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Old 12-13-2011, 06:29 PM   #1
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Parked since 2005

The owner of this 31' is over 90, and has had it parked since '05. He has it dragged across the road every spring to use in summer, and then back to the barn for storage. Any thoughts on what to look for if I'd like to tow? I imagine the axles are rusted shut, although the photos show he covered the tires with cloth to protect against sun rot.

I've got a 1 ton 7.3L Ford diesel, so that ought to be enough to tow it, correct?

Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:32 PM   #2
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Short list - tires (age is a factor even if covered), bearings, lights, brakes. Bring tools. How far do you need to tow?
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
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what year is it? the ford diesel will certainly tow it. trailer probably weighs a bit under 8000. If it is a 80's or 90's trailer the axles should be okay. Tires and wheel bearings and check the brakes for sure before pulling it. Check that it has a good battery that is charged. You need the battery for the trailer break away brakes. Check the A frame for rust at the point where it goes into the Airstream. You probably will have to change the plug from a 9 blade to a 7 blade connector. Check the safety chains. You can get a feel for the axles when you take the wheels off to change tires. Check it in the front and rear for the body separating from the frame. Check the floor in the rear compartments and in the front and in front of the door for rot. Check inside that everything is buttoned down for travel and nothing like a window or microwave or tv or something to come loose.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
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Ditto on what is the year and how far are you towing? A 70s Sovereign will weigh in at about 5500#
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info so far. It's from the mid-70s.

As for towing, I hope to take it on the road to see a bit of the U.S., snowbird, etc. (I'm in Minnesota.) It would probably be smarter to get a shorter, newer, unit, but this one sounded interesting.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:21 AM   #6
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Some folks including yours truly will risk towing on any tire that will hold air for a relatively short single tow to get it where you can work on it. Some will grease the bearings first.

Long term- new tires. It's not that the axles "rust shut" in this type of axle the internal rubber torsion rods harden so there is no flex. You will probably need new axles.

This pig in a poke will have a lot of unforeseen problems. Take a guess on how much $ it will cost to get on the road and double it. If you resell it you will be lucky to get out the money you put into it. For this reason, if you are patient you can find a good deal on a trailer someone has fixed up for you. Unless of course you enjoy the work, which I do.
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