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Old 07-10-2020, 03:52 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Laie , Hawaii
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Prepping to move it and I'm paranoid

Yes, paranoid. I'm an AS prepper!

I'm preparing to move my wife's inherited '72 Sovereign 31' from Louisiana to Utah...again. A couple of years ago we borrowed a truck and made the trip only to have the truck break down and we had to leave the AS there. We live in Hawaii so it's a bit harder to do any of this.

I'm trying again next week: a buddy has a nice shiny new monster Chevy truck, so it's time for the guys' road trip!
My prep checklist:
*I replaced the brakes and bearings last time we were there. It will need new tires, which I can get there.

*The axles are old, but they will have to do for the trip.

*The truck is set up for towing and has everything including the round 7-way wiring adapter (Hopefully it will work right).
*Batteries: I'm assuming I'll need to buy a battery for the brakes; is that correct?
* I'll need to check the wires for the running lights, but that shouldn't be a big deal.
What am I forgetting? Or, what would you do to prep this?
I keep thinking there's something I'm missing, hence the paranoia.

It will likely sit for a couple of years after this until I can get my hands on it (retirement!). I've been following this forum for years anticipating this! Thanks for all the great discussion and advice over the years.

Marc
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:02 PM   #2
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Do you have a hitch that will work with your friend’s truck? Sway bars?

I would not like to drive that route without TPMS, but since you’re not regularly using the trailer, it might not be an investment worth making yet.

Are you guys planning on using the trailer for stops? (Bathroom, fridge, sleeping, etc.) If so you’ll need definitely need batteries, propane, water in the fresh tank, sheets, toilet paper...
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Old 07-10-2020, 04:12 PM   #3
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You will need at least one battery but if you're not planning to use it, any 12V battery with at least 2 Amp Hr capacity will do. If you plan to use the trailer you will want at least 50 Amp Hr. It's a big trailer so you will want a weight distribution hitch properly set up with the correct shank drop height. You said you have a monster truck, tell us a bit more. Monsters come in all sizes. The truck must have a brake controller so if it does not, buy a bluetooth model so you can install it and move it easily. get yourself some electrical connection cleaner or vinegar and salt to clean electrical connections. Check the lights.

Where in Louisiana are you, if you're close to New Orleans, I'd be happy to help you get started.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:14 PM   #4
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Got a spare tire? Flats happen.

Tools? General hand tools can be good insurance.

Some type of roadway breakdown triangles.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:22 PM   #5
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Git a set of WIRELESS RV transport tailights.

Plug it into the truck, stick the lights on the trailer and no worries with wiring for lighting the trailer lights.
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Old 07-10-2020, 09:59 PM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Laie , Hawaii
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 57
Thanks for all the advice! I didn't know wireless trailer lights were a thing, but that's brilliant.
No plans to use the trailer on the way, and the WD hitch setup will be looked at carefully! Hoping for no serious surprises.
Oh, thanks for the help offer! The AS is located north of Shreveport, so quite a hike from NO.
Louisiana is absolutely gorgeous! I can't wait to start traveling in our beautiful country. Seems no matter where I travel in the US (which is not enough), the people are always kind, generous and friendly.
We have the same kind of thing in Hawaii-- we call it the Aloha spirit.
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Got a spare tire? Flats happen.

Tools? General hand tools can be good insurance.

Some type of roadway breakdown triangles.
And I'd repack the wheel bearings. Long drive for a trailer that has been sitting.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:52 AM   #8
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1964 30' Sovereign
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If you've repacked the bearings you should be fine. Take it slow <55 MPH though because old axles mean you won't have suspension movement...trailer will ride rough and sway much more than with new axles. Because you have dual axles though (4 tires), run your (new) tires at 10 - 12 PSI less than the max pressure...that will give you some 'suspension' due to tire squish (my technical expression).

Anti-sway is not necessary for one time pull. Save that expense for later after you've restored trailer. BUT your old axles (no suspension movement) will cause more sway than the trailer would have with fresh axles. So take it slow (<55) most of the time.

Towing lights are a great suggestion by Mike. Wireless ones may be more expensive than wired ones though...which can be Zip Tyed (don't duct tape) down length of trailer.

If you can get the trailer brakes to work, that's great. But pulling this trailer with a full-size truck you may not need any trailer brakes on steady highway surfaces (non mountain) Just be careful driving and give yourself extra space to stop.

Make sure you have trailer insurance which includes roadside repairs and towing. Just in case.

Finally, stop within the first 10 miles, then every 100, to check inside and outside the trailer. An old trailer may have things break loose. Rivets and dust are one thing. Frame or axle movement/cracking are another. Door or windows can open. It's easier to find out early and jerry-rig a fix than to cause substantial damage.
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Old 07-11-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re torque your wheels after 10 50 100 miles!
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Old 07-11-2020, 05:07 PM   #10
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Take some 1/4" rope and a roll of heavy duty 3M packing tape. Almost as good holding as duct tape, much less residue on the aluminum. Also a can of silicone spray lube(doesn't etch aluminum like WD-40). Tie or tape the main awning arms together, I've had 1 come loose and drag.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:51 PM   #11
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2018 23' International
scappoose , Oregon
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Wireless brake controller

I know it's been mentioned but I wanted to give my input: we bought a Curt Echo Wireless brake controller to handle the AS brakes. Man was it quick and easy to hook up and install. I think it took longer to download the app then it did to hook it up and use it! Definitely recommend as you can take it with you to use on other TV as well as other trailers...EZ
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:47 AM   #12
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GTA , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkboards View Post
Yes, paranoid. I'm an AS prepper!

I'm preparing to move my wife's inherited '72 Sovereign 31' from Louisiana to Utah...again. A couple of years ago we borrowed a truck and made the trip only to have the truck break down and we had to leave the AS there. We live in Hawaii so it's a bit harder to do any of this.

I'm trying again next week: a buddy has a nice shiny new monster Chevy truck, so it's time for the guys' road trip!
My prep checklist:
*I replaced the brakes and bearings last time we were there. It will need new tires, which I can get there.

*The axles are old, but they will have to do for the trip.

*The truck is set up for towing and has everything including the round 7-way wiring adapter (Hopefully it will work right).
*Batteries: I'm assuming I'll need to buy a battery for the brakes; is that correct?
* I'll need to check the wires for the running lights, but that shouldn't be a big deal.
What am I forgetting? Or, what would you do to prep this?
I keep thinking there's something I'm missing, hence the paranoia.

It will likely sit for a couple of years after this until I can get my hands on it (retirement!). I've been following this forum for years anticipating this! Thanks for all the great discussion and advice over the years.

Marc
Monster Truck?

Capable tow vehicle?

Electric brake controller for the trailer brakes....some of the newer "monster trucks" the controller is built in....not All of them.

Weight distribution hitch?
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:49 AM   #13
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You may need an adapter for the 7 way plug in to the TV. Our '72 was missing the whole plug when we towed her home to MN from MS. The early '70's plug was a different configuration from the current ones, though.
We towed ours home using a 1 ton Excursion. Brakes on the trailer were nonexistent, but truck had no issues. No mountains though....
Monitor carefully as you're towing, and "walk the trailer" every time you stop, hopefully every 2 hours. Our trailer was partially deconstructed when we bought her, but you never know, especially if she has not been maintained or towed for awhile, if there will be things you didn't realize were loose. We lost 2 feet of belly pan on our way home in a construction zone. Oops. To this day, every time we stop at a rest area, we "walk the trailer" before we start out again.
Good luck, and keep us informed!

Kay
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:14 AM   #14
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I am not much of a preppier but I have moved a trailer that sat in one spot for 18 years. We had a local tire shop come with a service truck and put on 4 new tires. And dry clean, inspect, and grease the bearings. I think there is little chance that the plug on the trailer is directly compatible with the 7 way on the truck. I went to Walmart and bought a 7 way plug and figured out the connections to the trailer. I think the old one on the trailer was a 9 pin round. It helped that I had a wiring digram for the trailer. Check the A frame of the trailer for rust. Make sure it is strong enough to do the job. Yes, install a battery and probably a new breakaway switch. Be sure whatever is needed for a license is taken care off. We got most of the lights on the trailer working but the idea to use the transport lights is a good one. Good chance to check the brakes. Wedge the door shut. Stop after the first 25 miles or so and check the hubs with you fingers for heat. Check inside the trailer to see what is banging around loose that you missed. And be sure all the windows were really latched. And that the steps are still up. From there you should be good to go

Okay, I re read you post. Sounds like you have done all the heavy lifting already. I think you will need to change or adapt the electrical connector and add a battery and check the breakaway switch.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:19 AM   #15
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1972 31' Sovereign
Laie , Hawaii
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Thanks to all of you for the helpful guidance and advice.
We just finished our roadtrip, and here's the followup:

The truck owner and co-driver was my best friend Ralph from high school; the truck was a Chevy 3500 HD with an amazing array of towing aids, from the brake controller, towing package, suspension upgrades, etc.
The trailer has a problem with a short or two in the wiring for the lights. We replaced/upgraded the umbilical and main connection on the trailer, but ended up buying aftermarket lights and using those instead.

Good advice about doing regular inspection. I stopped after about ten minutes and walked around, to discover the rear bumper compartment floor is rusted and was dragging, along with the power supply cable. Not an easy roadside fix, but it held up. Hourly inspections really helped with peace of mind.
The brakes worked great and the hubs didn't heat up.


It towed very well, with no noticeable sway. The biggest challenge was of course finding fuel where I could pull through. I only had to back up the trailer a couple of times! The truck (diesel) got about 13 MPG overall.

We came up from Shreveport, LA, through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. (Those so-called 'flyover states' are just beautiful!) Then on through Colorado and up to Wyoming. Finally dropped down into Utah on I-80, at night, in a rainstorm. But the trailer was great and no white-knuckle moments for this novice at towing.

It has a new home for a while, waiting for me to retire and move to the Mainland.

Your help has been invaluable. Thanks again.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:35 AM   #16
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Laie , Hawaii
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Oklahoma skies!
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:50 AM   #17
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Good news. Thanks for posting to let us know how it went (or is going)
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Old 07-25-2020, 07:48 AM   #18
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Glad you made it ok!

Kay
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