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Old 04-03-2009, 11:02 AM   #15
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There are some real downsides to using a vintage TV to tow your vintage Airstream:
  1. It distracts some of the attention from the Airstream - so if you have done a lot of work on your aluminum baby and want people to see how neat they are, the vintage TV will be somewhat distracting as they will also feel compelled to take it in as well.
  2. The above means that fuel stops and while at CG's people will end up taking twice as much of your time to look at your set up, ask questions, tell you they had one just like it, etc. Every old guy you meet will tell you theirs was identical except it had more options, was few years older/newer, was the best vehicle they ever owned and they should have kept it rather than give it to the neighbor kid, blah, blah.
  3. Kids at gas stations will ask you if you bought it new even if that means you were in the dealership, cash in hand, when you were just out of diapers or at best just starting school.
  4. It doesn't ride like a new truck (is that a downside? Not one that I've noticed - I appreciate my TV not resembling the couch in my family room).
  5. Caution - it may bring back memories of high school days, dating, etc.
  6. Did I mention kids at gas stations will ask if you bought it new?
  7. It will require maintenance while on the road (doesn't every vehicle?) and you will find that every mechanic will know how to fix it. You can hit the less expensive non-dealership guys to do the work, which means saving some of your hard earned money. But, they likely won't wash it for you, vacuum it out, check you washer fluid level, or air up your tires unless it is evident that the tire is low.
  8. Kids at gas stations will often come out, even though they are self serve, and do your windows as an excuse to ask if you bought it new.
  9. Old guys at gas stations will drive away thinking to themselves that seeing that truck and trailer sure does bring back fond memories. On the other hand, you might be considered an old guy trying to relive your youth.
  10. You will find that you have two things to keep polished and spic and span at all times even when you should be sitting under your awning with a cold what-ever in your hand. Oh sure, you can still do this, but first you have to show your sweet baboo-ette how to properly polish the TV and Airstream without leaving streaks.
  11. You might find yourself a tad embarrassed at how some people react with such enthusiasm. You'll get cops, border guards, CG owners and all kinds of people telling you "Man, you guys are living the DREAM", as we have had on several occasions over the years.
  12. Your wife might just read #10 above and cause you severe bruising. Then it will cost you money to buy her .
There are a few folks on the forum who use vintage Ford trucks to tow. I know Klatawa for one has a stunning truck that is gorgeous to look at, is like new, and does the job just fine when they use it although it would seem that to them it is a tad too new.

Make sure you post some pictures when you find the vehicle of your dreams. Try it, if you don't like it, and you buy the best you can find, you can resell it. I strongly encourage you to go to the top end of the quality level as the fun of having a TV that starts out in excellent condition means you have more time to get out and use it, and the Airstream, to go touring and camping.

Barry
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:53 PM   #16
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Due to my gray hair, I already look older than I really am. I am essentially invisible to anyone under the age 25... an advantage in my humble opinion.

The practical choice is a new 3/4 ton, but oh how my wife's eyes sparkle when she sees an old truck. While I enjoy vintage pickups, I've spent too much time on my back turning wrenches with oil dripping in my face to get too dreamy. And they don't ride quite as smoothly... power steering by "Armstrong," oil leaks, vacuum locks, fussy wiring, etc. Still, a vintage Airstream really deserves a vintage tow vehicle... or so I tell myself. Then, I think about taking on two major projects... the Overlander renovation and bringing an old truck up to speed, and I sober up a bit. If only, I tell my wife, I had a bigger shop....
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:41 PM   #17
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Yeah, I know what you mean about shop size. I've got 1,200 sq ft and had to add a lean-to for the trailer.

I know of what you speak about the repair component, but if you buy the good one that should not be an issue. And they are not that expensive. By the late sixties most came with PS/PB, many had A/C and PW. Another fellow who has an early Ford TV for his Airstream is Silverleeper. He also has a mid sixties Suburban and surprisingly so does Klatawa (I may not have Dave's avatar spelled correctly, it may be two t's). There is another thread or two about using vintage TV's that has both of their trucks, and many others, listed and their thoughts on the pros and cons of using vintage to tow vintage.

So, you still have hair!!!! Hmmmm, then you ARE young. As for the invisible component I know of what you speak. Fortunately my wife has maintained her natural hair color (much to everyone's surprise who knows she is married to me) and so they ask her the questions. She has gotten very good at answering them and now that she is the principle driver I get to sit back and listen and smile like some old guy who has forgotten everything. There are advantages to this old thing.

But my point is that my wife drives the '57 wagon to do the towing even though we have a newer truck. She feels strongly that the trailer and the car are the right combo and she enjoys driving and towing. More so when her passenger side partner is struggling with duct tape over his mouth so he can't offer his sage driving advice.

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Old 04-03-2009, 11:50 PM   #18
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Well, dunno if you may be interested in another vintage F250 Camper Special, but a friend of mine here in the southern suburbs of Detroit just unearthed a 71 F250 CS 2WD out of a garage up in the northern suburbs. Guess it was a sticky divorce he told me, and the ex wife ended up with hubby's beloved truck... he had just spent a LOT of $$$ building the motor, it is a stroked and bored 390 now, prolly around 406 cubes they theorize. Doesn't have 1000 miles on the engine...runs n drives great... Its the high level trim pkg too with all the "racetrack" mouldings on it...its a yukky two tone lite/dark green, but a coooool truck either way.... and it's now one too many in my buddy's collection. Minor minor rust, nothing structural as lots are.
Contact me here or comdrsca@gmail.com if you might be interested...i can give you his number or e mail addy if u like.

Scott Anderson
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When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:55 PM   #19
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I almost forgot.... and by the way, not to sound hypocritical.... Yeah, i got the fever too.... I pull my 1969 Safari twin with a 1977 Lincoln Town Car 460, C6, Dual Exhaust....
It's alot like driving a sofa, pulling a toaster..... hee hee....
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1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)



When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commander31 View Post
I almost forgot.... and by the way, not to sound hypocritical.... Yeah, i got the fever too.... I pull my 1969 Safari twin with a 1977 Lincoln Town Car 460, C6, Dual Exhaust....
It's alot like driving a sofa, pulling a toaster..... hee hee....
There are sofa's and then there are SOFA's.

You've got quite the rig from the sound of it.

I know it is very much a preference thing and what I like is certainly different than what the next person likes, for all kinds of reasons, but it is pretty hard to not like a mid seventies Lincoln pulling a late sixties Airstream regardless of what a person would do themselves. Got pictures?

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Old 04-04-2009, 10:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commander31 View Post
I almost forgot.... and by the way, not to sound hypocritical.... Yeah, i got the fever too.... I pull my 1969 Safari twin with a 1977 Lincoln Town Car 460, C6, Dual Exhaust....
It's alot like driving a sofa, pulling a toaster..... hee hee....
Scott,

More like driving a sofa while sitting in the living room because of the size of the Lincoln. I get many waves on the road with the Lincoln and either trailer. I even got one a few weeks ago pulling the Liner with the PowerWagon.

Bill

ps: I will get back to you on the PM
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:09 AM   #22
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Thanks for the lead. I think pickup trucks were prettier in the 50s than in the 60s, and prettier in the 60s than the 70s. As for cars, I still have some scars from a '74 LTD. I had a terrible run of bad luck with it... until it died altogether. If we were matching years, a '67 Lincoln would pull the Overlander. I did a quick check and I think it would weigh more than my Titan... and I know the 460 would pull the aluminum. If we're going camping, though, I'm not sure I would want to bang one of the big old girls on the unpaved back roads. That's more truck work, in my opinion.

My dad seems to feel the toughest trucks in the 60s were the old Dodges. He drove Ford F250s for years and the best truck he ever owned (in his mind) was a 1970 Ford 4x4. He seems to feel the Chevy's were more of a "go-to-town" truck with the softer suspensions. One man's opinion, etc.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:23 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by hampstead38 View Post
Thanks for the lead. I think pickup trucks were prettier in the 50s than in the 60s, and prettier in the 60s than the 70s. As for cars, I still have some scars from a '74 LTD. I had a terrible run of bad luck with it... until it died altogether. If we were matching years, a '67 Lincoln would pull the Overlander. I did a quick check and I think it would weigh more than my Titan... and I know the 460 would pull the aluminum. If we're going camping, though, I'm not sure I would want to bang one of the big old girls on the unpaved back roads. That's more truck work, in my opinion.

My dad seems to feel the toughest trucks in the 60s were the old Dodges. He drove Ford F250s for years and the best truck he ever owned (in his mind) was a 1970 Ford 4x4. He seems to feel the Chevy's were more of a "go-to-town" truck with the softer suspensions. One man's opinion, etc.
I would agree with his opinion of the suspension stiffness, softest - GM, then Ford and stiffest - Dodge. My neighbor had a late 1970's 3/4T Camper Special Chevrolet, he put a 8' cab over camper on and the back bumper went down over 4", had to put overloads on, my 1973 Dodge 3/4T had a 8 1/2' cabover camper and the back bumper only went down 1 1/2"

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Old 04-04-2009, 11:47 AM   #24
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I agree that '50's trucks looked really cool. I had a girlfriend about 25 years ago who had a Dodge pickup from either the late '50's or early '60's. I remember doing an alignment with a stick to measure the distance between the wheels—it was that easy. It was not enjoyable to drive, though it was a cool old brute.

Would I tow with a vintage truck? No.

They weren't reliable. It is a great pleasure not fixing my vehicles all the time, or hardly ever, except for oil changes, greasing them, changing plugs, air cleaners and not much else. And do those Fords you're interesting in still have the vacuum wipers that creeped across the windshield when going uphill?

While I have not liked the transformation of pickups into passenger cars with all the options and comfort, as I've gotten older, and then more older, comfort makes a big difference. It's similar to camping on the ground without a pad—fine when in my 30's; it hurts just to think of it now. Newer trucks are a whole lot safer. The old ones sucked even more gas than the newer ones.

If you are going to travel a lot, fixing the truck will take a lot of time out of the pleasure of fulltiming. When I travel, I want to travel, not fix things. Comfortable seats (and cruise control that works too) make a big difference in how you feel at the end of a drive. Of course, the cool factor cannot be underestimated—a big part of owning an Airstream.

I applaud a wife that appreciate old vehicles. My wife loves classic cars and we can spend a whole day in a good sized car museum, but we decided restoring and maintaining old vehicles takes too much time and money—they look better than they drive if you are driving them any distance. Surely fun to drive for shorter distances. Now, if Barb was willing to do the work on such a car, that might be a different story, but that ain't going to happen. So, Ken, if your wife wants to take care of the truck while you restore the Overlander, maybe you would have a deal.

Now, I know just what truck is perfect, but you know which one that is. It's somewhat ugly front end makes the Airstream look even better.

Gene
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:38 PM   #25
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Certainly a new/er vehicle is a more pragmatic choice... then again, it isn't terribly practical renovating a 40+ travel trailer. I'm spoiled driving a relatively modern truck, though I certainly have my share of hours behind the wheel of vintage rigs. And I love air conditioning in the summer and proper heat in the winter. By the way, Gene, I had vacuum wipers in the '52, but I think all of the 60s rigs had electric. That was an adventure... taking the foot off the gas to let the wipers work.

The older rigs are certainly higher maintenance... then again, if low maintenance was my priority, I wouldn't be married.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:21 PM   #26
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Yeah i gotta agree about the high maintenance of the older TVs..be they trucks or even the big luxo barges that Bill and i share a like for. He and i have the duplicate '77 Lincoln Town Cars...and not much compares in regards to sheer bulk, size, comfort and footprint on the road....

I may have mentioned this way back a few yrs when i joined here, but i was fortunate enough to break into Airstreaming at the tender age of 8 years old, when Grandpa Anderson bought his brand new 1969 23' Safari Twin back on the day before Thanksgiving 1968. $5934.00 out the door. I travelled every summer with them from 1969 to 1976 when Gramps failing health forced the sale of his beloved Airstream.

We went to many International Rallys during those years, I remember them all and have all of Gramps slides, diaries n pix too. back in THOSE days, much unlike today, nearly 90% of the Caravanners used the big platform full size Fords, Chevs, Caddys Chryslers, and Lincolns to pull their trailers. Most all were equipped with heavy trailer tow packages from the facory, and did a fine job...even pulling the big Sovereigns. Gramps had a brand new 1969 Olds Delta 88 Royale with the monster 455 and the heavy heavy tow pkg... last i had heard the car had well over 200000 on the ticker and was still going strong, as of the early 90s.
The very small minority used any type of a pickup truck, as they were basically so crude and archaic... I do remember tho a favorite was always the International Travelall Station Wagon. It was HUGE, and although they only came equipped with Gas engines, they were virtually indestructable. ugly as a mud fence in a rainstorm, but they got the job done and hardly ever broke. Now, since the last full size American car came off the line as a 1979 Lincoln Town Car, every single model was downsized to an unacceptable size to properly pull an Airstream. And yeah trucks have come sooooooo far comfort wise from even a later 70s model...its unbelievable.

For me it's come full circle.... I took a 30 year absence nearly to the day when it comes to Airstreaming.... from 1976 to 2006. I found an exact clone to Gramps 69 Safari Twin down in WPB Fla, even thought for a short while it could actually be HIS trailer, cuz it even came from MI originally, but alas, it's not THE one... But i have it almost the way i want it... even got the next successive WBCCI Number to Gramps'.
Talk about taking a trip back in time every time i walk inside... wow.....
Now if gas prices stay to a reasonable level this year maybe we can afford to go farther than the yacht club (5 miles away) to go Airstreaming!!!

And by the way, Bill, I will sure look fwd to hearing your thoughts and input on my issues with the Town-Boat.... hee hee....
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When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:30 PM   #27
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GM trucks of the day (and even to a point today) tended to have "That Detroit Ride". Put 5 concrete blocks in the bed, and your headlights would be in the treetops. My F100 rode stiffer than my neighbor's C20. I also had a 1950 F1 that I blew the flathead V8 in (it was the 90hp version, the "big engine") that I installed a 351W in, along with the auto transmission from a 1970 Custom 500. THAT was a cool truck. I sold it to one of the guys I worked with at Ford, who promptly wrapped it around a tree.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:59 AM   #28
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Certainly a new/er vehicle is a more pragmatic choice... then again, it isn't terribly practical renovating a 40+ travel trailer. I'm spoiled driving a relatively modern truck, though I certainly have my share of hours behind the wheel of vintage rigs. And I love air conditioning in the summer and proper heat in the winter. By the way, Gene, I had vacuum wipers in the '52, but I think all of the 60s rigs had electric. That was an adventure... taking the foot off the gas to let the wipers work.

The older rigs are certainly higher maintenance... then again, if low maintenance was my priority, I wouldn't be married.
I've had my 73 F-250 high boy 390 for about 20 years and it's has only left me stranded on the freeway once. I was towing a boat out to eastern Washington and the fuel pump went out. I was towed(AAA) to a local campground and the next morning went to a all-in-one store and there on the shelf was a fuel pump for the truck. The point being is I didn't have to be towed to a dealership or wait for parts and the problem was fixed with simple tools. I do not make payments on the truck. I can use that money for maintenance and upkeep. Trust me the upkeep is not as much as payments on a new truck. You can direct bolt newer Ford truck seats up to 1997 if you need a more comfortable seat. Just another personal opinion.
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