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Old 11-10-2011, 07:40 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Parkersburg , West Virginia
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Order of Events advice

I'm currently fixing/rewiring the 12v system in my 78 sovereign. The AS is in rough to decent shape and i plan on going over the furnace, plumbing, electricity, and partial floor replacement. Is there a preferred order to perform the aforementioned fixes to avoid having to redo stuff?
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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I followed the weather and the climate. First I fixed leaks, installed new gaskets, new air conditioner, new roof vents, then I fixed the frame and floor, then I made it ready to tow. That involved replacing towing lights and installing a new breakaway switch, a new 7-way plug and cord, new grease seals, packing bearings, new tires, rock guard, rock buster, hitch, and tow vehicle mirrors.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 11-10-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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Splitrock is Correct

Start at the top.
Make vents and seams weathertight.
Then the windows.
All this to protect your subsequent investments of time, energy, and money on the interior.
Then, make it roadworthy.
If you start trying to do everything at once you'll be stepping all over yourself, as you have predicted.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:45 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips guys. The main pitfall I want to avoid is completing a step (such as the floor replace/repair) only to have to tear it up again for plumbing work later.

I like the top down idea. I think I'll start sealing things and go from there. I'm dreading/anxious about doing the floor repair. there's only a couple bad spots, but i know if I don't just fix all of it I'll regret it; I just don't like the idea of taking the shell off with no indoor setting.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:54 AM   #5
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Weather proofing the coach, should always be first.

Window gaskets, entrance door gaskets, access door gaskets, vent cover gaskets, and especially the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets that only last 2 to 3 years.

Then carefully check the glass to metal seal of the vista view, stack and wing or wrap windows. They all have a tendancy to leak in time.

From there you can look for missing rivets and the like, should a leak show up.

Andy
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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I was glad I removed damaged floor sections early but didn't replace them right away. I cleaned up the frame and removed the stinky pinky and left it open while I worked on gaskets and sealing seams and assorted leaks. I had 11 separate leaks contributing to one area of damage.

If I had been in a hurry to get the floor wood back on, I wouldn't have known I still had leaks because more than a few brought the water between the wall skins and down to the floor "C" channel and into the belly pan. The hardest to find was a mid body exterior skin lap seal that looked perfect from the outside. I had to remove the inside skin to find and fix that leak.

The last leak I couldn't fix was a designed leak into the belly pan. That was the step release slot. In a long slow rain it would direct at lease 2 gallons of water into the belly pan. I ended up making drain holes for the water to drain out of the belly pan. I screened the holes to limit access to all but the smallest bugs. The bugs still have access through the step release slot itself.

I had one vista window that took me at lease 5 tries to get dry. I finally did it. That was another leak that went inside the wall and down to the floor and into the belly pan. There was no visible leak with the wood floor installed but it would have ruined the new wood if I had installed it.

I have all leaks sealed and all prior damage mitigated. I haven't towed my trailer over the road yet since it's still being worked on but I imagine leak chasing on this trailer will be a never ending job . . . and I imagine new leaks will emerge as the trailer is towed more.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...g?t=1278182564
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:53 AM   #7
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for weighing in guys. I'm finishing up cleaning/reworking the PO's horrible wiring job. They've rendered the service manual almost worthless in terms of the 12v system. I think I'm gonna follow you guys and get to sealing and weatherproofing. It's just a little daunting considering this is my first camper (gf HAD to have the 31') and I'm bringing milliseconds of experience to the equation.

I guess it's about time to start hunting down the appropriate sealants, gaskets.
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