Archive for January, 2011

Quick tips from Lug

Friday, January 28th, 2011

In this extra edition, I’ll post a few quick ideas for helping keep you and your Airstream doodling along. Now is the time to get some of this stuff, and if you see something you want, you can always point it out to your spouse or significant other.

First, a 3/4″ nut driving attachment connected to a cordless drill is a great way to save time and effort when cranking up and down  those stabilizers.

Second, you can connect both ends of your fresh water hose together to keep water from leaking al over the storage compartment.

Third, an inexpensive in line water pressure regulator connected at the spigot will help keep your fresh water hose from swelling up like a bratwurst, and blowing apart at an inopportune moment, such as when your hair is full of shampoo.

Fourth, a pair of disposable latex gloves worn while dumping will help keep the contents of your holding tanks off your hands. You can toss the used gloves in the trash can usually provided at most dump stations. If there isn’t a trash can handy, you can always gift wrap them, and leave them on the doorstep of the people in the neighboring campsite that were partying until 4 am.

Fifth, a short bungee cord wrapped around your coax cable will help keep it from getting tangled, as well as not allowing it to take over your storage area like a very long, malnourished snake.

Sixth, you can store a loaf of bread in the microwave to keep it from getting smashed in transit. This will also work for hot dog and hamburger buns.

Seventh, a pair of tennis balls, one under each wiper arm, will elevate the wiper blades off the windshield, and help keep debris like leaves and dirt from gathering on the wiper blades, and promote longer life of those parts when your motor home is in storage. You can use them for your tow vehicle as well, just remember to remove them before switching them on. Many highways sometimes resemble tennis matches, especially during bad weather, but there’s no need to encourage this behavior.

They May Be Smarter Than You Think…

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

A few years ago, back when radios that could connect to external devices such as MP3 players were new, an Airstream came in with a problem.

This problem was kind of strange, the man that owned it told me the radio was not playing all his MP3 files, and could I take a look at it?

Sure, I’ll see what we can do.

I first tried the radio and CD functions, of course, and they both worked as they were supposed to. I then tried the auxiliary input, where the MP3 player connected, and, in the grand tradition of trips to the dentist, it worked fine. I tried several files, and they all worked like you would expect. Johnny Cash was crying about prisons,  Marvin Gaye wanted to know what was going on, and The Beatles were living in their submarine.  When I told the customer I couldn’t find anything wrong with his radio, he started spluttering “Here, what about This one? and this one?” The two files he chose were not music I would expect the average Airstreamer to have on his iPod, but there were Alvin and the Chipmunks belting out those great hits, Funkeytown and Macarena. Only thing was, you could hear them on a pair of headphones, but not through the radio. I checked, and they were wailing away about taking them down, and doing the Macarena. I plugged the player back into the radio, and was greeted by–silence.

I unplugged the player, and plugged in headphones again. Yup. that’s Funkeytown, all right. Hmm…

“Sir, I think I know what the problem is.”

“Oh? What’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing, sir. It’s just your Airstream has better taste in music than you do.”

After a little more research, we determined those two files had corruptions that would not allow them to be played through the radio.  The customer removed them from his iPod, reloaded them from his CD, and everything was fine. I think if it had been me, I would have tried that first, rather than admitting I owned that music. At least it was an easy fix.

About the Author

Lug Wrench is a long-time mechanic, multiple Airstream owner, and dyed-in-the-wool pragmatist. All tales guaranteed 100% true, although names and certain details may be altered to protect the guilty.