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Old 04-30-2016, 09:42 AM   #1
@steadystreamincashios
 
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 122
NEW to the whole camping thing...

Hi, my wife and I just recently purchased a 72' sovereign for a cheap price. Saw it on craigslist and picked it up the next morning. Appears to be in decent shape. New tires, new bearings, already gutted except for bathroom. Now I know this will require lots of TLC and sweat equity. And I must mention I towed the camper 200+ miles back to my house. It seemed to pull great. Did not even feel it behind the truck.

But again I say I am new to the camping thing and to campers... I consider myself handy and have every power tool and equipment known to man between myself and Father-In-Law. We will have to replace subfloor for sure. And since the camper was towed 200+ miles back to my house, do you think we should get new axles? From looking underneath the camper they are rusty. But just looks like surface rust.

And where the sink and furnace are located there appears to be an inline pump that keeps releasing water... Does this mean there is water in the tank, and if so how do I pump water out?

We are so amazed at the beauty of these trailers and have been dreaming of owning and renovating one some day. WELL, now is that time. And not to mention we have a 9 month old, so most of the work will fall on me. Any advice as to where we should start and what to look for and watch for? Because I do not even know how to hook a camper up or anything in that area.

Thanks again for all your help!

Zach
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:07 AM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
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There is a nice article on the Inland RV website that will help you evaluate your axles. There should be a drain for your water tank -- look between the tires on the street side.

Welcome aboard!

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Old 04-30-2016, 10:09 AM   #3
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2019 27' Flying Cloud
Kansas City , Missouri
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Congratulations on your new purchase.

I recommend going to the Airstream Corp website. There you can download the manuals and parts diagram on your model and year. This will give you an idea of what is where and why.

And continue to ask questions on what you find.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:09 AM   #4
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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Welcome, Sounds like you are a very brave person. I take it someone else had a dream about rehabbing this trailer and then reality set in. You have come to the right place for an overload of information. You will discover that everyone here has a different opinion on how to do basically anything. Lots of good information available in past post once you figure out the search function. Recommend start camping in your trailer as soon as you can. Tin tents can be a lot of fun and are great conversation starters. Seems every rally I attend has at least one tin tent full of smiling campers.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:52 AM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Welcome! We, too, have a '72 we rehabbed. My advice is to read,read,read. Take lots of pics as you do things, and when you destruct your bathroom, as they will be very helpful in the future.
Hmmm, come to think of it, WE need PICS! We always like pics on the forums.
Our axles were the Dexters, and we replaced them, as the rubber was hard as a rock. We towed our trailer home 1100 miles from Mississippi to MN, and she towed like a dream even with hard axles and old old car tires. It's not a cheap purchase, but well worth it to us.
When you start reconstruction, I would suggest blue tape on the floor for the layout, and cardboard boxes to mock up furniture. It helps define the spaces and gives you a visual for figuring out what you want and how much room it will take. We made changes from our original design based on the mock ups.
Again, welcome!

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Old 04-30-2016, 11:18 AM   #6
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You have a journey ahead that will build unique new memories, fun, and pride in the outcome. Enjoy!
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:17 PM   #7
@steadystreamincashios
 
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 122
Thanks a lot!

Thank you so much for all the info and encouragement for this project. I will definitely need help and info along the way. Not to mention the locking lever on my coupler is rusted and has my ball and hitch stuck inside. But I have a welding machine and grinders and torches to do that process. Just a little nervous because that is what hold the trailer together...(eek).

Thanks again for the warm welcomes.
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:56 PM   #8
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1976 29' Ambassador
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We are looking very seriously at a '72 as well. Not quite ready to take the plunge though, given what I've learned from this site. I checked the torsion arms and with trailer unloaded, they were at around 0' angle. One of the tires had suffered a blowout and from what remained, looked like the tread had separated/blown out while the sidewall remained fairly intact. Maybe the suspension is shot and the tire rubbed on the wheelwell after a particularly strong jolt. There was a bit of rear end separation as well although it's not like I've seen a ton. There jsut seems to be a little flex.

I'd have to say, reading more and more makes you more nervous. But I'll continue to read and see if I can take the plunge like you.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:31 PM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Opelika , Alabama
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I'm right there with you. My husband and I also found one on craigslist and bought it the next day. We went camping the next at a local state park. Everything seems ok, but we are having a hard time running our "newer" AC on our new generator and are curious as to why our breaker keeps flipping. Maybe we need a more powerful generator...

Thoughts?

Hopefully we will all figure it out as we go.
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atturner29 View Post
I'm right there with you. My husband and I also found one on craigslist and bought it the next day. We went camping the next at a local state park. Everything seems ok, but we are having a hard time running our "newer" AC on our new generator and are curious as to why our breaker keeps flipping. Maybe we need a more powerful generator...

Thoughts?

Hopefully we will all figure it out as we go.
What size AC unit do you have? What generator? What size is the breaker? Does this only happen on the generator? Does it trip immediately, or after it runs a while?

If your generator is loaded too heavily, the voltage may be low and the AC unit will draw too much current and trip the breaker. I had this happen in a KOA in Fort Lauderdale. When I checked the voltage, it was 92 volts. I moved to a different site, the voltage was 110, and no problem with the breaker.

If you don't have one, get a voltmeter. I use the inexpensive one that is sometimes given away at Harbor Freight. Measure the voltage with the AC running. If it is normal, you have another problem. If it is low, and this only happens on the generator, it may be undersized.

Al
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:32 PM   #11
@steadystreamincashios
 
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 122
2 years later and just moved in

So I definitely dropped the ball and keeping up with this thread. No we didn’t give up and sell our project. We just had to halt production because of job loss. While production stopped my Father in Law and I built a custom 22ft tiny house on wheels. Sold it and drove it to NY. Once getting back I got back to work on the Airstream. And we definitely had luck on our side because the poor shell sat next to the hangar I work in outside for about 7 months. Tornadic weather, hail, etc came through this area and nothing happened to the shell. Thank you God! But these last 4 months I have been working full time on our Airstream to get it finished so we could move in and start on another Airstream/Airstreams to redo. We( well mainly I)have alumi-nitis as we now have a 68 Ambassador and a 64 overlander also. I will try to post some pics here of our Sovereign finished. Now we haven’t gotten around to shining the exterior or even new tires and wheels as it’s basically a tiny house at the moment. Need to build a bank account to go traveling. But we LOVE the Airstream and so do our boys. Our oldest(3) Ezra, says “this is my home!!!” And says “that’s a cool Airstream dada!” So without further ado, here are some pics

Our frame was in bad shape. The toilet had an obvious leak and the frame crumbled once subfloor and shell were removed. I wish I could find the pic of us removing the shell.. we used my Father in Laws crane.

The pic from the rear shows where the battery box would have been. It was in bad shape and I was not going to have my battery there anyways. So I just used the trim and patched the hole. Worked for me.

The last pic is of our vent fans. My gosh!! They must have had cement on them. Took me hours to remove. But in the end I conquered. Replaced with Fan-tactic fans. Speaking of the fans one of our “rain sensor” fans will not stay open. I’ve read where possible humidity will close but yet the other one doesn’t close by itself unless it felt a rain drop.. could it be a faulty sensor?? I mean humidity has been terrible here in Arkansas lately. Just the other day we had 97% humidity.

More pics to come.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:49 PM   #12
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NEW to the whole camping thing...

Wear latex gloves so you don’t leave salty perspiration and skin oil on the sensor. Carefully and gently clean the sensor top surface with an alcohol prep wipe like hospitals use.

Sometimes the sensors get dirt on them and high humidity sets them off.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:39 AM   #13
@steadystreamincashios
 
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
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Posts: 122
Awesome thank you. I will try that. That’s more than likely what the problem is as I did the renovations inside the hangar and the Airstream was covered with pollen and sawdust.
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:22 PM   #14
@steadystreamincashios
 
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1968 28' Ambassador
1964 26' Overlander
1976 Argosy 26
Heber Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 122
Some more pics of somewhat finished project. Still need a couch cushion and to paint a few things and decorate.
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