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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm Sadie from Texas. I'm a newbie. I've recently bought myself a 1965 vintage Santa Fe travel trailer. Had to tow it down from Arizona, very first time I've ever towed anything! Had no problem at all except going through El Paso......scared the dickens out of me. Those people are crazy. My trailer needs a lot of work but I'm hoping to some day get it on the road heading for a fishing hole somewhere. I've got the edge trims, eyebrows, and lights done.....I had help with the lights, I'm not electrically inclined. Have since realized I don't want this person to help anymore, though he's a nice neighbor, but he just doesn't understand the concept of "vintage". So, anyway, once I get the roof vent fixed I think I'm going to throw my sleeping bag inside and just go, otherwise I'll have to wait until the spring. May have to anyway, don't know yet. It's a stop and go situation right now due to finances.
 

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Hi Sadie from Texas... Welcome!!!

It's great you have a vintage trailer, but I hope the tires are not vintage!! Trailer tires are notorious for developing tire rot. Tire rot is bad because you can't see it because it tends to start inside the tire. The tread might look good but the inside is not, then one unexpected day, POW, then you've got a problem. I hope you have all the tools or some kind of service plan available to you.

If you need help knowing how to check this, please ask.

I hope this is the start of many future trips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi! Well, the po said the tires are new but they're not ST. I was planning to go with Good Sam's eventually. And I did want to ....at some point....get the real trailer tires. How would I check the tires?
And Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi! thanks for the welcome! I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions eventually. Right now I'm just hoping to get it watertight, then I'll work on other things gradually. Anyone know how I'd get the roof vent "ungunked"? It's a mess up there.

This didn't turn out to be a good deal for me but I'm trying to make the best of it.
 

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The DOT code will have either 8 characters or up to 12 or 13 characters. If looking at the 8 character code the last four will be the date the tire was manufactured in this format: WWYY where WW is the week of the YY year that the tire was made. The other side of the tire will have the longer code. If you are looking at the longer version on the opposite side of the tire it would be the last set of 4 digits for the date of manufacture

For example, 5203 means the tire was made in the 52nd week of 2003 (December, 2003). This tire will be 8 years old and probably needs replacing!!! Another example, 1809, means the tire was made in the 18th week of 2009 (May, 2009) and only about 2 1/2 years old and still good to use as long as the tire has been well taken care of and maintained.

Trailer tires are usually good for 5 to 7 years, but depends on how well they are used and maintained. Factors such as weight of the trailer, how often they are used, psi kept correctly, how they are treated (no high speeds, no curb jumping or cutting, not "left on a turn aspect", etc.), exposed to sun and a few other factors.

If it helps, please post the DOT codes for all your tires (don't forget the spare) and we can help you confirm the age of your tires. If you have questions on tire maintenance, you'll probably need more answers on maintaining the trailer and we can cover those too.

It is not unusual that non-ST tires are put on a trailer. However, this still doesn't mean you can drive or treat them any differently and it's very important that whatever tire you get supports the proper load rating. You might want to post this too so we can tell you what tires you do have. To know what you need (if they are not correct) we need to know the GVWR of the trailer. You either need to locate the sticker on the trailer with this information or weight the trailer (and hope it's below the GVWR).

Sorry I can't help you with the roofing problems. I have done some work on trailer roofs before and it will require scrapping off the gunk very carefully, then using the right stuff made for trailer roofs (don't use silicone). I fear this roof may have been neglected and just covering the problem with new gunk is not a good solution or else you might be covering up any rot under it and this will cause further leakage down the road, or worse yet the gunk was not put at the place the leak was being caused. Remember that the leak in the trailer might be coming from some other arbitrary exterior location and finding them won't be so obvious. Stopping the leak from the exterior is best, then repairing the interior damage is secondary, but necessary to remove mold and damage. Good luck with this one.

That's the spirit, to try and make the best of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, I know I'll have to do more than just "de-gunk" it, it's gonna' require some major work. Tires: I'll get all the info and post it in the next few days. Thanks for helping! Sadie
 

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Hey Sadie..I used to own a 1963 Shasta. I bought it from a Shasta dealer in Ohio who used it in parades as the "past" model. Needless to say it was in very good condition inside and out. I just loved it, it was a queen size bed on wheels with a sink and icebox, even had a place for a port-a-potty type bathroom. What I loved the most was the wings on the back of it.

Do you have any pics of your trailer? I'll see if I can't dig some of mine up.
 

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De-gunking: Go to home depot and buy some "JOMAX" RustOleum.com

Spray the room, and probably the whole camper down with the stuff, anywhere there is mildew or gunk, and let it set for a bit and then scrub it with a long handled scrub brush. Then hose it off (pressure washer if available).

This should clean it up nicely. Then you just have some spot cleaning in the places you missed. We used it on our booth at the renaissance festival, the wood had been primered but not painted, and left for a few years, It was funky beyond belief, but just spraying with jomax and hosing down made it look like we had repainted.

Hope I don't sound like a commercial, but this stuff works really well. It's on my Top-10 list of useful products.
 
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