The shakedown trip -- to the Catskills

We were anxious to take our new Airstream on the road.  Our son is active with football and hockey.  Looking at the upcoming calendar, we knew our first get-away had to happen the our second weekend we had the trailer - or it would be months until we would be able to get on the road with her.

We also were in despirate need of some essential items from an RV store and the closest one to us happens to be in the Catskills - Camper Barn in Kingston, NY.  We hitched-up Saturday morning and were up at the RV store by noon.  Essentials - like sewer hose, plug adapters, hose connectors, chemicals, running light lens covers, etc.

After our mini shopping spree,  note - we are not new to this kind of stuff - we owned a sailboat for 15 years, we scoped out Woodall's and decided on a campground up near Windham.  We pulled in the the place did not appear to be up to our standards, but we said let's go for it anyway.  Do the people from Woodall's actually visit any of the places they rate?

Went to the office and checked in.  The lady gave us direction to our site and we were on our way.  The deeper we plunged into this campground the scarier it got.  People actually build screen porches onto their piece of shit trailers.  I knew we were becoming trailer trash when we bought the Airstream, but I never expected to actually live amongst true trailer trash for even a minute.  One campsite actually had a funeral home sign in front of it.  I don't believe these people were just getting ready for Halloween a little early either.

We finally found our assigned site and because of the way it was positioned near a bridge, it was impossible for me to back the trailer in.  Thank G-d.  I said to Katy and the kids "we're outta here."  Katy went back to the office, told them our dilema about parking and they thankfully gave us a refund for the nights stay.

While Katy was in the office I began the process of poking-and-hoping in Woodall's.  We found another place down near where we were having dinner with friends in Saugerties - Rip Van Winkle Campground.  Glad to say, this place IS up to our standards.  Clean facilities, nice surroundings, and no shit trailers with screened in porches.  There were actually three or four other Airstreams in the place - we knew then it had to be okay ;-).

A nice pull through site for the novice manueverer

Rain, rain rain.  Rain is the reason we decided to buy our Airstream.  We have been tent camping five to ten times a year since 1990.  In 2000, the whole family was with me up at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and it rained in biblical proportions that year.  The fam bailed on me Friday that year and they haven't been back to Grey Fox since.  The wife and kids did a camping trip last summer to Cape Cod and woke up one morning with six inches of water in the tent.  I went to the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival this Spring at Granite Hill Campground, and it rained for four days there.  I've been sleeping in my van for a few years now, but that's just sleeping.

At Gettysburg, I was looking around at all the trailers and the bug finally bit me.  Maybe a trailer would get the family back to the bluegrass festivals I love so much.  I attended two festival in July, the the trialer obsession continued to mount.  Looking around I decided Airstream was the only way to go.  Finally in August Katy and I began the shopping process for an Airstream.

Back to the Catskills trip - here we were able to finally check the water system and electric.  Needed the RV store to get those system checks going.  The love affair with our Airstream continues - everything WORKS!

I have to be honest, the kids have not been completely psyched about this whole trailer thing.  We basically put off purchasing their computers to buy the trailer.  After dinner at Tim and Wendy's, we hit a Blockbuster, rented a couple of movies, got back to the camp ground, put the TV back in their bedroom and they climbed under the blankets an watched TV into the wee hours.  The next morning they slept in late while I was wrestling with the Zip-Dee awnings.

When they awoke they had a entirely new outlook on our Airstream.  I think I can quote the 13 year old and 11 year old - "it's not that bad."  If anyone knows a 13 year old - you know to take that as a huge affirmation.

For those in the know, you'll appreciate the wrestling match I had in opening the big awning on the curb side.  This thing probably hadn't been open in a year or two.  That combined with me never opening one, led to curses and banging of hammers.  I finally got it open but had no clue as to where the support bars were suppose to go.  I ventured over to an Airstream from FL, knocked on the door and introduced myself as a newbie and asked for some advise/help.

The man of the house promptly put on his shoes and came over and gave me the skinny on Zip-Dees.  First thing he said is the whole apparatus need to be lubricated with silicone - not wd-40.  Less of a mess he said.  The gentlemen got the awning opened and showed me where things went.  He mentioned titling the awning for better drainage when raining.  Viola, something else works and doesn't look to be in bad shape either.  The silicone did the trick.

All in all, a successful shakedown trip.

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