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Old 04-01-2007, 09:29 PM   #1
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Smile Bambi Tow Vehicle

Hi,
I am fairly new to the forum, to the Airstream phenomenom and to trailers in general but knew I was going to have an Airstream if I was going to have any trailler. We will be picking up our 62 Bambi by the end of the month. I don't currently have a tow vehicle, but I do have an 84 Ford LTD Country Squire that I would consider adding a hitch and trans cooler to and using. It has the 302 and only 76,000 miles and runs really well. I know the Bambi is fairly light as trailers go. What do you think of my plan? Any suggestions on additional modifications if you think that the Ford will work for us? You help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks ,
George
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudebb
Hi,
I am fairly new to the forum, to the Airstream phenomenom and to trailers in general but knew I was going to have an Airstream if I was going to have any trailler. We will be picking up our 62 Bambi by the end of the month. I don't currently have a tow vehicle, but I do have an 84 Ford LTD Country Squire that I would consider adding a hitch and trans cooler to and using. It has the 302 and only 76,000 miles and runs really well. I know the Bambi is fairly light as trailers go. What do you think of my plan? Any suggestions on additional modifications if you think that the Ford will work for us? You help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks ,
George
George,

Sounds good, they only problem is the 302 engine, you may find it underpowered but you should be able to put a 351 in it which should work out. Listen to the latest segment of TheVAP.com, they talk about vintage tow vehicles.

Bill
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:44 AM   #3
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For a Bambi I'd recomend a F-350 diesel dually. Keep in mind I don't listen to my own recomendations. I'd defer to Bill.

My opinion is If there are no hills a 302 will pull you along fine but not fast. If there's hills or mountains you'd probably want to go bigger.
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:44 AM   #4
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Congratulations on your new Airstream. I read that the 62 Bambi's dry weight is around 1875, and the hitch weight is 200. I pull my 05 Bambi with a Chevy 5.0L ext. cab pickup (305@230HP I believe). My AS weighs considerably more than that at 3700, and it tows like a dream. I'm certainly no expert, but with a proper weight distributing hitch set up, it just may work out.

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Old 04-02-2007, 07:41 AM   #5
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With a '62, I think you'll be just fine. There may be a few times in mountains on large hills you may notice some slowness, but it should be fine. The vintage units weigh significantly less than the new units.

We use to tow a 17' TEC/Lark with a Ford LTD wagon w/ 400ci and it towed that well. It was a 77 LTD and I have to say that even the 400 ci had it's limitations after the emission controls were placed onto it.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:51 AM   #6
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Hi my Dodge Dakota did well during my cross country trip .No complaints with the half ton truck and 318 engine.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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I would think that a 2,000# Airstream is doable for your Country Squire.
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Old 04-02-2007, 07:23 PM   #8
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Bambi Tow Vehicle

Greetings George!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dudebb
Hi,
I am fairly new to the forum, to the Airstream phenomenom and to trailers in general but knew I was going to have an Airstream if I was going to have any trailler. We will be picking up our 62 Bambi by the end of the month. I don't currently have a tow vehicle, but I do have an 84 Ford LTD Country Squire that I would consider adding a hitch and trans cooler to and using. It has the 302 and only 76,000 miles and runs really well. I know the Bambi is fairly light as trailers go. What do you think of my plan? Any suggestions on additional modifications if you think that the Ford will work for us? You help and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks ,
George
Your rig is quite similar to that owned by a good friend with whom I have caravanned on several ocassions. Her tow vehicle is a '91 LTD Crown Victoria with a '61 Bambi. Our caravans have included travel in the Rocky Moutains, Black Hills and points in between -- and the performance of her rig has never ceased to impress me -- the Crown Victoria does have the factory heavy duty trailering package (biggest plus is the numerically higher rear differential).

The only question that I have regards the rear differential gearing -- if it is the basic 2.70 +/- ratio, I would have serious concerns about issues with performance in moderately hilly areas with real problems in mountainous terrain (I know that my 8.2 Liter V8 in the Eldorado seems less than ideal in the Rocky Mountains due to its 2.70 final drive). I have, on ocassion, towed my Minuet 6.0 Metre (about 600 pounds heavier than your Bambi fully loaded) with a 1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham Luxury Sedan with the trailer towing package (307 V8, 3.23 differential, heavy duty cooling, level ride) -- and it makes for a wonderful package -- I prefer the power of the Suburban in the Rocky Mountains, but the Oldsmobile has proven adequate even in the Rocky Mountains.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:31 PM   #9
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Any Hitch recommendation?

Hi again and thanks for all your input and suggestions about the tow vehicle. Does anyone have a recommendation for a hitch?
George
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:36 PM   #10
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Bambi Tow Vehicle

Greetings George!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dudebb
Hi again and thanks for all your input and suggestions about the tow vehicle. Does anyone have a recommendation for a hitch?
George
You may very well find that your only option will be for a custom fabricated Reese Platform Hitch -- it has been several years since the full-size cars disappeared from the listings for Reese and Valley pre-fabricated hitches. It is possible that you might find a local supplier that has an NOS (New Original Stock) hitch that would work on your Crown Victoria, but it is something of a longshot.

My friend who tows with the '91 Crown Victoria has had hers long enough that she was able to purchase a pre-fab hitch from Valley when they were still a regular catalog item. Almost all of the people that I know who tow the early Bambis utilize a Reese Weight Distributing hitch setup -- some use friction sway while others opt to forgoe sway control where the tow vehicle is hefty enough to be in complete control -- even with the Crown Victoria, you will likely want the lighest of the currently available Reese packages -- I believe that 600 pounds is likely the lightest currently available (I still have a light weight special that they sold in the 1980s with 350 pound bars).

If you aren't able to source a pre-fabricated platform hitch, an experienced hitch fabricator should have no difficulties fabricating one for you. This was one of my most difficult problems with my '75 Eldorado -- looked for more than two years before I happened onto a welder with years of experience fabricating hitches for area farmers. In less than 2.5 hours, he had a beautiful Reese Receiver fabricated for my Cadillac that virtually hides behind the bumber with only the most minimal exposure of the receiver below the bumper. If you need to find a hitch fabricator, my suggestion would be to first consult a nearby RV dealer who has been in business at least 25 years or more -- they will know the people who have experience fabricating (if there are any remaining in the area) -- second, I would suggest checking with nearby farm implement dealers (again two or more decades in business would be a plus) who might know of talented welders who may be accustomed to tackling such jobs.

If you haven't encountered the question yet, you will also need a brake controller for your Bambi to operate its Electric Trailer Brakes (I believe that they are likely Kelsey Hayes but could also be Dexter). If the coach is still original, it will have a 2" Marvel coupler. Depending upon your current location and the extent to which your Bambi has been updated, you may need to add a break-away system to the Bambi for emergency control of the brakes should the coach become separated from the tow vehicle.

Good luck with your hitch selection!

Kevin
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:15 PM   #11
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For a Bambi I'd recomend a F-350 diesel dually. Keep in mind I don't listen to my own recomendations. I'd defer to Bill.
I assume this was with your tongue firmly in your cheek.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:41 PM   #12
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Hola George

I like the idea that you have an vintage Air Stream and an vintage vehicle to go with it.

I feel the 302 which first was used by Ford in their trucks can pull your 16 feet of trailer. It is the frame and suspension that handles most of the lugging.

If you want to keep the 302, pace the local pick & pulls with twenty dollars for any car or truck that has an 351 Windsor and take the exhaust manifolds. They are the same part number if you would have an HO 302 of yester-year. The second part of the exhaust is to have duals made that are the same inside diam as the exhaust manifolds. Do not forget the cross-over pipe and do not let them talk you into a set of short mufflers.

The factory Towing Package would have had an aux transmission cooler and a clutch fan with about seven paddles pulling air through the radiator.

The other item in yester-year was an AM/FM/CB Radio. All the car makers sold them as OEM until about 1980. You may not find this item quickly. The 23 channel CB Cobra can still be found and of course the 40 channel is still here.

Have fun


Rodger & Gabby
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:05 AM   #13
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I assume this was with your tongue firmly in your cheek.
Absolutely
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:53 PM   #14
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