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Old 02-20-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
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Advice Towing '66 Ambassador

Hello,

Ill be towing a 66 Ambassador from Big Pine key fl to Miami this weekend. Its about 150 miles of flat roads. I have experience towing boats 25ft long but the trailers they have been are were much newer. I plan on putting 4 new tires on it and repacking hubs with grease. What other things should I do to prep the trailer for my trip to Miami. Do these trailers have any sort of brakes ??

Thanks,

-Nick
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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Hi... They do have brakes...electric brakes. You should have a battery for the trailer to be your emergency breakaway brake power source. Check that the trailers connector plug matches your vehicle...7 pin, flat or round. Plan a source for back up tail lights incase your wiring or fuses are bad.....auto parts store, Wal Mart, etc. Have a way to lock the door closed...other than just the door lock....they are famous for flying open as the body flexes on the road. Have some wire and duct tape for the unexpected...
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. I plan on buying the trailer lights that I can just run to the back. I looked at the connector last week and it was something I hadnt seen before. As far as the door the last owner drilled the door and put a lock on it, I know this sucks but theres nothing I can do. Where can I read more about the brakes, its something that has me pretty worried.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:58 PM   #4
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Advice Towing 66 Ambassador

Greetings Nick!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreams!

Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnick View Post
Hello,

Ill be towing a 66 Ambassador from Big Pine key fl to Miami this weekend. Its about 150 miles of flat roads. I have experience towing boats 25ft long but the trailers they have been are were much newer. I plan on putting 4 new tires on it and repacking hubs with grease. What other things should I do to prep the trailer for my trip to Miami. Do these trailers have any sort of brakes ??

Thanks,

-Nick
You have the basics of bearings, brakes, and tires in hand, and you may find the following helpful in regard to the wires and their functions as found with your '66 Ambassador: Umbilical Wiring Diagram -- 1966-1980 Airstreams
The above link has wiring diagrams as utilized on Vintage Airstreams . . . Airstream did not utilize the current industry standard 7-pole wiring schematic until fairly recently. The biggest value to these diagrams is the identification of the function of each wire as they are not the same function/color relationship as is in use today.

The trailer brakes are probably Kelsey Hayes electric drum brakes, and you will need an electric trailer brake controller in your tow vehicle to insure that the brakes can be fully functional. I have been lucky with my retrievals in that the brakes and all other safety features functioned with little more than cleaning of the terminals on the trailer connector and re-wiring the connector to match my tow vehicle. You might find some helpful information in the article that I wrote describing some of what I have learned on Vintage Airstream retrieval expeditions at this link.

Good luck with your Airstream!

Kevin

P.S.: While boat trailers rarely utilize weight distribution hitches from what I have observed, you will find that your tow home will be much smoother if you utilize a weight distributing hitch for the tow home. Use of a weight distributing hitch is particularly important if the weight of the Airstream approached the maximum that your tow vehicle can tow.
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