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Old 08-15-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Airstream Newbies Need Advice

We have just purchased our first Airstream and haven't even picked it up yet. We are thinking of going to get it ourselves (From Texas to Michigan) and are trying to predict some of the things we'll need to be concerned about and prepared to check out before we haul her home. We will be using our Dodge Durango (5,000 lb hitch) to pull our 31' 1974 Sovereign. Are we crazy? Should we have it shipped?
AirstreamGonnabees - Mark&Leslie
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Old 08-15-2006, 10:30 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are already Airstream-now-we-bees! I won't attempt your questions, but you'll find several responses by tomorrow, I am sure, by people who know. Meanwhile, welcome to the forum and airstreaming ~G
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Old 08-15-2006, 11:24 PM   #3
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If you keep on the interstates and do not drive too fast, you should be allright. I think this rig would be alittle underpowered for mountain climbing out west. You definitely will need a w/d hitch with sway control.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:00 AM   #4
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Hi, and welcome to the forums!

If you are new to towing... I would plan on staying close to where you are picking up your Airstream and practicing for a couple of days. Stay at a local RV park or something... I would also do a practice tow to see how it handles with your truck on local roads first as well. Otherwise be sure: axles are greased, brakes are good and work, tires need to be excellent or near excellent, lights need to work. Take a toolbox along for the trip home ~ that way you won't need anything.

You might find the weight of your new Airstream and read the booklet in your truck if it matches the tow capacity....

For a long trailer, such as yours, be extra sure your tires are good. We had a 5th wheel once where the tires looked okay.... had duals... bought 3 tires while traveling. Bummer. Should have had all new tires before we started.

Good luck. I am sure others who are more knowledgeable will add their excellent advice! Welcome to the Airstream World!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark&Leslie
We have just purchased our first Airstream and haven't even picked it up yet. We are thinking of going to get it ourselves (From Texas to Michigan) and are trying to predict some of the things we'll need to be concerned about and prepared to check out before we haul her home. We will be using our Dodge Durango (5,000 lb hitch) to pull our 31' 1974 Sovereign. Are we crazy? Should we have it shipped?
AirstreamGonnabees - Mark&Leslie
Your '74 Sovereign weighs in at between 4970 to 5065 lbs original dry weight. Hitch weight varied from 490 to 690 lbs. Those were the factory weight ratings, and do not take into account trailer options, or changes made over the years by P.O.'s (previous owners).

1) Read your owners manual for the Durango to determine if it can handle that size/weight of trailer. What year Durango, engine size, etc.? Do you have a Hemi?

2) Read this link on towing: http://www.rvtowingtips.com/what-can-i-tow.htm

3) Use the search bar above and look for threads on "towing" or "tow vehicles". You'll find a wide range of opinions and facts, but ultimately you'll have to determine if your TV (tow vehicle) can handle it, you can handle it, or if you need to find another means of getting your new baby home.

Have you hauled before, or are you totally green? I definitely would not get my feet wet on a haul of that distance.

BTW - welcome to the forums and the alumintus club.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:11 AM   #6
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My one piece of advice would be to carefully check the tires. With trailer tires, just looking at tread doesn't do the trick. Trailer tires get abused because of their turning etc., sun damage, cracking from sitting over time. If I were in your shoes, the first thing I'd do is go to a Goodyear (or whatever) shop that sells trailer tires and replace all of them. It will be a relatively low cost compared to a flat on your way home, it will give you peace of mind, and you will know the history of your tires from that point looking forward!

And congratulations!
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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I agree with all of the above, but will add that you would be much more comfortable (and safer) with a larger tow vehicle. The good news is that it's all downhill from MI to TX. Darol
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:53 AM   #8
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Congratulations and welcome to Airstreaming. NILESROB is 100 percent correct about the tire situation. We had a terrible experience with old tires. We had the entire sidewall blow out of a Goodyear tire with 3,000 miles on it. We were shocked that a tire with that much tread could fail. The tire was eleven years old, and our research disclosed that tires that old are UNSAFE! Ask the seller how old the tires are. Also consider some type of anti sway weight distributing hitch system. You are going to be at the limit of your TV's capabilities with a trailer of that length.
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