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Old 08-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #1
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Can I Tow with 55 Ford?

OK a new question we may have found a tow unit that is when in reach, We hate to give up our 1989 F 350 but we are into the older Vehicle or at least want that blast from the past here is the question we have found a 55 ford 2 dr coupe it has a new built 302 with RV cam, C4 trans and class 4 hitch already in place but why I do not know. I know the breaks will need up dating and cooling system for both motor and trans for sure need updating. OK we have a 71 31ft solv and we are full timers in our airstream we do travel 2 to 3 times a year to different areas of the country for work camping. right now in TX next summer hope to be in Yellowstone so the big one is to all vintage tow vehicle buffs will this car pull the weight of a 31ft trailer as I mentioned with the up grades I mentioned? Thanks in advanced.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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I have visions of you being broken down beside the road, needing a part that was custom fabricated to make the engine work in the car. You will have to walk or hitchhike to town, and wait until Monday morning for the local welding shop to open, so they can make a part for you, then walk or hitchhike back to the car, install the part, and drive until the next thing breaks.
In short, a car that has been modified like that will have too many custom parts to be reliable, especially as a tow vehicle.
Also, I have a trailer similar to yours, and tow with a modern truck, and there are times I wish I had a bigger, newer, tow vehicle, not an older, smaller one. If you really want a vintage tow vehicle for your trailer, you would probably be better off looking at a 1969-1972 F100-150 with either a 360 or 390 engine, and a C6 transmission.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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I think the car needs a 390, C6, and a 9" rear end.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:27 PM   #4
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From a fellow Airstreamer who has pulled a vintage Bambi with a 1950 Willys Jeepster........it is all work. Sure, you get a bunch of waves, honks, and thumbs ups from others, but it is not easy! For parades, no problems, for long hauls, no thanks!
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:04 PM   #5
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If you really love the Ford, maybe consider a MH and tow the car behind you on a trailer....
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:59 AM   #6
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You guys are missing the point... it's a fun, recreational vehicle. Head on over to the "vintage tow vehicle thread" to see what people use.

Yes, you can use it, but know you'll have a different experience vs. the F350. You'd probably want to update the front suspension (new bushings, stiffer shocks, springs). Convert to disk brakes with new master cylinder. New spring hangers and rebuild the rear stack too. You have more overhang in the rear vs. the f350... sway control would be a must.

These old cars are really simple... I don't think parts availablity would be an issue.

That said, you'll have a cool TV when done.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:27 AM   #7
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Sure it could be done, but as noted it would take a LOT of work!!

How bout a TV from the 70's. Little closer era wise and just as Kool.

I would think that you would want a very high peace of mind factor while full timing.

I know when we travel with "Bertha" I worry that if something happens.... will I have what I need to fix it. (and no it's not used for towing)
When new it was used to pull Grandmas Scotty to the Lake but thats a whole other story.

Airstream's and Vintage cars are really neat and I do envy those who have done the work and taken the time to bring them together on the road.
How practical it would be for FT is something only you can decide.

That is a pretty Ford though, and I can understand the attraction, but I am biased.

Bob
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:29 AM   #8
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my first car was a 56 Ford with a Thunderbird Special V8. Four barrel carb. Three speed on the post. I loved it, of course. Bought it for $ 400, when I was 16. It was ten years old, then. Would I want to tow three tons to the Rockies with it at 65 mph? Ha ha ha ha...nope.

BUT as I used to tell people in a previous life...
The answer is always YES. If you can deal with the price and delivery.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:17 AM   #9
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If you had a 25 foot AS I would say go for it, but the Ford is too light a vehicle for a 31 footer. You need a heavier car to tow a 31 footer, like a Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, or big Chrysler.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #10
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If you had a 25 foot AS I would say go for it, but the Ford is too light a vehicle for a 31 footer. You need a heavier car to tow a 31 footer, like a Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, or big Chrysler.
I think that when we make statements like that, it needs to be in the context of the year of the trailer, as well as the length.

For example, the poster's 1972 Sovereign weighs about 4,950 lbs, depending on which configuration it is. A 1994 Excella 25-footer weighs 5,100 lbs.

To top it all off, a 2002 Classic 25' unit weighs in at 6,000 lbs!

All weights are "dry", and I am assuming that the same "stuff" would be loaded into all three trailers.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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I think there are two questions going on here.

1. is it doable? Yes It would be doable (with some modifications)

2. Is it practical? Maybe not.

The good thing is there isn't much to brake on those old cars. not much electrical a few belts and hoses.

You would want to replace just about everything to start with. Then add some kind of engine cooler because its a matter of when not if it will overheat in the first few hours.

I have a 75 dodge T100 with a 440 in it. Lots of power but it runs hot towing my trailer with tractor up the hills. I have some duck tape and a tool set in it. Im pretty sure I can fix most things with that.
Would I want to tow my AS with it? Not really. Brakes aren't as good as newer trucks or suv's. engine isn't as reliable.

If you replaced the motor with a newer one, newer brakes, a lot of $$$$ to make it a reliable tow for you 31 footer.

But it is doable.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purman View Post
2. Is it practical?
No, But it sure is fun...



Quote:
Originally Posted by purman View Post
But it is doable.
Yes!
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