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Old 11-27-2005, 01:44 PM   #1
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Tires? Axles? Hitch? and a weird key?

Well, we have returned from visiting our "new" 68 tradewind and here's what IS so far.... (we are picking her up next weekend)
Trailer lights plugged right in to our truck - no adapter- and they WORK!!! But the right side bulb burned out - can we get replacements at Kragen??
Tires: The tires are holding air, one is badly cracking, but the consensus is they'll get us to the tire shop. One tire shop says Marathons don't come load E, only load D. Another says Tow masters are made by Goodyear. We have to order them- not one store had them in stock (marathons that is). Which prevented us from taking her home yesterday .
Axles: when the tire guys are changing out the tires (which we'll be monitorting the jacking situation) and packing the bearings... how can we tell the condition of the rubber rods? The torsion arm "test" seems easy enough... I'd like new axles eventually but for now $$$ is tight.
The trailer coupler(?): the latch is old and a little rusty. How can we tell if it's integrity is compromised?
Wrong forum but, the po filled the water tank, had the power working, but the pump switch didn't seem to activate the pump? I remember reading about this somewhere, but I'm tired....
Also, the windows: 2 need to be replaced (plexi-glass). And the rubber (gaskets?) around them are badly deteriorated. I think there's enough cushion to get us home?, but you all are more experienced. The latches are rusty but most funtion (except one).
Any help much appreciated. I AM so excited... I forgot my camera - next week. She needs a lot of love, oh boy...
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
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oops I forgot the weird key

The main door is not locked but all access doors are. The keys we were given (3) won't open any doors. All the locks accept two of the keys, but won't turn. Then there is a broken key that syas "Bargman"????? anyone?
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Old 11-27-2005, 01:56 PM   #3
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Take the trailer to a locksmith or call a mobile locksmith and have him check your compartment locks. They may or may not be keyed the same. He should be able to make a key that fits the rest. I can't help with the main door but he should be able to handle that also. I have 2 complete sets of keys one of which is kept in the truck just in case I misplace the others and lock myself out.
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Old 11-27-2005, 02:03 PM   #4
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I'd say don't worry about the axels for now. It's not like you can change them before you get home anyway. Even if they're stiff one ride shouldn't destroy anything, just take it easy. In fact the first ride home will be one of your best indicators of how well your axel is working.

Your water pump might just have had a wire come loose. It doesn't necessarily run when you turn the switch on, but it should when you open a faucet.

Make sure the coupler securely grabs the ball when it's on, and that you crank the jack back UP once it's fastened enough to see it start to lift the rear of the tow vehicle, then you know it's got the ball tight. There should also be a place to put a pin to hold the coupler closed while travelling.

Sounds like typical old trailer stuff. Hopefully you'll have a safe and uneventful trip home and can start tackling stuff like the window gaskets. 68's my favorite year How far do you have to haul it?
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Old 11-27-2005, 04:49 PM   #5
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Goodyear Marathons are only available in load range C and load range D, in ST225/75R15. Your coach should have D's on it, even if it has C's now, the difference in price is only about $5 per tire.
Try Whitely Tire on Commercial street, they should be able to get them for you.
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:19 PM   #6
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We will travel @350 miles. I can't wait!
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:53 PM   #7
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Bragman is the name of the manufacturer of the main door lock. It is expensive if it is broken. Locksmith should be able to cut you a new key after he disassembles the lock. If you could take it out and take it to him it would likely be cheaper. Sometimes it is almost cheaper to drill out the compartment locks and replace them depending on what your locksmitn charges. I would check the clips on the windows closely. The other windows most likely got broken because they fell out because the clips failed on the road. Some really strong duck tape might be in order to make sure you get home without breaking more. They are very expensive to replace in curved glass. If you are not sure the door will stay shut I would tape this also until I could get the door to lock and check for fit. You may need new shocks also after all these years. It is easy to check them, when you have the tires being changed and repacking the wheel bearings. You should also check for rusty brakes at the same time and make sure the activator surface on the flat part of the drum is clean and free of grease. If you do not have many hills back to your house you might be able to make the run without fixing the brakes.
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Old 11-27-2005, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Your coach should have D's on it, even if it has C's now,
Terry, I'm curious as to why you make that reccommendation. If a 24' tandem axle trailer has survived 37 years by riding on 6-ply (C) tires, why change to stiffer 8-ply (D) tires?
I'm quite sure that Inland Andy has posted information to the contrary, or at least advised that if the steel rims have been in service for some time with "C" tires, they should be replaced with new rims to safely accomodate the higher PSI of the D load rating.
If a vintage trailer has been running on 6-ply tires, I would think it best to stay with those, at least until the old axles are replaced, but I'll appreciate any enlightenment.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rog0525
Terry, I'm curious as to why you make that reccommendation. If a 24' tandem axle trailer has survived 37 years by riding on 6-ply (C) tires, why change to stiffer 8-ply (D) tires?
I'm quite sure that Inland Andy has posted information to the contrary, or at least advised that if the steel rims have been in service for some time with "C" tires, they should be replaced with new rims to safely accomodate the higher PSI of the D load rating.
If a vintage trailer has been running on 6-ply tires, I would think it best to stay with those, at least until the old axles are replaced, but I'll appreciate any enlightenment.
Rog, I should have added, "as long as you inflate the D tires to the C pressure." I have had "C" tires come apart, in fact, two of them last week (yes, they were Marathons). I have had far fewer problems with the D tires, which is why I made the recommendation.
IIRC, load range C has an inflation of 50 PSI. Vintage trailers have been running on load range C bias ply tires, radials are a bit different.
Of course, if someone wanted to use the bias ply tires, then C's would be perfectly fine, as they don't have steel belts to shift and separate.
And the radials will tend to have a little softer ride, important to keep dmage to a minimum if you have marginal axles.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65GT
You guys are dealing with newer trailers than I have. When did AS switch from 700.15's to ST anything? I don't have the clearance on the '53 or the '65 and unless they officially switched before '68 I can't imagine anyone has the clearance that radial flex would have to even go there.

Do we know when AS went from the old 700.15's to radials?

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As far as changing over to ST's, that would have been at the earliest in 1980, as I have found original 7.00x15's on two 1979's.
As far as anyone having the clearance for radials, I have them on my '63 Overlander, and have had zero problems, in about 3000 miles so far.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoiacoast
The trailer coupler(?): the latch is old and a little rusty. How can we tell if it's integrity is compromised?
Wrong forum but, the po filled the water tank, had the power working, but the pump switch didn't seem to activate the pump? ...
First, you'll need a 2 5/16" ball rather than the more common 2" ball on your hitch as I believe that's what your '68 uses. After you attach the tongue to the hitch ball and close the top latch, use the tongue jack to jack the trailer and tow vehicle up several inches. You'll see the weight come off of the hitch where both the tongue and the tow vehicle are in a neutral position, and then the trailer tongue should begin to lift the weight of the tow vehicle by the hitch ball. If you can raise the tow vehicle rear end by a couple of inches with the tongue jack, then the hitch coupler is sound. If the coupler needs to be replaced or isn't properly closed, it'll drop the the hitch ball out when you raise it. Coupler spoons are adjustable to some extent by tightening a nut found in the bottom of the coupler. I would also recommend that you buy a small bottle of ball lube and use it sparingly.

Having had a 'new to me' 1978 fiberglass trailer jump the hitch at 60 mph on rough roads last year due to a worn coupler, I can attest that this is a particularly important area to examine!

Regarding the water pump... there could be a variety of causes for the pump not appearing to come on, none of them too serious or expensive to repair. After you get the trailer home, let us know what kind of pump you have and what it's actually doing, and we'll have a better chance of troubleshooting it accurately for you.

FWIW in '68, your trailer would have come with a PAR diaphragm water pump. The good news is that they are easily rebuildable. The bad news is that they need to be rebuilt every so often to work reliably. Most have long since been replaced by Sur-flo or similar pumps as they're inexpensive to buy and easy to replace.

Good luck getting it home!

Roger
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:47 AM   #12
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The tradewind has goodyear load Ds on her right now. I don't know the age of them. The po never took the coach anywhere. And the po before him, I believe, either lived in her or just parked her also. I have been reading all the tire stuff on the forum, and it quite frankly scares me. As I've never given that much thought to tires... Here's some lame ?s: Tubeless, what's that? Radials? definition. Needing new wheels - how do I know when that time has come? And, I like going beefy, spending more $$, but like I've been reading- perhaps you don't want to over-do it! So if I put Ds on rims that are most likely original and axels that have sat & sat... can I be reasonably confident in our safe ride home (on a VERY curvy 101 through the redwoods??) P.S. this forum rocks!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:55 AM   #13
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Oh yeah, the hitch ball size is 2''. The larger ball we tried - one the po thought was given to him with the tradewind - did not fit. We bought a 2" and it seemed to hold good. When we were there we brought her down the POs steeps MUDDY drive (last minute decision) in case it rained (more)when we come back this weekend. We have a draw-tite controller which did not come with a manual... and must have been set too high(??) because the trailer wheels were locking up on the slide down. We of course will get a manual before actually going anywhere, but just thought I'd throw this info out there and see what comes back..
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Old 11-28-2005, 02:56 PM   #14
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I posted some more about the hitch ball, somewhere... I'm sorry. Valley industries is the brand... can we add sway control and weight distribution? The ball is rated 6000lbs and 600 loaded tongue. Anyone know the tongue weight for a 1968 Tradwind? Sorry for the extended (and maybe duplicated) posts!!!
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