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Old 01-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #15
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Tires

Make sure the tires are OK. Most travel trailers are used occassionally so a tire can look good but be ready to fail. The general consenus out there is after about 5 years replace tires. You can tell how old the tires are by the serial numbers which include the year and week of the year the tire was manufactured.
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by b8sfamily View Post
Andy,

Thanks for the advice. I'm excited to get to work on replacing my gaskets and checking my axles. Also, I have one dent/ crease on the front corner of my 'new' 86 Sovereign. Can dents be 'pulled' or does the skin/ panel need to be replaced?
If the dent is an "oil can," they can usually be gently pounded out, leaving little to no marks.

If the dent has creases, then the panel must be replaced.

You say on a corner, so if it's a quarter panel, you can cover that with a "segment protector," to hide it.

Please post a photo, and I can better help you.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:06 PM   #17
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I am interested to see and hear how the Sharkshide works out for you. Also, I do not want a mirror shine on my '90, but I do want to get the Oxidation off. How did the "Satin" finish hold up during polishing? It's hard to tell from photos.[/quote]

So far so good on the Sharkhide. We'll see how it looks after a long winter out in the weather! As far as the satin finish......I previously polished a 1976 Overlander to a mirror finish. I found it actually easier to control the finished product on that project than with the "light" polish on the 1986 Sovereign. The endcaps on the Sovereign were very oxidized from missing clearcoat. I used an orbital polisher with "Heavy Metal" polish & then the cyclo with Nuvite S on those. They came out pretty uniform. However, the sides of the unit I only used the cyclo & Nuvite S. I didn't want a mirror finish on the trailer, just to clean it up a bit. The result isn't as uniform as I would have liked it. It has some areas that are shinier than others. I think it was due to high spots that shined out more than lower spots. I believe this is called the "Leopard" effect. If I were to do it again (which I may sometime), I would use the orbital polisher first for the entire thing & then go over it with the cyclo. If the Sharkhide works out & keeps the shine protected well, I might even go for the mirror finish again. When I had the '76, I found it a little obcessive compulsive for me to keep it without waterspots after just waxing. I can't go there again!
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:51 PM   #18
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Greetings from another 1986 31' Sovereign owner!

As noted, check the running gear (tires, brakes, bearings), check the safety stuff (propane stuff, fire/CO2/propane detectors), get it dry (Andy is The Man) and then go camping to see what works and what doesn't, what you like and what you don't.

Personnaly, I never leave home without some Sharkbite (or similiar) push on plumbing fittings in 1/2" and 3/8" (had a copper fitting blow out once and had it repaired in about 5 minutes, I carry a valve and and end cap in each size), some .032 stainless aircraft safety wire and, of course, duct tape.

We installed a free floating laminate floor last year (everywhere but bath) and so far it has held up great despite efforts of dog and cat. In the bathroom, we replaced the OEM toilet with a Sealand Traveler Lite and wish we had done it day 1. And, while we had the toilet out, we installed Marmoleum flooring there which is great - pretty much no maintenance and much happier than laminate when wet.

Lots of other little projects...

One caveat - you WILL find some things that seem worse than they are (soft rotten sections in floor, holes in belly skin, rust on steel parts). All require attention but no special skills -- most any problem you will encounter has been addressed on this forum and you will often find several solutions to a given gremlin.

As for curtains -- we thought about new all around but the budget was getting a mite lean so we removed them, washed them gently in Oxyclean and dried them in the sun (after carefully laying them out with the folds in place). They are 400% better (do they look new? No. Do they look fine for now? You bet).

So, again, go camping. Make a "punch list". Do "operational" items first and then poke at cosmetics and "nice to haves". But camping is the goal! And if you see another Airstream around, say "hey", they tend to be occupied by pretty deluxe people...


mike
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #19
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What is a 'floating floor'? I was planning on putting new carpet in the back of the Sov. where the twin beds are and some sort or Laminate in the entry area (kids and dog). I was hoping to replace without removing cabinets (just the pull out couch). I would just leave the old carpet under the cabinets.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:02 AM   #20
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Hi and welcome to the forum!

What 'Floating Floor" means is simply that the flooring is not glued or tacked down. The float is needed do to flexing of the sub floor as well as temperature expansion and contraction.

Many here have replaced their floors and detailed it here.

Searching on Replacement flooring will bring up a wealth of useful info!

I replaced rug with seamless vinyl and love it. In all cases cabinets stay in place.

Fun,

Michael
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:26 AM   #21
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.

I replaced rug with seamless vinyl and love it. In all cases cabinets stay in place.

Michael
A one piece vinyl floor covering is not ever recommended.

In time, it will crack at every seam in the floor.

That's why Airstream quit that program many years ago.

Use regular floor tile and seam it at the floor seams.

Andy
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:34 AM   #22
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We have just purchased our first Airstream, a nice 1986 31ft Sovereign with twin beds/ center bath. The trailer is in good condition and everything is in good working order. We would like to replace carpet and curtains and possibly cabinets down the road. Any advice on flooring or Curtains? I was thinking of doing both myself.
Check all the exterior gaskets, especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets.

20 years is a long time for gaskets. Recent reports have listed sewer vent pipe cover gaskets lasting only 2 years.

Keeping the trailer waterproof, pays many dividends.

If the trailer was parked for an extended period of time, check the axles out.

Make sure the brakes and bearings have recently been properly serviced, and that the running gear is properly balanced.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b8sfamily View Post
We have just purchased our first Airstream, a nice 1986 31ft Sovereign with twin beds/ center bath. The trailer is in good condition and everything is in good working order. We would like to replace carpet and curtains and possibly cabinets down the road. Any advice on flooring or Curtains? I was thinking of doing both myself.
Welcome to Airstream family and, to the forums~!!
When you talk of curtains, there's really only two ways to do it..
Either make em yourself or..
Get that professional look, contact the folks that will give you custom made curtains for years and years of enjoyment..
Drapes For Airstream and Argosy Trailers
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
A one piece vinyl floor covering is not ever recommended.

In time, it will crack at every seam in the floor.

That's why Airstream quit that program many years ago.

Use regular floor tile and seam it at the floor seams.

Andy
Hi Andy,

I'm confused?

When I was at the Factory in 2007 they were laying down seamless something, have they changed the flooring to 12x12 floor tile in the 2008-2009 line?

In 2007, knowing I was going to replace my carpet, I asked Don, our factory guide, what the seamless flooring they were using was, and he said it was vinyl.

Should I have glued down 12x12 tile squares instead?

I have 3 seams in my 28 footer and now I'm worried


Michael
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