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Old 03-14-2014, 04:12 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
Glendale , Arizona
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AirDream '74 31' Sovereign

I recently purchased a '74 31' Airstream Sovereign. I need to move in on June 1st and will be renovating while living in it. I know... that is crazy talk. But that is my situation. The trailer is just a part of my midlife crisis... I am also quitting my profession - high school math teacher. I assume I will be making even less money with an entry-level position than I make as a teacher and teaching affords me very little wiggle room as it is.

So... right now I am cleaning inside and out. As soon as I sell some of my furniture in a yard sale next week, I'll be getting the two broken windows fixed. This is my renovation task list... I just want to see if I am on the right track at all...

1) Remove and reseal Vista View windows
1.5) check out the vents & replace as necessary
2) Tear out the furnace (I will be going all electric and can use a space heater if I'm ever chilled)
3) make sure electrical will not burn the place down.
4) make sure plumbing gets water to the toilet and bathroom sink
5) make sure air conditioner will get me through a phoenix summer

Move in

6) tear out rear floor down to frame - do all that de-rust stuff talked about on here and make sure the frame is structurally sound
7) replace insulation & sub floor
8) do the walls back there, too
9) Install bathroom in the back (currently it is a center bath configuration)
10) get a composting toilet

11) Tear out the floor in the front end down to the frame
12) replace insulation & sub floor
13) walls, too
14) rebuild the couch/bed/dinette

15) ditto on the middle section
16) build the kitchen & closet & couch/bed

And at some point in there... as soon as financially possible, install solar panels

Oh... and at some point I'd like to be able to water a garden with the gray water tanks.... And I'd like some type of water catchment system...

All the materials I use need to be low VOC and as green as possible... I have chemical sensitivities and need my living space to be as "clean" as possible.

I figure this will take me 1-2 years... depending on the flow of $ with my new job... I do have a whole host of ikea shelving that I will use for the cabinets and possibly even for building the bed/couches....

It is necessary to do the ends first, though, right? Did I read that correctly from previous posts? Any suggestions or insights... I would greatly appreciate it.

I'll post pictures from my phone... the computer doesn't like to post pictures on here...
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:20 PM   #2
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:22 PM   #3
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Can't wait to see your pic I am doing the same trailer but a 64
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:43 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Well, a lot of the demolition is done, and it looks like the dry Phoenix climate has been good to your trailer.

Having done a similar trailer, I wouldn't pull the walls in their entirety unless I was going to reconfigure the electric.

My trailer while not intentionally green, is near all wood coated with old fashioned varnish, pretty much green in my view.

I am on board with you with all but the composting toilet, that grosses me out a little.

My 72 was my favorite all time renovation project. Have fun!

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Y
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
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Wow! That looks great!
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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By the way, I feel that the inside wood helps to impede heat transfer making my original Armstrong air conditioner adequate in temperatures above 100 degrees, being able to hold the inside temp at about 85 last summer when it was 104 outside. Also two small space heaters were able to easily keep the trailer very warm in the low to mid teens this winter.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:50 PM   #7
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There was a lot of damp spots on the floor after a recent rain... I just assumed the insulation was all grody behind the walls... Do I think the dry heat dried it all up before any serious damage was done?
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:51 PM   #8
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AirDream '74 31' Sovereign

Thanks!

This trailer is my wife's and my studio apartment. I think I could live in it full time.

If that spot is the worst spot on your floor, I don't think you will have much to do to fix the floor and below.

I did have some frame rot from a leaking black tank.

I was able to use most all of the original subfloor, replacing only the section in the rear bath, and piecing under the front windows.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:00 PM   #9
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That is great news!
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Old 03-22-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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I have decided to have a pro look at the floor, frame, electric, plumbing, windows & air conditioner... All the safety/structural things...

Then I will do the interior myself as I can afford it
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