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Old 06-23-2014, 11:26 AM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
PG , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
New to the whole darn thing

Greetings to you. And you. And you in the back as well.

Well...i am the proud new owner of a very overwhelming 1975 31', rear bath, twin bunk Sovereign and like a lot of first timers, i'm almost at a lost of where to begin. My RV experience is limited, but i have kept a 1973 19.5' Vanguard trailer running, rolling and dry for several years, so i guess that counts for something.

Anyhow...we'll start with a story about this Airstream's second chance.

I found this beauty completely by accident. After looking for an affordable AS for several years and having no luck, an RCMP member friend of mine was talking to a business owner who had one he just wanted to be rid of because it was taking up space in his shop yard. I won't get into the $$$ but suffice it to say it was a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity for a bucket list item and it's worth considerably more in scrap. It was essentially sitting in the trees behind a forestry contractor being left to the elements. The door latch had malfunctioned and in the process of trying to pry their way back into it, the loggers had damaged the door and broken the lower door hinge. The hinge pins are long gone as well. Only the mice gave the old airstream any love...which happens when you leave it open to the elements for 2 years of canadian summers and winters, with the door simply propped closed with a 2x4 resting against it.

The long and short of it, i hooked it up to my 2010 F150 FX4 with max tow package, and the two sat pretty darn well! Then hooked up the 7pin connector and all the lights worked! THEN! After two years of sitting in a pit of despair and corruption, i put the ford in drive, hit the tow haul button, and gave her a tug....she flowed forward effortlessly and without so much as a groan. After an uneventful pull, she now sits in my driveway. In my wife's parking spot. Ahem...

Fast forward 3 days. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. 3 or 4 hours to get the trailer somewhat presentable on the outside, and the inside, well...yah. That's another story. But honestly, not bad considering the life she has lived recently.

What works: Every outlet, and there are many. The reefer blows, but not cold. The 3 awnings. The lights. The control panel over the stove (i think). The water pump. The landing gear, all it needed was some penetrating fluid and several colourful swear words! Both of which i had readily available. After 5 minutes of work, even the door latch works again.

What doesn't: I haven't tried the propane yet, as it's missing tanks. There are a couple small areas of rot, one in the front corner and one on the side...should be a simple enough fix...i hope. There's no "furniture" in the front of the unit, so i'll be building a custom banquette. The fridge, although it may just need to be turned upside down for a couple days. The city water line is there, but it's not connected to anything and simply pours into the rear access hatch. One of the pex lines to the sink popped off and doused me in a loving manner. And several of the fittings on the hot water tank appear to be made out of scotch tape, a dish cloth and hope. Oh! And the freshwater holding tank appears to be shot, based on the friendly waterfall under my trailer (do i access this from underneath or is there access from the floor inside?)

Anyhow...that's where i'm starting. I'm happy to have found the forum, and i plan on milking your collective brains for as much free information as i can get.


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Old 06-23-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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Might take the fridge a day or two to get cold. Jim

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Old 06-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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2006 23' Safari SE
Lexington , Kentucky
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Originally Posted by TDG View Post
After an uneventful pull, she now sits in my driveway. In my wife's parking spot. Ahem...
Nice story, you're a brave man, Geoff.

From the sounds of it you've got quite a bit to start with but quite a bit more before you're finished. Welcome to the forum and good luck, we're all counting on you.

Rich & Yvonne
2006 Safari SE -Dora-
2004 4Runner SE

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Old 06-23-2014, 12:24 PM   #4
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2015 23' International
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The bargain was the initial purchase price. Grease up the credit card for all kinds of parts that you will find are hard to find but require research. A good resource person for both knowledge and "mature" parts is Andy at Inland RV.

Inland RV Center - The Nations Leading Expert in Airstream Innovations

Lots of restoration folks here in the forums, so ask away.

Welcome aboard.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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1975 31' Sovereign
PG , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
New to the whole darn thing

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Old 06-23-2014, 12:29 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Thanks folks. And I appreciate the inland link!

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