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Old 11-06-2007, 09:47 AM   #1
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A new Travelux Owner

Hi all

Just joined this forum! It seems to be the only place that has info on Travelux Trailers!

We have recently become the proud owners of a 1969 20' Travelux Gypsy. (we thought we were buying an Airstream ).

It needs a little work, A new fridge and an interior paint job as well as new bedding, but other than that it seems pretty solid and in good condition.

When we got our bean can home we found a huge dent in the roof in the rear corner. We couldn't see it from the ground where we viewed the trailer as it was pushed against the garage. It wasn't until we stepped back at home that we noticed our 2nd mistake - Ooops!

Hubby has spent a couple of hours trying to remove the dent, it not completely gone but is now less noticable.

It's now parked up in a field for the winter and we probably won't see it until the snow has gone in the spring, we are really looking forward to making it our mini home and taking it out next summer.

I would welcome any advice/tips or info that anyone could give us as new trailer owners.

Oh! One question, as a kid in the UK we had a Caravan (Trailer) and the hitch had a wheel on it so it was easier to attach to a car. Do the hitches here not have wheels or do people remove them when their not in use?
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:00 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums Piff Poff. The hitch you mention was a precursor to the weight distribution system used today...at least as I understand what you describe (they were before my time, but I have seen them in "The Long, Long Trailer"). You may also be describing a tongue jack with a wheel on the foot so the tongue could be moved side-to-side easily. Those haven't been used on Airstreams in years and I assume they have disappeared from most other camping trailers as well. Now days you mostly see them on lighter weight trailers such as boat trailers.

It's nice to see another Travelux owner on board. We have a couple, but they are quite rare, even here. Good luck with the renovations you need to do and happy camping next summer!
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for that Minnie's Mate. The wheel that I'm talking about would be at the bottom of the pole that you wind up and down to hitch the trailer to the truck. Sorry for the vagueness in technical terms - 'suppose that's what you get when it's a female newbie talking about technical stuff.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:26 PM   #4
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I think Minnie's Mate is correct that what you are referring to is a tongue jack with the wheel on the foot. European trailers have, generally, longer tongues and much lower tongue weight which makes such a wheel practical. The low tongue weights allow towing with much smaller and lighter tow vehicles, but require compromises relative to sway control and weight distribution which are not considered acceptable in the US and Canada. One can easily imagine that 400 to 1000 pounds on that little wheel would make it pretty useless.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A.
I think Minnie's Mate is correct that what you are referring to is a tongue jack with the wheel on the foot. European trailers have, generally, longer tongues and much lower tongue weight which makes such a wheel practical. The low tongue weights allow towing with much smaller and lighter tow vehicles, but require compromises relative to sway control and weight distribution which are not considered acceptable in the US and Canada. One can easily imagine that 400 to 1000 pounds on that little wheel would make it pretty useless.
Okay, I think we are talking about the same thing, a new european trailer has a tow weight of 2835lbs for example, it will still have a wheel to help position the trailer when hooking upto the vehicle, it then gets wound up out of the way when you move off. Alternatively it can also be used to position the trailer when you get to the campground if you are in a tight spot - not that we have seen tight spots here. It doesn't really have anything to do with the vehicle you are towing with as it gets wound up out of the way.
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piff Poff
Do the hitches here not have wheels or do people remove them when their not in use?
From a recent thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/462514-post23.html
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Old 11-07-2007, 09:28 AM   #7
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Some of the vintage Airstreams originally had the type of wheel you are referring to, but they also could be pushed around by hand once you arrived at the camp site. Even with today's Bambi's that can no longer be done because of the expanded level of creature comforts that come in an Airstream adds too much weight. You might be able to do this with a Base Camp but I'm not sure. If this is something you want to do at home, you can get a dolly that is available as a manual or electric (either battery or corded model) that will allow you to reposition the trailer into tight spots without the use of your tow vehicle.
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:34 AM   #8
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http://www.millfarm.biz/images/store_one_line2.jpg

Hope this link works - but this is the type of thing I mean. I have seen them on boat trailers and toy haulers, just surprised I've not seen them on travel trailers here - and the travel trailers here are no different to UK travel trailers. Their just called caravans LOL.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:21 AM   #9
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The weight on the tongue of a travel trailer (''caravan") is much different and much lower in Europe than in the US. Weight-distribution systems are not used in Europe and the towing vehicles are generally much smaller. US type tongue weights would push the rear of the average European towing vehicle down dangerously.

If you want to see that nose-wheel on an Airstream, just go to the Airstream Europe website (http://europe.airstream.com/). Looking further on that site shows tongue weights of 85 kg to 150 kg (188 to 330 US pounds) for the European Airstream models. The lower weight is not just a result of fewer creature comforts, but a deliberate shifting of weight towards the rear of the trailer.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Okay, I think I must be being incredibly dense but I can't see why weight distribution etc would affect the need of a little wheel at the front to be able to move a trailer into position by 1 or 2 centimeters to be able to pop it on the ball. It's a whole lot easier than trying to move a truck side to side by 1 or 2 cm. It's not like the wheel has anything to do with travelling anywhere as it's wound up once your hitched and ready to go. I suppose if your static you could remove the wheel and just have it on the pole. I dunno. I think we may just buy a wheel and attatch it.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:20 PM   #11
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Attaching the wheel might work, particularly if the tongue weight of your trailer is low. Most modern US Airstreams have tongue weights high enough that you would need to be a gorilla to get the trailer to move on such a little wheel. Smooth pavement might make it easier, but on gravel, for example, it might be impossible. Notice, Airstream does not put the little wheel on its US trailers, but does have it on the European versions with less tongue weight. You might put the tongue of the Travelux on a scale to see what what the actual weight would be on the small wheel.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:33 PM   #12
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http://www.millfarm.biz/images/store_one_line2.jpg
The RV's in this picture look alot like those made by ABI Leisure in Canada also known as Award Travel Trailers. They were designed in Europe and made in Canada near Nigaria Falls. I believe they are still made on a custom order basis. Sorry for getting off the thread.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:57 PM   #13
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OK Pif do you mean the wheel you insert into the jack stand instead of a base like we normally do, like the pop-ups and lighter trailers have to swing the front a bit? I would think dealers might use them more on level ground and insert in the jack tube. I know we have one around here that came off of something we camped in.

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Old 11-07-2007, 02:59 PM   #14
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Turns out there was a problem with the link I put in for the Airstream Europe website. Sorry. Here is the picture they show. Notice the wheel can swivel which should make moving the tongue by hand easier.
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