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Old 02-15-2003, 07:49 AM   #21
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Alco? What brakes? Where?

Thanks Pick and Chas. I have no idea what is on the trailer yet, but I am glad that I have options once I get it into a shop.

Regarding a breakaway system, I was told in a separate email that that year (1960) did not have a factory one, but one may have been added over the years. I am not terribly worried about it yet, but will also keep that in mind as an option to add when it is in the shop.

Any knowledge of whether breakaway system is a legal requirement in Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, or Illinois? I'll be in all of these states. I expect that as a vintage model that did not have one factory installed, I would not be required to retro-fit it onto the trailer, but I would like to know.
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Old 02-15-2003, 08:24 AM   #22
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Here is a Link to an overview. Most states require brakes over 3000 LBS, Breakaway is optional up to a specified weight.
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:41 AM   #23
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Towing without the basics

Here is a story written by an Airstream dealer that I found in a RV mag.

We had a small 22' Argosy that had to be delivered to the paint shop. Since it was only 5 kilometers and I was going to take it myself and it was only a 22' I just dropped it on the ball on our pickup. The front sofa had been removed for upholstery while the unit was being painted, there was no battery in it and the LP tanks had been removed. Bottom line was that there was very little hitch weight. To make matters worse, the 7-way plug had been taken off for the paint job and two wires were connected for signals.

I went around a curve in the road and that 3000 lb. Argosy started pushing a 6000 lb. pickup around like it was a toy. So much for the old tale "the tow vehicle has to be heavier". I grabbed the brake control and nothing happened, so again with a determined effort I held the wheel straight and the trailer straightened out after a couple of swings. I don't know if I would have done that if I had not had the practice on the track the year before, but then again, if I had not been so lazy and had taken the two minutes to throw on a sway bar and torsion bars, it would never have happened in the first place.
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Old 02-15-2003, 01:23 PM   #24
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Exclamation

Yikes! Thanks, I think. Maybe I'll go to the repair shop without the trailer first, if I don't have the sway bar or stabilizer...Unfortunately, I won't know what I'll have until I get there. I am just gathering as much preliminary information as I can.

As a side note to complicate matters more, the pickup truck (tow vehicle) is new to me also. I think I'll spend some time practicing in the campground where I'm picking up the trailer! Then, maybe I can find a large parking lot and practice stopping, turning and backing.

I am getting weight distribution "stuff" with the trailer, but as noted on another post, I may be out of luck with the height of the ball since I am putting it on a 4x4 3/4 ton Chevy.

I'll see.
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Old 02-19-2003, 11:27 PM   #25
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Hi. Just to impress me with the necessity of having both the tow vehicle brakes and the brakes on the AirStream throughly checked and in good order the fellow who sold me my Soveriegn told me a hair raising story. He was headed down a steep grade in Mexico on a caravaning trip when his brakes failed. The trailer commenced to shove his very substantial tow vehicle like it was a box of matches in a kids game. He had no choice but to ride it out. There was no gearing down according to the story since he was going too fast by the time he thought of it. He recalls literally flying down the road with one hand on the CB yelling at everything ahead of him to get outatheway. Of course he was yelling in English and they all spoke Spanish. Fortunately, a trucker ahead of him understood his plight and called back that there was a runout a quarter of a mile farther down the incline. He, his wife and their AirStream came to a crunching stop knee deep in gravel. He said they just sat stunned in the front seat and breathed for a looooong time, glad to be alive and in one piece. Needless to say, he impressed me. No Brakes, No move is my motto.

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Old 02-20-2003, 05:28 AM   #26
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Unhappy Brakies? Brakies? We Don't Need no Stinking Brakies!

Thanks for the post (I think). I talked with the seller, and asked once again about brakes. He doesn't know anything about them and never used them.

He has towed it with various vehicles, including a 4 cylinder Dodge Caravan ! The last long (200+ miles) trip they made was with a Isuzu Rodeo, which I still think is also kinda' small. Maybe the trailer's smaller than I think!

If he hasn't used brakes in the 10 years he has owned it, I don't thnk 4 hours in a shop is going to get brakes working correctly. My schedule provides one day in the shop to resolve bearing, wheels, tires and lighting issues. I wanted brakes too, and the shop has done repairs on electric ones, but I don't think he will be able to get the mechanics, the electronics, and the wiring done. I'll try though. I will have a controller in the truck, but I know even less about that.

Of course, there is a chance that the trailer has no brakes. The electrical connector to the car is more like a boat harness, and is not a "plug-in" according to the seller. I think he said there is only 4 wires... To complicate my retreival trip, I don't know what connector is on the truck.

Once I get there, I'll see what I can do. I'll post details of what I found, what I did, and take the heat if people disagree!
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Old 02-20-2003, 06:40 AM   #27
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lawyers

If you have an accident, injure or kill someone, and some lawyer comes accross these posts, kiss all of your money that you have today and will get tomorrow, GOODBYE!

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Old 02-20-2003, 07:08 AM   #28
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Question Tongue weight?

Phil,

Since you don't have 2 LPG tanks on the front of our trailer, you're losing about 60#'s towards your 10% to 15% of the trailers tongue weight.

Something else to think about !!

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Old 02-20-2003, 09:57 AM   #29
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If he hasn't used brakes in the 10 years he has owned it, I don't thnk 4 hours in a shop is going to get brakes working correctly.

When I bought my 1963 Overlander, it had a flat 4 prong (non brake) connector attached. I towed it home 40 miles without problem. I cut off the connector and properly hooked up a round 7 pin connector and to my suprise, the brakes worked perfectly! These brakes probably hadn't been used for years. I could lock up all 4 wheels at low speed.

Your brakes may work also.
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Old 02-20-2003, 01:22 PM   #30
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Talking Brakes! Of Course!

Thanks for your concern and further input! I was in conversation with the repair shop this morning about this issue, and he is looking forward to getting the trailer in his shop. Might have something to do with his labor rates, but I am not sure!

Regarding tongue weight loss, I need to undersatand what difference that will make. I understood that traditionally, 10-15% of the gross weight was transferred to the tow vehicle via the tongue. Since the trailer is just over 3000 lbs dry, that in theory would be 300-450 lbs. I don't remember if this trailer was sold with one or two tanks in front (probably one though), but there is nothing there now. Will that make the trailer track squirrelly? I am getting weight distribution gear with the trailer, but I do not know about a (anti-) swaybar.

I also was concerned about the tires, but he said that they are relatively new (less than 5 years), with few miles on them and look good. But then he said that he had purchased them at Walmart...and I remembered a post somewhere saying that big trailers cannot use ordinary truck tires...so the shop is going to check them too!

Man, I just want to go home. Oh, wait, I am home...arggggh...
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Old 02-20-2003, 02:48 PM   #31
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Greetings Phil and Sue!

Greetings Phil and Sue!

Your trailer would have originally had two propane tanks, and they could have been either 20 pound or 30 pounds. There are two factors that will impact the hitch weight of your trailer as you approach towing in your situation - - your water tank will be empty since you will want to avoid freezing, and this is one factor that depending upon its location can be a good portion of your hitch weight (if my memory serves correct, in your coach the water tank is very near the front of the coach and may be below the sofa under the front window); the propane tanks are a second factor, especially when full. I don't have the information readily at hand, but two filled 20 lb. steel tanks would likely weigh in the neighborhood of 60 pounds; two 30 pound steel tanks would likely weigh in the neighborhood of 75 pounds - - I suspect that aluminum tanks would reduce either total figure by about 7 pounds in either case.

With the size and weight of your tow vehicle, I don't think that you will likely notice the absence of the propane tanks if your hitch is properly setup and leveled; but you will want to be sure that the LPG regulator and its flexible hose(s) are properly secured before towing. I do believe, however, that this points to another good reason for trying to be sure that the electric brakes are functional - - as there are only two immediate means of getting a trailer back under control if "yaw" begins - - accelerating out of the situation (not always possible or practical); or applying the trailer brakes while maintaining steady speed or slightly accelerating. I suspect that your trailer will likely be at the light end of its tongue weight as the trailer will be virtually empty as will the fresh and black water tanks, no propane tanks, and no battery on board (a guess on my part).

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:08 AM   #32
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Hello, I have a 1973 Globetrotter, it is listed as 4500 gross, I pulled it from Spokane, WA to Las Vegas, NV (12-1300 miles) with out breakes. Towed it with a Range Rover. I will say we made it just fine but for the peace of mind I would have liked the breaks operational, it would be the best thing to do, and in most states trailers weighing a certain number of pounds and the number of axles you have to have breakes and a break away switch anyway.


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