I start by making checklists and notes on a 8.5″ x 13″ yellow pad days before our Airstream Safari camping trips and specific tasks are assigned to specific prep days depending on the weather. For example, Friday’s weather was clear, two days before departure on our first trip of the season, so I completed one of the scheduled tasks by attaching my PressurePro tire pressure sensors to the tires of the truck and Safari and adjusting the pressures toward the recommended cold tire pressures (50 psi for my 14″ trailer tires, 60 psi for the front truck tires, and 75 psi for the rear truck tires).
Starting a trip with the right tire pressures is important because an under-inflated tire could get too hot, stressed, and fail. The tricky part is that tire pressures fluctuate with the outside air temperatures by as much as 1 psi per every 10° F change in temperature.* The temperature was 80° that Friday afternoon when I attached the sensors. I knew that the pressures would be lower the next morning and even lower at our mountain camping destination, predicted to get the first cold storm of the season by midweek. My task was facilitated by the PressurePro monitor, which shows the pressures at a touch of a button and then I recorded the pressures, along with the date, time, outside temperature, and weather conditions. So when we departed, I was confident the tires had the optimal pressures for our 5 days of camping.
My note taking continued when we arrived at our non-hookup campsite as I kept track of weather conditions and how well our Lifeline AGM batteries were being recharged by our two Airstream factory installed solar panels (See my Columnar Pad notes in above photo). These notes are saved and assist me in determining when it’s time to replace the batteries (I replaced our first set after 5 years).
I continued to write notes on my yellow pad throughout our camping trip, which are also saved for future reference. At home, Larry maintains a running camping log on a Word document on our aluminum iMac* of trip mileages, menus, plants, birds and people seen. I also make concise entries in “The Airstream Travel Journal”.
“See More, Do More, Live More: The Airstream Travel Journal“, designed by Bryan Burkhart/MODERNHOUSE, was published by Chronicle Books LLC in 2002. (Bryan Burkhart is also the designer and coauthor of Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht, Chronicle Books LLC, 2000.) The spiral-bound journal with aluminum* front and back covers and featuring lined pages along with vintage Airstream spot art and photos, originally sold for $16.95 and I bought two of them in 2006. This journal is now out of print and is no longer available from Chronicle Books*, but it can be found online for prices ranging from $79.99 to $600! (For now, I think I will not place notes in my second copy and will just keep it in pristine condition for future possibilities!)
Another journal, “Airstream Prism Journal Book“, is currently available online for $16.95 from Airstream, Inc.. Per Airstream’s website, this journal has a silver anodized aluminum front cover and a black leather back with an elastic pen loop and includes a black Airstream pen.
I prefer writing my trip notes with a pen and paper, but perhaps I should consider a simpler tool, the pencil, or a more powerful tool, the iPad Air*, or perhaps the typewriter (with its classic, iconic image and sound)* would be more appropriate!
*This is a link to a YouTube video.