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Old 08-13-2015, 05:57 PM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Northeastern , Kentucky
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Why is my 1979 so heavy?

I took an unloaded trip the the CAT scales, with the exception of full propane tanks, full water (50 gals), and 1 battery in each compartment up front. I also have a propride. To my surprise, the weight reading was 6,660 lbs (gross weight of 12,020 - TV weight of 5360). My tongue weight was 700lbs (TV with WD unloaded and a reading of 6060 - TV weight of 5360).

According to Airstream document archives, a 31 ft center bath like mine has a weight of 4,810lbs with a tongue weight of 545lbs.
http://www.airstream.com/wp-content/...3b7c825780.pdf

Per the PDF, the weights stated are for standard equipped models. Changes to my trailer include a real full size mattress in back, and replacement of the furniture up front with a dinette built using 5mm cut sheets and 1x1s. The weight up front is likely less than it was originally. The only other change is replacement of the carpet with laminate flooring, so perhaps a couple hundred pounds extra there.

My tongue weight seems spot on, considering the weight of the propride. However, the trailer weight seems heavy even considering a full tank of water (approx 417 lbs) and full propane tanks (approx 120 lbs).

My trailer weighs 1,850 lbs more than the factory specs. Even with a full tank of water, full propane, laminate flooring, and propride, I'm still probably about 1,000 lbs over Airstream's specified weight.

Fortunately, with weight distribution my trailer axles weighs in at 6,000 lbs (5,960 without WD) and my trailer axle ratings are 3200 lbs a piece, so I've got 400lbs to spare until these axles are upgraded as they're original.

Any idea why my 79 is so heavy relative to the Airstream specs?
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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It may be an Excella dressed like a Sovereign. They weighed almost a ton more than a comparable Sovereign.
Check to see, for example, if you have single or double pane windows throughout.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:34 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
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The weights from the factory are for a stripped base model trailer, you have to add in all the optional stuff. Somewhere I have the 1975 manual and it lists all the weights of the options and whether it adds to or subtracts from the tongue weight. I don't know if that exists for the 1979 models or not.

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Old 08-13-2015, 07:34 PM   #4
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Great thought, but I just checked and my windows are all single pane.
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:38 PM   #5
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I wondered about that. What are some things that might be considered optional?
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:18 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KYAirstream View Post
I wondered about that. What are some things that might be considered optional?
Water filters, Vista View windows, central vac, oven, air conditioner, bunks, some furniture, some cabinetry, spare tires, larger LP tanks, there were quite a few things and they varied from year to year. I will see if I can find the list from 1975. It won't be the same, but it will give you an idea. It may also be that the factory just flat missed the number. Somewhere between the late 1970's and the early 1980's they upped the frame rail size by an inch which would have added some additional weight too.

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Old 08-13-2015, 08:23 PM   #7
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I'll check my manual for options and weights...don't have it with me here at the moment.

Do you recall what the increased frame depth was?
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:36 PM   #8
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Also, the GVWR on the trailer says 7100lbs. How does that apply since the axle ratings are both limited to 3200lbs?

Perhaps the listing is incorrect? The tire and PSI listed are load range C at 40PSI, which seems way too low.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:44 PM   #9
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My understanding is that GVWR includes the tongue weight. So if each of your axles are rated at 3200#, you can have a max weight of 6400# on the axles and another 700# on the tongue, for a total of 7100#.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:30 AM   #10
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I don't believe the specification page weights are with AS full of water. 50 gallons of water would add about 300#. I may be wrong. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:13 PM   #11
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I don't believe the factory specs include water either. But even if water, propane, change to laminate floor, and the weight of the propride hitch are factored in, the weight still exceeds factory specs by about 1,000lbs.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #12
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The GCW (gross combination weight) of my '83 Suburban (3/4 ton) fully loaded and my '77 31 ft Sovereign is 12,400 lbs. So I'd say your GCW is about right.

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Old 08-14-2015, 12:57 PM   #13
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Unloaded the weight of my vehicle and trailer is 12,020lbs. That's with water and propane, but unloaded with regard to any stuff.
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Old 08-14-2015, 03:50 PM   #14
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It all adds up fast. If you need a copy of my 78 option / weight sheet let me know. Should be close.
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