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Old 03-26-2006, 10:13 AM   #15
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Jack, for legal purposes, I'd make an attempt to have the brakes operable, besides a standard 2" ball hitch, safety chains, and lights. Keep in mind, if it is equipt with such items from the factory, by all means have them in operation. The realitively new device for break aways, can be added too, just to be more compliant to todays standards. Sure you can make the run without them, I did with my original purchase of my trailer, with no brakes or weight distrubution or sway control, and made out fine, but it wasn't safe. Jeff
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:28 AM   #16
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I wonder if you couldnt borrow a weight distribution sit up from somebody for the trip?
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Old 03-26-2006, 10:57 AM   #17
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Wowie - what a community!

Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your thoughts....

You can see that your opinions are all over the map. And you all lived to tell about it. I guess that leaves it up to my good (?) judgement. I don't want to create problems for myself or anybody else while I'm out on the road.

My good friend Mark will be accompanying me on this trip, and I'd like to see him also survive the experience.

So, I will take all your advice under consideration, purchase a brake controller, and get going.

Oh yeah..... do I need mirrors? (just kidding).

Jack

p.s. I am bowled over by the caliber of this group. Literate, experienced, concerned, friendly. Hope to see you on the road. Thanks again.
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:29 AM   #18
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Jack, I've towed a lot of trailers,from little tent trailers to 36' race car trailers, I don't see a problem for this ONE trip.

Must check;tires,wheels,wheel bearings,lug nut torque,and overall condition of coupler, etc.

Must have;All lights working,safety chains,proper ball height so trailer rides level. TOOLS!, brakes would be nice if you can get them to work, if not, keep your distance.

Hook it all up and take a test drive, city and highway @ 55mph. If you don't feel confident,DON'T do it. Make sure to pay attention to whats happening to the trailer behind you,wobbling wheels, smoke from the wheels,etc. . When you stop, check tire psi. ,loose lug nuts,coupler,lights.

When you get home, never tow it again until it is PROPERLY equipped

Mark

ps, If you do get stopped ,resign yourself that you MAY get ticketed for no brakes or breakaway switch.
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:47 AM   #19
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Just my two cents here. I was too stupid to ask advice when I went 700 miles to pick up my Argosy. Didn't know anything about this forum either. No sway control, no WD hitch, and the brakes went out after about 250 miles (and I didn't know it) Made it home, found the forum, got the WD hitch with sway control, fixed the connector so the brakes and lights worked. Believe me this trailer pulls a lot better with the "right stuff". Sometimes the not so bright are watched over. Good luck to you. Judy
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:31 PM   #20
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Two more cents;Only drive as slow as conditions allow,ie;don't do 35mph on the interstate. You've got a pretty small trailer with a 1/2 ton truck ,I really don't see a problem.

As a example of what can be done (not correctly ,but done none the less),when I was young & stoopid, my brother and I towed a 16' Hobie cat sailboat with an additional 800lbs of gear with a '73 conv. VW beetle all the way to Mazatlan and back,with no brakes equipped on the boat trailer!

I'm curious, as to why the trip would be the last one?

Mark
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:37 PM   #21
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Besides the overloaded boat trailers out there, think of all the 2- 3- & 4- stall horse trailers being towed by Explorers and Expiditions. They usually have surge brakes, but how many do you think really work? No sway control or equalizer hitches, either. Don't see too many stray horses along the freeways.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:38 PM   #22
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Wish me luck...

Thanks again everybody -
I've got a brake controller, I've got lights (and reflectors just in case...). I've got a good buddy and a big bag of food, a wife and three kids waiting for me on the other end.

So, for those of you hwo think I'm nuts or dangerous, stay off the north south California routes for the next twelve hours.

My next post will be from Calistoga, CA, or from heaven. See ya.

Jack
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:01 PM   #23
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Hi, Jack. You have received lots of advise some good and some bad. Here's my point of view; As for makeing the trip without proper equiptment, Many people have jumped safely out of airplanes, but there are still some who didn't make it. You also just stated, that you have a wife and three children. Are you also a home owner? Is this all worth loseing over a 19' trailer that can wait long enough for you to do the right thing? This is definitley illegal and if you kill some inocent people doing this you are no better than a drunk driver killing someone.
I tell it like it is; "You may not like what I have to tell you, but it's the truth."

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PS I hope you do the right thing.
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:18 PM   #24
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He added a brake controller to the equation, which was the only thing I was worried about. Sounds like he'll be just fine. I don't see a problem with running without WD or sway control, as long as you have good brakes.

Good luck on your trip. BTW, I was at a rockin' rally in Calistoga a couple years ago. Sure you don't want to keep that trailer on the road? Vintage trailer partys are fun!
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:55 PM   #25
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welcome jack martin and robertsunrus to the forums....

while it's too late to matter, others might read here someday....so, some thoughts...

isn't there any other options for a one way, one day, one time tow?

who knows how long this trailer has been planted, so all the running gear could be at issue and surprise the buyer....just before hooking up, so with the same thinking evaluate tires/wheels, brakes, lights, chains and loose parts?

and how much towing experience does the buyer have?....sure folks do this stuff and sure it's illegal....but i would never consider doing it....based on having lived long enough to see lots of nasty stuff happen....some of which was my fault....

anyway what are the other options...couldn't a trailer this small be loaded onto a rented flat bed trailer with everthing working....or what about on to a rented flat bed truck...or find a owner operator of a semi and pay'em. or just pay a professional to fetch it....

this isn't a trip from one quarter section down a farm road to another piece of grass land....this is a full day on kali-forn-ya roads....where only mass-e-chew-sus competes for liability issues, risks and costs....

i sure hope you take pics and post 'em here....i wanna watch!

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:14 PM   #26
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Well, he said

Quote:
I have already replaced the tires, and the bearings were recently repacked.
Now that he's added a brake controller, I don't see anything wrong with what he's doing. Why flatbed it home if it's ready to roll, and he's got a truck capable of towing this little trailer?

We all had to learn to tow sometime...
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Well, We all had to learn to tow sometime...
oh i agree stef...

i read that the bearings and tires were fresh....and as noted.....he is already gone....

but this issue comes up regularly....i see another thread just started with the same question and issue....

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ack-21640.html

and often the issue of tires, bearings, marker lights, brakes, brake lights, suspension, axles...and so on, also are at issue....and what if it were 2000 miles....or just 2 trips....or just one trip a year....

and what does pulling it home...once....teach us about towing really?

my point is instead of suggesting each time...."yes/no/maybe"....we could explore the other options....and develop some resources/links to help folks get the trailer home...

sort of like a dog rescue group or the resource group for inspecting trailers..3 state away, or parking.

a 'get her home safely' thread...so to speak... with all of the issues, options, methods, volunteers and so on....for that one tow....

it just seems something like this would be more useful...than little notes saying "oh no!" or "go for it"....every few days....to another new member..

cheers
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Old 03-26-2006, 07:50 PM   #28
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When I posted earlier, I forgot to mention that I was told that the brakes were working. Being in the military, I don't get too much time off, so the weekend was my only window of opportunity to get my Sovereign. I left Friday evening and got there Saturday morning and found out that there was no wiring harness to plug into the trailer. That miffed me a bit, but a drive over to the local RV shop got me what I needed to make a new harness. Next problem was that only 1/4 of the running lights worked, and the left taillights were the only working thing.

Getting new tires revealed that the springs inside the electric drums had rusted and broken apart. A quick trip to NAPA fixed that solution, but alas the brakes still didn't work....come to find out later that I had wired the harness to today's wiring configuration, but forgot that the older trailers were wired differently.

Is towing like this illegal? Absolutely. Would I have done it, if I had all the time needed to fix the problems? Absolutely not. Given my situation, I had to be back in Maryland by Sunday, so I could get to formation on Monday or be AWOL. I don't advocate that someone tow like this for the heck of it, but if it's a situation where you have no choice, then you gotta do what you gotta do.

Keep in mind that towing on a flatbed cost a lot of money, and you have to hope that the flatbed doesn't encounter any low bridges....that would ruin everyone's day. Many of us aren't powerbrokers with cash floating around to do with as we please. The only reason I was able to have my Sovereign fully restored was because of the accelerated benefits we received from New York Life.

Long story short, if you have to tow without all of the safety features needed to tow, try to do it as safely as possible, without causing someone else or yourself harm.

Frederic
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