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Old 03-26-2006, 03:37 PM   #21
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Besides the overloaded boat trailers out there, think of all the 2- 3- & 4- stall horse trailers being towed by Explorers and Expiditions. They usually have surge brakes, but how many do you think really work? No sway control or equalizer hitches, either. Don't see too many stray horses along the freeways.
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Old 03-26-2006, 04:38 PM   #22
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Wish me luck...

Thanks again everybody -
I've got a brake controller, I've got lights (and reflectors just in case...). I've got a good buddy and a big bag of food, a wife and three kids waiting for me on the other end.

So, for those of you hwo think I'm nuts or dangerous, stay off the north south California routes for the next twelve hours.

My next post will be from Calistoga, CA, or from heaven. See ya.

Jack
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:01 PM   #23
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Hi, Jack. You have received lots of advise some good and some bad. Here's my point of view; As for makeing the trip without proper equiptment, Many people have jumped safely out of airplanes, but there are still some who didn't make it. You also just stated, that you have a wife and three children. Are you also a home owner? Is this all worth loseing over a 19' trailer that can wait long enough for you to do the right thing? This is definitley illegal and if you kill some inocent people doing this you are no better than a drunk driver killing someone.
I tell it like it is; "You may not like what I have to tell you, but it's the truth."

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PS I hope you do the right thing.
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:18 PM   #24
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He added a brake controller to the equation, which was the only thing I was worried about. Sounds like he'll be just fine. I don't see a problem with running without WD or sway control, as long as you have good brakes.

Good luck on your trip. BTW, I was at a rockin' rally in Calistoga a couple years ago. Sure you don't want to keep that trailer on the road? Vintage trailer partys are fun!
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Old 03-26-2006, 05:55 PM   #25
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welcome jack martin and robertsunrus to the forums....

while it's too late to matter, others might read here someday....so, some thoughts...

isn't there any other options for a one way, one day, one time tow?

who knows how long this trailer has been planted, so all the running gear could be at issue and surprise the buyer....just before hooking up, so with the same thinking evaluate tires/wheels, brakes, lights, chains and loose parts?

and how much towing experience does the buyer have?....sure folks do this stuff and sure it's illegal....but i would never consider doing it....based on having lived long enough to see lots of nasty stuff happen....some of which was my fault....

anyway what are the other options...couldn't a trailer this small be loaded onto a rented flat bed trailer with everthing working....or what about on to a rented flat bed truck...or find a owner operator of a semi and pay'em. or just pay a professional to fetch it....

this isn't a trip from one quarter section down a farm road to another piece of grass land....this is a full day on kali-forn-ya roads....where only mass-e-chew-sus competes for liability issues, risks and costs....

i sure hope you take pics and post 'em here....i wanna watch!

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:14 PM   #26
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Well, he said

Quote:
I have already replaced the tires, and the bearings were recently repacked.
Now that he's added a brake controller, I don't see anything wrong with what he's doing. Why flatbed it home if it's ready to roll, and he's got a truck capable of towing this little trailer?

We all had to learn to tow sometime...
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:31 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Well, We all had to learn to tow sometime...
oh i agree stef...

i read that the bearings and tires were fresh....and as noted.....he is already gone....

but this issue comes up regularly....i see another thread just started with the same question and issue....

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ack-21640.html

and often the issue of tires, bearings, marker lights, brakes, brake lights, suspension, axles...and so on, also are at issue....and what if it were 2000 miles....or just 2 trips....or just one trip a year....

and what does pulling it home...once....teach us about towing really?

my point is instead of suggesting each time...."yes/no/maybe"....we could explore the other options....and develop some resources/links to help folks get the trailer home...

sort of like a dog rescue group or the resource group for inspecting trailers..3 state away, or parking.

a 'get her home safely' thread...so to speak... with all of the issues, options, methods, volunteers and so on....for that one tow....

it just seems something like this would be more useful...than little notes saying "oh no!" or "go for it"....every few days....to another new member..

cheers
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Old 03-26-2006, 06:50 PM   #28
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When I posted earlier, I forgot to mention that I was told that the brakes were working. Being in the military, I don't get too much time off, so the weekend was my only window of opportunity to get my Sovereign. I left Friday evening and got there Saturday morning and found out that there was no wiring harness to plug into the trailer. That miffed me a bit, but a drive over to the local RV shop got me what I needed to make a new harness. Next problem was that only 1/4 of the running lights worked, and the left taillights were the only working thing.

Getting new tires revealed that the springs inside the electric drums had rusted and broken apart. A quick trip to NAPA fixed that solution, but alas the brakes still didn't work....come to find out later that I had wired the harness to today's wiring configuration, but forgot that the older trailers were wired differently.

Is towing like this illegal? Absolutely. Would I have done it, if I had all the time needed to fix the problems? Absolutely not. Given my situation, I had to be back in Maryland by Sunday, so I could get to formation on Monday or be AWOL. I don't advocate that someone tow like this for the heck of it, but if it's a situation where you have no choice, then you gotta do what you gotta do.

Keep in mind that towing on a flatbed cost a lot of money, and you have to hope that the flatbed doesn't encounter any low bridges....that would ruin everyone's day. Many of us aren't powerbrokers with cash floating around to do with as we please. The only reason I was able to have my Sovereign fully restored was because of the accelerated benefits we received from New York Life.

Long story short, if you have to tow without all of the safety features needed to tow, try to do it as safely as possible, without causing someone else or yourself harm.

Frederic
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Old 03-26-2006, 08:48 PM   #29
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Yeah, this question comes up all the time, and each case is different. Not everyone has the money, time, equipment, skills they need for all possible options, so they usually just do the best they can, and most of the time it works out ok.

I'm just saying you have to learn to tow sometime, and you might as well pick it up and start learning. We had a friend help us out by towing the trailer home because we didn't have a tow vehicle yet, but once we did, I remember that first shakey trip out (and all the horror stories I'd been told that make it sound like rocket science). But everyone survived to tow again another day.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:36 AM   #30
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I couldn't agree more. When I was young and stoopid learning things the hard way, It would have been nice to have a forum to help avoid the lessons that so many of us HAVE learned the hard way. Hell, it would have been nice to have a computer.

Jack is lucky to find ansewers to his concerns and then make an informed decision as to how to procede.

Mark
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Old 03-30-2006, 12:24 PM   #31
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With your help, I made it safely...

Thanks again everyone. You are all correct. Flat beds cost lots of money. No one wants to get hurt, or hurt someone else. Improperly equipped trailers are unsafe. And you gotta do what you gotta do.

So, after hearing your diverse points of view, I installed a brake controller and checked the trailer brakes, I had to completely retrofit the trailer with new tail/stop/turn lights, and I also installed additional reflectors for clearance and general visibility. I never exceeded 50 mph, and went slower on rougher roads and downhills. I stayed in control. Incidentally, I was not a complete stranger to driving a tow vehicle, although not often pulling something so big.

The trip was quite smooth, if somewhat long. Unbelievably, cruising along just after midnight on route 80 coming through Berkeley, CA, I got seriously rear-ended by a full sized van whose driver must have fallen asleep at the wheel - he must have been doing 70 to hit me square in the butt as hard as he did. The trailer remained roadworthy for the balance of the trip, although the floor buckled somewhat. My neck will probably feel alright in a week or two. But I am very glad that I had taken the time to make sure that I had brakes, lights, tires, freshly packed bearings, etc... After all, for all I knew the thing hadn't been on the road for 20 years.

Thanks again. I agree that the creation of a resource dedicated to "just getting it home" would be a great idea.

Looking forward to continuing my dialogue with you all.

Jack
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:21 PM   #32
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Jack,

I'm sorry to hear that you had such misfortune on the way home.....you took all the precautions necessary and fate still handed you a whammy....the "other" driver. I hope the damage to your A/S isn't too bad. Take care of your neck; whiplash is no laughing matter...I've had it several times myself. Good luck.

Frederic
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Old 03-30-2006, 06:51 PM   #33
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I am no expert but I do have 50 years experience towing everything from 53 foot 50,000 lb vans to small utility trailers and most every size in between. Personaly I would rather trust compedent defensive driver towing 3000 lb. trailer with 1/2 ton truck with no trailer brakes than to trust some of the got to get there quick aggresive drivers I see that are towing with a Powerstroke and a Hensley. All the official accident statistics I have seen place blame for almost all accidents on driver and blame faulty equipment for ver few accidents.
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:02 PM   #34
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Jack,

What a bummer, but glad you are home and mostly safe. Hope the trailer is not damaged too much and the other driver has insurance.

Bill
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:04 AM   #35
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Glad you made it home safe. Now I am dying to know, what do you plan to do with this Airstream that your only intention was to get it home, where I assume it will be staying? Will you still be able to do whatever you intended with it now that it got whacked?

BTW, about 20 years ago we were hit driving to the beach in my husband's Chevy Nova, by a lady who fell asleep at the wheel. She was probably doing 80+, and we were doing about 60, and she accordioned that poor Nova, put the trunk in the backseat. We were fine, a testament to when they built cars out of steel. Nothing quite as surprising as getting hit from behind at freeway speeds! I'm curious, what did it feel like to have your trailer hit?
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:08 PM   #36
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What did it feel like? Why one trip?

Well I'll tell ya - after all that fussing with making sure the old AS was roadworthy, when I heard the noise my first thought was that I had lost a tire, broken an axle, hit something. My passenger said immediately, "We've been hit!" It was quite a smack, and amazing that that much energy could be transmitted fully just through the ball and hitch. The difference between our speeds must have been at least 20 mph, and I was doing 50. The whole truck lurched forward. I took my foot off the gas and coasted. The trailer was still behind us and looked fine. I guess it was more scary than anything else, although I did immediately experience what felt like a weakness in my neck. My passenger felt it in his shoulder. Four days later it's still there.


We pulled onto the median between the freeway and the exit we were about to take. Fortunately, the poor guy that hit us pulled over behind us. He was a bit shaken too, although he didn't think there had been any damage. His vehicle looked OK. Yes, he was insured. And in 1964, AS was putting some pretty beefy steel behind their trailers. Our bumper looked fine, but the aluminum lid over the bumper storage was trashed. Inspection with a flashlight revealed some buckling of the skin just in front of both tires (single axle).

This trailer had been gutted, and a complete commercial kitchen installed inside. I have a hospitality facility in Santa Rosa, CA (www.markwestlodge.com) where I will use the kitchen for food preparation and possibly vending for events to be held on a five acre site adjacent to my main facility. The kitchen is beautiful, and I just wanted to get the unit onto my property where I figured it would stay for a long time. The trailer has an aluminum diamondplate floor that is now buckled and floating above the frame. The rest of the shell and kitchen equipment still appear ok. I'll post a link to a page on my website once I get some pix of the trailer on line.

Thank you all for your interest and support. And as was pointed out by one of you, the problem is usually the other guy. I guess I've got the theme for my signature. See ya later.

Jack
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:32 PM   #37
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Hi, Jack. Wecome home. I was getting concerned about you and your journey since we haven't heard from you for some time. I'm glad you did the right thing; Doing your best to make it a safe trip pulling your new [to you] trailer. Too bad some one else wasn't as safe as they could of been. Hope you're alright and now safe, sound, and home with your wife and kids.
Are you makeing the next Airstream Cafe so we can visit you while traveling through your part of town?
You and all of the rest of us are lucky to have a forum like this to get help and / or advise just for asking. Not to mention, just reading posts that might apply to subjects we are interested in.

Bob
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