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Old 03-29-2006, 06:17 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Difference between Dry Weight and GVWR

The airstream charts shows the Dry Weight for the trailer I just bought (79' 31' rear bath) at being just shy of 5000lbs. It doesn't list a GVWR. What's this think likely to weight without luggage and water on board?
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:54 AM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
The airstream charts shows the Dry Weight for the trailer I just bought (79' 31' rear bath) at being just shy of 5000lbs.
With an AC, LPG bottles, and a few other unsheddable pounds, I would not be surprised if your total weight was between 5500 and 6000 lbs.

I assume you used this link to determine what AS said the trailer should weigh.

http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf

The info plate on my '78 sovereign is below -





I suspect that the above GVWR is the rating of the axles (6400 lbs) plus the probable hitch weight - +/- 500 lbs.

Your GVWR is probably identical to the plate shown above, but your trailer's GVWR should be listed on your info plate as shown in the photo.

The weight listed in the PDF file by AS is indeed the bare bones weight with NO options as the trailer left the factory new - I would think that the trailer probably has put on a lot of weight since then - better to take it to a scale and weigh it to be sure - at the same time it is a good idea to use to scales to adjust your weight distributing bars.

BTW, I towed a brand new '28 Classic a couple of years back ONE time with an Expedition - I have one word for it - squirrely.

The trip was white knuckles all of the way - and the entire time I was thinking about the Ford one-ton dually sitting in my driveway. I would NEVER attempt to pull a Sovereign with an Expedition again.

What type of brake controller and weight distributing bars will you be using?

Luck.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
The airstream charts shows the Dry Weight for the trailer I just bought (79' 31' rear bath) at being just shy of 5000lbs. It doesn't list a GVWR. What's this think likely to weight without luggage and water on board?
I suspect your 79 is a tad heavier than my 75, but mine scales at right round 6000# when I head out for a weekend. That is full LP and maybe 20 gallons of water onboard. FWIW the GVW is 7200#

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Old 03-29-2006, 07:07 AM   #4
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Don't remember the brand of WD hitch I am getting with the trailer and the electric brake controller is new,... the brand escapes me at the moment but I'll post it later.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Don't remember the brand of WD hitch I am getting with the trailer and the electric brake controller is new,... the brand escapes me at the moment but I'll post it later.
Good deal that the WD hitch is thrown in the deal - hopefully everything will be attached to the trailer - not a big deal if it isn't - just takes a couple of hours to do - but it's a beatch if you have to work in the rain.

There are several threads here in the Archives that go into depth about how to properly set up the WD bars for your particular vehicle - a lot of argumentative threads will come up also - but almost everyone agrees that a WD hitch is essential in most instances. Remember, that in adjusting the bars, you want to bring the front and rear static height measurements down the SAME amount - measure the front and rear static points (bumper or other easily accessible measuring point) just before putting the weight of the trailer on the hitch.

When I picked up the '78 Sovereign in Ohio the PO left me with some "issues" as far as the electric umbilical cord went - there are several threads that give jpg's of the wiring color, plug position use, and fuse location - I downloaded these prior to picking up the trailer and was REALLY glad I had them with me....back in the day AS used their own protocol for umbilicals, and I am almost certain you will have to do a bit of "exploratory surgery" with a VOM to get the cord to mate up with the modern day convention for plug connectors. You might check with the PO (if you can) before you leave as to what type of plug now exists on the umbilical line.

Also, do a search on "tools for picking up trailer" or something similar - several threads are archived that deal with tools that people that have "been there and done that" suggest for a new purchase pick up.

Make sure you leave plenty of time for contingencies - remember, it's best not to drive at night or in bad weather with an unfamiliar tow - I have found that I am much better off to grab a motel and "just do it" the next day instead of pushing on into the night.

Please post a follow up of your retrieval experience.
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Old 03-29-2006, 12:18 PM   #6
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Would you guys recommend me upping the tire pressure slightly on my rear TV tires to say 40lbs instead of 35?
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Would you guys recommend me upping the tire pressure slightly on my rear TV tires to say 40lbs instead of 35?
What size tires do you have and what does the tire say the max psi is at max load?
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