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Old 08-14-2018, 03:09 PM   #21
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1964 22' Safari
1968 26' Overlander
Beaver County , Pennsylvania
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Laflerd,


I believe you could safely tow locally with the setup you're suggesting. The Sovereign is a fairly heavy trailer, but the 428 HP output should have the power to handle it. Airstream used to consider anything between 20 and 40 lbs/HP was in the acceptable range where the weight was the combined total of trailer and car weight (do not exceed 60 lbs/HP). I agree with the advice to have the brakes thoroughly up to spec and install a good brake controller for the trailer. Always be conservative in your following distance to leave extra stopping room.



You may have luck with U-Haul for a hitch. They installed one on our 63 Cadillac. That design was no longer in production for obvious reasons, but they still have the plans. It takes a little longer to get, because it's a custom build and they have to load test it individually. We tow a much smaller trailer (22' Safari) but are going to try towing our 26' Overlander soon. We just got the car back from having the brake system completely rebuilt. They are a big hit when we take them to local car cruises.



Use care and enjoy,


Roy and Marie
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:24 PM   #22
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The key here in my opinion is what "uraljohn" pointed out in his post:

"The Thunderbird is not a full frame car. They are unibody so have someone make you are a proper hitch and weld it to the rear support rails."

If you do not have the "correct" hitch, mounted "correctly" to the car, nothing else really matters!

I've pulled with a 1962 Galaxie and a 1968 Travelalls (both drum brakes) and still do. If you have the leveling bars setup correctly, along with electric brakes on the trailer, the trailer will actually help stop the car.

Being the car has a long tail-end past the axles on it (like my Galaxie) you will need 1,100 leveling bars pulled tight to get the rear of the car back up where it should belong to put the weight back down on the front end to give you control during steering. How the hitch is mounted to the car is VERY important to take the stress of the weight.

Vintage tow can be fun, but needs to be done correctly. Sadly, all the old-timers who still remember how it was done are far and few between but can still be found if you look.

Your biggest problem will be finding someone who is willing to make you the hitch and take on the risk of welding it to your car in the case something goes wrong,

Good luck,
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:45 PM   #23
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Great towing photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by rideair View Post
The key here in my opinion is what "uraljohn" pointed out in his post:

"The Thunderbird is not a full frame car. They are unibody so have someone make you are a proper hitch and weld it to the rear support rails."

If you do not have the "correct" hitch, mounted "correctly" to the car, nothing else really matters!

I've pulled with a 1962 Galaxie and a 1968 Travelalls (both drum brakes) and still do. If you have the leveling bars setup correctly, along with electric brakes on the trailer, the trailer will actually help stop the car.

Being the car has a long tail-end past the axles on it (like my Galaxie) you will need 1,100 leveling bars pulled tight to get the rear of the car back up where it should belong to put the weight back down on the front end to give you control during steering. How the hitch is mounted to the car is VERY important to take the stress of the weight.

Vintage tow can be fun, but needs to be done correctly. Sadly, all the old-timers who still remember how it was done are far and few between but can still be found if you look.

Your biggest problem will be finding someone who is willing to make you the hitch and take on the risk of welding it to your car in the case something goes wrong,

Good luck,
Love the Travelall, My Uncle had one and towed an Airstream in the 60's. Your Galaxie is also cool. Convertible is fine choice as they have a reinforced frame. Does it have the 352 V-8 or the 390 V-8. Both are very good engines with lots of torque. Safe travels. As to having a hitch fabricated, I think one of the Airstream dealers in Canada does all manner of custom hitch reinforcement. Just can not think of the name of the place. Input anyone?
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Old 08-14-2018, 05:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by uraljohn View Post
Love the Travelall, My Uncle had one and towed an Airstream in the 60's. Your Galaxie is also cool. Convertible is fine choice as they have a reinforced frame. Does it have the 352 V-8 or the 390 V-8. Both are very good engines with lots of torque. Safe travels. As to having a hitch fabricated, I think one of the Airstream dealers in Canada does all manner of custom hitch reinforcement. Just can not think of the name of the place. Input anyone?
http://www.canamrv.ca/
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:39 PM   #25
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In 1966 towed 17ft. AS caravel w/1/2 ton ford pu on ball w/out any factory towing options. Then 1967 30ft AS w/ 1968 chrysler 4 dr hard top w/440 engine. Those yrs fabricated hitches then welded on, beginning of bars. Brake control hooked into brake hydraulics at pedal then spring type adjustable resistor for trailer electric brakes,all w/drum brakes w/never a prob. w/any stopping from speed. I grew up & learned how to drive when only brakes were mechl. no hydraulic. I also towed before hyd. brakes but some times bear to stop. So IMO drum brakes are ok. But have welder that is knowledgeable to fab. hitch. Another thing I raced cars at 14 yrs. of age, midgets at 15 pilots lic, at 16. Just lots of experience. Now 84 still race part time. Early yrs. no large engines, only stick shift no special rear gears Big thing think when driving, no cell phones and not reckless.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:40 PM   #26
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Check out Fresh Air on here, he could give you some advice. Think his is a '66 Bonneville with a similar Airstream.
I remember when my Dad towed with a Catalina, a 1968 I think. If I recall it had a 389. It overheated on us in the mountains when we towed it to Cali. I don't think he had anything done to that car cept the hitch.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:43 PM   #27
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I found the key to vintage-tow is all in the hitch-head pitch and leveling bar setup. If done right, the car should drive/stop as it does with nothing connected. If done wrong, you will have less steering/braking power going down the road regardless if the car is equipped with power brakes/steering. Bottom line is this, you have got to get the tongue weight of the trailer distributed across the front and rear tires. Often times this will require you to adjust the pitch of the hitch-head at an angle providing you more lifting power with the leveling bars.

I’ve personally found when towing with my Galaxie, I must use a heavier set of leveling bars than what I would use on my Excursion towing the same trailer and the hitch-head pitch not a great. Just last week, I learned when connecting my 1956 Safari to my 1988 Suburban K10, I needed to drop the head height and not have as much angle on the head-pitch (looks like yet another hitch is in my future ;-)

When you get that Thunderbird, if you need help, just yell.

Enjoy,
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:58 AM   #28
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That’d be one cool tow.

A Thunderbird hiding a 428 ... smokin’ set of wheels.
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