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Old 10-20-2008, 02:46 PM   #29
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Smooth as butter

Thanks for all the tips, There is now a nice big silver project in the drive. The adventure to go get it went unbelievably smooth. New tires and repacked the bearings (there was still a lot of grease in them). Used temporary trailer lights. Didn't mess with the brakes but the F250 pulled and stopped it very well, plus we came back on the Natchez trace which has a 50 mph limit. The biggest issue was the hitch was about 5" higher then it should have been but other than a minor drag or two it worked well, no swaying. I got a 30 day temporary tag from the Louisiana DMV for 18 dollars. The only tool I needed and didn't have with me was a pair of bolt cutters, the hack saw worked on that old pad lock but was pretty slow.

Actually all in all it's in pretty good shape. The A/C works, gas stove, DC inverter, most lights and all outlets, very few dings but some interesting character where it was hit by a shot gun spray. Definitely some refurb to do, the black tank drain connection crumbled off in my hand while trying to connect the discharge hose, Refrigerator door panels and interior plastic is warped. I found a garden hose splice in the gas line (YIKES).

The biggest issue seems to be structural. The floor in the bathroom has about a 1/2" gap between it and the bottom of the skirting under the sink, I think I read somewhere on this site about the back of some trailers sagging...I'll have to look into that some more. Does seem to feel like your walking down hill toward the back but I sure can't see it from the outside.

I'm looking forward to the adventure, the kids slept in it the first two nights we got it home. They complained only about it being cold. Guess I need to check that heater out as soon.

See ya down the road someday, Mark
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:05 PM   #30
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Thanks for all the tips, There is now a nice big silver project in the drive. The adventure to go get it went unbelievably smooth. New tires and repacked the bearings (there was still a lot of grease in them). Used temporary trailer lights. Didn't mess with the brakes but the F250 pulled and stopped it very well, plus we came back on the Natchez trace which has a 50 mph limit. The biggest issue was the hitch was about 5" higher then it should have been but other than a minor drag or two it worked well, no swaying. I got a 30 day temporary tag from the Louisiana DMV for 18 dollars. The only tool I needed and didn't have with me was a pair of bolt cutters, the hack saw worked on that old pad lock but was pretty slow.

Actually all in all it's in pretty good shape. The A/C works, gas stove, DC inverter, most lights and all outlets, very few dings but some interesting character where it was hit by a shot gun spray. Definitely some refurb to do, the black tank drain connection crumbled off in my hand while trying to connect the discharge hose, Refrigerator door panels and interior plastic is warped. I found a garden hose splice in the gas line (YIKES).

The biggest issue seems to be structural. The floor in the bathroom has about a 1/2" gap between it and the bottom of the skirting under the sink, I think I read somewhere on this site about the back of some trailers sagging...I'll have to look into that some more. Does seem to feel like your walking down hill toward the back but I sure can't see it from the outside.

I'm looking forward to the adventure, the kids slept in it the first two nights we got it home. They complained only about it being cold. Guess I need to check that heater out as soon.

See ya down the road someday, Mark
Your trailer has what is called "rear end separation."

You more thanlikely also have bad axles.

Most importantly, your "extremely7 lucky" to have posted your notes, from home instead of a hospital or at an undertakers office.

Your 250 is no more of a good stopping vehicle than a tricycle, and certainly cannot stop any form of a sway.

Sway is observed riding at the back of the trailer at 60 or 70 mph, and not in a drivers seat.

If you had to make an emergency stop, you would have far more than wet your trousers.

Wait till you see other posts about how fortunate you are.

Hopefully, you didn't risk any other family members.

What you did, is just short of suicide. Unfortunately, all to many others, who did the same thing as you did, didn't survive.

Andy
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:13 PM   #31
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Your 250 is no more of a good stopping vehicle than a tricycle,
Andy, Andy, Andy,

We all know you have lots of experience and we all respect your knowledge and inputs, but don't you think the above statement is just a little bit too exagerated?
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:18 PM   #32
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Andy, Andy, Andy,

We all know you have lots of experience and we all respect your knowledge and inputs, but don't you think the above statement is just a little bit too exagerated?
The point is that a 250 cannot make a "SAFE" panic stop, when towing a 31 froot Airstream that weighs almost 6000 pounds.

At least with a tricycle, you know you won't make it.

All too many owners have a unfortunate misunderstanding of their trucks.

They are not a magical stopping vehicle when you have 3 tons pushing you."

Andy
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:22 PM   #33
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The point is that a 250 cannot make a "SAFE" panic stop, when towing a 31 froot Airstream that weighs almost 6000 pounds.

All too many owners have a unfortunate misunderstanding of their trucks.

They are not a magical stopping vehicle when you have 3 tons pushing you."
You are right, and probably no one will dispute the above statements, but really, comparing an F250 to a tricycle?
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:44 AM   #34
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Andy, I appreciate your concern. I'll not tell you how I feel about the suicidal comment. You can not deduce from my brief post my hauling experiance nor other factors that led to my judgement that this could be done safety.

I did not risk my family, who followed in a chase vehicle and stayed in radio contact the entire time. The ones who reported absolutely no sway. I deliberately chose a scenic hiway with a 50 mph speed limit, no red lights, no cross traffic and close to both my starting and exit points. My research indicated the empty trailer wieght was closer to 4800 pounds.

Could it have been a bad day in a panic stop.....yes.
Could it have been a bad day in a panic stop with trailer breaks....yes. They are not a magical panacia for avoiding accidents.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:01 AM   #35
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Hi all, I think I've gathered the basics from reading these old posts but I'll ask anyway just in case anyone can think of something that didn't get covered here. I'll be bringing my project home to MT from NV at the end of March - a '68 Sovereign (30') that has been sitting abandoned for the last 17 years. I am assuming the axles, brakes, tires, brake wiring is bad and have made arrangements to get those in good working order before I even get there. I am already expecting issues with the hitch height but what else? I'm pretty much assuming that anything that can go wrong, will, and that anything that could be broken, will be.

Duct tape, check, bungi cords, check. Is there anything else I need to consider?
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:00 AM   #36
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I went to Ohio (from AZ) to pick up my bullet. Not sure how long it sat in Ohio and I really was ignorant about those kinds of things. Towed back to AZ with no brakes.

I was concerned with working lights - tail and brake lights. I brought extra bulbs, wiring and some diag equipment should I need to get into the wiring. My truck was wired up and after I hooked up evrything worked so I took off. No problems on the 2 day trip home.

If I were to do it again I would be more concerned about the tires if they are older than 5 to 7 years. That would be an automatic replace. If you have time to look at bearings and brakes before you leave that would be great. The axles ...... either they are good or they aren't. If they move up and down at all I would say tow on. It's not too difficult to replace both of them, could be done in a day. However given it's not your place and they are not exactly available at the NAPA store, replacement in NV is a little problematic. Make sure everything inside is secure.

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:58 AM   #37
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Lot's of good advise here....did you make it home safely?
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:15 AM   #38
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One additional piece of advise: take a torque wrench and torque the lug nuts. Even if the tires are in adequate shape and don't need replacing, you don't want to loose a wheel because the lug nuts came off while going down the road nor do you want to over tighten them to the point that you shear them or stretch the post to the point that they fail.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:14 AM   #39
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you don't want to loose a wheel because the lug nuts came off while going down the road nor do you want to over tighten them to the point that you shear them or stretch the post to the point that they fail.
Good thought. I would even be tempted to take them all off, grease the bolts, then replace them. A sheared bolt is cryin' time if you're far from home.
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