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Old 01-12-2013, 06:26 PM   #1
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
Migratory , North America
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 110
Finally Got an Airstream

So I've been semi-active here for several years, since I began full-timing several years ago and quickly got sick of my original RV...after only a few months on the road I was ready to nab an AS but back then I was hoping to pull it with something like a Jeep...somehow that turned into me buying an old VW Bus campervan which my 9 year old (at the time), my girlfriend and I lived (along with our German shepherd) for a year or so. Anyway, time seems to keep going by and now we've got 3 kids total, grannie along for the ride, and still hauling a dog....

So we finally realized we needed to upgrade.

I'll post some pictures of the '76 Sovereign we purchased a few days ago soon, if people are interested, but here are the major tasks I'm looking at tackling over the next few months. We were lucky to find a great AS which is already working really well as far as appliances, AC, heat, water, etc. and also had the floor redone and a knowledgable owner before us who really did some nice work while still maintaining it's originality.

We won't be sticking so close to that, however. Looking forward to painting it and customizing it "interior design-wise". We'll be sticking with the original layout and all, just upgrading things where needed (particularly so this 37 year old home on the road isn't buckled to the ground by my 2 year old son).

The exterior has some heavy oxidation on the starboard, and some spray paint or some kind of spray on coating where the old red numbers would have been (though this seems like it will peel off pretty easily, at least from what I've tinkered with). Port is looking pretty good.

A previous owner has painted a blue stripe around it, pinstriped it a little. It doesn't look horrible but I'm not a huge fan. We run a magazine for full-time travelers and our colors are orange, so I considered replacing the stripe with orange or possibly just trying to remove the blue paint / red striping completely.

I've also got to figure out how to wire up my tow vehicle (a 95 Chevy Van G20) to accommodate the AS. I read in the Airstream's manual that, while plugged into 120, if I do that right, the Airstream will actually charge up my van's battery, too. Which would be swell, considering that will be ours and our youngest babies bedroom.

Anyway, exciting times! Hopefully I didn't ramble on too, too long.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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1975 31' Sovereign
1973 27' Overlander
1977 23' Safari
Palmer Lake , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Welcome to the community, even though you've actually been here for some time. It's good hear that there are still good vintage Airstreams out there in the world to find.

You might be able to charge up your tow vehicle to maybe 75% or keep it topped off, but I doubt you'd be able to recover a dead battery (unless you've got a lot of time). You'll hear the thermal breaker/fuse cycling if your tow vehicle is taking too much charging current (and vice versa). That will stop after a few minutes.

Good luck with your new to you Airstream and be sure to post photos as you get it into the shape you want.

Zep
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:44 PM   #3
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1972 31' Excella 500
Mount Vernon , Is For Lovers
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I am a New owner also.I just bought a '72 Excella 500 that I will tow with a '77 GMC 15 w/upgraded springs.Mine is not in as good condition as yours.Good luck with your Reno I will be busy too!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:15 PM   #4
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
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Howdy and to the live side of Airforums, Nathan! I hope it's more fun being out in the sunshine, rather than lurking in the shade.

Oh, and you sound like a boater, with your port and starboard references. On trailers, we talk about the curbside (starboard) and streetside (port), just for your reference.

OK, enough blathering: how about some photos!? And please, lots of them, both interior and exterior.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:55 PM   #5
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2009 27' FB International
Los Angeles , California
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Originally Posted by Aage View Post

Oh, and you sound like a boater, with your port and starboard references. On trailers, we talk about the curbside (port) and streetside (starboard), just for your reference.

OK, enough blathering: how about some photos!? And please, lots of them, both interior and exterior.
Dyslexia is a terrible thing to waist. Street side is port and curbside is starboard.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:02 AM   #6
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
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Dyslexia is a terrible thing to waist. Street side is port and curbside is starboard.
Thanks for the correction, Scott or Becky (I don't suppose Heidi ever posts ).

I must have been doing the conversion on a one-way street that went both ways. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my memory the most.

My waist is another question.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:42 PM   #7
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
Migratory , North America
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 110
I guess I just like the idea of sounding like a ship's captain.

Here are some pics! We wrote all about our experience here, too: How to Purchase and Renovate the Interior of an Airstream













Next up is getting the exterior back to tip, top, shiny state. Here's the current condition.



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My family and I have been full-timing via various modes of travel since 2008. Going on two years in our '76 Sovereign.
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