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Old 07-01-2010, 11:52 AM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
Tieton , Washington
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Can a 2004 Chevy Avalanche 1500 tow a 1974 31' Sovereign

Hello,

I am looking at purchasing a 1974 31' Sovereign with rear bath. I own a 2004 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4X4, 3.73 gear ratio, 7100 lb tow capacity. I do not know a lot about airstreams, I am going to go take a look at this one and if it is in good condition buy it. It comes with sway bars, would my vehicle be able to to this? I live in Eastern Washington State so there will be hills/mountains.

Edit: Also does 30" feet mean the trailer and hitch combined or just the trailer minus the hitch length. The lady told me the trailer is about 28' but 31' total with hitch.

Thank you,
Jason
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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1975 29' Ambassador
Greenfield , Massachusetts
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I don't know about the overall length. What I do know is that I have an 06 GMC 1500 crewcab 4x4 w/ 3.73 gear ratio and a 5.3L. It also has a factory transmission cooler installed on the radiator. It has been lifted about 2" and has stightly larger than stock tires on it. I pull a 1975 29' Ambassador rated at 7100lbs with it. She works when I am going up the hills into Northern VT and I watch the temp gauge. So far I have had no issues (knock on wood) and I haven't overheated it. I think that if we to start doing some major traveling (over 500 miles at a time) I would want a 3/4 ton....but thats just my 2cents.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
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vvolf27- Another Airstreamer here WA speaking (we have a 1975 31'). These are some of the lightest 30' class trailers out there. Ours weighs 4950 dry according to the manual. Add about 500-1000lb for gear, accessories, water, and potentially full waste tanks, and you're at about 6000lb.

I tow ours with a Dodge 2500 3/4 ton with the Cummins turbo diesel. It tows GREAT. Granted your 1500 is a lot lighter, but it would get the job done. BTW: New 31' Airstreams with the widebody weigh 1500lb more- 7500 dry. Not sure what all they added.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvolf27 View Post
Hello,

I am looking at purchasing a 1974 31' Sovereign with rear bath. I own a 2004 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4X4, 3.73 gear ratio, 7100 lb tow capacity. I do not know a lot about airstreams, I am going to go take a look at this one and if it is in good condition buy it. It comes with sway bars, would my vehicle be able to to this? I live in Eastern Washington State so there will be hills/mountains.

Edit: Also does 30" feet mean the trailer and hitch combined or just the trailer minus the hitch length. The lady told me the trailer is about 28' but 31' total with hitch.

Thank you,
Jason
The 31' length includes the bumper and A-frame. The actual trailer portion measures 27'. The 70s Sovereigns are pretty light, the dry weight of mine is 4900 lbs. With water and "stuff" ours weighs about 6000 lbs.
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Old 07-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #5
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1983 31' Excella
Tieton , Washington
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Thanks for your replies! I feel a bit better now! I thought it would be ok especially with sway bars. Can't wait to take this thing out for the first time. There's just something about an Airstream....
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:30 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
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A few things to inspect on your trailer, very important!
1. Check for axle sag. There's a lot of articles out there on how to measure the angle of the arms and what not, but an easy check is that the rims are not up into the wheel well (looking from the side, you should see the whole rim, plus about 1" or more gap between the top of the rim and the wheel well trim

2. Make sure the dump valves work- take off the cap and check for leaking gray/black water

3. Stand on the rear bumper and jump on it. You should see less 1/4" or less movement between the bumper and body. This is an inspection for a common condition called "rear end separation" between the body and frame

4. Look down the side of the trailer from the back on both sides. The trim down towards the bottom should be straight. Another check for frame and rear-end separation issues

5. Check to see if there's a hot water heater bypass installed for easy winterizing

6. Hook up to AC power, and listen for AC-DC converter hum (the Univolt system it's called on AS)

7. Roll out all of the awnings if so equipped and check for proper rollup functioning and the fabric condition

8. Brakes- electric? Vacuum? Working?

9. Plug into tow vehicle (the towing connection) and check for turn signal and clearance lights working

10. Test operation of electric jack for hitch

11. Comes with load leveling bars? Important for the vehicle you describe

12. Check the skin for dents and check all seams to look for gaps and buckling

13. Check for signs of leaking tanks (fresh water, gray and black waste)

14. Test city water supply hookup

There's a few things to think about
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:14 AM   #7
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1983 31' Excella
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That is some solid advice, thank you. I will make sure I print this list out when I go look at it!!
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