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Old 10-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Hello,
I am new to Airstreams let alone having any travel trailer experience. Tons of time moving large loads in the Military and sleeping outdoors in the desert, never combined the process until now. I just purchased a 1972 31ft Sovereign in Illinois that has been sitting for 18yrs. Leaving this next week for the pick up. Thanks to Air Forums I know the issues that can come from sitting for that period of time. Bought new tires, new bearings and will have the unit checked by local RV repair in Western Illinois. Have a 2006 F150 5.4 Super Cab with a 6ft bed. Has the tow package and new tires. Any other insight on towing would be greatly appreciated.
PS: Towing from Amboy Illinois out to Estes Park Colorado.
Thanks,
Brendan
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Welcome!

Brendan - Welcome to the Forums and Airstream ownership.. Hopefully you bought the Airstream for camping and travel, and not because a residence was hit by flooding or fires...

Tires, bearings and brakes are all potential issues after sitting that long.. The trailer drum brakes could be rusty, and they are actuated by the 12V battery in the trailer, so you may have to expect some brake work and a new battery in addition to bearings and tires...

With that truck, you should have adequate power along I-80, though you may also have to acquire a weight-distributing hitch and sway bar setup if owner doesn't have them and throw them in as part of sale.. Without those, rear of truck will sag (that Airstream has heavy tongue...) and you'll be imitating NASCAR drivers sawing at wheel in crosswinds on interstate when passed by (or passing) heavy trucks.

Good news is interior won't much matter on ride home. Take good tool set, good sleeping bag, a couple 1 gallon jugs of drinking water, and you can fake the rest. You can take showers and eat at campgrounds or other places along the way, though be very careful about planning to drive into gas stations or restaurant parking lots you can't get out of...

Hope all goes well and a safe trip is the outcome...
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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Do you have a brake controller? Need a battery if you want a working breakaway system.

Temporary lights? Spare tire(s)? Duct tape and zip ties, that's all you need!
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Brendan - thanks for your military service and welcome to the forums! I'm not mechanically inclined enough to offer technical advice but am very confident the gang here will be of great help!

Thanks. Welcome. Good luck!
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
Estes Park , Colorado
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Airstream purchase

Condoluminum,
Thanks for the words. Actually I was looking for an Airstream prior to the floods out here. Most of what I was interested in was sold to displaced homeowners. I guess this is the reason I am buying in Western Illinois. I realize the trip will be slow and will not be without its problems. Will add your suggestions onto the list and look forward to the trip.
Thanks again,
Brendan
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Welcome nd thank you for your service. I drove from NJ to Westminisyer, then Estes, I found the route to be a very easy dive ith much traffic. Good luck and drive safe.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for your service!

Take time to check out running gear. Then check often on road.

Let us know how ya do!!!

Peace
Channing and Phyllis.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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Welcome to AIRForums!

You didn't answer DanB's question about a brake controller. The tow package on an '06 F150 doesn't include the integrated trailer-brake controller that comes on the current generation of pickups, so unless you get an aftermarket controller you'll be relying on the truck's brakes to stop both the truck and the trailer.

I use the Tekonsha Prodigy P3. It's not perfect, it took a while to dial it in to my liking and my trailer, then I had to start all over when I put new axles and brakes on the trailer, but I had a better idea of how to tune it then. It's easy to install, I bought mine from e-trailer.com and it came with a wiring harness for the F150, ready to plug-and-play (except for mounting the controller, of course.)

You say you've read about the general problems with getting old Airstreams rolling again that have been sitting for decades. You may have come across threads about the way the old 7-way plugs were wired in Airstreams... people do weird stuff. The previous owner of my '75 Argosy rewired the connector on his '02 Suburban rather than rewiring the connector on the Airstream to the standard modern pattern, so remember to check that out (or have the RV repair shop check it.)

Best of luck on your journey!
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Airstream purchase

DKB_SATX,

At this point I do not have a break controller, checking out a few in Boulder Co. I am currently looking into and purchasing new tires, weight distribution hitch, sway bar and have found an original manual for this Airstream that includes the trailer wiring schematic. I plan on spending as much time needed to make this journey back safe. Thanks for the welcome and I will post photos and share the highs and lows of this impetuous purchase.
Brendan
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jager61 View Post
DKB_SATX, At this point I do not have a break controller, checking out a few in Boulder Co. I am currently looking into and purchasing new tires, weight distribution hitch, sway bar and have found an original manual for this Airstream that includes the trailer wiring schematic. I plan on spending as much time needed to make this journey back safe. Thanks for the welcome and I will post photos and share the highs and lows of this impetuous purchase. Brendan
Have a great trip and post pictures!
We bought our first AS '72 sovereign just a few weeks ago!

:-)
Mary
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