Here's a simple inspection we recommend Airstream trailer owners do every time they stop the Airstream.
It's a quick check to make sure nothing bad has happened while you were towing. If there's a problem you've probably caught it early, and can handle the issue before it becomes acute or creates an unsafe situation.
We perform this inspection at every gas station while the tank is being filled, and whenever we stop for a meal or a break. All it requires is a simple walk around the Airstream, and it only takes about a minute.
1. Inspect the hitch
- Are the safety chains hitting the ground?
- Are any wires dangling?
- Does anything seem loose?
- Any nuts or bolts missing?
If the answers are no, you're good to go. If any answer is yes, address the issue before you pull out.
You should occasionally also inspect the breakaway switch, to make sure it's in working condition and has not corroded. If it has, make a note to replace it before your next trip.
2. Inspect the Airstream's exterior
Walk around the entire Airstream and check for anything that doesn't look right.
- Have the steps been completely put up and secured?
- Are all the windows completely shut?
- Is the exterior free of debris—nothing stuck to or hanging outside?
- Look underneath a trailer–is the belly pan aluminum attached firmly, with nothing slumping down?
If all the answers are yes, you're all set. If you've caught anything during this visual inspection, attend to it before you drive away.
If the belly pan aluminum needs a tuck, reach for your AIR GEAR Rivet Replacement Kit. It has the essential items you need to replace a rivet that may have fallen out.
3. Inspect the tires
This is the most important part of the roadside inspection and you should do it for every tire including those on the tow vehicle.
Even if you travel with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) as we do, embedded objects may not show up as low pressure on the monitor for several hours. You can get a jump on that by simply performing this visual inspection before you get back on the road.
- Look at the face of every tire—front and back. Do you see any nails or screws embedded in the tire?
- Take a look at the tire tread on every tire. Is the tire worn unevenly, or delaminating (tread is coming off the tire)?
- Is there any damage to the sidewall of the tire, such as cracking or chunks torn out?
If you find embedded objects or any significant damage to the tire or tread remove the wheel and replace it with the spare. Then take it to a professional service center to have it checked.
Driving with embedded objects in a tire puts you at risk for low tire pressure or a blowout. The body damage caused by a flat tire can be extremely expensive, so don't take chances.
Your Airstream trailer did not come with a complete set of tools to change a trailer tire. Purchase the right tools and always carry them in your rig. The AIR GEAR Tire Changing Kit includes what you need, along with step by step instructions.
Make the Essential Roadside Inspection for Trailers a habit! Perform it every time you stop towing and you'll save yourself from unnecessary risks and expensive mistakes.