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Old 01-22-2010, 02:18 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Des Moines , Washington
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Note; Read forum before this happens to you!

Help is needed from the Experts! I now have a 72 31' sovereign rear bath that I thought was a "good deal" 3 1/2 weeks ago, sitting in my driveway. At this point I have found, 1- Univolt bad, 2- Furnace bad, 3- Refer bad, 4- Oven bad, 5- Water heater bad, 6- A/C bad, 7- Axels and Tires bad, 8- here's the coup de grai..... Rear bath floor rot!!! Around the perimeter. I am dealing with these issues now 1- ac wiring has been fixed and sorted, 2- dc wiring has been sorted, 3- old flooring removed. I started this project on the "keep it cheap" motto! I would normally give up on such a project, but my wife has fallen for it! I feel bad knowing that I must give up on the option of keeping it "original" due to cost involved, but this is a rear bath sovereign which I have found they were made o' plenty. At this time I have decided to replace the appliances as cheaply as possible with new but "different" items. Insert "Experts", I would love to have examples or photos or details of how to replace the rear floor of the rear bath sovereign!!!! Also what will I find when the rear belly pan is removed and how do I remove it? Andy it is time for me to buy a manual, Please lead me to the Knowledge......

Thanks to all for the past and future help!!!!

P.S. Newbies Please Read!!!!!!


Curt
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:28 PM   #2
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Hang in there, Curt, it will get better! Appliances do go out, but some of them may be salvagable for a better price than buying new - though some appliances it's kind of nice to have new and better features than were available in '72. The univolt probably needed to be replaced anyway. If you camp where you are plugged in you can get by with an electric space heater for the first season. Just take your time, and try not to panic Many folks here have already been through the same thing!
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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hi curt

your story has been posted a zillion+ times here, unfortunately.

and you aren't done finding surprises...

under that ROTTED lav floor is probably gonna be a rusted/broked frame in need of repair...

a good deal on an old trailer is often like buying a free horse.

except it's a lot harder to make glue from an old stream.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:00 PM   #4
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Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt. I own the exact same model as you and have replaced all of the appliances (less A/C) with new ones. Also, new axles, new wheels, new awning, replaced electric tongue jack, replaced fresh and black water holding tanks, installed frame stiffiners, replaced bathroom floor and repaired rear end separation (you probably have that too). See my blog for details.

Was it worth it? Yes, it's still much cheaper than buying a new Airstream and it will last a long, long time.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
Des Moines , Washington
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Thank you to "All", once again! Stephanie, Space heating was planned after furnace condition inspection. Thanks! 2air, I'm just coming to terms with that thought. Thanks! Rivet Master, will I , can I, make it through this process without losing my wife, my toys, or my sanity?

Curt
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:22 PM   #6
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1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheelin View Post
Help is needed from the Experts! I now have a 72 31' sovereign rear bath that I thought was a "good deal" 3 1/2 weeks ago, sitting in my driveway. At this point I have found, 1- Univolt bad, 2- Furnace bad, 3- Refer bad, 4- Oven bad, 5- Water heater bad, 6- A/C bad, 7- Axels and Tires bad, 8- here's the coup de grai..... Rear bath floor rot!!! Around the perimeter. I am dealing with these issues now 1- ac wiring has been fixed and sorted, 2- dc wiring has been sorted, 3- old flooring removed. I started this project on the "keep it cheap" motto! I would normally give up on such a project, but my wife has fallen for it! I feel bad knowing that I must give up on the option of keeping it "original" due to cost involved, but this is a rear bath sovereign which I have found they were made o' plenty. At this time I have decided to replace the appliances as cheaply as possible with new but "different" items. Insert "Experts", I would love to have examples or photos or details of how to replace the rear floor of the rear bath sovereign!!!! Also what will I find when the rear belly pan is removed and how do I remove it? Andy it is time for me to buy a manual, Please lead me to the Knowledge......

Thanks to all for the past and future help!!!!

P.S. Newbies Please Read!!!!!!


Curt
Hi Curt, I find it amazing that none of the appliances work.

The axles are probably bad. It's tough getting around that one.

Your just south of Seattle. Not too far away from me.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheelin View Post
will I , can I, make it through this process without losing my wife, my toys, or my sanity?

Curt
That's harder to answer than questions about rebuilding your new toy.

If your wife wants to leave, make her take the Sovereign unless you are almost finished rebuilding. There are more replacement wives than Airstreams, but get one that doesn't require rebuilding.

Sanity: aluminitus is a form of insanity, so you're over the edge already.

Toys: depends what they are. Don't lose your rivet gun.

Good luck.

Gene
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:38 PM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
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People were thinking that I was crazy, but fortunately I found the Airstream Forums.
They have been helping me from day one and I didn't know a flashlight from a foghorn. Well I do know that much but I have tools now, much quicker when fixing all the things that break, might break, could have broken or will break. READ ON......
I have fixed everything on my trailer by myself using their instructions, humor, patience, photos, and the fact that they are the nicest people you could ever want to meet. I hope to meet all of them just as soon as I get a bigger truck to tow my AS with. I broke my transmission pulling my BA (Big Ass Full of All My Crap that I didn't really need) all the way to Montana. My mechanic was so mad. He said THAT PART never breaks....I said I was sorry, could he please TRY to fix it. He did, of course I never seem to have enough money, but I learned to paint. After my back went bad, it turns out I am a pretty good artist, now he likes to trade his mechanic work on my cars for art. He told me NEVER TOW THAT TRAILER WITH THIS CAR AGAIN!!!! Or he will not fix it. So when you need help, you have found the right place to go. Even just to be entertained, you can read my story, "Did anyone ever have a bear ......" A lot of people must have liked it because they wrote back to me. Good luck with your Airstream and have fun!

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AKA the bear lady from California
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:41 PM   #9
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Welcome to Airstream U. by the time you are finished with the curriculum you will have attained a Ph.d in Airstream. It is an education but the finishing the project is something to be proud of. Don't look at the entire mountain just do the parts that will let you use the A/S now and then take on individual projects that will make the use more enjoyable.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:54 PM   #10
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Wink

"Read forum before this happens to you!"

Curt, don't beat yourself up to bad.

Unfortunately, you are not the first and you won't be the last.


Just look on the classified section or eBay.

You will sort it out.
There is plenty of seasoned experts here on this forum.


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Old 01-22-2010, 11:51 PM   #11
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Colfax , North Carolina
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We bought a Sovereign that was in good shape, then proceeded to jack up the a/c shroud and build a new trailer under it. We replaced everything you did (and re-replaced the fridge/cooling unit 6 times!) and then some. While we were living in it. So, cheer up, it could be worse. It could be raining.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:28 PM   #12
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Curt.

First, I would suggest that you get a "service manual".

That, in itself, will answer many of your questions, plus provide many instructions, drawings, schematics, and "how to's".

After you receive the manual, you will have a far superior knowledge of what your getting into, and most importantly, how to properly get "into it". It won't answer all of your questions, but it does a pretty good job overall.

From that, your confidence will take a huge leap forward, that at least you won't be in the dark, and most likely not run into a brick wall.

Prepare a budget, for what the trailer needs to be completely operational again, as well as for your time. That will steer you in the right direction, towards the end results that you wish to achieve with the trailer.

The manual will also help you when asking questions, since you then can be more specific.

Andy




Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheelin View Post
Help is needed from the Experts! I now have a 72 31' sovereign rear bath that I thought was a "good deal" 3 1/2 weeks ago, sitting in my driveway. At this point I have found, 1- Univolt bad, 2- Furnace bad, 3- Refer bad, 4- Oven bad, 5- Water heater bad, 6- A/C bad, 7- Axels and Tires bad, 8- here's the coup de grai..... Rear bath floor rot!!! Around the perimeter. I am dealing with these issues now 1- ac wiring has been fixed and sorted, 2- dc wiring has been sorted, 3- old flooring removed. I started this project on the "keep it cheap" motto! I would normally give up on such a project, but my wife has fallen for it! I feel bad knowing that I must give up on the option of keeping it "original" due to cost involved, but this is a rear bath sovereign which I have found they were made o' plenty. At this time I have decided to replace the appliances as cheaply as possible with new but "different" items. Insert "Experts", I would love to have examples or photos or details of how to replace the rear floor of the rear bath sovereign!!!! Also what will I find when the rear belly pan is removed and how do I remove it? Andy it is time for me to buy a manual, Please lead me to the Knowledge......

Thanks to all for the past and future help!!!!

P.S. Newbies Please Read!!!!!!


Curt
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:35 PM   #13
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1968 30' Sovereign
Lorton , Virginia
Join Date: May 2009
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Wow - Andy, you suggested a budget! Wish I'd thought of that...glad I'm none too good with addin'! As my husband says, "If we had just waited, then we'd have been able to put $xxxxx into a NEWER trailer and not had to do the work!!" He just hasn't caught the bug yet!

And, I also got a GREAT deal on my AS...then started the "small" repairs it needed...then discovered the BIG repairs it needed...decided to gut it...and found all SORTS of fun things that weren't such a good deal (that rear bath and the associated floor rot really is a doozy!).

But, the kids and I love her - and my husband will come around as soon as she's shiny!
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:48 PM   #14
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The cool thing is that after you get it completed is going to the rally's and impressing everyone on the great rebuild you did. I will love to see and hear how you rebuilt that thing-a-ma-jig. Good luck. Your gonna be a genius!
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