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Old 07-10-2019, 03:36 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Cottonwood , California
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75 Sovereign- Full Renowski-(help)

Bought this 1975 Sovereign a month ago. I'm on the frame now grinding away the rust. I have 80% of the belly pan removed minus the middle section where it sits under the fresh water tank, it is really sandwiched between the frame. I need to remove 80% of the banana wraps too so I can start grinding the out riggers and edges of the main frame. The rust has been minimal except where the water heater and bathroom where (middle bath). I am in Northern California and noticed minimal water damage except under the front window. The curved from windows have condensation between the glass panes and I'm guessing water came in from there. Anyway. I scan a lot of these posts and the more I read the easier it is to move forward but I'll need guidance and wisdom from you champs who have gone before me. Quitting this isn't an option for me as my wife and I plan on making this home for a couple years and save some money while being able to hit the road.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:40 PM   #2
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Order of operations

Seeing where I am at now. What would your advice be for me going forward on what to do next? and then after that? I have electrical to test and re wire, plumbing, sealing, windows to take apart, clean and re-seal, flooring, bellypan, and polish. Or should i polish first and then seal it up? Thanks!
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:58 PM   #3
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Awesome. I admire your enthusiasm. We all will learn from you. I look forward to the updates, please!. I really need to do the same to my 78........
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:39 PM   #4
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1966 22' Safari
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Iím assuming youíre not going for a shell off, right? In that case I think I would work my way upward. You need to figure out your tank sizes/capacity and locations. After painting the frame members and tank installation, then consider the subfloor. Then sealing the interior side of the exterior skin (including leaky windows), wiring, insulation etc. try and think these phases all the way through so you donít cover yourself up. Wiring, what requires 12vdc, 120vac, coax cable, phone charging receptacles (and locations) etc. A lot to think about. If you want to polish, go for it. Itís your trailer. I didnít on our trailers because I wasnít sure what panel may be replaced or modified. There are a lot more folks here that are more familiar with the 70s that will chime in. Iím more familiar with pre-70s. But they have the same basics. Good luck and ask the questions.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:56 PM   #5
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Bubba has good advice...until he says go for it on the polishing (sorry Bubba ), don't waste your time polishing a trailer that you can't use or needs lots of other attention.
Your trailer looks great and keep working towards making it usable and not another polished shell I see for sale.
Once the frame is done and any subfloor work is done(tanks etc) and the subfloor is back in place you should consider making the shell water tight, leaks are easier to find with inner panels off.
Good Luck!
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:47 AM   #6
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1970 23' Safari
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I would agree with AlinCal ...dont spend a moment on polishing until you are done with everything.... everyone wants a pretty shell but its a lot of work and you may burn out on the whole project ....and it doesn't make the trailer any more usable. Once you've seen the leaks with the inner skins off you'll have an great opportunity to really do a great sealing job..... do you need to shell off?? .... make sure you check the tanks out I found my black was cracked on top and the 1970 did'nt come with greys (i installed 2 plus a new black). I would do subfloor first ....Leave the belly pans off until near the end as it gives you the ability to run wiring etc. under the floor.
You have a great blank slate and can do a lot of changes to the original layout with a bit of thought.
Good luck ...it looks like a nice unit.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:42 AM   #7
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1966 22' Safari
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I totally agree with all the comments on polishing first. I had a guy recently contact me with questions on a pre-60s trailer. It was all original, but needing a lot of work. I asked what he was going to start on first and he said the flooring as soon as it gets back from the polisher. I asked why in the world would he have it polished first. He said because itís my trailer. So, I can just give my opinion whether they heed or not. It sure lessens the chance of someone finishing a complete reno of a trailer if they polish first due to the amount of work. I liken polishing to the icing on the cake once the cake is done. Iíve never seen icing on a cake that wasnít done first. I should have been more explicit in my explanation. Good luck Howardhome.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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1972 29' Ambassador
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im totally redoing a 72 ambassador. im doing the opposite of other replies. im totally cleaning up the outside. I don't like the mirror shining look so im just polishing once then letting it go. my reason for polishing first is that there wont be anything in my way ie. lights ect. after that I am starting with the roof and working my way around. after I have the outside sealed up I will work on the floor. mine is outside and I don't want my new subfloor getting wet.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:28 PM   #9
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1975 31' Sovereign
Cottonwood , California
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Bubba, Rucos, Alin I appreciate the responses! I had no idea anyone me would stumble upon this 😅
Today I got off work early and took my front square window frame to the local glass shop to get a quote on them getting me a thick ďbulletproofĒ replacement. Idk the lingo but it will be nice and half the price of the vintagetrailedsupplies $600 replacement. After that my wife and I took off all the banana wraps which were pretty easy and only needed 7-8 rivets remover total....Now I can finally have access to the outriggers to grind at, it looks like all are good except one which Iíll have a buddy cut something for me to replace it.
After the rust removal Iíll coat it in POR 15. How much do I need for a 31 footer? I was thinking 1 gallon?
Then Iíll get after the subfloor.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:59 PM   #10
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1966 22' Safari
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I donít remember how much Por I used on the 22 footers. Expect to need more than you figure. I did apply two top coats which was needed for the silver to cover the black. Check on the forums for quantities if no one responds. Also, hope I didnít tick you off about any of my comments. You look pretty devious with those safety glasses and that hammer in your hands. Keep the progress going.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:55 PM   #11
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I would recommend buying the POR in no bigger than quart cans. It does not store well after being opened. For two coats you'll probably use up a gallon's worth. Don't forget the top coat for exposed areas like the tongue and rear frame rails, other wise it will dull down rather quickly. Learned from experience.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:12 PM   #12
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1975 31' Sovereign
Cottonwood , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
I donít remember how much Por I used on the 22 footers. Expect to need more than you figure. I did apply two top coats which was needed for the silver to cover the black. Check on the forums for quantities if no one responds. Also, hope I didnít tick you off about any of my comments. You look pretty devious with those safety glasses and that hammer in your hands. Keep the progress going.
Haha no offense taken at all Bubba. I canít help it. Iím a normal dude drilling out rivets but give me a hammer, crow bar, or even a putty knife and you never know what will happen next 😅. I think Iím going to go with a gallon. How long did you wait until you applied your second coat?
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:17 PM   #13
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
I would recommend buying the POR in no bigger than quart cans. It does not store well after being opened. For two coats you'll probably use up a gallon's worth. Don't forget the top coat for exposed areas like the tongue and rear frame rails, other wise it will dull down rather quickly. Learned from experience.
Harold & Rebecca,
Thank you for that info! I recently saw a video from Miller Garage on you tube whoís doing an awesome renovation currently and documenting it all and he went with Eastwood Extreme Chasis for the hitch.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:27 PM   #14
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The rust exposed

Really excited the getting the wheel well covers off and the rust came off easy! I cut off all the elevator bolts and grinded about half of the outriggers. I still have some more on the under part to get to there is still a section of belly pan left thatís in good shape but Iím tempted to taking a hammer to it and buying a new sheet later...it looks to be in good shape though so probably not a good idea..
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:17 AM   #15
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I donít really remember the spec on cure time between coats. But I do remember the humidity played a big part. I went with two coats of the black and top coated with a couple of coats of the silver on exposed areas. Since there was a period of time between the Por and rolling the chassis into the barn and under the shell, I top coated most of the frame. The stuff is as fluid as water. When you get it on you, itíll be there until it eventually wears off. But when you do get it on your skin, be sure and top coat it with the silver to protect it from UVs. (not really). Good luck
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:10 PM   #16
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1975 31' Sovereign
Cottonwood , California
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Lol. Iíll be sure to cover up from head to toe. This is one of the few times Iím happy to live in triple digit dry summers of northern Ca. I think I might hire a couple high school football players to do the painting and help me with the window cleaning. Gotta love the ďwork dayĒ fundraiser they do to get them to football camp. I have some orders to make to for the gaskets and seals for my windows but itís good to have these new big chunks of work to think about and get ready for.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:21 PM   #17
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Rig looks great! Minimal rust on the frame is fortunate indeed. I had to replace half of my outriggers and get the rear of the frame rebuilt.

For the POR-15, I used a quart of the degreaser (plenty), a quart of the metal prep (barely enough), three quarts of the coating (also barely enough), and one quart of the topcoat (plenty) to do two coats on the frame of our 27' Overlander. If I were doing it over again, I would have bought 2 quarts of the metal prep and 4 quarts of the coating and so that I could be a little more liberal with the second coat.

Those curved front windows with the condensation inside can be repaired. Mine took me a couple of days, there's a post on the blog about it. Lots of people just break the inner pane and call it good, but I like the double pane windows, so I feel like it was worth the extra work.

Once the frame is done, you'll be on to the subfloor. Before you put the inner skins in, I suggest checking every single rivet with a suction cup for leaks. Way easier to fix rivets when you can just drill them out and buck in a new one.

My best advise is just to take it a little bit at a time and keep making forward progress. This is a huge project, but as long as you just focus on moving the needle every time you work on it, it'll get done.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:55 PM   #18
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Rig looks great! Minimal rust on the frame is fortunate indeed. I had to replace half of my outriggers and get the rear of the frame rebuilt.

For the POR-15, I used a quart of the degreaser (plenty), a quart of the metal prep (barely enough), three quarts of the coating (also barely enough), and one quart of the topcoat (plenty) to do two coats on the frame of our 27' Overlander. If I were doing it over again, I would have bought 2 quarts of the metal prep and 4 quarts of the coating and so that I could be a little more liberal with the second coat.

Those curved front windows with the condensation inside can be repaired. Mine took me a couple of days, there's a post on the blog about it. Lots of people just break the inner pane and call it good, but I like the double pane windows, so I feel like it was worth the extra work.

Once the frame is done, you'll be on to the subfloor. Before you put the inner skins in, I suggest checking every single rivet with a suction cup for leaks. Way easier to fix rivets when you can just drill them out and buck in a new one.

My best advise is just to take it a little bit at a time and keep making forward progress. This is a huge project, but as long as you just focus on moving the needle every time you work on it, it'll get done.
Thank you for that advice! Iím taking notes and found your post on the window removal. Love it, I didnít want to break the inside pane either. Dumb question but when did you add the new belly pan compared to subfloor? I still have to ensure my tanks donít have leaks and/or replace them but wasnít sure if I should run any plumbing under the floor (probably not). Did you replace your brake wiring?
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Howardhome View Post
Thank you for that advice! Iím taking notes and found your post on the window removal. Love it, I didnít want to break the inside pane either. Dumb question but when did you add the new belly pan compared to subfloor? I still have to ensure my tanks donít have leaks and/or replace them but wasnít sure if I should run any plumbing under the floor (probably not). Did you replace your brake wiring?
Adding the belly pan was one of the last things I did before we went on our honeymoon, after putting the subfloor on, and after installing the tanks and drain plumbing. Nothing is preventing you from leaving it open until you're done everything else, but I'd want it in place before any travelling. I used all new material since the old one had a bunch of holes in it and I further mangled it when removing it from around the axles.

I wouldn't run any fresh water plumbing under the floor. It helps to have it inside the living space when you're winter camping, so it's inside the heated envelope of the rig. It's also easier to slope the plumbing downward to your low point drains if it's inside the living space. Generally, the only plumbing that goes in the belly are tanks and some drain pipes.

Yes, I replaced the brake wiring with marine grade stranded wire when I had the belly open. I also replaced the complete axles, so it seemed reasonable to redo the wiring from the 7-way.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:12 PM   #20
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1975 31' Sovereign
Cottonwood , California
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Update: Rust Free/Windows Removed

Ladies and Gents,

I appreciate your replies and advice thus far and hope to keep this thread well updated. The frame is rust free. I went out and bought a spot blast wire wheel for the corners. I burned through that thing but I only needed it for the hard to reach spots. I then got out the lease blower and got all the dust off the surfaces. Next I used 1 gallon of Clean Strip- Concrete and Metal prep "helps paint stick and eats rust" I had two hand plastic sprayers and went to town and covered the frame top to bottom. It started to spell and i could see it working but went to bed and was amazed at the results the next day!
Now I am taking apart the windows from the frame and separating the two panels. I got 5/6 of the windows disassembled today and tomorrow should have the finished and cleaned.
What's Next?
My buddy should have the welding done next week of a rusted out rigger and a few crossbeams i sawed through with a skill saw but minor fixes for him. Once the welding is done I have a gallon of POR-15 I plan to put a couple of layers on. Then the Subfloor! 😃
What ply wood do you all recommend? I've mentioned before how I really like Ian Millers build that is currently on you tube "Miller's Garage. He recommended 19/32 BC Sanded Plywood and he added Total Boat Medium Hard Epoxy and Resin and comments or concerns about that?
I'm doing homework of appliances, electrical and batteries to get and how that all ties into each other but that's for another day. I need to order Gaskets and spacers for the windows.
Any and all advice is welcome 🙂
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