When you turn on a light in your house, the light goes on. That’s simple. But when you turn on a light in your Airstream while on battery power, it may seem like you’re suddenly expected to have an advanced degree in electrical engineering. That’s because managing power is one of the biggest challenges new … Continue reading What’s in a watt?
The worst problem you can have with any vehicle is not a total failure. It’s an intermittent failure. Those little quirks that crop up but can’t be reliably reproduced can drive you batty, especially when you haul the Airstream into the dealership and they come back to you with a note: “No problem found,” or … Continue reading Electrical Grounds
Most people don’t think about the fat black cable that connects the Airstream to the tow vehicle—until something doesn’t work, like taillights or brakes. It’s called either the “umbilical” or “7-way” cable, and keeping it in good condition is important because it’s the critical link for correct operation of trailer brakes, lights, and signals. The … Continue reading The 7-way cable
Ed B. from Washington posed a question that might be on your mind, too— “I’m wondering about replacing the factory converter/charger unit with a ‘smart charger’. Battery management seems to be my problem just now. When in storage, the batteries go down to zip or overcharge, both of which are hard on the batteries. We … Continue reading Ask Outside Interests
There are four things that absolutely kill Airstreams: water damage, neglect, accidents…and severe hail. If you are a careful owner you’ve already got a copy of Airstream Life’s (Nearly) Complete Guide to Airstream Maintenance and are following the procedures described in it to keep your Airstream in good condition. That will eliminate water damage and neglect … Continue reading Oh, hail!
Sometimes when you buy an Airstream there are a few unwanted things that come with it, such as decals, warning labels, somebody else’s Big Red Numbers, and souvenir stickers. Often these are glued-on remnants of the former owner’s lifestyle, and to make the Airstream your own, you may want to get rid of them. Even … Continue reading Removing Decals
Lots of new Airstream owners want to find ways to extend their camping time while “boondocking,” (off-grid camping, away from electrical hookups). So inevitably the question comes up: which is better, a generator or solar panels? The answer comes down to your needs. Generators are the most practical way to have enough power to run … Continue reading Solar vs Generator?
Over the last decade cellular and wifi coverage has gotten so good that it’s feasible for many people to break free of their office desks and work from their recreational vehicle. This has spawned the term “digital nomad” or “technomad” and for many, it’s the ideal life. Compared to just ten years ago, things are … Continue reading The Dark Side of Being A Digital Nomad
Equalizer bars, anti-sway control, weight distribution hitch, spring bars … even if you are a seasoned Airstreamer you might think you know the difference, but it’s easy to be confused because the industry uses these terms interchangeably. And after seeing a viral video recently circulating online—footage of a trailer alarmingly fishtailing on the freeway—you may … Continue reading Sway Control
In the Airstream universe you will find a curious phenomenon: passionate debates about sealants. That’s because the constant movement of all parts on the road causes all travel trailers to leak eventually, and a good sealant is our first line of defense against rain penetration. Rather unfairly, Airstreamers get more of this debate than owners … Continue reading Sealants — A Sticky Subject