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Old 05-04-2007, 01:40 AM   #1
The Aluminum Falcon
 
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1973 31' Sovereign
Thousand Oaks , California
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26
'73 Sovereign

Greetings Airstreamers!

My son (8) and I just bought a 1973 Soveriegn Landyacht and she needs a little work to break the 12 parsect record set by Han Solo.


The first thing is the elderly couple who owned her had the rig hooked up to a septic system and I need to get the plumbing "road ready". Any suggestions? I do have the original owners manual but haven't read the whole thing yet, I am excited to get her on the road for her first voyage in years so I thank you all in advance for the invaluable information on this site and look forward to using this resource a lot in the future.


And may the force be with you!


Al Falcon
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:36 AM   #2
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1974 27' Overlander
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
1960 26' Overlander
Rockingham County , New Hampshire
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Nice, welcome, was it hard piped into the septic?
Need to get a Flex hose. Walmart sells them. Just be sure it either has a "Thetford" end or you will need to get a Thetford adapter.

73, eh... you'll meed to also pick up a Blue Boy.. For the gray water.

Here is a link of what they look like, can get them in lotsa places

Hose

RV Parts, RV Maintenance, Trailer Maintenance - Camping World

Gray Tank

RV Parts, RV Maintenance, Trailer Maintenance - Camping World
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:14 AM   #3
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1973 31' Sovereign
Danielsville , Georgia
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It probably goes without saying that you should ensure the tires and wheel bearings are functional before towing. (If it has been stationary for a prolonged period of time, it is not unlikely the that the tires are questionable. At a recent rally, I noticed a tire on another "vintage" unit that had literally come apart on the way in. Fortunately, the owner had a spare with which he was able to "limp" home.)

It may sound like overkill, but a tire blowout or wheel loss (tighten all lug nuts) can really do a number on the aluminum skin around the wheel well (not to mention the plastic inner housing). I speak from experience on this one.

Warp speed is tempting but 50-60 mph is safer.

Make sure you have the hitch equalizer bars that came with it. They make a huge difference.

Most new "vintage" Airstream owners level of enthusiasm outweighs their judgement by a factor of 5 to 1. This is natural and assists in the willingness to devote an unhealthy amount of time and energy to restoration. Balance is important. (Again, I speak from experience here.)

Congrats on your purchase, you can learn a lot on these forums. Most here have learned the hard way and are very willing to spare/help others.

Hope you get it home safely!


PizzaChop's '73 Sovereign
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:38 PM   #4
The Aluminum Falcon
 
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1973 31' Sovereign
Thousand Oaks , California
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Posts: 26
Talking This forum is the best ever!

balrgn,

Thanks for the links. They are very helpful I apreciate your time and trouble to assist a newbie, the images will help to solve my connection issues, although when you mentioned "grey water" do you refer to material which may be in the holding tank now? or water which I shouold use to flush the holding tank before "comissioning the head"?

and,

PizzaChop,

Lovely family you have there. I will try to be the exception to the "5 to 1 ratio of entheusiam" warp speed is more of a state of mind rather than a MPH thing for me anyway so fear not, I won't be "peeling back the skin" on my new vintage Soveriegn just yet. I have trailer break controller in my F-250 which is equipped to haul a 40' bounder 5th wheel trailer, a close friend will do the breaks on the soveriegn for me prior to the trip I will take in a few weeks, and I will on your advice have him check the wheel bearrings as well, and another friend who runs the local U-Haul buissness will help me out with new rubber. this leaves me with the running lights, hook up, LP system, "head" and sway bars and distribution bar, which did not come with the unit although I searched the barn next to the trailer and found the original reciever "hitch" but no stabilizer bars anywhere, I'll have to secure them somewhere else, any suggestions on where to get them? I did my first riviting job today and re-attached the battery compartment door and installed a new Die hard deep cycle marine battery, I can't find a main switch for the Dc power though just the main fuse there under the stove below the fuse box, i like to be sure that veerything is off and no drain is on the battery when the trailer is not in use, any thoughts there? Once again you people are great and very helpful here, I've lurked here long enough to know that I would be welcomed warmly to this community and I've not been disipointed in the slightest, so thanks profusely, and may the force be with you!

Aluminum Falcon
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:06 AM   #5
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Gray is sink and shower water.

Black is toilet water
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:51 AM   #6
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Falcon
this leaves me with the running lights, hook up, LP system, "head" and sway bars and distribution bar, which did not come with the unit although I searched the barn next to the trailer and found the original reciever "hitch" but no stabilizer bars anywhere, I'll have to secure them somewhere else, any suggestions on where to get them?

Aluminum Falcon
Do a thorough check of all compartments in the trailer, even under the beds and couches inside. I found the WD stuff to one trailer I bought under the kitchen sink in the trailer.
If you don't find them, Camping World ssells the whole works in a "kit", either 750 pound, or 1000 pound bars. With an F250, 750 would probably be good, we have them for our Overlander and an F250.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:28 AM   #7
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1973 31' Sovereign
Bertram , Texas
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Al,sounds like you are on the right track! My previous trailer was an old box, which was sound until the wheel went through the bathroom wall. It was a single axel so by the time it was over...well that was its last trip. I had neglected to remind my friend to check and tighten frequently.
Hey, most anxious to see pictures. I have a rather sad 1973 31' sov as well. We will refer to it as a work in progress
Check out PIZZACHOP's Sov.
I visited Iowa some time back to see my company's offices (Pearson) and was quite surprised to see how many folks up that way headed for the campgrounds whenever they had a chance. Your SOV should see plenty of action there.
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:56 AM   #8
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Does your "new" Sovereign say "International" anywhere on it, inside or out? This is important, as some International package Airstreams in 1973 had grey tanks already installed, if you are lucky, and this is the case, you may be able to install the valves on the end of the pipe, and be back in business for, er, "business."
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
The Aluminum Falcon
 
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1973 31' Sovereign
Thousand Oaks , California
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I'm getting up to speed thanks to you all!

balrgn,
Grey, Black, hmmm. Got it! GOOD TO KNOW!

overlander63,
Sounds like you have a handle on this I will look around, thanks!

rmpray,
I hope to avoid such a hard lesson and I will have my mechanic do a soild check of all landing gear prior to take off, sad news about your "old box" but as they say, "any landing you can walk away from is a good one". Better luck in your future! I have attached some pictures, these shots are the "before" pictures, this is how I found her and as she sat for two years prior to that she hailed from sunny Folrida. Thanks! And Enjoy!

overlander63,
Wow! This is what this forum is absolutly fantastic for! Who would know that with out you nice folks out there? As you can see by the pics I uploaded this SOV indeed is the "international" variety and oh boy am glad to know what that means, THANK YOU!

I would once again like to thank you all for your invaluable assistance. Not only do you make a newbie like me feel welcome but you seem to truly care about my experience as a new RV'er I feel better about jumping off the cliff so-to-speak already!

Good day to you all kind sirs, and as always...

May the Force be with you!

Aluminum Falcon

(but you can call me Al)
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Does your "new" Sovereign say "International" anywhere on it, inside or out? This is important, as some International package Airstreams in 1973 had grey tanks already installed, if you are lucky, and this is the case, you may be able to install the valves on the end of the pipe, and be back in business for, er, "business."
FYI, My 73 Overlander International does not have a gray tank.

But, on the bright side, I put water to it yesterday and found NO LEAKS!
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:34 AM   #11
The Aluminum Falcon
 
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1973 31' Sovereign
Thousand Oaks , California
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more progress

Well I will get down to the color of the water soon enough, But I did make some progress today before I put the old clorox to the fridge (much better now) I sent some photos to the aristream dealer in the quad cities Iowa/Illinois of the remaining hard ware for the hitch so he can quote me for sway bars and distribution bars, I'm hoping he can set me up with only the missing elements to save me some $$. All I need is the bars as the connecting hardware is still there; I searched that barn behind the trailer for the rest of it for a couple of hours but to no avail... Any one have any suggestions on where to get these items cheap?

Al Falcon
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Old 05-08-2007, 03:19 AM   #12
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Falcon
I searched that barn behind the trailer for the rest of it for a couple of hours but to no avail... Any one have any suggestions on where to get these items cheap?

Al Falcon
The Aluminum falcon
Pro Series SC With Built In Sway Control
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  • Adjustable head using proven engineering
  • Raised hitch ball platform
  • Clamp on side brackets & adjustable pad hangers allow placement on the trailer frame without moving the gas bottles or batteries
  • Integrated friction sway control (automotive friction material used in vehicle brakes) offers consistent, high friction control in all weather conditions
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  • Can be used with surge brakes on trailers equipped with A-Frame couplers
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:15 PM   #13
The Aluminum Falcon
 
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1973 31' Sovereign
Thousand Oaks , California
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Not exactly what I had in mind but very interesting

overlander63,
I was hoping someone had an old rig they wanted to unload cheap or knew where to but only the pieces I am missing from the pictures (everything between the recievers) like the bars and chain alone. But if I have to that rig is very nice and the price is good too! As always, THANKS! And may the force be with you!

Aluminum Falcon

(but you can call me Al)
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Old 05-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #14
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The old bars and chains weigh in at 40+ pounds - keep looking, you have the keystone piece that usually gets seperated from the trailer.

But - more important is your tow vehicle, just guess how lucky you have to be for the vehicle hitch receiver to dwell at the correct height to use the adapter-ball pictured!!! I have to use a drop shank to level trailer out, the one shown looks to raise ball height...
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