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Old 09-13-2006, 03:00 PM   #113
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book rack done, table reinstalled

hi all- built a little magazine rack out of the last of the tiger maple, and some mahogany I had laying around. works good for beverages too! And, with some strong suggestions from Jane, decided to re-use the nifty original fold-up dining table- it really is a clever design, if a littly wobbly on the one leg. I may add another somehow, later. Not sure what I'll use for the top yet- wood or formica, I suppose, or maybe melamine if it comes in a nice color. Also finally fired up my fridge on gas, since I have the cover off- made ice in about 5 hours, from warm. Phew!! I kind of took a chance when I re-installed it last winter, without ice-testing it. Still no mice- the foam sprayed into the holes around the water tank/frame did the trick. (I have no belly pan right now) I also put some metal screen in the outside shroud for the kitchen exhaust fan- when I bought this coach last summer, there were about 1/2 dozen wasp nests here and there, including up inside that fan motor area, up in the step area, up in the fridge shroud (oh geez, should probably screen that off too..)and other places too- it was dangerous for a while to even get near the thing! All critters gone, for now. -tim
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:29 AM   #114
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table top

hi- found 2' by 4' pine panels at HD that I've used for the table top- cut them down to 32" and hinged them together. They're a little "warpy" but they might work. Am starting to look around for an appropriate truck, hope to be able to get out on the road next summer. One thing at a time...-tim
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:03 PM   #115
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[quote=tphan]howdy- today I took off the polypropylene cover that was over my rig for the last 7 months or so, keeping the pine sap and bird poo off. I have to say I see no evidence of black marks, abrasion, wearing through the aluminum, etc. It just looks like the day I put the cover on, last october. These new covers are lightweight, soft, and breatheable- yet water resistant.

Hi Tim, I've enjoyed following your progress, nice work!

Question. Is your A/S clearcoated? It appears so in the photos. Not to change the main subject of your thread, but I'm curious about the soft cover idea. I have been told sternly to NEVER put any sort of cover on my A/S, it will mar the aluminum, ruin the finish, etc. Mine is a '72 Globetrotter that has been polished. I'm unable to garage it and would love to cover it but....

What kind of cover did you use?
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:50 AM   #116
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clearcoat

hi- I guess it still has the clearcoat, whatever is left after 34 years- it definitely has never been polished. I used a jcwhitney polypropylene cover last winter, loosely coiled with an old rope so it wouldn't fly off in the wind we sometimes get. I know it's heresy to say here, but it not only kept the coach as clean, sap, and birdpoop-free as the day the cover went on, but there simply is no evidence of black marks, abrasion, etc. Keep in mind this "experiment" has only been 1 year, It may well be that after many years even a soft cover like this will wear through in places of continuous friction. But it hardly would seem to be the friction and abrasion of repeated polishings- just thinking outloud here. I'll keep an open mind on this if you all will- tim
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:46 PM   #117
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If its any consolation from a complete newbie who has owned her 74 31' Sovereign LandYacht for a whole week tomorrow...I only planned a paint-the-walls, put-down-a-new-floor, put-in-a-full-bed.

We are now gutting the entire thing and doing a complete rehab down to the sub-floors and placement of water and electrical lines. There was at least one fire, a possible propane leak, a definite water leak that destroyed a portion of every single 4 X 8 sheet of subfloor, and many electrical safety hazards. One of the water tanks still has water in it ( and its sat for 2 years). The condition of the appliances was marginal at best. Literally, everything BUT the kitchen sink is trashed. We will be keeping the sink.

Sorry, original purists - there's no way to keep it original without a lot of time and expense - neither of which I have. I need to be in this thing by Thanskgiving - I will be living in it until my house is complete sometime next year.

~Merry
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:45 PM   #118
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That said, I started gutting it two days ago...wow, what a job! I am learning way more about carpentry and plumbing and electricity than I want to know! Pa did teach me how to pop rivets - but I'm still afraid of the power drill - I can't put the drill bit in by myself, yet.

Tim - your rig looks fabulous! I hope I do as good a job!

FYI - I am building a house but we have decided to stop construction due to winter concerns and to wait for my husband to come back from Saudi Arabia next May. He wants to help! I've been living with my parents...camping out in their popup in the back yard. But its coming on winter and the quarters are getting cramped with my two dogs, too...(we won't mention the shopping I've done to fill it up).

So I needed a place to live quick. We went looking at about 20 different trailers in my budget range and were completely charmed and delighted to find the Airstream. The price was right and the husband okayed a set amount of money for repairs (not that I ever listen to him, but in this case, I agreed <grin>).

Pa is a master carpenter, a board certified electrician and electronics expert, and even does a great job with plumbing. He and Mom renovated a 1910 Sears home, adding an 8 foot wrap around porch and an upstairs bathroom to a seven-gabled house and to look at it all you'd think it was original to the house!

I'm lucky to have Pa take me through this process and in return, Mom and I are his cheap summer/fall labor - sadly, we know nothing and so we're the destruction team while he does the actual electrical, plumbing and water works.

Mom and I have taken out the bedroom, the living room, most of the kitchen and part of the hallway closet...tomorrow we start on the bathroom. The sink lavatory is broken, the shower stall is cracked and bathroom is smelly with old mildew-ish and other unpleasant odors.


I'll try to keep all updated...there are some photos on the 74 Sovereign Forum, if anyone wants to look.

~ Merry
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:45 AM   #119
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doing the right thing

hello merry- thanks for the compliment! It sounds like you have a BIG project ahead of you, but aren't you glad you have such expert help and support? It is also good that you found the bad subfloor, and decided to gut-and-restore rather than just cover it up with new carpet or something. You will have, when it is done, a virtually new Airstream, with custom touches, for a fraction of the cost of new and the satisfaction of having done it yourself. You definitely have a worthy subject for your own thread here, where you can keep everybody informed of your progress as well as documenting the work done for your own records. Start one up, post lots of pictures, and have a blast with your new hobby!! Best of luck- tim
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:13 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
Forum member Sneakinup has just plain kicked butt with what he did with how he totally redid the interior of his '72 Overlander.

Make sure and check out his member photos, and website before you map out your final course of action.

Tom
Agree with Tom, Sneakinup has done an outstanding job of redoing his aged interior. Karma goes to Sneakinup.
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Old 10-04-2006, 02:46 AM   #121
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Pa just completed the outside wiring today and we plugged it in! EVERYTHING electrical works (except where he taped off wires from oven, where most of the electrical wiring damage is). The lights ALL work, the switches all work, the plugs all work, the AC works and the 12 volt plugs all work!

I also tested my cell phone inside the trailer - if I stand in certain places, it works, but at one point, I had to go sit on the steps outside. Sigh. We'll be running a landline in a bit - I already have the lines to the house, its a simple matter to bring telephone to the trailer Pa says.

We also figured out how to unroll the awning. Its in good shape, probably needs some cleaning but for now, it had condensation and needs drying out.

A funny thing was visible when we pulled out the oven...the water pump is just laying on top of a small box...and so is a brand new (price tag is still on it) power box. Neither one is bolted down. We slid them aside to take out the broken shelving that was above it.

Pa will be recycling a lot of the plywood and masonite I took out. We need an interior wall for our new wellhouse and he looked over the bits and pieces and thinks it will suffice. I am saving as much aluminum slotting as I can. Pa figures we can remount new walls with it. I tried to leave as much in place, too.

Both my husband and I have looked at and loved Sneakinup's renovation - I also sent my husband here to look over Tim's renovation. You both have given us lots of ideas!

One of our issues is the fact that we will be living in this as a home, I want a work area for my quilting, we may use this as a guest cottage AND we want to use it to go camping with Mom and Pa.

Individualistically, any of those re-habs would be different in some ways. Trying to meld it together into a nice efficient unit is a learning process in and of itself.

Anyway, off to bed! ~ Merry
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:20 AM   #122
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great job

Your photos are really great. They offer a lot of encouragement to new owners trying to see what can be done. Thanks
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:49 AM   #123
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More fun

hi- not much new on the coach this winter, but have been looking at trucks lately. Do any of you guys pull your 27-footers with Ford F150's? Will the 5.4 engine with 260 hp and 350 ft. lb. of torque do the job, with a 3.55 rear-end ratio, often in the mountains?? Or is the 3.73 the minimum advised ratio? Or is the F250, with diesel, the only way to go? My coach probably will weigh in at between 4500 and 5000 lbs. I have a weight distributing hitch for it. I would REALLY like to get out there on the road a little this season, and don't want to make any drastic mistakes in a truck purchase. There is an '02 F150 4x4 crewcab available locally, with shell, 76k miles, for maybe under $14k, that I'm thinking of. What do you guys think? Thanks- tim
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:09 PM   #124
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Tim,

I have an F-150 (3:55)with the 5.4 and an E-350 van (not sure of rear end) with the 7.3 PSD. Guess which one I'd rather be towing with?

I've never towed the Sovereign with the truck (actually, it's only been towed once, coming home from North Carolina, it's been sitting ever since) but I use it to tow the boat occasionally (approx 3000 lbs) and it does okay. The van does much better.

We did make a trip in '04 to Colorado and back with the Overlander and I was really glad we had the diesel. We had a '99 E-350 with the 5.4, 3:55 rear end before the diesel and it really had to work and downshift on any grades with the Overlander. (It had much less torque than the 7.3.) Living in Estes Park, I would definitely want a diesel, as anywhere you go is going to involve grades.

Diesels cost more and the fuel is more expensive, but the mileage is better, whether towing or not. Fully loaded (7 children, 2 adults, luggage packed) without towing, we averaged over 22 mpg from N. Georgia to Williamsburg, VA and over 20 mpg coming home. With the Overlander on our trip to Florida, we averaged 13-14 mpg. I think you'd be hard-pressed to get 10 mpg with the 5.4. (At least that's what I remember with the old van.)

With an Overlander, I'd be looking for a diesel unless you're planning to keep it parked most of the time.

(But hey, I'm a WSC grad so what do I know?)
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:21 AM   #125
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I have a 30' Safari with a dry weight of approximately 6,500 LBS. and I tow with an F-250 diesel. I wouldn't pull it in the mountains with anything less. However, you certainly could and many who have them do. I like the extra power on grades, but I just purchased my wife an '07 Expedition with the heavy duty towing package and plan to use it some in the non-mountainous parts of the country and as an alternative to the F-250 on shorter trips. I just need to get a brake controller for it and I am set.

I get 12 MPG's towing at interstate speeds and slightly better on two lanes at posted speeds for two lanes with the diesel. I particularly wanted the F-250 diesel because I keep a vehicle for 8-10 years and wanted something that would hold up to towing for that length of time. If you plan to trade more often or if your Airstream is considerably lighter, you might be happy with the F-150, but you will not be disappointed with a 3/4 ton diesel of any make. Is a 3/4 ton overkill? Yes. But not too many folks have them and say they would step down to a 1/2 ton. BTW, I get around 19 MPG's on my daily commute into Atlanta from the 'burbs.

If you purchase pre-owned, use the search feature and check out threads that talk about issues with previous years. Also, go to the diesel forums (there are some for each brand) and check out the issues there. Some are noisy, some have mechanical issues which were corrected in more recent incarnations, some are smooth and more car-like. It just depends on your criteria and preferences. Good luck with your decision on tow vehicle.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:46 PM   #126
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still looking

Well I seem to be looking just at late 90's Suburban 3/4 tons lately, trying to find a relatively low mileage one. I'm shying away from diesel because I hear that they will need to be modified to be able to use the no-sulphur diesel fuel coming out in the future, and I heard NOT cheap for this. Who knows- there's quite a few unknowns with this whole oil/gas availability and pricing thing. Have also been piddling away on the AS, installed a step light (neon red), put barrel bolts on the back of my 4 drawers to keep them POSITIVELY closed during transport (and no tugging to use them when camped), and made an ottoman/seat/storage unit with Jane making a creative cushion out of curtain and sofa scraps. Just heard on NPR that David Wilcox (a singer/songwriter) has been living and traveling in his Airstream with wife and child for a couple years now, says he has loved it! Hope to try it one day- tim
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