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Old 01-25-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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1974 31' Plug For Trailer Lights

I have a newer truck with a standard tow plug, what do I need to connect to a 1974 Airstream light hookup? Where can i get one? Im a noob so any help sure would be great. This is my first Airstream.

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:55 PM   #2
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Hello

I don't have a definite answer- but if it were me I would take a few nice closeup digital pics of what you currently have on the trailer -- then do the same with what you have on your tow vehicle. You have choices at this point if they don't match. Take it to an RV repair place to rewire and match; or go to your local auto parts store and see if you can find an adapter that will connect the two. In my small experience it seems wiring is a constant challenge and never consistant.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Welcome to airforums.com, you'll find a world of infomration and advice here.

I read your thread about picking it up. Pretty normal, I think

Suggest you keep all the photos in one thread, and use it as a "blog" for your work on the Sov. It makes for better reading, and on a '74, it's bound to be a l-o-n-g one... The sub-forum where you put your towing lights, for example, is for '74 Sovereigns.

There's a Camping World in Seffner, FL, that should have many of the things you'll need right away.

What you're looking for here is called an "umbilical" cord, and if your trailer's the same as mine, there is a spring-loaded little hatch right in the middle of the front of your trailer where it plugs in.

That plug is pretty common, shouldn't be hard to find one.

Hopefully, the pins on yours are wired so that your truck will be able to "talk" to your TT (travel trailer). They changed them in (I think) the '80s.

The umbilical cord carries power for the running lights (including turn signals), the brakes, and a charging line for your battery.

The FIRST thing I would buy is a Service Manual. Lots of great info in those!

Looking forward to seeing the inside of your TT!

aage
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:02 AM   #4
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I just made a cable to connect the round pin socket on our 71 Tradewind w/ the standard 7 pin connector on our F250. I got everything I needed from vintage trailer supply, and it worked quite well.

Here's the pinout on your trailer:

http://airstreamlife.com/files/2008/...lug1966-81.pdf

Here's the cable:

Bargman 7-Way Cable

and here's the plug that fits into the socket on the trailer:

7-Pin Trailer Connector

I had some heavy-duty heat shrink I used to seal the cable w/ the plug, but electrical tape would work as well. The cable comes w/ a color code chart; it's different than the color codes used in the pdf file, so make sure to use the functions ("brakes", "left turn") to match which wire goes where... it's pretty easy, since I got it right the first time.

I found it very useful to take some 3/8" copper tubing scraps and slide them over the pins in the trailer socket so I could carefully connect a battery charger to each light circuit on the trailer; I corrected several problems w/ corroded sockets before trying to hook up the car. With wiring, I try not to have too many unknowns during debugging...

- Bart
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:22 AM   #5
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AAGE, where should i start to post all the items for this, create a blog? Or should i start one post on the 1974 Sovereign forums? Not sure what is best for the forums as I see sections for specific functions like electrical and plumbing, but if its better to keep them all together........

I got it home and there is no spring loaded flap over the plug in the front and it looks pretty corroded, so I', thinking, a new one and some of the lights are broken off on the outside, so I see some wiring in my immediate future.

I want to do as much homework as i can and buy as much as I can up front with a shopping list, so now, the list has started. Sigh. But I know in the end, it will be my baby, pulled from the brink of the scrap yard. I have lots of photos to post, so when I get rolling, there will be plenty to share.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:34 AM   #6
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Are you talking about a 7 pin, 6 pin, or 4 pin plug on your TV?. I guess 7 pin. Note that the wiring sequence on the umbilical plug on your tow vehicle may not match up with your set up on your TV and you may have to do some rewiring. Do you have the umbilical cable that connects the trailer to the TV? If you don't you will have to check used sources like Colaw's but you may be better off replacing the plug at the 7 way connector at the front of the coach this is where a wiring diagram will be essential. If you don't have a service manual you should. You can get one from Secretarial Services at Jackson Center Ohio. I think there is a service manual for sale on ebay now. Does not have to be a 74, only close.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaMV View Post
AAGE, where should i start to post all the items for this, create a blog? Or should i start one post on the 1974 Sovereign forums? Not sure what is best for the forums as I see sections for specific functions like electrical and plumbing, but if its better to keep them all together........
Well, it's up to you where you put them. My personal preference is to try and keep it all together, so that the trip you have just started reads like a story. But like I say, that's for you to decide. If you do decide to put is as one thread, just go ahead and start one in the 1974 Sovereign subforum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaMV View Post
I got it home and there is no spring loaded flap over the plug in the front and it looks pretty corroded, so I', thinking, a new one and some of the lights are broken off on the outside, so I see some wiring in my immediate future.
I believe that the spring door should be there, if only to protect the socket from the elements. Corrosion can be cleaned off though, and perhaps the door part can be purchased separately.

No rush though, you may find that the various sources for parts have different prices, so I agree it's a good idea to start a list and also to look at the online sources for them.

Don't forget that this isn't "work", it is "fun", so remember to relax and enjoy yourself during the process!
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
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Arrow

Here is a suggestion;
Keep it all in one thread. But also start a blog. Do this right away.
The thread will be added to by other member posters. Sometimes that can go off in different "rabbit trails" and the whole thing becomes a bit muddled. Of course you bring it back with your subsequent posts "on the subject at hand". That's just the nature of a forum thread, you have only limited control of the directions say by day.

Then you should post the exact same things that YOU post each time to the blog. Plus any explanation of input from other "replyers" so to not foul up the context of the narrative.
This way you can have complete control of the log. Since on a blog YOU decide what outside input (posts) are to be placed.

BTW few (if any) ever do this throughout. And it becomes difficult in many cases to logically follow the experiences. However somehow we mostly all slog thru. The sad cases are where folks start out with such high and good intentions, and then just disappear without a trace of an explanation of whether or not they sold the project or whether it fell on them while removing the belly skins and they (and the project) assumed room temp.

Your pictures show a pretty well kept exterior. I am glad to see a possible upcoming thread & blog about a '74 Sov. model. I have had that sov model in past, mine were rear baths

Is your floor plan rear bath or center bath? twin beds or double bed?

Looks like the A/C shroud is missing. Hold up on that purchase til you know more about the existing unit and shrouds in general.
Do you have a service manual? An owners manual? (they are two different things).Do not buy the one from secreterial services. (bad copys). The service manual is a must have.
I'll be in touch. I'm looking for a link or pic explaining the lifeline connection from tow vehicle (TV) to trailer.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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Arrow 12 Volt Lifeline thread link

Look at this thread for starts (it refers to a '75 model).
74 & 75 are almost identical, but not quite. I am not sure if there were differences in the 12v lifeline system or not.

>> http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/1975-electrical-diagrams-38170.html
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:04 PM   #10
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OK, where is the best place to get a repair manual for the 75 model? I will start with that. The AC cover got busted up when it flew off in transport to its new home.

This unit is a rear bedroom which we prefer. The rear bedroom, I discovered when removing the horrible carpet, the only damage to the floor and its enough to require replacement.

I will start a thread on this in the 1974 Sovereign forum and a blog so I can share my journey with my new friends.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:10 PM   #11
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You need a manual for a '74 model. Not for a '75.
Unless you happen to have a '74 Excella 500 (which you don't). Those folks need the '75 manual where Airstream in its "wisdom" placed the '74 Excella information. Go figure.
Best to check ebay for an original, altho someone on there sells them copied onto DVD (or CD). Also the mothership (Airstream Inc. in Jackson Center Ohio) sells some of them for some models. I don't know if those are quality copies or not.

Did you pick up the pieces of the A/C shroud?
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaMV View Post
OK, where is the best place to get a repair manual for the 75 model? I will start with that. The AC cover got busted up when it flew off in transport to its new home.

This unit is a rear bedroom which we prefer. The rear bedroom, I discovered when removing the horrible carpet, the only damage to the floor and its enough to require replacement.

I will start a thread on this in the 1974 Sovereign forum and a blog so I can share my journey with my new friends.
You can get a photocopy from Secretarial Services at Jackson Center Ohio.
One year plus or minus on a used service manual won't make too much difference.

I assume you are talking about the AC shroud. You can still get new, but a few cracks can be fiberglassed. No one will notice it up on the roof except you.
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