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Old 06-11-2006, 11:30 AM   #1
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Sovereign Redux

I regret not documenting the Bambi, Caravel, or Overlander remodel projects, so I thought I'd cover the Sovereign ad nauseum. I'm thinking this will take a year, but I've been known to an optimist when it comes to projects.

This is a mid-bath 31' Sovereign with the kitchen and bath on the same side. Many of the plumbing decsions were greatly simplified by this existing floorplan. In an effort to keep the project within reason, I won't move the fridge or anything with a drain.

In the last month I've posted some of the early systems work--making the fridge doors fit, new PEX plumbing, and the Fantastic Vents--no documentation of removing a banana skin and tapping it back into shape or of sealing the aft floor where it touches the bumper locker cover (undo the belt trim and apply Vulkem along the bottom of the floor plywood). In that same month I started the interior by removing all the carpet (finding the original carpet under the newer layer!) and the bath walls. The aft floor was in good shape, but even though the front was still strong, it had lots of stain--evidence of many leaks from all the windows (new Vulkem applied along the tops of all window frames and along the joint at the bottom of the glass-to-frame joints of all the Vista Views, high and low). The view of the forward interior is strickly for documenting the current layout. This will change markedly, perhaps with facing couches and a dinette up front and additional countertop work space near the fridge (reversing the doors, of course).

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I'm using Pergo-like hardboard to replace the carpet. The first decision was to create a bath floor separate from the main area. The intent is to be able to remove or replace this area easily. The "joint" lines between the bath and other floor will be covered by the base of new walls made from 1/2" birch plywood. Replacing the flooring, if that should ever be necessary, will require the removal of about 12 screws to get the walls out first. Once the floor was rough-cut and installed, the toilet was placed over the drain and a cutout was drawn around the base of the toilet. The objective here was to ensure that the toilet was a tight as possible to the drain (I hate the idea of slosh getting out from under the toilet). However, the hold down bolts don't precisely locate the toilet in this case, since it's not down on the drain rim. I found about 3/8" difference between where the PEX said the toilet ought to be and where the cutout placed it. Just be careful to get the toilet placed as perfectly as possible, if you decide this is a good way to go.

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The white on the floor is alkyd/oil based paint. Another thread suggested this was a good idea and while testing the plumbing, drains, valves, etc. it turned out to be a very good idea. I think I soaked the floor at least three times in one day.

It really looks good [to me] when the toilet is installed. It's a nice fit and the flooring doesn't interfere with the operation of the foot pedal valves. Obtaining a good fit with the shower wall and smoothly under the pluming took a little time--about 5 hours for the whole bath. You can see some discoloration at the bottom of the plastic dome--TSP did a good job of removing the old goo off the walls, but on the plastic it seemed to "rain" gold-brown" gunk as it released the old oil and dirt (nicotine?). I haven't been able to get much of that out, although the surface feels very clean.

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The exposed seam between the bath flooring and the main floor (under the sliding bath door, essentially) will be covered with a thin brass-colored threshhold. I had considered taking out the vent pipe in the corner of the bath and replacing it with a modern vacuum breaker vent, when I realized this isn't really a drain vent. It's a gas-production relief vent, which a vacuum breaker can't satisfy! The thought of the consequences of this near-error makes me shudder...

The remainder took about 3 hours. The uncovered area on the curb side will be in a hidden locker under the back side of the bed, once the bed frame is installled. This view from the kitchen aft documents the current closet arrangement. I can only think "what were they thinking" with two huge hanging closets. I'm in this to get away from suits and other hanging stuff--where are the shelves and drawers for jeans and boots? There will be major changes here, too.

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The only down note so far is that when I put the Fantastic Vent in the back, the interior spots quit working, as well as the little bulb that was down in the locker served by the side access door. Crap, I must have cut a wire and not noticed it. However, after taking the Sovereign back to the storage yard last night, I did a walkthrough and noticed one was back on. All now work. Crap, an intermittent connection! Anyone know if there is a bullet connector for this set of lights and where it might be, approximately?

--- to be continued ---
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #2
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Floor Looks Nice With Existing Laminate

Zep,
Your choice of "Pergo-Like" floor appears to go well with the dark walnut laminate of the Airstream built-ins. What is product name and design?

ALso, I see you choice to install it across the width of the trailer. Was there an advantage to this versus lengthwize?

As always, thanks for documenting and sharing.
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Old 06-11-2006, 02:46 PM   #3
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Source of the flooring was Costco. Harmonics cottage oak.

Yes, the flooring is laid sideways due to trailer sag. You may not notice it, but I think all the vintage trailers are bent or curved a little bit, front to back, particularly directly above the axle(s). The flooring planks conform to this curve much better sideways than lengthways. I'll put another seam in right at the start of the kitchen so I can remove the flooring in sections should that ever be necessary.
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:45 PM   #4
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Removed the TV antenna today and put in a cover plate. When I went to hide the TV antenna twin lead, I found that the small cover plate was installed with screws and had pulled the skin up in dimples due to the thickness of the twin lead.

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So I cut the wire and replaced the cover. One day I'll get the ceiling skin down and I'll be able to pound the dimples flat and then rivet on a small patch.

I do have one question--the antenna lead that goes to the old 8-track/fm radio is coax, but the external cable up at the antenna was true 300 ohm twin-lead. It there a balun or splitter hidden in the ceiling/wall somewhere? I don't see a TV outlet anywhere, but I haven't looked very hard, yet.

Zep
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:01 PM   #5
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Rivet Odd Antenna In

Hi Zep,

Ok, odd in my opinion. Airstream didn’t ask my opinion about bringing the signal from the antenna to the TV, television in this case. My Excella has an outlet mounded on the wall with a TV and cigarette lighter outs. It is just behind the flat screen above the old G4. The “balun or splitter” or whatever are behind this. There were also 2 antique Radio Shack signal amps hooked in series below the “entertainment center” cabinet top. Yes, the fm and separate cassette deck still work.

Looks good so far. Look forward to updates.

Vaughan
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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Zep, I had to look twice before I determined that the black pole in the pictures was a blackwater tank vent. I thought for a minute you had put in a dance pole.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:20 PM   #7
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If I had my way it would be a dance pole. Two would be better. My standard answer for why I have 3 Airstreams is that you gotta give each feme the same treatment...

of course I'm beat up and submissive these days...

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Old 07-09-2007, 07:18 AM   #8
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I reused the old twin leads as my coax distribution so I didn't have to run cables to the mid bedroom. I put an coax/twin adaptor on each end of the existing twin cable and it works great. All of the cables met behind the tv outlet on the streetside, just forward of the fridge.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV
... All of the cables met behind the tv outlet on the streetside, just forward of the fridge.
I looked pretty closely last night and couldn't find any sign of a TV outlet. The location you suggest was the most logical location, but no joy. I have three DC outlets, but none have a TV connector (unless, unless, the two little screw holes in the plastic cover for the DC outlets mean something). I'm going to remove the one by the fridge and see what's inside.

I really won't use it, just curious. These days a high gain wi-fi antenna is more appropriate.

Zep
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
I have three DC outlets, but none have a TV connector (unless, unless, the two little screw holes in the plastic cover for the DC outlets mean something). I'm going to remove the one by the fridge and see what's inside.


Zep
Yep, those two little holes in the dc outlets should be the tv connector. The design came over on the Mayflower because salt water ate up the coax ends.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV
Yep, those two little holes in the dc outlets should be the tv connector. The design came over on the Mayflower because salt water ate up the coax ends.
OMG! Now that you mention it, I do remember the little two-prong connectors, like the end of a cattle prod, for flat cable. This is too funny. It looked like two empty screw holes to me, it's been so long. I'm going out there right now!

thanks,
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:32 PM   #12
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Sure enough, those little holes are the TV connection! It even says so if you take the time to look...

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But the mystery deepens. Note in the front outlet, there are two twin leads and two coax. The little balun circuit board is hard to see, but this front outlet is where the impedence is matched between the two types of cables. The mystery is "where is the second coax (RG-62/U) going?" One of them goes forward to the radio.

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The rear outlet had just one twin lead and no coax going to it.

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Old 07-09-2007, 12:38 PM   #13
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On my unit, the second coax went to the original antenna but was cut and abandoned when the new antenna was installed. A newer coax was routed behind the drapes, out behind the fridge, up and out the vent and across the roof to the new antenna. I think I would have tried to use the original coax...
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:43 PM   #14
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That’s what I have on the Excella, but it’s coax from the antenna instead of the flat leads. I drilled a hole and but a coax fitting between the “cattle prod” connector (I like it, I’m going to use it from now on!) and the 12v outlet. That way it’s coax all the way. No idea where the other coax goes, though.

Vaughan
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