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Old 05-11-2007, 04:21 PM   #1
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
The fulltiming adventure begins

Those of you that have been following the "when one of us hurts" thread may have noticed we are about to leave the home we can no longer afford to live in because of my injuries keeping me from working.
After much consideration, thinking, discussing, cursing, and gnashing teeth, we have decided toi try the fulltiming option. There are several options open to us, from paying under $300/month plus electric for a space near Ocala (where we would like to eventually move anyway), to $750/month for a spot a Traveler's Rest North of Tampa, including everything from WiFi to greens fees for the golf course. All are a lot less than the $1400/month we are coughing up for our small 3 bedroom house here in Cape Coral, including rent, water, electric, and cable. Since we are going to have to make a change, we decided to REALLY make a change, and are rehabbing a 1974 Sovereign to full time in.
Now that you have the background, here is the story:
We have many spies all over the country looking for a suitable trailer to fulltime in, that we can afford to buy without finishing pushing us into bankruptcy. There have been sightings, and rumors, but nothing we could do anything with given time and financial constraints.
We were all set to go this weekend and look at a 1989 32 foot Landyacht (aka squarestream) thatwas low mileage, and needed to have the removed parts replaced. A drawback for us was the price, while pretty inexpensive for what it was, if we had bought it, and had a flat tire on the way home, we would have been sunk. With no margin for error, we were more than a little nervous about this, especially since our current trailer, listed for sale, has not had any serious nibbles.
Then, out of the blue, a forums member called me and told me he had seen a mid 70's Airstream between 29-32 feet long, with a "for sale" sign on it, about 5 miles from our house.
I hobbled out to the truck, and we rolled over to where the trailer was sitting. What I found was a 1974 Sovereign, in good overall condition. In checking it over, we noted some things that were good (floors solid, even in the rear compartment), and some things that were bad (rear frame sag), and it had "that black tank odor".
The body is in very good shape, with no dents or gouges, all compartments open and lock, the Air Conditioner works very well, and it has Zip Dee awnings all around. I have no idea why there is an awning on the front windows instead of a rock guard, but it does. Looks kind of strange. It also has a portable aquarium inside the left wing window, and the Univolt is DOA.
The axles are in good shape, but the tires were made in 1998, so they are going away, even though they have no weather checking. This could be because it had both wheelwell covers, and tire covers.
It has a new electric tongue jack, BAL stabilizers all around, all windows work, the brakes and lights work, and I heard the water pump come on when I hit the switch. It has had the same owners since 1992, and looks like that was the last time it was really cleaned. It isn't filthy, but it isn't clean, either. It seems to have a missing water heater, I can hardly wait to turn on the water, and watch it pour out the water heater compartment...
We will also be replacing the mattresses with memory foam mattresses, getting new curtains, and replacing the brown indoor outdoor carpet. Here are a few photos of the exterior, as we found it:
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:25 PM   #2
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Congrats! You know it really is an ill wind that doesnt blow some good.
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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It looks like the real deal....and it appears to be in pretty fine shape....good luck and good fortune.....you all deserve it...pj
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
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how are you going to fix all that?

did you consider this one, in the classifieds?
http://www.airforums.com/classifieds...uct=3677&cat=6

"refurbished" would be a better description than "restored"...anyway, lots of work done to it. its in nice shape. but its also 1200 miles away...
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:38 PM   #5
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Supposedly every black cloud has a silver lining, I guess maybe this one had an aluminum lining.
I'll take some more photos of the inside later on, after I've rested. I keep being forcibly reminded I am not a well person, going and getting the trailer, hooking it up, towing it home, and hooking up the electric and lowering the stabilizers, as well as taking those photos, about wupped me.
Our Overlander is still for sale (hint, hint), I would like to find it a home before we have to pay another month's storage. Storage on two trailers right now is not conducive to our financial health.
Anyway, in a similar vein to what I noted after bringing Goliath (our overlander) home, here are a few things I have already noticed:
1- It is longer and wider than our 1960's coach, and heavier.
2-When the battery is dead, you have to manually lower and raise the tongue jack, and it has a significantly higher tongue weight than our Overlander.
3-I need to find a crank handle for the Zip-Dee main awning, I can't climb the side of the trailer to unhook it, adn secure it.
4-old black water smells really bad, and it seems to be proportionate to the length of time it sits in the tanks.
5-Univolts are good only as long as they function, after that they are expensive, heavy boat anchors.
6-We need a new convection oven.
7-The brown carpet is the right color for how it smells...
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Old 05-11-2007, 04:41 PM   #6
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck
how are you going to fix all that?

did you consider this one, in the classifieds?
http://www.airforums.com/classifieds...uct=3677&cat=6

"refurbished" would be a better description than "restored"...anyway, lots of work done to it. its in nice shape. but its also 1200 miles away...
I considered it,it is cool, and I like the owner, but this one was a lot less, plus we didn't have to make a 2400 mile round trip. My budget was whatever I managed to sell my toy train collection for, and I wanted to have some change left.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:50 PM   #7
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looks good!

i like the front awning.

it is sort of an odd thing for travel (wind/suction) but for long term resting...

shade is good!

given you are gonna park it somewhere for a bit why not hold off on tires?

or even consider jack stands behind the tires for awhile.

_________

just saw the ad of the overlander; didn't realize you'd made the listing yet...

it looks like a really nice unit.

did you by chance add a grey water holding tank?

i'm still looking for a c2c unit.

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #8
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1974 31' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Hi,

I specifically said to keep me out of the pictures because I looked like H---!

I was in the process of using the little compressor to air up the tires, since each tire had 20 pds of pressure and needed 50, and was almost under the bathtub looking to see if the converter was plugged in. I could find no plug,
or any plug to plug anything into.

Pulling it home invoked a lot of stares. An old guy around the corner from the house saw it and followed our progress until we turned, he was calling for his friend to look. I went to pick up dinner, and when I came home a younger couple with a baby were standing in the driveway looking at it and smiling. The young man said he always wanted one, I told hime we had one for sale and we were going to full time in this one. After I explained full timing, he asked what we were going to do with all of our stuff. He and his wife came in, looked around and bought the bedroom set and the 57" HD TV.

I think we will be ordering the curtains from another forums member, because I will not have time to do them. A major cleaning will commence tomorrow, and the son is coming in tomorrow afternoon to rip the carpet up.

I know you will wish us luck and I thank you in advance.

(yes, I will keep Terry off the roof, I hope)

Marie
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:34 PM   #9
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Where the water tastes like wine , Michigan
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Smile Good luck!!

Have fun deciding on all the things you'll do to it!

Marie you look mahvelous dahling, mahvelous!! Come on up to Michigan its 80 and sunny, low humidity!
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:08 PM   #10
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Famous last words...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sd90mac

(yes, I will keep Terry off the roof, I hope)

Marie
Ya HAD to say that... I put the TV antenae up, it got halfway up, and something inside the mechansim went *snap*. Now it won't go up, or down... Guess I'll find out how I do on ladders... NOT what I wanted to do, I think I still have a couple of months before I should be tackling the ladder.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:15 PM   #11
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
looks good!

i like the front awning.

it is sort of an odd thing for travel (wind/suction) but for long term resting...

shade is good!

given you are gonna park it somewhere for a bit why not hold off on tires?

or even consider jack stands behind the tires for awhile.

_________

just saw the ad of the overlander; didn't realize you'd made the listing yet...

it looks like a really nice unit.

did you by chance add a grey water holding tank?

i'm still looking for a c2c unit.

cheers
2air'
Its going to have the front awning removed, and sunglasses installed, very soon. There are two reasons for this. First, the sunglasses will shade all the windows no matter what angle of sun is, the awning lests sun in during low sun angle times.
Second is somewhat devious. The sunglasses from a later model unit will make it look much newer than it really is, nipping the "old trailer" thing in the bud, or at least slowing it down a lot.

I haven't added a grey tank to the Overlander, it was one of the things on my list. I was planning on adding the tank when I replaced the axles, obviously events overran my intentions. I did run the kitchen sink water to the black tank, I could do no more because the other drains are below floor level, and the black tank is above.
We are planning to do a bit of traveling while fulltimeing, maybe bot a cross country trip, but from here to Georgia, maybe to Michigan, although those trips may happen next year. Marie has always wanted to travel, but her career has kept her in one spot. I have traveled a great deal, and would like to revisit some places I went, and see how they have changed.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:19 PM   #12
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1974 31' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Steph,

Thank you Dahling, so very kind of you.

WE FOUND THE M. If you look at the front of the new coach, you will see the m is missing from airstream. While emptying the drawers in the kitchen, we found the m.

I also found yucky silverware, and other stuff that isn't all identifyable.
I love the bathroom. It has a shower door instead of a shower curtain. There is so much storage in there it's great. My next project is a good scrubbing and a large garbage bag.

There is a double closet in the kitchen for a pantry and large overheaads with tambor doors. Some of the tambor needs replacing, but most of it is there. No oven, but there is a 4 burner cooktop and an older convection oven, which we will replace. Besides I use my forman roaster for most things.

Fridge works good, Terry found it was not plugged in for electric, and now that it is, it's starting to get cold.

I'm going to get 8 inch memmory foam for the beds, and we will need to get new plywood for the beds. The front goucho is not to swift looking, but hey, why not memory foam for that also. I can cover it and it will look good. I told Terry to not through out the sofa foam, I need it for a pattern, then it can go.

All in all, a little work to do, actually a lot of work, but we have until september to get it done.

Marie
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:21 PM   #13
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1974 31' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Ya HAD to say that... I put the TV antenae up, it got halfway up, and something inside the mechansim went *snap*. Now it won't go up, or down... Guess I'll find out how I do on ladders... NOT what I wanted to do, I think I still have a couple of months before I should be tackling the ladder.

No ladders. I need a volunteer for a mission, any takers?



Actually my son will be here tomorrow for hard labor and he will help.

Marie
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:49 PM   #14
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,190
Cue theme music from "Mission Impossible"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sd90mac
No ladders. I need a volunteer for a mission, any takers?



Marie
Here are some photos of the interior. Even though it's pretty dirty, it's nowhere near as dirty as our Argosy or Goliath. The best part, no whiskey bottles (we found a slew of empty ones in the Overlander):
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