to match the weight of your trailer. You want one that is aimed at a 5,000 pound trailer and not one targeted at a 10,000 pounder.

First thing most do is to talk to their dealer and see what they sell and what they will install. If this is your first time doing this, having them install and set up the hitch when you take delivery of the trailer is *way* less stressful than the DIY route.

Why a "fancy" hitch?

First up is the weight distribution. Once loaded, the trailer is likely going to be a bit heavier on the tongue than what the data sheet gives for an empty weight. Distributing this between both the front and rear axles on the truck keeps everything "in spec" safety wise. It also results in a more comfortable ride.

Next is the anti-sway part of it. Sway is the term used for an oscillatory instability (how's that for a mouthful term ..) that can happen as speed goes up. It also can be aggravated by wind and how things are loaded. You very much do *not* want to get into a crash because of it.

You have plenty of time to read as many of the thousands of threads about which of the many hitches is "the best and only" between now and September. It's way more important that you *do* have one of them than that you have exactly this or that make and model.

Bob

Thank you very much. If I recall, my dealer sells an "Equalizer" brand hitch. I'll plan on having them install one, I certainly would prefer the safest option.
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Old 05-27-2021, 12:31 PM   #6
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I agree with Bob’s comments. Get a good weight distribution hitch with sway control, and have it set up correctly. Your Sierra will tow your Caravel beautifully. I use a Blue Ox Sway Pro, and I’m very happy with it for my rig. There are many good options out there. Proper setup is the key.

I’d be happy to email my arrival and departure checklists if you’re interested. You can customize them for your specific routine. We use checklists every time, even though we’ve camped enough with our Airstream to feel comfortable with our routine.
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarstream View Post
Thank you very much. If I recall, my dealer sells an "Equalizer" brand hitch. I'll plan on having them install one, I certainly would prefer the safest option.
Hi

A lot of us have Equalizer hitches. For whatever reason, dealers seem to like putting them on. I'd guess they get a pretty good discount

Bob
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:22 AM   #8
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Aarstream, congratulations on your move up. You won’t regret skipping the usual progression of more basic trailers (kind of like the “evolution of man” series). Coming from a tent camping background, you will already have many of the useful tools that newbies lack. I’m thinking in particular of a HATCHET, for which so many campers substitute Gulflite. The trick is knowing where to store the grungy stuff so you don’t have to remember to reload the truck after using it for other purposes. My solution is a piece of plywood cut to fit precisely enough on top the propane tanks, giving about 6 inches of space under the top cover. ( I block it to keep it from tilting on the road and dumping the contents.) Just as we are supposed to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, making an Airstream your own is one of the joys of ownership.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:21 AM   #9
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Winter Garden , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis C View Post
I agree with Bob’s comments. Get a good weight distribution hitch with sway control, and have it set up correctly. Your Sierra will tow your Caravel beautifully. I use a Blue Ox Sway Pro, and I’m very happy with it for my rig. There are many good options out there. Proper setup is the key.

I’d be happy to email my arrival and departure checklists if you’re interested. You can customize them for your specific routine. We use checklists every time, even though we’ve camped enough with our Airstream to feel comfortable with our routine.

That's very kind of you. I'll reach out closer to delivery if that is still okay.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:25 PM   #10
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2021 20' Caravel
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Congrats, great trailer.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:04 AM   #11
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2021 22' Caravel
Ladera Ranch , California
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I just put in an order for a caravel 22! So stoked. Quick question for you - were you able to negotiate at all? I haven’t really signed yet and may want to open up that discussion although it seems difficult given the supply issues right now.
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Old 06-24-2021, 01:32 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

The 20FB is the best arrow in the Airstream quiver, unless one is ready to pull a 25' back in the bow!

. . . . . .

Peter
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Old 06-24-2021, 10:37 AM   #13
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I just put in an order for a caravel 22! So stoked. Quick question for you - were you able to negotiate at all? I haven’t really signed yet and may want to open up that discussion although it seems difficult given the supply issues right now.

13%, but it took some negotiating to get to the number. I added each available add on (solar, awnings, convection) so that may have helped.
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Old 06-24-2021, 11:17 AM   #14
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Kingsport , Tennessee
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We do love our 20FC.

We tow w/ a 1500 Sierra: I do use a BlueOx Swaypro, and am glad to have it.

Depends on the dealership as to what else might come with it; I was buying mine used through a dealership, came w/ the power cord... but they gave me a gift card to use in their camp store towards the essentials. You'll need a clean-water hose, a sewer hose, sewer couplers, I'd recommend a surge protector, some dogbones for different power needs (a 30-to-15, and a 50-to-30), leveling blocks (we use an Andersen leveler, in conjunction w/ a LevelmatePro, but a standard 24" carpenters level works), a couple of chocks from Harbor Freight. I made a bunch of blocks from cutting up a 2x10" into squares and gluing in pairs, so I have blocks to put under each of the stabilizers and the tongue jack; but you can buy the plastic lego ones instead if you want. (We also have a lift kit, too, to have a bit more clearance when coming in and out of our driveway.)

Welcome aboard, I know you're excited, and looking forward to getting out and using it!
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Old 06-28-2021, 05:13 AM   #15
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We do love our 20FC.

We tow w/ a 1500 Sierra: I do use a BlueOx Swaypro, and am glad to have it.

Depends on the dealership as to what else might come with it; I was buying mine used through a dealership, came w/ the power cord... but they gave me a gift card to use in their camp store towards the essentials. You'll need a clean-water hose, a sewer hose, sewer couplers, I'd recommend a surge protector, some dogbones for different power needs (a 30-to-15, and a 50-to-30), leveling blocks (we use an Andersen leveler, in conjunction w/ a LevelmatePro, but a standard 24" carpenters level works), a couple of chocks from Harbor Freight. I made a bunch of blocks from cutting up a 2x10" into squares and gluing in pairs, so I have blocks to put under each of the stabilizers and the tongue jack; but you can buy the plastic lego ones instead if you want. (We also have a lift kit, too, to have a bit more clearance when coming in and out of our driveway.)

Welcome aboard, I know you're excited, and looking forward to getting out and using it!

Thank you! My dealer said I'll get the power cord as well as a gift card, but am responsible for everything else... I took advantage of Amazon's prime day and loaded up on everything you mentioned with the exception of the surge protector and levelmate pro. I will get them soon however :-)
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