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Old 02-16-2008, 08:17 PM   #1
sob
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1971 31' Sovereign
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it's been parked since 1982

1971 sovereign 31'

here it is as it sits now in hot humid louisiana. it was parked here in 1982 give or take a year. now the tires are going flat and it just needs to be moved. I'm looking for suggestions to unearth this beaut. it is on a good sized slope and needs to hook to the back of my 86 k1500 4x4 (6000# shortbed w/350 and open 3.73 gears). Also the only way out is backing it straight out the way it went in which is up a hill about 200 ft. It's sitting on a penensula not wide enough to turn around.

I've been soaking everything with pb blaster as often as I'm out there in hopes the stabalizers and jack will wind up for the moment of truth otherwise they'll get the sawzall. almost forgot to mention there is just enough room for me to squeeze my truck in between the front of the trailer and the lake so theres not much room for error. I know I'll be digging out the back end a bit as the land has wash up around it and buried it slightly. Also those concrete steps look intimadating.

Sound like fun?

Thanks for your input.

Dave
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
1971 sovereign 31'

here it is as it sits now in hot humid louisiana. it was parked here in 1982 give or take a year. now the tires are going flat and it just needs to be moved. I'm looking for suggestions to unearth this beaut. it is on a good sized slope and needs to hook to the back of my 86 k1500 4x4 (6000# shortbed w/350 and open 3.73 gears). Also the only way out is backing it straight out the way it went in which is up a hill about 200 ft. It's sitting on a penensula not wide enough to turn around.

I've been soaking everything with pb blaster as often as I'm out there in hopes the stabalizers and jack will wind up for the moment of truth otherwise they'll get the sawzall. almost forgot to mention there is just enough room for me to squeeze my truck in between the front of the trailer and the lake so theres not much room for error. I know I'll be digging out the back end a bit as the land has wash up around it and buried it slightly. Also those concrete steps look intimadating.

Sound like fun?

Thanks for your input.

Dave
Sorry Dave.

Can't help you with the move, but I can tell you that the axles on that Airstream, are totally shot.

Andy
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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Now would be a great time to invest in a front receiver for the 1/2 ton.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:11 PM   #4
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what about a winch?

I don't suppose there is any place to attach a winch at the rear to pull it far enough back to turn around?

It does look as if the suspension has left the axles.

Good luck with it.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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How far does it need to be moved? Just a couple hundred feet, or are you taking it somewhere to work on it?
I moved a slightly smaller trailer that had been parked a similar amount of time, we wound up taking a chainsaw to several trees to give enough clearance. Can you drag the concrete steps out of the way? That would help give you more room. As far as the move, make sure the tires hold air, and inflate them as much as you dare (25+ year old tires probably won't last much longer than getting to the road), and try moving the trailer forward and back to make sure all the wheels turn. The one I got had a locked up wheel that had to be addressed before towing. Don't even hook up the brake wires until you get it out, and make sure everything still works. I would be very suprised if anything like lights, brakes, etc did.
If you are towing any distance (more than 5 miles or so), you should pull off the wheels and tires, remove the brake drums to make sure nothing is going to come apart while towing, and schlop some fresh wheel bearing grease into them before putting it back together.
If you are going to tow it more than a few miles, bring along bungee cords and screw gun/drill.
Take every tool you think you will need, then take some more. A small portable air compressor may be your best friend, along with several 2x6" boards, you may have to run the trailer on the boards to keep it from sinking into the dirt.
Make sure the tv antenna is secured, it looks like it is dangling, and could cause serious damage if it falls off while towing. It has also been suggested to open all the windows, then close them, to relieve stress on the glass after sitting in one spot for so long. The door opens back, so the wind will try to open it if not secured, if there is any doubt, tie it shut.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:47 PM   #6
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I'd look at winching it backwards to a level spot. Or chain up all 4 wheels on your 1500 before trying to back it up and low range, if you got tire chains available. It won't want to leave that view easily for sure, and might want to go for a swim first. Get your buddy to tandem pull while you push. Extra insurance before you start is better than getting stuck and wishin.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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Dave--
Welcome to the insanity!
If you were closer, I would like to come to participate in the extrication.
I have snow drifts in my yard and it looks warm where you are.
My first thought was also a front receiver. It is much easier to watch and listen to the two or more reliable spotters that you will have strategically placed. Plus driving forward is easier on you and the vehicle.
It looks like a great find. Don't forget to take some photos as it comes out!
Sam
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
sob
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Sorry Dave.

Can't help you with the move, but I can tell you that the axles on that Airstream, are totally shot.

Andy
from the rust?
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:10 PM   #9
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Great ideas so far. One other thing that is helpful when backing is a 2 way radio. Especially helpful in tight areas around trees, etc.
Good luck.
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
from the rust?
Dave, the rubber in the axles develop a "set" in them when they sit for a long time, or reach an old age. There is more info in the axle section if needed.
It's a common problem.

Dave
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:57 PM   #11
sob
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Dave, the rubber in the axles develop a "set" in them when they sit for a long time, or reach an old age. There is more info in the axle section if needed.
It's a common problem.

Dave
I've been here on and off all day researching... I just haven't gotten that far yet but will look into this asap. Going to get a list together of what this outfit needs and either fix it, part with it, or part it out soon.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:11 PM   #12
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Just my .02 cents....

sob -

IF the interior is all there, IF all looks good on the exterior, then there is NO GOOD reason to trash the unit - she can be made better than new..... with a few parts, time and $.....

If you choose not to be the one to save her, then give others here a shot.... bet you'll have more than a few willing to give her their best!

Pull that baby outta there, and see what she'll need....

Oh, and be sure to post LOTS MORE PHOTOS!!!!!! Great bunch so far!

Axel
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:12 PM   #13
sob
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jump
I don't suppose there is any place to attach a winch at the rear to pull it far enough back to turn around?

It does look as if the suspension has left the axles.

Good luck with it.
winching it up the hill seems like a great idea compared to putting my truck between it and the lake but I don't know of anything to hook on to in the back and possible damaging the front if it drags. The bumper is not strong enough I don't beleive.

Looking into tractor services.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:26 PM   #14
sob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
How far does it need to be moved? Just a couple hundred feet, or are you taking it somewhere to work on it?
Just going about 200-300 feet straight back uphill to level ground for renovations or for sale.
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Old 02-16-2008, 11:53 PM   #15
sob
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverToy
sob -

IF the interior is all there, IF all looks good on the exterior, then there is NO GOOD reason to trash the unit - she can be made better than new..... with a few parts, time and $.....

If you choose not to be the one to save her, then give others here a shot.... bet you'll have more than a few willing to give her their best!

Pull that baby outta there, and see what she'll need....

Oh, and be sure to post LOTS MORE PHOTOS!!!!!! Great bunch so far!

Axel
SilverToy
This trailer definately won't get trashed. It's almost sacred to me. I spent most every weekend for my entire youth camping and fishing there with my grandfather until he passed away. This airstream and I have a strong bond and to let it go for the wrong circumstances I feel would be an injustice to him and 'the camp'.

However with my growing family (our 2nd son is due in 2 weeks) and I may be taking a job which requires relocating once or twice a year we may need a larger full-time camper so any airstream profits would go towards that.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sob
Just going about 200-300 feet straight back uphill to level ground for renovations or for sale.
In that case, you can forego most of what I told you. Make sure the tires are inflated, grab the previously mentioned 2x6's (they will spread the weight, and keep the tires from sinking into the sand). It would be a good idea to pull the trailer forward a few feet, and place the boards lengthwise under where the tires now are, then back over them. Once you get to the end of the first two boards, stop and pull them from between your truck and trailer, and place them behind the second set of boards. This also may keep the bumper and frame from digging into the ground as you back up.
It is not a good idea to hook anything to the bumper, as far as pulling forces, the bumper is only aluminum, and will tear fre of the 4 bolts holding it in place.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:09 AM   #17
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Question?

Where in La. are you or the trailer. I'm sitting in Orange Beach with a Hummer! Am I close enough to help!

Bill
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:44 PM   #18
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pulling out

before you attempt to back it out you need to realize that your transmission in reverse ony has 2 of the 6 clutches in the clutch pack engaged .You can very easily smoke your trans or take a lot of life of it backing up a steep slope even just 200 feet. You might get another truck to pull from behind or see if any one with a wrecker will put a 4 wheel tow dolly under the tongue and winch it out from the back. good luck
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:16 PM   #19
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Turn it around in place

Would it be possible if the steps and trees were cleared from the area to place some 2x6 boards under the area where the trailer currently is parked and turn it 180 degrees from where it sits now? The land area it sits on if sandy only needs the tires to be solid enough to keep them aired up for this operation and once turned it could be pulled easily up the hill. Use fix-a-flat to inflate them (so they will hold air better) then a compressor to air them fully. You could use a come along or chan fall to some tree trunks or ground anchors to accomplish the 180 turnabout and hopefully the tires would still be stout enough to allow this to happen. Otherwise jack the trailer up and makeup a homemade lazy susan to fit under the wheels and turn it around on that. You could use 3/4 inch plywood on top of fencing poles to make it up with (it doesn't have to be permanent or fancy!) American ingenuity will win out and you can turn it around in place and then pull it up the grade 200-300 feet. I bet if you brainstorm this issue you will come up with an idea that will work. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:06 AM   #20
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For 200 ft move down?, I would recommend for the move only~To use a bobcat, equipt with a rcvr to move it down with. No way would I attempt to move it with the 1500 (3.73) , the trailer hooked to the rear and, moving backwards..After you get it down..make the repairs ASAP..
Good Luck~! and, be careful~
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