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Old 08-02-2009, 07:04 AM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 17
new water heater for 72 sovereign, etc

I'm a new member trying to learn to navigate this forum for advice. I think I posted this in the wrong place initially, so here it is again!

We have a 1972 Sovereign with original equipment that came to us along with the cottage we bought in 2001. It's located on the coast of Maine and hasn't moved in 25 years (located on a point of land surrounded by water). We use it in the summer for guests, and due to its age and lack of TLC over the years it needs some attention. We can do some very basic repairs ourselves, but definitely not plumbing and electrical. Hot water heater needs to be replaced asap. Our plumber suggested a standard 20 gallon hot water heater. Would prefer to switch to electric to avoid past problems/expense dealing with gas leaks (cold Maine winters take their toll on this lovely old airstream). Don't need much hot water, just for dishes and shower once in a while. Am wondering if there's an electric unit small enough to put in one of the closets?
  • Other issues: door lock works (replaced tumbler last year) but now latch won't move. Can open door from inside, but not from outside.
  • Bottom of exterior rear compartment containing electrical cord, hoses, etc has collapsed, exposing insulation. Can still open and close compartment but need to shore up bottom somehow
Would appreciate hearing suggestions.

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:26 AM   #2
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AirstreamGypsy's Avatar
1961 16' Bambi
Mancos , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 471
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Welcome to the forums and Congratulations!

What a nice addition to buying a cottage. You will now have a cottage with wheels as well.

Just search these forum threads for more information you ever thought possible. Go here for a wonderful lesson. They have another thread as well for their other airstream. Toward the end of this thread is info on the insta-hot they have installed on "Birdy".

Good Luck and have fun.

p.s. It turns out the plumbing and electrical are the easy parts :-)

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Old 08-02-2009, 08:57 AM   #3
Well Preserved

1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,362
If it's never going to be a trailer again, you can get a 2 to 5 gallon electric water heater to go in the place of the old 10 gallon LP. Slide out the old one, slide in the new one, plumb it in, plug it in, and put an aluminum patch over the outside.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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1971 27' Overlander
Central , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Bottom of exterior rear compartment containing electrical cord, hoses, etc has collapsed, exposing insulation. Can still open and close compartment but need to shore up bottom somehow
How far forward has it collapsed? If just the pan for the bumper storage fell loose you shouldn't be seeing insulation. Your first insulation should be forward of the rear black tank support member.
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