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Old 05-05-2014, 05:07 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1984 31' Sovereign
Stockbridge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 28
New Airstream Owner

Hi everyone.

Finally got everything squared away and brought my '84 Sovereign 31 home today. I tow a lot(mainly cars) but this is the biggest thing I've towed yet.

I've been looking around the forums the past few days but have some specific questions. The search function brings up literally hundreds of choices, most of which don't tell me what I need. I'll try not to ask stuff that I know has been hashed time and again, like tires, but here are some things I will need to know fairly soon. Tires. Cleaning/polishing. What's the best way to hook up shore power to the house. Waking the poor guy up after sitting unused for 7 years, what needs to be done immediately.

If anyone can point me in the right direction I'd be grateful. Hope everyone is well.

1984 Sovereign 31
2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,677
SEARCH - headbanging data overload

Search takes some getting used to. Start with "Google Search" - it's a bit more intuitive - Try more than one word too. "Amana Stovetop" as opposed to "stovetop" It gets crazy when you want a gizmo or thingamajig and don't know the technical name for it.

Advanced Search is a great feature in that it lets you limit the age of the thread you search. Tire threads that are 8 years out of date? Not useful. Within the past year or even last 3 months might help a lot.

If you find a poster who is really helpful and want to find out more that he/she has posted, just click on that person's avatar. One of the choices is "see more posts by...." It will bring up that person's posts in order starting with the most recent and working back.

TAB search - look for key words... well just mess around here until you figure it out.

OH, and most importantly try to title your threads informatively (A rule I violate all too often) "need some help with this" is virtually useless "water heater electric problem" is much easier to find six months later. Hang around long enough and sooner or later you'll become a rivet master that means you're an expert (aka a former drip now under pressure), so post like someone might find it two years from now and wow will you be embarrassed (who moi?)

Lastly, play nice. Pay it forward. You're in the company of 10,000 happy Airstreamers - who only occasionally have a grumpy moment or two. About a year ago, I totaled my Airstream and my tow vehicle in a wreck I was very lucky to walk away from. The outpouring of support from "friends I hadn't actually met" just stunned - and sustained me. More than one offered me the use of a "spare-stream" because they knew I was a full timer and didn't have brick & mortar to retreat to. Come on in, you are most welcome here! So, disagree without fear, believe that there are no dumb questions, but don't ever make a personal attack, and if you're on the receiving end of one, regard it as a spat not a war.

Everyone has moments when their fingers type things that are insensitive or even offensive usually by accident or in the mistaken belief that they are being humorous. Take a moment to re-read before you hit "post"... and then if a moderator ever deletes your post for being inappropriate accept it with grace (or even gratitude if you really stepped in it ). You can guess I've been "moderated" a time or two myself.


Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:59 PM   #3
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dbj216's Avatar

1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,513
Welcome to Airstream ownership and joining the community. Both traveling and messing with the trailer are great leisure activities. Airstreams are special.

Airstreams usually have 30 amp 115v electrical hookup. The outdoor outlet at your home may only be 15 amps. Get an adaptor, and plug in to 15 amps but leave the AC off.

Start from the ground up. Tires, brakes, bearings, lights, hitch inspection, etc. Then test your propane plumbing, fresh water plumbing and waste water plumbing for leaks. Pressurize them and check each connection with a soap water solution.

Then start looking for weather leaks. All Airstreams leak somewhere. Inspect after each rain event and find the leaks. These forums will help you repair leaks.

There is always something that needs fixed on these old trailers.

Then you can start decorating the thing as you see fit. Enjoy the Airstream experience.

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:37 PM   #4
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1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,626
Images: 2
Come to the Airforums. You have certainly found the right place for all things Airstream. Georgia also has a very active Airstream camping group. Just google WBCCI Southeastern Camping Unit and you will find us when you are ready to camp. I too am on the south side of of Atlanta. Send me a pm if you have any questions you haven't found answers to here. I will do my best to help.
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

AIR 41028
WBCCI 10199
Past President Southeastern Camping Unit (12)
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:45 AM   #5
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,129
Our nearest AS dealer (Spokane) sells Walbernize polish, which seems to work fine. Our Bambi has a matte finish so instructions might be different for older models that polish to a high sheen. The recommendation seems to be to polish an AS 1-3x/year. However, any road salt should be washed off right away, especially including the under-side.

We don't plug in at home that often as we don't have space to park near our house, but when we do, we just use the dog-leg style 15 amp adapter and then don't run too much off it.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
4 Rivet Member
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2014 30' Flying Cloud
Los alamos , New Mexico
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 291
Richard Luhr wrote a book after three years full time, "Newbies guide to Airstreamimg", has something for everyone. Also the book, "Next Exit" tells you what to expect at each exit when traveling-- I,too, just purchased my first of any kind RV-- a 30 ft AS, and learning curve not so bad as all is a fun new adventure. My biggest challenge was backing up hill on our 270 ft driveway. No problem after I calmed down with a few beers, the rest as they say is "small stuff". I have learned much on the forums, found a few mentors that I call on often, and set a camping goal for my first year of 30 nights to make sure we give it a good shake down. See you down the road.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
1984 31' Sovereign
Stockbridge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 28
Thanks you guys. Done some tinkering but now I have to go back to work tomorrow. Hope I get a chance to do more work next weekend.

I'll give the search another chance. Look forward to getting out with my Airstream this summer. You know I just like saying, Airstream.

1984 Sovereign 31
2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
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