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1979 31' Sovereign International - As found

Posted 07-06-2009 at 05:57 PM by Bowmans
Updated 04-08-2015 at 08:55 AM by Support Admin

Since we are so invested and are at the "no turning back" point, I figured it was time to start an actual blog on our progress.

In May 2009, we bought our AS and got it home without incident thanks to my father's great driving and hauling ability. We had no TV so had to bug him to not only check it out for us but later, drive 4 hours to pick it up and bring it the 2 hours to our home (very nice it was only 2 hours away from us though).

The evening it came home, we bought our TV! We ended up getting a used 2008 Ford F250 with towing package and our first vehicle with electric windows HAHA!

We started by cleaning the inside and removing all material items like the gaucho cover, custom curtains (not original and with no tracks, they had been removed), carpet and tile flooring and everything else that wasn't riveted down. Everything was in great shape for 30 years old.

Next, we made a decision that we would start with the outside, finishing that off this summer and save our money and start the inside this winter. Beth cleaned the 4 awnings, while I resewed one of them to repair the cord and some seams. I also re-hemed the tire skirts since they were frayed at the bottom. Beth and I both scotchbrighted the window frames, battery covers, door frame and stuff the was cast.

I started polishing the exterior skin in the beginning of June, starting with the AC roof area and while there, took the AC cover off, reinforced the plastic using some aluminum angle so the bolts holding it down were attached to aluminum which went through the entire thing. The plastic was starting to get brittle in places but once primed and painted, turned out well.

At this point, the AC cover is done and put back on, the roof polished 2/3 and the front endcap and around to, and including the door have been polished. I am very happy with the way it has polished up. Next week I hope to finish the curbside since I will have a few days out of work to focus on it.

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Total Comments 3


  1. Old Comment
    SWEET THING's Avatar
    Hi there, I just read the rest of your blog. Sorry to bother you about the polishing, but I think I answered my question as to how long it took you to polish...This looks really great!
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 10:17 PM by SWEET THING SWEET THING is offline
  2. Old Comment
    pauluptime's Avatar
    We too purchased the exact same type trailer (1979 '31ft Int'l) in March 2009 but drove our vintage TV from Toronto to Florida to collect it. Our layout (mid bath) seems similar though our credenza is on the street side, not the front.

    Like yours our trailer was well maintained but there were several mechanical items required to make this 30 yr old trailer comfortable and reliable. We replaced all plumbing supply lines with PEX, adding quality water filtration too. Replaced the shower and sink drains, plus both the blade waste valves. We've installed a new furnace, using a less expensive but different sized unit, rebuilt the water heater, completely replaced the entire propane system, new brakes, hubs, tires and rebuilt the full 12v fuse panel with new sockets, etc. Needless to say, and because we wanted this trailer ready for our seasonal camp site (from which I sit and compose this now) it didn't leave a whole lot of time left for polishing.

    Our trailer's top two-thirds of clearcoat had been removed by years of the Florida sun, and there were stains and deep tarnish on all the frames/cast parts. For the most coarse/pitted/oxidized areas like the end caps, I used a Mothers speedball with 3M marine polish, which is removed with mineral spirits. I also used aluminum polish powder for the wash (with more Speedballs) followed by Mothers Billet polish by hand and/or with an orbital polisher.

    I wanted the exterior cleaned up and brightened but not to the level of a mirror finish. For our first few years at least, I don't want the trailer to be too flashy among all the decent SOB's at the campsite. Also, our trailer is now parked seasonally beneath pine trees so the time to clean the eventual sap, tree debris and water spots would spoil our opportunity to just arrive and enjoy it. LOL I get teased enough taking my pristine vintage '65 Corvette and '75 Silverado (TV) to the trailer. I still need to finish my '80 Baja speedboat too, so I can enjoy the lakes nearby. People say I'm stuck in the 70's but my vintage vehicles are simply the best places to enjoy the enjoy music and lifestyle from that era.

    Well, sun's up and I have a Corvette road trip to take! Keep us the great work on your blog. Maybe I should post a few pics of my own, later!
    Posted 07-09-2009 at 04:52 AM by pauluptime pauluptime is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Bowmans's Avatar
    We too are planning to park our AS at a permanent spot during the summers for the first 2 years. I would love to see pictures of your trailer and rides. I have always been into classic cars/trucks and one day hope to do a restoration on one, time, money and space willing.
    Posted 07-26-2009 at 07:50 PM by Bowmans Bowmans is offline

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