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Old 03-14-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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newbie here...some quick important questions > please help!!

all,

thanks so much for taking the time to read my post. i have made the decision to purchase an airstream and after much research regarding issues/problem areas i've narrowed my search to a local to me 1973 31' sovereign that is in overall decent condition. i will be using it as an office/guest room behind our home but want it in good condition for towning too.
i'm looking at the trailer tomorrow and have reviewed several photos form the seller. it has clean interior with solid floors. exterior needs some polishing but overall is great condition and everything is working including guages. last time it was towed was 3 years ago.

***however has the following issues:

1. plumbing leak somewhere between the floor and belly pan
2. axles don't have the 3-4" clearance and i assume they are in need of replacement.

**i wanted to find out what the cost is for the parts necessary to replace/repair the axles including shipping to seattle wa.?? where do i purchase??

i really appreciate any help and look forward to becoming part of the airstream family!

william, seattle wa.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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William the only plumbing between the floor and the belly pan is the waste water system and the fresh water tank. there is also a drain line from the fresh water tank and another one from the supply system down there. All the supply plumbing is above the floor. Can you be more specific as to the leak? Location etc.
Inland RV in California is the place to call for axles and for any other part you will need for a vintage unit. They are vintage specialists and fairly close to you.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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If the axles are original good chance they do need to be replaced. Before you write them off though jack up the trailer so the wheels start to come off the ground. If the body jacks up a couple of inches first the axle still has some life to it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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I'm still working on mine. My axles, frame, body, windows, and electrical systems are good. I've budgeted $14,000 over purchase price to improve mine. That won't be enough.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Sounds as if you found a solid coach if the 'issues' you listed are all there are. Easy fix. Been there done that.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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My advise on an antique trailer, is to spend all the other money first, and then if you're not nuts, broke, or sick of it, pay up for the axles.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
William the only plumbing between the floor and the belly pan is the waste water system and the fresh water tank. there is also a drain line from the fresh water tank and another one from the supply system down there. All the supply plumbing is above the floor. Can you be more specific as to the leak? Location etc.
Inland RV in California is the place to call for axles and for any other part you will need for a vintage unit. They are vintage specialists and fairly close to you.
Inland RV Center - The Nations Leading Expert in Airstream Innovations
really appreciate the fast response...unfortunately i can't be precise on the leak as the seller explained it over the phone as a leak. i can get more detail when i see the trailer for the 1st time tomorrow afternoon.

**can you give me a basic idea or is there some sort of plumbing "map" i can look at that shows where the drain lines and water tanks are located in the belly pan??...i'm thinking if they are running within the same pocket under the trailer they can be accessed by cutting the pan in a certain section to access and then carefully re-riveting it. this would eliminate removing the entire pan.

thx and i'll get an update on friday with what i find.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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William like I said almost all of the fresh water supply plumbing is inside the trailer above the floor. It starts at the rear bumper area on the roadside at the city water connection. It will travel forward on the roadside of the trailer to the kitchen area and depending on weather your trailer is a rear or center bath model it goes under the roadside bed into the roadside closet and into the roadside pantry. At that point and this may be where it is leaking the plumbing travels down under the floor into the belly area of the fresh water tank and crosses over to the curbside kitchen counter to come up to the kitchen sink. Then the cold fresh water supply travels rearward to the bathroom and the water heater. At that point the hot water supply will travel forward to the kitchen sink along the curbside of the trailer.
If the leak is in the fresh water storage tank it can be removed fairly easily to access the pipe.
I'm not home now or I would scan the layout of the plumbing schematic and post it here.
You can order a service manual from Airstream. https://store.airstream.com/product_...products_id=96
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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Here's one layout:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...6&d=1285434115

Here is a diagram from a 75.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:29 PM   #10
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Watch out for rear end sag on that year/model.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
My advise on an antique trailer, is to spend all the other money first, and then if you're not nuts, broke, or sick of it, pay up for the axles.
As I said earlier beware of experts. Present company included of course.

Yeah, you can choose to do the axles last but be advised towing a trailer with bad axles can cause a lot of damage to the trailer, a little at a time. As me how I know this.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
I'm still working on mine. My axles, frame, body, windows, and electrical systems are good. I've budgeted $14,000 over purchase price to improve mine. That won't be enough.

This is beautiefulllll! Pick a budget then tripple it! The hours you think your gonna spend on it.........You will never be finished! I would not trade it for anything.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #13
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I would add to make sure it has decent axles before much towing. Since the OP wrote: "i will be using it as an office/guest room behind our home . . .", I'll stick with my advise with the addendum. I regularly see unfinished gut job trailers with new axles under them for sale for not much more than the cost of the axles and the new tires.

Maybe other people tow trailers while they're under construction. I don't. I couldn't even get my wife inside it when I first got it.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:01 PM   #14
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
Watch out for rear end sag on that year/model.
this was also a concern of mine and i was wonder just exactly how can you tell if there is a sage in the rear??...i assume an indication would be panel seperation near the bathroom area(its a rear bath model)

i will see the trailer "live" for the first time tomorrow afternoon.

**if there are any other worry items i'd like to know. the seller confirms the following:
1. no leaks in roof/windows/seams or anywhere else on the trailer.
2. entire floor is solid.
3. everything works including all guages
4. the propane heater needs a fan motor...since the fan motor has lost power the propane shuts off due to a safety valve in the system.
4. included are the owners manual and repair manual.
5. last towed a long distance 4 years ago...very good tires that are almost new. "tows like a dream" says owner.
6. one slight scrape on exterior down low about 2' long just under/near the access panel for refrigerator.
7. needs a basic scrubbing around the exterior trim where some grime has built up.
8. has a water leak under the floor between floor and belly pan which i will guess is a drain crack because according to seller only leaks when water is used.
9. a/c doesn't work.


**I will check for:
1. rear sag
2. axle condition
3. overall condition
4. check all floors and check interior for any sign of leakage.
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