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Old 09-27-2020, 01:10 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
La Vergne , Tennessee
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Cool Jack up to inflate tires on trailer sitting for 10-yeaqrs

Hello,

I have a 31 Foot 1976 Sovereign that has been in an RV park for more than 20-years. The tires have deflated and have sunk into the ground. I would like to raise the trailer so I can inflate or replace the tires, but am not sure how to do it. I assume two bottle jacks might would work, but am not sure. I'd appreciate any advice.

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:07 PM   #2
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I doubt they'll hold air, but you can try.
Using your bottle jack, place it along the frame between the tires, place a piece of plywood under the jack, and lift it. Don't put the jack under the axle tubes.
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Old 09-27-2020, 06:01 PM   #3
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FYI, due to torque leverage principles, the further back you're able to place the jack, the less load it must take so if there is some exposed frame behind the rear wheel, that would be an ideal place.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:35 PM   #4
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Not sure about that advice, Brian, depending on how far behind the wheels the jack is placed on this 31' IMO.

If the tires are locked into the ground, and the jack is placed way in the rear, there is a risk of frame, or rear skin, damage IMO. Terry's advice, to jack between the wheels is sounder IMO, albeit harder to accomplish, with such flat tires.

Robert, newer Airstreams have a jacking point just behind the rear wheel, with a label under the frame at that location. If your jack is close to the rear wheel, with a flat piece of wood [approx 8"x8"] spreading out the jack point load, you should be OK IMO. Jack slowly however . . . if the trailer does not rise up easily as you jack, the force of the jack could do real damage.

Do you have the owner's manual which might show this jacking point?

Good luck,
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:36 AM   #5
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Your tires are dangerous! Unless you just want to fill them up to move the trailer to a better position to change, I would change them out with proper trailer tires immediately. Properly cared for tires last like 5 years, tires with deep wrinkles in them are just waiting to fall apart on the highway.

I like using the rolling floor jacks from Harbor Freight https://www.harborfreight.com/3-ton-...ack-64264.html You don't want a cheap, difficult to use jack if you get a blowout on the Interstate!
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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I am sure your axles are shot after sitting so long. Replacing the tires and wheels could be a problem due to lack of clearance. If your plan is to travel in this trailer, axles should be in your list of needed repairs.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:54 AM   #7
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Try inflating tires, if hold air long enough to pull on boards, one axle at time, remove wheels one axle only change tires then repeat other axle. I DO NOT ADVOCATE JACKING UNLESS MANDATORY, TO MANY AS HAVE DAMAGE BY JACKING WRONG PLACE. ALSO HAVE SEEN DAMAGE USING PROPER JACK PLACEMENT. AS has not moved 20 yrs. axles need replaced, Can cause frame damage if jacked wrong. If replacing axles before using will not harm jacking on axles as they are toast any way, but if not changing axles DO NOT JACK ON THEM.
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Old 09-28-2020, 10:02 AM   #8
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Brian's advice may not be wise in this case. Do not place jacks under frame behind the wheels. You can twist the frame...especially if the wheels require force to break loose from the ground. If you are forced to do it, make sure you have two jacks (one on each side) and lift frame evenly (not one side before the other).

Rolling floor jacks are much better than bottle jacks. Hope it goes well.
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:02 PM   #9
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On my 34' the jack pad is almost at the rear corner of the frame. I and Airstream have jacked it there many times. My recommendation is to use two (2) bottle jacks in front and behind the rear wheels, and just as close to the rear wheels as possible. Be sure to place the jacks on a 2x6" and use a jack pad on top of the ram so as to spread the load along the frame. Look for the rivet lines where the Banana Wrap joins the belly pan. Tap across the area with the butt of a screw driver and listen for solid sounds. You will be able to tell the heavier sounds the frame makes. Just be sure your jack pads are placed there with wood block to keep from denting the sheet metal.
You could probably use 3-4 ton floor jacks, but you may wind up digging out a place to put them if the tires are flat. Be careful when airing the tires and keep your body away fron them. You do not want them to blow out in your face.
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:38 PM   #10
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Jacking

In my opinion a bottle jack on a firm base is just fine, it will lift straight up. A floor jack must roll while jacking or will slide at top.
Lifting on the frame between axles will work.
On my 72 model the manual says to lift behind the back tires. There is a small aluminum patch plate about two inches square that marks the spot.
Your axles should work fine.
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Old 09-28-2020, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trowbridge View Post
Brian's advice may not be wise in this case. Do not place jacks under frame behind the wheels. You can twist the frame...especially if the wheels require force to break loose from the ground. If you are forced to do it, make sure you have two jacks (one on each side) and lift frame evenly (not one side before the other).

Rolling floor jacks are much better than bottle jacks. Hope it goes well.
Oh please towbridge provide a physics based rationale for this advice. Statics equations will help.
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:03 PM   #12
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Thanks much for your advice everyone. The trailer is not in great condition in that the AC, furnace, and fridge need either repair or replacing, and the water heater is a home style electric model. I plan to sell the trailer and am wondering how much I should ask?
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:10 PM   #13
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Have you checked out the used Airstreams in the sister Classifieds site? [Gray tab above or link just below]

https://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/

Your ID and password here will work over there, so maybe do some research before you put a price on it IMO. If the exterior shell is in good shape, especially the compound curve corner segments, you might get some good offers by parting it out in pieces.

At that classifieds site, you can filter your search . . . for instance here is a similar model in good condition it appears:

https://www.airstreamclassifieds.com...1-texas-359650

Also, back here on this AF site, there is the sub-forum which includes your 1976 Sovereign:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f221/

You could post a new note there, and ask similar questions, where you will have a more focused audience, compared to this General Repair Forum.

The top 4 threads over there have almost 1,000 posts about those renovations. Fertile ground to help you get more informed.

Good luck,
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Old 10-02-2020, 12:44 PM   #14
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Thanks

Thanks much Peter for the valuable info. I'll act on it today.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:17 PM   #15
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Good new thread in that Sovereign forum:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f22...ed-215126.html

Some fine advice coming in already.

Good luck,
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:22 PM   #16
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Your newer thread appears to have been closed, probably because selling a trailer is supposed to be done on the sister Classifieds site, as i understand it anyway. [grey tab way above]

https://www.airstreamclassifieds.com/

When you place an ad there, this thread may also be closed FYI.

Good luck,
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