Originally Posted by true1977
Warning, I am a TT newbie SERIOUSLY.
I recently purchased a 24 ft silver streak tandem axle and want to tow it with my 65 Sedan DeVille (Edna) and I need to know what I need to do to make this work.
The SS weighs 3650# and uses a 2 inch ball. the fellow I purchased it from is installing "a standard 6 prong plug about 7/8 inch in diameter."I assume that I will just have to match that on my TV? Also I realize I will need a WDhitch correct?Hensley? And of course there is getting the actual tow equipment attached to my TV which from what I've read can mean having a welder fabricate it?What about the brake controller? the TT has Electric Brakes.Can most of these issues be dealt with by a Rv service center?
Yes all the??? marks because I am unsure/inexperienced and going by what I've read. if you can give me a good bit of advice/guidance in this I would be very grateful.
While your Cadillac should make a quite capable tow vehicle, it may require some significant work. Its model year pre-dates the factory use of hardened valve seat inserts so that would be a first priority to prepare the engine for the stresses of towing duty -- without the hardened valve seats there is a definite danger of valve seat recision that can be even more costly than that of machining the heads for the inserts (it is one of the reasons that I decided to modify my '75 Eldorado as it already had the motor prepped for unleaded fuel). You may also find that you need to rebuild the radiator if it has been several years since that task was last accomplished -- in fact it may be beneficial to select a heavy duty new core with an extra row of core material -- I upgraded from a 3-row core to a 4-row core on my Eldorado. You will also want to be sure that the hydraulics of your brakes have been thoroughly checked for weak parts both rubber and steel -- the brakes will see significantly more pressue when towing than when the car is driven strictly for pleasure. Checking out the timing gear/chain also seems to be a valuable exercise -- mine needed to be replaced (my mechanic recommended the inspection when I started the process) and an acquaintance with a late 60s Cadillac had his chain fail when towing his Airstream. Another issue that I have encountered particularly with the later 8.2 Liter Cadillac V8 is that the exhaust heat riser valve tends to need annual maintenance to prevent "sticking' or "freezing" either of which can cause problems with overheating that have twice resulted in boiling the brake fluid in the master cylinder on one of my 70s era Cadillacs (with the result being no brakes). You may also find that an octane enhancer may be necessary when towing to keep the car from "pinging" excessively.
Finding someone to weld-up a custom Reese receiver hitch may be a difficult proposition depending upon your location. I had quite a struggle when I first began looking and finally, after looking for better than six months, word-of-mouth paid off and I was able to find a local welder with experience fabricating receiver hitche who did an excellent job fabricating my hitch.
To select a trailer brake controller, try searching the Forums for brake controllers. You will find a number of threads mentioning controllers with their plusses and minuses. The most frequently mentioned are the Tekonsha Prodigy, MasterBrake, and Jordan Engineering controllers. My personal favorite is the Hayes-Lemmerz Energize XPC with remote control -- it is a bit less costly than some of the others, but I have been well satisfied with both it and its predecessor for more than 20 years.
Hitch selection is also a consideration open to considerable debate. When keeping to the budget priced alternatives, I would suggest either the Reese Strait-Line Hitch with Dual Cam Sway Control or the Equal-I-zer hitch with its built-in sway control. Both of these hitches have been successfully used by many trailerists of the past decade or more. I have utilized the Reese setup with all of my tow vehicles and both of my coaches since 1995 -- prior to that I utilized the standard Reese weight distributing hitch, but would never consider going back to the days of the finnicky friction sway control.
Typically today, a 7-pole connector is utilized for the trailer/towcar connection; and in Airstream circles is generally called a Bargman connector. Many of us have strayed from the Airstream-unique wiring schematic for the connector and adopted the "industry-standard" wiring pattern for the connector so that it wouldn't be so difficult to deal with the situation that might present itself if the towcar were to become disabled.
Good luck with your project! A Vintage trailer/towcar combination can be worlds of fund -- but can also be one of the most frustrating projects to accomplish in regard to towcar preparation.