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Old 02-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Grandville , Michigan
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Using a GMC Envoy with 5.3l V8 and Towing Package

Hey all,
I am preparing to pick up my 72 Soverign next Tuesday but I have to drive 700 miles to get it. My research has shown the towing capacity on my Envoy is 7000 lbs. I am just going to pick it up and bring it home to restore.. Just wondering if it should be okay to pull..
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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Using a GMC Envoy with 5.3l V8 and Towing Package

Greetings airstreamman!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by airstreamman View Post
Hey all,
I am preparing to pick up my 72 Soverign next Tuesday but I have to drive 700 miles to get it. My research has shown the towing capacity on my Envoy is 7000 lbs. I am just going to pick it up and bring it home to restore.. Just wondering if it should be okay to pull..
On the surface, it looks like you should be within the trailer towing capacity, but I do suspect that a footnote will require that you utilize a weight distributing hitch to achieve that maximum capacity. Your 1972 Soveriegn has a factory listed dry weight of 4,960 pounds (Twin) or 4,990 pounds (Double) with a dry hitch weight of 515 pounds (Twin) or 520 pounds (Double). The thing to keep in mind with these weights is that it reflects the base coach without any options or accessories and does not include the weight of any fluids (water, LP Gas, wastes) . . . the actual empty weight of the coach is likely to be two hundred or more pounds heavier. The factory lists the hitch height as 19.5 inches, but the suspension in the Henschen DuraTorque axles has likely settled producing a level towing hitch height of between 16" and 17.5".

Due to the comparative size difference between your Sovereign and tow vehicle, a well adjusted weight distributing hitch is a definite safety consideration. My suggestion would be to consider some form of sway control as well . . . friction would be the minimum, but something like the Reese Dual Cam Sway Control or the Equal-I-Zer hitch with built-in sway control are only marginally more costly than a hitch with just weight distribution.

Good luck with your retrieval!

Kevin

P.S.: I am attaching several pdf files that you may find useful. One file contains the factory weights and measures for Vintage Airstreams. A second file contains the factory wiring diagram for the Bargman trailer connector as utilized on Airstreams of the 1960s through the early 1980s -- the color/function relationship is different from today's industry standard as is the positioning of the various functions on the plug. I have also attached some adjustment instructions for the Reese Hitch that was fairly typical for Airstreams during the 1970s . . . if a hitch is included with the trailer it is likely to be a variant of the Reese hitch.
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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