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Old 06-02-2009, 08:43 PM   #1
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1970 29' Ambassador
Reedsburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 6
PLEASE help me with towing needs -PLZ

I just purchased a 1970 Ambassador LY 29ft. I have to pick it up in 2 weeks.
What do I need to have on my car to pull it. Ball size? Special attachments-brakes...type of I need a weight distribution...any and all information greatly appreciated as I am a newbie to this!

Please Help me be successful!!!!


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Old 06-02-2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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Tow help

What is your tow vehicle?

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Old 06-02-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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1970 29' Ambassador
Reedsburg , Wisconsin
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I have a 1999 GMC Suburban 1500 with a tow package on it that will pull this.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:04 PM   #4
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The ball size should be 2-5/16" if I recall correctly. You'll need a brake controller if you don't already have one. As for the hitch setup, there has been a recent flurry of dialog on the WD hitch scenario. There's no way that I would tow without one, and some type of sway control. I encourage you to read the posts of this subject, and keep the questions coming.

The plug is anyone's guess as it could have been changed by the PO. 7-Blade is the current trend. My 73, and 76 were converted from the old 6-pin configuration. Can you get this information from the current owner before you go?

Oh...And A Very Big Welcome To You Too....

Keep us posted as to your progress.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

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Old 06-02-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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PLEASE help me with towing needs -PLZ

Greetings Tempest2!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

I am attaching a pdf file that contains the information regarding the way that the original Bargman plug was wired. This does not match today's industry standard, but may assist you if the functions of the pins do not line up with your tow vehicle. My suggestion would be to take along a new plug that matches the fixture on your tow vehicle so that you can rewire the coach to match your tow vehicle if necessary (I have had to do this with both of my Vintage Airstreams).

Unless your coach's original coupler has been replaced, it will require a 2 5/16" ball. You will want to know whether your hitch requires a large or small shank ball -- most seem to be large shank, but there are typically two sizes of shanks when looking for new hitch balls on the racks.

I, too, would suggest looking for a hitch with built-in sway control as your coach is going to approach the maximum comfortable size for your Suburban with its 5700 VORTEC V8. My personal preference is the Reese Straight-Line, the Equalizer hitch also has a strong following among Airstreamers. Your Ambassador will be heavy enough that you will likely want to consider weight distributing bars with a rating of 800 pounds -- 600 pound bars may work but may be a bit on the light side for your 1500 series Suburban.

You didn't mention the distance of your upcoming tow, but the longer it is in miles, the more attention that will need to be focused upon the trailer. If the tow is more than 50 miles, I would consider the following:
  • Repack the wheel bearings and inspect the brakes prior to embarking on a long tow. If the records verify that this has been done in the past 12-months, you should be in good shape.
  • Be prepared with replacement bulbs and bulb changing equipment to be ready for any burned out bulbs.
  • If the tires are more than three to five years of age, replacing them before a long road trip would be cheap insurance -- a blown tire can cause several hundred if not $2,000 or more in damage to the trailer's skin and nearby components.
  • If the coach hasn't been on the road regularly in recent times, a set of strap-on or magnetic tail lights would be an insurance policy against the possibility that you may not be able to get the tail lights operational.
Good luck with your Ambassador!

Attached Files
File Type: pdf 7wayplug1966-81--2009.pdf (9.0 KB, 43 views)
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:22 PM   #6
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1970 29' Ambassador
Reedsburg , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 6
WOW!! Thank you very much for all this helpful information. It was a big eye opener! Being brand new to this it was exactly what I needed to hear. I didn't realize everything that is involved with this towing. Plus, I now realize how unprepared I am. I never thought about the loaded weight of the trailer, shank sizes, checking the trailer brakes, bringing extra lights, bulbs and plug! Great suggestions!
Now I am worried about getting a sway bar & a weight distributing bar before I pick it up!
The Airstream has been parked at a Camp resort for a few to several years. The trip back home is 185 miles.
Thanks again.
I can’t wait to hit the road & make memories!!!!

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