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Old 09-09-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
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Hello from Arizona

Hello everyone. I've always been a fan of the Airstream ever since my parents have me the family Suburban years ago. I've always dreamed of having an Airstream to tow behind my 1976 Suburban and now that I have a family of my own I decided it's time to actively stay saving for one. We currently do not have a trailer and I need to finish working on the Suburban, but I figured out never hurts to be looking and it didn't hurt to join up here and learn from you guys.

That being said, in the yard where I work (a concrete and aggregate supply company) is a 1978 31' land yacht sovereign that has been sitting for years (based off the last registration sticker on the license plate being from 2008). I talked to our operations manager here and he said it belongs to a woman who used to work here, but that she hasn't in some time. It looks to be original and in decent condition. Anyone have pointers on what to look at before I try approaching the owner about possibly selling it? Should I bother with something so long for a first trailer? We're a family of five, but still growing. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:09 PM   #2
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The first thing in my book would be to check for rear end separation. Search for that here on the forums. If the trailer you're looking at has it, IMHO you're better off to keep looking.

I'm in metro Phoenix, too, and I think I've seen that trailer from a distance....
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:06 PM   #3
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Welcome AbramJ, were also in Phx.

As Dr Boyd said check for that rear end separation. Also axels and floor rot and frame corrosion those might be the biggest things.

Where will you store it. Is a cost associated with it.

Then maybe call Andy at CanAm and tell him about your Suburbans specs and see what your tow parameters. Then you'll know what size to look at.

And what style of travelers or campers are you all. Will you be campground only then all your hook ups need to work but campgrounds have bathrooms and showers. Will you be in the woods, do you like air-conditioned days. Will you sleep all inside or some kids or adults in tents. A nice day in the great outdoors is wonderful but what if it rains can you all sit inside.

How handy are you, you need to be, or your budget needs to be bigger so you can pay other handy people.

It's like any hobby it costs money but can be done for less if your thrifty.

Arizona has two great WBCCI units that have regular gatherings and you can visit and talk to people during the rally's.

4CU (Four Corners Unit) will be getting together over Thanksgiving weekend at Lake Pleasant. Come say hi.
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Welcome AbramJ, were also in Phx.

As Dr Boyd said check for that rear end separation.
I'm not a doctor - those are just my initials.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:11 PM   #5
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Thx DRBoyd, for the correction, duh, I think I made that mistake before.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:43 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I know the Suburban's specs and the factory towing capabilities, I've been obsessed with Suburban's for a long time. I've got all of the sales and information brochures from 1976 for it (and all the sales brochures for Suburbans from 1967-2010). I've been doing all the restoration work on the Suburban myself so I feel I'm pretty handy (I've done a lot of home renovating too).

I took pictures of the trailer I mentioned in my first post, how many pictures can I attach to a message here? I'll do some research on the things mentioned so far. I was having a hard time finding anything about rear end separation earlier, but I've been using my phone on the forums mainly so far and sure that wasn't helping. I'll get on my computer tonight and take a look.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:58 PM   #7
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AbramJ

To help you with searches on your phone or desk top:

Go to your regular search engine, Google or Firefox or what ever and type in:

"Airforums Airstream rear end separation"

That should bring up various threads dealing with it.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:56 PM   #8
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Hittenstiehl,

Thanks for the search advice. I now know what rear end separation is. I'll have to see if I can determine whether the trailer I'm looking at has it. Based on the serial number it is a 1978, 31 foot, center bath, twin beds, International Land Yacht Sovereign. According to historical info from Airstream the tongue weight is 545 lbs and the trailer weight (empty) is 4810 lbs. which means my daily driver (2012 Silverado Crew Cab 1500 with trailering package) could tow it too. Speaking of that trailer, here are some pictures (I took 20, but here are 7):
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:49 PM   #9
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Thumbs up

That's actually in pretty nice shape; the center bath units are less likely to experience rear end separation. (As I'm sure you know by now)

If the size works for you, I'd make a real effort to buy it.

Don't worry about that one dent. That piece comes off pretty easy and you can just - in theory - pop it back out.
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:20 PM   #10
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Hi from Scottsdale. . . welcome, I agree, that looks to be in decent shape for its age. . . maybe a person with more knowledge could be found on the AF portal page (inspectors) to look at it with you, after you have access to it. . . good luck, Craig
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Old 09-19-2016, 11:43 PM   #11
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AbramJ, I don't hold myself out as the ultimate expert on Airstreams, but I've owned a '78 Trade Wind for almost 15 years, and I am an expert on "what can go wrong and how much of a PITA it is to fix."

Whether I want to be, or not.

I'd be glad to look it over with you - no charge or anything. And you're more than welcome to check mine out as well.

If you're interested, send me a Private Message and I'll reply with my phone number.

Don
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:52 AM   #12
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Thanks for the welcome and advice so far. Don, I sent you a message.
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