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Old 06-21-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
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Relapse - 1956 Sovereign of the Road

re·lapse (r-lps)intr.v. re·lapsed, re·laps·ing, re·laps·es
1.
To fall or slide back into a former state.

Almost a year ago, I stopped posting on this blog. "Why bother, " I thought. We had to sell both Airstreams to fund getting Amy a new car and house in Texas, and it rubbed us raw. Over the months that followed, we fell out of touch with our camping souls. I was in nursing school full time, and Amy had taken Collin to San Antonio with her. In December 2010, I reevaluated our situation, and we agreed that we wanted to pursue our Dream Stream. We have owned many trailers, and only camped in half of them due to their poor condition. We vowed that this would not happen again.

Since January, I have scoured craigslist, Ebay, and any other website that could hold our Dream Stream. Our terms wouldn't be easy to find. The trailer had to be a 13 panel...nothing looks as beautiful as a 13 panel. We also agreed that 26 feet was as short as we would go. We plan to full time in our Dream Stream some day, and want the space. After hosting an Airstream rally in a rented SOB a few weeks ago, we had to get back into streaming ASAP. Here and there since the rally some trailers fitting criteria presented themselves, but always far too expensive or in worse shape than we would want. That is until almost two weeks ago.

I had just returned from the FCU Restoration rally in ABQ, NM when my search turned up a 1956 Sovereign of the Road. "Wow," I thought, I only know of three other 56 SotR's out there, it's the size we want, and 13 panel! The price wasn't bad either, but it was all the way up in Seattle, WA. I called the number and spoke with a man who I could barely understand at points in the conversation. He was Russian, and had a thick accent. We spoke for a few minutes and he told me about the trailer. I hung up the phone skeptical. Thick Russian accent, no title, cheap price, 2,200 miles away, and the craigslist I found it on was Portland...not Seattle. I contacted Marc from Airforums and asked if he could check it out for me. I gave him the seller's info, and the seller wanted Marc to see it that night! Marc is a great guy. He went out that night, and took a bunch more pictures for me to base my decision on. Check them out!

1956 Sovereign of the Road
Marc called me later on informing me that the trailer indeed was legit, and that this man had several other trailers he was working on. Knowing the legitimacy, I wired Marc the money, and asked him if he could help me get it out of the guy's yard until I could arrange transport. After a few back and forth conversations with the seller, we finally agreed that his daughter could accept the money and give Marc the bill of sale. I was at Sea World on Father's day when I received the word...the transaction was complete.


Unfortunately, the seller for a set of new RV rims for the trailer stood Marc up earlier in the week. Marc had to tow it away on the old split rims. About 5 miles down the road, the first tire gave out. The spare was without a valve stem, so Marc ended up dropping the trailer off at a tire shop around 11PM for the evening. Poor Marc, all that work and his daughter's sweet 16th birthday was the next day.

Last night while on the Riverwalk, Marc texted me to let me know he was finally able to meet up with the rims guy from Craigslist, and got 4 new ST tires mounted. He estimated that there has been around 70 pounds overall of rotational weight dropped, and that the trailer tows FAR BETTER with the new wheels and tires. These are temporary until further down the road of course, but a necessity for a 2,200 mile return trip.



So to wrap it all up, how are we going to get this vintage beast of a Dream Stream back to the Republic? It pays to have great friends and members of the AIRfourms that help. I listed the trailer on Uship and received bids upwards of $2500. Enter forum member Dave Park. Dave lives about 80 minutes from me, and volunteered to pick the trailer up for me. Dave, like Marc...is a great guy. Dave drove to San Antonio around midnight on Sunday to get a set of safety chains and gas money. Dave and Marc, we couldn't have done this without your help...thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So what is the plan? This trailer will be a well appointed living space away from home. With school in session soon, I will be having most of the work completed by a 3rd party. I will help when I can, but living 1000 miles away, it will not be often. Current layout plans for the trailer include a revamped rear bath with street side shower and toilet, his and her closets forward of the bath, twins in the middle, a well equipped kitchen with lots of storage, and a huge wrap around dinette that converts to a bed.

I wish Dave a safe journey towing 2,200 miles home with only safety chains and his white knuckles.

It's good to be back,

Steve
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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Congratulations Steve! I thought you knew more about this one than you were letting on
I'm glad it went to you before I borrowed money and a tow vehicle to go get it. Thanks!

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Old 06-21-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Congratulations Steve! I thought you knew more about this one than you were letting on
I'm glad it went to you before I borrowed money and a tow vehicle to go get it. Thanks!

Rich the Viking
Hey Rich,

I had to play it close with what I have seen and experienced in the past. Couldn't post anything until Marc had it removed from the guy's property. It's amazing how the community comes together to help, and the amount of trust instilled in one another. I had never spoken with Marc before this situation, yet Marc has helped me sooo much. We are cut very much from the same cloth in Airstreams and our profession. I had no qualms with wiring him the money having spoken less than ten minutes over the phone with him, and that says alot.

Steve
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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Ha ha! I didn't tell you about that Hawaii vacation I booked? All kidding!

It was great to help you out Steve... I'm about to go play outside in the sun and stare at your trailer some more... and... think about a vintage tow vehicle I just may buy of similar vintage.
Want to post more pics?
Marc
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Congratulations on the rare find.

What an effort and show of support.

Kevin
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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Sure Marc...if you have others of the trailer that are not in that picasaweb link...go for it!
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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Want to post more pics?
Marc
Any other silly questions??????
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #8
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Congrats on finding Project DreamStream. Hopefully someday I'll have the confidence to buy a project like that and make it one of the amazing renovations I see on these forums. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm looking forward to the project photos and the final results!
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
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Ha ha! I didn't tell you about that Hawaii vacation I booked? All kidding!

It was great to help you out Steve... I'm about to go play outside in the sun and stare at your trailer some more... and... think about a vintage tow vehicle I just may buy of similar vintage.
Want to post more pics?
Marc
A closeup of those damaged encaps segs may be nice...then maybe we can get advice from Zep or Aerowood about fabricating a new seg with the bead.

Steve
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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Wow

Wow its so great to hear of people coming together to help others out! Shows that there are trustworthy people left in this world and that a handshake or given word is a sealed deal. Congrats to you Soldiermedic, what a great find! What a great way to start a rebuild, with a great memory of how it all started and the people that helped to make your dream stream yours.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #11
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Congratulations on the find.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:54 PM   #12
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A closeup of those damaged encaps segs may be nice...then maybe we can get advice from Zep or Aerowood about fabricating a new seg with the bead.

Steve
It doesn't look like it will require replacement from what I can see. Kip can show off his abilities with his roller and block and save you a ton of work, with a little luck.
SWEET FIND!
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:57 PM   #13
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Rich,

I wish I could be as Zen and hopeful as you on this...perhaps if I try a little harder. If it was just a dent then no big deal but it does appear creased slightly. Who knows...maybe it CAN be knocked back into shape.

Steve
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:03 PM   #14
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I worked out a crease from a branch on one of my rear end cap segments after seeing Kip do it at the resto rally 3 years ago. I don't have pics that do it justice but it's pretty hard to see it now and polishing it makes it less noticable.
And I'm an optimist. I hope it rubs off
cheers,
Rich the Viking
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