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Old 04-11-2004, 07:45 AM   #1
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Question Tow vehicle for a 1968 international 28ft

I'm thinking of buying this airstream, but I don't know if my truck can handle it, also does it have elec. brakes? I have a 1/2 ton v8 truck bumper mount ball.

Thanks

Scott
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Old 04-11-2004, 07:54 AM   #2
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The factory weight for that trailer is 4395 pounds with a hitch weight of 425 pounds.
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:01 AM   #3
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My main concern is getting the trailer home to clean up. Would the bumper mount ball hold the 425 lbs. and if the brakes don't work would it be safe to tow?

Scott
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:16 AM   #4
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I wouldn't

Scott,
Depending on the brand of truck and the bumper, that is VERY borderline. Most bumper hitches are rated 500# tongue, 5000# total weight maximum, but check the bumper. As far as the brakes are concerned...If I don't have trailer brakes I don't tow it. Your truck brakes are designed to stop up to around 6000# or so not the 8500+# that the truck and trailer together will weigh. I know that people do it all the time, but is it worth the risk? Not in my opinon. See if you can find a towing company to pull it to your house for you, the $150 or so would be money well spent for the safety and peace of mind. BTW is that an Ambassador you are looking at? What is the price range if you don't mind my asking. I know where there is one in VA that I am considering.

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Old 04-11-2004, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomrac
My main concern is getting the trailer home to clean up. Would the bumper mount ball hold the 425 lbs. and if the brakes don't work would it be safe to tow?

Scott
Bumper mounted hitches are usually rated for something in the 2,000 lb. range [Edit - the post above says 5,000 lbs. - it should actually say on your bumper]. You are going to need a receiver hitch anyway so there is no reason not to get one.

I don't think I would pull out onto a public road with a 1/2 ton truck pulling a two ton plus trailer with no brakes. They push HARD.

Do you have reason to believe the brakes will not work? Perhaps a local hauler would tow it for you at a reasonable price.

Mark
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:21 AM   #6
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Thank For all the responses. I'll check with the owner about the brakes and have a reciever installed.

Yes, it is an ambassader and my friend is asking $2,000. What a friend. Most everything works, heat, a/c, electric, etc. Interior is in fair orig shape. I'll let you guys know if I get it.

Thanks agian

Scott
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomrac
Thank For all the responses. I'll check with the owner about the brakes and have a reciever installed.

Yes, it is an ambassader and my friend is asking $2,000. What a friend. Most everything works, heat, a/c, electric, etc. Interior is in fair orig shape. I'll let you guys know if I get it.

Thanks agian

Scott
Scott,
Sounds like a pretty decent deal, does it have all the original windows? They can be pricey if they are missing or broken. Let us know when you get it, and of course we will expect to see pictures!

Aaron
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:30 AM   #8
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There is no broken glass, they all look orig. Just a few small dings, not sure if the steps work though. I'll get pics as soon as possible.

Scott
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:43 AM   #9
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I'll may get killed for this. How far is it from home? Is it a flat road? If you can buy it and store it there for a bit you are better off waiting til you get a brake controller.
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Old 04-11-2004, 08:51 AM   #10
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From experiance I would say no problem For short distances, as long as you check all bolts and ball is tight , also experiance is a big factor.

I routinely tow trailers that size with an F150 6 Cyl 5 Spd Truck
with a bumper ball.
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:22 AM   #11
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There would be about 8 miles of winding and hilly road to interstate then all highway total of 110 miles. I forgot about a brake controller. I'll check the trailer for plug type and then have a reciever and brake controller installed.

Scott
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Old 04-11-2004, 09:40 AM   #12
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1968 international 28ft questions

Greetings Scott!

Quote:
I'm thinking of buying this airstream, but I don't know if my truck can handle it, also does it have elec. brakes? I have a 1/2 ton v8 truck bumper mount ball.
The '68 Ambassador would have had the rather typical electric drum brakes of the period with a breakaway switch on the hitch that will likely need service if the ones on my '78 Argosy and '64 Overlander are an indication (both needed to be replaced before first towing expedition).

There are several reasons why you would be well-served to have a receiver hitch with a properly adjusted ball mount installed on your pickup.

1.) If you pickup is anything like the '95 Chevrolet K1500 that I once used to tow my Overlander, the bumper mounted ball would be at least 5" too high for the trailer resulting in a nose-high towing attitude that could prove disasterous for handling on the highway.

2.) Depending upon how your tuck was optioned initially, the weight of the hitch "could" take enough weight off of the front wheels to produce some undesirable steering control characteristics. Weight distribution bars are beneficial even when there is minimal compression of the tow vehicle's rear suspension - - I always use the weight distribution bars even when I tow my 3,200 pound Minuet with the K2500 Suburban.

3.) A properly adjusted hitch would also lessen the chance of damaging any of the running gear components on the trailer due to placing too much load on one axle or the other from an other than level towing stance.

Even empty, you won't regret having the brakes operable. I only towed my Overlander once for a very short distance with the brakes on one axle non-operational. It was a VERY serious control issue with the 1/2 ton pickup to take up the braking slack - - this was in light city traffic for approximately 35 miles. With both of my coaches, the biggest obstacle to getting the brakes functional was rewiring the umbilical connector that was still wired to the period Airstream pattern which, of course, isn't compatible with the newer standard that most current tow vehicles have for their wiring.

Good luck with your proposed acquisition!

Kevin

PS: Murphy of Murphy's Law fame is my constant traveling companion, so I always err on the side of conservatism when it comes to towing issues. I have actually encountered, on two different ocassions in the past ten years, vehicle inspection roadblocks where every vehicle on the highway was being stopped and inspected for required safety equippment - - this applied to both the tow vehicle and trailer. In both cases, the inspection was purely visual so they didn't actually test the operation of the breakaway switch - - but they did have me demonstrate that all of the signal lights were functional and that there was a brake controller installed in the tow vehicle. They also checked to be sure that the safety chanis were properly crossed and of "acceptable" length.
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