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-   -   Tips for first timers (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f368/tips-for-first-timers-19484.html)

Condoluminum 09-15-2011 04:36 PM

Welcome!
 
Martha-

A lot of us are working on our bucket lists in some form or other, whether a specific trailer or trip or just plans.. Yours sounds good, and should be filled with memories... Best advice for new owners is to keep sense of humor on pre-start checklist (think Robin Williams and Lucy Arnaz...) and take it slow.. Don't push it into bad weather, bad roads or too tired to drive safely...

Hard to really mess up here posting, but you're in right place pretty much.. Using the search tab above is one way to try and find answers or similar messages and see if info is already here..

There are days I think there is more informaiton posted and stored here than any sane Airstreamer can possibly make use of, and then I find myself posting a new question soon thereafter..

Let us know how the tr

utahcamera 05-28-2012 03:39 PM

New member in Utah
 
Tim & Brenda Smith,

Saint George, UT.


We are about to purchase our first Airstream. Most likely a 27 FB with two air.


Hope to order a 2013 next week as soon as I figure out the "right" options for us.


I do see you have some jousters on this forum. Fiberglas Airstreams!! Make that jokers !


Using my iPad and can't correct type ?


Regards


Tim & Brenda

tjcsoup 06-03-2012 01:47 PM

Newbies
 
We have just purchased our 1986 sovereign 27' airstream. So far we love it. Just started re new work and the first thing is a new cork floor. In removing the carpet I pulled out the drawer under the jack knives sofa, got the slides messed up and now we can not get the slides unlocked and the drawer back in place. Has anyone had this problem and how did you fix this? Husband it not real happy about about this:O

Condoluminum 06-04-2012 01:58 PM

Not sure exactly of problem with the term "messed up" describing the slides for the under-couch drawer... A picture would always help...

We removed and replaced entire couch, and carpeting, but didn't carpet all the way under the couch to front, as carpeting only ran about 6" under front lip of drawer.. If carpet too thick, it will cause drawer to bind coming out or block return...

It is much easier to work on with flat cushion/seat up out of the way, and a sawed off broom handle or similar support helps keep it up and clear so you can work with the drawer unit.. The front also can be removed from the drawer, to make it easier to manuever.. Finally, there may be some residue or bits located along slides, or under drawer that are blocking the movement, including possilby fragments of carpet or pad or nails/tacks or wood debris.. With couch seat lifted up and drawer disassembled, it is easier to completely remove again, and study slides and rollers and see where the movement is being restricted

3campers 06-04-2012 02:38 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Just took ownership of a 1985 Limited (31). Had the hard wood floors put in, looks amazing! Had a couple of small leak rot spots in the rear bedroom under the beds repaired and sealed. Just a small bit of caulking to take care of then we take our maiden voyage Fathers Day weekend, just a short and close weekend in the woods in case we have problems. No hook ups so we'll get to know the battery system well. Have a long 8 hour drive trip planned for the end of the month of June. Assateague Park, MD for a Wed-Fri (no hook ups) then on to a KOA in Williamsburg, Va (full hook up) Fri to Mon. We're jumping with both feet! So far it's been parked in our driveway, we have slept and eaten in it and we love it!

rverruni 06-04-2012 09:26 PM

Was it hard to install the floors? Rich

BrainyBus 06-06-2012 01:29 PM

New to Airstreams, New to Air Forums
 
Hello Everyone,

My girlfriend and I are new to Airstreams and Air Forums, having bought one of the former before finding the latter.

Needless to say, we are excited to have our new addition to the family, a 29' '71 Ambassador, but we will be learning a lot as we go along as our purchase was a bit impulsive. Oh boy...

Maybe it would have been better to find Air Forums first, but better late than never!

We look forward to asking questions and learning from the voices of experience, and thank you in advance for all your help.

Cheers!

3campers 06-06-2012 03:00 PM

Had a pro do it...went pretty easy...put flooring down and left a 1/4 in gap for expansion, then a simple molding to cover that up... Worth it!

AWCHIEF 06-06-2012 03:19 PM

Good move leaving the gap. Lots of folks forget to do that when laying a wood floor.

tjcsoup 06-07-2012 06:47 AM

Thanks for the info. The sawed off broom will certainly help. Sorry to be so long in answering. Having a hard time navigating the forum, but getting the hang of it. The cork floor just arrived yesterday and is acclimating in the trailer. She doesn't have a name yet but that could happen during the floor install. Again thanks for the info. Your pictures look wonderful. Going to give them a much closer look:) hope I can find you again.....

arandruska 09-25-2012 05:07 PM

Hello airstreamers! I'm a newly married, seasonal national park ranger looking for the next big adventure! My hubby is as excited as I am to get rid of stuff and be full timers and leave our apartment renting behind. We have looked at a few AS and I work in the campgrounds so I tend to spend a lot more time asking the airstreams how they are enjoying the park and "can I see your space?" :) We are both very handy and would love to start with a 28-32ft 1970s that all things work but could use some minor adjustments like twin beds to a queen. We have a little red healer "Red Dog" that we rescued and renting is tough with a pet which has further pushed us to live a more mobile life. We work in a different park every 6 months. Is there any advice out there for US getting started? It seems like no one likes the 70s models with the bathroom in the back because it bent the frame with the weight of it full. Is this true? Also I would like to put a composting toilet in it since we may end up boondocking a lot in the winter months. Catch a shower at the gym. Just dreaming big and seeing what will stick. I would love anything about full timing too. This website has an amazing section on that so my bedtime/break time/me time is packed! Thank you in advance and I can't wait to hear your suggestions!!

P.s the elk are bulging and the aspen are in full color in the mountains!

Roberta

Aage 09-25-2012 05:49 PM

Howdy and https://www.airforums.com/attachments...48badd23f0.gif to Airforums.com, Roberta! Lots new for you, I see. I wish you fair winds and following seas in all your endeavours, especially the new ones!

As for mid-'70 Airstreams, it's likely that something in the rear section will bite you in the butt if things haven't been kept up. And things there are rarely kept up, since it all hides quietly behind a nice aluminum cover, the belly pan.

On my TT (travel trailer) it was the pan and all the metal brackets that support the two waste tanks that dissolved, and cost me a pretty penny to fabricate. On others, you will hear of rear sag, which is what you alluded to in your post.

So, does that mean that other years are going to be without fault? No, not possible. If you buy any AS (Airstream), even a much newer one, there could be problems.

Luckily, they can all be overcome! So my advice is to read up here on models that appeal to you and when you find one that suits you, dive in, the water is warm. :D

ps: on all of them over say twenty years old or so, you can almost count on having to replace or rebuild all the appliances. There are two, the water heater and the furnace, that usually need replacing.

Good luck! Keep asking questions,and post lots of photos of anything you are interested in, and you will be surprised at how much you will learn here.
:flowers:

Brian Hobin 09-26-2012 03:04 PM

Hello, we own a 1994 30' AS that we used to pull with our 2002 Toyota Sienna van.
Now we have a 2008 Jeep deisel. We thank Andy Thompson & the CanAm dealership in London Ontario for educating us on towing. I suggest that you call them regarding the ability of your tow vehicle. They have a toll free number and are user friendly. I know that they deal with clients from California to Alaska. (Canada is in the middle 8-) Avoid the flames regarding the debate over trucks towing versus cars. Cars & vans can and do well. Several people that I have spoken to have said that they go no where else for a hitch. That is an essential to understand in regards to weight distribution and other factors re. towing.
Secondly, why not purchase a newer AS? You can find some that are quite cheap. Three years ago we saw 1998 35' that the fellow was asking $12,000 for. It was immaculate. That is Canada where things are significanlty higher that the States. AS have a 50 year life span.
Just a few thoughts.
We met two couples in Florida last year, one of whom had been full timing for 10 years in their 35" AS. Yes the space is nice especially in that u can get rid of the sofa and install 2 recliners 8-)
Regards
Brian

webspinner 09-26-2012 05:22 PM

Welcome to Airforums. The level of knowledge and experience on this forum can make reading it feel a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose. Take it as you need it, one piece at a time. Honestly, if I'd known the level of work we were getting into with our 1971 Tradewind, I might not have gone through with it. As it is, I've loved every bit of the travel and renovation. There's a link to our blog in my signature below.

We've done fairly extensive work on ours, including an ongoing changing out of all the dark brown plastic wood grain for real birch. We put in a composting toilet which has worked out well for us. Full timing with a composting toilet is a slightly different deal since there's no time to let the contents fully compost in place before disposal. Nature's Head (which we have) suggests using a separate composter to finish the composting of one batch while you are using the toilet with a new batch. That would mean having a place to keep such a composter. The contents are then safe to put in the trash or on inedible plants.

Before you plan on replacing twin beds with a queen, look at dimensions. The older trailers are narrower than the new ones and it would be tough to fit a queen in without moving walls, if you could even fit it in at all.

So keep reading, researching and dreaming. Many wonderful things are possible.

Condoluminum 10-02-2012 01:38 PM

Welcome Roberta!
 
I commend you for your enthusiasm and lifestyle, and hope you find a great trailer and keep finding assignments at great parks...

I'd offer recommendation to look harder at mid-late '80's trailers in 28-31' lengths, for a couple reasons.. Woodwork/cabinetry is more solid in later trailers, and appliances (water heater/fridge/furnace/A-C, stove, etc) are more likely to be with you a little longer.. In addition, frames are stronger, and less likely to give you problems.. Finally, prices for mid-to-late 80's trailer not significantly higher than prices for trailer 10+ years older... We love our '88, and after redoing internal cosmetics (blinds, curtains, carpet, upholstery..) it is a great match for our needs, and good value.. As trailers get longer than 25', prices tend to go down, since demand limited by fewer and fewer tow vehicles easily able to pull them.. You can still manage to pull a 28' or 31' trailer in "light configuration" (water/holding tanks empty, limited stuff inside..) with a 1/2 ton truck or Suburban/Tahoe/Expedition/Excursion, etc, so long as it is narrow-body model pre-1995...

Brian Hobin 10-03-2012 06:35 AM

The topic of a tow vehicle is a most interesting science. Read articles by Andy Thompson of CanAmRV. The chairperson of the Ontario Airstream club towed his 30' AS to Alaska with his Sienna which gave us confidence to purchase a 30 and tow it to the rockies, the East Coast and to the gulf with no problems. A Hensley hitch is an important consideration.
When you are in the mountains a 1/2 truck could go up hill no faster than our van. Honest.
From my perspective it is important for first timers to be able to learn about and to use their present vehicle in matching it to a trailer.
Regards

noreen&sal 10-03-2012 07:50 AM

Airstreams are built to outlast any tow vehicle. Be sure to consider where your travels will take you and how much "stuff" you'll be taking. I personally like the ability to not slow down climbing mountains. Sal.

KathrynOKC 10-04-2012 06:05 PM

Thank you for the info.

BMW Sid 10-05-2012 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arandruska (Post 1207544)
Hello airstreamers! I'm a newly married, seasonal national park ranger looking for the next big adventure! My hubby is as excited as I am to get rid of stuff and be full timers and leave our apartment renting behind. We have looked at a few AS and I work in the campgrounds so I tend to spend a lot more time asking the airstreams how they are enjoying the park and "can I see your space?" :) We are both very handy and would love to start with a 28-32ft 1970s that all things work but could use some minor adjustments like twin beds to a queen. We have a little red healer "Red Dog" that we rescued and renting is tough with a pet which has further pushed us to live a more mobile life. We work in a different park every 6 months. Is there any advice out there for US getting started? It seems like no one likes the 70s models with the bathroom in the back because it bent the frame with the weight of it full. Is this true? Also I would like to put a composting toilet in it since we may end up boondocking a lot in the winter months. Catch a shower at the gym. Just dreaming big and seeing what will stick. I would love anything about full timing too. This website has an amazing section on that so my bedtime/break time/me time is packed! Thank you in advance and I can't wait to hear your suggestions!!

P.s the elk are bulging and the aspen are in full color in the mountains!

Roberta

I have a 1973 25' T/W. It has the bath in the back, no sagging.
Far as the separate bunks goes, I just cut a piece of plywood to fit on the ledges on either side of the walkway, and slid the mattresses together. I was going to get an air mattress to fit, but never did. While not sleeping, the plywood fits just fine under one of the mattresses, out of the way. Also, the dog can sneak under there, providing you keep him off the furniture. I draw the line there. I won't sleep with the dog.

Big C 10-05-2012 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arandruska (Post 1207544)
Hello airstreamers! I'm a newly married, seasonal national park ranger looking for the next big adventure! My hubby is as excited as I am to get rid of stuff and be full timers and leave our apartment renting behind. We have looked at a few AS and I work in the campgrounds so I tend to spend a lot more time asking the airstreams how they are enjoying the park and "can I see your space?" :) We are both very handy and would love to start with a 28-32ft 1970s that all things work but could use some minor adjustments like twin beds to a queen. We have a little red healer "Red Dog" that we rescued and renting is tough with a pet which has further pushed us to live a more mobile life. We work in a different park every 6 months. Is there any advice out there for US getting started? It seems like no one likes the 70s models with the bathroom in the back because it bent the frame with the weight of it full. Is this true? Also I would like to put a composting toilet in it since we may end up boondocking a lot in the winter months. Catch a shower at the gym. Just dreaming big and seeing what will stick. I would love anything about full timing too. This website has an amazing section on that so my bedtime/break time/me time is packed! Thank you in advance and I can't wait to hear your suggestions!!

P.s the elk are bulging and the aspen are in full color in the mountains!

Roberta

Roberta,
Recently visited there on our way back from Alberta Canada. Love the park and the drive up thru the canyon from Loveland!
We own a 75 Sovereign with a rear bath. We got lucky. No rear sag or separation. It has spent all its life here in Texas, in our town. Dry climate and was mostly used as a lake cabin infrequently. Very well maintained and was set up off the ground. Purchased by a retired judge who wanted to use it on a deer hunting lease as a cabin but he never did. He put over 8 grand worth of upgrades/fixes into it over 10 years all the while parked in his barn. We looked for months, drove many miles and all the while it was right under our noses. Our 3rd trip was 4552 miles and she performed beautifully with no problems.
We are self employed and sorta semi retired as in 10-12 weeks of off time per year. Each year we add a few days...
The rear bath models if abused or neglected do have a problem in this area.
Good luck on your search, and happy camping!


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