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Old 10-11-2003, 09:48 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
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Talking I may be in trouble.....

You be the judge and the jury we were out running errands in the big city up the road. Just happened to stop by one of my favorite RV dealers, mainly just to bug one of the sales reps. Wellllllll on the back lot there is a 75 Sovereign Twin bed Rear Bath, they have a $4800 tag on it, BB(beautiful bride) starts the haggling, she knows I have always wanted and AS. Right now she is at $3500 or so. It is in decent orginal condition, it may have had some rear end seperation, it looks like some addtional framing has been added. New toilet and new fridge. It has both the owners manual and service manual with it. It needs a thorough cleaning and some interior updating. We did leave a small deposit, so what is the jurys' consensus? Good, Bad or Ugly?

Aaron
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:56 PM   #2
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Aaron,

I think from the sounds of it that it's a great coach that needs some work.

If you do take the coach, just understand that given it's age, it will for sure at some point, possibly sooner than later (even though some of the bigger ticket items like fridge have been replaced), be a bit larger commitment than than what you see now. If you're both comfortable with that and have a good tow vehicle, why not. Detailed pics to the forum with all the vintage folks here would be far easier a call...

Most all things can be fixed, but if you got the time and the $$, go for it if you both love it. You'll still spend less than a new one and you'll get to do it the way you both want.

Eric
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:56 PM   #3
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Buyers remorse?

It is hard to know prices, especially when you are hot to go...get someone with trailer experience to look at problems you see and answer your questions. There is always some investment in vintage units, so good luck and maybe someone near you will chime in to help out....jem
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:56 PM   #4
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I guess its a matter of your definition of "in trouble". Since BB seems to be running the show in this matter, if the trailer is a bust, you won't be in trouble with her. Now in conjunction with that thought if the trailer is a bust you are in trouble but in a much different sense.

I don't know. Frame separation issues give me the willies since you really don't know if the fix was done by an Airstream dealer or someone else. Can you get any more history on the unit?

Jack
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Old 10-11-2003, 10:01 PM   #5
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The additional frame supports sounds like the factory frame pieces that are put on to correct or prevent tail droop, which is not the same thing as rear end separation. Although both can occur together.

In other words, the pieces may have been installed as a preventative measure. Tail droop usually leaves its calling card as a crease ( or set of creases - on either side) just above and behind the wheel wells. Rear end sag can be spotted by putting your weight on the rear bumper. Press down hard and see if a gap opens between the frame and the shell. If properly repaired, rear end separation would be impossible to see.

$3500 certainly sounds reasonable for a decent 75 Sovereign. By a strange coincidence, that is approximately the cost of replacing all the major appliances. You want to make sure the floor is sound - use an icepick, that the axles are not shot (see www.inlandrv.com), and of course that the brakes and bearings are in good shape before towing.

Good luck!

Mark
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Old 10-11-2003, 10:08 PM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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The history is spotty at best, at some point in time it was sold from an dealer in Charlotte, NC that is no longer in business, it has spent some time at the coast of SC in a park. It shows signs of at least 4 different WBCCI numbers. The frame has had external stiffeners welded onto it, not the correct fix, but it doesn't have the puckers in the side like I have seen in some extreme cases. My background is architectural sheetmetal work, I have owned or been owned by several british sports cars, and I have never met anything that I wasn't willing to try and tackle. The TV is on the marginal side at the moment but and upgrade is in the works. I always let BB do the haggle part of the deal She usually comes out way ahead of the deal. Remember the Exploder/Firestone saga? She had 5 new Michelins before the recall even got under way. I have been looking at AS's for quite some time, I have read all the great info post here and elsewhere. I think this unit is in excellent shape for the age, it will need some reworking, but not to the extreme I have seen some people go to. Like full body removal
I am going back on Monday to dig a little deeper, I only got to spend about 30 minutes on it today before we had to head out.

BTW OT I will post pictures later, my main laptop broke a ribbon cable and I am having to use and old unit that will only dial in at 26k instead of the usual 1.5Mbps on the DSL.

Aaron
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Old 10-11-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
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1.Check around the front door and in the rear bath area. If the floor "gives" you could be in for big problems.
2. Frame cracking at the axles. If not a problem can be prevented with a frame reinforcement kit.
3. Rear end sag ?
4. Bad axles. If bad cause #3 above.
5. AC working ?
6. Awning good ?
7. Have enough tow vehicle ?

The above could run up to $1,000 "each" except AC $650/700.

All the problems are repairable given time and money.
In my opinion the quoted selling price is a good price even if you have half of the above problems.
Hope it works out for you

Garry
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Old 10-11-2003, 11:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by wahoonc
several british sports cars, and I have never met anything that I wasn't willing to try and tackle.
Aaron
Aaron, after the comment about british sports cars I will attest to your status as one who would be very much up to the tasks that this A/S will bring to you. My advice at this point would be to go for it!

Regards and good luck!

Jack
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