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Old 10-29-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
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I now see the symptoms

I went from wanting to build a work trailer, to buying a 74 32' Rear bath Airstream, in about a weeks time. My oh my, and that's not all. I bought it sight unseen off ebay, It was 3000 "buy it now" with the full amount due in 3 days. From the pictures, I was impressed. That's all I could go by, seeing how I live in Tn and the A/S is in Palmdale Ca. Yeah, that's right. 2000 miles away!! I "thought" at the time, I would make a trip of it.
Then I realized my 93 4cyl toyota truck wasn't going to be able to pull/STOP a 32' airstream. So, I traded for a 94 gmc sierra 2500 6.5 turbo diesel ext cab, I'm still working out the "kinks" with that. I can't hit the road until it stops acting up. I also need to prepare myself for anything... This A/S has been sitting in the desert since 94!
I would love to drive out there with two new axles, brakes, wheels, tires, and leafs.. or what ever they use. I have lots of reading to do. Any suggestions or thoughts. I'm also wondering if anybody is in palmdale that could take a look at the A/S or just let me know if there are any parts available in the area.

Thanks

I'll get some pictures up soon
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:00 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by nomader View Post
I went from wanting to build a work trailer, to buying a 74 32' Rear bath Airstream, in about a weeks time. My oh my, and that's not all. I bought it sight unseen off ebay, It was 3000 "buy it now" with the full amount due in 3 days. From the pictures, I was impressed. That's all I could go by, seeing how I live in Tn and the A/S is in Palmdale Ca. Yeah, that's right. 2000 miles away!! I "thought" at the time, I would make a trip of it.
Then I realized my 93 4cyl toyota truck wasn't going to be able to pull/STOP a 32' airstream. So, I traded for a 94 gmc sierra 2500 6.5 turbo diesel ext cab, I'm still working out the "kinks" with that. I can't hit the road until it stops acting up. I also need to prepare myself for anything... This A/S has been sitting in the desert since 94!
I would love to drive out there with two new axles, brakes, wheels, tires, and leafs.. or what ever they use. I have lots of reading to do. Any suggestions or thoughts. I'm also wondering if anybody is in palmdale that could take a look at the A/S or just let me know if there are any parts available in the area.

Thanks

I'll get some pictures up soon
Airstream's largest 74 model was 31 feet.

Andy
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:28 AM   #3
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I keep doing that.. 31

I don't know if this is the place but my tv has alot of play in the steering wheel. Any idea how that will play out when towing?

This really is a great site, Thanks
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:42 AM   #4
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Welcome to the group nomader.

Normally We'd send a get well soon card, but history has shown that Aluminitis is seldom cureable.


As for your questions. There is a box located on the right side of the portal page for locating inspectors by State and Type. You may be able to find assistance using this resource.

There are parts vendors within a 100 mile radius of Palmdale who should be able to provide you with parts, and service. It may be easier to have some tasks addressed in a "Service Bay" rather than the desert. Things like axles may have to be pre-ordered, so it would be wise to know what you're up against before your arrival date if possible.

Standard things to inspect and service before towing a seldom used unit are tires, bearings, brakes, umbilical cord, and lights. Getting together the tools and materials needed to access and service these items is a good idea. You should also inspect exposed areas of the frame and the ball coupler for signs of damage, severe corrosion, or wear.

As for your TV. If the steering play is a concern you should have it looked at and corrected as nescessary before towing. Other TV considerations are the hitch and receiver, and brake controller.

Welcome again and keep us posted as to your progress.

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Old 10-30-2009, 12:53 AM   #5
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The guy I bought the tv from, was trying to tell me it helps to have play in the wheel for towing. I laughed.

I guess Palmdale, isn't the desert I'm making it out to be.
I might move out there for a little while. It's kind of pointless to bring it to Tn to fix it up, it's about to be cold and wet and I could do some real damage in 2000 miles if the whole rig isn't 100%. I just need to square things away here and learn some patience, already.

It will give me some time to do some much needed reading.

Of course, I don't even know if there is a trailer. I could have been scammed, for all i know. I doubt it, but the thought is there.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:14 AM   #6
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Welcome to the Forums.

I certainly wouldnt care for play im my steering. I'd take care of that before you tow, a little wiggle up front is amplified as it travels back. The AS won't be as bad as other TV's, but still there.

Good luck with it, keep us posted.

Al
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Old 10-30-2009, 05:58 PM   #7
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Your play in the wheel is probably just bad balljoints / tie rod ends. Easily repaired, not super pricey.
Sounds like you have an adventure on your hands!
Enjoy - and welcome to the illness!
Marc
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Old 10-31-2009, 06:06 AM   #8
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When I say TV, I mean Tow Vehicle. Is that correct lingo?

The wheel travels 4-2" before it starts having an effect, when I'm 70 mph. It's a crime not get it fixed. Thanks, I thought I felt simple.

I remember when i was 9-12, I was visiting LA. I told my mom, if I was ever homeless, I would weld a couple of shopping carts/weed eaters together. She said, she knew I would be okay.

ahhhh


seriously, the only thing that scares me about living town to town, is accidentally being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Our current system still scares me. It's really a conflict of ""instinctual"" needs""
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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Good Luck getting your baby back home...sounds like you have that Dedicated Spirit that Airstreamers have....!
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:34 PM   #10
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TV does mean tow vehicle.
So you bought a truck that had barely been built when your new Airstream was left in the desert...
Is the truck a 4x2 or 4x4?
On most models, you have an idler arm, pittman arm, drag link, and ball joints that contribute to play, along with steering gearbox. Generally, if you have bad tie rod ends, it will manifest itself as that one tire tending to "wobble" while driving, and ball joints will let the truck wander.
There is also a part between the shaft from the steering column to the gearbox called a steering coupler, or rag joint. These can break, and cause a lot of play in the steering.
Have a friend get in the truck and move the steering wheel back and forth, and watch for movement. When you get to a part that moves on one side, and doesn't on the other, replace it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:51 PM   #11
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I bought the airstream online thinking a small toyota truck would pull it.. Then I went out and bought the 2500 gmc 94 diesel. Now that I'm about done getting all the kinks worked out on that I'm realizing the mpg wasn't as advertised. The weather has been great so I've been getting as much other work done and trying to save up cash for the forseen unforseen.

If anybody from nashville to la ca has a whole drive set up, as in new axles, brakes, rims, tires, "umbilical cord"?, shocks, it would be nice to have it all in the truck bed ready to install if i need them, then return what I don't need instantly. I know I want to replace the wheels for new ones with the higher rated side wall tires. Those I would keep. I'm still unsure of what class to run. Anything I put on here I want to be "reasonably" "top of the line" "done right"

There's no wobble and the truck doesn't veer off to one side. The steering wheel moves side to side 2" without any restriction, before it starts turning the wheels outside. Besides that, It drives like a catalac
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:33 AM   #12
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You need to slow down a bit and think about your plan a little....

You don't just go into the axle store and say give me 74 axle. You need to have the right measurements to have it built for you. Travel trailers are not Ford trucks made by the thousands with a warehouses full of parts to serve their future needs. Things change in production from one year to the other, even month to month, so you need to match what your trailer has on it.
I would recommend the following:
A) I would strongly suggest you have someone go look at the trailer.
B) Maybe have that someone be an expert that can get it ready for you to tow.
C) Maybe drop ship them some tires mounted on rims already.
D) Hire someone to move it to an expert shop like Inland to be made road ready.
E) consider selling the trailer and buying something closer to home.

In reading this, my sense is that you are kind of learning as you go. Not trying to rip on you, it is just the impression I get from what I have read here. A 74 31 footer has certain inherent issues that you have not learned about. I strongly suggest you find someone to go inspect the rig and let you know what they think. Someone from this forum will gladly go and check it out for you. Kevin told you where to go look to find someone. Towing her 2000 miles will require a lot more than throwing a "trailer in tow" sign and hitting the road.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BRAKES WITH SOMETHING THAT BIG
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:51 AM   #13
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Congratulations on joining the AS club. Take your time - I wish I would have know more about this forum before I got my AS. I still would have gotten her, but I would have know better what I was getting in to. I do suggest having someone looking at it for you. That way you will have better knowledge about what you need. You might have axle's, tires and all the other stuff you think you need and you find the tougue latch is broken. Now all that other stuff doesn't do you any good at all. A few hours of proper planning might save you days of work.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:05 AM   #14
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Your new truck should get 14-16 mpg, not towing, and 10-12 towing, both figures are highway figures. Don't believe higher numbers unless you see them yourself, in person.

Before you go, locate the nearest place that has RV supplies, the nearest place that does welding, the nearest place that does 12 volt electrical work. That way, when you get there and find out the kafibulator spring is broken, you know where to go to get one, rather than running in circles around the trailer screaming in panic. Palmdale is about 50 miles from Victorville (next nearest city), so if you can't get what you need nearby, you'll have a drive to get the parts.
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