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Old 10-18-2008, 10:47 PM   #1
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Towing Question, need help asap, thanks!

Hi this is my first post here and I'm sure it won't be my last. Any input would be great, and the quicker the better. Within the next 24 hours I'm supposed to be picking up my first Airstream (it's a 25ft 1971 Tradewind), and my question is about the towing. It's about 3 and a half hours away and there aren't any mountains in between us, but I also am not going to be able to hook the brakes up to it. Is it safe to just rely on the breaks of the truck if I drive extra cautiously? Thanks! Sam
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by againstfifte View Post
Hi this is my first post here and I'm sure it won't be my last. Any input would be great, and the quicker the better. Within the next 24 hours I'm supposed to be picking up my first Airstream (it's a 25ft 1971 Tradewind), and my question is about the towing. It's about 3 and a half hours away and there aren't any mountains in between us, but I also am not going to be able to hook the brakes up to it. Is it safe to just rely on the breaks of the truck if I drive extra cautiously? Thanks! Sam
Absolutely not.

You cannot control what others may or may not do, that can cause you to loose control, faster than you can blink an eye.

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Old 10-18-2008, 11:13 PM   #3
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No! don't do it.

Hi, unless you are towing this trailer with a Kenworth or similar truck, the answer is no. Adding an extra 4,000 to 6,000 lbs to you vehicle's brake system is an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:25 AM   #4
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Bad idea.

You really should not do this.

The trailer may try to pass the tow vehicle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by againstfifte View Post
Hi this is my first post here and I'm sure it won't be my last. Any input would be great, and the quicker the better. Within the next 24 hours I'm supposed to be picking up my first Airstream (it's a 25ft 1971 Tradewind), and my question is about the towing. It's about 3 and a half hours away and there aren't any mountains in between us, but I also am not going to be able to hook the brakes up to it. Is it safe to just rely on the breaks of the truck if I drive extra cautiously? Thanks! Sam
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Old 10-19-2008, 05:07 AM   #5
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Common sense aside, it's also illegal to tow a vehicle weighing more than 4000 lbs without trailer brakes.

In Virginia and South Carolina, the weight limit is 3000 lbs.

Ask your insurance agent.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
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Sam,
I think you get the idea from the previous posts!

Is there a mechanical problem with the trailer, or is it just that you don't have a controller in the TV? (forum speak for tow vehicle).
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:25 AM   #7
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Well, it happened to us.

We picked up the new '77 checked the brakes pulled all the wheels, tried it on some dirt left marks etc.

It was 225 miles to get it home, it started raining no brakes

The last 100 miles were a dangerous aventure.

The Durango my friend used to do me a favor towing it had to give 200 extra feet to stop.

It was stupid to continue, but he did.

Don't do it
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:30 AM   #8
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WELCOME to the forum!

Yup - hook up the brakes.

It does not take long, especially if you have a truck or SUV. Most are prewired for the rear connector and controller so it is just a matter of getting the right adapters.

Test out the Tradewind's brakes with the manual feature on the controller to be sure they are actually working before you hit the highway.

...........Scott
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:54 AM   #9
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I would hook up the brakes if you can,,, I did tow my 28' 1968 ambassador home with out trailer brakes.. I keep it a 55-60 mph and had no problems stopping it.... It is just over 4000 lbs dry... Probably Illegal in Colorado.... My new Sequoia has the over sized brakes and did a good job...

BUT:::: I now have a brake controller and let me tell you,,,,, it makes all the difference in the world.. Not sure what your TV (tow vehicle) is Hook it up if you can, but if you can't just take it slow and leave a lot of distance between you and the guy in front of you....
I guess I'm willing to take some chances others here aren't, but it is a lot safer to have it hooked up.........
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:55 AM   #10
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trailer brake laws, anyone?

Check out AAA's reference to trailer brake laws, by state.

According to this, North Carolina requires an independent brake system if gross weight exceeds 1000 pounds. That isn't much!
Interestingly, riding is permitted in the towed vehicle while in that state.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:04 AM   #11
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Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

We would like to see you and your new Airstream with us for a while. Towing your new Airstream without trailer brakes on the highway may prevent this from happening.

It is EXTREMELY dangerous to do what you are proposing. It is much less expensive to pay someone to deliver your new Airstream on a flatbed than to replace your Airstream and your tow vehicle. Not to mention the possibility of injury to yourself and/or others.

Brian
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:34 AM   #12
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Trailer Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats View Post
Check out AAA's reference to trailer brake laws, by state.

According to this, North Carolina requires an independent brake system if gross weight exceeds 1000 pounds. That isn't much!
Interestingly, riding is permitted in the towed vehicle while in that state.

Cheers,
-jd.
How accurate is this chart? It looks like it would be illegal
to tow a new Airstream in some states, brakes or not due to the width. Looks like 8ft limit in some states and new
Airstreams are 81/2 ft width.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:48 AM   #13
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Someone pulls out in front of you and it's all toast.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:59 AM   #14
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Don't do it, you'd be an accident looking for a place to happen....
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #15
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In short, don't do it.
But, there is a loophole for you, if you decide to do it anyway. The law in North Carolina pertains to house trailers (travel trailers) manufactured after December, 1971. With a 1971 model trailer, it would have been built before the cutoff date.
That doesn't make it any safer, though, just slightly more legal (less illegal?)
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
How accurate is this chart? It looks like it would be illegal
to tow a new Airstream in some states, brakes or not due to the width. Looks like 8ft limit in some states and new
Airstreams are 81/2 ft width.
I think all these charts are generalizations for the sake of brevity. Interestingly, the AAA site is the only one I've seen with a 1000 lb limit for NC, the rest are 4000 lbs.

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Old 10-19-2008, 11:51 AM   #17
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You've probably gotten enough input by now, but I'll add mine also....hook up the breaks. Much better to be safe than sorry, especially when your life may be at stake.
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:03 PM   #18
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Brakes

If you are planning on going 25 MPH or less then you have no problems. Over that speed you are really sticking your neck and investment out there for the GODS of the highway to step on.
I would not like to be on the same highway with you doing the posted speed limit.
To do that is unwise and unsafe for all around you.
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:04 PM   #19
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Much better to be safe than sorry, especially when your life may be at stake.
Or mine and my family.
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:44 PM   #20
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It's pretty handy having brakes on the trailer when the brakes on the tow vehicle give out. Assuming that won't happen is like assuming no one will pull in front of you. I don't think you can be careful enough to not need brakes on the trailer. Roger
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