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Old 09-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #15
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Good call Faz. I'd tow to a tire shop immediately then head home. It's less than 100 miles to get back home but that's far enough to warrant new tires before the trip. What can I expect to pay for appropriate tires? What brands? Would only RV shops carry them? Good info. Thanks everyone.

Matt
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:57 PM   #16
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Good call Faz. I'd tow to a tire shop immediately then head home. It's less than 100 miles to get back home but that's far enough to warrant new tires before the trip. What can I expect to pay for appropriate tires? What brands? Would only RV shops carry them? Good info. Thanks everyone.

Matt
Oh, jeez... tire questions.

For a '70s tandem-axle trailer, I like Michelin LTX 235/75R15. They fit on the stock 15" rims, don't have the ST speed limitations, seem to be better about failures and cost about the same as a decent-brand ST in a comparable size.

Some tire shops will fall to the ground and start speaking in tongues if you ask what they're for, some will smile and take your money. Whatever tires you choose, have them balanced. Nearly all tire stores will tell you they never balance trailer tires, to which I think the correct answer is along the lines of "You'll balance mine, or someone else will be happy to sell me some."
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #17
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Tire questions have a history of generating large numbers of opinionated posts.

There is a good chance you have split rims. If so they should be replaced as well as the tires. It is important to get zero offset rims.

You can get tires and rims at any tire shop but there is a good chance that both will have to be special ordered.

The original tires would have been 7.00x15 6 ply tires. These were bias ply tires. Tires in this size are still available but most people recommend using radials instead.

The most common radial replacement is 225/75R15 trailer tires in load range C, which are slightly smaller in diameter but have a larger section width and therefore a slightly higher rated load.

Opinions on brands vary widely. I use and recommend Goodyear Marathons.

As others have suggested, be sure that the wheels are balanced.

You're looking at around $100 a tire depending on brand.
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:16 PM   #18
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Gently used?

More CHA-Ching out the door, but overall possibly less than you'll spend on fixing up a 70's trailer. (I'm on my third Airstream... sold one, rolled one, this'n is the HOLD one.) It's a 2012 Eddie Bauer. It came with every expensive doo-dad available including solar panels, an inverter, two televisions, sound system, a Hensley hitch and even 4 scare lights instead of the standard 1. Of course it also has standard 16 inch rims and Michelin tires. The stars aligned so that I got it for about $25K less than a new one. The plastic was still on the mattress, the shower had the labels on the fiberglass and the toilet had never been used. Someone with lots of money bought it, then realized it was a fantasy they had no time for and no interest in pursuing. They had the sense to cut their losses, I grabbed a great deal.

I got a loan at just over 4% interest. Rates are up a bit, but are still at historic lows. If you're going to finance anything, now is a relatively non-toxic time to do it. Talk to you tax man about having a deduction as a second home.

I'm not a creature who enjoys debt - not at ALL and in an uncertain economy - well I LIVE in mine which puts a whole different spin on things too. Living beyond your means is BAD period, full stop, end of discussion. But living so meanly that the almost all of your childhood memories are about how your departed parents "could squeeze a nickel til the buffalo pooped in their hands" isn't a great thing either. If camping is going to be a feature in your life for the next 5 to 10 years while your kids are growing up, then CONSIDER getting a gently used one and financing it at today's low rates. You should know the BARE minimum costs of fixing up an old one - New A/C $800 if you can do the install yourself, $1200 if you have it done. Axles? Might as well get them loaded with new brakes for safety $1100 each is in the neighborhood. Tires... well look at the discussions about bad 15 inch tires and upgrade to 16 inch rims and tires and there's another $1000 gone. Then the water heater is $400 at least. Then a bit of frame repair and some floor replacement, and that orange shag carpet has to go, and the foam smells like dog urine, and and and.

You can be finishing up a renovation north of $25,000 if you do most of the labor yourself - realistically if you want P & S or one of the other reputable shops to do the work, you're looking at $60K.

The hint is.... that ain't too far from what I spent on the EB.

If I HAD children they'd already have 2.5 months of camping memories in my new rig. I watch small children "help" daddy by putting down the pads for the stabilizer jacks and crank them down... or carry wood for the marshmallow roast. Put a price on THAT. Spending time with your kids is done one day at a time and it doesn't take a whole lot of money to have great fun whether it's birdwatching, pitching stones across a lake, fishing, or even sitting in camp chairs drinking root beer and practicing burping loudly.

The right answer can vary hugely from family to family. Consider all the other demands on your time and your wallet... and consider what you might have to do without to have each version of your dream. Instant gratification - well if it costs less than doing a "fixer upper" and it gives you more family time. Why not?

Paula
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:00 PM   #19
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You can get tires for the coach at Wal-mart. SAMs Club may have them, but I am not a member.
If you like paying more, go to an RV dealer.
As mentioned above. ZERO offset rims are needed.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:58 AM   #20
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You might want to look at other brands as well. Streamlined, Silver Stream, Scion are all aircraft construction but at a lower entry point.

We have less than $5k into ours and just took it kn a 2 week 2900 mile trip without incident. Granted the furnace doesn't work and it has a few dings, but we love our Countess.

We also have 2 kids (2 and 6) plus our own busines so we didn't have time for a full restoration.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:14 AM   #21
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All previous owners think that their trailer is in "pretty good" shape. They aren't being dishonest, they just don't know how to really inspect a trailer either, and they aren't really trying to find problems, as they want to get rid of it for the highest price possible... It isn't good enough that a PO tells you "everything was working the last time we used it in 2009." You want to see actual evidence that things have been replaced or repaired.
This bears repeating. Assume something will need replacing unless you see it work. I can't recall hearing of a 1970's era Tradewind that didn't have rear end rot issues. It's a nearly inevitable part of the design. Poke with an awl around the perimeter of the floor at the very back. Just inside the front door is another common soft spot. If there is any flooring on top of the original plywood subfloor, be extra cautious and suspicious.

I believe the furnaces on those older trailers were recalled...something about leaking carbon monoxide.

If the trailer has been sitting, it's probably been plugged in to shore power. Get a demonstration of the entire electrical system on battery power or assume you'll be doing some wiring.

$7,000 sounds high to me to, for something of a vintage where "nearly original" translates into "old and worn out."

We absolutely love our 1971 Tradewind, either in spite of or because of the fact that we've lovingly repaired or replaced nearly every system, wall, furnishing or appliance in the thing. It's been a 3+ year project that started with a trailer that looked pretty functional.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:18 AM   #22
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This bears repeating. Assume something will need replacing unless you see it work. I can't recall hearing of a 1970's era Tradewind that didn't have rear end rot issues. It's a nearly inevitable part of the design. Poke with an awl around the perimeter of the floor at the very back. Just inside the front door is another common soft spot. If there is any flooring on top of the original plywood subfloor, be extra cautious and suspicious.

I believe the furnaces on those older trailers were recalled...something about leaking carbon monoxide.

If the trailer has been sitting, it's probably been plugged in to shore power. Get a demonstration of the entire electrical system on battery power or assume you'll be doing some wiring.

$7,000 sounds high to me to, for something of a vintage where "nearly original" translates into "old and worn out."
Thanks for your input. A recall?? Can you guide me to a link or can anyone else back that up?? That's pretty scary. My wife's old boss had some friends that rented a home in Vail that had furnace issues. All 5 of them died from the CO poisoning. So we're wary of that in particular since we plan to potentially live in this thing. If we make it back out there with a fellow forum member to inspect, I'll definitely check those spots you mention.

Thanks again.
Matt
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:20 AM   #23
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We have both CO2 and smoke detectors installed. Worth doing.
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:14 AM   #24
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totally worth it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #25
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My vintage unit also has CO2, LP, and smoke detectors. Helps to sleep better at night.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #26
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wow...thinking about selling my 71 Safari...it is in sweet shape...if I can get more than 5k I'm thinking more serioously about it...need a ski boat to go along with our squarestream ;
Diana is about a 2 hr drive from Dallas/FW area
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:46 AM   #27
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Thanks for your input. A recall?? Can you guide me to a link or can anyone else back that up?? That's pretty scary. My wife's old boss had some friends that rented a home in Vail that had furnace issues. All 5 of them died from the CO poisoning. So we're wary of that in particular since we plan to potentially live in this thing. If we make it back out there with a fellow forum member to inspect, I'll definitely check those spots you mention.

Thanks again.
Matt
Furnaces manufactured by International Oil Burner were used during that era. There was a recall, but the company is now out of business and parts are no longer available. If you have one of those furnaces, don't light it, sometimes they emit CO, sometimes they burn or explode.

The new ones are much better anyway, with electronic ignition.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:06 PM   #28
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Most of the 70s trailers had Suburban furnaces and the NT-22 was the Suburban model that was widely used and recalled. The recall problem was a tube that could crack and allow CO from combustion exhaust to enter the trailer. I think he one Jammer cited was more known for the fire-and-explosion thing, which is arguably even worse. You can't tell if the recall was done without taking the furnace out, and by then you might as well go back with a modern one.

Another advantage of newer furnaces he didn't mention is that they require fewer amps in operation, extending the battery life a bit.
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