Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-11-2007, 05:16 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
goransons's Avatar

 
1963 22' Safari
1955 26' Cruiser Overlander
Yakima Valley , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,161
Images: 10
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via MSN to goransons
maiden voyage brake question

we're picking up our new-to-us 69 tradewind and I must confess though I looked over so many things I didn't look at the trailer plug. I called the previous Owner so I had the right connections this weekend to pick it up and he sent me a picture of a standard 4 flat plug, which I'm guessing isn't original. I called him and asked him about electric brakes, and he said he didn't think the trailer had them.

None-the-less we have a somewhat hilly (but not mountain) journey of 3 1/2 hours back to our town, am I crazy pulling a 25' 69 tradewind with no trailer brakes with a 1/2 ton extended cab 2003 chevy truck? Granted intelligent towing-type driving and reasonable towing speeds?

I'm not sure what was stock on these, but rebuilding/upgrading/replacing will be one of our first projects once it makes it to our driveway.
__________________

__________________
goransons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 06:09 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
maiden voyage brake question

Greetings goransons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons
we're picking up our new-to-us 69 tradewind and I must confess though I looked over so many things I didn't look at the trailer plug. I called the previous Owner so I had the right connections this weekend to pick it up and he sent me a picture of a standard 4 flat plug, which I'm guessing isn't original. I called him and asked him about electric brakes, and he said he didn't think the trailer had them.

None-the-less we have a somewhat hilly (but not mountain) journey of 3 1/2 hours back to our town, am I crazy pulling a 25' 69 tradewind with no trailer brakes with a 1/2 ton extended cab 2003 chevy truck? Granted intelligent towing-type driving and reasonable towing speeds?

I'm not sure what was stock on these, but rebuilding/upgrading/replacing will be one of our first projects once it makes it to our driveway.
Every Airstream trailer that I have encountered (1950s to Current) has had either electric trailer brakes, hydraulic trailer brakes, or Excella HydraVac disk brakes. A '69 Tradewind would definitely have electric trailer brakes. If the owner is unaware of whether the coach has brakes, I would be extremely concerned about when the bearings were last serviced.

My advice would be to avoid towing the coach until this problem is corrected. My reasoning includes:
  1. Given the lack of knowledge about whether the coach has brakes as expressed by the current owner, I would want to have the bearings re-packed including a careful inspection/evaluation of the brakes.
  2. In most states, trailer brakes are required by law for trailers weighing over a stated value -- in all cases with which I am familiar, your Tradewind would be heavier than these values even totally empty.
  3. Trailer brakes are essential in an emergency situation (IMHO). With a new-to-you coach, it is possible that you may not be able to bring the hitch into proper adjustment which could increase the probability of sway -- the electric trailer brakes can be applied independently of the tow vehicle to bring the coach in-line with the tow vehicle in such circumstances -- a particular concern where the coach may not have sway control equipment installed/operational.
Unless all of the original umbilical cord wiring has been ripped from the coach, it shouldn't be too very difficult to install a Bargman connector of the correct type -- a supply of wire for splicing would be handy to get everything ready for the first trip. I am not a handy person, and was able to wire in a new Bargman connector when I picked up my Minuet four years ago -- I have found it valuable to carry a spare for both the trailer and tow vehicle ends of these electrical connectors as a newly acquired coach rarely has a trailer end that matches my tow vehicle, and the tow vehicle end on my Suburban seems to succumb to the elements about every third season.

Good luck with your new-to-you coach!

Kevin
__________________

__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 06:17 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Condoluminum's Avatar
 
1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,858
Images: 13
Send a message via AIM to Condoluminum
Yeah to what Overlander said...

I would add another voice for a brake check prior to 3 1/2 hour hilly drive home...

1. Yes, it had trailer brakes when built...
2. No, the 4-Flat connector won't work the brakes...
3. There's a 99% chance they'd be required in WA for trailers over 2,000#
4. For fun, call your insurance co and ask if you'd be covered if you had accident on way home and necessary brakes disconnected...
5. For more fun, imagine what trailer could do to truck pushing it into intersection or around curve at bottom of hill too fast...
6. Imagine how you'd feel if #4 or #5 occurred..

There are threads here of people successfully towing home brakeless trailers on level roads with careful slow driving, long following distances and some good old luck... There is some calculable probability you could do it too.. Probability of problem seems greater, especially with old tires and questionable bearings...

Even if you're not super handy, I'd vote to find reputable RV shop/airstream dealer and have brakes and bearings and tires and wiring checked before assuming you can pull safely for more than 100 miles...
__________________
Condoluminum

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
Condoluminum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 09:14 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
goransons's Avatar

 
1963 22' Safari
1955 26' Cruiser Overlander
Yakima Valley , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,161
Images: 10
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via MSN to goransons
Update

thanks for the info. I already had planned on packing the bearings before bringing it home. I have a bearing packer, all the tools etc, just wasn't sure on the brakes. My only worry is finding the right seals, but being so close to Portland Or. there are plenty of parts stores and RV dealers/RV supply places that once I have a number hopefully can help.

The previous owner towed it 4 months ago about 2 hours in distance to his new home, and had just purchased it prior to his changing cities. The guy he bought it from put new tires on it before selling, and they are so new they have the nubs on them and no checks. I talked with him for more info on the wiring and found out that the 4 prong wiring was spliced on the original harness about 18" from the vehicle end before he got it, and that it indeed gets thicker, and plugs into the trailer itself with 6 prongs.

I'm planning on taking an extra breakaway switch (with battery), wire, new plug and connectors to either repair the current electrical circuit or put in a new temporary one to make sure they have reliable electrical connections before bringing it home.

I appreciate your help!
__________________
goransons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 10:31 PM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
bobkelly's Avatar
 
2003 22' International CCD
Whittier, California , Depoe Bay, Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 358
Welcome to the forums. Sounds like you plan to do most of the rebuilding and upgrades to the new trailer yourself. You will have a great time and the forums are here to help with tech info and experiences.

A conservative way to get your new baby home is to put it on a flat bed trailer and pull that home. Avoids unexpected time running around Portland looking for parts and making field repairs before you can roll. This would save time and clearly save money if something unexpected happens while towing the new baby. We see flat beds used all the time by folks transporting old vehicles to renovate.
__________________
Bob

2003 22ft CCD Int'l
2005 GMC Yukon Denali
WBCCI #2960
bobkelly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2007, 05:13 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
goransons's Avatar

 
1963 22' Safari
1955 26' Cruiser Overlander
Yakima Valley , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,161
Images: 10
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via MSN to goransons
Update

Just thought I'd pass along that we drove to the trailer yesterday morning and realized the owner had taken a picture of the adaptor he'd used, not the real plug, which was the 7 pronger. He had purchased it to gut into a recording studio but stopped after a hot day of work realizing that he was going to have to do a lot to convert it. He owned it 4 months, the previous owner was the original owner who sold after a death of her husband. before she moved from California to Washington she'd had the bearings, seals and brakes redone. Anyway, we pulled a drum off and they looked great and worked well once on the road. Plenty of other projects but it's safely in the driveway.
__________________
goransons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2007, 06:02 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
Excella CM's Avatar
 
1978 31' Excella 500
Venice , California
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,061
You can do a functional test and inspect all the brakes when you pack the bearings. Make sure to check the break-away switch too.
__________________
"Not all who are laundering are washed" say Bill & Heidi

'78 Excella 500,"The Silver Pullit". vacuum over hydraulic disc brakes, center bath, rear twin. '67 Travelall 1200 B 4X4 WBCCI 3737
Excella CM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2007, 06:07 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
vswingfield's Avatar
 
1983 34' Excella
1967 24' Tradewind
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,772
Images: 32
Rivet RE: Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons
Just thought I'd pass along that we drove to the trailer yesterday morning and realized the owner had taken a picture of the adaptor he'd used, not the real plug, which was the 7 pronger. He had purchased it to gut into a recording studio but stopped after a hot day of work realizing that he was going to have to do a lot to convert it. He owned it 4 months, the previous owner was the original owner who sold after a death of her husband. before she moved from California to Washington she'd had the bearings, seals and brakes redone. Anyway, we pulled a drum off and they looked great and worked well once on the road. Plenty of other projects but it's safely in the driveway.
Congratulations. Keep us updated and put up pictures, please.

Vaughan
__________________
vswingfield is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2007, 02:15 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
tphan's Avatar
 
1972 27' Overlander
Longmont , Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 951
hi- I also have just taken my maiden voyage with the new rig, and noticed that with the umbilical connected from the Suburban to the AS, there is an intermittent "pinging" coming from each trailer wheel, maybe once every 10 seconds or so, just a sound emanating from the electric brakes. This is with no brakes applied. When driving with the rig, everything seemed fine- trailer brakes came on nicely when applied manually with the Prodigy, seemed to work just fine too with the brake pedal, and did NOT seem to be grabbing at all when not needed, with NO hot wheels after the driving. So- what is that periodic "pinging" sound (I hear it when squatting right next to each wheel)? Any ideas what to look for of if it is normal?? thanks- tim
__________________
tphan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2007, 03:42 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
TomW's Avatar
 
1967 26' Overlander
Huntsville , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,918
Images: 2
System health

Quote:
Originally Posted by tphan
... So- what is that periodic "pinging" sound (I hear it when squatting right next to each wheel)? ...
That is the sound of the Prodigy sending a small current to the brake magnets to check their collective health. Think of it as, "Can you hear me now?"

"Can you still hear me?"

"Can you still hear me?"

"Can you still hear me?" ...

Tom
__________________

TomW is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Maiden voyage JLD On The Road... 1 10-19-2006 04:03 AM
Loaded question: avg miles per set of brake pads John Brakes & Brake Controllers 2 12-12-2002 06:01 AM
Maiden Voyage pjtaia On The Road... 3 10-14-2002 09:55 PM
Electric Brake Question. 68 Suburban Brakes & Brake Controllers 7 10-11-2002 10:14 AM
Electric Brake Controller Problem Don Brakes & Brake Controllers 4 04-15-2002 02:05 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.