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Old 12-03-2012, 02:34 PM   #1
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Towing the untowable

Ok.

Here is the deal.

I can do it...but I won't. The outriggers are burnt, the axles are sitting at 0 deg and the rear end separation is about 3". With all that the shell is straight and no bulges at the wheel well or any other problems with the shell.

So the dilemma? I don't want to trail it the 95 miles to its new home and I have called multiple towing companies with lowboys and rollbacks and they are all telling me maybe but most are no.

Does anyone have any suggestions on moving this 31' Excella 500?

I can weld temp outriggers to help and maybe some reinforcements on the rear end to help with bouncing and the do the 3:00 AM tow at 40MPH but I would kick myself silly if I dimpled or stressed this perfect shell.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Strange the tow companies would have that attitude. Seems simple enough to me to simply drag it up on a flat bed. I see TTs and such all the time on the highway being transported that way.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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I agree but a lot of them have more clearance than mine does. and knowing how much companies like to charge and arm and leg they aren't jumping at the chance
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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Sorry, I have no other suggestions, Hopefully you can find a tow company that can do the job.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #5
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Glenn,

There are a number of approaches to take.

1) Find a nearby location where the most important repairs can be made. You're replacing the axles anyway, right? A web search turns up five welding shops in Oceanside -- and perhaps one of them could do that for you. Or if you're making that repair yourself, do it in place or in a parking lot somewhere.

Consider that the cost of paying a shop to do the repair may be less than the cost of paying for a flatbed tow.

With some temporary outriggers and new axles, don't you think you could get home safely?

2) Hire a flatbed towing company and have them put dollies under the wheels while loading and unloading to pick up more clearance.

3) Take it slow and easy and hope for the best. Scout the route ahead of time for bumps. Have a chase car follow at a safe distance to watch for emerging problems. Make whatever structural reinforcements you can and by all means get the brakes fixed first. Take the shortest route on major roads

Good luck
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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Thanks Jammer.

All good advice.

I will be doing most of the repair myself. Honestly I can get home on these axles and the brakes. but at zero degree and potential for bottoming i'm more worried about damage to the shell. temp outrigger will get the job done and the PO has receipt for brake job from a year ago.

I'll ask the companies about putting on dollies but again most dont even want to suggest solutions. Its really weird. Maybe because they're afraid of overly protective AS owners...Heck I just bought her a couple days ago an was about to drive down again just to wipe her down after the rains here in So Cal.

Anyway...I have till the end of the year to get it out of there and the PO said I can do whatever repairs necessary there. Just want to make it somewhat painless but only Painful and Airstreams hold hands in the same sentence.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:43 PM   #7
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95 miles? I say build a temporary bracing system out of 2x4's and 4x4's for the interior shell to rest on long sections of the entire floor, and then take it home on surface streets at 30 mph, or very carefully on the freeway. Can't figure out where in LA you are or coming from/ going to, but as you know, you can get almost anywhere on decent surface streets around here. Just stay far away from the 405 if you want to preserve your shell

And on another note, congrats on the purchase. If you want to meet up sometime regarding Airstream "stuff", send me a message. I'm in Long Beach now.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:56 PM   #8
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Peter. As long as there is either Beer or Rum involved we don't even have to talk airstream stuff...

Its coming from Carlsbad to San Gabriel just around the corner from Airstream LA...Believe or not they were willing to help.

so yeah I have no choice on the 5 fwy...heck I'll take it off road by Camp Pendelton.

I hear you about the 405. It will eventually find its way to the hood off Crenshaw and the 10 but thats a renovations time away. But meeting up sometime soon we can do. We have another AS on our property in San Gabriel that the owner is deciding what to do although it was recently restored.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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Here's a couple of thoughts...(They are worth what you are paying. )

Call Inland RV and get your axles drop shipped to where your trailer is. If I remember right there are four or eight bolts per axle. Swapping axles are usually an easy unbolt the old and bolt in the new kinda proposition.

Do the axle swap where the trailer is now. Then tow her home. Take the 57 up to the 210 to avoid all the 5 you can.

OR

Rent a trailer long enough for the front landing gear and axles and let her rear hang over the back.

If you need any help let me know. My usual rate for this kind of adventure is gas, burgers and a beer when it's over.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #10
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Yeah..I've been in touch with Andy through this whole adventure but he is "out of the country" until the 12th. I would do the axle swap there but would have to drop them again to refinish the frame so would really only want to do that once. I know it's fairly simple swap so i'll keep that option in mind. If anything I'd drive down to Inland and just pick up the axles. he said they had about 30 in stock so it could happen but Id also want to get the running gear balanced as well because who knows how out of whack that all is.

anyway if you want to be my chase vehicle that catches flying parts while this thing is bouncing around I know almost every In and Out along the way and since I live in the hood there IS a liquor store on every corner
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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My father told me about seeing 40 year old park models and travel trailers moved in AZ, They'd air the tires way down and go really slow with hazards and a chase vehicle. They didn't even put the slides in on the trave ltrailers since they didn't think they'd move again.

I'm surprised no towing or trucking company needs work but they're probably worried about having problems and being sued if they've read any of the towing threas on this forum.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:15 PM   #12
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Interesting. I'm still waiting for answers from a few towing companies. I'm going sit down the rest of the week with my welder and we are gonna see what we can devise belly down to get this thing secured. Towing her myself is still on the table but again since I have a month to figure this out I might just give the guys that towed the Space Shuttle a mile away from me a call. they know how to clear the way and know my streets very well.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:39 PM   #13
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Go slow and don't bother balancing the wheels. The drums are not true from the factory. Go figure.

So you have to either spin balance the wheel, tire and drum as one or switch over to disc brakes.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:02 PM   #14
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Yeah...slow is the only option regardless...you know these CHP....they're ruthless..had an old roommate once that was CHP. I used to put old chicken in his gearbag a lot...he has it out for me.
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