A useful quick guide to getting support from fellow Avion Owners !
In this article:
- Tips for finding and using online Facebook and other Avion Owner Forums,
- 6 Basic Tips for New-to-You Avion Owners,
- Links to Avion Rally Event Sites,
- Resource lists including a printable “check list” for setting up to camp and preparing to tow your Avion.
At the end of this article we have a great downloadable/PDF document we are happy to share with you- “Our Avion TAKE OFF & LANDING Camp list”. We have also includes links to Avion Facebook and Rally Event groups and also links to several of our other blog posts and videos to help you out on your new journey as an Avion owner!
The great news is, you have taken the first step to buy what we all concur is one of the most iconic designs and best made campers ever–AN AVION!
Of course, owners of other vintage campers will tell you theirs is the best- we have to politely disagree! LOL.
- We know it can feel pretty overwhelming!
- Where to start?
- What questions to ask and to who?
It’s not like you can call up an Avion Dealership anymore right? (click here to see what we feel is one of the best and most up to date articles on the Avion History. The article is published by the non profit national vintage trailer/RV club called The Tin Can Tourists (TCT)- which by the way you should join, its very cheap ($25 p/yr/2022) and the club hosts rallies around the USA and has great resource info, newsletters, etc.) There were 18 Avion’s at the TCT Michigan Rally in 2019!
MORE QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE…..
- Where do you get parts? Who can fix these things if you cannot? Check out our RESOURCES & LINKS page!
- What tools are “must have’s”?
- How to determine just what needs fixing and what does not?
- Are there ways to connect to other Avion owners with experience?
What is super important is that you have purchased an Avion and there is a huge Avion Family out there rooting for you and there to help! If you are also brand new to the world of RVing and camping- we definitely have your back! There…do you feel better already? Hope so!
DID YOU KNOW?
We AVION OWNERS rock!!
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE: oh yeah!!!! We are SOCIAL! 🙂
There are no less than 5 online Facebook Pages solely dedicated to Avion travel tips, repairs, buy/sell forum and general owner share pages? Hey there is even a FB Avion owners group to exchange Christmas & Holiday Cards with each other! There are Avion Rally groups too!
YES! and each of them has some overlap but each has its own purpose too—so we suggest you ask to join ALL of them. I have posted the links to each of them at the end of this article. (sneaky huh…I want you to read on first!)
AVION INSIDER TIP: while each of the Facebook group pages do have their own generalized specific purpose- sometimes you may have a post that is worth sharing/posting on all the FB pages- that’s OK, but my personal recommendation is to use that “broadcasted ” share sparingly. WHY? well most of us Avion owners do belong to all of the FB groups so if we start seeing every one of your posts like 4 times in our feed we may start to tune you out a bit. So, in my opinion, be selective.
- If you have something to sell, put it on the sell page group first.
- If you have a repair question, post on the repair/restoration page first- wait for answers, if none after a week- then go ahead and post on the two Avion owners group pages to cast a bigger net.
- if you have some great travel tips, campgrounds or general info to share- post it on one of the “owners” themed pages
- An exception to all this is if a piece of info you have is “time sensitive” for example a new rally announcement, or rally registration reminders or God forbid you are traveling and stuck with a breakdown–you should definitely should be broadcasted on all pages!
Here is a great example of the above:
TRUE STORY! In 2018 Kevin and I were doing just a nice Sunday drive just over the border into western VT from where we live. We decided to check out some campgrounds for future stays. Lo and behold one had a wrecked Avion in its back storage yard. It had an intact rock guard and we wanted a spare!! I posted out on all four FB pages from the campground parking lot in VT asking fellow Avion owners if a rock guard from an 84 would fit our 73? Within 3 minutes I had folks responding that it would! We borrowed tools from the campground owner and drove away with our spare rock guard treasure!
Again, just my opinion to be selective on what you post where. I think it better supports each of the group pages in their own right to exist if you post questions etc. on the Facebook page that best suits your question or information-however, some Avion owners do choose to put 90% of their general posts on all the page groups-and that works for them so its ok by me too! We’re all easy to get along with!
REMEMBER—WE ALL HAVE BEEN NEW, FIRST TIME AVION OWNERS AT SOME POINT!
Based on a plethora of posts made by fellow Avion owners who have all been in your shoes (a brand new owner) at one time or another here is a short list of what we have seen as recurring tips, suggestions and worthwhile bits of info for brand new Avion owners!
6 BASIC TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED:
(1) Take your time!!!! Do not rush to completely gut the inside and start from scratch. Live with the interior a little (unless totally ruined by mold or deconstructed already). Mr. Clean Magic Sponges, Awesome Spray Cleaner (at dollar stores) are great for cleaning interior walls and ceilings. Howard’s Restor-A-Finish is excellent for reviving cabinetry.
We have seen so many people go for the complete gut job only to run out of steam, money or time and have to forfeit their RV dreams and sell their now gutted rig (less of a resale market!)
(2) If you do decide to gut the inside of the trailer, put the cabinets, etc up for resale on one of the facebook sites and/or on Ebay! There are 1000’s of fellow Avion owners always in the market for Avion parts, door handles, locks, windows, hinges, and hardware-no matter how small and insignificant it may seem all are in demand. Cabinet trims, lights, cabinet pulls, louvered doors, sinks, tub bases, mirrors, etc. all have a chance at a new life in someone else’s Avion. Please try to recycle rather than take it to the dump. These items are NOT made today and many are irreplaceable!
(3) Give your baby a bath-But Do It Right! You know how good you feel when stepping out of the shower or after a nice warm tub bath! Your Avion will feel the same! BUT—there are definite do’s and don’t to bathing an anodized all aluminum body camper! Once your Avion is clean you will have a better idea of condition. Please listen to our instructional podcast first before doing your first wash down!
(4) Secure from the Top Down! Just like a sticks ‘n bricks home, your roof condition and ongoing roof maintenance is vital to the longevity of your Avion. First on your agenda of “to do list”, after a first bath, should be repairing all the exterior (side and roof) seams, and ensuring that the roof seams, places where vents, A/C, etc are on the roof also have good seals to prevent water penetration in between your exterior and wood interior.
(5) Install a Deadbolt Lock NOW! Time after time we see the tragedy of a door swinging open while and Avion is being towed or camped in a super windy location. Reminder, these doors are not being made anymore! The old, original Bargman locks are nice but they do NOT provide enough security to keep latched. Avion’s have a certain amount of flexing of the aluminum body that happens when being towed. We and many other strongly recommend installing a deadbolt lock in ADDITION to your door handle lock. We also bungy cord ours It is safer for you when camping inside and certainly safer for your door when trailer is being towed.
(6) Reseal and Secure Window Seals if Cracked, Missing or Falling Off! Just like the exterior seams, the windows in many Avion’s that have not been maintained properly have seals that have failed. Many times, the seals have pulled away from the corners and where spliced. This is another major area where leaks happen. On a priority list, windows rank right up there with exterior side and roof seam repairs. It can feel daunting to do, but with practice, it can be done in a couple weekends. Good news is, once they are redone, you should not have to muss with them for at least 5-8 years or more!
- See our YouTube channel for our videos of us replacing our window seals and tips we offer.
- Read our blog post on how to do, tips, resources for where to get materials to replace the seals.
As promised, here are valuable links just for you!
Below is our “Take Off & Landing” Checklist. You can download and print it out to carry with you too! Bear in mind, depending on the specific equipment you may have – some of the steps we outline may be a bit different. Use this checklist as a general guide to help you practice the art of setting up a camp and breaking down your camp and hitting to road accordingly.
ONLINE FORUM PAGES: There are a couple of active online FB forums that have great resources and people in them. Just another platform to look for answers and post questions! See we are all in it to win it and help! these are by subscription, so you will need to ask to join!
- Avion Camping and Restoration Forum https://groups.io/g/AvionForum
- SilverAvion.com (I believe this is a static site now but has excellent resource material and links to manuals for various years, etc.)
DEDICATED AVION FACEBOOK PAGES:
Use the simple search of “Avion trailers” on social media and you will be amazed! here are some that we belong to and comment in fairly regularly on Facebook: (note, most if not all of these are monitored very well and do require you request to join)
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/avion.owners/ (largest of all the groups)
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/606338762755320/ (good site for Avion’s for sale and parts)
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1455279564691895/ ( another good Avion owners site)
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/842530932474447/ (especially good for tech talk)
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/139091933608542/ (Avion Truck Campers, Slide in’s)
LOOKING FOR AVION RALLIES TO ATTEND?
These are facebook group sites so again, ask to join. Many of us travel to these rallies from all over the USA. You can be a member of for example the Texas group but live in NY (like us!) Avioner’s know how to have fun, learn together and break bread—so come to a rally!! Check out our post on the Indiana Rally we have attended for years now! Read more….
- Indiana Based Rally: https://www.facebook.com/groups/284409031667225
- Texas Based Rally: https://www.facebook.com/groups/684878741674572
- Arkansas Based Rallies https://www.facebook.com/groups/2049882605260044
- Avion Owners of Missouri https://www.facebook.com/groups/2913544165579566
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MORE TIPS AND ARTICLES GEARED SPECIFICALLY FOR FIRST TIME AVION OWNERS!
A sample of our blog posts, podcasts and videos coming soon…
- Punch list of what to inspect when looking to purchase your first Avion (will include what tools, etc. to bring with you!)
- Basic repair and maintenance tool kit must have’s for Avion Owners
- ABC’s of Using Stabilizers for your Avion trailer
- Tips on how to repair and maintain exterior seams on aluminum trailers
- I am just boondocking at Walmart for the night—what should (or shouldn’t) I do besides put my vehicle in park and go to sleep?
How do you find them once we post them AND how do you find all the other articles and videos we have published?
Be sure to subscribe to this blog/website AND to our YouTube Channel! By subscribing you are the first to be alerted to new info!
We thank you for subscribing —- and really look forward to meet you (and your Avion) on the road or at rally in the near future!
All the Very Best, from Kevin and Luise Sherman