Old School V8 Station Wagon? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-25-2015, 04:43 AM   #1
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Old School V8 Station Wagon?

I remember as a kid, before families had SUV's and before people drove pickup trucks as daily drivers, that many travel trailers were pulled with normal cars and trucks. Of course, "normal" back then, meant body on frame, rear wheel drive, typically V8 sedans and wagons.

I think my Casita would look kinda cool being pulled by a '69 Chevy Caprice station wagon. Or something like that.

Does anyone tow with an old school sedan or wagon? If so, what kind? What kinds of things need to be considered? I have a 17' Spirit Deluxe.

I saw a brochure recently of a 1971 Airstream trailer being pulled by a Thunderbird, that's what got me thinking about this.

Thank you!!
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:11 AM   #2
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Put good shocks and tires on and you are good to go!
The old cars had pretty rudimentary suspensions a lot like trucks today. The CG is lower than a truck.
Make sure the suspension bits are checked perhaps new springs.
In my opinion my new VW Jetta Sportwagen with it's independent suspension front and rear handles better and has better torque than the old wagon and makes a better tow vehicle, but the old Caprice would do OK. Back in the day this is why they produced the Boler et.al. in the first place.
Now it seems that many feel like you need a 3/4 ton truck with sway control etc to tow a 13' Scamp.
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
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Old tow vehicles

Quote:
Originally Posted by GerthT View Post
I remember as a kid, before families had SUV's and before people drove pickup trucks as daily drivers, that many travel trailers were pulled with normal cars and trucks. Of course, "normal" back then, meant body on frame, rear wheel drive, typically V8 sedans and wagons.

I think my Casita would look kinda cool being pulled by a '69 Chevy Caprice station wagon. Or something like that.

Does anyone tow with an old school sedan or wagon? If so, what kind? What kinds of things need to be considered? I have a 17' Spirit Deluxe.

I saw a brochure recently of a 1971 Airstream trailer being pulled by a Thunderbird, that's what got me thinking about this.

Thank you!!
We've met a number of people who tow with old tow vehicles. At the PEI Vintage fiberglass trailer rally the man across from us had a boler being towed by a 1950 something Mercury, both color matched. He'd always towed it. I know there are others on this site.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerthT View Post
I remember as a kid, before families had SUV's and before people drove pickup trucks as daily drivers, that many travel trailers were pulled with normal cars and trucks. Of course, "normal" back then, meant body on frame, rear wheel drive, typically V8 sedans and wagons.

I think my Casita would look kinda cool being pulled by a '69 Chevy Caprice station wagon. Or something like that.

Does anyone tow with an old school sedan or wagon? If so, what kind? What kinds of things need to be considered? I have a 17' Spirit Deluxe.

I saw a brochure recently of a 1971 Airstream trailer being pulled by a Thunderbird, that's what got me thinking about this.

Thank you!!
Tom, it is a cool idea for sure and many are doing it.

I would go a different route. How about a Dodge Magnum wagon with the 3.5 or Hemi. Very factor without all the hassles of working with a 40 year old car. Realize a number of modern FWD, Unibody V6 mini vans would out perform an Old Caprice anyway you would care to measure.

There is a guy on the Trailer Life forum that is towing with a classic T-Bird and many who use the Dodge Magnum.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:03 AM   #5
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We towed a heavier pop-up with a 1984 Ford Crown Victoria wagon. It had police suspension. We loaded down the car with kids, pets and supplies. It was the most wonderful and useful vehicle we had ever owned. It was totaled out by a teen when parked in front of our house. We got the insurance check and repaired it and continued to tow with it. It was 4 years old when we bought it and 14 years old when we reluctantly donated it to charity. They sure don't make cars like they used to.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:12 AM   #6
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Magnum.... cool idea! Hadn't even considered that.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:21 AM   #7
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Yes Tom, they are great TV's. There was a good towing article on them a few years ago. If you would like to read all about it send me a PM and I will forward it to you.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:22 AM   #8
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Ahh Memories, misty water colored memories....
I think, after having a few years of driving anything built after about 2000, that if you drove one of those 1969 Caprice Wagons today, you would wonder why they were ever built and how we survived them. Even when new they wallowed in turns, had marginal brakes at best, never knew a gas station they could just drive by, and had regularly scheduled appointments for service and repairs.


Yes, there are some that like to look "Cool", but I would place safety and survival above that criteria in selecting a TV. And think about the reliability of towing with a now almost 50 y.o. vehicle.


That said, I once saw a 1957 all silver Nomad towing a polished out Bambi, now that looked very, very cool......
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
(clip) "They sure don't make cars like they used to".
Fortunately they don't.

Many seem to forget that those cars were gas hogs, polluted like crazy, handled terribly, had very poor brakes, were over-the-hill at 100,000 miles, needed new exhaust systems every 25,000 miles, etc. etc.

And not to mention the entire issue of safety equipment. When Volvo first introduced them in the early 60's, it was against the law in some states to have 3 point seat belts, and Volvo dealers had to remove them and put in lap belts. My own 1963 Volvo P-1800 was delivered without them for that reason. But the dealer put them in the trunk for owners to do with as they pleased.

Those were the very reasons that imported cars took over the US market and cost millions of jobs for Americans. Now, after how many years, American car have finally caught up with what Japan, Germany, Sweden and others were building almost 50 years ago.

I was at the LeMay Auto Museum in Tacoma recently and saw some fantastic examples of everything from an original Deuce Roadster to restored GTO's. They looked great and brought back a lot of memories, but I wouldn't put my family in one today as a daily driver.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:43 AM   #10
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BM...two good posts! Right on!
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:08 AM   #11
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Quote: "Back in the day this is why they produced the Boler et.al. in the first place."


If one looks at the older literature it becomes apparent that the small FGRV's were being produced because it looked like Detroit was going to be down sizing as gas soared towards the $1 a gallon point. In the literature for my 1973 Hunter Compact, although there is a large station wagon shown parked in a garage, the two vehicles shown actually towing are a Chevrolet Vega and a Ford Pinto, both 4 cylinder vehicles.


I think that builders in that time frame were more interested in serving the developing compact car market than Grandpa's Buick.


BWT: I heard recently that there was going to be a huge new museum called the Jurassic Auto Museum, to honor all the automotive dinosaurs, and will join the other dinosaurs that have already gone to Branson, MO to die..... LOL
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:28 AM   #12
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towing with older vehicle

I tow my 13' scamp with a 1934 dodge sedan, 1947 ford coupe or a 1969 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup. The ford and dodge are not stock vehicles as they are street rods updated with newer drive trains. The pickup is basically a stock pickup. Pulled the scamp 4 years ago all the way to Arizona and back with no problems. Cars get about 17-18 miles to the gallon pulling the trailer, pickup gets about 19. Not too far from what a lot of newer suv's get.













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Old 04-25-2015, 12:18 PM   #13
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I tow my 13' scamp with a 1934 dodge sedan, 1947 ford coupe or a 1969 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup. The ford and dodge are not stock vehicles as they are street rods updated with newer drive trains. jim ellis
Nice! Any pics Jim?
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:37 PM   #14
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