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Old 03-26-2006, 09:48 PM   #29
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1968 17' Caravel
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Yeah, this question comes up all the time, and each case is different. Not everyone has the money, time, equipment, skills they need for all possible options, so they usually just do the best they can, and most of the time it works out ok.

I'm just saying you have to learn to tow sometime, and you might as well pick it up and start learning. We had a friend help us out by towing the trailer home because we didn't have a tow vehicle yet, but once we did, I remember that first shakey trip out (and all the horror stories I'd been told that make it sound like rocket science). But everyone survived to tow again another day.
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:36 AM   #30
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I couldn't agree more. When I was young and stoopid learning things the hard way, It would have been nice to have a forum to help avoid the lessons that so many of us HAVE learned the hard way. Hell, it would have been nice to have a computer.

Jack is lucky to find ansewers to his concerns and then make an informed decision as to how to procede.

Mark
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Old 03-30-2006, 01:24 PM   #31
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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With your help, I made it safely...

Thanks again everyone. You are all correct. Flat beds cost lots of money. No one wants to get hurt, or hurt someone else. Improperly equipped trailers are unsafe. And you gotta do what you gotta do.

So, after hearing your diverse points of view, I installed a brake controller and checked the trailer brakes, I had to completely retrofit the trailer with new tail/stop/turn lights, and I also installed additional reflectors for clearance and general visibility. I never exceeded 50 mph, and went slower on rougher roads and downhills. I stayed in control. Incidentally, I was not a complete stranger to driving a tow vehicle, although not often pulling something so big.

The trip was quite smooth, if somewhat long. Unbelievably, cruising along just after midnight on route 80 coming through Berkeley, CA, I got seriously rear-ended by a full sized van whose driver must have fallen asleep at the wheel - he must have been doing 70 to hit me square in the butt as hard as he did. The trailer remained roadworthy for the balance of the trip, although the floor buckled somewhat. My neck will probably feel alright in a week or two. But I am very glad that I had taken the time to make sure that I had brakes, lights, tires, freshly packed bearings, etc... After all, for all I knew the thing hadn't been on the road for 20 years.

Thanks again. I agree that the creation of a resource dedicated to "just getting it home" would be a great idea.

Looking forward to continuing my dialogue with you all.

Jack
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:21 PM   #32
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Jack,

I'm sorry to hear that you had such misfortune on the way home.....you took all the precautions necessary and fate still handed you a whammy....the "other" driver. I hope the damage to your A/S isn't too bad. Take care of your neck; whiplash is no laughing matter...I've had it several times myself. Good luck.

Frederic
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:51 PM   #33
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I am no expert but I do have 50 years experience towing everything from 53 foot 50,000 lb vans to small utility trailers and most every size in between. Personaly I would rather trust compedent defensive driver towing 3000 lb. trailer with 1/2 ton truck with no trailer brakes than to trust some of the got to get there quick aggresive drivers I see that are towing with a Powerstroke and a Hensley. All the official accident statistics I have seen place blame for almost all accidents on driver and blame faulty equipment for ver few accidents.
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Old 03-30-2006, 08:02 PM   #34
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Jack,

What a bummer, but glad you are home and mostly safe. Hope the trailer is not damaged too much and the other driver has insurance.

Bill
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:04 AM   #35
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Glad you made it home safe. Now I am dying to know, what do you plan to do with this Airstream that your only intention was to get it home, where I assume it will be staying? Will you still be able to do whatever you intended with it now that it got whacked?

BTW, about 20 years ago we were hit driving to the beach in my husband's Chevy Nova, by a lady who fell asleep at the wheel. She was probably doing 80+, and we were doing about 60, and she accordioned that poor Nova, put the trunk in the backseat. We were fine, a testament to when they built cars out of steel. Nothing quite as surprising as getting hit from behind at freeway speeds! I'm curious, what did it feel like to have your trailer hit?
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:08 PM   #36
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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What did it feel like? Why one trip?

Well I'll tell ya - after all that fussing with making sure the old AS was roadworthy, when I heard the noise my first thought was that I had lost a tire, broken an axle, hit something. My passenger said immediately, "We've been hit!" It was quite a smack, and amazing that that much energy could be transmitted fully just through the ball and hitch. The difference between our speeds must have been at least 20 mph, and I was doing 50. The whole truck lurched forward. I took my foot off the gas and coasted. The trailer was still behind us and looked fine. I guess it was more scary than anything else, although I did immediately experience what felt like a weakness in my neck. My passenger felt it in his shoulder. Four days later it's still there.


We pulled onto the median between the freeway and the exit we were about to take. Fortunately, the poor guy that hit us pulled over behind us. He was a bit shaken too, although he didn't think there had been any damage. His vehicle looked OK. Yes, he was insured. And in 1964, AS was putting some pretty beefy steel behind their trailers. Our bumper looked fine, but the aluminum lid over the bumper storage was trashed. Inspection with a flashlight revealed some buckling of the skin just in front of both tires (single axle).

This trailer had been gutted, and a complete commercial kitchen installed inside. I have a hospitality facility in Santa Rosa, CA (www.markwestlodge.com) where I will use the kitchen for food preparation and possibly vending for events to be held on a five acre site adjacent to my main facility. The kitchen is beautiful, and I just wanted to get the unit onto my property where I figured it would stay for a long time. The trailer has an aluminum diamondplate floor that is now buckled and floating above the frame. The rest of the shell and kitchen equipment still appear ok. I'll post a link to a page on my website once I get some pix of the trailer on line.

Thank you all for your interest and support. And as was pointed out by one of you, the problem is usually the other guy. I guess I've got the theme for my signature. See ya later.

Jack
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:32 PM   #37
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Hi, Jack. Wecome home. I was getting concerned about you and your journey since we haven't heard from you for some time. I'm glad you did the right thing; Doing your best to make it a safe trip pulling your new [to you] trailer. Too bad some one else wasn't as safe as they could of been. Hope you're alright and now safe, sound, and home with your wife and kids.
Are you makeing the next Airstream Cafe so we can visit you while traveling through your part of town?
You and all of the rest of us are lucky to have a forum like this to get help and / or advise just for asking. Not to mention, just reading posts that might apply to subjects we are interested in.

Bob
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