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Old 07-28-2003, 03:34 PM   #1
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Ever pull a vintage AS across country?

The furtherest I have pulled my Safari is about 4 hours from home.

I carefully plan it so I don't even have to refuel with the trailer attached

My wife would like to go to Florida sometime but I don't know if pulling a 30+ year old trailer 6000 miles is a good idea.

I am sure my shocks are shot as the cabinet doors open and stuff is knocked around. I also pop some of the rivets on the lower trim piece on our short travels. The axel looks like it's at 0 degrees when I look at them. So I hope all I need is shocks.

But after that, can I drag this thing across country?

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:46 PM   #2
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Thumbs up no problem!!!

Once your rolling stock is up to par (axle, tires, bearings, shocks etc.) you're good to go! We pulled our '70 Safari all over the west coast and from San Diego to the Black Hills and back. Two years ago, I pulled our '61 Bambi from western Iowa to eastern Arizona and back. Other than a plugged radiator making the Black Hills trip the family "trip from hell" and having to put a dozen rivets back into the belly pan of the Bambi in a parking lot in nowhere Nebraska, all of our travels have been (blessedly) uneventful.

The key to uneventful trips is making sure that your tow vehicle and trailer are serviced and up to the task.

Roger
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:50 PM   #3
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Hope so

Next year, when ours is 25, we are planning a trip from MT to MI, then Jackson Center, and back. We have had no problems this year, so fingers crossed. By the way, does anyone know if they do the big fire works at Rushmore every year or just this year?
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:55 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Folks do it all the time...no problem!

We actually are planning on 35+ vintage trailers coming to La Veta, CO from all four corners of the country! New York, So Cal, Florida & Oregon with lots in between ~

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Roger's right though, make sure everything is in good shape before you start out...

Shari
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:57 PM   #5
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I just pulled a 1978 Tradewind...

...900 miles, after buying it practically sight unseen, without incident.

I attribute it to Divine Intervention, plus the integrity of the sellers.

I don't know about needing shocks or what, but I'd make sure to get the wheels and drums balanced - that might be the source of your rivet issues. (Andy may well jump in here to agree!) I'd get the bearings checked and repacked, as well as having the brakes checked.

That stuff, a good hitch setup, and a good brake controller, plus a full tool box and plenty of duct tape!
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Old 07-28-2003, 04:08 PM   #6
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I see no reason not to travel if you've had all the mechanicals checked out. We drove from Cincinnati, OH to Myrtle Beach, SC back in June (about 1300 miles round trip). The Airstream behaved beautifully.

Twice a year, we make a pilgramage to the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN to attend the NASCAR races there (about 800 miles round trip). Again, never a problem with the trailer.

Try it, you'll like it!
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Old 07-28-2003, 04:41 PM   #7
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Roger pretty well covered it. I might add that if your tires are cracked or over about six or seven years old you might replace them. I take my 1977 A/S all over the west & have never had a problem with the TT other then backing into a tree stump or things like that. I should do better then that! I spent alot of time on farms in Iowa backing up tracters & trailers as a kid.

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Old 07-28-2003, 04:50 PM   #8
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A couple of months ago I had new tires put on, the bearings packed and breaks checked. So all that is in good shape.

I am planing in replacing the shocks in the next couple of months and then start polishing this winter...

I may try across country in it in 2004 or 2005.

Sounds like fun and adventure. Just hope not too much adventure
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:32 PM   #9
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Ever pull a Vintage Airstream cross country?

Greetings Tim!

Dont' let the age of your Airstream deter you from an extended cross-country trip. My '64 Overlander has accompanied me on many long adventures with very limited on-the-road problems. I always have my trusted Airstream dealer carefully inspect and service the trailer before departure and have only had one problem, and that was with the electric brakes when I was 500 miles from home so I was able to make it home to a known mechanic for repairs. I also have my tires replaced at the beginning of every sixth season for safety's sake, and have the wheel bearings repacked annually. While it probably isn't absolutely necessary, I always have all of the LP appliances as well as the air conditioner cleaned, inspected and serviced at the beginning of each season.

I also know a number of VAC members who have embarked on seriously long excursions with coaches from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The two biggest keys to successful excursions is to carefully prepare and be sure that all maintenance has been done. For instance I know one couple with a 1950s Bubble who went on a Caravan to Alaska; I know a Free Wheeler with a 1960s Bambi who caravanned to Panama; the owner of a 1950s Flying Cloud who has towed it from the East coast to the West coast on a number of ocassions; and at least two couples with 1970s trailers who full-time while traveling the country.

Careful planning can help to insure a smooth trip. I do carry a variety of normal wear parts in my kit (stores in a drawer below the front sofa) along with several items that seem to find their "legs" at the most inopportune times - - the most notorious on my coach is the Thetford termination cap with hose fitting (always carry 2 spares and use at least one of the spares each year).

Fueling while on the road, at least in the region where I live, can become a bit of a problem. I always start looking at 1/4 tank on the Suburban and at 1/2 tank on the Cadillac (the only advantage with the Cadillac is that you can fill from either side with its center of bumper fuel fill) - - the majority of the new gas stations in this region do not have pump islands that can accommodate a vehicle towing a trailer and some aren't much better for motorhomes. I am also learning to be very careful with the curb cuts at the approaches and departures when towing the Minuet - - its ground clearance is so minimal that I have already drug off three terminator caps just entering or exiting gas stations (the last is the only one where any damage was done - - about $600.00 in holding tank/dump valve repairs).

One thing that I have learned is that when stopping for the night, a fuel stop is one of my first priorities after the trailer has been setup in the campground. I usually find a nice restaurant and then after my meal fill the tow vehicle's fuel tank and head back to camp. Sometimes when towing the Minuet with my Suburban the one fill is all that is necessary as the Suburban's towing range with the Minuet is over 475 miles on a full tank under most towing conditions.

Good luck with your planned adventure!

Kevin
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Old 07-28-2003, 06:34 PM   #10
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Talk with me in 10 years! She'll eventually be a classic!
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Old 07-28-2003, 09:51 PM   #11
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Yep,

Seven times in the past 16 yrs. Southern NM, (south of Las Cruces, NM) to norhteast Ohio, without a glitch.

Oscar
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Old 07-28-2003, 10:00 PM   #12
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Ever pull a vintage AS across country?

RE: Mt. Rushmore Independence Day Fireworks

Quote:
By the way, does anyone know if they do the big fire works at Rushmore every year or just this year?
It has been an annual event, and I have been able to be there twice for the display and had my reservations for the third time in 2002. The last time that I was there (WBCCI International Rally - 2002), the fireworks were cancelled due to fire danger. I have never tried driving to the fireworks display as parking and traffic is a nighmare - - all of the commercial tour operators offer tours departing from most campgrounds and motels that deliver you to the visitors center and then pick you up at the same point - - well worth the expense given the crowds and heavy traffic - - reservations for these special "Independence Fireworks Tours" are generally sold-out several months prior to the event.

Kevin
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Old 07-28-2003, 11:04 PM   #13
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How long....

How long does it take to drive with a trailer, wife, 13 year old boy and a 2 year old daughter across country?

Ca to Fl.
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Old 07-28-2003, 11:41 PM   #14
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Too long!

"When are we gonna get there?"

Shari
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