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Old 06-23-2016, 11:12 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 38
We Bought Ourselves a Trailer

HEY!
We finally did it! Bought ourselves a 1972 31 Foot Sovereign. Here are a couple pics;






We have our work cut out for us! I'll be posting here with updates, offers (of original stuff we won't be using) and of course with TONS of questions! As of this point everything works except
AC blows but not cold
No Toilet
No Hot Water Heater
Fridge is showing no signs of life
Stove/Oven - Status unkown however PO said they both work
All the lights and fans work

So basically all of the expensive stuff is

Current status;
In the first week we had it I only had 3 chances to get out and work on it. Day 1 was spent leveling it and giving it a serious vacuuming. Since it won't be parked under cover ever our #1 priority is to get it sealed up and leak free. I spent probably 10 hours (literally) reading about the different sealants and driving all over town on a quest to find them and the only thing I could find here was vulkem 116 (black) @ fastenal. They could have ordered some of the other stuff but they could only order it by the case. So I bought some sikaflex 715 for the roof, some acryl-r for the visible smaller stuff, the 116 (black) for underbelly and sikaflex 1a because it was the only darn gray sikaflex i could track down and I read a thread from this site a while back where some gurus were talking about it and it seemed acceptable. Moral of the story; just buy the name brand stuff off the internet. I went on an equally challenging quest to find the puddy tape, 5 stores later I found it in our small town old school hardware store even though none of the bigger places carried it.

Day 2 I spent probably 3 hours figuring out and working the window latches because they were EXTREMELY difficult to put the handles back down into their locked position, I was worried we were going to break them. Took one apart and squirted some wd-40, gave it a good bit of wiggling and working and some more wd-40 and it worked. Put some of that awesome liquid on the rest of them, did a little adjusting and now they all work really well. The front ones had some buildup but a couple minutes at the bench grinder with a wire wheel and they cleaned up good;


Pretty happy with the way they are working now because we NEED them in this heat.

Day 3 I got on the roof and did my best to diagnose what it'll take to get it all fixed up. The two vent gaskets, one from black tank and the other one midship from (I DUNNO? Maybe oven?) were super cracked and obviously very far gone. There was no sealant in one and the other was half sealed and the hole was about 1.5 inch too large in diameter for it. When I inspected the trailer it was during a monsoon and I did note leaks in exactly those two locations. Going to have to get some new gaskets there and seal the jebeebers - that's dyslexic bejeebers - out if them. Got to work scraping on the sealant around the old Armstrong ac unit, to expose the rivets so we can take it out eventually. By the way, we have no plans for the armstrong and it definitely still blows, just not cold. I'm sure the right person could give it a little TLC and have it doing well again, so if you're interested just contact me. Our new AC arrived today as well and this is INCREDIBLY exciting!

We plan on installing it ourselves with the help of a few muscular relatives, but we haven't yet finished removing the old one and frankly we have no clue how to install the new one! Have to learn! We are having an electrician come out to look the DreamStream over and make sure we won't get electrocuted or set it on fire by plugging things in.

So for the time being the plan is;
1.) Remove Armstrong
2.) Have electrician go over, maybe even install breakers if we're lucky
3.) Install New AC
4.) Seal up the Roof and get to the fun stuff!

A couple questions;
What's the best way for removing the rivets on the armstrong? I know drilling is a common used method but why not just air chisel the heads off?
What is this little knob on the door for?;

Where is the electric cable normally supposed to exit the trailer? Ours has a gaping hole in the rear storage compartment that I think maybe at one point was some kind of adapter to pull the cable through?

That's all for tonight! Thanks guys & gals! Your input is greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:41 AM   #2
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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Congratulations on your new baby, and welcome.


Maggie
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:23 AM   #3
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
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We Bought Ourselves a Trailer

Nice trailer and welcome to the forum

Good idea to seal up the trailer first before any more damage can be done.

The little knob on the door locks it from the inside,

On my '77 the shore power cord is in the rear storage compartment.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 38
Thank you Lily&Me
Thank you AldeanFan
@Aldean, my cable exits the rear too, but I mean specifically where does it exit? Where mine is situated it either has to exit by simply leaving the rear compartment open or through that gaping hole I posted a picture of above.

Update:
Drilled out all the rivets holding armstrong in and removed lower shroud and all the connections. The only thing that's holding it on now is gravity but HOLY GUACAMOLE that thing is heavy! At this point I can't figure any way of getting it down (without destroying it and leaving big scars on the airstream) save a team of a least 4 people and a track of 2x4s, some rope and maybe some plywood OR just removing where it sits piece by piece (destructo mode) because it's too darn hot for me to be patient up there.

Side note; anybody have a drape rail like this in their trailer? 90% of the ones in our trailer are clearly hirsch but I can't figure this one out:

What kind of tabs does this one take? I don't think it's original.
NOTE: That image is supposed to be 90 degrees rotated clockwise
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:51 PM   #5
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
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Our cord exits through this little cut out in the storage compartment lid.

I think your missing part of the drape rail, Click image for larger version

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Some of ours are two pieces
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:23 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
versailles , Kentucky
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Congrats Goobscoob on the new trailer. Looks good. We just recently removed our Armstrong unit. What a pain. Luckily a friend stopped by and he had rented a lift to work on an addition to his home. He offered to bring it over. What a Godsend. Even with the lift it was tricky and the unit definitely got some rough treatment. But we were able to avoid damaging the roof of the trailer. Just remember safety first . What is your new unit? We got a Coleman Mach 3. It was damaged in delivery. We are working on sorting that out. Plan to bench test it this weekend.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:29 AM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 38
@Aldean - HMMMMMM. After your comment I looked into it and it makes sense. I did a quick search with no luck but I'll keep looking today at work.

@Hippiechick - Good deal on the lift. At this point I am leaning towards destructo mode on our armstrong because I haven't seen much interest in people wanting the old units and removing it without damaging it/trailer would be a major undertaking, so much easier to just cut it up. I saw your thread about your AC being damaged in shipping. Bummer! Hope it's alright. Mine has been sitting here for 2 days now and I haven't unboxed it yet, guess I probably should! Best of luck to ya!
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:37 AM   #8
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1977 27' Overlander
Winnetka , California
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 42
Nice AS! here is a picture of mine and work in progress. Have fun.....
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:53 AM   #9
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1957 22' Custom
Lago Vista , Texas
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www.vintagetrailersupply.com is your friend.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:17 PM   #10
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1992 29' Excella
1972 27' Overlander
Wakefield , Rhode Island
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Drape tabs

Quote:
Originally Posted by goobscoob View Post
Thank you Lily&Me
Side note; anybody have a drape rail like this in their trailer? 90% of the ones in our trailer are clearly hirsch but I can't figure this one out:

What kind of tabs does this one take? I don't think it's original.
NOTE: That image is supposed to be 90 degrees rotated clockwise
Maybe these tabs will work with that rail? http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-293.htm
Our '72 Overlander used these for the front wrap-around rails. We attached our pinch-pleated curtains to the ring on the curtain carrier using standard drapery hooks: https://www.amazon.com/Dritz-44328-P...r+pinch+pleats

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:34 PM   #11
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Taos , New Mexico
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Congratulations! Looks like a fun project. We just replaced the original Armstrong on ours. Yes - they can be rebuilt but the job costs more than buying new A/C and it is not a given that the rebuilt Armstrong unit will last a week, a month, or 10 years. At least the new one has a warranty and it is much more efficient. Downside is that the Armstrong unit is actually two components - one outside, one inside. The connecting point is a small round hole at the top of the trailer. A new A/C will require that you create an opening as if there had been no A/C there before - but you can use the same electrical. In the end -it is so worth it
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:41 PM   #12
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1972 29' Ambassador
Boynton Beach , Florida
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Going destructo on the old A/C, while quite cathartic, doesn't solve the problem of getting the new one up. It's one big lump of metal, so it doesn't want to break into bite-sized chunks for easy disposal.

I used twin 10' folding ladders on either side of the trailer. I stretched a couple of 2X6s between them, fore and aft of the old A/C. When it was free (lots of work, use a multi-tool to cut through all of the old sealant), one guy went inside and shoved it upwards while the other guy slid the 2X6s under. A second set of 2X6s were attached to the first pair, forming a ramp down to the ground. We threw a rope over the far side of the trailer to act as a safety. So one guy muscles it up onto the ramp, other guy slowly lowers it down. Much shouting back and forth... reverse the process to get the new one up there. It helps to have two guys pushing the new one up the ramp, with a third guy pulling on the rope.

Be sure to clean out your drain line from the old one, and check all of the electrical stuff. Maybe change the wiring to #10, as these units draw a lot of juice on startup. Even if right now you have no plans for solar, or additional antennas, I'd fish in a thin rope for future needs. Look into a hard-start kit for it, easier to do while it's on the ground.

And recycle the old unit! You won't get much for it, but at least it'll pay for some fine beverages for you and the crew!
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:33 PM   #13
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2004 25' Classic
1974 25' Tradewind
1970 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
Forrest City , Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 108
Good luck with your remodel. At times it is fun but it can also be a headache at times. I remodeled a 76 Safari about 10 years ago. Luckily there still seems to be plenty of parts for these old units.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:15 PM   #14
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1972 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 38
@Aircraft1 - That's awesome! Love the old truck too! That's our dream!

@DDickey + Msimon - You hit the nail on the head there thanks! I think we'll buy some of those.

@Kdickinson - thanks for the encouragement

@SuzyHomakr - you have a valid point there. (I had to google cathartic, gave me a good chuckle. Haha!) It's interesting the way you described your process is exactly what I had in mind for ours originally even down to the rope off the back end. I didn't really have a plan for getting the new one up, other than two ladders and muscle, though with a 1400$ unit I really didn't much like that idea. I think you're probably right it's probably best to be patient and get the crew together. I'll keep thinking on this.

Thanks for all the input guys & gals. You are helping us so much and we very much appreciate it!
Regards;
M+K
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Old 06-25-2016, 11:27 PM   #15
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1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
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When I replaced my AC unit I built a metal frame scaffold beside the trailer. You can rent these in 2.5' and 5' high sections. I used two sets of 5'. I placed a work platform (19" x 7' walk boards) about 2.5' and a second one at 5' above the ground. I could lift the AC unit to the 2.5' platform by myself while standing on the ground. Then I climbed up onto the 2.5' platform and lifted the AC unit onto the 5' platform. Then I moved the lower platform up to a higher level.... repeat... repeat, till the AC unit is about level with the roof. The I laid two boards over from the work platform onto the roof and slid the AC unit onto the roof. I never had to lift the AC unit more than 2.5' at a time. I did the whole job by myself.

You should be able to rent this setup for less than $100 for a week.

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:52 AM   #16
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1971 31' Sovereign
1973 29' Ambassador
Palm Desert , California
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The power plug might come out to the left of where the black tank hose connects to the valve. Thats where my 71 was and yours should be the same.
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Old 06-26-2016, 08:15 AM   #17
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Morrill , Nebraska
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If you weren't so far from me I would take the old Armstrong. They can be repaired unlike the new units.
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:03 AM   #18
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1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
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Here is how I removed the AC by myself

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f109...tml#post948045

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Old 06-30-2016, 10:11 PM   #19
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1972 31' Sovereign
Kerrville , Texas
Join Date: May 2016
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UPDATE:
Old AC is off. Old rivets are all drilled out, all muck is gone. It's nice and clean up there.
All I have left to do up top (for the AC) is plug up the old rivet holes. Debating 1/8 pop or 3/16 olympics. Your thoughts?

We are still waiting on AC Air distribution box for install. Had a few adventures searching for bolts that fit correctly since it didn't come with any, but I now have a few I am content with after 5 hardware store visits.

Tested the Refrigerator on electric and it works! Left it on for 6 hours, came back and there was ice! SUPER happy about this! The PO had said it worked but you never really KNOW till ya know!

While waiting for the last of the AC parts we decided to do begin redoing the weatherstripping. The door was super easy, took all of 20 minutes. It was a good feeling because it was the first legitimate improvement we made to the DreamStream. Had a couple free hours today and decided to tackle the weatherstripping on the windows and good grief it was a challenge to say the least. We spent probably an hour getting as much of the old weatherstrip + glue off that stuff was stuck on there TIGHT! It's a shame it was all cracked and leaky because it definitely wasn't coming off this eon. Anywho I tried removing the remainder with Acetone. It eats the old weatherstrip but not the glue. Going to attempt again tomorrow with a brass wire wheel. In the meantime we went to put the windows back on for the night and yeah.....

Window 1 went on easy peezy
Window 2 HOLY UPSIDE DOWN COW absolutely would not get on the hinge in the middle
The metal flange and the hinge on the window are bowed inwards in the middle so when the outer edges are grabbing the flange the middle is about a half centimeter away from being able to grab
Tried whacking it with a small board as a punch and a rubber mallet
Tried putting a jack underneath a small board but it was a flimsy board and bent too much and jumped out
By this point I just couldn't keep my arms up anymore so we decided to call it a night and approach it again tomorrow. I am thinking re attempt the jacking method with a stronger board. It's funny how it's always the random unexpected things that eat up the majority of the project time..

Anywho I'm zonked. Goodnight guys & gals & best of luck to you. As always, your insight is greatly appreciated.
Regards,
M
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:36 PM   #20
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Goof off for the weatherstrip glue. I used a lot.
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