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Old 12-08-2008, 05:58 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
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1976 31' Sovereign Redo Help

Help! Purchased my first AS...1976 31' Sovereign Land Yacht...and want to completely redo the I get the $$. Does anyone have restoration Pics? Pointers?

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Old 12-08-2008, 07:00 AM   #2
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
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You'll be able to pick up all sorts of good info at the Texas State Vintage Rally in San Antonio February 4th through the 8th.

You do not have to stay the whole 5 days -

Also, there is a much smaller gathering in Blanco this coming weekend -

PM me if you need a spot in Blanco.


"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 12-08-2008, 08:23 AM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
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Hey Dan,
What is the floorplan of your trailer?
That is; where's the bath (mid or rear) and what is the bed arrangement (double, twin)?
What part of Houston are you in?

Do you want to "re-do the interior" meaning bringing it up to clean, nice, and fresh but basically the same plan? A Vintage Resto.
I guess those could be sub labeled as Historically Accurate Resto. and Vintage Modernization Resto.

or do you mean to re-design the tube by gutting it and trying to "re-invent the wheel" with total re-arrangement ? A Custom Re-Mod.

or do you mean to completely go thru everything, maybe including a shell off down to frame re-work, or even a major structural re-do (floor.frame repair, skin work, tank replace or re-route, etc)? A Full Monte. or a Half Monte. (Montes are loosely defined but are generally agreed to be MAJOR undertakings). Not that the Resto & the Re-Mod are MINOR.
____ d'drummer ____

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Old 12-08-2008, 08:24 AM   #4
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1968 28' Ambassador
Cedaredge , Colorado
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I'm in the process of doing mine. here:

The fist thing to do is figure out what you want to keep... Then how do you want it laid out.

We have two young kids so I wanted bunks. I also wanted a dinette but didn't want to also have it as the bed... So I took out the mid twins, put bunks on one side and a small dinette on the other. The front will have a rap-around couch with a table as well. this will also be our bed.. Also we don't have a grey tank. You might not either. So the old water tank will become our grey tank.

sit in it and think about how you want it set up. I took the whole inside out but put it back about the same way. Kitchen stayed in the same place, but have better storage.

Do you have kids or grand kids that will be staying with you? all things to think about.

May you have at least one sunny day, and a soft chair to sit in..

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Old 12-08-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
ozark , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2007
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You might want to look at our blog on the remodel of our 76' 31' Sovereign "AIRSTREAM REMODEL" a work in progress. We are doing what you said. A little at a time as we can afford it.

In the right column under Achieve click on the "2008" tab and it should show all the pictures and posts. If not at the end of each page it should say "older post" click on them.

We would love to see pictures of your Airstream. Try to keep us up to date on your progress. We all learn a little from everyone else.

Good luck

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Old 12-10-2008, 01:31 PM   #6
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1976 31' Sovereign
Missouri City , Texas
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First things First

I got my 1976 31' Sovereign in early 2000. Over the past 8 years I have pretty much remodeled the interior from front to back as well as the outside including my current project of replacing the axles and adding disc brakes. It takes time and money so don't try to do everything all at once. If I had it to do over again I would start with the running gear before I did any interior work. An Airstream is designed to be on the road so if you plan on traveling the most important thing should be getting the Running Gear, axles, brakes, wheels, tires, shocks and hitch in the best working order possible. Your Airstream came new with Henschen axles designed with rubber rods in the axle tube along with shocks to produce a smooth ride. Unless new axles have been installed recently ( probably not) on your 1976 Sovereign you can pretty much bet that the axles are gone. Bad axles over a short time will cause all kinds of damage to the interior, body and frame of the Airstream. Check out the Running Gear subsections for additional information. When the running gear is updated then you can start on the remodeling. In other words do as I say not as I did. Good luck.

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Old 12-10-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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I have a 1975 that is currently gutted. IMHO that is probably the best way, but not the cheapest or easiest First thing you need to do (if you don't already have them) is get an Owner's Manual and a Service Manual. PM me on the service manual. They are indispensable. I will second adnoh's recommendation on the axles first then everything else. It is what took my unit into it's 120 step rehab.


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