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Old 05-06-2007, 09:43 AM   #1
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1952 21' Flying Cloud
1982 31' Excella
Milwaukie , Oregon
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 29
Worried!

Hello to all. I'm looking forward to learning from all of you and sharing my experiences with my new project.
I have recently been given what I believe is a late 51 or 52 Flying Cloud. It doesn't appear to have a pipe frame. I've only seen pictures so far. I'm in Oregon and it's in Kansas but I'm bringing it back at the end of the month. Now my worry is this trailer has been sitting for some 30 yrs except for a short 15 mile trip last year it hasn't moved. What should I be looking for before I start the trip back? I already plan on pulling the bearings and repacking them. Also would like to know if the rear bumper is steel cause I would like to use some magnetic towing lights instead of trusting the wiring.
Thanks in advance
Brian
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:01 AM   #2
Desert Fox
 
1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 250
Smile Hi Brian

1. Tires replacement is a must.
2 Brakes in working order is a must.
3. Bearing is a must.
4. Brake controler is must.
5. Running lights are optional if you have stop lights that work.
By the way what are you towing it with? You will need at least 3/4 ton truck
with a V-8 motor.
Good luck Russell from Sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:23 AM   #3
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1952 21' Flying Cloud
1982 31' Excella
Milwaukie , Oregon
Join Date: May 2007
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Thanks, I was wondering about the tires and wheels too. would like to know what wheels and tires would work. that way I could just take some with. We will be using a class b motor home to tow it back.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:27 AM   #4
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1952 21' Flying Cloud
1982 31' Excella
Milwaukie , Oregon
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 29
By the way. Why do I have a WARN with 5 red boxes? Did I do something wrong?
<--------<
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wander'n
By the way. Why do I have a WARN with 5 red boxes? Did I do something wrong?
<--------<
Everyone see their warn meter. If it is not at 0%, you did something wrong.
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:34 AM   #6
Mel
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1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
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Everyone can see their own warn meter - yours is at 0% and you have done nothing wrong. Check out this thread for more info. Oh yeah, and welcome to the forums!
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:37 AM   #7
Mel
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For more info on your Flying Cloud, check out the vintage trailer archives here. You may be able to identify what year trailer you are getting by comparing the pictures you have received with those available on the site.

Be sure to check out the search feature on this site for lots of important info on what to look for prior to moving a trailer that has been sitting in one place for so long.

Good luck, and since you're in Oregon, hope to see you at a NW area forums rally one day!
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Worried!

Greetings Brian!

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by wander'n
Hello to all. I'm looking forward to learning from all of you and sharing my experiences with my new project.
I have recently been given what I believe is a late 51 or 52 Flying Cloud. It doesn't appear to have a pipe frame. I've only seen pictures so far. I'm in Oregon and it's in Kansas but I'm bringing it back at the end of the month. Now my worry is this trailer has been sitting for some 30 yrs except for a short 15 mile trip last year it hasn't moved. What should I be looking for before I start the trip back? I already plan on pulling the bearings and repacking them. Also would like to know if the rear bumper is steel cause I would like to use some magnetic towing lights instead of trusting the wiring.
Thanks in advance
Brian
There are several items for which you should be prepared:
  • Not all 1950s era Airstreams had the elctric brakes that we now think of as a near standard feature. Many of the coaches during this era had hydraulic brakes that tapped into the tow vehicle's rear brake lines. In the intervening years, some owners have converted these coaches to either electic drum brakes or surge-type hydraulic brakes. Without confirmation from someone knowledgeable about the coach it is difficult to predict exactly which type of brakes the coach may have.
  • I am not certain about the frame type for either '51 or '52 as I believe that this was near the change-over to ladder frames.
  • Again, given the amount of time that has elapsed since the coach was last used, it may still have its Split-Rim wheels. Very few tire shops are willing to service these wheels today as specialized handling safety equipment is required for inflation after a repair or new tire installation (a steel safety cage). There are some agricultural tire deales who still work on these as do a few of the tire dealers who work with large trucks. The wheel/tire fitting on these Vintage coaches is difficult as there are many variables -- you will almost need to get information from someone with a similar Vintage coach as to what they have found that works -- the inner fender clearance as well as wheel well clearance can both be a problem. The most typical tire size is the 225-75-R-15 ST, but these are often a tight or impossible fit on 1950s vintage single axle coaches.
  • The empty weight of the '51 Flying Cloud is approximately 2,600 pounds, so you should have rather wide latitude in tow vehicle selection.
  • You will likely need a 2" (6,000 pound rated) ball for the coupler. Be prepared, however, for previous owner changes as it could have something other than its original 2" coupler. You will also likely need to have a weight distributing hitch depending upon your tow vehicle -- you can expect the tongue weight to be between 250 and 350 pounds.
  • During this era, many of the coaches that I have seen have had steel bumpers, but it is not impossible to encounter one with an luminum bumper or one made from some other material. Even if the coach has a steel bumper, there may not be sufficient flat surface to attach magnetic lights. I have gone prepared each time that I have picked up a new to me coach with a set of temporary running lights -- I have them mounted on a 1" x 6" board that is long enought to span the rear frame ends (I believe that it is just a shade over 6') to which I have attached heavy duty "eye-hooks" to accommodate wiring to the frame rails -- I also carried a set of "U-Bolts" designed to attach the Reese Dual Cam that could be employed to attach the board to the frame rails if the wire didn't provide sufficient security. I haven't had to use my setup as in each case the coach's lights worked with just a few bulb replacement.
  • I would also suggest taking along an extra set of safety chains. The coach may or may not have them -- and even if it does, they may be too short for your tow vehicle setup. I learned this lesson the hard way -- arrived without safety chains only to discover that the Overlander's safety chains were too short for my hitch combination -- a 45 mile trip was necessary to get to the nearest store stocking such items.
  • I would also suggest taking along an assortment of various sized bungy cords as well as duct tape. You will want to make a perimeter inspection of the coach looking for any loose fittings that may need to be secured -- between the tape and bungy cords most items can be secured.
Good luck with your adventure! I am sure that you will enjoy your Flying Cloud!

Kevin
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Old 05-06-2007, 02:27 PM   #9
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1952 21' Flying Cloud
1982 31' Excella
Milwaukie , Oregon
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 29
Thanks to all. WOW Kevin that answered my questions and more. My thought is that we will tow without the t. brakes. I have taken this route twice before and the only spot that worries me is the Blue Mnt's. That one can be a white knuckle drive.
I will make sure I have enough chain, ducktape and bailing wire. And I can rig something up like your running lights. I will try the wiring first though.
Thanks Mel I hope to make it to several. I was checking out your pictures, I love the rods and Vintage trailers. I will be using a 66 f100 to tow mine. And would love to set a 50's something panel in front of the AS.
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wander'n
By the way. Why do I have a WARN with 5 red boxes? Did I do something wrong?
<--------<
NO! You haven't done anything wrong - relax. What you have described is what everyone is seeing. If there has been an infraction - (say for instance - dissing MY trailer) the 0% would change in multiples of 20%. No one else can view your meter and you can't see anyone else's. A moderator would always communicate any issue in question. We take 'be nice' and your privacy very seriously!
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