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Old 04-16-2016, 08:53 AM   #1
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1962 22' Safari
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Classic Towing History

Hello all,

Ok, so I have been trying to research the possibility of towing a 22-26 foot airstream with a 47-55 Chevrolet 3100. I would only be towing it around town for the most part and would opt for something different when doing long, highway pulls. However, I am being advised that this is not a wise decision. I would appreciate feedback on this topic, but it poses another question. What were people using to tow their 50's and 60's era travel trailers during that time? I understand that vehicles are much better designed and more powerful today than years ago. But, if these vehicles could tow the trailers then, why is it not advised now?


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Old 04-17-2016, 04:46 AM   #2
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For the most part they used cars.

Problems are steering and brakes given like-new drivetrain. None too good by current standards.

Today's drivers have none of the courtesy they once possessed. Distracted and in a hurry.

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Old 04-17-2016, 05:23 AM   #3
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Back then, people did use their trucks to pull their trailers. My parents regularly towed their 35 foot trailer house with my grandfather's 1950 F3 cattle truck.
The issue with using an older tow vehicle is the faster pace, and lack of patience and consideration of the current time. Instead of waiting until it is safe to pass, most people will now dart around you, see their turn is 25 feet ahead, cut in front of you, jam on their brakes, and exit right (usually without even using a turn signal). The trucks of the 1950s were great at hauling and carrying things, but at a slower speed. The 1950 F1 I had contained the high horsepower V-8--all of 90hp. They also had 6 volt electrical systems that are not compatible with modern 12 volt equipment, single chamber 4 wheel manual drum brakes that will eventually stop the truck, manual steering that would give you a real upper-body workout when parking or connecting to the trailer, and many of them didn't even have turn signals. My F1 had turn signals, my grandfather's F3 did not, nor did my neighbor's 1951 Chevy dump truck.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:57 AM   #4
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Do not know about the 50's. In the 60's my father in law pulled his Bambi with a 4 door Mercury sedan. In the 80's he pulled his 25' Argosy with a 2 door Olds.
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:17 AM   #5
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Back in the day when the B3100 roamed the streets of America, it shared the byways and highways with almost no other vehicles; certainly not the congestion that occurs today.

Why does that matter you say? Braking and accident avoidance. Imagine anyone of the Uber sedans pulling into a space in front of you and braking; in todays driving expectations they had enough room to do so and didn't brake hard; but in 40's and 50's that would have been cutting you off and what the %#@!!# braking. Now your charged with following too close and on the hook for the damages.

The Mercs, BMW's and cars of their ilk have pretensioners and huge brakes that will haul a 2 ton vehicle from 70 mph in as little as 65' (see Top Gear test in Australia); your 2 ton truck and trailer couldn't compete; not even at 30 mph.

Go ahead and tow the trailer if you want, as I'm the last person to tell you not too, but the reason above would be my reason to advise you not too; for your own safety.

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Old 04-17-2016, 08:32 AM   #6
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All very good points! Thanks guys! I am really emotionally attached to the idea of towing with a classic truck, but I guess being safe is a better option.

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