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zenman 07-16-2009 08:31 AM

New Member - 31 Sovereign
Hi all.

My name is Gerry Morgan, or the zenman as my friends call me. I recently purchased a 31' Sovereign that I am going to strip and convert to a recording studio production suite and RV.

This project has some specific challenges. When dealing with sound I am faced with bass traps, resonators and wiring specific challenges to avoid hums. Ambient noise such as the air conditioner is also a challenge.

I need basically three spaces...the control room, the living quarters and washroom. I also need isolation booth, HVAC, generator etc. To achieve this each section of the AS will need dual functions. I do not intend to cut into the exterior shell but use existing cut outs. The generator will be a super quiet propane powered system. Will have to decide where to install or store it...probably on the back bumper area. The control room electrical system is filtered through a UPS that has 8 car batteries as its backup, so technically I am running a 110v, 220v and 12v electrical systems.

So for now I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I am going to gut the AS and then create an inventory list of repair / replace to-do's to get to the building stage. By then I will have finalized my plans.

This forum is a tremendous help. By viewing photos and reading threads I have a pretty good idea of what to expect to see and what type of things to watch for.

So hello again and I will photograph my work and add to this forum.

The Zenman website Home

DanB 07-16-2009 08:54 AM

Welcome Zenman!

"Sounds" (pun intended) like an exciting project. You'll find lot's of advice here.

Beware the back bumper weight...... :o scary things can happen.

8 batteries? Have you done any wieght calculation / load balancing yet?

This really sounds like a neat idea :)

DEITZ645 07-16-2009 10:28 AM

Welcome aboard. You may want to get in touch with Munimula here on the forums. He runs Digital Sound Board out of a vintage Airstream. I don't think he does recording actual recordings in it, but think he does audio mastering and CD burning so he has a lot of electronics in it. He may be a resource for your endeavor.

shermybaby 07-16-2009 10:58 AM

Great idea! I have been thinking of getting another 50's vintage A/S to convert to and high tech engineering office. Being a band member and a DJ, I am really interested in following your progress. Hope to hear more from you and see pics of the project.

Aage 07-17-2009 09:43 PM

nosey me
Hi there, Zenman, and welcome to

Best of luck with your new project, and we look forward to following your progress. As Dan pointed out, hanging heavy things off the back is a definite no-no.

In fact, if you have the rear bathroom (or as AS calls it the "full" bathroom) model, you very likely already have problems with what is called "frame separation" and "rear sag". Use the Google line of the Search function up top in the blue bar to look up those issues.

Curious about your goal: do you intend to keep the trailer in towable condition, and take it to the projects you will record, or is it going to be stationary?

Also, why an Airstream? Wouldn't an SOB (square old box) have given you more space for less money? Especially when you will be adding air ducts and running all kinds of wire around. I would have thought that the corners would be a natural spot for that stuff.

Anyway, please take the time to start of with some photos of your rig, so we can see your "before" condition? We love photos... :D

snake 07-17-2009 10:40 PM

StoryCorps, the National Oral History Project from National Public Radio has been touring the country using an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio.

StoryCorps, the National Oral History Project from National Public Radio, Comes to Tucson |

Aage 07-17-2009 10:47 PM

Nice! They have some some interesting mods: there appears to be an extra door on the streetside, and no windows apart from the wraparound. Guessing it's a 25' Safari?

zenman 07-18-2009 07:01 AM

Thanks all. I intend to move the bathroom. Generator will likely go in the tow vehicle. The majority of weight will be loaded over the axles.

I have been researching this project for close to a year now and think I have seen whatever is available on the Internet like Storycorps, Yellowfish, and of course Ronnie Lane.

I like the AS shape as the fewer 90 corners the better for acoustics. I intend to be mobile and with the generator go into some remote places with musicians to take advantage of some inspiring settings and add to the story.

I also have a 20"X8'X8' trailer body from a funky old horse trailer at my place which will be treated acoustically for a main room and Boothe.


zenman 07-18-2009 10:37 AM

I added some pics on this site as well as more pics at my site



Fletch88 07-24-2009 06:28 AM


That's a pretty cool project. I will be keeping an eye on it. Are you going to sell anything you have stripped out?

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