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AIRSTREAM, Jackson Center, OH

We're back at Airstream for the second time since we picked up our trailer in October 2005.

JC Terra Port.jpg

For those who have never been here, and who own an Airstream or hope to own one someday, the factory is almost a mythical place. It doesn't hurt that it is located far from the beaten path, sitting in a tiny town in Ohio that is surrounded by soybeans and corn. The inconvenient access of Airstream only makes the pilgrimage a little more satisfying.

Of course once you arrive in an Airstream here, it's a very comfortable experience. The factory provides a little camping area called the Terra Port, which features full hookups, wi-fi, and a view of the Service Building. Most people camped here today are waiting for service appointments, and if you are, your Terra Port stay is free.

Around the corner of the Service Building is an outdoor display of historic Airstreams, including the famous "gold trailer" once owned by Wally and Stella Byam. (See Airstream Life, Summer 2006 issue for an article all about this trailer.) Inside the Service Building you can sign up for a factory tour, given daily at 2:00.

There's not a lot to do in Jackson Center, being a small town, but we've found that you can make your own fun. Last night Emma and I spent an hour circling around the acres of asphalt on our bicycles, checking out interesting Airstreams and talking to other people who are staying here. Down the street is JC Pizza, a movie theater, and a laundry ... so we'll catch up on the simple things while we are here.

Tomorrow we have a service appointment scheduled. One of the tires is wearing oddly, which indicates a likely need for axle alignment. We also need a check of the disc brake pads, and to repack the wheel bearings. A few inside parts have broken (a knob on the stove, an arm for the folding cutting board, etc) and we'll get replacements for those also. I'd like to see if we can do something about that front compartment which leaks when we tow in the rain, but only if the solution isn't too invasive. This isn't the week for us to get into major projects, since we want to be heading out Friday morning.



Hobo's wasn't too bad for breakfast and Cafe Veranda was quite good for dinner. We ate outside on the porch, which was pleasant despite the occasional 18-wheeler passing by.

Got exceptional service and some clever solutions to warranty problems from Rick. Whenever we are in the area again, I'll probably dream up some excuse for service just to avail ourselves of their expertise and creative solutions to problems that haven't been addressed or resolved in manufacture.

Oh, great prices on parts too. Sometimes half what a dealer would charge.

Is Eleanor trying to keep the sun out of her eyes, or is she saluting the spirit of Wally Byam. If a salute, is it optional or mandatory in Jackson Center

Rich, is the tire that is wearing oddly in the same position on the trailer as the tire that fell off?

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