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Old 12-05-2002, 07:35 AM   #1
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Shakedown Run

Hey Folks, first time posting here. I joined the group while I was in the process of hunting for the right Pod, or better yet, availing myself to the one that was out there looking for me. Anyway, the deed is done, 1965 Tradewind. Chances are, my daughter, dog and I will head from Brooklyn, NY to Tennessee around New Years to collect the trailer. Everything seems to be in very good working condition, and I have to take the sellers word on that. I just want to make sure that I cover all the bases before I head down with the intenntion of heading back up, trailing a trailer. Here are my concerns;

I will have the rear shocks/springs strengthened on my 1993 Toyota 4WD Pick Up., Has anyone had experience towing a trailer this size with a smaller truck such as mine?

The existing hitch seems properly rated, but I will have that looked at as well. Any additions in the hitching hardware that you would suggest?

Connector (electric) seems to be a straightforward 7-pin configuration. Is this a "standard" connection?

Kelsey-Hayes brake connector (as specified in manual), does this hook-up through the 7-pin connector or is there an independent set-up for the brakes?

Since I will not have the chance to see or inspect the trailer before we head down to collect her, I am hoping that I can get some feedback of what pitfalls might be waiting for me. The better prepared I am, the more I have a chance of cutting Murphy and his Law off at the pass.

Anyone have space in Ulster/Orange county (NY) where I might rest her (haha).

One other suggestion. The popularity of this forum reminds me of the days when I rode a BMW cycle. There was the BMWMOA (Motorcycle Owner's Association). Members listed their location and the degree of assistance they were willing to give to fellow members. I know personally, I would be willing to offer a few days of parking in NYC (can't even find room here to park a Cooper Mini), or if contacted by a stranded 'Streamer, even provide assistance if I could. Just thought I would throw that out there. This group has a sizable membership, and a network such as that would be great.

Thanks for any replies in advance. I will probably create a seperate webpage to follow our trip.

regards...

Steve
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:45 AM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
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I'm a newbie and purchased a 72 Tradewind located about 600 miles away in September. I pull mine with a 2002 Toyota Tundra and use an equalizer hitch. I did quite a bit of research before I decided the maximum size trailer I could handle. The opinion seems to be that the safety concern isn't whether you can get it started, but whether you can safely stop it. If you go to the the Airstream web site and their frequently asked questions (http://www.airstream.com) you can find weight data on their trailers and wiring diagrams for the electric plug. Yours has a empty weight of 3,810, tongue weight of 430 and a hitch height of 20.5. My advise it to make sure your hitch height is correct and your rig can handle the 430 tongue weightand the trailer weight. I went to the Toyota website, but didn't find any information on towing weights for your rig. My memory of an older small Toyota I had was 5,000. Towing weight should be in your owners manual. I had to tow mine about 45 miles with a hitch with too much drop. I could go about 45 MPH max. I highly recommend an equalizer hitch.

The electric connector between the tow and trailer could be either a round pin or a flat blade. The round pin was the original set up on your trailer. Mine had been converted to flat blade. This harness feeds power to your running lights, turn signals, brake lights, wheel brakes and charges your trailer battery. I emailed my seller and asked whether the connector was round or blade. I then had a brake controller installed and wired appropriately. I made an appointment with a RV dealer to have the wheel bearings packed and the equalizer hitch installed as well as having the trailer checked for road worthiness.

Good Luck.
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:55 AM   #3
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Keylime,

Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your purchase. I can't help you with your pinage for your electrical hookup to the truck but dependent upon your seller and if the plug is non standard, you may be able to use the outlet he had when he pulled the Tradewind.

Obviously you have some distance to travel so you will need to make sure you have working brakes, and potentially may need to get those wheel bearings checked before you get on the road. Also check out the tires. If they have been on for five years or more you will need to replace them, regardless of the amount of tread left on them. Nothing worse than to lose a wheel or have a blown tire beat your wheel well and adjoining areas to a pulp.

You will need some type of sway control and I assume you have checked the weight of your Tradewind to make sure it falls within the ratings for your Toyota. The fellow who bought my 28' SOB trailer was pulling it with the large Toyota pickup. I don't remember the model but it was rated to pull up to 7,000 lbs. If I remember correctly his receiver hitch bar had a drop in it since the truck sat higher. A straight bar would have caused him to tow the trailer in a nose up position.

Good luck, I'm sure you will hear from others with experience with your model Airstream.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:03 AM   #4
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Shakedown Run

Greetings Steve!

Welcome to the world of Vintage Airstreaming. It looks like you have found quite a gem. I am sure that you will get a tremendous amount of enjoyment from the TradeWind.

Quote:
The existing hitch seems properly rated, but I will have that looked at as well. Any additions in the hitching hardware that you would suggest?
You will want to be sure that you have a 2" Class III or better receiver style hitch for your new acquisition. In addition, if the hitch head and load distribution bars are not being included with the trailer, you will want to consider purchasing a matched set of hitch head and distribution bars that will work with your truck. Depending upon its height, you may need an extra deep drop shank for the hitch head as many FWD applications require this to get the proper hitch head height of from 18" to 18.5" - - this depends upon year and model so you will need to check the manual or post this question for someone with the same year/model trailer. I would also suggest that you consider a Reese Dual Cam setup since your trailer will be so close in weight to your tow vehicle - - I suspect that the wet weight of the trailer will exceed that of your tow vehicle, and the Reese Dual Cam setup would provide a nice insurance policy for towing.

Quote:
Connector (electric) seems to be a straightforward 7-pin configuration. Is this a "standard" connection?
Airstream didn't begin using the "industry standard" for wiring unbilical cords until well after your unit was produced. There is probably a 50-50 chance that the trailer will be wired to match the standard configuration on your tow vehicle - - it may not even have the same type of pin connector as your tow vehicle. It would probably be a good idea to purchase a trailer end that matches your tow vehicle and be prepared to switch the trailer over to your tow vehicle configuration. This is one of those "Murphy's Law" situations - - if you are prepared for a change-over, all will be well - - if you aren't prepared for a change-over nothing will match. When I picked up my '78 Argosy Minuet in August, I went prepared, it needed to be reconfigured as the only lights that worked were the backup lights which were connected to the charge wire pin on my tow vehicle. I had carried a 12-volt garden tractor battery with me and included two pairs of alligator clips on 24" wires to do the testing of the trailer wires - - a very useful Murphy's Law tool kit as it turned out. If your truck has the separate amber turn signals, you will also need to purchase a converter device so that they will work with the travel trailer wiring standards.

Quote:
Kelsey-Hayes brake connector (as specified in manual), does this hook-up through the 7-pin connector or is there an independent set-up for the brakes?
Yes, the brake controller functions through the regular 7-pin trailer connector. You will find that many on this forum recommend the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller. I have a Tekonsha Voyager (less expensive, fewer features) controller in my Suburban - - it is entirely satisfactory, but nothing special. You can find more information about Tekonsha Controllers at:

Tekonsha Brake Controllers

My personal favorite, however, is a controller made by Hayes-Lemmerz. The Micro Control HD Plus (#81750) with Manual Remote (#81751) to allow the driver to apply electric trailer brakes with a hand-held remote control. I have one of these in my '75 Cadillac tow vehicle as well as an earlier model of the same controller in my '65 Dodge tow vehicle. It is an excellent (inertia-type {pendulum}) contoller, and the added security of the hand-held remote control is fantastic. No more reaching for a controller that is difficult to reach - - a quick grab and the controller is in your hand - - I have even looped my controller over the shift lever on my Cadillac so that it is always close at hand - - in my Dodge, it must ride on the center console as the Dodge has a floor shifter. This controller can be found at:

The Micro Control HD Plus (#81750)

Quote:
I am hoping that I can get some feedback of what pitfalls might be waiting for me. The better prepared I am, the more I have a chance of cutting Murphy and his Law off at the pass.
Murphy is one of my constant friends, in fact, it has been suggested that my 1964 Overlander be nick-named Murphy since we have experienced so many encounters with "Mr.(?) Murphy".

1.) Since you are looking at a rather long return trip, I would definitely suggest having the wheel bearings repacked and brakes inspected.

2.) Tires would also be of concern. It has been my practice to always replace the tires unless the previous owner can provide proof that the tires are less than five years old, and that they have the ST designation on the sidewall. Also, you might want to consider verifying that there is a spare tire and wheel (proper size and rating) along with a jack capable of lifting at least 3-tons (be sure if you need to use it that you place the jack under a frame rail and not an axle) - - or it is also possible to lift a tandem axle with a series of 2" x 8" boards under the good tire on the side with the flat (it takes several 3 to 4 about 24" long with an angle cut on the ends to facilitate either backing up onto the boards or pulling forward onto the boards). A set of wheel chocks could also come in handy if you have to change a tire or unhitch for any reason.

3.) Carry a trailer umbilical cord end that matches your tow vehicle as an insurance policy against problems with the trailer end found on the trailer. In addition, you will likely need a 12-volt battery (you might want to consider an RV-Marine battery for the trailer as it will be needed if the breakaway switch is to function) and a tool kit (be sure to have a very fine, straight screw driver for the set screw on the connector) for the necessary adjustments. Depending upon your experience with our friend "Murphy", you might want to carry a breakaway switch just in case the one on the trailer is malfunctioning or inoperable. A standard set of screw drivers and wrenches that you would use in automotive repairs shoudl be sufficient.

4.) You might want to consider carrying a set of safety chains as well. When I picked up my Overlander in 1995, it was missing its safety chains - - Murphy struck as this was something that I didn't have in my spare parts bin. A set of hooks as well to guard against a missing chain hook keeping you from connecting the safety chains.

5.) A few replacement bulbs for critical lights on both the trailer and tow vehicle have been quite useful in my experience - - especially if wires happen to get crossed during the trouble shooting phase preceding hookup - - or if a short should develop along the way.

6.) A good selection of fuses for your tow vehicle, especially the line fuse for the brake controller. My personal experience with this "Murphy" event was a problem in the internal wiring in the Overlander that would cause the tail light fuse to blow in the tow vehicle about once every 100 miles - - I had 12 fuses of that variety and was on my last one when I arrived home from that year's International Rally.

7.) A heavy duty turn signal flasher for your tow vehicle is also a worthwhile spare. In fact, you might want to swap out the OEM flasher for the heavy duty unit and place the OEM unit into the spare parts bin.

8.) While some do not care for it, I always carry at least two cans "instant tire repair and inflate" - - this product has come in quite handy in a number of instances where it would have been dangerous or inconvenient to replace the flat.

9.) Tow mirrors for your tow vehicle will likely be a necessity unless the OEM mirrors have more than the normal amount of adjustability. If you want the slide-on type of extensions, it would probably be a good idea to begin the search as they will likely need to be ordered if they are available. There are a number of generic options, but I suspect that you will likely need some form of mirror extensions.

You didn't ask, but I would also suggest contacting your insurance agent to arrange insurance coverage. Your tow vehicle policy should cover any liability issues, but will not cover collission and other perils for the trailer. Also, be sure to ask about stated or agreed value insurance as most RV policies that I looked into only cover up to about $4,000 in value for any trailer that is more than 10 to 15 years old unless there is a stated value or agreed value rider.

You may wish that you wouldn't have asked a regular friend of Murphy's Law.

Kevin
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:12 AM   #5
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Keylime,
Also welcome to the Forum. One other thing you should bring down here to Tennessee is your winter wardrobe. It's cold down here already.
Good luck with the Airstream. You will find wonderful information here on the Forum as well as good advice. Most have already had any kind of trouble that you may yet have.
Dan
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Old 12-05-2002, 12:35 PM   #6
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Terriffic response, thanks so much to all of you. The seller has been very straightforward and helpful, so I am going to send him a link to this thread. Bearings have been packed recently, and tires were on the agenda just because. As far as the other issues (again, thanks much for the thourough response), y'all gave me plenty to work with. Hopefully I will be in a position to help a newcomer with my own experiences.

regards...

Steve
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