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Old 08-19-2014, 11:40 PM   #81
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1972 31' Sovereign
Valparaiso , Indiana
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Finally got subfloor totally off and took frame to a welder today to beef up outriggers and rear end as needed.

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Notice squirrels nest
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I'd like to add a receiver hitch on beefed up rear to haul a couple bikes. Good or bad idea?
What about stabilizers pads in front and rear? There weren't any on my frame. Maybe at one time there were some??

Was thinking about trying to repair the electric jack since it looks like its in decent shape. Or should I just get a new one.

I read somewhere in forum that the Por15 products work better without any sand blasting so I was just going to wire brush off most of the rust and only sandblast the few areas that will be visible. Good approach ?

Today felt like a milestone. But now I really don't know what to do next. I guess get the plywood subfloor cut and readied for install.....And repair all my windows.

Thanks to all of you for your many messages of support and great ideas.




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Old 08-20-2014, 06:32 AM   #82
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I'm not sure I would consider putting a rack on the back, even if you "beef up" the frame. The frame on theses 70's vintage trailers is marginal and and unless you are planning on running new steel all the way forward, at some point you are still relying on the original frame tubes to handle the load. And you have a long trailer, so issues with weight overhang are magnified. I would put extra steel anywhere you think you need it, now is the best time. I would also look to see if I could raise the axle mount point by about 3 inches, these trailers can always use the extra clearance.

I've not used the POR15, but if it were me and I had the frame all exposed I would blast it clean and then prime and paint it with a good quality paint. Blasting it with it all exposed will be much faster than trying to wirebrush it, and will get into tight spots that a wire wheel cant.

I cleaned up and painted my original electric jack. You can go that route or replace, they are not that expensive and the newer ones come with a nice little light for use at night.

Looks like you are making great progress. Will you be putting on new axles and reattaching the belly pan while the frame is out from under the shell? You would have to flip the frame upside down, but the work would be so much easier than having to work upside down as I did on mine.
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:44 PM   #83
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1976 25' Tradewind
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Looking good!


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Old 10-25-2014, 02:50 PM   #84
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Wow. I can't believe it's been two months since my last post. It's been a busy fall with two boys playing HS football, family weddings, work, etc etc.
it's been killing me not to be making progress. I've done what I can do until frame gets back which has basically been to just fix up the windows.

The welder I selected turned out to have no sense of urgency. The good news is that I talked with him on Friday and he's finally getting around to it.

New axles got delivered to his shop on Friday as well so with any luck I'll have a repaired frame by end of next week.




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Old 10-25-2014, 03:02 PM   #85
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Good news! We have been getting our home listed so it's been slow on ours as well. Just keep making progress even if it's just little stuff and it will get done.


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Old 10-25-2014, 03:13 PM   #86
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1972 31' Sovereign
Valparaiso , Indiana
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I've been trying to plan out and buy much of my needed materials.
I'm really stuck on the plumbing.
I'm feeling the need to have this figured out before I put the floor back on.
My intention was to install new black and fresh water tanks above the floor and convert the former fresh tank to a grey tank.
I'm changing my floor plan from a rear bath and middle bedroom to rear bed and middle bath
I've already abandoned the former black tank somewhere on I-80 when I transported her home.

I have no plumbing sense and the more I read the more confused I get on all the components I need.
Any advice or suggestions on how to figure this out?
I've read so many forums and I'm not any closer to a solution.

Lastly, I'm looking to hire someone to help me work on Paulie. I have the work space to work on her all winter and I want to take my boys to College World Series in June and at least be able to dry camp in her.
There is no way this will happen unless I get some regular help.
I know this is a long-shot but if any of you have an idea or know someone in Northwest Indiana that I could hire please pass them to me.
Many thanks.


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Old 10-25-2014, 03:16 PM   #87
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Thanks Matt. Good to see you're back at it. I've read your thread many, many times. It's been really helpful and I look forward to seeing all your progress. Where are you moving to?


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Old 10-26-2014, 10:02 PM   #88
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I hear you on looking for help, I tried out my next door neighbors 17 year old son but his quality of work and wishy washy work ethic quickly put him out of the running.

We are headed to San Diego early next year, should be quite a change of pace from our small town here in FL.

Plumbing was one of my biggest (still is) challenges in planning and layout. You have to get it right from the start.

Looking forward to frame pics soon!




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Old 11-07-2014, 04:04 PM   #89
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1972 31' Sovereign
Valparaiso , Indiana
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Frame is about done. Should be able to pick up Wednesday. Excited to get back to work.
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:14 PM   #90
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1976 25' Tradewind
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"Paulie" getting a makeover.

Night and day difference looking at your frame! Much better

Your earlier 70s frame lacks the longitudinal runners that my 76' Tradewind has. While I am unsure as to why the difference I could guess that the additions might have been in response to some of the flex sides AS had in these lightweight frames.

Should you add them? Pros include more floor support and increased rigidity. Downsides you would think would be few, but here is one. VTS now sells a 70s gray tank that has a capacity around 24 gal, a nice size that will fit your frame nicely. Add in the longitudinal runners and their thickness will not allow those tanks to sit up inside the bay and not protrude below the main rails.


I boxed in the rear bumper trunk area on my 76 frame. It's a nice add on for several reasons. It closes out the rear thus keeping rodents out since the rear crossmember is now solid. The added space since my old bumper trunk was molded to accommodate the dump plumbing (mine will be forward behind the left wheel). My welder just put a solid plate underneath the main rails to box it in. I just realized yesterday that this might make attaching the stock bumper, which slides over the stock 5 in main frame rail, really tight or require some 'bumper adjustment' hehe. Just something to consider perhaps having the plate flush welded into the space versus underneath.

A small downside to boxing it in is that many on the forums have flashed the rear end by wrapping the belly pan up the rear, and making a gap between the hinge for the trunk and the body. Thus eliminating the rear end leaks caused by water pooling and running under the aluminum anti-flashing to the rear floor. The boxing in my case made this solution unavailable as you cannot wrap the belly pan around due to the solid rear box.

Ensure your welder caps the ends of your frame rails under the coupler, good spot for rodents, etc.

Best of luck brother it's a butt load of work just keep making progress.





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Old 11-08-2014, 07:54 PM   #91
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Swahealy, you're doing well. You are awarded the "full monte" Airstream merit badge. Not very many vintage Airstreams complete the shell off renovations by themselves like you are doing.

Now is the time to plan your interior layout and drain plumbing. Spot that toilet, and shower pan. Figure out where your vent pipes will exit the roof, maybe the same locations.

You now know where to hang your tanks. I know I'm going to rile the traditionalists amongst us, but most Airstreams since 1980 have had waste water tanks hanging below the frame rails, usually behind the axles. It adds capacity, and provides for easier dump valve manifold. I think it's a valid alternative if you are not restoring your trailer to original specifications.

Here is a photo of my 86 Limited sewer port. The tanks are about 9" high with about 4" below the 5" frame rails. Almost all campgrounds and dump stations have sewer connections on street side. With tanks that hang down, you don't have to have a big 3 1/2 hole in your frame rail. So that's what I did on my 66. I moved the toilet forward one frame bay to reduce stress on the very rear of the frame. I mounted the gray tank ahead of the black tank. I could utilize the same tank vent pipes, but deployed one of them to the gray tank.

Just a suggestion for your consideration...

David
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:38 PM   #92
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1972 31' Sovereign
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David Matt and Chris.
Thanks for the encouragement. I went ahead and left the frame just as it was. Finally making some progress and got the deck back on.
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Used tongue and groove plywood pre sealed from menards.

Ordered a boatload of items from adventure rv today.

Fresh and black tanks. Converting my current fresh to grey.
Tankless water heater
Suburban furnace
Water pump.
Electric converter and lots of wire.

Focused and ready to make progress every week.


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Old 11-19-2014, 08:49 PM   #93
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You go, boy!


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Old 11-19-2014, 09:46 PM   #94
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Forgot to post picture of the frame before the deck went on.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:52 AM   #95
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You're building a new "old" Airstream. I never thought of pre-sealed plywood, I wonder what it is typically used for?

I recommend you keep your receipts during your project as they are helpful when (if) you get it appraised for "agreed value" insurance or documenting the project to a potential buyer someday. I think pictures and receipts build confidence. And like Panama Red says: "How did I spend $30k on a $2k trailer?" At least you'll know where all the money went.

You're doing the job right inspite of your slow welding service. Keep us posted on all the problems you solve as you progress with the rebuild.

David
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:39 AM   #96
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Looking Good
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:20 AM   #97
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Looking nice, one great thing about keeping your original frame is all the hold down bolt holes etc should make aligning everything very straight forward and accurate vs a new frame.

Keep grinding away brother!


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Old 12-06-2014, 03:53 PM   #98
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Quick update. Got the shell pinned back on. Not nearly as bad as I expected.

Monroe gas magnum shocks are on.

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Started trying to remove clear coat. What a pita. Click image for larger version

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Contemplating ordering the ppg eldorado 5044 product from vts. Just don't want to spend the $200 for 5 gallons unless I know it's worth it.

Got all my appliances and most of my MEP equipment ordered and have a final layout that I'm pretty excited about.

Hoping to really get going again.


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Old 12-06-2014, 07:19 PM   #99
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Hi Swahealy. Are those "Airstream horizontal shocks"? If not, you're going to get a "what for" from Inland Andy!

Aircraft Stripper is the most powerful stripper. It's a harsh chemical, methanol chloride and others. But it works on most anything. You need the cans so you can brush it on, wait 15 minutes, then scrap off the residue, and then rinse and wipe dry. The brush on is rather gel like, which holds the chemical to the vertical surface better. It may take a second application in spots.

I tried Removal from Perfect Polish. It worked, but I found it could leave stains if left on too long. Removal is water based and safer.

You sure have a nice shop for your Sovereign project.

David
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:35 PM   #100
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Enjoying those pics! Doesn't it feel good to have that nice clean floor and the shell back in place? You are kicking some serious tail keep up the good work!




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