Okay, that title is only partially true. Because there is no real replacement for doing things yourself. I am talking about learning everything there is to know on that brand spanking new Airstream you just mortgaged the next 10 to 15 years of your life on. But if you want to get some seriously good tips on how to use that silver thing on your driveway, this is probably the best way to start.

Rich Luhr as many of you might know is the publisher of Airstream Life magazine as well as the event co-producer of the very popular Alumapalooza rally hosted at the Airstream factory once a year. Last year’s sold-out, inaugural event basically ensured that this will be an annual gathering for the foreseeable future.

Rich and Eleanor have own several Airstreams in their RVing career. The name of his magazine, Airstream Life, contains zero hyperbole when it comes to describing their passion for the aluminum-clad home-on-wheels. They spent 3 years traveling the country with their daughter Emma in their 30-foot Airstream Safari Bunkhouse. And when they traveled the country, I don’t mean heading out every weekend to a new place before bringing their laundry home Sunday night to get ready for work on Monday. It WAS their home. It WAS their life. Their commitment to the lifestyle excluded the need for a home base to fall back to for emergencies. That is the kind of expertise behind this ‘Getting Started’ book on Airstreams.

Airstreams do come with its official owner’s manual. And I would have to say that they aren’t bad as owner’s manuals go. But that isn’t saying a lot. A typical factory owner’s manual lack spirit and soul that is essential to someone looking into diving into this lifestyle. They are often written by technical writers who’s ultimate goal is to disclose just enough information so the company doesn’t get sued for your potential mishap. Even if you are just hoping to camp a couple times a year at that luxury, full hookup resort by the lake, you will want to, and need to know how to hitch up your trailer properly, how to fill and dump your water tanks and most of all, how to maintain your Airstream so it continues to serve you for the rest of its your life. Believe me, this trailer is built to last.

Let me cut to the chase here for those new Airstream owners who are thinking about skipping this book. Yes, you might NOT actually need it. Alternatively, you can spend the next several months of your free time reading every one of the hundreds of Rich’s daily blog posts chronicling those 3 full-time years in their Airstream. And once you are done with that, go catch yourself up to date for the next 3 years at his new blog Man in the Maze. That’s what lots of us had to do and you should too if you have the time. If not, lucky for you, this Newbies Guide to Airstreaming distills down all of the important lessons you need to learn into a very fast 98 pages fun read written in a very unpretentious simpleton lingo.

Neither I nor Rich can guarantee that you won’t screw something up after reading his book. The truth is, we all will at some point. But for a new Airstream owner, it will minimize your risk of making those catastrophic mistakes that might put a huge damper on your trip. Those little problems that might not be covered in this book are what you might refer to as the spice of life. Like that one time when I was flushing the black tank and forgot to open the dump valve and it started overflowing through the air vent on top of the roof. Yeah, that kind of spice of life.

over and out,

Categories: dailyproduct


Claire · May 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I’m assuming you guys have watched this:

dan · May 10, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I think we watched it with you in galveston! Also you guys were also there during the black water incident on Bisbee.

claire · May 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Great memory I’ve got.

Rich · May 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hey Dan, thanks for the review. I think I’ll add in the warning about over-filling the black tank in the Second Edition. We’ll call it, “The Mali Mish Mush Mess” or something like that in honor of you.

Maybe I’ll see you this summer when I get out to California next …

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