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Old 12-03-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
Rivet Master
1999 25' Safari
Currently Looking...
Somewhere , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 804
Newbie Vintage AS'r

Since we are rather new to TT's, and we are about to start the reno of our '69 TW, I thought it would be nice to start a thread to hear what all we should plan to do, for safety sake, which we may or may not know of.

I'll start it off with some of what I can think of, but I am hoping that even if I have something listed, if you can think of specifics about it, please add to my the list. And, I am going to start off with something which I know literally nothing about, my DH probably knows something, but it wouldn't be much when applying it to towing an AS:

1) Hitch. What I mean is, for safety sake, we can't plan to just back up and hook up to our factory installed hitch (TV -- 2011, 3/4-ton GMC) and expect that to be adequate, right? And, I have read a little about Hensley and today about a "PP", but quite frankly, all this is rather confusing. Also, I think I read something about load equalizers and not having the TV/hitch too stiff for our AS.

2) Axles -- We are planning to replace the axles, but I feel as though we are in limbo since Henschen sold out and then there are Dexter axles............?

3) Wheels/tires -- We are still spinning thinking of which tires to go with. As I've said before, we would like to change over to 16" wheels so we can use Michelins. I have a call in to JC Svc. Dept. to ask if we have enough clearance in our wheel wells for the upsizing.

4) Propane -- Our TT didn't come with propane tanks; are all tanks built the same or are some better than others? (I have been told there are steel and then there are aluminum -- would aluminum be better?

I know there are others out there in the same boat we are, so I think this will come in handy for others too.

Thanks so much for helping out. This forum and its members are great.


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Old 12-03-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,626
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I can help with two of your questions. Hitch; I started with a Reese W/D with friction anti-sway. After towing a couple of times and not being happy with the sway induced by passing semi's, I upgraded to a ProPride and am extremely happy. Your truck is heavier than ours (F150) so you may not have as much sway.

the second issue I can help with is axles. The Henschen axles are in production again in Elkhart, IN. I picked up a set of three brand new ones for our trailer last Wednesday at the factory. Andy at Inland RV can set up an order for you. I was in Indianapolis for Thanksgiving, so drove on up to save the shipping cost to our home in Georgia. They look great and I will bolt them in over the next couple of weeks. Since they are the same as the original equipment, all of the holes will line up, etc.

I hope this helps, and welcome to the forums.

Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

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Old 12-03-2010, 02:55 PM   #3
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1965 22' Safari
Vassar , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
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We also got a new axle through Andy at Inland RV. We also picked it up and saved shipping. I had to drill a couple of new holes in the mounting bracket but was not too bad. Only took half a day by myself. A torch to cut off old bolts would have made things easier.

Propane tanks all do the same thing. I put aluminum tanks on my Safari only cause I could polish them. If you aren't going to polish then you might want to save the money.

Welcome to the forums....Tim - TAC MI 14

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Old 12-03-2010, 03:25 PM   #4
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1967 22' Safari
MILAN , Illinois
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Deb, Steel tanks are much less expensive and can be painted (powder coated) in any color or finish that strikes your fancy. They can also be upgraded to aluminum later if you want when finances are better. Let yourself in for serviceable first and get the other must do items done. The axle and running gear are probably No. 1 on the list. I would say to check with an A/S dealer near you to see if they can give you an idea if the axles are still in good shape or indeed need to be replaced. Then you need to determine what works and what needs service or replacement. Be critical as to how you will use the items and what the safe operation is for each appliance or system. Seal all exterior seams and check all windows for leaks and make sure all the running lights work correctly. Check water system and waste sytems for operation and leaks. Ed
1967 Safari Twin "Landshark" w/International trim package
1999 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT

"My tire was thumping, I thought it was flat!
When I looked at the tire... I noticed your CAT!"
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:57 PM   #5
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1979 Argosy 27
1969 21' Globetrotter
1953 25' Cruiser
Front Royal , Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 400
Blog Entries: 9
Hi Deb and Welcome.

Like the others have stated, propane tanks are the same except when you consider weight. The aluminum ones weigh less. However, you can just get smaller steel tanks and save the weight. The biggest difference is price. If you are on a budger I would recommend getting steel and spend the money on other things.

As far as axles, there are many threads that debate this. You can go with Henschen and stay completely original. I went with dexter because it was half the price installed. If I only get half the 30 years of the original I will be happy. But that is me. Once again I look at the budget and spend it the best way i can.

Good luck with your restor. It will get hard to always practice but remember this is your project and make it the way you want.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,307
Axles are a must, no doubt. I installed Axis brand that I ordered through Colin Hyde (from the VAP podcast) at I am very happy with the axles and saved about 40% over other options. Might want to give him a call. Dexter makes good products as well.

Steel propane tanks are less than 1/2 the price of new aluminum tanks, so a coat of paint or taking them to a powder coater could save over aluminum ones. They are heavier.

I bought an Equalizer hitch and have been happy as are many other forum members. The Reese is good too. If money is not problem, get the Hensley and be done with it. You have plenty of truck for a Trade Wind. I tow mine with the 01 Tundra with no problems and all.

Make sure you have all the leaks fixed before you do a lot on the inside. If you are lucky you won't have to deal with many. My 68 leaked like a sieve (hence new floor in the rear) and leaks are the rule not the exception.

Bruce & Rachel
68 Trade Wind
2001 Toyota Tundra
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