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Old 05-31-2008, 09:33 PM   #1
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Question Looking for honest opinions on locked up trailer brakes.

I'm ready to tow my 69 globetrotter home from 155 miles away. I repacked new bearings. The trailer has been sitting for 6 years and the trailer brakes are completely rusted. Should I disconnect the brakes and take back roads or try to replace the brakes and take the highway? Top speed for me will be 50 mph either way. Any advise will help,
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:38 PM   #2
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Tell us more about the Globetrotter. Is it Gutted. What do you think it wieghs? What is the TV that you plan to use.

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Old 05-31-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cogen
I'm ready to tow my 69 globetrotter home from 155 miles away. I repacked new bearings. The trailer has been sitting for 6 years and the trailer brakes are completely rusted. Should I disconnect the brakes and take back roads or try to replace the brakes and take the highway? Top speed for me will be 50 mph either way. Any advise will help,
Thanks
Do yourself a favor, buy new backing plate assemblies and drums (not really that expensive) and install them before you tow her home. A little $$$ spent now is money well spent when you consider how much your life is worth. Don't take unnecessary chances towing.

OK having said that... Last September, we picked up our new-to-us 1972 Argosy. The brakes weren't working, so we towed our butt-ugly rig to the nearest RV dealer to get them worked on, and to buy a weight distributing hitch. We were asked, in that super polite southern way, to kindly remove our trailer from their lot. We wound up towing the rig, no brakes, no W/D hitch, over 100 miles to the nearest Camping World to get the work done. Oh yes, we had to cross the Eastern Continental Divide in the process, and it rained like mad. Never again...
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cogen
I'm ready to tow my 69 globetrotter home from 155 miles away. I repacked new bearings. The trailer has been sitting for 6 years and the trailer brakes are completely rusted. Should I disconnect the brakes and take back roads or try to replace the brakes and take the highway? Top speed for me will be 50 mph either way. Any advise will help,
Thanks
I think that a plan of 50 mph is good for what you intend. Back roads often involve more stops (a drawback), so I would choose ones that have wide, sufficient shoulders, or pulloffs, in the event of an unplanned stop. Second, that frequent stops are made to check the rig, and, more importantly, to know how it feels in stops. And the telephone number of a towing service familiar with trailers of this sort if reality tilts that way.

No one should offer the advice of traveling without brakes, but you wouldn't be the first or the last.

If one approaches this as an all-day errand, then I believe it could be successful.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:01 AM   #5
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Moosetags is on the right track to estimate the weight.

As for me I would never ever ever pull a heavy trailer without brakes. Then there was the time about two months ago that after I towed my AS 8 miles home for the first time I realized the brakes weren't working, oops.

So much for never ever ever.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:45 AM   #6
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Just because the brakes are rusty doesn't mean they won't work. Did you test them? Maybe some WD40 and some wiggling may be in order.

Is the trailer moving to another semi permanent location or do you plan to put it on the road. It's just me but I would tow it as is.

I would be more concerned with the tires. Even if the tires were brand new when parked 6 years ago it is very possible there is tire damage you can't even see. Same logic replies, is the unit going to be parked at point B for an extended period? If so I would be OK with go slow and have a spare. If you are going to be regularly towing the Globetrotter I would put my $ into new tires vs. new brakes if I had to make the choice.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:51 AM   #7
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Few will advise you to tow without brakes, many have done it.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:52 AM   #8
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I have a pair of axles off my 71 Tradewind on their way to the dump. You are welcome to whatever you want off them for the cost of shipping
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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Smile Thanks Everyone.

I''l try to answer these in order.

Moose tags, Its not gutted. The trailer has been sitting for 6 years with the windows open and has a ton of mold in it. The floors appeared to be solid with one soft spot near the bathroom. The empty trailer weight is 3300 lbs so with that said I have no idea maybe 4000 to 5000lbs? I have a Honda Ridgeline and my neighbor has a Dodge deisel pickup I can borrow.

Bob, I called my local Airstream dealer in Massachusetts and he gave me a number in California to find brake parts for my Airstream.

Rednax, thanks for the advise on the towing company with trailer experence. My friend said if its registered jump on the Mass pike and go 50mph the whole way. The trailer will be registered for the trip.

Lumatic, its definatly going to sit in my driveway so I can rip out the interior. The tires, one is a class C the other is a class D. I plan to buy matching tires any suggestions what class? Also I appreciate the offer but I am planning on replacing the whole axle and brake assembly. I will also try the WD40. Should I leave the brakes on or should I take everything off so it won't bind up?

As soon as I figure out how to compress photo's I'll post them.

Thanks again to everyone!
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:20 PM   #10
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That is the answer.

If your trailer weight is less than half the tow vehicle weight,
Then you should be O.K.

The diesel dodge weighs 7500 with a tank of fuel.
Put 1,000 #'s of stuff in the back of the truck and you will be safe at 50 mph. And I'm not kidding about the thousand pounds in the bed, the truck will handle it, and ride much nicer, and will stop straighter. I have had 2 dodge diesels, and work with one everyday. The 1000 pounds is ballast for the rear axle if you have to stop suddenly, and will keep the trailer from "pushing" the rear axle out of line with the direction you wish to travel. But air up the truck tires to the 80# limet or all bets are off.

The ridgeline is too light for no brakes, in an emergency the trailer would push you off the road.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cogen
Lumatic, its definatly going to sit in my driveway so I can rip out the interior. The tires, one is a class C the other is a class D. I plan to buy matching tires any suggestions what class? Also I appreciate the offer but I am planning on replacing the whole axle and brake assembly. I will also try the WD40. Should I leave the brakes on or should I take everything off so it won't bind up?
Do a search on tires on the forum under tires and you will find out more than you ever want to know. I hesitate to recommend C or D without looking up the stuff but I think Cs would probably work best. Here's why: you don't want a tire that is too stiff which will cause a stiff ride which is not a good thing for the coach. If you go for Ds make sure your rims can take the higher PSIs. Get ST (special trailer) or LT (light truch) tires. I think you can tow LTs a little faster. Also decide if you want radials or bias ply. Radials ride a little softer and some say squeeze out a 1/2 mpg more. On my 4200# 25' 1971 Tradewind I run ST225/75R15 Load Range D.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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Uwe's post speaks volumes.

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Old 06-02-2008, 12:46 PM   #13
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When we first got it, we towed Bob's Argosy the 35 miles or so home with no brakes on the interstate. I went 55 mph, and the tow vehicle was an F350 diesel 4x4. This was on tabletop-flat terrain. As soon as I got the trailer home, the next day I got the brakes working. Your brakes are the same as almost every other trailer with electric brakes, you would just need to get one left and one right loaded backing plate. You would only need to know if you have 12" or 10" brakes (probably 12"). You don't need to get them from Airstream, and I've seen the loaded brakes for $55 each.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:14 PM   #14
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Welcome. What are you using to tow. If you have a 2500 I'ld think you are all set. Like the man said the brakes may be find or at less helpful. Check that the tires aren't cracked through. How may axles? You could swap tires so you have a good one on each side if the sun side are real cracky. You Must Use Chains.

Were you picking up the trailer?

Since you will likly end up replacing the axel(s) try to not buy parts you will get with the new one(s). You are surrounded by New England Unit member that have done the full monty....
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