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Originally Posted by georgiagirl
I have a 1969 Sovereign
31' Airstream. I am told by my father it is quite usable. He has done some work on it to see that it is so. It is presently parked in N. Carolina at a campsite, where it was heavily used last summer. I'm thinking of bringing it back to Georgia and using it in the summer at a church camp. Polishing it appeals to me. (Why, I could not tell you!) My question: Do I keep it, or sell it? I really can't decide.
You have several things to consider, but you probably won't have a better opportunity than the present to determine whether Airstreaming is for you. The '69 Sovereign
would be from a unique time period - - the body style was new for '69, but many other features were carryover from earlier years while others were new for '69.
The '69 Sovereign had an empty weight of 4,995 pounds with an empty hitch weight of 520 pounds (see: http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf
); which means that a realistic loaded gross vehicle weight would approach 6,500 pounds (if not a bit more) with a hitch weight approaching 800 pounds - - what this means is that the tow vehicle will need a tow rating of about 7,500 to 8,000 pounds (this allows approximately 20% cushion in trailer towing capacity for safety).
If the coach hasn't been towed for some period of time (a year or more), the bearings will need to be serviced and the brakes checked. Tires may be of concern if it has been more than five years since they were replaced - - the general concensus is that tires need to be replaced at between five and seven year intervals regardless of mileage to prevent age related tire failures (a tire failure can produce expensive consequential damages on an Airstream). Shocks are also another area that often needs attention on a coach of this Vintage. The Henschen axles may also be suspect for replacement if the coach hasn't seen rather regular use throughout its life - - once the axles have sagged, there is little or no spring action resulting in numerous problems (popped rivets, low clearance causing excessive dragging on dips, etc.) - - you can learn more about the Henschen Axles at: http://www.inlandrv.com/axles/
Good luck with your decision!