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Old 03-10-2004, 01:04 PM   #1
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1971 31' AS Sovereign

Anyone else have this year? silver suz yes I know I spelled it wrong- brain fatigue has set in.
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Old 03-10-2004, 02:28 PM   #2
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1975 Argosy 26
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We have a 1971 Sovereign, too. It's the first Airstream we bought, and it's the only one we'll probably never sell. We love it!
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Old 03-10-2004, 04:32 PM   #3
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1971 AS

Wow someone else with a 71! There are so many for sale down here in TX, I was wondering if there was some glitch to them. I am glad to hear you are happy with yours. Do you have the wiring diagrams or the original instructions? We plan to strip out ours and re-do it completely. My husband and son will be visiting family in LaDue this weekend. would it be possible for him to make copies of yours? It's always better to know how things are supposed to go together.
If it is possible, let me know and I will give you his phone number. What a coincidence!
Did you polish your trailer? my kids have promised to polish mine as a present!! (we will see) ciao, silver suz (Lindsley)
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:22 PM   #4
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My wife & I also have a '71 sovereign and I am glad to find other
owners. Ours is with a rear bath. We bought it from a relative &
we are now in the process of going over it entirely trying to get it ready for use in May. I have been amazed at the good craftsman-ship that I found as I take apart things to do repairs or checks.
I also have a greater appreciation for the overall complexity of the many operating systems within it. I am trying to get most if
not all the items in working order since ours has had a history of
storage mostly.
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Old 03-30-2004, 02:43 PM   #5
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Good luck! Ours had the rear bath and we stripped the entire trailer to its skin to make a new back bedroom and a center bath- are we nuts or what!! Need any bath patrs??? heh heh silver suz
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Old 03-30-2004, 03:17 PM   #6
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Another '71 Owner

Thanks for the parts offer,but most of ours are functioning
I believe. I am about to connect water back to it in a week or so (hopefully we will be past the freeze danger in our area soon). I will know more at that time.
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Old 05-18-2004, 03:57 PM   #7
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another '71 sovereign owner

Just checking in as another '71 Sovereign owner. My mom actually owns it but she says I'm in her will. It is in southwestern Idaho right now but it's in line for a "freshing up" after I get a handle on my Trade Wind. Mom keeps it cleaned and dusted and it's all orginal and in pretty good shape. I've been helping with minor fix it things and hope to polish it if I have any energy after the Trade Wind.
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Old 05-18-2004, 07:37 PM   #8
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Ben and Molly your airstream is truly beautiful!!! Mine still has the back third floor out and I[ve given in to the rear bath. sigh. suz
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:43 PM   #9
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Don't Give Up

Silver Suz,

Don't give up!!

[ I had fleeting thoughts of moving the bath but realized that it was just not practical. After over a month of stagnation, I finally got the motivation and put it back together. (Still no odor of 2-part epoxy)

I have now almost completed the bunks where the wardrobe and desk sat (across from the rear gaucho) and will be camping soon, I think.

Hang in there, it's tougher than you think. I mean, it takes longer than you think. I mean.......well, you know what I mean!!

Having not personally experienced it but having been present for six of them, I think it might be a bit like giving birth. I hardly remember all the work involved (except I know that it was a lot) when compared to the joy of completion.
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:50 PM   #10
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Just a Reminder

Here's a pic just for a reminder
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:33 PM   #11
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that's a beautiful bath!! What's interesting is how different it is from ours. the tub water handles are right under the lip of the sink along with the handheld shower. The toilet is at an angle and the closet is fullsize. How are you constructing the bunks? we were wondering how to do that. Trouble is the longer my husband takes rebuilding it the more ideas I get. Already have the curtains, throw rugs and bedding and of course my airstream gothic picture. The kitchen will be different as I'm using electric. I can see it all in my head - it's just my workers catching up!!! Suz
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Old 05-19-2004, 07:24 AM   #12
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Bunks

Here's a pic of the work in progress. I've used two sheets of 3/4" CDX birch plywood (already smooth sanded) and 16' of aluminum angle (plus fasteners & trim). (Oh yeah, a 1/4" sheet of luan for the bottom bunk)

I plan to cut in storage compartments under the bottom bunk. For weight savings, I'm using slats under the bottom bunk to support the luan.

I will probably have most of a full sheet of CDX left (in short unusable pieces, of course) so I don't think I've added that much weight to the coach. Not much more than the weight of one sheet of birch plywood.

I'll probably do a detailed pictorial when it's all finished.
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Old 05-19-2004, 09:37 AM   #13
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Pizzachop: I've been watching your progress on your floor replacement with great interest. Just found out that I'm going to have to do the same thing, eventually. Hoping I can manage some temporary reinforcement until I have time (and figure out a way) to replace the floor properly. Nice to see your finished bathroom. looks great! got any more pics between this nice finished one, and where you left off in your photo gallery?

Love to see more details on the bunk construction, too....

My floor damage looks to be more severe than yours, but also, more isolated. its all within 1 foot of the rear of the trailer, but so much is gone, I don't think there'll be enough to make a template. so that's going to be a trick. getting a solid piece of plywood to fit in there is going to be a trick, too. don't have a tractor to push down on the bumper, and being a much shorter trailer, I don't know if there'd be enough leverage to make space to slide it in.
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:08 PM   #14
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Anyone have a picture of the bedroom windows with the curtains? I'm trying to make curtains and there were none. I have no idea on width and length and how they were fastened to the wall.
Ron- the bunks look great!!! Ive' given up on bunks this year for expediency. This trailer needs to get done. Ahh last 1/3 still open to the air. sigh, suz
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:14 PM   #15
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Curtain tracks

I have some curtain tracks out of a 1968 Overlander. All different lengths. The ugly curtains are still on them, blue in color. Let me know if they are something you'd be interested in.

Rob
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Old 05-31-2004, 09:07 AM   #16
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Love those bunk beds! I can't tolerate the 2 part epoxy (The Bionic Nose, remember?) But I seem to do ok with AFM paint and if it only lasts for the next year, we'll have the time to build the steel shower etc. I just have to get out of here. The guys made some reinforcement pieces for the rails in back (still open to the ground) although windows are being redone, too.
John's Uncle is dying in St. Louis, any day, and I know it's terrible but I hope he waits until at least the shell is closed, so I can camp in there. I have the room airconditioner and all my solar lanterns. An air filter , a cot, Orca the service dog in training, and we' will be fine. (John's old house has gas). silver suz Maybe I can visit with the sT. Louis crew! suz
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:34 PM   #17
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sovereign source documents

Hi Ben and Molley,

I am thinking about buying a '71 sovereign 31' and am trying to find any technical bulletins, floorplans, schematics, owners manuals or other relative documents, so as to determine the REAL cost of renovation for this very fine but well-used trailer.Any thoughts/ideas/comments?
with many thanks,
Mike
hr@comvergent.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midamrail
We have a 1971 Sovereign, too. It's the first Airstream we bought, and it's the only one we'll probably never sell. We love it!
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:18 PM   #18
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For owner's and service manuals:

From the VAC website FAQ section:

You can get photocopies of owners manual (1964+) and service manuals (1972-1986) from:

Helen Davis Secretarial Services
PO Box 484 Sidney, OH 45365
(937)492-8885

Prices are about $33 and $70 respectively. After 1986 the Owners Manuals included available service information.

They also come up from time to time on eBay.

Restoration figures on these trailers, as on any Airstream, can run the gamut. We got lucky with ours and have only done some reupholstering, replaced the wheels and tires, and some tiny little things. Sovereigns tend to sell relatively inexpensively, as they are a more plentiful model and their size makes them less palatable to anyone without a 3/4-ton vehicle. Subsequently, they are one of the few models whose values haven't escalated very much while the the smaller trailers seem to have risen a great deal over the last few years as vintage Airstreams have surged in popularity.

I wouldn't pay more than $4000 or so for a solid, serviceable one that's mostly original and needs only minor mechanical or cosmetic work, and I would probably only pay a few thousand more for a pristine one - so that should guide your restoration budget. In other words, if it will cost more than that to get the trailer where you want it, keep looking. They're everywhere out there, and they seem to either have been victims of static use somewhere as a cabin or for storage, or they've been owned and loved by families or older, retired owners. Look for the latter - they seem not to be priced a great deal more than the former, and you are SO much further ahead with a good trailer. We learned that the hard way. And we shy away from anything with any kind of significant dents or body defects - they're much harder to overcome than almost anything except frame or floor issues.

Our rule of thumb through trial and error is:
-Solid, mechanically sound trailer that just needs "fluffing" - $1000-$1500 resto budget for upholstery, flooring, polishing materials, etc.
-Trailer with mechanical or systems issues plus fluffing - $1500-$3000 resto
-Trailer with serious running gear issues - $1100/axle for axle, wheels, tires
-Trailer with floor issues plus fluffing plus mechanical - $3500 and up for resto
-Big-time money pit where only the body and galley can be salvaged - we'll let you know in a few years if our '49 Liner doesn't bankrupt us first

These figures are for us doing as much work as we can and having others do heavy upholstery, fabrication of stainless or aluminum parts, and mechanical or structural stuff that we can't handle in the driveway.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:41 PM   #19
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Unhappy I'm here too!!

Somehow I missed this thread; probablly because I'm usually looking for parts stuff, or reading the other fourms on how to fix stuff. My International Land Yatcht is stationed down in Baja (San Juanico) and I live in Hawaii. Sort of makes restoration a little difficult. I dont have the correct shop manual (I photocopied somone else's 1977 (I think thats the year) but there are a few differences on some things. If anyone has the 71 shop manual, I have several questions. I am planning on visiting the trailer at the end of the summer.
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Old 09-01-2005, 06:27 PM   #20
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Baja,

The first service manuals actually didn't come out until 1972, so that's what you want to look for. The trailers are almost identical, with only minor differences, the kitchen counter/cabinet shape for one. I just read the most recent copy of the Blue Beret, and there was an announcement that Airstream, due to popular demand, has reissued (right word?) the original owner's manuals and service manuals for a bunch of the vintage years. Check Airstream.com for details; that's where I'm headed now, even though I have the owner's manual and the service manual...having a backup is always good.

Frederic
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