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Old 01-19-2010, 05:21 PM   #15
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1978 31' Sovereign
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: May 2009
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I'm actually curious to know what you plan to do as I have the same -- '78 31 ft with center bath. And, I think my floor is rotted in the same places as yours. I have yet to find where water is coming in. My guess is the windows as they are very difficult to close and the hardware is rusted on the windows located near the rotted floor sections (indicating they were left open or never fully closed).
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:05 AM   #16
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1978 31' Sovereign
Seattle , wa
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5
Images: 9
I don't mind the idea of restoring an Airstream, but I am hampered by no access to a workshop and my mechanical skills are not that great ... today.

For the present, the value of the trailer lies more as a studio space than as a travel trailer. That aspect can happen later. I don't want to do anything now that prevents that.

How important is the interior to the strength of the shell? Is it integral?

Is this sequence broadly workable?
> remove pan, clear out the wet mess between the pan and the subfloor
>repair the subfloor
>replace the furnace and hot water heater (the water heater may be functioning, but with the pump gone, how to test?)
>repair whatever needs repairing under the floor
>find and seal leaks in seams, windows, door
>put down top floor
>build in furniture
>use as a studio as planned for about two years
>remove shell and floor from frame (can this happen first?)
>repair frame
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:33 PM   #17
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
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Smile what's a carbunicle, N E ways?

Welcome to airforums.com, Carbunicle.

I'm sure you'll have a lot of interesting times, putting your plan in place.



As for your question regarding the water heater, I have some thoughts:
  • If it is an original, it may well be one of your leak sources. The tank rots out with old age (don't ask how I know this ).
  • If you connect to "city water", i.e. pressurized water to the garden hose input fitting on your trailer, it's doesn't matter if the pump works, water pressure will build in your plumbing system. However, either replace or isolate the pump from the plumbing circuit, as a split case will surely leak.
  • If you do replace the water heater, be sure to put a bypass valve on it so that you can easily do the winterizing.
All the best with your work, hope you iron out your camera problems. Very interesting seeing the fish-eye aspect in those shots.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:57 PM   #18
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1979 31' Sovereign
1950 22' Liner
Powhatan , Virginia
Join Date: May 2009
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Carbuncle,
We also have a 1979 International Sovereign, center bath. We had similar leaks as you do and floor rot in pretty much identical spots (see my blog for specifics or PM me). We found that there are 4 "corners" that were leaking in ours (look on the outside where the curved ends meet the straight aluminum and those joints that run from roadside to curbside over the top of the trailer). Those 4 points on the floor were water damaged, some more than others. Only one had rotted through and we cleaned the edges up, tried them out and put epoxy over the surface (it was about 4" X4" hole).

The rear floor all the way across had rotted by along the back wall. We replaced a 2' section all the way across with new plywood after fixing the leak which turned out to be the trunk area. Water collected on top of the trunk and wicked into the flooring under the rubrail outside. Water also ran into the trunk and along the bottom of the top of the trunk (if that makes sense) and into the floor. After all of those holes were Vulkem'd, the leak stopped.

None of our leaks came from windows oddly but may not be the case for you. Good luck with your restoration and if you have any 1979 specific questions, feel free to PM me. Although I am new to this, I have perused these forums way too much and have gotten pretty far on our 1979 renovations (hope to be camping this summer).

When I look at your photos, especially the fish-eye pictures, it looks like I am looking at ours after gutting and before we started our renovations.
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