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Old 02-16-2006, 10:59 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Towing a 31' 1976 Landyacht with 2003 Expedition

I am close to pulling the trigger on buying a 31' Landyacht. I need to know what upgrades I need to make to pull this thing with my 2003 5.4 liter Expedition (I have trailer tow package with tranny cooler). I think I can use the existing receiver, but I suppose I will have to add a load leveler and anti sway? I also don't know what kind of trailer brakes these things had. If they are electric I will need add the transducer from my brake pedal to transmit the brake signal out the back hookup of my truck.

I intend on pulling this thing home (about 150 miles) and then after I look work it over, up north to it's final resting places (anothere 240 mile tow) and leaving it there so I won't be doing a lot of towing.

Also any pre purchase tips on what to look for when I go to check this trailer out would be appreciated. It has the back bathroom but I don't know how to check for the "sag" issue. I also don't know if I'll be able to hook up to electric water etc when I go to check it out to see of all systems are go. In fact it is most likely (hopefully) winterized.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:11 AM   #2
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If yer not towing it regularly or in the mountains, I think you'll be fine. If the specs I found on the web are right, that truck has a 119" wheelbase, which is not the best for towing such a long trailer. On the other hand, it's far lighter than say a 2006 31' unit. I think if you just take it easy/slow, you should be fine. I'm not sure what type of hitch they put on Fords, but I would make sure it's at least class 4 or 5. You should have and use weight distribution and sway control...whatever brand you like and/or can afford. Reese is a good system, but there are others in the same price point and even higher. As for brakes, I think (not a quote) that they are also electric. You will need a good brake controller if your Ford does not have the integrated one. The two favs around here are the Prodigy and the Jordan.

I'm not really a vintage person, but what I have picked up is that the 70s models were far more prone the rear end seperation. Do a search on rear seperation on the forum......lots of great detailed info.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:45 AM   #3
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. , AZ to Maine
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Check It out!

I bought without spending enough time on the background essentials.

Trailer floor is probably the most essential item. Did you do the icepick test?

Trailer hitch: go to a pro or someone damn close, maybe at a local rv outlet, and do it right before you drag it home.

The 31' is sweet and would be my fantasy, with rear bed.

Go get it, with it all our 25 has done us very well. R
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:03 PM   #4
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Haven't looked at it yet. Am pretty nervous as I don't know squat about airstreams. What is the icepick test? Where is the floor most likely to be bad? How do I check for the sag common in those model years.

As for the truck it can supposedly pull over 8000 lbs with the TT package that I have. I still need to find out if I have a 4 or 5 receiver. Haven't been able to find the specs online. If it has a class 4 or 5 receiver will this work with a weight distributing hitch and anti-sway?

Just found the spec on my hitch "Class IV hitch/receiver, 4/7-pin connector, transmission-oil cooler."
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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Airstream Buddies

This is where Airstream Buddies come in. My kids make fun of them and the time spent on the Forum.

A guy once stopped and helped me even though I needed it, "because I had an Airstream."

You are looking for floor rot, usually below windows, at seams and where water could collect as near a bath. Some people do not like ice picks, go figure. Also look under the bottom. Dripping or moldy panels give a clue.
Does everything else work? a/c, refer, stove, water pump, 12v system, etc..

A second set of eyes can be a great help.

I went online to a trailer hitch manufacturer then called customer service after reading the forum. Get the right wiring connections too.
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac

Just found the spec on my hitch "Class IV hitch/receiver, 4/7-pin connector, transmission-oil cooler."
This hitch should work just fine. I too looked at the tow capcity of the truck. Remember that the tow rating is reduced by passengers, fuel, cargo, etc.
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:32 PM   #7
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1979 31' Excella 500
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The owner who is selling is calling this a 76 LandYacht. I don't see such a model listed. Is this a nickname for another Airstream model? Where do I find an Airstream buddy near Jackson MI?
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Old 02-16-2006, 12:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
The owner who is selling is calling this a 76 LandYacht. I don't see such a model listed. Is this a nickname for another Airstream model? Where do I find an Airstream buddy near Jackson MI?
LandYacht is the trim level. The model should be listed on the serial number plate just forward of the entry door. The serial number will also tell you the model and the floor plan.

Bill
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:02 PM   #9
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Was the LandYacht a higher trim level?
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Was the LandYacht a higher trim level?
I don't think so, I think the hightest was International. Have you looked at RJ Dial's photo archives at: http://www.vintageairstream.com/archives/index.html

His site has a great deal of information on all Airstreams and some of the differences.

Do you have the serial number?

Bill
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:33 PM   #11
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What are your plans?

Sorry, you are too far away for me. There are people that will look at it for you. Does it sag anywhere?

I like the lower trim levels because of weight and simplicity.

Up on the front is the weight tag and serial number. The serial number is also to the right of the door.
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Old 02-16-2006, 02:05 PM   #12
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Is there a way to find the closest Airstream buddy on this site?
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Old 02-16-2006, 02:08 PM   #13
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Lock it out of overdrive when you tow, probably be fine.

Look for evidence of skin buckling fore and aft of the wheel wells. This could possibly indicate frame sag.

Jump up and down on the back bumper. If a gap appears and the bumper moves relative to the body, it's got separation.

Look at the frame around the aft wheel well area. If you see a doubler plate, it's had a mod to correct for the sag problem.

good luck!
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:01 AM   #14
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1979 31' Excella 500
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How about towing this guy with the same tow vehicle? http://www.auto-rv.com/default.asp?a...dname=7-100258

Man I don't know where all the extra weight comes from going from 31' to 34'.
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