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Old 07-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
North Central , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Newbie looking at a '73 Sovereign What to look for

From what I have seen this is a great site with many seasoned Airstream lovers with a wealth of knowledge and love of these trailers. I have admired them for years and have the opportunity (I think) to purchase a '73 31 ft Soverign. It has been sitting for some time. I think it was last tagged in the early 80's. Not knowing what to look for, I will try to explain what I see. Overall, the body is not banged up or dented. There are a couple of dings and cracks in the lower portion (about the bottom 6 inches) of the wall. It is a different material it appears than the sides. The windows seem to be the biggest issue. I have found a couple of threads describing the "vista-view" windows that this has. They appear to leak and need resealed. I gather they are a pain to deal with. Also, the seals on the front side windows are bad with junk in between the two panes. Mechanically, what do I look for? Is this a good year and model? What is the value of a midwest fix-er-upper? It has a large bed instead of the two twin beds along the aisle. Is this common? Any help and input appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
Distantdrummer's Avatar
1975 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
There are lots and lots of threads on this forum about what to check and look for.
I am sorry I don't have time to go into much detail.
Personally I am not a fan of the '73 so much.
The '74 and up thru '77 would be my choices. Why? Well simply because the '73s with a very few exceptions do not have a grey water holding tank.

Lots of folks here will turn up their blue noses at any 70s era trailer ('69 thru 80 inclusive) but that is non-sense. I actually prefer the '70s era for numerous reasons.

There are lots of Sovs around. I'd pay no more than $3500 for a '73. But there are lots of reasons not to pay near that amount. Learn and check it out. most all the answers are here somewhere on this maze of too many posts and threads. But persistence will find enough of them (answers).

Oh is the Sov a rear bath?

____ d'drummer ____

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Old 07-22-2009, 10:24 PM   #3
Rivet Master
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
The big items to look for are shell separation, axles, floor rot.

Bounce the rear bumper and watch to make sure the shell bounces with it.

Look to see of there is plenty of clearance for the tires in the wheel wells and that the arms the wheels are attached to do not go upwards from axle to wheel.

Check the floor with an ice pick for rot near any access door and around the toilet and anywhere else it may look suspicious.

The vista views on a 73 should be the easy snap out type and not too difficult.

Then fill the fresh water tank and run the pump to see if it holds pressure and all the faucets work and the toilet flushes. See if there is a water heater bypass. Check the appliances to see if they work (furnace, water heater, stove, oven, fridge). Check the running lights and the interior lights.

Know what you are getting.
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