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Old 04-21-2009, 09:11 AM   #1
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1969 25' Tradewind
asheville , North Carolina
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Moving a 69 that's been sitting

I bought a 69 tradewind in the fall and had it delivered. It had sat for 15 years. Then was moved about 20 miles to the 'flipper's' house and then another 30 miles to mine.

I need to move it this month about 15 miles and am probably going to end up with a towing service.

I'm feeling anxious that I have no idea what's going on with the running gear. Don't want to damage it on this short move.

I've been told at the minimum I should pack the bearings. Is this something I can do myself? Or that the towing company might do?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Lynn
Asheville NC
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:18 AM   #2
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Both, you could pack the bearings or have someone do it. It's an easy but messy job. You will need a jack and a few simple wrenches.

It sure wouldn't hurt greasing the bearings. But if it already has been towed 50 mi, 15 more is probably not going to do more damage. If the tires are old they are probably rotten no matter how good they look.

Just go slow and plan for having a problem and you should be OK. Or the safe way is yes, grease the bearings and put on some good tires.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercaner View Post
I bought a 69 tradewind in the fall and had it delivered. It had sat for 15 years. Then was moved about 20 miles to the 'flipper's' house and then another 30 miles to mine.

I need to move it this month about 15 miles and am probably going to end up with a towing service.

I'm feeling anxious that I have no idea what's going on with the running gear. Don't want to damage it on this short move.

I've been told at the minimum I should pack the bearings. Is this something I can do myself? Or that the towing company might do?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Lynn
Asheville NC
Lynn.

If you have some 2 x 6's, you don't even need a jack. Pull one axle up on the boards, and service the other axle. When done, reverse that, and do the other axle.

When an Airstream sits unsupported for a long time, your right, that the running gear needs checking. The following article in Airstream Central will help you do that.

The Dura-Torque Axle

If the axles are bad, towing those few miles won't really hurt anything, but take it "slow". If the trailer will not be moved for another long period of time, then if the axles are indeed bad, it really won't matter. If you plan on rehabing the trailer, then that's a different story.

The tire condition must be acceptable, so that you don't have a problem, moving it those few miles.

Since it's been parked for a long time, you should address the issue of making the trailer water proof. Check all the exterior gaskets, especially the sewer vent pipe gaskets that last only 2 to 3 years. Water proofing the trailer will protect the interior, if your going to use the trailer, or not.

Andy
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #4
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Its time to remove the wheels and take them to a tire shop and get a couple of used, NEWER, tires. No reason to buy new now because I think it is going to be a while before you camp.

The axles are almost guaranteed to be shot from 20 years of sitting but 20 miles over paved roads is not going to do anything that has not already been done.

As for the bearings. When you remove the wheels for newer tires remove the 2 in. dis metal cap on the end of the spindle. Tap the lip between the cap and the hub with a screw driver and light hammer. this will unseat the cap and now work you way around the lip with the screw driver and hammer until the cap comes off. This is a press fit so work a little at a time not all in one spot. Once the cap is off you will see a large nut with a cotter key through it. The cotter key keeps the nut from moving. Remove the cotter key by unfolding it and pulling it through the nut., it will be destroyed in the removal. Now before you do anything else take a pair of channel lock pliers and while spinning the drum lightly tighten the nut on the spindle. It will only move about an 1/8 of a turn or less. I mention this to give you some indication of how to tighten the nut when you put things back together.

Remove the nut. Look at the grease. If it is greasy and not dried to cakey consistency you are good to go. If you want to you can press in about a 1/2 teaspoon of grease into the bearing as it sits on the spindle. Do not over do it. If the outer bearing looks good the inner one will most likely be OK also since it is larger and thus has less load. If this are good replace the nut using the pliers to tighten it as you spin the drum. Tighten the nut with very little pressure on the pliers but until you are putting no more pressure on the pliers than you would use to open a lever door handle. Now look for the hoindle that the cotter pin was in and back the nut off until you can slide a new pin through the nut. Using pliers fold the cotter pin up over the spindle like the one you removed was and replace the cup by tapping it into place.

Only if the grease was dry and hard would I be concerned for that short a trip. Remember you are most likely buying new axles and the bearings will come greased with them.

For that trip I would be more interested in the tires.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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These are very good suggestions and you should pay attention to them. If you are restoring this trailer I would suggest waiting on the new axles till last. I know it sounds weird but how many times are you going in and out if the door during the restore? The 3 or four inch difference IS noticeable at the end of the day! If you are going to use it while restoring it then the axles should be sooner on the list. This is just my opinion, I wish you the best of luck!! Mike
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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Repacking the wheel bearings, and installing new grease seals would be a very good idea. Since a towing service is going to be towing it, they PROBABLY won't be using the trailer brakes, but you should check the brakes while you have the wheels and drums off for the repack. I would check the lights as well, especially the tail and brake lights, and make sure they work.
Check to make sure the door latches securely, you don't want it flying open while it is being towed, it would probably destroy the door.
Make sure the ball coupler is working, and in good shape, we don't want the trailer going on an excursion of its own while being towed.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:46 PM   #7
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1969 25' Tradewind
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Thanks everyone!!
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