Top 12 Towing Tips for Newbies

Friday, March 14, 2014

Our Silver Sisters Caravan. Towing is more fun with friends!

When I first got my Airstream, for some reason I relied on my man G to tow it. He was a love to tow it whenever I needed it for a show or wanted to camp somewhere.  He had experience towing, so it seemed like it only made sense... only it didn't. It was my trailer. I am a good driver. Why would I not be towing it myself? Soon there came a day that G had to work out of town and I had a jewelry show with my Airstream showroom several towns away. I had no choice but to tow the Airstream myself. As I was whining / freaking out about the situation, an older gentleman friend said to me, "You're a big girl, you can do this". He was right. I put my big girl pants on, and with my 1969 GMC pickup, I towed my 24' Airstream Trade Wind through one of the windiest sections of road I know to this day. I told myself, "If I made it through that, everything else will seem like a piece of cake".  Little by little it was.  I can still get worked up in certain situations when around not-so-lovely drivers, and so does anyone who drives. Now I have the philosophy, "If you can drive, you can tow".

My dog Osa and I traveled cross county round trip with that same 24' Airstream in tow on a two month journey. It was magical and I learned a lot along the way.

My truck and Airstream on a 2 month road trip with TLC

Here are some tips from me and other helpful trailer friends who shared on my Facebook page

Top 12 Tips for Towing a Trailer

1. Check your set up. Do a final walk around inside and around your trailer before you head out. Make sure items are stowed away inside, off counters and vents are closed and cabinets are latched. Walk around the exterior of the trailer and look underneath it to make sure you're in the clear. Most importantly, check the hitch set up and make sure everything is connected properly and in good working order. Check that your lights and signal flashers are working properly. A checklist is helpful for all of these items and more.

2. Be calm and focused. To this day, I make sure when I get in the truck to tow, I feel calm and focused. I like to sit for a couple of minutes and take a couple of deep breaths and clear my mind, while I have some sips of coffee. It's a big part of towing- to get your mind in the game, get excited for the trip, and to feel centered and calm. Breathe. This mindset with keep you cool and clear when you need to be. Once I'm on the road and on my way, I put on music and enjoy the ride, while staying focused.

3. Take your time. It's important that you don't feel rushed or pressure to go faster thank you're comfortable. The people behind you have a beautiful view!  Go the appropriate and safe speed limit. People will pass you when they can. On some smaller roads, when you're able to safely pull over let others pass if there's a stack of cars beginning to form behind you. Be considerate.

4. Think ahead.  Just as motorcyclists have to think and look ahead, so do you. Look far ahead down road in front of you and be aware of your fellow drivers around you. When towing, your lane changes and stopping are slower, so you need to think ahead for lane shifts, and slow down sooner. This will eventually come naturally. Sometimes I'll see truckers all merging into the next lane and I'll know that it is an exit only lane ahead or a short merge for entering traffic.

5. Fill up your gas at truck stops. This obviously depends on where you are traveling, but it you're on a route with truck stops, this will make entering and exiting the gas station much easier. Plus, they have some cool trucker stuff in some of the stores. If you don't have truck stops available, look for gas stations with plenty of space to pull in and out of.

6. Bring along a happy co-pilot. You'll likely be nervous behind the wheel the first few times. Bring along that someone who is encouraging and supportive (and perhaps brave) to be your navigator and cheerleader. If this is your dog, that that works too!

7. Have good tow mirrors on your vehicle so you have the best visibility possible.

8. Check your tire pressure on your tow vehicle and trailer before you head out. Inflate as necessary.

9. Take your turns wider. The trailer tracks tighter on turns, so check your mirrors and swing the turn(s) wider than you would if you didn't have a trailer in tow. Again, check your mirrors through the turn.

10. Put your hand on the base of the steering wheel when backing up the trailer. The direction you move your hand on the wheel is the direction the back of the trailer will move. It's easy to over think it. Do this, it works.

11. Ask for help if you need it. There's no shame in asking someone to help spot you when backing up, you may even make a friend. Ask them to use hand gestures you can see in your side view mirror. Have them tell you what the direction the back of the trailer should go (not which way to cut the wheel- that only gets confusing). Fellow Airstreamer, Neil Holman posted on my Facebook page: "Please do ask for assistance, especially when backing up. RV folks love to help...they were beginners once".

12. Enjoy the Ride! That's the whole point, isn't it? Thank the ones who are joining you, take in the sights (while keeping your eyes on the road), and be darn proud of yourself for rising up to the challenge of towing- facing your fear and doing it anyway. This new skill will lead you (and your trailer) to many beautiful places and experiences.

And there you have it. You've got this! Practice in a big wide empty parking lot to start. Drive around your neighborhood when you're comfortable (depending where you live!), soon you'll be ready to get on the road- we'll be cheering you on all the way!

(For you experienced trailer friends reading this, if there are any tips you'd like to add for a newbie reading this, please do. This is a growing list and we can all learn from each other's experiences).

Business, renovation and design

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Material samples for a new mobile project.

So much to blog about... 

Things have been busy helping run Airstream 2 Go, my own business Silver Trailer, designing our recent fourplex fixer upper purchase in downtown Las Vegas, a new look for my Airstream Betty Jane Bambi II, and taking on an exciting new mobile design project for a client. I think I know why I haven't had much time to blog! It's nice to have some topics to blog about- I'd love to share them with you. I'm envisioning some blogging time back in Lotus from our sweet little bungalow overlooking the river. I hope you're enjoying March and taking on some fun projects too...

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year, Friends! 
I hope this Year of the Horse is good to you and those you love. 
Kristiana & Silver Trailer

see you at Alt Summit SLC!

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm packing up and getting ready to head out to Alt Summit in Salt Lake City for all things blog, branding, social media and more. I'm carpooling with Lauren Thorp of the creative company Umba.
Should be a fun and fabulous week that will kick my blogging butt into gear. Looking forward to endless inspiration and insight!

Eriba Familia photo shoot

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hello from Calabasas, California!

Beebo on the set of a photo shoot with Nordstrom 

I'm here for a photo shoot with Nordstrom for their BP line. They've chosen Beebo, my German made 1965 Eriba Familia for the shoot and he looks adorable! Add some even more adorable models, cute clothes and vintage props and that makes for some great imagery.
Normally I keep these shoots under wraps, but the social media team for Nordstrom was here posting sneak peeks on their Instagram, so I got the go ahead to share a sneak peek too. You'll have to wait to see the model images…worth the wait, I promise!

Detail shot- love it!

Mansion at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, CA

We're shooting at King Gilette Ranch in Calabasas. What a great place to spend the day. This place has an interesting history. Before the shoot today I drove around Malibu Canyon and past the ranches of Calibasas. Big livin'! I love where my silver trailer rentals take me- places I may not have ever seen in my lifetime otherwise. Meeting new people and seeing prop styling in action is icing on the cake.

I'll update this post with the final images and links when the time comes. In the meantime, you can get a peek at Norstrom's Facebook page. Happy travels, friends!


Here's a link to the adorable final Nordstom BP Spring Break Video. It is so sweet!

Life Is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Betty Jane gets ready to party at Life Is Beautiful
Downtown Las Vegas just played hostess to the first ever Life Is Beautiful festival, and what a hostess she was! The LIB team did an amazing job building the event and taking care of every minute detail- not an easy task! The festival was a huge success that encapsulated music, art, performance, and the best food I've ever had at a festival, that's for sure! My Airstream Bambi II, Betty Jane was a part of the Dolce Vita VIP party at the Stitch Factory, and Airstream 2 Go was a sponsor of the event.

Silver Trailer at the Dolce Vita event at Stitch Factory

Grills and Guitars was one of my favorite events- delish!

Mural artists flew in from all over the world to do their thing on the facade of many abandoned hotels and casinos.
Mural by Vhils / Alexandre Farto

Alison in front of a 3D mural by Aware

On top of it all, one of my best buds, Alison Turner, and her pup Max came to visit and we had fun urban camping on the Airstream 2 Go lot- right across from the 2nd stage.

Urban camping with Alison & Maxie

Fifteen square blocks transformed downtown Las Vegas for the week before and during the festival. It was and exciting peek at the optimistic future of downtown.

Day after the festival. Looking forward to next year!

A huge thank you to all of the efforts that went into making this festival so incredible!
I encourage you to check it out next year, you'll be glad you did!

vintage find: streamline desk

Monday, November 11, 2013

As much as I'm trying not to purchase vintage items these days to keep things minimal... there's possible news that leads me to not be able to help myself... I'll keep you posted, of course!

Last weekend, on our visit home to El Dorado County, I headed out for vintage inspiration. I came across this sweet little desk and it took my breath away, literally.

I made that happy gasp inhale sound- the sound you make when something is "IT". That's how I know I love something 100%, when it's absolutely perfect. It doesn't happen all the time, when it has, those are the items that I love and have had for the long haul. Seriously, pay attention to your happy gasp, that's when you'll know you really love something.

I had no idea where I'd put this little pretty desk, but the price was too good to pass up.
So what if someone asked if "perhaps I was developing a "desk fetish?". Maybe...
I went for it, and I'm so glad I did! We loaded it into the van for drive back to downtown Vegas. When it was time to unload little greenie, I thought, "let me just see if it fits in Betty Jane", not knowing where the heck else I would put it. G helped me unload and move the desk into the Airstream and voilá! She's a great fit! I gave her a good scrub down- she could be refinished to her original color, but she's a looker as-is too. It was fun to have posted the "before" photo on Instagram and a photo later of her in my Airstream. Nice to have friends part of the process!

Little greenie inside Betty Jane, Airstream Bambi II

I've been wanting to change up the look in my little Bambi II since she moved to Vegas. While I love her rustic modern look, I've also been wanting a little something to reflect her new city girl identity. I can't wait to style out the rest of Betty Jane with some more of my mid-century goodies!

unique sailboat bar

Sunday, September 29, 2013

I spent this morning with my sister friend, Nan and her pup, Mei Li. We walked around Ossining, NY and made the prediction that it's the next Hudson line neighborhood to be discovered and become a hot spot like our home town of Tarrytown, NY. We walked down to the train station and the Ossining Boat Club. I stopped in my tracks when I laid my eyes on this sailboat bar.

It's simply done and such a fun concept. You want a boat and a slip, but you don't want to commit to the investment. Come down to the Boat Club, have a cocktail and imagine it's your own personal slip. Works for me! Hopefully we'll head back down this evening for an imaginary sail.
I'm now a bit fixated on visiting other unique watering holes. Let me know if you have one to recommend...!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Say hello to my little friend… Projecteo!

Projecteo makes himself at home in Vegas

I am in love with this little guy. I want to build a miniature Airstream so I can have miniature slide shows inside of it.

Projecteo's side view

This is a combination of an old school View Master, a slide projector, and Instagram photos all in one adorable little package. Projecteo was sweet enough to send me an invite to try one. I went to their site, accessed my Instagram photos and chose the ones I wanted to have on my mini reel. I decided I'd go with a Downtown Vegas theme and selected the photos I've taken since I've been here 7 months ago. My Projecteo soon arrived in the mail and it was even smaller than I expected. I have a soft spot for miniature cute things, who doesn't? (Giant clip not included).

It's a really simple assembly: Turn the projector over, slide off the battery cover, insert batteries, insert reel, find a dark space, turn on & enjoy!

Here are some of the images on my reel. I tried my best to get photos of them, they look better in person and on a smooth surface. How neat it was to see them illuminated!

These were projected on my bumpy wall. A nice smooth surface is best for a crisp image.

When not in use, I keep my little friend on my desk as a reminder to go out and explore, and enjoy my travels with my little friend when I return. Thank you, Projecteo!

you can be anything you want to be | super trailer toy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

On this Throwback Thursday I look to my grad school portfolio that helped shape my present lifestyle and Airstream obsession. Oh to have the time to fabricate one piece for hours and days and weeks on end. I made this piece called "Super Trailer Toy" in the style of Mr. Potato Head. It has attachable accessories: paddles, wings, skis, flippers and skis. This little guy can do it all- swim, ski and fly! Let it be a reminder to you that you can be anything you want to be!