It’s hard to convey how happy I am to tell you this: My long-awaited Airstream maintenance book is finally coming out!
I’ve been working on it for years. It covers everything you need to know to keep your Airstream travel trailer in great running condition for decades, by yourself, with simple tools and no prior experience.
Maintenance of your Airstream is not nearly as difficult as most people think, and with just a few basic tools and this guide, I think you’ll find you can do almost every routine task yourself. No more trips to the service center for every little thing. No more feeling like you are at the mercy of the mechanic because he recommended changing the air in your tires and replacing the blinker fluid. You might even find that this book saves one of your vacations, if something goes wrong on the road!
Let me tell you, writing this book was therapy for me. When I started Airstreaming in 2003, I knew nothing. I didn’t know how to fix anything, or even where to look to find the cause of a problem. I got a little better by 2005, when we went out on the road full-time. The next three years were trial-by-fire, because all kinds of things started to happen to the Airstream, and inevitably they’d happen when we were 200 miles away from the nearest assistance, so I had to call my friends and have them tell me what to do.
That’s the hard way to learn. So I wrote this book, with help from those same friends & Airstream Life contributors, to collect all the knowledge into a single volume.
I thought I had learned a lot about Airstreams after seven years of intense travel and lots of on-the-road repairs, but during the next four years (while I was writing this book) my eyes really got opened. I had long talks with Airstream personnel. I read every guide I could find from every major supplier to Airstream, including Dexter, Alcoa, Atwood, Wineguard, Parallax, Hehr, Dometic, Marshall, Cavagna, Fantastic Vent, Zip-Dee, Corian, Forbo, and many others.
I collected articles from decades of “Schu’s News” and read several other “white box” maintenance guides cover-to-cover. I talked to dealers, polishers, repair shops, and restorers.
And when I finally had a draft written, I put every word through intense review by experienced Airstream mechanics, retired factory staff, and knowledgeable Airstream owners. At the end, I realized I had often been confused, deluded, or just plain mis-informed by half of the junk I’d read online from self-appointed “experts”. (They make things so much more complicated than they need to be!)
I think you and every other Airstreamer can benefit from the last four years I’ve spent working on this project. I wrote the book specifically to suit every level of mechanical ability, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t even own a screwdriver. There are many things you can do to keep your Airstream going strong, and fix problems when they occur. Right now Brad Cornelius is working on the illustrations, 40 or so of them. When he’s done, I think the book will run about 200+ pages, spiral bound. That’s a lot of material, because it covers all these topics:
- How To Inspect (to find problems before they occur)
- Your Traveling Toolkit
- Interior Cleaning and Appearance
- Exterior Cleaning and Appearance
- Aluminum Body Repair
- Leak Prevention, Detection, and Repair
- Windows, Doors, Locks, and Vents
- Running Gear & A-Frame (including wheels, tires, brakes, and bearings)
- Storage and Seasonal
- Propane System
- Climate Control
- Gas Appliances
Bottom line: this book is unique. No other book available contains so much Airstream-specific maintenance advice.
I hope you love it. If you liked “The Newbies Guide To Airstreaming,” (my other book), I know you will.
If you’re wondering why it’s called “(Nearly) Complete”, it’s because no guide is ever really done. Things keep evolving and new ideas pop up, and so my plan is to keep updating and expanding the book over the years. I want to thank the people who have helped me with the first edition, and thank you in advance for any tips or additions you add as you use it.