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Old 06-27-2002, 11:08 PM   #1
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Hello, just bought my first A/S about a month ago (did the 2000 mile drive in a weekend) and have been watching this forum for quite some time. Looks like a great place to tap into. I am encouraged by the well-thought out advice and the lack of fluff. Now, for some info....

My "Chrome Twinkie" is a '74 Sovereign International 31' from bumper to ball. It is equiped with a tall 'fridge and pantry cabinet, two door closet across from the center curb-side bath and a large bed running parallel to the axle. There are two couches in front (one of which pulls out). Also equiped with an electric tongue jack. Tow vehicle is a '98 1/2 ton 4x4 Suburban with a 5.7 ltr. I have added a K&N Filter and have a new transmission. It seemed a little wimpy going thru the hills in Carolina/Tennessee but I know the tranny was slipping before hooking up. Anyone think that I've got too much trailer for truck? (to an impossible level that is)

Now the questions...

1) The jack does not seem to crank up very far, it stays low enough that I'm concerned about it dragging when crossing the gutter into a drive approach. Is it possible an extension was added or is it just not getting up high enough? Is this actually normal? It also does not work unless I run a manual ground from the housing to the truck, I would think this would be internally grounded.

2) The rear ZipDee does not retract (maybe just lube it?) and I am missing the roller and fabric for the curb side awning. Any thoughts on finding replacements at less than factory cost?

3) The stove does not have a burner cover. Was this an option or something that is just missing? The rear bed frame is gone. Anyone have pictures of plans I could use to recreate it? My intent is to use the cubby hatch in the rear/street side under the bed. Possibly for rolling chairs.

4) The factory manuals all show my water heater in the bedroom but it is actually set in the bathroom with access possible from the outside of course. Any ideas why this would be?

Now I know I still have the obligatory system checks to do, gaskets to replace and window fuzzy's/ window supports to replace ( thanks to Inland Andy for pointing that all out) but these were just questions that I thought I'd ask.

I'd like to attach some pictures in the year/model forum but don't see one for the '74. Can a moderator set that up and I'll post them please?

Thanks for your time and your ideas. I can't wait to get her cleaned out (rodents, ideas on how to keep them out?), cleaned up and on the road.

Thanks again. T
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Old 06-28-2002, 11:43 PM   #2
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Try the Vintage Airstream site photo archive at
http://vintageairstream.com/archives/index.html

Dan
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Old 06-29-2002, 06:01 AM   #3
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Ref;new owner

First~Congrats on your new A/S (to you)!!
I have a similar model A/S, only slightly newer. So, I'm not sure if all of my ans will be pertain for your year.
1). Abt the jack, I assume it's a power jack and, on mine it retracts quite a ways up but, not totally. I think it's normal for that. (send in a picture if you can)
2)If your Zip Dee doesn't retract, it could be something as simple as reattaching the spring to the pin on the internal rod. At the very least, you might first try to recharge it. This means: loosen one leg from the lower attach'ment point and, you'll to turn it clockwise for at least 18 turns. Be very careful as you do this, if you feel it stiffen'in up on you after abt 8 or 10 turns then continue until you made abt 18 turns.. Then reattach the legs. If all goes well, you've got it working again. If it doesn't stiffen up on you, then the other recourse you have is to drill out the three rivets on the left hand side of the tube. You'll need to take off the top end cap, cotter pin(if they used one then) and the C ring. The spring can then be removed with a somewhat sideway moition.(to get past the rivets on the tube which holds the fabric to it)
I have a spare rod and spring, etc. but, I'd need to know what your diameter is for the tube. You'll have a 2 1/4" diameter or 2 1/2" The spares that I have fit a 2 1/4" diameter tube.
3)The stove cover in most cases was an option.
On the bed frame, else where I've seen posted a picture of the bed frame made new. I just can't remember who posted it..Maybe someone can help you there.
4)I think it's makes sense to have it in the bathroom, for two good reasons. one is for safety sake..(who would want a hotwater going off under them?) second, the closer to the actual useage point, the less loss of hotwater. makes sense to me.
Anyway, that's the way it's setup on my unit.
And, for your last request. The moderators are all very helpful in that area..Just pop em an email for that purpose or, you could just post it under your name. (little secret...you can get more of your pictures across by posting em here on the message forum. as the other posting site limits you to the actual total size of all your picture files... 1 meg .
Rodents, may be come'in thru the air intake for your furance. You might want to look into using a wasp guard for covering that, works wonders for keepin out the rodents as well..Also, I'd make this suggestion: not to store any kind of food in your unit after each trip. We always clear it out when we're back home. And, lastly..while I was out of the country, my wife bought one of those electronic rodents repell devices..she swears by it but, as for me... I don't know..lol
Anything else you might have questions abt, this is the 'forum' to post em~!
Welcome aboard~!
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Old 06-29-2002, 12:02 PM   #4
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jack:
Mine had a similar problem. There should be a set of limiting switches under the motor cover. If the jack was used in the manual hand crank mode, thenit is likely that it needs to be set up again for proper operation. Find out the manufacturer, andf then do a search for manuals. Mine is an H&H made by Barker Mfg. They have repair manuals on their site for their jacks. www.barkermfg.com
Rodents:
Check your wheel wells thoroughly. My trailer had a cracked plastic wheel well on the curb side under the bed. Big enough crack for an alligator to slide through. Good thing we don't have alligators in California....
Also, check the areas where pipes and wiring enter the bellypan. Older units like mine and yours were often "shadetree repaired" and therefore usually need some good and close looking over to make them rodent resistant.
Towing Vehicle:
Seems you have a good rig. I tow my 25ft AS with a somewhat anemic Dodge 1ton van, and other than the steepest hills, " you don't even know it's back there"......just take your time on the steep stuff, and get your transmission looked at soon. My mechanic recommends a heavy duty transmission cooler for towing.I will have one put in before my next long trip.
Good luck and congrats on the AS.
Uwe
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Old 07-02-2002, 02:25 PM   #5
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Thanks to all who replied

Thanks for the thoughts,

Towner, the tube on my rear awning is 2 1/4" diameter. I'll try the spin fix you mentioned and if it doesn't work I'll let you know, maybe something can be worked out regarding your spares. The lenght of that one is 46". Any chance you have the parts I need for the curb awning? The steel cover part (all that I have besides the arms) measures 21'.

I'll look into the jack some more and send a pic/measurement next time I move it clear of its resting place to do so.

Take care all.
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Old 07-02-2002, 02:45 PM   #6
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Wink Spare..

Yep, if you need something, I'm sure we can work it out..From what I'm lead to believe, the thing that matters the most is the diameter of the tube. Now this is the part I find hard to believe, it uses the same length spring on all the different awning..even the largest one..Again, I'm under the impression that, the only differences besides the diameter is the number of turns you use to 'charge' the awning's retraction spring.
Make sense? When you get it out, let me see a pic of if you can..
ciao
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Old 07-02-2002, 03:06 PM   #7
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spare

will do, it will probably be a day or so.

Are you saying that a 2 1/4 inch tube could be used for a 21' lenght? Wow.

How long is the spare you have?

Finally, that would be 18 turns for the rear awning?
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Old 07-02-2002, 08:40 PM   #8
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T,
I will have 1974 added to the Sovereign list, may take a few days. Congratulations on your new Sovereign.

John
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Old 07-02-2002, 11:50 PM   #9
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Spare

Several things;
As for the length of spring, it's the standard length. As I mention, the impression I have is that one size fits all...the only issue is the number of turns and, that depends on the length of the awning's tube its installed in. I'll measure it when I get home in the morning.(at work now) The one that I replaced it in took 18 turns and, I believe it's abt the same length as the rear window.That I'll check again in the morning for you. My guess is that would be abt right since, 18 turns was required for the curb side bedroom window..it's either the same sizes as the rear bedroom window or sligthly smaller. (check it first) BTW, I still have the shipping carton for the spring, etc.
Thanks for the Congrats on the new A/S but, the truth of the matter is, the request was for a friend "Who" are the new owners of the 87(Ryeduck) and, her husband. thanks for taking care of it~
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:20 PM   #10
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a 1/2 ton might be a bit much for towing a '74.i think that is about when the weight gain began.check the tag near the ball for its weight.on level ground it still could sway.check the load range on suburban tires.load range E is very good.a 3/4 ton is a better tv all 'round.welcome to a group that loves their a/s so much,they can actually tell which one is theirs.
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