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Old 12-15-2012, 05:09 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Longview , Washington
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Just bought my 1st 31 International

Just bought my 1st 31' 1972 International
YIKES !!!! MICE !!! It gutting time for me there everywhere. haha I'll post picts. The only good thing is the wiring is in great shape and the shell is perfict. But theres some dry rot on the floor, so most of that will have to go. Windows need to be resealed. Im going to go all electric, with 10 6volt battries, solar and wind. On demand water heater and a heatpump. For when im plugged in. Has anybody done anything like this?

P.S. what a great place for info. All the imput has been great. Wonderful website. Thank's
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #2
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I have added extra batteries. Total of four group 27's, which are 12 volts. You can check my blog for details on how I did it. 10 batteries is a lot of weight, you might not want to put them all in one spot.

When my Armstrong air conditioner died I installed a Carrier AirV heat pump. These are no longer available but there are other heat pumps out there. It is nice to be able to heat for free when plugged in at a place that doesn't charge extra for electricity.

You will want to check the specs on the heat pump you plan to buy. Mine will run the compressor until the outdoor temperature is around 40 and at that point an electric heat strip cycles on and off and that works well. Others will run a defrost cycle which is noisy and the colder it is, the more often it will defrost.

Now you say you will be all electric, but I suggest propane for cooking and certainly refrigeration. If your old Dometic fridge is still running, keep it in service as it regulates the temperature with thermocouples and draws no power at all when running on gas. If it is broken, it will be worth your trouble to diagnose it and fix it, even if it means replacing the cooling unit. Its a great boondocking fridge.

Regarding your demand water heater, I'm not sure why you need that unless you plan to take really long showers or have a lot of users. The standard six gallon heater, once up to temperature, stays plenty warm with just the pilot light burning. I've even heard of people setting the heater to Pilot once it is warmed up. Evidently if you go a while between heavy uses the water will have time to heat up by the pilot flame alone. I've never tried that though.

Christopher
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:31 AM   #3
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Others will run a defrost cycle which is noisy and the colder it is, the more often it will defrost.
Christopher
After years of using the heat pump as my main heat source in two Airstreams (we can do that here in Texas), I have to disagree that the defrost cycle is noisy. It is actually much quieter than the normal sound of the AC or heat pump since the internal blower is turned off during defrost. Most of the AC/heat pump noise is the internal fan, especially when running on high speed.

During defrost there is only a quiet hum. There is a very brief "chuff" sound when the solenoids switch back at the end of the defrost cycle, but it is not at all loud.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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1974 31' Sovereign
Bothell , Washington
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Thisisliving,

Congrats! Buying an Airstream in the PNW can be scary.... I know, we are in Bothell. ;-) Where did you find that badboy?

We are taking off in about a month for Austin, TX. Going the long way down 101/1... basically beach bummin' the whole way!

Keep us posted on the progress!

Leo
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Well guys its a total loss. Frame was rotted through. Floor was rotted as well. thanks agian for all the info. Maybe I'll have better on the luck next one.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Aw, so sorry. better luck next time.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:44 PM   #7
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Part it out if you can
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
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am I the only one that believes that no airstream is a total loss? Chop off the bad part of the frame and weld a new section. Tons of info on that here. if the ribs on the shell are in good condition and not too much damage to exterior panels it is FAR from a total loss...heck...i'd take it if I were down there
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:59 AM   #9
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am I the only one that believes that no airstream is a total loss? Chop off the bad part of the frame and weld a new section. Tons of info on that here. if the ribs on the shell are in good condition and not too much damage to exterior panels it is FAR from a total loss...heck...i'd take it if I were down there
I agree. ... all a matter of time and resources... so you have them?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:00 PM   #10
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I second repairing the frame, especially if the body is in good shape. Even with the frame as-is I would think that someone could use it on a permanent site, where the floor could be discretely supported with blocks underneath.

As a last resort, parting it out could net some good money, over time. Some of the interior pieces are tough to find.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
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Dont we all? heck..we are AS owners...we make the time...
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #12
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I just bought a '73 Excella E31T2J' "basket case" and it is my first Airstream.I haven't put my eyes on the frame yet and now I'm worried.Next Thursday I have to put 4 tires on it and tow it home 177 miles after it has been sitting for four years in a "moist" spot.I could be in for quite a nerve wracking experience.Wish me luck,Don
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:32 AM   #13
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Good luck on the towing. If it sat that long, I wouldn't trust the brakes or wheel bearings. Make sure you have a good hitch and lots of insurance.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #14
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Reconsidered

O.K. After taking a closer look, and becouse of all the great encouragement I'm going ahead. We added 1 1/2" angle iron to both sides of the channel and every other cross beam. Plastic coated the frame. Put on a new deck and put the shell back on. Its looking good so far. AND ITS ALL YOUR FALT !!! Thank's you guys are great.
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