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Old 10-08-2017, 02:25 PM   #1
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morganton , North Carolina
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Digging in as a new owner of 1978 AS Sovereign renovation project

Hi everyone ,

My best friend sent me a 1978 solid Sovereign with interior stripped , its whole life spent in NM.... she is dry , clean and solid. She just arrived a week back and hauled very well according to hauler .

The previous owner was a expert in AS renovation I understand and this was his personally and in line for renovation when he decided to down size his collection etc. great guy and been very helpful to my friend. I guess I could pester him but wanted to not a bother him much since he is retiring from the biz.

The AC , Heat and plumbing all work. There appears to be no leaksin roof , keep my fingers crossed. She is down to sub floor and it appears new and well done. The bathroom is original it appears. But in decent shape. The previous owner says no leaks or floor issues . The back bedroom is down to floor and walls or totally open. The basic kitchen is in tack . The fridge and stove appear clean and both work. Past the central area of kitchen itís totally stripped to front. The rear window which was black is out but the real window is good, so that needs to replaced but appears if one can undo that frame and dig out the remanants of the black glass that is missing it could be replaced. Everything else looks tight and in working condition.

So my question is where does one start for full interior renovation and what is the sequence in renovating a interior. I know what I want it to look like and I am pretty handy as I been a hands furniture manufacturer for 30 years and a bit of a jack of all trades other than cake decorating my daughter says who is 10.

We are very excited and hope the team here can guide a newbie on the path to come in the coming months ..years ?

Any advice or thoughts , warnings etc are welcome.

Regards,
Ed
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Old 10-08-2017, 04:58 PM   #2
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1974 27' Overlander
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Welcome.

They all leak. Check the subfloor for moisture, rot, mushy spots. Especially around the perimeter and focusing on the very rear, very front, and around the door. If you need to do subfloor or frame repair, that's first.

Check if the axles need replaced (they probably do if this hasn't been done already). Check for rear end separation.

Any musty or mousy smells?

Have you put water in the tanks yet? Propane?

Post some pictures. What do you want the finished product to look like? How do you plan to use it?
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:11 PM   #3
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1986 25' Sovereign
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What ever you do it all has to fit through the door, and since the wall are slanted and curved you will want to design around those shapes.

In a trailer there is a lot of equipment that is hidden inside of the cabinets, such as water pump, water heater, house battery(s), fender covers, furnace, plumbing, and electrical. You would want to make sure those are inside your plans.

Good luck.
Steve
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
Welcome.

They all leak. Check the subfloor for moisture, rot, mushy spots. Especially around the perimeter and focusing on the very rear, very front, and around the door. If you need to do subfloor or frame repair, that's first.

Check if the axles need replaced (they probably do if this hasn't been done already). Check for rear end separation.

Any musty or mousy smells?

Have you put water in the tanks yet? Propane?

Post some pictures. What do you want the finished product to look like? How do you plan to use it?
Hi TheGreatleys,

Will check all edges that meet body doors first. Thanks

Axles are solid, sure on that one thanks.

No musty or mildew or mouse smells.

Will do tank checks this week and propane check...on propane check any advice on what to look for and where? I assume around fridge, oven and I assume heater is propane driven and AC also ? Ant tips welcome ! Thanks for your time in advance.
Ed
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Old 10-09-2017, 05:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sgschwend View Post
What ever you do it all has to fit through the door, and since the wall are slanted and curved you will want to design around those shapes.

In a trailer there is a lot of equipment that is hidden inside of the cabinets, such as water pump, water heater, house battery(s), fender covers, furnace, plumbing, and electrical. You would want to make sure those are inside your plans.

Good luck.
Steve
Hi sgschwend,

Thanks for reply...noted on it’s got to get thru that door . Copy on understanding what is in each area and the function, placement of it.
Appreciate the tips.
Ed
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:15 AM   #6
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Kitchener , Ontario
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Axles are solid? That is the problem. They have rubber inside that acts as the torsion bar suspension. over time they do get "solid" leaving you with no suspension except for the air in the tires. Life expectancy is 25 years max so new axles are definitely in your future.
Also be aware of the weight of the components you intend to install. A lot of engineering went into the original design to minimize the center of mass and maximize towing safety. It is about way more than just balance.
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Old 10-09-2017, 08:16 AM   #7
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
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on propane check any advice on what to look for and where?
Your tanks probably need to be recertified. Find someone who will do it for you and get the recert sticker and get them filled.

Do you have an LP detector in the rig? Mine didn't have one. Make sure you have a properly functioning one. (Smoke and CO detector too.) That also means you'll need DC power working, so now is a good time to check your battery and charging system too. If you have the original univolt, you're probably going to want to replace it. What you choose will depend on your goals for the electrical system.

Make sure the gas light is turned off if you have one.

Get some commercial LP leak detector solution at the hardware store. Some people say use dish soap, but it's only a couple bucks for the purpose-made stuff and it includes a handy applicator. You can slather it on every joint in the LP system and check for bubbles. Good chance you won't find any, but it's worth checking. You shouldn't smell gas anywhere.

Check if the stove works. Oven. Water heater. Fridge might take a day to get cold. You might need to light pilot lights.
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