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Old 02-27-2017, 10:48 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
downers grove , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 14
How do i move this thing?

So...we bought a 1976 31' Sovereign last fall. i'm sure all the renovation questions will come later. right now I just want to make sure I can tow this thing without doing something stupid. I bought it from a PO who planned to renovate it but never got around to it. for the price, I wasn't too concerned about the condition, planning on a full renovation. it appears to be in decent shape. He did say that he towed it a few hundred miles with no issues. that's about all I know about it.

my plan is to tow it to my (retired) dad's place - 250 miles - where he is going to work on the renovation. we're planning 1-2 years; that's about when we'll have a tow vehicle that fits our crew of 7. right now i'll tow it with my 2005 f150.

First question - i'm sure axles need to be replaced (from what I've read). I don't plan to do that until the end of the reno. Is that a bad idea?

Second question - do I need a brake controller installed in the truck? I have the basic factory tow package. Don't know much about how that all works, to be honest.

Anything else I should be thinking of???

I appreciate any help!
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:12 AM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,128
Blog Entries: 13
Yep, you will need a brake controller. Not ridiculously expensive and pretty easy to install.

I would replace the tires but if you can't right away, I would have two spares... If it has been sitting for years, no telling what is up with the bearings -- you might get it to the nearest garage that will do the work and have them repacked and the brakes looked at.

The axles can wait until last -- they die from old age so why start with them?
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #3
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,070
Images: 12
Tires are your biggest concern. If they are over 10 years old replace them or is if you can borrow a set for the trip.

Pull a wheel and remove one of the dust caps on the brake drum. This will let you look at the outer bearing and the condition of the grease. If the grease has caked get the bearing packed before you move the trailer.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:44 PM   #4
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Yes, you will need a brake controller. And you will have to deal with a 7 pin flat plug on the truck and probably a 9 pin round plug cable on the trailer. And you will need a WD hitch for the rig. You also need a working battery in the trailer to run the brakes though the break away switch. And you should check that the brakes function. Some one had pulled and lost the plastic plug out of the breakaway switch on ours so I had to put a new switch on to get the brakes unlocked.

When I bought my 1987 31 foot I had to tow it 640 miles. It had been on the same site for 18 years previously. We found a truck tire shop that came to the site the trailer was on and installed new tires and pulled and inspected the bearing grease. I rewired the trailer cord with a connector from Walmart.

Cost about $500 and a days time to get it ready. We already had a hitch and the controller and some towing experience.

If the tires are okay you can possibly just air them up and pull slow. The danger is blowing one and damaging the trailer body. And if they are old when you blow one the other one on that side may go also from the overload.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:47 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
downers grove , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 14
ok thanks for the info, now i'm learning...I'm going to call around for the spare tires/rims. Anyone know what I should be asking for? its an effort to get out to the trailer, so if anyone could save me a trip that would be awesome. If I did this right, there should be a pic of whats on there now. thanks
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