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Old 02-02-2017, 12:40 PM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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1982 excella 280 turbo diesel

My gvwr? Is 14500lbs? When I went across the weigh scales with the tow truck we figure the motorhome is approx 13500lbs right now. These numbers have nothing to do with my towing capacity from my understanding.

My question is: how heavy of a trailer can I tow with this motorhome? I have an old 31foot sovereign that's pooched and was thinking about chopping down to a 13-14 food body for sleeping and dining.( I realize 2000lbs should not be an issue)but still want to know max weight I can handle. I'm having troubles finding any info for my rig in general, if people have good links to information regarding this motorhome I would much appreciate and be grateful for any help
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:18 PM   #2
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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Hi Swilly, welcome to the 280 diesel world. The real short come of towing is the hitch. It's hung from the end of the frame rail dropping about 6"to 8" kind of cantilevered down between the tanks and bumper. It is also fairly lightweight. I pulled mine and stiffened it up but I still need to run some steel under and forward of the tanks to tie into the frame to provide some fore and aft rigidity. There is a thread with some pictures of what I did but I can't find it right now. I will keep looking.

I have pulled a couple of heavier trailers and survived but it is not a high powered rig. It does require some patience. Don't try to beat the engine and trans, just relax and wave as people pass you and it will do the job but it will take a little longer to get it done.
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:37 PM   #3
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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Posts: 190
I'm not sure what factory is, I've had the luxury of 3 tows on the maiden voyage 2 of which were winch onto semi tilt decks. Was not happy about the stress put on the motorhome ( definitely some flex and creaking).from dragging on the hitch. The hitch on mine seems mediocre, sturdy enough for lighter applications, and even is designed to act as a bit of a skid plate. What is on my rig has been welded additionally I'm thinking.

No speed demon, but does pull itself strong. Not even sure if a small trailer would influence how this motorhome handles itself?
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:51 PM   #4
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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I found the old thread on my hitch mod. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...e-76406-2.html It starts at post 16.

I have had mine towed a couple of times with a conventional truck. The biggest worry is the tanks in the back. Dragging the hitch is a common occurrence but I have bumped the tank discharge a few times and broke the cap once just getting in and out of gas stations. With the tanks in the back and the overhang it's something to keep an eye on.
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:58 PM   #5
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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Thanks for the tip, I wouldn't doubt if my tanks are shot. This unit is going to be a long journey to repair and will have to evaluate as time goes. I'm pretty young yet for motorhome lifestyle and primarily small local trips is all I'm looking for to start might not even get to the water systems for years to come.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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How many argosy/ airstream motorhomes were produced? This has been on my mind a bit. So why does not airstream themselves have the numbers? Why won't they release those numbers? I'm not sure if anyone here has tried counting through the vin numbers with any success? I'm between two places and do not have the paperwork with me tonight. From some of the previous owners I have some original paperwork. 2 pieces I have are for original recalls they had at the time and listed a spreed between 1 or two years which may be able to decipher production between that period?
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swillv8 View Post
How many argosy/ airstream motorhomes were produced? This has been on my mind a bit. So why does not airstream themselves have the numbers? Why won't they release those numbers? I'm not sure if anyone here has tried counting through the vin numbers with any success? I'm between two places and do not have the paperwork with me tonight. From some of the previous owners I have some original paperwork. 2 pieces I have are for original recalls they had at the time and listed a spreed between 1 or two years which may be able to decipher production between that period?
There is a sticky thread right at the top of the classic motorhome forum where owners add their VIN in an attempt to create such a database
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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I've opened up my front end on the motorhome, I've pulled the water pump, alternator, and also my radiator. Pump got sent to Winnipeg to see if it can be rebuilt?, alternator shows some parts available for rebuilding but the alt itself has proven to be the Achilles heal of this entire coach. Anyone know a replacement? I'm getting desperate on this one.......The rad I haven't taken in yet but will get it completely refurbished/ recored if Necessary.

This motorhome basically has major issues with any rubber/ plastic on the entire unit. My friend is a jym diesel mechanic helped me open the front. I read on the forums someone here had the harmonic balancer explode? So I asked where this animal is under the hood and then he informed me it has a rubber seal on the outer ring? He told me it looks fine but he never even looked and I have zero confidence being this unit spent it's life in the harsh weather of Louisiana. So can just the seal be replaced? His guess was $800 for a new balancer anyone with experience or advice?
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:01 AM   #9
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Oh boy. Ok, the alternator is available and so is the water pump and the harmonic balancer. You need to contact Hamilton Engine Repair" out of Portland Oregon. They will be your best friend in getting parts for your rig. Take that to the bank brudder!

Before you call them you need to, have to, get your serial number off your motor. Located on the block, drivers side, just above the oil pan. Use a wire brush and maybe some carb cleaner to clean that area up and you will find the number. They will ask you for it first off. Then they can tell you everything about your motor including the day it was built. You may want to mention to them that, due to the age of the motor, it will be in their BOOKS not on their electronic storage. I replaced the water pump and the harmonic balancer and have a spare alternator in stock that I keep in my rig along with other parts.

Start there, and report back. They are really really good to work with, fast, accurate, friendly but you will pay factory OEM prices. But they WILL be the right parts for your motor. You won't find a better source for your motor parts....truth!

Mike

FIND THAT SERIAL NUMBER BEFORE YOU CALL THEM!!!!! or it will be a wasted call.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:41 AM   #10
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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Yes I did call a week ago, it's been frigid where I'm located and have not located that block numer yet...., Andy dug up a bunch of numbers for me for parts but couldn't guarantee anything and even gave me a local number for an Isuzu dealer. The alternator that was close but unclear if it was what we need is $1046 usd. Water pump was $460. All other parts were very affordable.. I guess we should update that Craig is not there anymore. Best guy now to talk to is Andy
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:36 AM   #11
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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Yup, Ive dealt with Andy a few times. Good guy. And yes those alternators are incredibly expensive, I lucked out and found a "take off", brand new, on eBay for $150. But it was the last one this guy had. Sounds like a rebuild may be your best option like you said. I sure hope Hamilton continues to be a great supplier, Ive counted on them ever since I bought my 310TD. Did Andy say he could be more specific on fit when you get him the serial number? I just got a voltage regulator through them a few months ago, no problem.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #12
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I think that Isuzu stuff was sold overseas so worth keeping an eye on eBay.co.uk or ebay.com.au for parts of you ever get really stuck


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Old 03-01-2017, 02:17 PM   #13
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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The closest alternator he thinks might work is not a match on numbers and he's not 100% sure spec wise the product he was looking at. He referred me to a Isuzu dealer that's local and recommended visiting them with part in hand.

So when a voltage reg goes what are the symptoms? I suppose I should replace anyways.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:23 AM   #14
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Hey SwillV8, I just bought my Diesel 1981 280 and am going through the same process as you are to get it Road ready. Lots of bushings, airbags, brakelines, fluids to replace. I haven't run into any real expensive parts other than $1,500 for 6 new tires. Good luck on your project.
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:10 PM   #15
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Ok v8, here is a picture of where the serial number is located. Its on the small bump out flat spot shown here, you can just barely make out some numbers from the pic. The vent tube is to the right of and above the numbers. This is directly below the turbo and just above the oil pan. Its a really tight space to get to.

Best I could do

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Old 03-03-2017, 02:14 PM   #16
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Looks like they are having trouble with the website, I'll try to post that picture again
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:20 PM   #17
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Looks like they are having trouble with the website, I'll try to post that picture again
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:29 PM   #18
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:49 PM   #19
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
Edmonton , Alberta
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So I have been taking it easy on my motorhome. As I have read on here about the purchase price being the down payment is so true!! I opened up the front end, got the rad recored($650), alternator fixed($600)water pump rebuilt($450) I bought a transmission oil cooler($150) belts,thermostat gaskets. Radiator support bushings. And there is a ton more to go yet before I can drive it to the shop!

I haven't put the parts in yet, my friend is a heavy duty mechanic and it's been extremely wet year so hopefully soon he can help so we can get it to his shop.

I priced out the windsheild with new gasket and I received 2 out of 3 quotes back( one glass shop gave up?) first place was $4750. Second place was $5900. Then 5% tax. I realize I'm going to shell out money for this item but I'm wondering a few things.

Is there more then one place to buy glass from? Besides coach glass?
The glass shops are having a hard time locating a match. The one place came up as argosy 1977 model? I assume it's the same?
Is all glass the same from 75-92? Argosy and airstream are the same?
Anyone have any links,info or advice?

I asked the one lady what the glass is priced at and she told me the quote was $1000 labour per side? Which I find odd because with our doller, crating, and shipping I figured it was going to be over$4000 installed based on $400 install price
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:25 PM   #20
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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The local guy here did both windshields, new gasket and install for about $2500 US. That was about 3 years ago. You might consider a trip south for windshields after you get it running.
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