Towing Targets

Hello, again. This time around, we’ll be taking a look at how others seem to view your Airstream, and what, if anything, you can do about it. Our first victim (literally) is a long-time customer that seems to have a bull’s eye painted on his Airstream. This poor guy has had more things hit his trailer than a world war II battleship. It’s been hailed on, had tree limbs drop on it, a deer run into it (at a campground, no less), it’s been rear-ended and sideswiped, and was the recipient of an errant foul ball to a window. He’s tried everything he can think of to keep this from happening any more. I suggested a hardened bunker for storage, but that still won’t stop things from being attracted while towing.
Here, there are a couple of things the average Airstream owner can do while towing to minimize exposure to “things” hitting their trailers. First, of course, is to avoid sudden death lane changes, travel with the flow of traffic, and making sure all marker and brake lights are functioning. Something else is to put a couple strips of Scotchlite reflective tape on the rear bumper. Generally, a combination of red and white reflective tape is best.

Obviously, you can’t do a lot about the occasional hail storm, but you can take steps to minimize damage from violent storms. If you hear that it’s supposed to be windy, roll up your awnings. If it’s supposed to rain, close AND LOCK the windows. Closing the windows does no good, if a gust of wind blows the window off your Airstream. Plus, your neighbor at the campground will likely not appreciate the addition of an extra window through the side of their RV.

For wildlife issues, avoid leaving food outdoors and cleaning up after meals, placing the old food in locking garbage cans should help keep most critters from attacking your Airstream. Of course, if it’s mating season for a species that’s attracted to bright, shiny things, nothing you can do will keep them away from your Airstream. Magpies, woodpeckers, deer, and Madonna are all examples of these.

Then there are shop employees that wait for the crunch of metal and glass before they decide they’ve backed your Airstream far enough into the shop. I’ve tried many things to keep these demolition derby rejects away from your Airstream, but occasionally one slips through. At least we can perform body repairs…


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.