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Old 04-20-2007, 04:50 PM   #1
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1965 24' Tradewind
san francisco , California
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Hey Guys,
Just bought a 1965 Airstream....it's old and needs a little work but now I have to move it from San Francisco to Seattle and I'm not sure how the brake system works (or if it have brakes). Can anyone tell me when I'm ready to tow it? The tires look ok so I think it will roll........but will it stop? How do I know?
Thanks
Mike
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelsessa
Hey Guys,
Just bought a 1965 Airstream....it's old and needs a little work but now I have to move it from San Francisco to Seattle and I'm not sure how the brake system works (or if it have brakes). Can anyone tell me when I'm ready to tow it? The tires look ok so I think it will roll........but will it stop? How do I know?
Thanks
Mike
Welcome to the forums! Make sure and post some images of the trailer soon, we love pics. You will need a brake controller installed in yout tow vehicle and you might want to have someone check out the condition the brakes are in. Im sure the tech heads will be weighing in to help with the brakes. If not, look under that section of the forums for past post. If it is about airstreams and can be discussed, its a good bet it has been somewhere here. You just have to dig the information out
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:50 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forums, Mike. We're glad to have you with us.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:23 PM   #4
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1964 26' Overlander
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Greetings Mike!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstreaming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelsessa
Hey Guys,
Just bought a 1965 Airstream....it's old and needs a little work but now I have to move it from San Francisco to Seattle and I'm not sure how the brake system works (or if it have brakes). Can anyone tell me when I'm ready to tow it? The tires look ok so I think it will roll........but will it stop? How do I know?
Thanks
Mike
Your '65 Tradewind would have been factory equipped with electric drum-type trailer brakes. In all probability, they are 12" x 2" and manufactured by either Kelsey Hayes or Dexter. The originals likely carried an aggressiveness rating of 3,000 pounds; today, most of the loaded backing plates are rated at 6,000 pounds aggressive. With the length of the trip that you are planning, I would suggest the following:
  • Have the bearing serviced -- examined and repacked to verify that they are road-ready.
  • While the wheels are off for the bearing check, have the brakes checked paying particular attention to the condition of attaching hardware and magnets. New, fully loaded backing plates aren't terribly expensive and include all new wear parts other than the drums and bearing. When I had the brakes rebuilt on my '64 Overlander, the mechanic put the 6,000 pound aggresive rated parts on the coach; and other than having to adjust my brake controller to compensate for the more efficient brakes the change was actually welcome.
  • Tires would also be of concern for this distance. Even if the tires aren't visibly questionable, age and exposure to the elements are the greater danger to tires on our coaches. A blow out could be much more costly than simple tire replacement -- a blow out often does significant damage to the wheel wells as well as the side of the coach (much in excess of the cost of four new tires). If the age of the tires can't be accurately verified, a new set would be comparatively inexpensive insurance.
Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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Yes...follow Kevin's advise. I know about tires. When we purchased our
Globetrotter the tires looked new with deep treads.

NO...the are NOT safe. Again...Kevin gave you good advise. In all probability
you will need new tires. It would be wise to purchase for your trip home. Good Luck
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Old 04-21-2007, 06:24 PM   #6
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1965 24' Tradewind
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you guys are great!

Thanks for all the advice...... super! Well, I've got some where to start now......as far as the "controller" on the tow vechicle. Don't I just plug plug in the trailer to the tow vechicle? I thought the brake lights of the truck activated the brakes on the trailer......no?
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:11 PM   #7
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Greetings Mike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelsessa
Thanks for all the advice...... super! Well, I've got some where to start now......as far as the "controller" on the tow vechicle. Don't I just plug plug in the trailer to the tow vechicle? I thought the brake lights of the truck activated the brakes on the trailer......no?
A brake controller is necessary to control the trailer brakes. Typically, most of today's controllers are electronic and most of the mid-range or better rely on what is referred to as pendulum technology. One of the most frequently mentioned brake controllers is the Prodigy by Tekonsha. If you search the Forums for brake controller, you will find several discussions of the various options available.

Something else that you will want to prepare for is the likelihood that the trailer Bargman connector probably will not mate to your tow vehicle connector. The best insurance is to carry a trailer end that mates to your tow vehicle and be prepared to rewire the trailer end connector as it may (probably is not) not be wired to the current industry standard. In the 1960s, most Airstreams were wired to the standard found in the link below:

http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p...lug1966-81.pdf

Your tow vehicle is likely wired to the modern industry standard that can be found at:

Marksrv.com 7 way wiring diagram page

Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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