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Old 07-23-2014, 09:02 PM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
Wilmington , North Carolina
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New Member in Wilmington, NC

Hey Everyone,

My spouse and I just bought our first Airstream. We purchased a 1969 Sovereign and are so excited.

Our trailer definitely needs a little work and I saw that some of the members are registered inspectors, but it looks like no inspector is currently active in our area. Would you recommend contacting the old members to see if they are willing to come check it out? Or would it be best to just take pictures of everything and ask everyone here?

We can't wait to fix it up ourselves and live in full-time I am sure I will be posting a lot for repairs and much needed advice.

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday evening.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:37 PM   #2
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Welcome and congrats on the rig. Most folks pursue an inspection pre-purchase but that doesn't mean you can't have one done. At this point post some photographs and let us know what concerns you have along with any renovation plans you are considering. You will get plenty of feedback.

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Old 07-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #3
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1966 24' Tradewind
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Hi Little Bird. North Carolina is such a beautiful state. It is a great Airstream destination. You bought the biggest trailer Airstream made in 69, and the first year of the new body style and the new windows. My son has a 69 Globetrotter that he enjoys a lot. It needs "a little work" also!

All old Airstreams need "a little work", including mine. Start your inspection from the ground up. For example, are the tires any good?. Pull the brake drums, clean and pack the bearings so you know that is good. Do your axle inspection. Read about axles in the axle category of these forums. Old trailers like new axles. Inspect the frame next. Just work your way up. You can start a list of projects to improve your trailer. In my view fixing floor rot is more important than new curtains.

Post pictures, ask questions. We Airstreamers like nothing better than helping others. It is much easier to sit here and type an opinion than actually doing the work!

Welcome to the family. You're going to love traveling in your vintage Airstream.

David
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:42 PM   #4
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
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Welcome and please post some pictures we all will have some imput so how does she look now? floors, smell, signs of wild life? A picture can tell alot!
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:12 PM   #5
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:18 PM   #7
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:21 PM   #8
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:33 PM   #9
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Description from Seller:

1969 Airstream Sovereign, 31 foot. Twin beds, rear bath. Couch in Living Room folds into double bed. Upholstery in good condition. Newer 3-way fridge needs service call for wiring issue. New style water pump. Water heater runs on electricity. size bath tub with shower. Toilet updated. Lots of storage and closet space. Tires and electric brakes in good condition. It will need HVAC updating. The camper had a small limb pierce the outer skin during an ice storm. No real structural damage, mainly cosmetic. It has been patched and has no leaks. Camper has always been dry. This Airstream is 45 years old and some areas and issues that will need some refurbishing, but it is solid and has a lot of nice features.

-----------------------------------------

Sorry for all of the pictures, I just wanted to send as many as possible.

We have already removed the couches. We bleached the walls and sanded down the walls. We took out the one bed frame as it had been replaced. We did 3 bug bombs since the original owners had kept it in the woods. It smells pretty dry but we have a small leak in the roof where the slats( not sure if correct term) are - the part with the fan and the lights.

The AC is clogged with dirt and has duct tape on top.

We have the "patched" hole in the roof that seems okay. We had two big storms come through and didn't have any trouble there. We did have some water on another panel- we were cleaning it and pushed on it and water squeezed in where the panels are connected by rivets.

I don't know where we should start, but we plan on living in it full time while we build our house.

I would like to do as much of the repairs myself as we don't have a big budget, so plan on learning as we go.

Any help and thoughts would be appreciated? Also, what do you think- did we do okay? We paid 4,100.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:35 PM   #10
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1969 31' Sovereign
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I will read the section about brakes and axles in the morning. I have never done that so it will be interesting to check.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:11 AM   #11
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Okay I love the pictures and you have done well in that respect, as for what you paid only you can determine if you did well or not so let's talk about you new to you temp home! First the tape is NOT a patch it is a very temporary water block and you will need to address that quickly but you do have your work cut out for you! So she was on the island for a bit and that means salt and some rust! What are you time constraints? You have quite a bit of work to do and are going to have to prioritize your list so grab your favorite relax beverage and let's get started!

Don't lose track of that bleach because you are going to need it the sand paper not so much!
You have some leaks that must be addressed first to stem that mold growth that have have going on then brake out that camera again and start taking some disassembly pictures. Use them for a reassembly reference and for questions when you have them.

If you can not store the interior parts where you currently live then rent a 10 by 20 and start in the front remove everything to the skin (buy the 1/8 inch drill bits at harbor freight 10 packs at least 2 a corded drill and a painters putty knife for the tough rivets ) you will break some screws and will need band aids for the cuts but you can do this! The walls are vinyl coated so unless you want or like frustration quit sanding them we will talk paint later! Take the pictures! No talk of cost yet but it is not going to be real cheap! More in a minute time for smoke break!
Cliff


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Old 07-26-2014, 05:44 AM   #12
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Okay since you are planning to use it as a temp home while yours is built and you will not be moving it around let's see if you can do this on the cheaper side! This means no shell off and no major frame repair which both take time and money! Just remember before you even consider taking it on the road in the future you will need to address those issues! I would suggest gutting it out to get rid of leaks, rodent remains and most important mold!

Like I said start in the front which it the reverse of the assembly. You will need to patch the floor where it is soft or rotted and check the plumbing but that will be in a bit!

Rivets and bits that you need can be purchased from out of doors mart, vintage trailer supply and inland rv to name a few. The round object under the tape is a light and the tape will leak so it needs to be fixed. Please sit and read when you are unable to work outside there are several threads covering renovations and yes you will to do a interior renovation to fix the issues that you have! I am NOT an expert or even what I consider to be good at airstream repair but there are a lot of real good people on the forums that I consider very gifted in that regard so when you get frustrated take a break and post a question! Better to walk away and take a break then to do damage and hurt yourself! Once you have it gutted you will be ready for the next step just take your time!
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