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Old 07-02-2015, 09:20 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
Fort Wayne , Indiana
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 6
What's in a name? Is it a Tradewind, or a Sovereign.

I recently purchased a 1977, 31 foot, rear bath Tradewind, but the logo on the side says Sovereign.

The PO said it's a Tradewind, the title says Tradewind, but the logo on the side says Sovereign. So what is it?

A little about the trailer:

I'm the third owner, the second (who I bought it from) purchased it in an estate sale (from who they thought was the original owner - based on the condition, and the age of the PO at the time of the sale).

It had rained pretty hard the day I checked out the trailer, looked for any leaks around the window, doors, and inside the ceiling. Nothing. The storage on the curb side had what appeared to be some wetness, but wasn't wet - discoloration from being wet.

The PO said that they did, and I say it to be true, that all the apliances worked (frig, heater, lights), but didn't check the AC or the hot water heater.

The space heater worked next to the door, but I'v not tried it since taking it to the campsite for the Fourth.

When we went to clean the trailer, before the weekend, I discovered some dampness in two places. The first on the curb side next to the goucho (about six inches long), the other in the cargo compartment on the curb side (it was damp, but not really wet). There still weren't any leaks in the ceiling, or around the window (even on the inside of the windows around the weather striping wasn't leaking - so no leaks at all with the windows).

I had to check You Tube on setting up the awning, it had been checked and looked almost new except for sun damage/fade and one broken lever to unlock the support arm. Not a big deal ans it still worked. Once it was opened, the awning was wet - so I left it open to air out. I was surprised to see that it was wet, but then it was a bad storm this past week in Indiana.

I couldn't get the frig to go on electric, so I'm using gas. The PO said that it worked on electric, I may have just not waited long enough for it to start to cool/feel cool the fins on the inside of the frig, or the back of the ice box.

The one thing that I was concern about was that the AC didn't turn on. No fan, no hum, no nothing. I had turned the thermostat to cool, turned the temp to 60, and still nothing. The trailer is hooked up to 30 amp electric site. I had read that not having enough electric could cause the AC to be damaged, but I don't smell anything burning. So if someone could point me into the right direction to get it turned on, I would appreciate it.

Same goes for the frig. I pulled out/pushed in the two controls in the frig, but it didn't appear to get... need some better advise in getting the frig to work off shore power.

Other than the rear street side leveler not working - rusted up, needs some lube, it appears to be what the PO said it was, a nice trailer.

Oh, the PO also had put a new sub floor of 1/4 with new laminate flooring from the bathroom to the lounge. Replaced the carpeting in the lounge. Redid the twin bed sleeping area with new wall coverings. And finished the floor up with really nice/craftmanship on the 1/4 rounds.

Cost to me, $14,000.00 - after reading some of the post, it appears that my purchase price is on the highside, but looks like an '87. There are no visible damages to the aluminum above the belt line. Both end caps look factory new - I almost thought that both ends had been reskinned. Standard dents in the four corners below the belt line. LP gas tank lines replaced, four new tires and aluminum rims, new battery (that when bad, but was replaced under warranty with a larger group 27 battery (the PO had put a 24 group sealed battery in, decided to go for the larger battery after reading some posts on what fits/doesn't fit). Sanitized the fresh water tank, all the water faucets work, as does the toilet flushes (got to put some black water chemicals in there). Belly pan in place, not damage from traveling - looks almost new except for the discoloration/greying of the finish. Exterior is 95% untarnished/faded/oxidated. Again, both end caps looked new/newer than the '77 age of the trailer. The PO and I guess that it was keep sheltered while in storage.

Like anything, the price is what a person is willing to pay. I've looked at two other AS since 2000. The one, Hoytville Ohio, has been sitting in a backyard since the first time I saw it... thinking that this one I could buy cheap. The second in 2013. The owner had just taken it out of it's "campsite" and parked it in the drive. It still sits there, not moving.

Both are pretty good looking from a distance. The first being a triple axel, the second a double - both being Excellas. I notice earlier this year that the one thriple axel has stove pipe coming out of the roof - never noticed it before, guess it was all that aluminum making me blind to that fact. The double axel has a reasonable amount of rock damage, faded, oxidation, tire a worn... but I thought it could be had cheap. Then I bough the '77. A much better deal - provided I fix the leaks and don't find anything more than just normal maintenance in the year to come.

So, I just wanted to know the difference - and wanted to share my new AS.

Hope this was interesting, and for me informative to tell me the differance in "a name".

I'll be joining either the national, or the national and local, club in the near future... I guess "joining" is a "right of passage" when you get old and purchase iconic vehicles, trailers, and motorcycles...

Thanks for reading.

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Old 07-02-2015, 09:52 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Belegedhel's Avatar
1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,687
Well, post a picture and the VIN, and we will be able to tell you for sure what you have. It sounds to me that you have a mis-match between the title and the trailer, or at least a mis-name on the title, but you never know--a picture is worth a thousand words, and a VIN is worth at least a dozen. Does the VIN on the trailer match what is on the title?

Technically, the gross difference between a 77 Tradewind and a 77 Sovereign is 6 feet of length (Tradewind is 25', Sovereign is 31'), so, as they say, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then its a duck, regardless of what the title says.

As to leaks, these trailers can leak pretty much anywhere, and the bad news is that a minor leak can run down the inside of the shell and make a pool inside the base of the wall. Over many years, the subfloor rots away at the base of the wall, and you may never notice water on the floor. Unfortunately for you, the pretty new flooring might be hiding rotting subfloor, and without tearing it up, you will never know. For sure, look under the cabinetry in the bathroom along the rear wall. Poke into the subfloor with something sharp to confirm whether it is a rotten mess or not. This is where the 70's era trailers typically leak and rot due to the shape of the rear end, the bumper trunk, and the exposed subfloor. I'm not sure I understood what you were saying about 1/4 new subfloor. Do you mean to say the new subfloor is only 1/4" thick?

We need to know more about your AC as well. If it is an original, then the troubleshooting/"things to try" may look a lot different than a more modern unit.

If the refrigerator works fine on gas, but not on electric then I would presume that the fridge is not getting electricity to it (try putting a meter on the outlet behind the fridge to make sure it is hot), there is a problem with the fridge electrics (ie., switches, etc.), or the heating element is shot (they can be purchased for about $50 online). If you didn't wait close to 24 hrs for the fridge to cool down on electricity, then I would try that again, once you confirm that the outlet is hot.

My awning is wet most the time. Generally smells like a rancid swimming pool when I first unroll it. Doubt if there is anything to be done about it.

Don't worry about what you paid for the trailer if the deal is already done. Similarly, I wouldn't continue to shop for trailers, as you may just end up tortured by the better deal/trailer that you could have gotten if only...

good luck!
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