Top 11 Airstream care, maintenance and repair posts… and more!

DSC_0181 Agua Caliente County Park, Site 94

This blog was started in 2008 to share our experiences camping with our 2007 Airstream Safari travel trailer, along with its care, maintenance, and repair.  Website stats show that Airstreamers or Airstream enthusiasts come to this blog everyday to find information regarding over 10 years’ worth of Airstream-related subjects and care.   Each blog page has a search window where specific topics can be searched and found.  To further facilitate viewers’ most commonly sought after subjects, I have listed my all-time top 11 Airstream-related viewed webpages and their links:

Filiform corrosion

Wash, wax and treat II

RV refrigerator drain tube failure

Propane gas leak and summer reading

F-250 dual battery change

Quick, easy and safe RV refrigerator defrosting

Aye, there’s the rub rail

Getting my bearings…

Resealing our Airstream plumbing vent

10-year sealed battery requirement for smoke alarms!

Trailer awnings

Since the selling our trailer last August, we have moved on to new experiences that are now more appropriately conveyed in a blog that I had set up three years ago for this very purpose: History Safari Expresso, which has just been reawakened and now thrives as it takes over conveying our seasonal celebrations, holidays, meditations, outings, and the beauty we see around us.

I thank everyone who has viewed this blog over the years and I invite you to take a look at its successor, History Safari Expresso, and its new welcoming post, Hello World (Take Two), while relaxing with a hot cup of rich coffee, or a sip of wine!

IMG_1380 - Afternoon coffee

Oh… There is one more thing…* The video encore:  Chris Hadfield – Space oddity [SPACEX Falcon Heavy test]*

Cheers… and Thrive!

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

 

January 2018 – Streamin’ new beginnings

Ten years ago we celebrated New Year 2008 at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where I was presented the opportunity to be one of ten blogging contributors to Airstream Life Online Community.

HPIM2033 Happy New Year 2008!

HPIM2220 All aboard History Safari Express!My first History Safari Express blog post, “All Aboard…,” was launched on January 11, 2008, and began a 10 year odyssey of documenting how we used our custom-ordered 2007 Airstream Safari in southern California, while celebrating the seasons and meeting new friends.

Our Safari was built in 2006, the year Airstream was celebrating its 75th Anniversary.*

As we were celebrating New Year 2008, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was celebrating its 75th Anniversary.  In 1933, Federal land here was acquired as parkland by the State of California and the first California State Park Custodian was assigned (DesertUSA, “Anza-Borrego Desert State Park California).  See the recent YouTube video, Anza-Borrego Tour.*

HPIM2182 Bill at Font's Point

Ten years ago, I switched from a PC to a Mac* and acquired the MacBook Pro that I’m still using today!

HPIM2323 New MacBook Pro Jan:2008!

We returned to Anza-Borrego in January 2008 where I explored Palm Canyon (Palm Oasis and Planet Earth).

hpim2188l Jan:2008 at Anza-Borrego Park

hpim2109l- Bill in Palm Canyon

Crossing the bridge from 2008 to 2018 has included profound ups (our marriage) as well as downs (passing of our pug Pau Hoa and corgi Mac).  We take strength in remembering the words of Professor Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,”* from Steven Kloves screenplay for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.*

Happy and bright times in 2017 included taking our tricolor corgi Tasha on many San Diego Corgi Meetup outings (see photos) where she enjoyed showing off new collars and decorations made by Larry (who also made the jester’s collar for Sidney seen below).

IMG_1060 Tasha and friend Sidney

I enjoyed visiting Kaiser Permanente’s new, beautiful, state of the art San Diego Medical Center,* dedicated to green design while providing excellent, integrated patient care as well as exciting career and volunteer opportunities.*

IMG_0897 San Diego Medical Center

Old Man Winter was ringing in the New Year with Arctic air over much of the country as a hummingbird drank at our feeder while I wiggled my toes in sunny San Diego and listened to “The 2017 Song – A Year in Review La La Land Parody,”* sung by Tessa Netting!

IMG_1180 Celebrating the new year in our own backyard!

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

Our 2007 23′ Airstream Safari 10th year Anniversary and Review

We brought our new 2006 F-250 Super Duty truck to Southwest Coaches and picked up our custom-ordered 2007 23′ Airstream Safari Special Edition trailer in January 2007. (See video of similar model)*

2006 F-250 & 2007 23' Airstream Safari

We were in our 60s, recently retired and lived in San Diego, where our favorite desert, mountain and beach getaways were all within a two-hour drive.  Camping in the comfort and style of an Airstream trailer made sense to us and we bought the largest one that could fit comfortably in our driveway!

23' Airstream Safari fits in driveway!

This Airstream trailer was a custom order placed through Southwest Coaches, Irvine, California. It included two factory-installed solar panels, two FanTastic Fans, and the full awning package (awnings on all three sides).

DSC_0146 Full awning pkg & 2 solar panels

The selling point for us is that this trailer has an L-lounge that extends into a large bed and, along with the rear bed, we and our two dogs sleep very comfortably!  Next to a huge, 2-door wardrobe is a 5 cu. ft. refrigerator under a built-in microwave.  And the many windows brighten the day inside!

190.40 View up aisle from bed to lounge

DSC_0294 Dog bed under ext

The trailer comes with a dinette table that stows away in the nearby credenza.

DSC_0180 Credenza with stowaway rolling dinette table DSC_0177 Rolling dinette table (stowed)

207.40 Rolling dinette out and opened

The galley features a large lobster sink with underneath storage and a pull out pantry.

DSC_0292 Galley & pull-out pantry

 

DSC_0003 Under sink storage

Storage is also provided above and below the Vanity Sink.

DSC_0084 Vanity Sink  HPIM0952 LED Portable Lt at Vanity Sink

 

 

 

 

 

This article is the first in a series of postings that show details of the features of our trailer and truck and why they work so well for two people with two dogs.  And why this trailer and truck combo is right at home at the beach or in the mountains and desert.

HPIM2450 Safari at Vallecito County Park

Gee, ain’t it funny how time just slips away.* (Willie Nelson)

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

 

Great expectations: Nests, beasts, bread, books and America

The Nest Caravan trailer prototype, designed by Robert Johans, is a sleek, new trailer with a fiberglass monocoque body that does not sit on a steel frame, which makes this 16′ trailer lightweight (about 2000 pounds) and easily towed by a standard car!  The Nest Caravan prototype has a queen size bed, large counter, vent fan, and a removable step bumper for the option to install a bike rack (see video linked above or photos here).   See how Robert built the prototype: “Nest Caravans – Building a new FG trailer step-by-step.”  Last spring, Robert sold his prototype and company assets to Airstream Inc., where he will assist Airstream to develop the Nest, expected to be launched by late 2017 or early 2018.  I have great expectations that the proud and happy owners of this new trailer will enjoy the ease of towing, not worrying and dealing with filiform corrosion, having fewer, if any, leaks, saving money on tow vehicle fuel, and feeling good about going green (it has an integrated solar panel!).  Future buyers and Fans of the Airstream Nest will not have to contemplate acquiring fantastic beasts to tow this trailer!

DSC_0084 Airstreams pulled by F-250s

Surf’s up and time for keeping cool along the coast and doing summer reading, gardening, hiking, house and yard maintenance, and fun cooking!

DSC_0094 trailer towed by car

For the centerpiece of my summer reading, I have great expectations in the New York Times Bestseller, Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, which was the inspiration for the wildly successful Broadway musical Hamilton,* winner of 11 Tony Awards!

DSC_0425 Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton

My expectations for making beautiful and delicious challah from scratch were fulfilled by Maggie Glezer’s “My Challah” recipe on page 94 of her wonderful book, A Blessing of Bread: Recipes and Rituals, Memories and Mitzvahs – “Modern-day takes on age-old recipes for challah, holiday breads, and everyday family breads from Ashkenazi, Sephardic, North African, and Near Eastern traditions, interwoven with joyous family stories, wise folktales, proverbs, and prayers.”

DSC_0419 Challah, Maggie Glezer recipe

I have very great expectations this summer in the new writings of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books.

DSC_0007 Harry Potterbooks

A new book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script), will be published the day following the official stage production opening in London on July 30.  Other new writings include, “Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” the second in a series of stories called History of Magic in North America,* written by J.K. Rowling as a prelude to the movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,* opening November 18, 2016!

Summer for us is a time for a staycation in happy San Diego with its many attractions and a time for sharing stories and cherishing memories of our Airstream camping adventures before its time to wash, wax, and treat our Airstream in the fall.

DSC_0509 Sharing stories & memories

And as we approach the fall, we also have great expectations for “the miracle that is America” as reflected upon by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in their introduction to the performance of “Hamilton” at the 70th Annual Tony Awards!*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

Encore: See and hear the creator and star of the Broadway musical, Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda sing the production’s opening number, “Alexander Hamilton,”* at the White House Poetry Jam, May, 12, 2009.

Tire pressure monitoring system II

Special Trailer (ST) tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph,* and if exceeded or if the tires are under-inflated, the tire temperatures increase, causing a weakening of the tire structure, which can lead to a shortening of the life expectancy of the tire and/or a catastrophic accident.* We have learned the importance of continuously monitoring the tire pressures (and our speed) from preflight to our arrival and midway during our stay and during our return trip home.    To facilitate this, we have relied on a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) since 2008, first with Doran, and then with PressurePro since 2011 (See “TPMS-Update“)

DSC_0005 PressurePro monitor

Typically, two or three days before departure, I install the sensors on the tires and adjust the tire pressure to be as close as possible to the specified maximum 50 PSI cold for our ST 215/75R14 Goodyear Marathon tires for the expected temperature at the time of departure.  (Our tow vehicle’s truck tires also get the sensors and have a cold PSI of 60 for front and 75 for rear tires.)

DSC_0200 ST Tire, PSI spec- cold 50

I keep a running log of the pressures and temperatures for each trip, which is started at the beginning of our trailer trip prep week and detailed in my post “Airstream Safari trip notes.”

DSC_0123 Tire pressure logOn the left is the log for our December trip.  The sensors were installed on Thursday and I noticed that the street-side rear sensor pressure reading was lower than the other sensors, which may indicate a slow tire or sensor leak.  I added air to this tire on the following day.  Early Saturday morning, the outside air temperature was 40°, and I noticed that the rear curbside sensor was not transmitting a pressure reading until it warmed up to 50°.  We departed Sunday afternoon and when we arrived at our campsite, I discovered a 1″ washer head machine screw embedded in our rear curbside tire as I was covering it for the night.  The next day, our PressurePro monitor confirmed my fear that the screw had penetrated the inner tire.  I replaced this tire with the spare and documented this in my post, “A Marathon tire repair.”

DSC_0015 I" machine screw in tireWasher head machine screws, commonly used on automobiles and motorcycles, are often encountered on highways and back roads, and I suspect that the washer head, when run over, causes the opposite end to rise towards the tire and puncture it straight on.

We find the most screws and nails in campgrounds, often brought in with firewood by campers, as seen in my post, “Nailing it… A TPMS encore.”

This camping season, our PressurePro TPMS sensors became 5 years old and were showing their age.  As seen in the log above, one was not transmitting a pressure reading in the early morning cold and another was very slowly leaking air, confirmed by temporarily putting another sensor in its place.  I contacted PressurePro and they sent me 4 new sensors for my trailer at a discounted rate, along with a Sensor Seal/Installation Tool Kit, that I will use to upgrade the truck’s sensors.

DSC_0012 New PressurePro sensor

An obvious improvement in the new sensors is that each sensor has a unique green identification number displayed on its side, which decreases the chances of placing a sensor on the wrong location.  (Each sensor is programmed for each tire location and I place each sensor in a zip lock bag assigned for each tire location when not in use, thus prolonging the battery life.  See how to set up the PressurePro tire pressure monitoring system in the video, “Protect Your RV with a TPMS“*)

A less obvious, but more important improvement is that the new PressurePro sensors now have a new Sensor Seal, a two-piece valve system that uses a hard plastic depressor to more fully depress the valve and yet, provides a hard stop during installation, protecting the seal. (Older sensors were often over tightened, resulting in damage to the O-ring seal.)  Older sensors with the one-piece seal can be upgraded by using PressurePro’s Sensor Seal/Installation Tool Kit that contains 10 sensor seals and a seal installation tool.

A tire pressure monitoring system adds to our peace of mind while on our safaris, where we’d rather come face to face with a coyote than with tire trouble!  (See Author’s update below regarding high temperature alerts and other PressurePro improvements.)

DSC_0046 Coyote in my face

*This is a link to a YouTube video.