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Old 05-28-2010, 09:51 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Bowling green , Kentucky
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What to look for??????

Hello Airstreamers

I'm new to this so bare with me. My wife and I have decided to buy a 1976 31' sovereign, We have looked at it once already and love it, both of us have always loved airstreams. But we have no idea what to look for or where to start. It looks like it is in good shape other than just being dirty inside and out and we trust the couple who has it for they are family friends. Could someone please give me some starting points and things that I should look for. We are very excited about fixing this thing up and getting it ready for us and our two sons. Thanks alot

p.s.
I love this website
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
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1958 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
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The first things I would look at would be the following:

1. Rear End Separation? When you push hard on the rear bumper does it move or separate from the main body?
2. Is the floor solid throughout?
3. Do all the systems and appliances work? Fresh Water, Propane, 12v electrical, 110v electrical.
4. Are there any dents on the exterior skin?
5. Do the tanks (fresh, gray and black) leak?
The axles will probably need replacing (if they've never been replaced).
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
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Don't forget to consider your tow vehicle capacity. A good rule of thumb is to keep the total trailer weight under 80% of the capacity.
Lot's of post and info here on checking axles (Dura Torque Axle), but Mello Mike is correct, you will most likely need new ones. Factor that into the price you pay for the trailer.
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:14 AM   #4
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

The above is all very good advice. Add to that the trailer's tires. In many instances, the tires on a vintage Airstream look great with lots of deep tread, but because of their age are very unsafe and subject to catastrophic failure. Generally speaking, tires over six years old are not safe. There is a date code on all tires to you you when they were manufactured.

Brian
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Old 05-29-2010, 08:42 AM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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Hi bullet!

Welcome to the forum.

The thing that popped into my mind reading the suggestions already made was, is this the model you want?

The 31' Sov came in a variety of interiors, the one major difference is where is the bathroom.

A rear bathroom will give you the largest bathroom available in an Airstream of that era, but the mid bathroom will allow others that may stay with you to use the bathroom without passing by your bed.

Have a look at this excellent webpage to see the various interiors.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
Houston , Texas
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Price Vs Condition

One thing you'll love about Airstream owners is that there is so much shared knowledge available on what to look for and where to fix. Here's a link to a great site that will help:

Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

the whole vintageairstream.com site has lots of photos of different models so you can compare what you are looking at to what the other models/features have.

Happy Streamin!
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
Canby , Oregon
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Again, Welcome to the forum.

You'll love the 31 footer, Love ours and what a way to start Streaming!
Ted
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:50 PM   #8
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1976 31' Sovereign
Bowling green , Kentucky
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Thanks alot for the help... What does it mean when there is rear seperation at the rear bumper and the shell?
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 76slvrbullet View Post
Thanks alot for the help... What does it mean when there is rear seperation at the rear bumper and the shell?
Rear end separation results in water intrusion which rots your floor in the back of the trailer. My trailer had this problem and the floor was weak and gave way when you walked in the rear of the bathroom. Repairing this is costly if you have a professional do it, but many here on the forums have made this repair by themselves. There's plenty of info on this problem here on the Forums.
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