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Old 10-03-2010, 12:59 PM   #15
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On the bright side, if you can find your way to peaceful communications over the AS it can help you with overall communication skills.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:02 PM   #16
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ND there are several ways of looking at it...a brand new Classic lists for over $80,000. If you do the bulk of the work yourself you will spend about 10%-15% (assuming worst case scenario and complete overhaul) of that and have a trailer that is better than brand new and you will know how to fix everything on it.

And as far as the backing hitching...my bride can hitch and drive, backing it up is my problem.


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Old 10-03-2010, 08:16 PM   #17
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Today brings more information to the story. We found a galvanized patch on the subfloor beside the window towards the front. It covered a 6 by 8 inch hole. Now we discovered what was behind the galvanized patch on the wheel well. Only a picture can do it justice.....
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ND10CentCan View Post
Today brings more information to the story. We found a galvanized patch on the subfloor beside the window towards the front. It covered a 6 by 8 inch hole. Now we discovered what was behind the galvanized patch on the wheel well. Only a picture can do it justice.....
Cliffhanger? We have to wait until next week's episode to see the picture? I sure hope this wasn't the season finale episode and we'll have to wait months!
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:08 PM   #19
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Thanks for the good words

I am enjoying it all the time we don't find things that we aren't sure we can fix. My husband and I both love fixing and redoing things so that part is good. It is the stuff we can't do that really has us scratching our heads. We don't have a place to put it in for the winter so we can work on it. We have decided to lift the shell off and start on the frame. It will be a huge job but the best way to do it and do it right. Might not happen for awhile with October upon us.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:11 PM   #20
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oh, I think I see... photos posted to the gallery? Those are all the same trailer? That scares me, since it seems most likely that I'll buy an old one. I guess I'll just expect the worst so all the surprises will be good ones. Hmmm....
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:39 AM   #21
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ND

Welcome. Looks like you and your husband have the right attitude and the basic knowlege to fix everything that you need to take care of on the Airstream. That is not to say that you won't need to farm a little of the work out, but with the information available on the Forum I think that you will do just fine. And remember when everything is completed you will have everything new and in some respects better than a factory built stream in many ways ( like insulation, LED lights, disc brakes, real wood cabinets, etc.).

Dan
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:12 AM   #22
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To All who have been kind enough to supply me with some wisdom, I have taken some bold steps in response. First thing I did was get a trailer hitch device that allows one person (in theory-haven't tried it yet) to back up the truck to the camper. Hopefully that will avoid any marital discord when we actually get to take it out camping. Well, most marital discord.....

Second item: we have taken the plunge and have gotten a permit to put up a building for the Airstream. Concrete should be going in the next week or so and then construction begins on that. In this climate, we likely won't get too far before the weather shuts us down for the winter but we have to try. My husband is a multitalented man that is willing to do whatever it takes to make it right and done well. He is a perfectionist so I know whatever he does, it will be done right. HE is doing all of the building himself-he built our home and shop as well.

Third item: we have decided to completely lift the shell off of the frame and then perhaps send the frame out for welding and full inspection. We are not sure how to lift it off but we are hoping once the storage building is to a point we can pull it in, we can hoist if off with some sort of ingenuity. I count on all of the wonderful advice I read from these posts to help us!

Fourth item: Lots of people have said welding is not that difficult and that we should just get a welder and do it ourselves. Any advice on that? I am afraid of making something not the way it should be and then having problems down the road. Seems as if we are out of our league here....

Fifth item: To tell you how optimistic I am, I have already purchased the fabric for the window curtains. My husband says I'm nuts to be thinking that far down the road but it helps to think someday, someday I will be ready to get sewing for the Airstream.

Thanks for all of the advice and guidance. Much appreciated!
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:38 AM   #23
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Here's an idea we tried that worked pretty well. Try and find another smaller trailer, even an SOB that you can use to travel and camp with while working on your Airstream. That way your traveling and camping, even shorter distances, but not just "working" on trailers all the time. You probably didn't buy your Sovereign to "work on" all the time anyway. You bought it to go camping in. Don't forget your primary reason for the purchase. Sounds like you might have a couple of years of work ahead.
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Old 10-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #24
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From the sounds of it I think a welder is a good idea. Welding is not overly difficult but it does take practice. Most importantly you both can do it!
My wife and I both weld. I'm just so so, she was an aircraft certified welder for many years.
If I have a problem she dons the welding hood and fixes it! I have known many welders, none as good as her.
A good ole stick welder will do most anything you will want to weld if it is steel.
You can get a Mig welder that will do steel, aluminum and stainless. They are very easy to use but don't bother with cheapies.
A good one will be rated at higher duty cycle (welding time) and probably 220 volt. You can get them with all the accessories you will need for the different metals.
Practice is an absolute necessity especially if doing structural welds. If the weld looks perfect it is probably good.
A good way to test yourself is butt weld two pieces together (edge to edge) clamp one side in a vice near the weld and bend the other over as far as possible. If it doesn't break or crack you are good to go.
Finally don't assume just because someone says they are a welder they will do any better job than you would with a little practice.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:21 PM   #25
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So, let's just say for sake of conversation, that we decide to buy a welder. The machine, not the person What would you out there that know about welding machines suggest? Are we wasting our time trying to learn something completely new? We are fairly quick study people...even for a couple of Norweigans...
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:37 PM   #26
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Welding steel is not a big deal. However it might be prudent to hire a pro with experiance. Especially with the length of your rig (see rear end seperation issues) I am getting ready for a shell off full monty type resto. There are a lot of great examples of this. Many have done it so dont be afraid get pumped!!
I am hireing a welder who is going to teach me to weld at the same time! Lots of luck!!
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Old 10-16-2010, 03:53 PM   #27
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Browse craigslist using SearchTempest - The EASY way to search Craigslist and input your largest commute to inspect the machine ... search for MIG, Stick welders in the voltage you have access to (120, 240). Anything branded Miller is pretty much bullet proof.

If you have a hurry up need there are 20% off coupons for Harbor Freight items, even sale items - but don't expect them to be robust or last more than a few seasons...
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:05 PM   #28
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Welding is a skill that requires knowledge and practice. It is far better and cheaper to hire someone to do any welding you need. Unless you are going to be doing it every day or at least, every week. Then it might be worth buying a welder and learning how to use it. Otherwise, just hire someone when you need something welded. That's what I do now, and I worked in garages for 20 years. For one thing it is cheaper, for another thing an experienced welder who practices every day, can do a much better job,and quicker than I can, by far.
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