1980's Fiber Stream - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:07 PM   #1
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Name: Rich
Trailer: Currently Shopping - Fiberstream
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1980's Fiber Stream

Greetings -

I am new to this forum and these trailers. I am picking up a 1980's vintage Fiber Stream this weekend. I am wondering if I need anything special as far as the braking systems goes? I have to travel about 600 miles.

I am not familiar with what is exactly on these trailers as far as brakes. I believe they have some electric braking system. Do I need a controller in my SUV?

Thanks - apologies for the noob questions trying to get my ducks in a row.

Rich
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:42 PM   #2
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Having and using trailer brakes is always recommended, and yes that requires a brake controller in the tow vehicle. The brake controller must be wired so that it uses tow vehicle power to power the trailer brakes, normally via a 7 pin connector on the tow vehicle and on the trailer tongue. The brake controller is activated by the tow vehicle brake switch.

If you tow this weekend without the benefit of trailer brakes, drive slowly, drive defensively and leave plenty of distance between you and vehicles ahead of you. This is always advised when towing a trailer, with or without trailer brakes.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:43 PM   #3
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congratulations!

And congratulations on your "new" Fiber Stream!
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:49 PM   #4
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Those are definitely questions for the seller. Does it have brakes? 7 pin connector? You absolutely need lights and blinkers, and that means you need to know what kind of connection it's got. If it's got a 4 pin and you have a 7, you need an adapter, and vise-versa.

Depending on the size of your SUV, it may be a bit unruly without brakes, but like John says, take it slow and leave plenty of room.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:57 PM   #5
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It has 7 pin harness. It does have magnetic brakes - I am assuming those are electric brakes. He says I do not need a brake controller. I did some research and there are a couple of stores in town where I am picking up that will have brake controllers. Seller says tows like a dream and I won't notice it there. I plan on taking my time home and seeing what we just got into. Thanks for tips and advice.
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:04 PM   #6
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Interesting. Never heard of brakes that don't need brake controllers but it could be!

First off, congratulations! I really like the Fiberstreams. Not currently big enough for me but maybe some day.

Sellers always say it tows like a dream and you won't notice it back there. I mean those phrases are cliches you'd hear from a used car salesman. I'll believe it when you come back and report it

I assume you're fairly handy so you probably don't need my advice on this, but installing a brake controller does take a little doing...you're going to install it in the parking lot on your way home?
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
but installing a brake controller does take a little doing...you're going to install it in the parking lot on your way home?

Even acquiring a brake controller has become difficult during this pandemic.
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Even acquiring a brake controller has become difficult during this pandemic.
Confirmed the retailer down there has the controller and cable I need in stock. My vehicle has factory wiring to receive.

Appreciate the insight. Thanks.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:38 PM   #9
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How old are the tires? We're always told they are good, then when we get there they are cracked and 20 years old.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:00 PM   #10
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Thatís an excellent question.

I know he has a couple of spares, but I will inspect.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:10 PM   #11
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Some newer vehicles with "the towing package" already have a brake controller built in. What vehicle will you be towing with?
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Old 08-18-2020, 08:40 PM   #12
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Fiber Stream Trailer

Most Fiber Stream trailer brakes don't work most of the time, they have 12" wheels. I might be wrong but i don't think you can get parts for them. I couldn't find them when i was looking a couple of years ago. Good Luck
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:14 PM   #13
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2020 Subaru Ascent - does not have that built in
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:52 PM   #14
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Well I'm certainly excited for all this theoretical stuff to be over and find out what really happens! I hope you report back.

There's pretty much nothing straightforward about trailers when they're really old. Everything is a modification or fabrication. But if you're up for that kind of project, the result is worth it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:55 PM   #15
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Tires

Look for the date stamp on tires to see how old they are. When we picked up our first trailer a few years ago seller said they only traveled a couple hundred miles from home and tires were fine. When I got home and was checking the tires some more I learned the tires were 10 years old and was thankful we made it home in one piece. New tires were on it before first trip.
And had a brake controller before we picked trailer up.
Enjoy,
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:01 AM   #16
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thanks for all the advice

All helpful insight.

I am looking forward to the adventure. My little research finds the braking system on these trailers to be hard or impossible to get parts for. I have read a few people flipped the axels and put on 13" tires - I wonder if they were able to put on modern or new brakes?

I will keep you all posted.
Thanks again!
Rich
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:33 AM   #17
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New to You Fiber Stream

Brakes are great on a Fiber Stream, and I'd advise them with your tow rig. It is true you can't get parts for them generally. You can get the bearings if you know what to get, and you can get the pads re-lined. There really isn't much else to fail, other than springs which can be replaced as well. When I bought ours 1000 miles away, I pulled the hubs and packed in as much grease as I could to help protect until I could clean and repack the bearings. The brake mechanism can also be sticky/rusty from lack of use. You might need to make sure the parts move freely as well before your trip. If they are dragging, you will destroy the rare parts you have.

You can replace the axles with Dexter or other axles and get current brake parts. The brakes are only on one axle, which creates a few of it's own problems. You can't get as much braking force as if both had brakes. One axle with skid with half the force. If you put new axles on, get brakes on both.

My two cents.

Post pictures soon. Always excited when another Fiber Stream gets an active owner and preservation.

Randy
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Old 08-20-2020, 10:21 AM   #18
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super helpful, thanks!

I have grease, and I will inspect the brakes for stickiness.
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:48 PM   #19
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I got it! Made it home safe and sound. The tires were not cracked or anything but I am thinking they are cheap biased trailer tires - don't you think I should be running radials? Any recommendations?

As far as brakes I need to explore further. They were not seized or locked and he has not used in years.

One soft spot in the floor, another project!

I want to figure out the appropriate tires, it drove fine, I think I need a deeper receiver hitch, it was angled a bit.
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Old 08-24-2020, 06:24 AM   #20
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ECongratulations on your new Fiberstream! Please post photos, we love to see before and afters
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