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Old 01-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1969 27' Overlander
North Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
New Member Intro

To start off - I don't "own" an airstream. My father and step-mother just purchased one. It is a 1967 Overlander. Neither of them are much on internet forums, and since I frequent a handful and for other reasons I will explain below, I am the one joining here.

The situation - my Step-Mother had been fawning for a travel trailer for some time. One of her customers where she works let her know he had an Airstream (but didn't give a lot of details at the time). In the month since, she made the purchase after finding that it had had a bit of window leak, but was otherwise in pretty good condition.

I haven't laid eyes on it yet, but after being sent the VIN #, I determined that it is an Overlander (first digit of VIN is an "O"), the second 2 digits are "30" which means the trailer is 30ft. overall (skin is 27', yes?). I believe the last 3 digits being under 500 would indicate that it was originally set up with twin beds. But having not seen this trailer yet, I cannot verify.

Here is where my tie-in comes:

My Step-mother over Christmas visit, said she wants "us" (that would be her and my Dad, my wife and daughters) to load up in my truck ('09 Nissan Titan 4X2 Crew Cab) and pull the Airstream to the Grand Canyon. I have pulled a few trailers (not travel trailers) in my life, so the skill set are not an issue. But when she told me last week that the trailer was 30', I about choked. My only experience with a 30 ft. trailer was a VERY heavy one a friend use to have. It required a 3/4 ton + truck to tow safely. So that was my first thought. It concerned her and she mentioned she might just have to sell it. I did tell her I would do a little research.

So - among my searching, I stumbled onto and have already learned quite a bit. I hope that over the course of the next few weeks and months of this new family adventure, I not only will learn a great deal more, but might actually find an opportunity to positively contribute.

Stay tuned to the forums for my novice airstream and towing set-up questions! Thank you all in advance.

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Old 01-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
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1974 23' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
1947 25' Spartan , Manor
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 457
Images: 9
Hi there! I guess the first question is: does it have the original axles on it???
I pulled my 74 Safari 100 miles (very carefully) home with old axles and no brakes (granted this isn't the smartest thing to do) and I wouldn't have wanted to take it any further. After opening her up and seeing what the trailer was running on I'm glad she made it home in one piece!!

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Old 01-01-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
2012 23' FB Flying Cloud
2005 25' Safari
Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 10,381
Images: 5
Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

There are several important factors to consider before undertaking a thousand mile trip in an unknown forty year old travel trailer. As has been mentioned the axles and brakes need to be thoroughly inspected, and repaired or replaced as necessary. Regardless of the amount of tread remaining on the tires, they need to be replaced if they are over six years old.

You also need to start researching weight distribution/sway control hitch systems and trailer brake controllers. Both of these are absolute necessities for towing a trailer of this size.

Your half ton truck may not be up to the task with six people and all their stuff in the tow vehicle. That and the trailer weight will very likely put you over your truck's capacities.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2011 Silverado 3500 (Fred) with Outfitter Truck Camper (Ethel)
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #4
1 Rivet Member
1969 27' Overlander
North Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Thanks for the replies!

As far as "capacities", even with the weight of passengers, fuel, water, luggage, ands all- it appears GVWR isn't an issue.

As far as axles and brakes- definitely on the checklist for inspection and repairs as necessary.

Already have plans for trailer brake controller and sway control as well. With those, it appears that (assuming the trailer itself checks out), then pulling shouldn't be an issue. I have found some other Titan owners who pull bigger/heavier trailers with no more than tr above.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:00 AM   #5
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1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,626
Images: 2
As several replies above have mentioned, check your axle condition. There are several threads on axles and axle replacement including one I did when replacing the three axles on ours. By saying check your axles, what we are really saying is to check the trailer suspension system which is integrated within the axle tube. If the rubber rod suspension is bad, you essentially are rolling down the road with just the flex of the tires cushioning your trailer.

We comfortably tow a 34' with an F150. We do, however, keep a close eye on max weight for the truck which is our limiting factor rather than GCVWR.
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:25 AM   #6
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
The first truck I used to tow my 25' Safari was a Titan. The drive train seemed up to it. One contributor to that is fairly low gearing in the auto tranny. The result was that it got poor mileage. On a good day towing it could get 11 mpg but average was 1-2 mpg lower.

Reason I got rid of the truck was low payload capacity. The difference between empty curb weight and GVWR was only about 1300 pounds. Therefore you need to add up tongue weight, weight of passengers, and gear in the box of the truck to see if it fits within your Titan's listed payload capacity. Loaded for camping, even a lighter vintage 30' will use up half of your capacity. See the problem? Overloading far beyond capacity adds wear and tear, but most importantly could compromise stability in emergency maneuvers & braking.

A couple handy links:
Vintage Airstream Photo Archives (for pre-1980 models)

"Yes" on the axle considerations noted above. Have you said how old this Airstream is? Has the previous owner replaced tires within the last 5 years? Anything older than that would probably mean a whole new set for a long trip.

5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 01-02-2012, 11:31 PM   #7
1 Rivet Member
1969 27' Overlander
North Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post

"Yes" on the axle considerations noted above. Have you said how old this Airstream is? Has the previous owner replaced tires within the last 5 years? Anything older than that would probably mean a whole new set for a long trip.
Man - thanks a lot for the links and the info. I'm not sure if I posted the age of the AS - it is a 1969. I still haven't seen the beast, and it may yet be a few weeks before I get too.

I'm eyeballing a Tekonsha Prodigy P2 for e-brake control. Still researching anti-sway control (and don't' know if the AS has one of its own...).

All to be realized soon enough. I know that the price paid, unless the thing is absolutely shot, gives some room for fixing stuff.

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introduction, overlander, towing

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