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Old 07-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
austin , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Onan generator controls on 1978 sovereign?

OK i am new to airforums. I just bought a 31 foot airstream sovereign and i see it has Onan controls in the front with a switch that says start. I am sure there is no generator in the airstream so i was wondering why there is this switch? Any info is much appreciated.

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Old 07-27-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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On those years of Airstreams there was a generator option, which was a small battery charging generator, built into a compartment in the side. I think it was propane powered. I only ever saw one once, so my memory is fuzzy. It was a rare option, and some previous owner may have removed it, but the switch to start it remains.

Look again at all the outside compartments. It may still be there, or you may find one with some strange wires or holes where it was.

Let us know what you find.

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Old 07-29-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
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You might check's specifications and manuals for that year (and years around it0 - you might find something useful there.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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According to my 1976 manual it was in a compartment on the left side just ahead of the water heater. LP fired. It was probably in the bottom of the closet just aft of the left side bed if you have a rear bath twin. If you have a center bath it is approximately the same place, but the water heater is curb side on those models.

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Old 07-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
austin , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Thanks all! So I have a side bath airstream. There is no compartment for a generator. I did find a thread talking about a battery charger for the dual batteries in the front. I will check out airstreams site and look for the spec on my 1978 and see if I find anything.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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1978 31' Sovereign
austin , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6
So I determined there is definitely no generator. The only thing I have is a battery charger for my dual batteries. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:35 PM   #7
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How is the battery charger powered? If it is gas could it be a really small generator? Jim

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