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Old 03-07-2016, 03:29 PM   #1
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Culpeper , Virginia
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So I just dropped 3k on an airstream...

Hi Everybody!

I've been lurking all your posts on these forums for three years. Probably made a username forever ago but I tried logging in and it worked. Kudos to me.

I wanted to share some pictures (not the best) of the 78 (I think) Sovereign I just purchased from a guy 30 minutes from me in Virginia. BTW, does anyone on this forum live near Culpeper, Fredericksburg, or Manassas?

So, my plan is to gut this puppy. After that, step 1 is to determine whether or not the rust on the bottom is ok enough or do I need a major investment. I probably should have grabbed someone else to come and look at it, but I'm confident I can fix any of this at my shop at work.

I have one limited picture of the rust and corrosion. What do you think, should I grind and buff this with an angle grinder? Do I need to do some additional welding?
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Old 03-07-2016, 03:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to the madness. Looks like you did good. Enjoy
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #3
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Palomar Mountain , California
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Looks very clean - good price!

Bottom flange on cross member is eaten away - grind and weld reinforcing piece. Grind all other areas of rust and protect from further corrosion.

The horizontal part of the flange takes most of the downward force, so flange is not critical - but corrosion should be stopped!

Good luck and welcome to Airstreaming!
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Old 03-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #4
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Newport , North Carolina
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I like it any pictures of the skin? Love that part of va. Yes you have a major investment and start reading the shell off because of what you can see she will be needing a lot of love and it will be more elbow grease than money if you are willing to work and learn! Bright side you will know every bit of your airstream and you are close to one of the best airstream doctors in on the east coast! Frank is good and not that expensive! Again welcome and enjoy!
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:47 PM   #5
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At 3K you probably couldn't go wrong - especially if the shell is decent and half of the windows haven't been replaced by plexi.

The frame has obviously been painted (possibly to cover up the extent of the rust) but I too noticed that one crosspiece where the bottom had rusted out. There's also been some floor replacement too based on the screws showing through. And of course inside you have the replacement A/C only house refrigerator. But the P.O. did leave the belly pan off - so while you're missing all of the insulation, you're also missing all of the mess and can see the state of the frame and floor.

If you'd paid $10K it would have been a sad story, but for $3K your "project" trailer is well priced. Exterior pictures too please.

Paula
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:43 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I'll take some better photos today now that I have it parked outside the house and it's a nice day. I feel a lot better knowing I didn't get ripped huge. I'l start demo today. I want to get a feel for the ins and outs of this AS. I'll start with the partitions, cabinets, beds, etc. Then I'll leave the paneling and take up the floor if possible. Otherwise, the bottom portion of paneling and the floor is coming up. Pics of the structure to follow.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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I might suggest you go camping for a while first.... That is, so long as its usable. It looks like fresh POR15 on the frame, and fresh paint inside, so it doesnt look like a stinky old trailer. I did notice that the belly pan seems to be missing, or at least parts of it. That may mean the previous owner either was proactive, or was beginning to fix some deeper problem.... BUT as long as it works- go out and use it.

I say that because I was going to just "clean up" mine when I got it on October 22, 2012..... I STILL have never actually used the thing.... I'm getting close to using it as a tent this year (I think)... but I'm pretty convinced a shell off renovation is a 5 year project if you work and have a family.

So I"m just sayin.... if you can get some use out of it, go do it before you get in this deep project and you're up to your ears in a "OMG this is a HUGE project" moment.

Have fun!
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:55 AM   #8
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Looks like there is some loosely attached spliced wood underneath. Be sure to check those areas out real good. Looks good though.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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You have some cancer to the frame that should be welded. Also a poor repair of water damage. It looks like the PO tried to make the frame members look pretty with some paint which is just a bandaid. Given the obvious problems in the front of the trailer I have a strong suspicion that the rest of the frame and especially the rear will have more serious problems. Rear end separation is a strong possibility. No sense in redoing the interior without first taking care of the frame issues. It would also make sense to replace the axles at this point if they are the original axles.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:02 PM   #10
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Yeah, camp in it a little before you get carried away forever.
I've had mine a year and it's a year away from the road. I couldn't use it as it was too stanky.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:12 PM   #11
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Yep, camp in it first. That way you can remember why you bought it in the first place after you open your can of worms. I bought mine 7 years ago and it just now to the point I can use it as a aluminum tent. (As a side note: I bought another one 3 years later just to camp in- it had more issues to fix than the first. I ended up buying a popup and building that from the ground up first which proved to be wise- now I have mojo to finish the first one) 😎
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rugjenkins View Post
Yep, camp in it first. That way you can remember why you bought it in the first place after you open your can of worms. I bought mine 7 years ago and it just now to the point I can use it as a aluminum tent. (As a side note: I bought another one 3 years later just to camp in- it had more issues to fix than the first. I ended up buying a popup and building that from the ground up first which proved to be wise- now I have mojo to finish the first one) 😎
Ok you win. Just made me feel better.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:49 PM   #13
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It appears to be in pretty darn good shape for a $3,000 trailer.
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Old 03-08-2016, 08:54 PM   #14
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I vote Camp in it too! At least through late spring and early summer while while the weather is nice. Does the AC and heat work? Looks like your fridge is an AC only fridge, so you'll need to have hook ups (or a bag of ice). It looks like it is in great interior shape and clean. Go have some fun in it as long as it is deemed road worthy! Had mine not been so smelly and nasty from a PO, I would have definitely slept in it at least once before I busted out the rivet remover! Awesome find. Good luck!
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