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Old 07-23-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
San Antonio , Texas
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1971 Sovereign

I am picking up my first Airstream in a couple of weeks. It is a 1971 Sovereign.
I need to tow it about 90 miles to get it home. I am looking for advice.
1. Does anyone know what size trailer ball I need?
2. Should I grease the befores before I move it, if so, how?
3. Will I need an adapter to connect the trailer to my tow vehicle (2009 Mercedes GL diesel)?
4. How old should my limit be on the tires? The trailer has been stationary for up to 2 years and I am planning on replacing the tires at a truck stop about 20 miles down the road.
Thanks in advance.
Scott
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenslee View Post
I am picking up my first Airstream in a couple of weeks. It is a 1971 Sovereign.
I need to tow it about 90 miles to get it home. I am looking for advice.
1. Does anyone know what size trailer ball I need?
2. Should I grease the befores before I move it, if so, how?
3. Will I need an adapter to connect the trailer to my tow vehicle (2009 Mercedes GL diesel)?
4. How old should my limit be on the tires? The trailer has been stationary for up to 2 years and I am planning on replacing the tires at a truck stop about 20 miles down the road.
Thanks in advance.
Scott
1. 2 5/16"
2. Yes, at least check the bearings.
3. Most likely.
4. 5 years.

Andy
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:08 PM   #3
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The ball will be either 2" or 2 5/16" my 69 ambassador came with a 2". It have been updated. Check the frame in that area and make sure it is sound.

Many people repack the bearings before towing. That will also give you a chance to check out the breaks.

The rule of thumb on tires is 5 years. Call ahead and have them ordered and waiting for you. Many places don't carry them.

Your car will need a 7 pin connector and a brake controller. But it could have come with a 6 pin. I would call the seller they may know.

Some people bring a set break lights, wires, and wire to rig the breaks. It all depends on the shape of the trailer.

Take your time and good luck! Do you have any pics?
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
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No pics yet, will head down this weekend to do final inspection. I am a complete newbie, does the break controller need to be installed in my tow vehicle?
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:39 PM   #5
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Yes the brake controller goes inside the car, unless it came with one from the factory. I have a Tekonshea T3 brake controller. It works pretty well. A brake controller applies power to the brakes on the trailer. The 4 pin hook ups do not control breaks.

There may be an adapter so the controller is plug and play.

There is some folks on the forum who volunteer as trailer inspectors. They might be able to go with you and help out.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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I am heading down to my SUV's owners manual now.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
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Unless the trailer has been towed recently with a modern TV. And all systems functioned.

The wiring of the 7 pin plug will not match your TV. Be prepared to rewire the trailer 7 pin connector to match your TV.

You should also have a "house battery" in the trailer wired properly to the breakaway switch.
Can't help with the ball size or equalizer hitch requirements.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:37 PM   #8
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That’s the problem my 72 was not wired correctly. When I towed it home I had someone follow me. Someone that knows what’s going on with trailers and towing. I did not have to go far about 20 miles. I found that the axles were from 1972, they were old. I just took a chance. I figured that if I did break down I’d just have it towed. Be prepared….It might be better for you to have it towed to your location if you don’t have towing experience. If you’re going further than that you need to get good insurance.
Also your trailer is now 41 years old. Great as AS might be, that’s old. I know I’m 53
2 5/8 Ball
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:27 AM   #9
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My '71 sovereign has a 2 5/16" ball and tongue.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:37 AM   #10
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Thanks all for the help. It sounds like the best thing is to get the temp lights that will mount on the bumper. I was planning on rewiring everything anyways. The axel replacement is also part of the plan. BTW, Thisisliving, I am the same vintage as the trailer(part of my attraction to this particular AS), does that mean I am "old" also? Just kidding! I'll get them checked with the new tires about 20 miles from pickup.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:44 AM   #11
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Andy, how do I check and grease the bearings?
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:04 AM   #12
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There are numerous videos on the Internet showing how to clean, check, repack and reassemble wheel bearings.
This job is not specific to A$. The procedure is the same on all trailers.
Good Luck with the trip home.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:09 AM   #13
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If the truck stop had a mechanic there, you might be able to have them repack them for you, and check out the brakes.

The quickest way to check the bearings is to jack up one side of the trailer. Spin the first wheel, it should spin pretty easy. Next grab the tires on the sides and give it a good wiggle. The tire should not wiggle very much at all. If it does the bearings may need to be replaced.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:21 AM   #14
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I was planning on calling the truck stop today to confirm a mechanic on duty Saturdays. I planned on installing new tires on the way back. Good thought on the brakes, bearings as well.
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