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Old 08-11-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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1962 22' Safari
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Towable with rusty wheels?

Hello, airforums! I am a newcomer and this is my first post.

I have a 1962 Safari in Westchester, NY that I started gutting in 2001. Since then it has been sitting under a tree on jacks, with a ground tarp under it (in an attempt to control moisture). Needless to say it needs help! (Pictures below)

I want to bring it to Brooklyn (about 50 miles), where I have a large indoor space, so that I can start the full renovation. My question is, how can I determine if it's safe to tow? And if it isn't safe to tow, what next?

I am completely new to the airstream restoration hobby and would love any feedback the community might have.

Thanks for your help!!
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:46 AM   #2
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If you look the angle of the arm that pivots between axel and wheel is it up or down? To me, in the photo it looks like it slopes upward from the axle to the wheel, where it should slope downward. I think you need a new axle.

IMHO, It would probably be ok to tow a very short distance while going very slow.

add edit. I would tow it 50 miles, after greasing the bearings, having some sort of turn/brake lights working, and changing the tires, if the A-frame an hitch in good condition?
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:05 AM   #3
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if the bearings are lubed and the tires hold air. 50 miles at a slower than usual pace would be ok. My trailer sat in a field for 18 years, we towed it home 40 miles at 35 mph.
My tires were pretty cracked too, but they held air and made it home no problem. I stopped every so often to check on everything.
Do the lights work? You could use trailer temporary lights if need be.
As far as the axles go, do that when you can afford it. I have been using mine for 4+ years as it is.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:00 PM   #4
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When we bought our 75 Overlander I pulled the dust caps to see if there was anything frightening (funny red grease in all, water and rust in one), checked the tire pressure (okay, no visible cracks and good tread), hooked up and checked lights (not working, but hand and arm signals can substitute), drove a little ways and checked the brakes with the controller, and adjusted the controller (functioning), said a prayer to St Christopher (the patron saint of patatroopers and travelers) and we headed for home - about 200 winding mountain miles. Periodically we stopped to check the hubs for heat and smell, as well as the condition of the tires - steady as she goes. About 40 miles from home it started pouring rain and miraculously the lights started working. Top speed 60mph.

I've done scarier things and nobody got hurt.

Safer would be to replace the antique tires (one could have been original), repack the wheel bearings and adjust the brakes (one of four wasn't working I later found out), and get the running lights operational.

Or put it on a flatbed.

Your decision ...
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:29 PM   #5
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1962 22' Safari
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thanks for the feedback everyone!

a little more info on my project...

i replaced the tires back in 2001 when i got the trailer and i'm surprised to say they look ok. once i tow the trailer out of its current spot i can get it on the driveway to check everything further. by the way, will i need to get a compressor to inflate the tires?

nothing in the trailer works, but the A-frame and hitch seem to be good to go. i have some temporary clip-on lights that i used when i hauled her home using a volvo station wagon. YIKES! that was scary, but luckily nobody got hurt. no idea if the breaks work since i never tried. is there any way to test without a truck? (i have to rent a truck for towing it home.) and if the breaks don't work do i not even try to tow it?

A W Warn, i'm not sure which arm you're talking about, but does the extra blurry image below help you see what's going on? NOTE: the trailer is sitting on uneven ground and the wheel pictured is on the high side, so what you're seeing might be due to the extra weight on that tire.

i'm thinking i'll first tow it to a trusted garage for some tune-ups and then go slow as i haul her back to brooklyn.

thanks again for your replies! i'll keep you posted....
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:30 PM   #6
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Strap tow dollies under the wheels??

Tom
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #7
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Inland RV's website has a link to a good article on axles and torsion arm angles. It's a good place to start the self-education process.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:37 PM   #8
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I submit that the "hand and arm signals" mentioned above are not a substitute for lights when towing an Airstream. Setting aside the fact that few drivers today would recognize the signals and fewer still would notice someone giving proper, polite hand signals, the trailer is likely to block the view of your hands for a driver behind you. All sorts of places sell temporary tow light systems.

It's a light trailer... if you have enough brakes on your tow vehicle for a short relocation, check the bearings and tires, get brake and signal lights one way or another and take it easy and slow.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:25 PM   #9
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Hmm ... and I submit that at least in Colorado, when you know your signals have failed, or the vehicle is not equipped with signals (farm equipment, bicycles, etc.), hand and arm signals are perfectly acceptable and required. Hand and arm signals are part of the drivers license test.
No running lights on a trailer at night is another discussion.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:42 PM   #10
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that photo is horrible...sorry/ but something is broken off and hanging down there..Might not want to pull that trailer like it is.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrgtrakr View Post
Hmm ... and I submit that at least in Colorado, when you know your signals have failed, or the vehicle is not equipped with signals (farm equipment, bicycles, etc.), hand and arm signals are perfectly acceptable and required. Hand and arm signals are part of the drivers license test.
No running lights on a trailer at night is another discussion.
I did not mean to suggest they were not a legally-sufficient means of signaling in the daytime, at least where they're visible to a driver behind you. It would have been better for me to say "good substitute" than "substitute" because beyond how much of the information on their drivers' test most drivers have forgotten, a car behind you is not likely to see your hand signals at all with the Airstream blocking most of their view.
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:52 PM   #12
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that photo is horrible...sorry/ but something is broken off and hanging down there..Might not want to pull that trailer like it is.
What looks like a broken piece is an old device put on many Airstreams of the era to keep the trailer wheel up high in case of a flat tire. It would of course drag along the pavement if the tire went flat. But it was a common accessory, not a broken part.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:44 PM   #13
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Towable with rusty wheels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
... how much of the information on their drivers' test most drivers have forgotten ...

Yep ...
... following posted speed limits
... pulling over for emergency vehicles
... when driving in the mountains and unable to maintain the posted speed limit AND there are 3 or more cars behind you, pull over at a safe place and allow them to pass
... potentially long list

I remember a time when you had to take the written test to renew your drivers license. Once that stopped, things got worse.

Before making any lane changes or turns, I made sure I could see the driver behind me.
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:57 PM   #14
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I have used the magnet car lights to pull a trailer. They work fine. Also both of my trailers has arms that came down on them. My 58 and my 62 has them. They would be common on a single axle trailer back then. It looks broken but fine. Oil and grease it up and check for dryrot on tires. If ok don't go over 55 mph. I was able to move my 58 at 50 or so miles but all ok. Did buy a new tire. When you do get new tires get tire covers because they save you money on tires.


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