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Old 07-06-2010, 10:34 PM   #1
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1968 20' Globetrotter
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Help Need Towing Advice for my Nissan with no brake controller

Tonight I bought my first airstream. A 1968, 20 foot globetrotter in very nice condition but not used much in the last six years.

My questions:

1. I don't have a trailer brake controller in my truck with is a 2008 Nissan Frontier with a V-6 motor. Its rated to tow 6,500 pounds and comes equipped with 4 wheel disc brakes. I need to tow the trailer 90 miles to its new home. Would it be safe to tow it this distance without a trailer brake controller? Would the brakes on the truck be suffcient. I think the weight on the AS is around 3,000 pounds.

2. The bearings haven't been packed in 6 years. I'd like to get it towed home so people that I know and trust can work on it. How much risk would I be taking to go ahead and tow it home? Would you do it?

Thanks for any advice you can give this newbie.
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:45 PM   #2
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Hi, I think with a lot of caution, this trailer could be towed the ninety miles without problems, but I would not recommend doing it and it would be illegal to tow without trailer brakes.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcinfo View Post
Tonight I bought my first airstream. A 1968, 20 foot globetrotter in very nice condition but not used much in the last six years.

My questions:

1. I don't have a trailer brake controller in my truck with is a 2008 Nissan Frontier with a V-6 motor. Its rated to tow 6,500 pounds and comes equipped with 4 wheel disc brakes. I need to tow the trailer 90 miles to its new home. Would it be safe to tow it this distance without a trailer brake controller? Would the brakes on the truck be suffcient. I think the weight on the AS is around 3,000 pounds.

2. The bearings haven't been packed in 6 years. I'd like to get it towed home so people that I know and trust can work on it. How much risk would I be taking to go ahead and tow it home? Would you do it?

Thanks for any advice you can give this newbie.
Keep your towing speed under 45 MPH.

Even then, with lots of skill and luck, you can get it home.

Any speeds higher than that, is risking a severe accident.

Andy
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:25 PM   #4
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Luck is not enough....

I would not tow without trailer brakes - especially with a small truck. While the truck may be able to stop the trailer under normal conditions, it's the not so normal situations that are worrying. You cannot predict an emergency situation. Many states have regulations about towing more than 1500 lbs .. you must have trailer brakes.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:27 AM   #5
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im presuming you have a 7 pin from the factory already on the truck. if so, your truck is pre-wired for a brake controller. have one installed in your home town, these are a very straight forward install. As for the bearings, have them repacked before your trip home. there is no good way to tell how long the grease has been in there, nor the last time it was replaced.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:27 AM   #6
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not having a brake controller in your tow vehicle means that your trailer will have no brakes at all. Other than maybe towing it a few blocks, you would be courting disaster.

Brian
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:17 AM   #7
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Since you've already identified two concerns - why don't you just take care of them before you tow her home? I dunno about you, but Murphy's law follows me around like flies on rice.

If you're going to keep the Nissan, you'll eventually need to get the controller installed. I had one put in my Xterra (no longer own) and, after purchasing the necessary cable from Nissan, found the brake control cable, clearly identified, in the back compartment. Now I recall that my Armada also had the extra cable in the glove box --- so look for this before you purchase it from a dealer!

Packing bearings will likely be one of the eaisest things you'll do on the '68 --- might be a real timesaver to be proactive with this item.

Good luck - hope you enjoy the journey! Laura
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:12 AM   #8
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As others have pointed out towing a heavy trailer without brakes is, in California, unlawful.

Yes, you should get a brake controller properly installed in your Nissan, and there's no time like the present. The larger problem is that the brakes are unlikely to work well and may not work at all if it's been sitting for six years.

If the bearings are shot you could easily loose a wheel towards the end of 90 miles. There will be some warning but by the time you notice the wobble you'll only have a few miles left before you lose it so you'll be stuck trying to repair it on the road somewhere.

You could at least jack up each wheel, check for play, and pull the cap to be sure that there is at least some grease present. I have, at times, used a veterinary hypodermic filled with motor oil to shoot some oil into the hub on a dry bearing with bad seals, without disassembling it.

90 miles seems like a long way to me, for something like that. Your call though.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:29 AM   #9
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we towed our GT home about an hour's drive w/ no brake controller (DID repack bearings) towed by a nissan pathfinder... i think it happens more often that we think... again, its probably not very safe, can you take back roads?
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #10
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Made it home safely. Was able to get controller installed before I left. Was not able to pack the bearings. Brakes locked a few times when I applied the brakes the first few times but after that, seemed like they were OK. Stopped a few times and checked to see if hub or wheels seemed hot and they were not. Went directly to trailer shop for bearing repack and brake check and adjustment. Thanks for all your advice.

dmcinfo
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