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pjtaia 09-30-2002 08:21 AM

Finally! Bringing it home...
I know this is old stuff for most of you, but I had to tell EVERYONE:

After purchasing our 1975 Overlander last July we finally brought her home Saturday! After two months of restoring, rehabbing, and remodeling at C&G in Bellflower. An amazing thing! It's the first timeI had pulled a TT - I was injured in a bad roll-over TT accident over 40 years ago when I was 10 years old and I swore I would NEVER pull a trailer. Now I know how long "forever" is!

Our first drive was very uneventfull, since it was only about 3 miles on city streets. We were able to back it into our driveway for temporary loading - I was concerned about scaping the trailer bottom going up the driveway but everything cleared. I hadn't expected the hitch scraping, though. After we placed a few bricks in the gutter for the van to roll over we were fine. My wife and I are gratefull to our neighbors for helping us back in and gettting positioned.

Unfortunately, our driveway is "behind gates" and the garage is set back only 50' or so, so I don't have room to close the gates, but this arrangement is only for pre- and post-trip loading and unloading.

We spent the rest of the day starting to load the many, many things we had been buying for the last 2 months. But we stopped without finishing so that we could celebrate with friends who came over to see... We set up flowers, candles, silver ice bucket with Chanpagne, and even the lava lamp... We toasted our new vacation home in style!

Sunday, at about 5:00 am, I set out alone (my wife doesn't get out of bed at 5:00 am just to play with an Airstream...). I pulled out of the driveway, using the bricks again. I wanted to drive around awhile without worrying about traffic. I went to a local mall parking lot and practiced backing up. Then I got on the freeway and drove about 8 miles, then turned around and came back.

We will be storing the Airstream and the van at my mother's house, about 1 mile from home, since it has 2 fine parking spots. We had build 2 canopies in anticipation of this day so everything was ready. The only problem is that the Airstream has to be backed in blind-sided (to the right) and threaded between a telephone pole and its guy-wire, going up two little wooden ramps set into the gutter to get over the curb. Then we go across (wet) grass into a 11' wide space between the house and a concrete block wall.

I wanted to do this "under cover of darkness", since several of the neighbors are close friends(?) who had threatened to set up lawn chairs to watch my first attempt at backing this thing in! So here I was, in the dark, at about 6:00 AM. I also wanted to see how much I could do by myself. I was in no hurry.

I backed up about 5', then got out and checked. Went 5' more, checked again. And so on. I finally was between the pole and the guy-wire and up the curb before my mother came out to get the paper. So she helped me with the final positioning. Everything fit just great!

We spent all Sunday afternoon loading the rest of the stuff. Friends came by for the "Pre-Grand Opening Tour" after learning that I had thwarted their entertainment. The Airstream looks great, it has tons of extra storage space, and we are thrilled!

So now we wait for the Maiden Voyage in 2 weeks. I'll post pictures when the system is back up.

InsideOut 09-30-2002 08:46 AM

Like a kid in a candy store :p we've all been there! Fun, huh!?

Enjoy ~ Please post a report of your first outing & pictures when you can :D

Shari :)

gwsullivan 09-30-2002 10:27 AM

Phil, congratulations on your new vacation home. Will you be bringing it to the desert in December?
You mentioned that your hitch scrapes when you back the trailer into your driveway. Do you have weight distribution bars?? Just curious because I have the same problem if I don't use the bars when entering or exiting my driveway.

Dbraw 09-30-2002 01:04 PM

Speaking of hitches on trailers, our 1971 23' Safari has a trailer hitch on the back of the rear bumper. I appears to be factory. My question is "When would a hitch on the trailer be used?"

thenewkid64 09-30-2002 01:12 PM


The hitch was more than likley installed to carry bikes or a "gear box" that could be removed when not needed. I have seen some people who tow in tandem. Truck to Airstream to Boat trailer. I bet Andy from Inland would concur that adding the additional weigth of a gear box, bikes, or another trailer to the end of your airstream has "Bad Idea" written all over it. The frame was not designed to have the type of stress placed on it that these things would create. Even in a short wheelbase trailer. I would say keep it as a conversation piece or a ground scraper for those rough entrances and exits.

Rickk48 09-30-2002 02:03 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by thenewkid64

"I have seen some people who tow in tandem."

This is legal?

thenewkid64 09-30-2002 02:12 PM

Depends on the state. I think it is ok in Colorado, and maybe Texas. Don' know about others.

InsideOut 09-30-2002 05:00 PM

Here's a link to a previous thread about Towing Regulations by State

Also check out my pictures of the recent Rocky Mountain VAC Rally webpage...there is a Vintage Fire Truck pulling an Airstream, pulling a Tear Drop! Pretty cool...and legal!

Shari :)

CHRIS CANNON 09-30-2002 05:05 PM

I see tractor trailers pull tandem everyday...It's gotta be legal...Scary, but legal!:confused:

Dbraw 09-30-2002 05:16 PM

Hitch on trailer
Thanks for the hitch advice. I think I will stick with only one towed trailer. Plus, I bet backing one of those tandems is a bit tricky.

Rickk48 09-30-2002 06:04 PM

WOW! Regulations say I can triple tow up to 65' in California. Just imagine the possibilities. I have of course seen tandem semis, but have never seen anything like a van towing a trailer towing a boat.

pjtaia 09-30-2002 09:22 PM

Scraping hitch
Thanks for all your comments...
Yes, my leveling bars are on and I still scape. This week I will have the bottom 2-3" taken off the adjustable bar on the hitch - I don't forsee needing a higher hitch in the future.

Yes, in California we sometimes see triple towing - usually a 5th wheel towing a boat.

CHRIS CANNON 09-30-2002 09:31 PM

How about an Argosy 28m pulling a 1953 Aistream Sovereign...The cops through Kentucky laughed and gave me the thumbs up! I think we were longer than 65 feet too...28+31=FUN

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