We bought a 2017 Airstream Classic 30! In a few days, we will hitch up our 2015 International Signature 27FB for our third trip north to Colonial Airstream in Lakewood, New Jersey to pick up our new Airstream.
"The Classic is designed for long-term adventurers or full-time living. It’s built for people committed to a life well-lived."
- Airstream, Inc.
Finding a good wifi connection while traveling is rarely easy and the vast majority of available hotspots are not that great. This is our approach to becoming self-sufficient when it comes to connectivity.
After a lot of research, I decided to go with SinglePoint Communications WiFi In Motion. A few emails and phone calls later, a new MAX Transit router and Roof Mount Antenna kit was enroute from Oregon. The friendly folks at SinglePoint were very easy to work with and provided answers to all of my questions without delay.
The MAX Transit router was designed for harsh road conditions. Certifications include Shock and vibration resistance (EN 61373:2010), Railway Applications (EN 50155), and Electromagnetic Compatibility. For the sake of our our Airstream we're hoping not to put these certifications to any real-world test.
MAX Transit provides simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi over two independent networks that work together to maximize throughput. The entire setup is easily managed through InControl 2 cloud-based management where you can monitor celluar use, location, individual clients and pretty much anything else related to internet connectivity on the road.
According to Singlepoint marketing, installing the WiFi In Motion is a breeze. Just stow the router inside your vehicle, mount the antenna, and go. The go part may be a breeze but from the looks of it, stowing and mounting may require a little more effort.
Our setup includes two SIM cards. One from Verizon with data cap of 10GB per month and a T-Mobile Unlimited. The default SIM has been set to T-Mobile but the unit automatically roles over to the Verizon SIM in locations where T-Mobile is not available. The rollover occurs very quickly with minimal interruption of service.
I mounted the MAX Tansit router in the overhead locker near the TV. The locker also houses the Blu-Ray player and is located adjacent to the fridge. The roof antenna cable was routed through the wall access, above the fridge and finally out the roof through the fridge vent. No holes in the roof required.
A few months after installation, we ordered a WeBoost RV signal booster. The WeBoost was mounted in the same locker and connected to the MAX Transit router. A second antenna for the WeBoost was installed during a warranty visit at the Airstream factory. With this configuration, we have cell signal boost for both the router and our phones while inside the Airstream.
The end result is just like being at home. Highly recommended.
Janet took this quick photo during a fuel stop at Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores on our way to Middleburg, Virginia. We think it says it all. We love the Airstream life.
After reading all the positive comments from fellow Airstream owners about the benefits of properly balanced wheels and tires, we decided to order a set of Centramatic Wheel Balancers. According to Centramatic, wheel balancers increase tire life and improve fuel economy so you can accomplish your goals. Count me in.
The balancers are thin metal discs designed to fit between the wheel and hub using the existing bolt pattern. The discs have an expanded ring on the outer edge filled with dampening fluid and hardened alloy shot. By using centrifugal force the free moving weights (durametal and synthetic fluid) sealed in the balancer automatically distributes to exactly where needed, placing the entire wheel assembly in perfect balance. Our new tires and wheels were balanced by Performance Plus TIres prior to shipping so the Centramatics are balancing the entire axel/hub/wheel/tire assembly as one unit.
According to the wheel balancer aficionado's on Air Forums, our trailer needed #300-356A plates. As recommended, I called the Centramatic toll-free number to be sure I was ordering the correct balancers for our new 16" Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires with 16" Sendel T-03 wheels and asked to speak with Jerry. The lady that answered was super friendly and when I told her that I needed to speak with Jerry about Airstream wheel balancers, she said, "Sure, hang on." Jerry listened patiently to my rambling of what I was attempting and said "Yep, you need 300-356A plates. I'll get them to you right away." Two days later a UPS truck was out front with a delivery.
Do they work? Our intial impression is yes, they work very well indeed. We don't ride in the Airstream while under tow but on our first trip out it was obvious our Airstream was riding much smoother. Nothing was tossed out place during a 1700-mile trip to northern Virginia. That's saying something when one considers the state of the interstate in Virginia. Interstate 81 has deteriorated terribly in the past few years and is easily one of the worst highways we've traveled in some time. The new tire/wheel/balancer setup seemed to handle Virginia's rough roads very well.
Centramatics wheel balancers are a great product from a very customer oriented company. If the idea of smooth travel sounds interesting, give them a call and ask for Jerry.
We ended our 2015 local camping season at Anchor Down RV Resort in Dandridge, TN. As we were leaving, the friendly owners and staff joked that opening day was only a couple months away. They insisted that we return and last week we took them up on their offer.
It was a chilly but, beautiful, opening weekend at the park and there only a few other campers around. We counted a total of 4 RV's on the lower level including us and handful of others on the upper level. We wanted relax and enjoy the views, but also give our new Ford F-350 Platinum a test run with the Airstream in tow. More on that later. Anchor Down is a wonderful place to visit and kick off another exciting year of travel.
For our first getaway in 2016, we picked Site #41. It's our favorite site and the same one we had in the fall. It includes a beautiful stone fireplace overlooking nearby Douglas Lake with spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The sunsets from Site 41 never disappoint.
Thanks Anchor Down for a great start to 2016. See you on closing weekend in the fall.