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Old 10-11-2004, 12:45 AM   #15
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Inherited Caravelli (?) - Need Advice

Greetings Karen R!

If you decide to tow the coach yourself, you will likely find it easier to rewire the trailer umbilical cord Bargman Connector to match the modern tow vehicle wiring schematic as Airstream did not use the current wiring schematic nor observe the current color code relationships. The link below will take you to the Airstream corporate website where there is a document with the original wiring diagram for 1966-81 Airstreams - - the main reason for checking this diagram is to get a feel for the wiring colors used so that they may be "functionally" matched to the current standard:

1966-1981 Airstream Bargman Plug Wiring Diagram

The typical wiring or near industry standard for modern tow vehicles can be found at:

Tow Vehicle Bargman Connector Wiring Diagram - - Current Industry Standard

It is fairly easy to rewire the trailer end if you have a new end to match the one on your tow vehicle. I carried a garden tractor battery along with a set of alligator clamps on 24" of wire to test the function of each of the coach's wires (as it turned out they matched the above Airstream information on my '78 Minuet).

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:53 PM   #16
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Wyoming Caravel

Hello, congratulations on your Caravel. I just towed home our newly purchased 68 Caravel from Wyoming to Spokane WA. one week ago. 1000 mi trip to the lowest S.E. corner of the state.

One word of caution, go before the weather changes, and travel during daylight ! We saw hundreds if not thousands of antilope throughout eastern Wyoming and quite a few deer as well. Most very close to the highway so travel with your eyes wide open.

Enjoy the trip ..........Jesse
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Old 10-12-2004, 03:31 AM   #17
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Hello, congratulations on your Caravel. I just towed home our newly purchased 68 Caravel from Wyoming to Spokane WA. one week ago. 1000 mi trip to the lowest S.E. corner of the state.

One word of caution, go before the weather changes, and travel during daylight ! We saw hundreds if not thousands of antilope throughout eastern Wyoming and quite a few deer as well. Most very close to the highway so travel with your eyes wide open.

Enjoy the trip ..........Jesse[/QUOTE]
Jesse,
What a small world! I live in Harrington, approx SW of Spokane! Thanks for the Antelope warning!! The Caravel is near Lyman - bottom South WEST corner of Wyomong.
Karen
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Old 10-12-2004, 04:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings Karen R!

If you decide to tow the coach yourself, you will likely find it easier to rewire the trailer umbilical cord Bargman Connector . . .
1966-1981 Airstream Bargman Plug Wiring Diagram

The typical wiring or near industry standard for modern tow vehicles can be found at:

Tow Vehicle Bargman Connector Wiring Diagram - - Current Industry Standard

Kevin
Kevin,
Thanks for details of wiring plug ends! Much appreciated!
Karen R.

P.S. Everyone is so helpful! What is considered correct ettiquette for this group when it comes to replies? Should I respond to each person who provides advice or is a general "Thanks to all for all your help" o.k.?
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Old 10-12-2004, 06:46 AM   #19
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Hi, Karen... I believe that a group reply is satisfactory here. You're among friends.

My '70 Safari had a 2 5/16 ball. I'd expect your Caravel to have the same. Brett was also correct about the front wing windows. '69 used side-specific glass with a square bottom corner. By '70 they changed to a "D" shaped pane so the same pane could be used on both sides.

I favor the car trailer/flatbed option. Given your limited resources (read dollars here) and your limited time, I think that were I in your shoes, I'd find a nice tandem axle car trailer, and trailer it home. You won't have to be immediately concerned about any of the things that you should/MUST do to trailer it safely. Rewiring the pigtail isn't necessarily difficult, but it alone can take from just a few minutes to several hours if you end up having to troubleshoot and repair problems. (BTW, a small battery charger plugged into 110v is a great way to figure out your trailer lights). It can take even longer if you have to learn what you're doing before you do it. Failures at speed on the road are waaaay more problematic than failures at home, are generally far more costly, do more damage, and can take lots more time to repair.

The wheel bearings should be greased before it's moved more than a couple of blocks, and the tires replaced, and even then you don't have any guarantees about the condition of the axle, shocks, the LP system, etc. etc. etc. Sitting kills systems. Any trailer that's sat for more than one season without use potentially needs more TLC (read maintenance and systems checks here). The longer they sit, the more they're likely to need. And, of course, you don't know what condition things were in before it was left to sit!

Trailering it home on a flatbed keeps you inside your time and dollar limits initially, and then allows you the luxury of spending the time and money necessary (as you have it) to make it roadworthy once you get it home. You don't have to worry about failures on the road.

Just my $.02... take it for what it's worth!

Roger

p.s. oh... and for tires... many of us swear by Goodyear Marathon ST trailer tires... search on the forums for threads about tires. Whatever you choose, make sure they're ST rated and not merely car tires. You'll be happy you did!
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Old 10-12-2004, 10:43 AM   #20
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Concerning towing a Caravel with a F250 4x4; I also have a F250 4x4 and a Caravel. Is the rear suspension of this type of truck too stiff for the Caravel? The rear of the truck doesn't settle but maybe an inch at the most when hitched up. Would carrying some sandbags for weight in the rear help? I'm afraid of damaging the shell after some of the posts I've read.
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Old 10-12-2004, 07:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62 Overlander
Concerning towing a Caravel with a F250 4x4; I also have a F250 4x4 and a Caravel. Is the rear suspension of this type of truck too stiff for the Caravel? The rear of the truck doesn't settle but maybe an inch at the most when hitched up. Would carrying some sandbags for weight in the rear help? I'm afraid of damaging the shell after some of the posts I've read.
I don't think so. I pulled my '70 Safari 23' thousands and thousands of miles with my '77 F250 Supercab and didn't have any problems with the trailer. I can't believe that your Caravel would be much different. I did break a wing window once, but it was because I didn't have a rock shield, and I threw one up into the trailer... Other than that, life was peachy with the Safari and F250 for the entire six or seven years I had them!

Roger
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Old 10-13-2004, 02:17 AM   #22
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Thanks again to all for your continued advice!
I found an earlier thread about tools and such needed for a long haul of a "new" aquisition and found several good hints. Maybe we'll take both pieces of plastic a.k.a. credit cards!
Today I got clear title and tags!!! I was holding my breath a little on that one too! My step-dad signed the title several years ago, left it with his friend in WY and moved to NC when he re-met my Mom. (They were high school friends, went their own ways, met again as senior citizens and got married!) The WY friend sent me the title the other day. My brother (power of attorney) sent the death certificate and a notarized letter of intent of gift to me - I took all into the Auditors office and with no hassle !!! walked out with WA title and license plate! Didn't have to pay sales tax on the value!

I anticipated some of the things most of you are mentioning - not the exact details - but the concepts. But I'm amazed at some of the simple things I didn't think about . . . like mud/rock flaps!!! My husband is pretty handy with wiring and basic mechanics but I hope I can talk him into the car hauler or flat bed idea. He hates to borrow or rent anything! We DO have a very limited budget so the idea of getting it home without damage and spreading the repairs/updating over more time has lots of merit!

b.t.w. there's a moderately heavy canopy on the F250 4X4 pick-up, so it is already weighted down some. That's why the top of the ball sits at 20" rather than higher.
I'm still aiming for the last week in October for our adventure. I was keeping my fingers crossed about the cold weather (black ice/snow) holding off. Now I'm thinking about the possibility of Mt. St.Helens Ash!!!
Karen
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62 Overlander
Concerning towing a Caravel with a F250 4x4; I also have a F250 4x4 and a Caravel. Is the rear suspension of this type of truck too stiff for the Caravel? The rear of the truck doesn't settle but maybe an inch at the most when hitched up. Would carrying some sandbags for weight in the rear help? I'm afraid of damaging the shell after some of the posts I've read.
karen

one additional idea concerning the "stiffness" issue, i imagine your 3/4 ton ford has at least load range E tires on it. you can always reduce the air pressure on the rear tires.

example: on my '00 chevy 3/4 ton the recommended rear tire pressure is 80 psi, i only use this when hauling right at full gvw. (when i have the excella AND my harley davidson in the bed) normally when hauling just the bike or just the excella i reduce the rear air pressure to 55 or 60 psi respectively. when i run the truck for any distance empty i lower it to 45 psi.

this may be enough to cushion the ride enough to make your adventure more comfortable for you and your trailer.

consult your local tire dealer for some ideas on a "lower" pressure for your particular brand of tire.

john
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