Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-24-2002, 09:51 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 52
towing Airsteams in the 1960s ???

Hi.....
When you look at all the old pictures from the 50s-60s you see them being towed by normal passenger cars.
Now everyone wants a big block V-8 or a Turbo Diesel.
So my question is "How did thy do it "

Say an early 60s Chevy wagon with a 283 V8 and Powerglide.

Was that good enough ?
And what about brakes ? Since they were all Drum brakes till the mid-late 60s. Was it always a "thrill ride"

thanks for your thoughts.......
__________________

__________________
oldvws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2002, 10:15 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Towing Airsteams in the 1960s ???

I have known my '64 Overlander since it was new, and its original owners would never have thought of towing with anything other than a passenger car. When they ordered the Overlander in 1963, they had a 1959 Mercury Monterey with the largest V8 that they used to tow the Overlander its first season (this was the combination that they had when I was invited on my first camping trip in the rig at the age of 5 years). At the end of the '64 season, they ordered a brand new '65 Mercury Monterey with what I remember to be a 390 V8. The '65 Monterey was replaced in '68 by an Oldsmobile 98 with the largest of the Rocket V8s. The '68 Oldsmobile continued in-service the longest of their tow vehicles - - 7 years until 1975. They purchased their last tow vehicle in 1975, a 1975 Oldsmobile 98 with the 455 V8 and all of the towing goodies. They were still towing with the '75 98 when they gave up trailering in 1980 - - they sold the Overlander to another neighbor and traded the Oldsmobile 98 on a 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass.

I know that from talking with the original owners of my trailer in the 1980s that one of their reasons for choosing Airstream was that it was so easy to tow with a full-size automobile. They always chose the largest sedan in the series with the largest V8 engine and automatic transmission. Each of their tow vehicles was a special order with all of the optional heavy duty equipment needed for towing. All but the last two Oldsmobile 98s were traded at 60,000 miles - - the '68 Oldsmobile 98 had over 100,000 miles when it was traded as did the '75 Oldsmobile 98.

I know that the advertising of the era displayed Chevrolet products that would likely have had the 283 V8 and Powerglide transmissions. The usual combination was with one of the under 24' trailers which may have been realistic - - I know that the brand X trailer dealer who sold me my first new travel trailer in 1980 tried to convince me that my 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 with a 383 c.i. engine having 335 hp V8 could tow a 6,000 pound 26' Nomad - - I chose an 18' trailer weighing 3,000 pounds as a more realistic match.

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2002, 10:21 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
Guitars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 29
Good question. I spent the summer restoring my old faithful pick-up. It's a 1969 GMC short step with a rebuilt 250 straight six and manual three speed. It will pull stumps but won't pull them real fast. How about a 3200 pound 1967 Safari? Sixty five is about as fast as I go anyway. Will my old truck handle that?
__________________
Guitars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 12:16 AM   #4
 
NewStreamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 94
Most interesting thread, I too was thinking of that when examining the November pic of the Airstream Calendar. (1959 Wally B Florida Rally) and no big SUV's or PU's

Can I tow my Safari with my wife's Old ford Explorer?

Ron
__________________
NewStreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 01:12 AM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
68 Suburban's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 104
Quote:
Originally posted by Guitars
Good question. I spent the summer restoring my old faithful pick-up. It's a 1969 GMC short step with a rebuilt 250 straight six and manual three speed. It will pull stumps but won't pull them real fast. How about a 3200 pound 1967 Safari? Sixty five is about as fast as I go anyway. Will my old truck handle that?
Here is my tow vehicle

__________________
Here is the link to Dingo's trailer:
1968 Avion T-22
68 Suburban is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 06:02 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 917
That's some cool history!!!

Kevin,

That's so cool that you've known this trailer since birth!!! It must of been like a boyhood dream come true when you received this as your own trailer.
John
__________________
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 06:31 AM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pick's Avatar
 
1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,310
Images: 36
Send a message via AIM to Pick
You have to remember that the "Old Boats" had frames under them, not the unibody construction we have today. You could also get a big block V8, (455 ROCKET!) and a truck type automatic (TURBO 400) to go with it.

From the looks of the old Caravan pictures, they liked Ford and IH 4 wheel drive crew cab type trucks. Probably 6 cylinder, 4 speeds.

How times have changed. We are now running powerfull diesel engines to tow our campers with now. Engines that are capable of being used in a heavy truck. I used to drive a 6 cylinder, 235 HP Mack through the hills of PA, loaded with 52,000 pounds of sand, it was 673 cubic inches and had about 750 ft lbs of torque. Sometimes I had to blow on the windshield to make it up some of the hills, but she made it. Then I got a new Mack, with 300 HP and 1000 ft lbs of torque, wow, what a difference! Now 600 HP engines with over 1800 ft lbs are available. Must be similar to driving a car with that much power.
__________________
ARS WA8ZYT
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
Air # 283
WBCCI 1350
Pick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 07:45 AM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
Towing Airsteams in the 1960s ???

RE: Knowing my Overlander from Day 1

Greetings John!

Quote:
That's so cool that you've known this trailer since birth!!! It must of been like a boyhood dream come true when you received this as your own trailer.
I didn't even realize that it was the same trailer when I purchased it in 1995. I had been looking for an Airstream for nearly two years when I answered a blind advertisement for a 28' Airstream for sale near Mendota, Illinois. Mendota was more than 360 miles from the trailer's last known home so I thought that I was going to look at a similar model - - actually thought that I would be looking at an Ambassador - - it had been incorrectly titled in Missouri as a 28' Airstream travel trailer. It was in very nice condition so I struck a deal for the unit.

About a year later, I was passing through the original owner's home town and happened to pass by one of their relative's homes. Stopped for a brief visit and they asked to see the trailer. When they spied the drapes and curtains, they told me that they were the drapes and curtains that the previous owner had made for the trailer shortly before it was sold in 1980.

I have been thinking about recreating a photo that I have of the trailer parked in front of the guest cottage on my family farm (circa 1966) when I am home next summer. I may even get my '65 Dodge Coronet out of storage and pose it with the trailer.

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 08:28 AM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Diana Langley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 118
Images: 13
Send a message via Yahoo to Diana Langley
So how do older engines compare to new ones as far as power? They used to use terms like 386 V8, now it's 3.6 liter V6.

I have seen pictures of family cars towing trailers from the 60's too. I guess I'm still stressing a bit about my 4Runner towing my '65 Globetrotter up and down a steep grade.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pet Sitters take the "Board'em" out of Travel !
http://www.pawprints-petsitting.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Diana Langley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 09:00 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
InsideOut's Avatar

 
1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 11,793
Images: 108
I am no expert on tow vehicles, but I believe the reason older cars of the 60's could tow & our "modern" cars can't also has to do with the frame & chassis. When cars became lighter in the 70's, they lost the ability to tow safely.

Shari
__________________
InsideOut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 09:27 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
LOST , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,193
Lighter vehicles mean the towing vehicle is a smaller % of the total weight of tow vehicle/trailer which means less control. The old cars and new trucks also have longer wheelbases which means more control. The trucks now weigh about what the big cars used in the 60's weigh. Some people then did tow with small block engines, they just worked harder and made it slowly up the hills (and down, drum brakes fade easily).

Engine numbering is the total displacement of all cylinders. Older engines were measured in cubic inches, now it is liters.

Newer engines use electronic management systems which are much more efficient, more hp per cubic inch or cc.

Larger displacement engines, especially diesels, have longer strokes which means more torque. This is what you really nead to tow and why they are so popular.

John
__________________
74Argosy24MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 11:27 AM   #12
3 Rivet Member
 
Diana Langley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 118
Images: 13
Send a message via Yahoo to Diana Langley
Thanks for the info. I have no problem going slow up and down a grade.

The sob I had before my GT had been modified by the previous owner by cutting and extending the tongue to 5 feet long. It lookd funny, but it handled like a dream, especially backing up and solid as a rock towing in winds.
His theory was that the more distance from the trailer axle and the tow vehicles' rear axle the more stable and maneuverable it was. I'm no expert on the mechanics, but I did look like I knew what I was doing backing into a camping spot.
__________________
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pet Sitters take the "Board'em" out of Travel !
http://www.pawprints-petsitting.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Diana Langley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 11:46 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 917
I'm a fulltimer and my trailer weighs 6760lbs loaded. My 2000 Silverado K-1500 5.3L 4:10 reargears Auto tranny has a towing rate of 9000lbs w/tow package. I get 17mpg w/o the trailer, 13mpg towing on hwy, 10.5mpg on back-roads & mountain passes.
I'm slow going up steep passes(30mph) and with large disc brakes on all 4, I'm safe decending. Since I'm a fulltimer, I'm not under any pressure to get from point A to point B. So I don't have the need for a major power plant.
John
__________________
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2002, 11:49 AM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 917
Cooler yet!!!

Kevin,

That's even cooler that you happened upon this trailer with all of the history available to you.
John
__________________

__________________
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1960


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Another towing question ipso_facto Our Community 34 08-28-2010 04:47 PM
Some towing Q & A for newbies femuse Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 3 08-24-2004 09:05 AM
Just found-great towing guide! maxandgeorgia Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 0 03-21-2004 09:19 PM
Airbags and Towing with Car mcostanzo Tow Vehicles 0 07-02-2003 03:40 PM
Frequently Asked Questions about towing femuse Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 3 04-19-2003 10:29 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.