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Old 03-24-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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My Life with Henri (or, Taming the '74 Sovereign)

It was getting somewhat embarassing. After all, I have been a member here for almost a year, and have soaked up enough information from the thousands of great threads and posts to make me feel a bit like an owner, but "The One" for me had not yet come my way.

Well, it finally did: on Sunday I was doing my usual pass over the dozen or so different online sites I'd been watching, one caught my eye, one that had been posted only a few hours previously.

I talked to the seller and his wife in email briefly, then we spoke on the phone and arranged a time to meet, so Monday morning my wife and I found ourselves making a four-hour drive to go and look at it. It's currently in a fishing camp, quite a nice, well-run one on a beautiful lake only a little over an hour from where our children live, so my wife talked me into renting the spot it's on for this season, so we could "get used" to operating the trailer. It's also so that she can keep our boat there with it, and enjoy the wonderful fishing available in the lake, while being close to the kids and a good friend of hers all at the same time. It will also give me a chance to do some of the things that need to be done to it before we get on the road.

After all, it has sat in that same place for 10 years, so I can see LOTS of stuff I'll have to do.

Ta-da: my new-to-me 1974 31' AS Sovereign!







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Old 03-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Very Nice!

Congradulations, Its good to hear you plan on returning the trailer to the road. You will soon see the trailer smile!
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Very, very nice; congratulations. It looks an excellent way to ease into Airstreaming.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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Congrats! It looks to be in nice shape.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Welcome to the wonderful world of the Sovereign. Having used a 24ft Argosy (which I love) for about two years, I was thrilled to get the 31ft. We have the rear bedroom and all that extra room is so great. I hope you two enjoy yours as much as we have enjoyed ours. It looks like a well cared for trailer.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #6
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Best of luck with your newest addiction! We dig our 74 Soveriegn. My husband calls it Nixon but I prefer Shagn'wagon! I hope you get all the joy out of it as we have ours.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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Congrats!!!!!!!!! Nice to have you in the fold. You couldn.t have picked a nicer one to start with. I'd have to say my Sovereign is one of the best choices I've made. My cats and I love ours. Mine is almost the same as your but with one twin where you have two. The PO removed the Gaucho in mine as well so I have a futon couch there. I know you will love yours it looks great!!! As far as towing it I haven't found it to be any problem at all. Good luck with your new baby and try not to smile to much.

SL
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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10q!

Thanks to all of you for the congratulations!

We are certainly still excited about this investment, and my wife is busy scouring the family for things she foresees she will need that we don't already have, and I will be shortly putting together a deficiency list, things "to be repaired/improved".

I'm sure my wife's list will be shorter than mine...
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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Update: the new TV fell through

Well, I thought I had a great deal on a great TV, but after spending three hours on a bus to go and look at it, when I saw it the signs were all against buying.

It was a 2004 Ford F-150 SuperCab, a dual fuel (gas and CNG) one, and it looked to have everything I need in a TV (which isn't much). AC, 5.4 litre V8, and a rust-free body.

It was at the outside of mileage I wanted (130,000 KMs or about 80,000 miles) but the body was mint, it had new tires, and was all around crowd-pleaser.

But, when I got there, the owner was in the midst of trying to figure out where ATF was leaking , and then, when he decided to take it to the local garage it wouldn't start. While we were letting the mechanic look under the hood, I walked around the body, looking for any other defects. Then I noticed that the gap around the driver's side door wasn't even all around (while passenger's door was perfectly aligned) and the gap between the cab and the box wasn't equal on both sides.

I shrugged my shoulders and mentally said good-bye to it, then told the owner that I wasn't going to go ahead, and explained exactly why. He was surprised (or appeared so) about the obvious body problems, but took me back to the bus station for the trip home.

Disappointing, but how many negative things do you need to see before deciding not to buy?

Oh well, back to scanning the web and newspapers...
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabLover View Post
Congrats!!!!!!!!! Nice to have you in the fold. You couldn.t have picked a nicer one to start with. I'd have to say my Sovereign is one of the best choices I've made. My cats and I love ours. Mine is almost the same as your but with one twin where you have two. The PO removed the Gaucho in mine as well so I have a futon couch there. I know you will love yours it looks great!!! As far as towing it I haven't found it to be any problem at all. Good luck with your new baby and try not to smile to much.

SL
Yes, you're right: they are identical, except for the mod your PO did with a bunk, and my PO took out (and threw away ) the original Dometic fridge. It's also amazing that the overall condition of both TTs is the same: pretty darn good!

On mine, the beige trim strips that go around the bathroom several times, and around the ceiling of the sitting area once, are all cracked, yellowed, or MIA and generally detracting from the look. Result: 70' of "insert nosing" ordered from Inland RV.

Also, because the black tank is partially disintegrated (and again, my PO threw out the original terlet) I've order a new black tank from Inland and I'm actively shopping for a decent new porcelain terlet.

Gotta love it, huh!?
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonda View Post
Best of luck with your newest addiction! We dig our 74 Soveriegn. My husband calls it Nixon but I prefer Shagn'wagon! I hope you get all the joy out of it as we have ours.
Thanks! Cool names.

So far, I am considering three: Elspeth, Gerda, and Urge. The reasons behind the first two are not really clear to me, but Urge was the name of a VW Microbus driven around the US in the '60s by one of Ken Kesey's friends and a few others called "The Merry Pranksters". Can't remember who just now, and it's probably not important, but I loved that book, and the tale of the trip.

Lots of other things to do to the TT, but I can't easily access it since it's four hours away, and I can't stay overnight yet (the camp opens in May).

So, I get to muse on what name she deserves, what things I need to buy for her in order to accomplish my plans to have her roadworthy by September at the latest.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:30 PM   #12
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Smile Congratulations Neighbour!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Ta-da: my new-to-me 1974 31' AS Sovereign!
Congratulations Aage! We're not far away from you, and we recently picked up a '74 Sovereign as well, although yours looks to be in better shape. Ours has the mid-bath and rear bedroom layout. We've had it for a couple of months now and have started working on it, but I'm only now getting a chance to start a thread where I can start documenting what we're doing, and of course ask questions. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...tml#post683234
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:25 PM   #13
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Thanks, Grant. Yeah I was lucky to get one that had been -very- lightly used for towing, and therefore has a wonderfully complete and well-maintained body.

As for under the skin, I will see within about 6 weeks what has rotted out and where.

Cheers,
Aage
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:27 PM   #14
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Cool

Aage, looks like you have a real winner there!

U are smart to have gone with your gut feeling on the TV.

Good luck on your search

Michael
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