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Old 11-06-2005, 05:57 PM   #1
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1968 24' Tradewind
Eureka , California
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Helllo,
We have recently purchased a 1968 Tradewind that has been sitting idle for at least 6 years. The condition is so/so, a lot of restoration needed. But the foremost situation is :PICK-UP. I have a ton of questions... pardon the ignorance ...
We will travel @400 miles to pick-up tralier with our 2004 Chevy Duramax. What adivice does anyone have for us - being that we've never pulled anything, or owned a trailer. Can we set up our truck (for brakes) locally and deal with the trailer when we get there? I'm thinking the brakes on the trailer will be toast?? What brake controller is best for our truck/trailer? What problems will we likely confront in transport?
We will be picking up in Santa Cruz, CA and are unsure of qualified Airstream service shop. We also have a limited (very) budget, so cheap, safe and necessary are our biggest concerns. Oh and tires... what kind/ size?? How many days should we allot for picking up; we'd like to do it in one or two?? CRAZY??
Thank you!! I'm addicted to this site and anything Airstream allready!!!!!!
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast
Helllo,
We have recently purchased a 1968 Tradewind that has been sitting idle for at least 6 years. The condition is so/so, a lot of restoration needed. But the foremost situation is :PICK-UP. I have a ton of questions... pardon the ignorance ...
We will travel @400 miles to pick-up tralier with our 2004 Chevy Duramax. What adivice does anyone have for us - being that we've never pulled anything, or owned a trailer. Can we set up our truck (for brakes) locally and deal with the trailer when we get there? I'm thinking the brakes on the trailer will be toast?? What brake controller is best for our truck/trailer? What problems will we likely confront in transport?
We will be picking up in Santa Cruz, CA and are unsure of qualified Airstream service shop. We also have a limited (very) budget, so cheap, safe and necessary are our biggest concerns. Oh and tires... what kind/ size?? How many days should we allot for picking up; we'd like to do it in one or two?? CRAZY??
Thank you!! I'm addicted to this site and anything Airstream allready!!!!!!
The issues are brakes, wheelbearings, tires and lights. If you are mechanically adept you can replace the brakes with loaded backing plates, and pack the wheel bearings. Have the current owner give you the size of the tires and buy new ones, if this is a dual axle you will need four tires, if the wheels are split rims, you should replace them. If the brake, tail and running lights work, great otherwise you can buy tail lights which either magnetically attach to the bumper or fasten with duct tape. Don't run at night with out the clearance lights. With the sun setting at 5 PM, I would say one day down, at least one maybe two days to make the trailer road ready and two days home.

Brake controller a must, you can install yourself or take to any good trailer hitch installer.

Bill
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:13 PM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Hi, and welcome to the forums!
Congratulations on allowing yourself to be adopted by a needy Airstream!
I can give you some advice, based on experience we have had picking up our old coach. First, yes you can get a brake controller installed without having the trailer attrached, but you will have to wait until you actually hook up to the trailer to "level" the controller. This sets the point at which the brakes will start to apply, and should be covered in your brake controller's instruction manual. Don't lose it.
If it is within your power, take off the tires and wheels, get 4 ST225/75R15 load range E tires (Goodyear Marathons are favored for our coaches, but that is not the only choice), When you get them mounted, with new high pressure valve stems, make sure the tire shop balances the tires. This is important, as constant vibration can wreak all sorts of havoc on your new trailer.
While the tires are off, you can check the brakes while you are repacking the wheel bearings. This does two things. First, you can inspect the condition of the brakes, and make needed repairs. Second, you will then have fresh grease in the bearings, as who knows how long it has been since they were last repacked (they should be repacked yearly).
Something it would be a good idea to take with you, is the plug for the trailer to plug into the recepticle on the back of the truck.
You can also check the lights on the trailer, and get at least taillights and turn signals working, if possible. If not, you will need to rig up some temporary tow lights, available from most larger auto parts stores, and RV shops.
There are many other things to check over before getting on the road, likje making sure the windows and awnings are secure, and no covers or doors are going to blow off in the wind.
If you have any other questions, you can do a forum search for the info you need, by using the "search" button on the upper right corner of the forum index near the top of the page.
Good luck, and be sure to post lots of pictures.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:32 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. As you have no trailer experience, the roadworthiness of the trailer is in doubt, and you are time limited, have you considered hiring a flat-bed truck to collect the trailer and deliver it to you? This would take all the stress out of the operation, and enable you to restore the trailer to roadworthy condition at your leisure. It would also enable you to make small local "shake down" trips to learn to handle the rig and to discover more faults in the systems. This would involve extra expense, but that could be weighed against the safety and stress factors. Just a thought. Good luck in your adventure.
Nick.
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:44 PM   #5
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1968 24' Tradewind
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Thumbs up VIVA la Trade Wind

Welcome, you will find tons of good advice here. Like mentioned below, lights brakes and tires. Good mirrors are also a must. BTW, I also have a 68 tradewind that I picked up late this summer. So far it has been from Michigan to southern Illinois (where I live) and out to Yellowstone and back. You are gonna LOVE your coach. Post pics soon.
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:07 PM   #6
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Welcome to the Forum

Sounds like you have lots of good suggestions already. I would restate, which ever method you plan, give yourself flexible time. In the beginning no one ever knows what might happen. This last summer we bought our first Airstream in Utah. We live in [Yreka] that other place. It was an 800 mile round trip to pickup our trailer. We spent two days in Utah going over our trailer and making repairs and adjustments before we head back to CA. The trip was uneventful and pleasant because we spent the time to look her over. Talk to the person you bought the trailer from and see if they would be willing to spend some time with you checking it out. Our sellers were great and gave up help and assistance. It seems to be a good part of the Airstream thing.
Let us know how it works out.
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:28 PM   #7
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Greetings sequoiacoast!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast
Helllo,
We have recently purchased a 1968 Tradewind that has been sitting idle for at least 6 years. The condition is so/so, a lot of restoration needed. But the foremost situation is :PICK-UP. I have a ton of questions... pardon the ignorance ...
We will travel @400 miles to pick-up tralier with our 2004 Chevy Duramax. What adivice does anyone have for us - being that we've never pulled anything, or owned a trailer. Can we set up our truck (for brakes) locally and deal with the trailer when we get there? I'm thinking the brakes on the trailer will be toast?? What brake controller is best for our truck/trailer? What problems will we likely confront in transport?
You have received some great advice from the posts already, but I might add two additional hints from my experiences. As mentioned earlier, you will almost certainly need to rewire the trailer's Bargman connector to match your tow vehicle -- during the Vintage time frame, Airstream followed its own unique wiring pattern and in the intevening years owners have often modified the wiring configuration to suit their own preferences. My suggestion would be to take a new trailer end that matches your tow vehicle connector along on your expedition. You will likely find the wire colors will correspond to the link posted below (the plug may even still be wired to the original configuration):

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

A second item that you may need to be prepared for is the ball height that will be necessary for proper towing attitude on the coach. With my K2500 Suburban, one of the most difficult issues when first picking up both of my coaches was getting a drawbar that permitted enough drop to get the proper height on the hitch head. According to the Airstream weights and measures page (http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf ) you will need a hitch height of 19" (possibly a bit less depending upon the amount of settling of the suspension that has taken place during the coach's life -- I know that the factory recommended height was nearly 1.5" higher than the actual height that resulted in a level towing stance on both of my coaches and is one of the reasons that the Minuet has a new axle and the Overlander is awaiting a new set of axles).

Good luck with your expedition!

Kevin
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Old 11-06-2005, 07:39 PM   #8
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hi

Another 60's Tradewind owner! Yeah!

Congratulations.

Listen to everybody's advice. The more safety the better. When we picked up our '67 and towed it from Wisconsin to California, the previous owner was kind enough to help us tow the trailer to a local tire place where new, safe tires were put on it and they repacked the bearings and whatever else you need to do for safe tires. Then he helped us tow it to a trailer place where we bought trailer hitch stuff and sway control, and they made sure the brakes and brake lights worked. That way an expert did it for us, we had what we needed, and got it home safely and in piece. I'm sorry I can't go into more detail than that because I forgot everything I learned about towing safety. That's why we went to experts for it.

Enjoy and when do we see pictures???
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:29 PM   #9
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1968 24' Tradewind
Eureka , California
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Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Thanks for all the great advice! We might make two trips: one at Thanksgiving to check the systems, etc. and another at Christmas to pick her up. But I hope we can get her the first time, as the seller (a friend) and I are anxious to get her protected for the winter. He has pulled her out of her resting place and is checking if the tires will hold air... and if the elec. sytems are a go, or not.
I love seeing other's pics - when we get some I'll post.
Thank you for the links: I have printed info to take with us regarding wiring and hitch heights etc. The break-down in the salt flats of Utah (been there) looked painful. I'll remember the gas tip. And the photo link was beautiful - I have visisted Yellowstone every year for nearly 25 years... it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I can't wait to go back with the tradewind- No more tent camping in Grizzly territory!
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Old 11-07-2005, 06:08 PM   #10
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Another suggestion is to bring spare light bulbs. I towed mine 1800 miles and used a couple of spare bulbs before the trip was through.

It doesn't hurt to bring other items like duct tape, bulk wires, several ball sizes in case you do not know what it has. (1 7/8" would be what was there)

Drive like the brakes do not work. Speed kills.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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