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Old 09-05-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Dallas , Texas
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'75 Overlander or '78 Sovereign??

I am looking at two different Airstreams. Both are $4,500. Both have pros and cons and I can't tell which one is going to be the best for me...could use some advice.

Here's the situation...

'75 Overlander hasn't been used in a while. The water tank near the front (not sure which tank that is) has a rotted out floor and is actually falling out. Owner says all it needs is new plywood and aluminum cover. Has new Carrier A/C unit and new tires. All double-pane windows are foggy (film bubbling and peeling)

I like the Overlander for it's size most of all. Seems large enough to not feel cramped, yet small enough to park and store.

Overlander also has nice awnings.


'78 Soveriegn is owned by a guy who just acquired it to sell. It seems to have been taken care of by avid Airstreamers. The enter back end is covered in caravan/rally stickers.

The exterior has two or three canalope-sized dents on the top, front cap. Other than that, exterior is decent. Inside, the thing looks really good. Best interior I've seen.

What I like about this one is it has the center bath, bedroom in back and L-lounge up front. I also like that it appears to be well cared for. Single pane windows are clear and no cracking. Still has the original Armstrong A/C unit.

But it's 31 ft...that's a lot of trailer. I fear I will have problems towing, parking and storing something that size.

The Soveriegn does not have any awnings.

Thoughts???
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:05 AM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Whichever one you chose, be sure to check for the rear separation/sag. This was common in pre '79 models. Also no matter how good the interior looks (looks can be deceiving) you still need to check the sub-floor for rot. Go around the interior edges (under windows, in front of door,anywhere you can get to, etc) with a screwdriver, pull up any carpet/flooring and stick it in to check for rot hiding underneath. Do the same in the exterior compartments.

I'm sure others here will have more good advice. This is just for starters. Remember on the portal home page, on the right side there is a link to where you can find someone in your area who will come and help you do an inspection on the important things to look for. Wouldn't hurt to get a second set of eyes.

We have a Sovereign and have not had any problems parking, towing, etc. A lot of folks here find that once they use their AS that they wish they had more room. Sometimes having them trade up to a larger size, so consider this. Only you know how much space your needs require.

Good luck, When you decide be sure to post pics. We all love to see your new baby.

Mary
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Welcome to tha A/S experience

I guess I am biased but we have the 31 Soverign. It is a rear bath. This thing pulls like a dream. I was driving through Baton Rouge one day and actually went to change lanes and forgot she was back there. We are in the process of a restoration. So far the only thing that concerns me is my wife wants to polish her! That is a lot of surface.

Sure you will enjoy either one. If we can help let us know
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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Having towed both, I can say no real difference in length.

All other things being equal, I'd go with the center bath as it provides more options as well as being a bit easier to address rear end issues (as you don't have to deal with all the bathroom fixtures/plumbing).

Don't let the length scare you. They're all long after 21 feet.
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:13 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for all the tips. I decided to go with the '78 Sovereign after the seller dropped the price further. Picked it up this afternoon!

I have to admit, I'm excited but feeling a bit of "what in the world have I done?" The adventure begins.
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by adwriter73 View Post
Thanks for all the tips. I decided to go with the '78 Sovereign after the seller dropped the price further. Picked it up this afternoon!

I have to admit, I'm excited but feeling a bit of "what in the world have I done?" The adventure begins.

Congrats! A year after my purchase I'm still wondering what I've gotten into. Every *Oh Crap* moment seems to be followed by an *Oh Yeah* moment and then it starts over & over. Sometimes those moments are only hours apart. Total roller coaster. Get ready for a ride. Hope you get to start camping soon. I can feel a hint of coolness in the air here - I think...

Laura
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