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Old 11-13-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
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JW's Retreat

Hello everyone!

Long time lurker here and after finally getting my Airstream passed on to me it's about time I can finally start by build thread.

My grandparents this weekend passed on to me their 73 Sovereign International Land Yacht center bath that they have owned since new and lived in full time for a number of years. I have pictures of me in diapers running around in it and taking baths in an old coolman cooler in the middle of the kitchen from when I was 1 - 2 years old haha.

Ever since I could talk it's been "my" trailer so there's a lot of sentiment that comes with it.

So with all the sappy crap out of the way on to the fun. :-P

The trailer overall is in great shape, air con and hot water heater were replaced apx 3 years ago, axles about 10 years ago, windows resealed apx 8 years ago and on and on.

So, now comes the fun part, Unfortunately I don't have the space at my house to do any work on her and my driveway is off an alley so I'll have to do any work on her at the storage lot. Looking under the pan there is no frame rot, sub floor rot or sagging, but some critters did make a home out of the insulation so the belly is going to get dropped to replace that. I'm also going to update all the exterior lighting to LEDs as well as install a rock guard on the front.

Other than that, she's in full working order right now and I want to keep her that way through the whole rebuild as much as possible. Due to that I will probably use my garage as a mockup space to build out one room at a time and install as I go along. Not ideal or the quickest by any means but with the above requirements of keeping her road worthy at all times it's my best option.

Anyways, thank you all for your own build threads they've been great reading and research tools!
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:15 AM   #2
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Great story JW and welcome to the FORUMS.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:17 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Air Forums. Congrats on the Airstream that was passed to you from your grandparents. It looks like a wonderful unit.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:20 AM   #4
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Wow! What a great airstream! You lucked out! Please tell your grandparents I am available for adoption! Those are some super cool grandparents!
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverhobby
Great story JW and welcome to the FORUMS.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heirstreamer
Welcome to the Air Forums. Congrats on the Airstream that was passed to you from your grandparents. It looks like a wonderful unit.
Thanks! It is in great working order, although dated, since I've already got it winterized I'm going to do a few fixes here and there replacing some rivets that popped and upgrading the lighting and whatnot so we can take it out in the spring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skatiero
Wow! What a great airstream! You lucked out! Please tell your grandparents I am available for adoption! Those are some super cool grandparents!
Haha I'll pass on the word but I'm sure they need a break after having me, my wife and our 2 yr old and 5 month old at their house this last weekend. I'm a weirdo of my generation loving the Airstream style over the new 5th wheels and toy haulers that most everyone else we know has. But nothing can top the memories I have as a kid going on road trips to the lake with her in tow and I'm hoping to get more with my kids. My 2 year old already has proclaimed that it's "his airstream" haha.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:31 AM   #6
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Way to keep a family tradition alive. Doesn't look like you really have a lot of rework to do to have a fine trailer.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #7
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It's a beauty! And what a wonderful treasure to keep in the family.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Lucky you!



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Old 11-13-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Howdy and to Airfoums.com! It sounds like you already have quite a long history with AS trailers, so we look forward to seeing you update your inherited beauty there!

From looking at your pictures, the body is in fabulous condition, and on top of the other stuff you mentioned, I'm betting that the water heater isn't too old, either!

Can't wait to see what you do!
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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Great story! Welcome to the forums and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes you make. Congrats on hand me down, ha!
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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OK, I'm still waiting for the pics of you in the cooler....
Seriously, great trailer. Not many here have inherited one of that age where apparently everything works. Very well maintained and beautiful!
Your plan of redoing a room at a time in the garage actually makes a lot of sense. Doing the job in small bites keeps it from becoming overwhelming and also allows more camping time between repairs since it's not all tore up. The usual recommendations apply- Make sure it is safe, tires lights and axles, then sealed up watertight, then the creature comfort updates last. You are really gonna enjoy this, I can tell.
tim
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:11 AM   #12
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1973 31' Sovereign
Providence Village , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF
Way to keep a family tradition alive. Doesn't look like you really have a lot of rework to do to have a fine trailer.
Thanks! That's the goal, fix her up and eventually pass her on to my son. Not much work at all really. Replace a bunch of clearance lights and roof vents that got taken out during a hail storm (she's in covered storage now) and find a hamster wheel for the heater unit are my only "needs" right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumaholic
It's a beauty! And what a wonderful treasure to keep in the family.
Thanks! Hoping to keep her going for tripa every year until I can pass her on to my son down the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie
Lucky you!

Maggie
Don't I know it haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage
Howdy and to Airfoums.com! It sounds like you already have quite a long history with AS trailers, so we look forward to seeing you update your inherited beauty there!

From looking at your pictures, the body is in fabulous condition, and on top of the other stuff you mentioned, I'm betting that the water heater isn't too old, either!

Can't wait to see what you do!
Thanks! The body is in great shape. New awnings about 2 years ago and the water heater unit was replaced 3 years ago. One thing I want to do is fab up the original water heater door to fit the new unit so I don't have that unsightly white door on it anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormade
Great story! Welcome to the forums and I'm looking forward to seeing the changes you make. Congrats on hand me down, ha!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunner
OK, I'm still waiting for the pics of you in the cooler....
Seriously, great trailer. Not many here have inherited one of that age where apparently everything works. Very well maintained and beautiful!
Your plan of redoing a room at a time in the garage actually makes a lot of sense. Doing the job in small bites keeps it from becoming overwhelming and also allows more camping time between repairs since it's not all tore up. The usual recommendations apply- Make sure it is safe, tires lights and axles, then sealed up watertight, then the creature comfort updates last. You are really gonna enjoy this, I can tell.
tim
Haha I actually have a copy of it my grandad blew up along with one of me like 3 weeks old in the living room and one of me sleeping in a bassinet on the end table in the bedroom framed and hanging on the living room wall that my grandad surprised me with. I must admit, a man tear or two was shed by us haha. As the axles were replaced a few years back I'm going to regrease them juat in case, the tires are 2 years old with no cracking or flat spots, clearance lights are on my to do list and I'll need to reseal a couple of the windows where there is some minor cracking. Luckily my grandad yanked all the windows about 5 years ago, completely dismantled them separating the panes as resealed them so I'll only need to do some minor touchups.

On a side note, does anyone know someplace I could find the hamster wheel fan for the heater unit?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JWs Retreat View Post
Thanks! The body is in great shape. New awnings about 2 years ago and the water heater unit was replaced 3 years ago. One thing I want to do is fab up the original water heater door to fit the new unit so I don't have that unsightly white door on it anymore.
Same thing here about the door. Till I get a "round tuit", I bought a rattle can of silver and sprayed it. Looks waaay better!
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:04 PM   #14
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage

Same thing here about the door. Till I get a "round tuit", I bought a rattle can of silver and sprayed it. Looks waaay better!
That's a good idea. I wonder how closely the engine enamel silver will match up.
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