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Old 01-25-2007, 11:56 PM   #1
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Question Going to be new owner

Hi,
I just put a down payment on a 1968 Sovereign Airstream trailer. As You can tell airstream is my dream trailer.
Now here's the question, the owner said that on the curb side the tires held air ,but as you drive went flat. I was wondering if there was a standard tire for that year of trailer?
Also I was wondering what bearings would it take or
could it be any thing? I Figured that I would pick up new tires an my mother
mentioned bearings also. I was also told to get new axles and take them with me.
LOL I Just don't see two axles in a 6 foot bed for 1,220 miles. But I would like to be safer than sorry with tires a bearings. Any help would be helpful thank you
. Faerymother
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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You'll get other posts along with mine, use all the info you can...

Here are some things to think about when towing a trailer for the first time.

1. Tires - How old, in what condition? 5 years or older should replace.(Some say 3 years) It sounds like you are planning to, that's good.
2. Bearings - When were they packed last?
3. Brakes - Last inspection? Condition?
4. Running lights and brake lights?
5. Brake controller? Properly hooked up/installed?
6. Weight distribution and sway control system?
7. Adequate tow vehicle for your size trailer?

Take tools, air pump/compressor, spare tire if you have one for your journey home, hopefully you won't need them.

Good luck,
Dave
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:38 PM   #3
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Going to be new owner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Forums!

I might add to Dave's suggestions the following:
  1. Be sure to carry an extra trailer end connector to match your tow vehicle's equipment -- '60s era Airstreams often have round-pin rather than today's more common blade-type connectors.
  2. Even if the coach's plug mates to your tow vehicle don't count on its pin configuration matching your tow vehicle. You can find the original factory wiring pattern for the connector at: http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p...lug1966-81.pdf
  3. Also be prepared for the likelihood that the coach will have a 2" coupler. It often takes a bit of searching to find 2" coupler balls with adequate capacity -- they are available, but usually only from better-stocked RV stores. You will want one rated for at least 6,000 pounds.
  4. Another possible consideration when looking at tires is the clearance -- while tight clearances aren't as frequent a problem with later '60s coaches nor with tandem axle coaches -- it is still a problem. The first set of tires for each of my coaches was purchased at the Good Year dealer nearest where I purchased the trailer. I had the tire dealer's personnel measure for both new tires and wheels on my Overlander so that if the setup didn't fit it would be the garage's responsibility to correct the situation. My Overlander took the rather typical Marathon ST 225 75 R 15 -- I went with load range D even though the original equipment was load range C (it is not recommended to put load range D tires on wheels formerly used with load range C).
Good luck with your coach!

Kevin
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Old 01-27-2007, 12:14 AM   #4
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Things you'll need...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faerymother
Hi,
I just put a down payment on a 1968 Sovereign Airstream trailer. As You can tell airstream is my dream trailer.
Now here's the question, the owner said that on the curb side the tires held air ,but as you drive went flat. I was wondering if there was a standard tire for that year of trailer?
Also I was wondering what bearings would it take or
could it be any thing? I Figured that I would pick up new tires an my mother
mentioned bearings also. I was also told to get new axles and take them with me.
LOL I Just don't see two axles in a 6 foot bed for 1,220 miles. But I would like to be safer than sorry with tires a bearings. Any help would be helpful thank you
. Faerymother
You might just want to take a floor jack with you and remove two tires on opposite sides and different axles to take them to a local tire shop and have new tires mounted. 7.00 x 15 LT (light truck) tires. Sams' Club usually carries them or Sears/Goodyear Marathons are good too! Then return to trailer re-install them and take the other two to the tire place. Have them balance the tires and after all the new tires are installed on the coach take a test drive to see how the trailer pulls. If you notice any vibration or sway then you should worry about Axles and shocks etc. You can most often get a round pin to flat pin connector converter plug from any good Rv or Auto parts store. PO (previous owner) you are buying trailer from should give you an idea if lights are in working order before you make the trip to get the trailer. Once hooked up to your tow vehicle check all running lights and marker lights for operation before test drive. Check the grease in the bearings by removing bearing caps. If the outer bearings look well lubed the inners should be good too! If you want to invest the time then by all means pull the wheels one at a time and lube all bearings before driving home. I checked mine for grease and then hauled her home where I could do it on my schedule and wouldn't miss anything due to being rushed! Make sure the trailer is secure on the tow ball and that all safety chains are attached (chains should always cross each other) and any anti-sway and leveling hardware is attached properly before driving off anywhere. The PO may be able to give you pointers on this...If not drive first to a local RV shop and ask them to check it for you (Money well spent) IMO. Do NOT try to drive highway speeds on your first trip. To start out drive slower speeds and learn all the noises your rig makes. Sometimes noises can be the first sign of something going wrong and may save you from damaging your new baby. This should help you get it home so you can start the real adventure of Airstream ownership. Good Luck and Happy Trails. Ed
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:33 AM   #5
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Wow I didn't think of that ,
You all had a few Ideas I didn't think of. I already ran out and got the truck rewire for a 7 plug. Packed the jack and bought a mini air compressor unit. Just in case. Packed a grease gun.
I still have two weeks to go and all ready been to Lowe's and Homedepot planning what to buy first. LOL
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:35 AM   #6
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Welcome

Welcome and congrats on your new AS!





I have found that whenever picking up a new Airstream it is always best to air-lift it! Have never has a tire or axel problem yet!

Sorry- but as you can see, my friends above have given you very good usable advise hence making my suggestion appear even stupider [hey is there such a word?] Good luck and again welcome!
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:37 PM   #7
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Another wish for good luck...

Nobody else responded directly, but I'd not bother ordering and taking replacement axles with you... Even if the axles have lost their "spring" and are sagging and in need of replacing, you can most likely get home and plan for replacement on your schedule and with proper assistance...

Tires, brakes and bearings can have an impact on ability to get home.... You can roll trailer up onto wood planks stacked together and remove wheels to replace tires without a jack, if you're patient. Loosen lugs first, and be sure they're tight when you roll back down off wooden planks... Tire sizes are going to be 15" diameters, for 6" wide rims. Search on trailer tires here for series of discussions about truck tires ("LT") versus Trailer Tires ("ST") and various opinions.
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Old 01-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #8
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Don't forget the little things. As Dave suggested above. Check those items, and I would bring:

Replacement light bulbs
Duct tape - I have heard of doors opening up in travel
Bungee cords - I have heard of windows getting loose or propane tanks loose
Misc wiring with butt connectors - just in case you find broken wiring
Grease seals - to go with the bearings
Cotter pins - for the same reason as the seals
Blocks of wood - to keep a trailer in place on an incline
Gloves - hmmm don't wanna get dirty
And may be a hunk of card board for the same reason

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Action
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:41 PM   #9
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Wink

Now that's a thought rickandsandi LOL. That's what the old owners said concerting it was in a field and the path or any path was slop because of all the rain. But they said that their friend could airlift it but not till Nov. He's currently in Iraq. (Hate to see that AIR LIFT Bill LOL )
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:48 PM   #10
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Smile Wow My list got longer

Gloves and a gun from what the last owner said they had at least a 4 pound Rat living in the trailer. It got chased out when they were working on it, But if it found it's way back. Then we'll chase it out so they can keep their pet LOL.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:32 PM   #11
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One last thing I can think of.......Whenever you start a trip with a new (to you) trailer, stop in about ten miles and feel the hubs----careful, they might be hot! They should be fairly cool if the bearings and grease are OK. Remove the hub caps, if it has them, to make access easy. Then stop again in about 30 to 50 miles and feel them again. Repeat the process in about 100 miles. If they have remained cool they should be good for the trip. I permanently remove the hubcaps on any trailer and feel the hubs often during trips. This is the best monitor of the health of bearings and grease that I can think of and does not cost anything. I have seen people throw complete tire/wheel/hub assemblies off a trailer along with sparks and molten metal because of burned out bearings, so it is not an idle precaution.
The advice to drive slower than usual and listen carefully until you get the feel of the trailer and know it is in safe condition is good for you, the trailer, and others on the road.
Take it easy and have fun!
Sam
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