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Old 10-21-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1963 30' Sovereign
Brockville , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 16
Hello from Ontario

Hi all,

We've been on the forums for a little while, and decided to make it official.

We're previous owners of a 2002 33' motorhome, but a strange chain of circumstances led us to sell "Fun Slug", and take the plunge on an battered 1963 Sovereign. We went in eyes open, knowing from the aroma alone that anything less than a frame up rebuild would be inadequate.

We have previously restored a 1967 sailboat, so are not complete newbies to the idea of a large and long-term project with plenty of learning curve. We're also recently retired, so why not?

We found the Sovereign settling comfortably into the ground next to a barn and covered in tree dirt near Ottawa, but with all windows intact, the suicide door-within-a-door still on its original hinges, a complete and mostly unblemished belly pan (rear 5' detached and tied up with string), and a mostly original but completely unusable/unsuitable twin bed interior.

As expected, we found floor rot and separation in the rear 3', and floor rot in a half-dozen other locations.

It did have four rolling wheels (we replaced the tires) on original torsion axles that had plenty of life on the rescue mission home.

We got "Thumper" home near Brockville, Ontario in late August, and have been spending a few hours a day working on it since. All interior panels are off, two rear subfloor sections have been replaced and two more are off awaiting new tanks/plumbing and axles.

We'll be posting some rebuild photos and stories elsewhere on the forums, but you all get the idea ... two more crazy people pouring time and money into a 56-year-old aluminum can.

By the way, the name comes from the panel sections which pop in and out as the exterior heats up and cools down in our crazy Canadian daily temperature swings. We'll be addressing most of those, but I realistically don't expect to get them all. It's a journey.

Rob & Heather

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Old 10-21-2019, 09:49 PM   #2
Rivet Master

1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,052
Rob, sounds like a fun project. Restoring a vintage sailboat requires patience and sticktoittiveness. So you’re ahead of the game with your experience. Good luck and post progress.

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Old 10-23-2019, 07:49 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,370
Images: 1
Hi from Colorado and welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. Doing an Airstream is likely easier than a sailboat. It sounds like you have a good start on "thumper". There are many folks here on these forums that have renovated old Airstreams and enjoy helping others solve problems. BubbaL is one of them.

You might like starting a "project thread" in the Airstream Trailer Knowledgebase found toward the bottom of the Forums page. This area is where many people "blog" about their projects while others chime in and follow along. I know I would. I enjoy the vintage Airstream hobby and have worked on a 66 Trade Wind, a 69 Globetrotter, a 75 Overlander, a 86 Limited, and now a 76 Sovereign. Gives a retired guy something to do.

Again, welcome.

WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:26 AM   #4
1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 87
Welcome from Alberta. Sounds like a sweet project. I also would encourage you to start a thread as dbj216 has suggested. He has recently finished his '75 overlander and did a fine job of detailing his adventures in reviving it. Good luck and look forward to following along.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:32 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
1963 30' Sovereign
Brockville , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 16
Thanks for the welcomes and suggestions. The project thread sounds like a good idea, since this obviously isn't an over-the-weekend kind of thing.

I will start one.

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