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Old 12-04-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Middletown , New York
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Routine Maintenance on a '79 Sovereign Land Yacht

Hello all!

Finally bought my first Airstream!! Its a 79 Sovereign International Land Yacht (31 footer). Its in good condition (and road worthy) from what the seller tells me and has been sitting for about 6 years.

My question... I will be going to FL to pick it up (and see it for the first time), and want to be prepared with the right tools for routine maintenance. Not sure what I am going to need to do.... Grease gun maybe?....if so, where are the grease points? Breaks?...they are drum I believe.

Just want to make sure I do what I can before driving it back to NY state.

Many thanks to all.
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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Are you pulling this from Florida to New York?
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:23 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums and congratulations on the trailer.

Basics for getting the trailer home safely include:

Hitch with weight distribution and sway control
Brake controller for your TV
New tires
Working trailer brakes
Working trailer lights
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Reply...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennethowens View Post
Are you pulling this from Florida to New York?

Yes, I am. FL to New York over a long weekend. Should I be worried?
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jferrante119 View Post
Hello all!

Finally bought my first Airstream!! Its a 79 Sovereign International Land Yacht (31 footer). Its in good condition (and road worthy) from what the seller tells me and has been sitting for about 6 years.

My question... I will be going to FL to pick it up (and see it for the first time), and want to be prepared with the right tools for routine maintenance. Not sure what I am going to need to do.... Grease gun maybe?....if so, where are the grease points? Breaks?...they are drum I believe.

Just want to make sure I do what I can before driving it back to NY state.

Many thanks to all.
For sure, pack the bearings.

Next, what is the condition of the tires?

Lastly, make sure the suspension system is ok, or at least find out what it's condition is.

Usually, after sitting for a long time, the rubber rods in any brand torsion axle will fail. They fail in one of two ways. Either the rubber gives out, or solidifies.

In either case, the desired softness, of the suspension system, will be gone.
You still can tow the trailer, but not at it's normal highway speeds.

Andy
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Old 12-04-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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1975 Argosy 24
Malakoff , Texas
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Have you vere repacked the wheel bearings
with grease? Ever replaced the seals behind
the wheel bearings?

Trailer lights: stop, turn, running - They must work!

Break controller in your TowVehicle (TV).

If the tires have a "P" in front of the numbers, they
are Passenger rated and need to be replaced before
the trip home. LT or ST rated tires at least. Spare tire!

Suggestion: Leave a full day early and allow 1 full day of
prep. time to be sure the trailer is good to go.
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #7
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Having sat for 6 or so years I would anticipate needing new tires, so you should be prepared to raise the trailer for tire removal. Being a twin axle AS this can be accomplished a couple of different ways. It is a good idea to inspect and repack the wheel bearnings at this time as well. As such I would study up on what steps are required to raise an Airstream for wheel removal and how to check and repack wheel bearings.

As others have stated, proper hitch and setup are critical as is your tow vehicle choice.

If it were me I'd also take:

A well stocked tool box, assorted tie-wraps, rubber gloves, coveralls, bearing grease, wheel seals, DC circuit tester, 6-ton bottle jack, 4-way lug wrench, spare tire(s), and some 2"x 6" boards to make a ramp from. Throw in a few ratchet straps, bungee cords, and a roll of duct tape just in case.

Good luck,

Kevin
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:19 AM   #8
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And don't leave home without this...
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:38 PM   #9
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Thank you!!

I can't thank everyone enough for the quick and informative responses....huge help! Really looking forward to this!
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