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Old 10-06-2005, 10:13 PM   #1
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1967 30' Sovereign
san francisco , California
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Lightbulb lots of questions...

I'm looking to get some pointers on how to proceed restoration on my 67 Sovereign. I acquired it for $300.00 and its in bad shape. Someone had removed the windows next to the front door as well as the skin below the window. I assume that they needed greater access. I believe it was an empty hunting shelter and I intend to bring it back to showroom shape. The issues I am looking at are:

1. Frame
2. Door (Anyone in need of a door will want to read this)
3. Subfloor
4. Interior skin
5. Insulation
6. Exterior skin
7. Sources for Aluminum Sheet, stock, exterior rivets, and Windows
8. Polishing

All the other issues such as Infrastructure for H20, gas, AC, & plumbing, I will have little or no problem knockingout.

FRAME
A section of the frame which is supposed to support the subfloor has been cutout. Located beneath the window next to door, this frame section is about 4ft wide. I intend to buy some Aluminum stock and fabricate a new section. I own a metal scrolling machine and Tig welder to achieve a clean seamless repair. Anyone who has already done this I would be eager to hear from in case there are issues I have overlooked.

DOOR
Because I'm told that doors are impossible to find I have decided to fabricate one myself. I've seen some nice examples at the vintage vacations website and am sure I can make myself exactly what I'm looking for. Anyone else interested in having a door being built for their rig can contact me at TheMobileSafari@aol.com (pls. use "airstream" for your subject matter).

SUBFLOOR
As best as I can tell, it looks as if one must disconnect the shell to replace a subfloor. I would be interested in speaking with anyone having 1st hand information on this. For stock, I intend to use 3/4 chemically treated plywood.

INTERIOR SKIN
I had seen and liked photos of an AS which featured untreated aluminum skins inside. I assume that its owner found someway to remove the zolotone type spray finish that is present on my interior skins. I doubt that the owner purchase a whole new set of interior skins but perhaps I am wrong. I will try to include a photo of the fellows resto for reference. I would be interested in speaking with anyone having 1st hand information on this.

INSULATION
I believe I may have 2 choices here, RJ12 or the foam spray type. Don't know which way to go so I would be interested in speaking with anyone having 1st hand information on this.

EXTERIOR SKIN
It looks as if the Aluminum is easy to identify but difficult to find inexpensive. Anyone knowing of a good source for sheet, rivets, & windows, please contact me.

POLISHING
Seems to be 2 schools of thought here. I spoke with InlandRV and they tell me not to Cycle mirror-like polish the cab. And then there are those that do. Not meaning to open Pandora's box, I'd sure like to hear from you real-live-owners-out-there who know 1st hand.

Anyhow, that's my story (for now). Thanks for reading this and best to all.

-Trent P. Troy
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:26 PM   #2
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Too many questions...

Trent-

Perhaps too many questions for a single thread.. You may have hard time finding someone who can answer authoritatively on all the tasks you're trying... To keep your post and thread alive, I'll try to sum up a few answers, and you can wait for others.. You should get familiar with search features (using search in blue bar above..) to look for threads on individual topics, like door replacement, or polishing...

Frame: Existing sub frame is steel, not aluminum, and is considered by many to be just up to task of supporting trailer... Others who've replaced sections weld in steel sections, and gussets.

Door: Many models, all with tricky curvatures and stretched skin to hold shape. Might be worth searching among salvage yards for comparable replacement door, but few have tried to fabricate from scratch...

Subfloor: Yes, in most cases the shell must be lifted or pulled away to replace section of subfloor.. Several posts on how to do it for an end, a side section, or a patch.. Search on "subfloor"

Interior Skin: Folks do not strip or remove zolatone or vinyl cladded interior sheet.. If you like bare metal look, remove interior skins, and use as patterns to cut new ones from aluminum sheet, rivet to fit...

Insulation: No recommendation, try searching on insulation...

Exterior Sheeting/Windows: Again, many discussions of sheet stock, coatings, sources of rivets and tools to smooth over heads, and seal for water-tight fit. Replacement windows may be available from Airstream or Andy R at Inland in southern Calif as new items, and also from Airstream Salvage yards as "recycled"

Polishing: Two schools seem to revolve around state of "clearcoat" on existing metal. If it is still good, leaving alone and not polishing usually prevails.. If in horrible shape and you're going to strip it anyway with chemical stripper, then option to either re-apply new clearcoat or polish and maintain in polished state are equal, subject to your time and motivation and aesthetics...

John McG
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:54 PM   #3
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s , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 7
Hey Trent,

I am a relatively new AS owner and it sounds like we both have a lot of work ahead of us. I have found the search function to be a quick and easy way to get what I need when I need it. You may not know it yet but by joining this forum to have tapped a tasty and endless keg of Airstream information. As for your door dilemma there is one on e-Bay right now. Click HERE to check it out.

I don't know if it will work for you or not. Building the frame for it may be tougher than fabricating both door and frame???

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the family of Airstream owners. Enjoy!!!
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Old 10-07-2005, 01:05 PM   #4
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1967 30' Sovereign
san francisco , California
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Wink Got it

Gents, Thanks for your replys. Suggestions taken. I'll brake topics down and checkout the search feature this evening. Best, -Trent
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