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61 Bambi 02-08-2007 03:11 PM

61 Bambi
My husband and I are towing our Bambi up and down the hill for the first time. Any advice on whether we need electric brakes or not? The tow vehicle is equipped, but the trailer is not. Where in the Phoenix area would I have elec. brakes installed on an Airstream?

CanoeStream 02-08-2007 03:27 PM

Hello mdoster -- and welcome to the Forums!

How well do you know this Bambi? Do you know that the wheel bearings are lubed and up to the task? Are you doing short distance transport before you restore it?

Up and down the hill? Would I consider a 25- to 50-mile transport at slow speeds and showing great care? Probably. Your profile doesn't give any indication of what tow vehicle you have. Are you saying the tow vehicle has a brake controller installed?

I transported my Argosy quite a distance without a battery -- once! All states require a functioning breakaway braking system on trailers over ... is it 2000#? And that requires a good battery aboard. There's more to the picture than that.

You will want to look at the umbilical connection and get the lights in working condition at some point (have a knowledgeable person follow right behind with flashers going if they aren't!). There's a lot of info and willingness to help you assess the braking system on the trailer. Should you contact local authorities and ask about guidelines for pulling a trailer with nonfunctioning systems? Probably.

Thank you -- more info would help. Better yet, jump in and involve yourself with more questions. Delve into the wide variety of info and "live" input here!

AirstreamGypsy 02-08-2007 03:27 PM

Welcome to the forums and congratulations! I too have a '61 Bambi. Are you sure you don't have brakes? I cannot imagine that they are not a part of the wheel assembly. Red line coming out from under the trailer by the wheels....

Post a few pictures and people can get a better idea.

You might want a new axle anyway. It took me from 1999 til just last year to realize I needed one. The new one will have the electric brake assembly in them for sure. Most likely wherever you get your axle installed can run a brake line up to your trailer pigtail for you. Then you are set to go.

What is your tow vehicle?

I would not tow distance or hills without brakes.

Good luck!

robandzoe 02-08-2007 03:37 PM

Drive it to Tucson
I recommend Oasis RV - an Airstream dealer over in Tucson, and one that cares about the Vintage ones..


I agree - just go for the new axle, as many, many of your worries while towing will be relieved.


CanoeStream 02-08-2007 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by robandzoe
I recommend Oasis RV - an Airstream dealer over in Tucson, and one that cares about the Vintage ones..

Ohh, absolutely! Thanks Rob -- I frequently recommend Oasis for mail order parts. Just don't have my head screwed on as them being accessible for actual repairs.... :lol: Too much 10-below weather chilling my brain of late.

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