I finally was able to take our '66 TW for a test tow. We bought the TW this past April however, I had been on disability and all I could do was tinker with it until I was off disability. I am off disability and now retired. So before taking any camping journeys I needed to get a feel of towing. Fortunately we live in foothill/mountain area east of Sacramento, Ca. This gives me a variance of terrain for my test drive. So with the WDH hopefully adjusted correctly I began my ride from our 3000' altitude home to a windy country road 8 miles down into town (Placerville) which is I believe under 2000'. That was easy. The TW followed perfectly. So I selected another country road that would take me back up to 3500' with some steeper climbs but all the way an uphill drive. It was a warm day and I wanted to see how my TV, a 1971 Buick Centurion convertible (yes, the top was down) would pull without heating up. At the 3500' level and with all systems go I headed to US 50 East. This part of 50 is a steady 15 mile climb to the turn-off that would loop around to another road that would bring me back down and home. The Buick's 455 surged onto (the drama is about to come) the 4 lane mountain highway with just moderate pressure on the accelerator. I tried to settle into 55 mph but even uphill the Buick was not happy until I cruised her at 60+. With about a mile to go for my highway exit I came up upon a vehicle traveling at 55. With a short distance to go I settled back to 55. However, the big engine and the big nut
behind the wheel grew impatient so we pulled out and began to pass the slower vehicle. I pressed the accelerator to the floor and we cleared the slower car in a very short distance. I pulled back into the slow lane and eased up on the gas. The speedometer read 65, 66, 67, 68.......am I going downhill!!. No, the road is still climbing and so is the speedometer! OH, WHERE IS SUPERMAN when you need him. The freeway exit is approaching...think....THINK...if I turn off the ignition I lose power steering and brakes...BRAKES! The TW HAS BRAKES! I am going to LIVE!
But I must plan. The exit ramp declines but it is long and more importantly STRAIGHT. I shall line my rig in a straight approach the turn off the ignition then apply the TW's brakes. Criminately, 71 mph!... Ignition off.... A sudden lurch, apply brakes.........Wow those TW brakes would stop a locomotive! A safe stop with room to spare! After a couple of deep breaths I checked under the hood. All looks normal. I start the engine. Normal idle. I then pulled into a nearby parking area and calmed down for 15 minutes. I back-tracked in my head to a few days earlier when I installed a new after market carburator on the car. With the engine off I manually pulled back the throttle on the carb and discovered that at full throttle a linkage 'elbow' hung up on the manifold. Wow, I think, am I fortunate that happened TOWING a great set of brakes. Our TradeWind is a life saver.