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Old 10-21-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1984 31' Sovereign
Westerville , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 6
Helping a Newbie


I have just return from Florida with my late Grandfathers AS a 31' 1984 Sovereign.
As a kid I spent many of Friday afternoons waiting for my Grandpa to get home from work so that I could ask him the same questions everytime. "Grandpa what are you doing"? He would reply hooking up the camper. I would then say where are you going. He would say camping. The next statement would get him everytime. "THAT SOUNDS FUN"! He would say go ask your NAN if it's ok to go. If it is get your bag packed. Little did he know I packed my bag before I went to school on those Friday mornings and took it with me to school. But somehow I think he knew that.

At any rate my wife and are working on the AS to try and get it ready for next season. We are looking for any ASers in the Columbus Ohio area that may be able to show us the ropes around our "new" rig. As a kid I didn't pay much attention to what Grandpa was doing when setting up and tearing down also need help learning some basic maintenance. I have ordered all new window gaskets and will be replacing thos over the next few weeks.

Thank you for your time

Rick Jacobs

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Old 10-21-2015, 09:07 PM   #2
1987 Avion 34W owner
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Vintage Kin Owner
Good Ol' , USA
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,977
Great memories of time spent with your Grandpa!

“What’s good for me may not be good for the weak minded.”

1987 Avion 34W
1995 Ford F250 7.3L PowerStroke
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:24 PM   #3
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1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 75
We are AS newbies as well (SEP2015) and while we've owned a few other RVs, AS units are special. I study this forum site almost daily, joining our local WBCCI Airstream organization soon, buying printed Airstream books, studied the new-to-us AS owner's manual. Sometimes there is the learn by doing tactic as in setting up your unit in the driveway/yard and practice hooking up/camping/tearing down. Bottom line is that RVing is a learning experience almost every time you go out whether you've been doing it for 6 months or 30 years. I can tell you this, with our 1989 unit we are planning on replacing all of the appliances(at our pace vs. when they break at the worst time), have replaced the tires, greased the bearings, sealed the seams (Parbond sealant) and have a rot hole to fix, even though we checked the unit out before we bought it. Take a flashlight and icepick, then poke around the outside edges of the floor, inside the floor cabinets, under the windows, behind the bed(s), behind the front sofa/bed because your looking for soft floor spots and the icepick will stick into a soft floor or penetrate if its too rotted (how we found ours). You can check parts of your frame by looking under the rear bumper storage lid and checking the rear cross-member for serious rust issues and you can see parts of the inner side rails through 2-3 inch holes on either side of the storage area looking for rust and under the front A-frame section. If you see serious rust holes, missing framework, etc. then you might consider removing the aluminum belly-pan panels for further investigation. Finally, take it to a trusted
mechanic/RV tech who will check out the axles/brakes. Ours looked decent/safe and my tech told me that he would put new axles on my unit (which I planned on because they are 25+ years old), but that we should use it for a year and see if this trailer was going to work for us before I put a lot of money into it. We think that is the best advice for the near term... Good Luck!!!
James and Rebecca
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Old 10-29-2015, 06:10 PM   #4
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1970 23' Safari
2005 30' Classic
1986 31' Sovereign
Lorain , Ohio
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,633
Images: 9
Hi Rick,

You have many "local" folks around you! This weekend a few Airstreamers are getting together at Findley State Park in Wellington ohio. The park is almost sold-out, some non-reserveable electric sites might be available.

Either way, feel free to drive up saturday, share a meal, and talk Airstreams! Although not on your trailer, we have folks that will certainly start you on your way.
Proud Member of the Wally Byam Airstream Club #24260

The “Ohio Airstreamer -- Informal forum for weekend camping” thread.
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