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Old 10-01-2017, 11:59 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1978 31' Sovereign
Keizer , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Am I the only one stupid enough?

I spent months watching Youtube videos, craigslist, and this forum, prior to purchasing a 1978, 31 foot land yacht. Washington to Texas, I looked at more than a few, until I settled on one in Bend Or (near me!) that was in far better shape than any others I had seen. The body had one TINY dent. Less than 3 inches square, and below tire level. The 2nd owner was living in it, and knew every detail about it. All the windows (leaks) I wanted, and all four factory awnings in stellar condition. The issue is/was, it's a rear bath. I wanted a rear bedroom. But the body, and it's relative dry history was worth the trade off, as I was already planning on a full tear down anyways. I've looked at page after page on this forum where someone starts out intending to move the rear bath to center, or split, then they either get pregnant (congrats!) or decide to keep the rear layout. Grrrr. No one to completion? I've never been one to follow the crowd, but in this case, I would love too. If someone on this forum has actually converted a rear bath into a rear bedroom, I can't find your info. Disclaimer:bought mine a month ago. All interior is now fully gutted, and ready to start lifting the shell, but waiting to see who my new hero is. Please tell me it's you, lie to me, and tell me this was a cake walk.

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Old 10-02-2017, 05:16 AM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,472
Many have tried. Many have failed. It would require a complete gut, moving windows and plumbing, and changing most of the access holes in the floor, moving the holding tanks, and a myriad of other things.
Don't do it.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:40 AM   #3
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1974 Argosy 28
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Wauwatosa , Wisconsin
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 735
Images: 37
Check out pictures I posted in my profile page. I move my rear bath to a split center i.e. Toilet and sink one side shower the other side. The hardest part was the planning around windows and wheel wells. PM me if you want more info or pictures.
Judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who YOU are.
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:23 PM   #4
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1979 31' Sovereign
Black Diamond , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 170
I did that. I did move to using a composting toilet (Natures Head) and capped the black tank. Doing that allowed me to design at will without having to move the black tank under the new toilet location. I kept the kitchen and bathroom sinks on the same side of the trailer as the Grey tank for streamlined piping.
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:32 AM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 7,635
"Am I the only one stupid enough?"

Apparently not.

You might want to ask this next question of the few who have successfully endured the long and twisted path upon which you have embarked:

"Was it worth it?"

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:36 PM   #6
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1979 31' Sovereign
Black Diamond , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 170
Well worth it for me.

Wrapping my year long renovation
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:33 PM   #7
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1978 31' Sovereign
Keizer , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Thank you so much for all the replies! I anticipated the first response, although not from someone with so many posts on this forum, which spoke volumes to experience, and is invaluable. "Many have tried, many have failed" I heard, "Not all have."

I am perhaps, not the typical first time Airstream renovator. 30+ years in the vehicle upfitting industry, and one off builds including 40 foot command trailers, that came empty, but never an airstream. So I have much to learn! I've spent the last few days measuring, laying out floor plans, looking at the links from those who responded, honestly considered the "don't do it", but quite simply love a challenge, and know that a rear bedroom is really what I want. I don't expect it to be easy. I'd be somewhat disappointed if it where. Thankfully, the local club is showing in town this weekend, so I can go gain some wisdom.

Thank you again for all the responses, and hats off to those of you who pulled it off.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:05 AM   #8
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1972 25' Tradewind
Chattanooga , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 158
Images: 21
See my thread on my '72. One approach.
Steve and Tobie Thayer
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:58 AM   #9
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1976 27' Overlander
Missoula , Montana
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 378
Good luck!

I like your positive spirit! The only thing I'll add is, since you have a major tear-down going on anyway, is beef up that rear to fix/prevent any potential for rear-end sag. It started on my 27' - and is notorious in Sovereigns! I did the fix on mine without lifting the shell - if you are going that far, fix that too!
1976 Airstream Overlander International
WBCCI 1054
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:31 AM   #10
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1968 24' Tradewind
1968 26' Overlander
Kansas City , Kansas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 160
Am I the only one stupid enough?

I think for many people, bed relocation isnít worth the effort/investment. However, if youíve got transferable skills from prior experience, the time, tools, money, location and grit, AND itís what you really want, why not?

Sounds like youíve planned it out regarding windows, etc (though they can be moved). If you are doing a ďshell off / internal skins outĒ approach youíll have access to relevant areas. It will indeed be a big job.

I would, however, temper my encouragement if you donít enjoy renovating as much as (or even more than) camping. To me they are equally enjoyable.

One piece of advice is to note the approximate weights of where items inside the trailer are now and make sure you donít shift the weight substantially behind the axles, which could lead to trailer sway while towing.
My AS renovation:
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:01 AM   #11
1 Rivet Member
1978 31' Sovereign
Keizer , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Atomic_13 View Post
More than enough grit, and not a hint of "but your the only one..." Which has served well enough, to this point. This might be where I go, opp's, should have listened. I'll still Then press through.

I love renovation, fabrication, and design. A serious challenge only makes the end result more enjoyable. Having said that, I want a rear bedroom, queen size bed, that permits a fully functional bathroom/ small shower. That is a tough cookie. I can certainly respect why many have changed plans, part way in. I'm leaning heavily toward single side bathroom over the wheels. Distribution of weight as you bring up, is a considerable factor though, so I'm trying to look at what others have done, and apply those lessons. Since we are heading into winter, the "grit" get's dialed back a bit, in replace of projection and planning...
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:48 PM   #12
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1975 Argosy 28
Springville , Alabama
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 757
I'm in the process of doing it now! I'm pass the frame, floor, moving and placing tanks, redoing plumbing, electrical and insulation. I don't like normal either! You can do it with great planning. Blessings
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Old 10-10-2017, 07:15 PM   #13
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1960 33' Custom
Saskatoon , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,185
Images: 25
Wait a minute.. no one has even asked for pics yet! Just kidding. I'd say it sounds like you have the skill set so why not?

I like the side bath idea and have given it lots of thought for my own projects. I think your vintage has greater width so it should be quite doable
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:40 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
1978 31' Sovereign
Keizer , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 5
I'm inspired by those who precede me in converting to a rear bed from a rear bath. Thank you for the private messages and inspiration. Also, the requests for photo's. While this photo was from last week, I hope it's helpful. I spent hrs trying to figure out how to remove the center ceiling panel, without any damage to it, or the supporting rails, and got my fanny kicked a number of times. Use this, and it will take less than a minute. Don't place it in the middle of the material, but fudge to one side or the other. Move 3 feet. Repeat until out.

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