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Old 05-12-2004, 11:45 AM   #1
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Exclamation 1969 Sovereign questions

Hi,
Brand new to this forum, brand new to Airstreams also!! I have a 1969 31'Sovereign coming in at the end of the month and would like to know what kind of brakes it has and where can I find a wiring diagram for the hitch? I have a hitch on the tow vehicle but it's European wiring, was wondering if it would match with the trailor?
Thanks all,
Saigon

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Old 05-12-2004, 04:25 PM   #2
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1969 Sovereign questions

Greetings Saigon!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

Quote:
I have a 1969 31'Sovereign coming in at the end of the month and would like to know what kind of brakes it has and where can I find a wiring diagram for the hitch?
Airstreams of the 1960s era had drum-style electric brakes. The manufacturer seemed to have varied between Kelsey Hayes and Dexter. For the most part, replacement parts are available. For a major overhaul of the brakes, it is generally less expensive to buy something called a "fully loaded backing plate" that includes new shoes, magnets, and all attaching hardware.

The wiring diagram for the Bargman connector on the trailer's umbilical cord can be found on the Airstream corporate website at:

Bargman 7-pin Connector Wiring Data - - 1966-1981

I doubt very much that the wiring at your tow vehicle will match that used on the Airstream unless its Bargman connector has been rewired. Even in the US, it is rare to buy a Vintage coach and not have to rewire the Bargman connector to the modern standard used on current tow vehicles.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 05-12-2004, 08:29 PM   #3
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Now I'm no expert - so please no one jump on me for trying to help someone out

We picked up our '69 (Globe Trotter) - and our biggest headache was the wire harness. You see we went by the above link for that year - boy was it way out in left field to what they actually did for the '69 models.

We had our Tow Vehicle - wired specific and our friend Greg had to change everything when we got down there to match the Tow Vehicle - all because of the above link. So don't trust everything you read. - Especially in a changeover year.

Here is the enclosed diagram from our Owners Manual (wish we had this before we left) - (reproduced it so it was readable - the scan is way too small).
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:27 AM   #4
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1969 Sovereign questions

Greetings GT6921!

Quote:
Greg had to change everything when we got down there to match the Tow Vehicle
It is very normal to have to rewire the trailer connector to match the tow vehicle as the Vintage Airstream wiring patterns were generally not even similar to the current standard - - most Vintage owners find it easier to rewire the trailer to the modern standard so that changing tow vehicles doesn't necessitate changing the tow vehicle end of the trailer connector. Prior to towing both of my coaches, the trailer connector had to be rewired to match the tow vehicle - - the benefit of the chart from Airstream is that it identifies the function of the wires by color - - and thus far, my coaches and those that I have assisted with had wiring that matched the coding indicated in the Airstream chart (I never really looked at the starting point on either connector to see whether the actual plug was still wired to its original configuration as it was a given that the connector would need to be replaced as each of the coaches I have dealt with had the old-type round pin connectors rather than the blade-type Bargman connector utilized on modern tow vehicles.

The main point of accessing the wiring diagram from the Airstream corporate site is to determine the function of the wires by color to make the identification of function simpler. Once the function of each wire is known, it is a rather easy job to rewire the trailer connector to the modern standard - - even for someone like me who dislikes working with anything having to do with electricity. To make the process easier on my last acquisition, I also carried a small 12-volt garden tractor battery with sets of alligator clamps to facilitate testing the function of each wire to verify that the trailer wiring agreed with the data from Airstream - - and the wire functions matched the color coding supplied in the diagram so it was just a matter of matching function to terminal designations on the modern connector - - the modern color coding on the terminals had to be ignored where it didn't match.

Kevin
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
Greetings GT6921!
It is very normal to have to rewire the trailer connector to match the tow vehicle as the Vintage Airstream wiring patterns were generally not even similar to the current standard ..........and the wire functions matched the color coding supplied in the diagram so it was just a matter of matching function to terminal designations on the modern connector - - the modern color coding on the terminals had to be ignored where it didn't match.

Kevin
We hear you.....now but a few months ago we were total newbies - with a brand new vehicle that did not have a standard "RV" type wiring package available.

Not like all the other GM, FORD, DODGE etc that each have their own wiring diagram specific to their vehicles wiring patterns- there really IS NO standard - everyone we looked at was different - and as we had not wired up the Kia yet we thought it would be easy just to match what was waiting for us 1500 miles away - as we were specifically told any wire tampering to the Kia will blow the warrenty. They also have some pretty weird wiring with a lot of safeties to it - such as you can not tap into the rear lights or you will blow a particular circuit that will trigger another and lock your drive into 3rd gear.

You mention the colour scheme - that was not even close (okay a few were the same - but close only counts in horse shoes.)

As it was the back up lights draw too much and tripped a fuse in the Kia that used some of the standard schematics for RV but just located in different position on the plug. Thus all the way home we could not cycle through reverse without blowing a 10amp fuse - so we had lots on hand. We had to start and stop in N. No big deal but a lot could have been avoided if we had had the original 69 diagram - as that is exactly how she was wired from the back to the front the female end had already been changed to the flat pin style.

Anyway we are all back to normal now - but have decided to go without the backup lights - as they still draw too much - so there may be some issue with the wire or lights themselves. But for our first year we don't plan on backing up in the dark

We have gone to a more "standard" RV wiring that accepts the 7 to 4 pin adapter for our boat and landscape trailer. So we are good to go.

PS I just think there should be a little sentence on the Vintage wiring charts that says - I may or may not be correct check wiring at source
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:34 AM   #6
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With a bit of support from your forum friends you could wire a relay in that would work the backup lights. It would need to connect the charge line to the backup lights when you place the KIA in reverse. This relay would be inside the trailer and would use a combination of the house battery and the charge for the tow vehicle to energize the lights.

Just a thought.
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
With a bit of support from your forum friends you could wire a relay in that would work the backup lights. It would need to connect the charge line to the backup lights when you place the KIA in reverse. This relay would be inside the trailer and would use a combination of the house battery and the charge for the tow vehicle to energize the lights.

Just a thought.
That sounds interesting??? We are getting the final bit of wiring done next Tuesday and the extra cooler put in. The last wire is the charging line with a heavy duty circuit breaker from the altenator? (I think) always get the altenator and regulator mixed up. The wire was already run when they did the original wiring but just rolled up by the fuse board as we were not going to need it. We were not sure what power system was on the A/S before we went down (only had like 10 days and in that time we decided to sell our Skidoo by and trailer then decided on a Vintage Airstream - looked/surfed found one - power researched - had to find a forum member to help do the deal for us - fit the pick up trip into our holiday schedule, bought it and picked it up on the way home from our eventual mini holiday in Florida with basically no time to read the whole forum before we went )

But now we seem to have a pooched UV and will be considering either a rebuild or (if I have my way) get a new Intelli power thingy .

I will pass on your idea to Peter - I'm sure he will be interested in it - could be one of those lazy day summer projects - ha- now do you think he will have any of those left????
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:28 AM   #8
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Thumbs up Wiring & brakes

Thanks for all the replies !I will test all the wires and do the change-overs to match the tow vehicle,i can wait awhile for the brakes as the trailer will spend most of this year in the back yard as a guesthouse.Up to me now to promote Airstream in France !!
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Old 04-05-2005, 07:58 PM   #9
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Anyone know where I can get a replacement 7 pin trailer side connector with the mounting hardware? It is a recent flat pin version but one slot is rusted bad so i want to replace the hole unit
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:13 PM   #10
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Look to a local trailer parts supplier. Even your big box autoparts store may have it.

http://www.redneck-trailer.com/products.htm is a nationwide source
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