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Old 10-13-2008, 01:42 AM   #1
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1969 31' Sovereign
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Bathroom - gut, recondition or both?

I just bought my first Airstream, a 1969 31' Sovereign whose previous owner had lived in it for 10 years. The rear bath is disgusting. Soft floor, odor, discoloration, tub very worn, yellow scum everywhere. He had a garden hose stuck in the wall for his shower. (I know...I am an optimist. I couldn't help myself.) I am uncertain what to do. Can I replace the floor from below and recondition the plastic / fiberglass. OR Do I pull out the wardrobes and anything in the bath that touches the floor so I can replace the floor, black tank, add a gray tank, and build new shower pan / sink & vanity, etc.? Can I pull the tub, sink, toilet, out and leave the upper molded shell? Anyone else have this challenge? Any advise?
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:32 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums. Congratulations on the Sovereign. The soft floor needs to be replaced and an inspection of the rear frame needs to be done as well. You can remove the bely pan on the bottom of the trailer to get a better look at things. You will most likely need to remove everything in the bath area to make the repairs. This is a common problem on the longer trailers of this era. Be aware that you might have the dreaded rear end separation. You can do a search on that to see what others have done to correct the issue.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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And now a message from the Health & Hygiene Department.

There are enough hidden spaces you can't reach to clean YOU DEFINITELY WANT TO STRIP EVERYTHING remotely connected to the disgusting bathroom so the mildew remover and scouring pads aren't used in vain. Seeing the fairy-ring growths spreading from a 1969 fingerprint will make a believer of you; if not that then pulling the liner panels and finding the smell-imbued insulation riddled with mouse dens etc will!
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like a project is in order...

Unfortunately, the interior of Airstreams are built from the back > forward. This means that in order to disassemble the bathroom with any hope of reassembly, the "parts" in front of the bathroom will have to be removed in order to get it out. When disassembled, it will fit out the door of your trailer in several large pieces without having to destroy it.

Once it's all out, the fiberglass/plastic parts can be cleaned/repaired and refinished to put back in. There is info on-board about various products used to refinish tubs/showers both professionally (resource: boatyard repair facility) or DIY. Do make sure everything is structurally fit before you put it all back together...you probably don't want to take it apart twice!

BTW, welcome to the Airstream family!

Shari
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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I believe the entire bathroom in a 69 can be taken out in parts out through the door just find without removing the entire interior. The white cabinet over the water heater is easily removed as is the double door frame to the bathroom. Lots and lots of rivets later the sink and toilet surround can come out in one piece followed by the tub in another, then you can get to the plywood to deal with the floor. Definately be careful with the plastic/fiberglass panels. Would be difficult to replicate but are easy to make minor repairs to and resurface.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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I believe the entire bathroom in a 69 can be taken out in parts out through the door just find without removing the entire interior.
Maybe so...I KNOW they can't in the older models like our '64 & '56...things in front had to be removed to get to the hidden screws/rivets of things that were put in first. I hope for TBird156's sake you are right...I only know 1st hand from our own experience with our two trailers ~ it's still amazes me how much of a difference a couple of years make.

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Old 10-14-2008, 06:24 AM   #7
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RBird156, Welcome, you have came to the right place for good tips. There are a number of us on the forum with 1969 31' Sovereign. We completed our bathroom this spring. My husband removed the copper plumbing and replaced with red, white and blue pex. Our copper plumbing had been frozen and you couldn't get fittings to fit. If someone has lived in yours than you probably won't have that problem. I (a girl) removed everything in the bathroom, except the ceiling. I took out the two closets and just started drilling out rivets. I did have to get hubby to come out and disconnect plumbing from tub, sink, he had already removed the toiled (we put in a new one). We also put in a new hotwater tank, not sure if the other worked. As the hotwater tank is at the bottom of the white linen closet, I just felt better putting in a new tank. Our black tank was cracked where the vent attached to the tank. It had leaked for probably 25 years??? the pan was totally rotted out, we had to have another made and bought a new black tank. There has been someone who put in a gray tank in the 69 over the axles. As we didn't tare out the floor that far we are setting a small gray tank in the floor of the closed on the curb side. It will be good enough for the kitchen sink and we also have a blue boy. Please feel free to contact I have photos of everything we have done to our 69 bathroom redo.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:49 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. It gives me confidence to tackle the smelly job. I would love to see some of the photos of what you found when you pulled your bathroom out, especially for a 69 Sovereign. I think part of the smell is also the original avocado indoor / outdoor carpet glued to the plywood. It looks like I pull it up and scrape the black backing / glue off the plywood. Has anyone else done that successfully?
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
Maybe so...I KNOW they can't in the older models like our '64 & '56...things in front had to be removed to get to the hidden screws/rivets of things that were put in first. I hope for TBird156's sake you are right...I only know 1st hand from our own experience with our two trailers ~ it's still amazes me how much of a difference a couple of years make.

Shari
I believe Frank only had to pull out the twins and wardrobes to get his bathroom out on his '62 Overlander. The galley, he was able to keep intact, in the trailer. This is promising to me, because I face the exact same task on my '63 Overlander this winter.

But as you point out, for differen eras, and different models, it can certainly require different disassembly tactics.
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:03 AM   #10
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Carpet

When we pulled up our carpet the black foam backing was powder. What a mess, had to vacumn it up.

I have tons of photos, why don't you private email me, and I will send them to your home email.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBird156 View Post
Thanks everyone for your feedback. It gives me confidence to tackle the smelly job. I would love to see some of the photos of what you found when you pulled your bathroom out, especially for a 69 Sovereign. I think part of the smell is also the original avocado indoor / outdoor carpet glued to the plywood. It looks like I pull it up and scrape the black backing / glue off the plywood. Has anyone else done that successfully?
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
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I don't know how everyone else got theirs done so easily. I would love some pics CJ cause ours is going rather roughly. Not really sure how to replace some parts.
Here's a few old pics of ours, sorry they are not updated to show progress. Really all we have done is put new floor in, just starting the black tank re-install.
Flickr: S&B's Airstream's Photostream
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:49 PM   #12
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It is very slow going, the photos don't do the work justice in most cases. Fortunately most of the repair work you're doing is more work than money, unless of course you're paying to have the work down, then reverse that. =)

So it sounds like you've decided to reinstall the original bath?
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:57 AM   #13
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BakedTater, you have done the same thing we did. Our bathroom floor looked like a twin to yours. WOW. Are you going to put in a gray tank while you have the floor out? I have so many pictures I think the forum would overload. Private email me and I will sent to your home address. As you are making a office, just exactly what are you putting back into your trailer?
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ of Okla View Post
BakedTater, you have done the same thing we did. Our bathroom floor looked like a twin to yours. WOW. Are you going to put in a gray tank while you have the floor out? I have so many pictures I think the forum would overload. Private email me and I will sent to your home address. As you are making a office, just exactly what are you putting back into your trailer?
Well I'm sorry you had to go through so much work, but at the same time it's nice to know you're not alone! www.photobucket.com and www.flickr.com are free picture hosting sites, so you don't have to upload everytime you want to share your pics. If that's not your thing you can reach me at stephsms@hotmail.com.
Actually, we are full timing once it's done, so we have the bath in the back, left all the closets as we found them (no rot! Yay!) put an office area where the twin bed in the middle on the starboard side, the kitchen on port side is left as is but getting some "island orange" paint in the cabinets, and on the opposite side we purchased a stainless steel prep table to take the place of the rickety kitchen sink area, which will also hold our microwave, range, and dishwasher (maybe). Finally, the front is living/bed room with an ikea folding sofa/bed. The original TV area is left, but the side table extended to accomodate our fishing-rod wrapping. Now the only question is where does the 8' surfboard go!?
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