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keithmac 11-20-2009 08:34 AM

Hello new project
Hi I'm new here although I've been watching the forums now and then for a little while. at any rate we have taken the plunge and now have a new project. 1975 25' airstream. It has been parked for many years on the west coast in the forest but under cover. I will have to tow it back home in December (snow storms + mountains) and I'm anticipating replacing the tires and going through the lights before we leave.. just wondering what else could give us a problem. Are the wheel bearings difficult to quickly re-pack? Anyway here is a picture... the shell is straight with only a minor dent on the bottom front. Any information would be appreciated. it looks like I need to load my photos to flickr or something like that to post?

azflycaster 11-20-2009 08:41 AM

Welcome to the forums.

A 25' 1975 Airstream is an excellent choice, but I might be a little bias.

Instructions on posting pictures from your computer are located in this thread:

moosetags 11-20-2009 08:50 AM

Greetings from the Florida Panhandle
Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If you are going more than a couple of miles, new tires are a must. Also, if you will be traveling at highway speeds, trailer brakes are essential. There is a good chance that the trailer brakes may not be operation after the trailer has set up for a number of years. You will also need a trailer brake controller for your tow vehicle.


kennethowens 11-20-2009 12:16 PM

Leave a day or two early to allow for unexpected preparations
that may be necessary before towing it home. Go slow and be

Lumatic 11-20-2009 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by moosetags (Post 773547)

If you are going more than a couple of miles, new tires are a must. Also, if you will be traveling at highway speeds, trailer brakes are essential. .


Not sure if I personally would use adjectives like "must" and "essential". I would agree with "desireable" and gives you a greater margin of error safety factor. It's your choice, but others (including myself) have towed trailers which have not been moved for years with minimal preparation.

Along that line is the liability factor. You wreck do to the trailer not being roadworthy and it's on you.

How long is the tow?

You can tow just about anything if you go slow and easy. I would be more concerned with having brakes on a Sovereign than a Tradewind, more concerned with big downhills than flat, and more concerned with a dinky tow vehicle. I bring along grease for the bearings if I get an overheating bearing, a spare wheel, tow lights (so I don't have to mess with the trailer lights) , a jack, and tools.

silverleeper 11-20-2009 12:39 PM


Originally Posted by keithmac (Post 773539)
Are the wheel bearings difficult to quickly re-pack?

Wheel bearing are not tough, just messy.

YouTube - How To Pack Trailer Wheel Bearings

YouTube - Correct way to pack a wheel bearing

Kevin245 11-20-2009 01:29 PM

Wheel bearings are easy. The hardest part to me is removing the wheel, so if your putting on new rubber anyway you're halfway there. If the unit has been sitting around for years I would definitely go through the bearings, brakes and tires before taking on any mountains or winter weather. Just my personal take on towing.
Congratulations on your new Tow.



kennethowens 11-20-2009 01:45 PM

There may not be a usable spare either. You will want to know
so that you can get a wheel also.....flat tires are no fun...even
worse with NO SPARE!!! If I had to do what you are about to do,
I would have a pickup bed full of assorted tools and stuff.

I suggest the 5 P's


Aage 11-20-2009 04:27 PM

Congratulations on your new investment, and welcome to!

You answered "City:" with "yes", by the way. The intent was for you to put a city name in there, so unless you live in a town called "Yes"... ;)

IMHO, on a 34-year-olf trailer, I would most definitely re-do the brakes. But not by putting on a bunch of little new parst, rather, by replacing the entire backplate, which will give you new connections, shoes, springs, magnets, and everything. They're probably all bad, and this will be the cheapest and fastest way to safety. The drums should still be OK, but would most likely benefit from some sanding to remove any rust.

While you do this, take the bearings off (two per wheel, or 4 per axle, if your '75 is like my '74) and re-pack them as per the videos. Wear rubber gloves, unless you fancy washing hands for a day or two to get the black out.

Don't be tempted to fill up the water tank, since if something goes wrong in the plumbing, it will most assuredly fail when you least want it to: on the road!

Hope you have safe trip home, and above all POST PHOTOS of your new rig ASAP, puhLeeze? :D

ps: Flickr or Photobucket are easier to live with and just as easy to use as the forum's built-in image handler.

keithmac 11-21-2009 10:47 PM

Wow amazing response here! thanks for the info and suggestions to everyone. Our trip will involve one ferry ride and about 7 hours driving. I hour through Vancouver BC 4 hours of mountains.

keithmac 11-21-2009 11:02 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Ok Photo success... My new slippery slope.. have to fit this in between my car projects and Norton project... and starting new business.. and two year old little guy and wifeepoo... NOT necessarily in that order.

Attachment 91366

Attachment 91367

Attachment 91368

Attachment 91369

Aerowood 11-22-2009 09:42 AM

With your routing you will diffenitly need operational brakes.

keithmac 12-04-2009 08:04 AM

Just a quick question I'm trying to figure out if I can just pull the four wheels off my car hauler and put them on the airstream for the trip home. Would anyone know the bolt spacing for wheels on a 1975 25' Airstream trailer? 5x?

kennethowens 12-04-2009 08:26 AM

Sight unseen - I would say "NO". Bolt pattern and
wheel offset being different could result in problems.

Suggestion - Take a hydrolic jack and the stuff
needed to take the wheels off...take all 4 wheels
to the nearest tire shop and put new ST or LT tires
under it. You will have to remove the wheels to
repack the bearings anyway. New tires and repacking
bearings are worth about 4 to 6 hours....then you need
trailer lights too. Go straight down the middle on this stuff
and things should go well for you.

keithmac 12-11-2009 04:29 PM

made it home
Well it is now parked in the driveway. I managed to get all the lights and brakes working befor leaving. However the brake system decided to give out after an hour of driving. As condition were really good we went carefully and had an uneventful trip. I'm really impressed with the Tacoma pulling the airstream. Turning a 180 inside the ferry, 9% hills, snow covered mountain roads etc. No question a great truck.

Now comes the project... we were going to gut it completely but the interior is much better than expected. just one door missing and the front seating area. So now the pondering begins.

Aage 12-11-2009 07:16 PM

Well, depending on where in AB you are, from the weather you may have had so far, there will be lots of "pondering" time!

Congrats on getting it home!

Please buy new backer plates (loaded with all the bits), you will need the brakes at some point in your towing experiences to come...

keithmac 12-12-2009 07:26 AM

Guess I better update that... we now live in Penticton. I wouldn't have considered driving it back to Alberta. Now I only have 3 months for winter projects

And yes have four complete brake units on order.

WILDRTEXAS 12-12-2009 10:33 AM


Originally Posted by silverleeper (Post 773649)

SilverL- Thanks for this..:) You Tube. I would have never thought to check you tube for this information. Cynthia

Aage 12-12-2009 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by keithmac (Post 781320)
Guess I better update that... we now live in Penticton. I wouldn't have considered driving it back to Alberta. Now I only have 3 months for winter projects

And yes have four complete brake units on order.

Well, I have one cousin in Kimberley, and another in Revelstoke. I'm trying to work out a plan to get out and see them next summer.

As Stephen Wright says, "Small world but I wouldn't want to paint it."

Good move on the backers.

PattiT 12-13-2009 04:49 PM

Hi! I am a proud new owner of a 1969 Sovereign (in need of lots of repairs) and the trip bringing it home was - well, let's just say it could have been better. The advice above is great and I would definitely follow it. Our trailer also had lots of missing/broken interior hardware, loose doors, etc. We used "blue tape" (painters masking tape that doesn't leave marks) to help keep the interior doors from flopping around when we towed it. We took it off right when we got home and it left no marks on the woodwork. Just test it to make sure it won't leave marks on whatever you stick it to. Good luck!

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