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Old 07-24-2004, 11:46 PM   #1
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I own one, Now What?

Hey everyone, I finally found a suitable (I Hope ) Airstream project. And I only have to drive 1600 miles to get it. Check out EBAY# 2484171726 please and give me some feedback on my purchase.
First of all I would like to know what everyone recommends that I check out before the trip home to Denver Colorado. Secondly if anyone has any suggestions about restoring the trailer I would welcome any input.
I am leaving this Thursday to pull her home.
Thanks,
Scott and Cyndi Fling
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:42 AM   #2
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I own one, Now What?

Greetings Scott and Cyndi!

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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fling
Hey everyone, I finally found a suitable (I Hope ) Airstream project. And I only have to drive 1600 miles to get it. Check out EBAY# 2484171726 please and give me some feedback on my purchase.
First of all I would like to know what everyone recommends that I check out before the trip home to Denver Colorado. Secondly if anyone has any suggestions about restoring the trailer I would welcome any input.
I am leaving this Thursday to pull her home.
Thanks,
Scott and Cyndi Fling
When you go to tow your acquisition home, you will need to consider several issues and be prepared for several potential repair/replacement items.

1.) You will want to be sure that your tow vehicle is rated for at least 5,000 lbs. as the empty weight of the '67 Sovereign is going to be very close to 5,000 pounds. See: Airstream Weights and Measures. In addition, you will likely need to be sure that you have a ball mount for your receiver that allows for sufficient for the hitch height of 21.5" as indicated on the above link - - weight distribution will also be a wise addition with a coach of this size.

2.) You will want to be prepared to rewire the Bargman connector on the trailer to match the "industry standard" wiring configuration that will likely be found on your tow vehicle. See: Tow Vehicle Bargman Connector Wiring (current standard). If the Sovereing in question hasn't had its connector rewired, it will likely have the plug wired to the pattern used by Airstream. See: 1966-1981 Airstream Bargman Connector wiring data. If your experience parallels mine, you will find that the connector needs to be rewired - - even if the connections don't match the pattern in the illustration, the color coding of the wiring will likely match up to the functions of the wires in your coach's umbilical cord. A 12-volt battery with a pair of alligator clips will help in checking the function of the wires as your rewire the connector - - it also may be needed for the coach if one isn't present to power the breakaway switch for the trip home. Carrying a backup set of emergency towing lights that could be temporarily mounted to the rear bumper in the event that the tailights can't be made operational might be advisable - - I have always carried a set when preparing to tow a recently acquired trailer, but have never needed them.

3.) For the length of trip you are approaching, the wheel bearings will needed to be repacked. In addition while the wheels are apart for bearing service the brakes should be inspected and brought into good operating condition for safety on the long trip home.

4.) The tires will almost certainly need to be replaced since nothing was mentioned in the description about their age. You may also encounter the need for new wheels as their is a possibility that the coach may have split-rims - - I am a bit suspicious of this based upon the appearance of the hubcaps.

Good luck with your adventure!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2004, 01:30 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums and congratulations,

The trailer looks like it will need new axles and tires.I would make arrangements near where it is to get the axles and tires replaced now.At the same time they can fix wiring to brakes and signals.The belly pan needs attention otherwise it will end up coming off on the interstate.If you have any money left after that the dealer could do a safety check on the propane systems.

Good luck.
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Old 07-25-2004, 04:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fling
...Secondly if anyone has any suggestions about restoring the trailer I would welcome any input...
Become one with this forum

Your Airstream is the same vintage as mine, and my wheels are of one-piece construction.

It appears your bathroom floor has the original tile. The Ebay ad mentioned "needs TLC". I have a feeling you are going to find part of the bathroom decking in need of replacement. Make sure the toilet is not loose for the trip home. If it is, and the decking is soft, it may bang around and damage the black water tank directly beneath it.

Take a roll of duct tape with you in case the belly skin drops after a little while on the road.

Good luck!
Tom
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:34 AM   #5
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Good for you. You are in for an adventure and I am sure we will be hearing more from you
I found taking new tires on new wheels with me was a big help. You can inspect the grease packing as you change each tire.
Problem is when you get to the trailer you may change your mind and refuse it. The window next to the door looks missing so you'll need something for that.
What are you towing it with?
You will need a weight distributing hitch to move this 1600 miles.
You will be in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in Denver between two major cities. Should be able to find what you need no problem. And folks are real helpful unless you have a demanding attitude.
Good buy, lots of work.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fling
Hey everyone, I finally found a suitable (I Hope ) Airstream project. And I only have to drive 1600 miles to get it. Check out EBAY# 2484171726 please and give me some feedback on my purchase.
First of all I would like to know what everyone recommends that I check out before the trip home to Denver Colorado. Secondly if anyone has any suggestions about restoring the trailer I would welcome any input.
I am leaving this Thursday to pull her home.
Thanks,
Scott and Cyndi Fling
Ah! Looks like the spittin' image of our 67' 30'! And it looks like it is about the same shape ours was in when we "got" it.

Ok, it'll take some work -- and you'll never feel that it's finished! -- but you'll love it! The woodwork alone is worth its weight in gold. Very easy to take out; very easy to refinish.


Lynn
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:04 AM   #7
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You need to be sure to take tools and hardware to fasten the exterior skin back to the frame. The skin hanging down on the roadside will get badly damaged if not reattached IMHO.
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
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Greetings Scott and Cyndi!

Congratulations and Welcome to the Airstream Forums and the World of Vintage Airstream Ownership!

Here is a little check list that will help.

01) Air up all tires to pressure, even if they look ok make certain. Then check for stress cracks around the wall of the tire. This shows up better when aired to pressure. If the cracks are bad replace the tires before you begin towing home. Make certain if you have to replace them that the tire is rated for your weight. If in doubt a 10 ply tire will be fine, 8 ply should be ok, 6 ply is questionable.
02) Take trailer off its jacks if it is on them.
03) Inspect for any hanging type things on the bottom of the trailer.
04) Pull trailer to level ground area to complete hook and inspection the bottom again.
05) Pull each tire to check the hub for grease in bearings and check the brakes. Make certain each hub spins freely and have someone hit the panic button on your brake controller while the tire is spinning so you can verify that the brake is working on that tire.
06) Check rear end of trailer for any Frame Separation (This is to know and perhaps to go a little slower or to avoid getting in a highway bounce situation)
07) Wire up the new trailer connector to match electrical connections of tow vehicle. (Back-up Lights too)
08) Check all lights to see what is working, and if there are any possible shorts. (Replace light bulbs if necessary)
09) By using equalizer arms get trailer and truck level for the tow home.
10) With vehicle combination straight and level attach and tighten down sway bar.

11) Make final inspection to make certain all awnings are secure, propane tanks are secure, trailer door is secure, and compartment doors are secure.
12) Place License plate on the trailer.
13) Pull vehicle forward and check brakes again by stopping vehicle using trailer brakes alone. Use the button on your brake controller to do this.

14) Now begin tow home, But stop periodically to check everything out. Especially tires)
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Old 07-25-2004, 04:57 PM   #9
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Smile Thanks for all the replies!

Here is what I have figured out so far:

1. My tow vehicle is a 1999 GMC 2500 with a 6.0 and a 10k hitch.
2. Seller says tires are good but weather checked. But for the money I cant see a better just in case purchase. I will replace them in Penn.
3. Wheels are not something I thought about. I hope they are not split rims but if they are I will not hesitate to replace them at the same time.
4. Bearings and brakes will be repacked and replaced if necessary in Penn.
5. I was told that the skin hanging down was not damaged but the rivits just pulled out. I have my own thoughts about that but I will take my CLECOs and pliers with me as well as some rivits for at least a temporary fix.
6. Wiring will be dealt with as needed but I was told that it was operational and already updated.
7. I will purchase an equalizer type hitch doodad. Any suggestions on type or brand?
8. Unfortunately I will be arriving on Friday evening and departing on Saturday evening so I will not be able to go to Penn. motor vehicle. I don't know what to do about that.
9. As for the frame separation issue. Id rather not think about it but I know it is possible. Floors, skin, windows, plumbing, etc. don't scare me but the frame does for some reason.
10. Does anyone know if the brown metal panel on the interior in the front of the trailer is stock. It looks like some sort of control panel or something. All of the other 67s I have seen on the web do not have this.

Once again, thanks for all the input.

Scott and Cyndi Fling
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fling
...1. My tow vehicle is a 1999 GMC 2500 with a 6.0 and a 10k hitch.
3. Wheels are not something I thought about. I hope they are not split rims but if they are I will not hesitate to replace them at the same time.
5. I was told that the skin hanging down was not damaged but the rivits just pulled out. I have my own thoughts about that but I will take my CLECOs and pliers with me as well as some rivits for at least a temporary fix.
7. I will purchase an equalizer type hitch doodad. Any suggestions on type or brand?
10. Does anyone know if the brown metal panel on the interior in the front of the trailer is stock. It looks like some sort of control panel or something. All of the other 67s I have seen on the web do not have this.
Scott,

1) Excellent year tow vehicle You will probably be okay, but if it was a Chevrolet like mine, I would feel better...
3) I doubt you will find an issue (see earlier post). But be forewarned, unless you stop at a really good trailer place, you may not find the correct weight range wheel. Sneakinup posted some stuff on wheels you might want to do a search on.
5) The rivets did not simply pull out. More than likely, they were attached to some iron that rusted out. Don't forget the duct tape.
7) My preference is the Reese Dual Cam Anti-Sway. For your tow weight, it is appropriate. Based on what I have read, but have no personal experience with, avoid the friction bar anti-sway. They need adjustment, and can be damaged somehat easily.
10) Your Airstream is a longer version of my Overlander. I am too lazy to go back and look at what you are referring to . But please feel free to PM me with 1967 Airstream questions. My reference is sitting in the driveway

Tom
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Old 07-25-2004, 05:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fling
Here is what I have figured out so far:

8. Unfortunately I will be arriving on Friday evening and departing on Saturday evening so I will not be able to go to Penn. motor vehicle. I don't know what to do about that.

Scoo and Cyndi Fling
Couple options...

1.) Tow without the plate... I did this. Got stopped ONE time on entire trip through 2 states. Showed my bill of sale, and they let me keep going. In fact they said they wouldn't have pulled me over at all if the lights hadn't been acting up. Luckily I had a set of emergency trailer lights to use in case the trailer lights started acting up.

2.) Go to your home state DMV and ask them for "transport plates" before you depart... I was going to do this, but ran out of time.

Oh! Enjoy the first towing of the trailer! It'll be an adventure!
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:58 PM   #12
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Greetings Scott and Cyndi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Fling
Here is what I have figured out so far:

10. Does anyone know if the brown metal panel on the interior in the front of the trailer is stock. It looks like some sort of control panel or something. All of the other 67s I have seen on the web do not have this.

Once again, thanks for all the input.

Scott and Cyndi Fling
It sounds like you have your bases covered for the trip.

I agree with Tom in regard to the Reese Stright-Line Hitch with Dual Cam Sway control. I have used it with both my Overlander and Minuet. After nine years of use with the Overlander, I have no regrets and am absolutely satisfied with the setup - - initial adjustment is critical, but after that it requires almost no additional attention.

The panel that you are referring to above the front lounge is likely part of the International Package or I believe that it was available as an option on Land Yachts - - I believe that it is a combination control panel/entertainment center.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:35 PM   #13
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Put a sign on it. In Transit. The state police really do have more important things to do. If the lights work and you are not all over the road they will leave you alone.
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Old 07-26-2004, 10:20 AM   #14
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Well not to sound negative but you need to to a LOT of inspection bofore trying to move that coach that distance. The belly pan has been cut free. If it had simply dropped it would not look like that and infact it would not be very noticable.

Second thing that concerns me it that the street side is awfully wavey. In particular that buldge infront of the wheels worries me. See our 59 was like that because there was no floor there and the body was sitting low onthe frame and cause it to get a buckle. The wardrobe was the only thing holding it all together and even it was starting to go through the floor. Between that and the dropped belly I think you have some rotten floor that the owner attempted to repair. My main concern right now is if the body is attached to a solid floor and the floor solidly attatched to the frame.

These coaches are monocoque. The body is as much of the strength as the frame. If you have a signifacant amount of body detached from floor or frame the coach could start coming appart. To be quite honest it looks like there are problems from right at the very front all the way to the wheel wells. I might be wrong and the coach just had a wavey side and the light is hitting it funny but I would check under the galley and dinette and make sure it's solid.

I hate to sound negative but that's a long first haul and if I am correct (and I hope I am not) the coach might not survive it. I would allow for several extra days to allow for repairs. Since the belly is already dropped you might be able to hold up in a camp ground and slide one peice in a couple feet wide to get it road worthy if need be. If they don't need them then you got time when you get home to get started on the project.

Basicly plan for the worst. Go through the floor repair forums and get a good feel for what may have to be done.

Here is the tools I would buy.

If you have to do floor to make it road worthy I would bring following
4 inch Electric grinderwith cut off wheels and spare cut off blades and a spare grinding wheel.
Corded drill and cordless with spare battery if you have it.
Assortment of 1/8 rivets and some olympic rivets to tie up the belly pan and any other repair that may be needed.
4x4ft sheet of .025 aluminum or some rolls of 24 inch wide aluminum flashing from Home Depot to patch the belly pan up. Understand that as that coach goes down the road a low pressure area is forumed and it pulls at the belly pan. Take the time to be sure it is fastend up properly.
Drill bits GOOD ONES like Cobalts from Home Depot. several 1/8 and 5/32 and a couple 5/16
Radial saw
Elevator bolts and nuts
assorted wrenches ,screw drivers, pry bars ect.

www.fastenal.com is a pretty wide spread company and can get the elevator bolts. You could also check your local yellow pages under fasteners.

As for tires....Well it is proably new enough it doesn't have split rims but it probably has 14.5 inch rims. If you have ever thought about mag wheels then check with your local trailer supply places. You can usualy pick up a combination of a pre mounted Good year marathon on a properly rated alluminum rim. http://www.trailer-parts-forless.com...l_assembly.htm is where I bought my rims and tires. You want a 6 on 5.5 lug pattern and you want a 225 75 R15 tire size. Most like the Good year Marathon radials and that's what this site sells on their radial. They are local to me. You could probably find somebody local to you that sells the same rim and save a bunch on the shipping.

Good luck and welcome to the Forums! Look forward to seeing some pictures and hearign about the restoration.
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