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Old 12-11-2019, 09:56 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Side-Stream's Avatar
1986 29' Sovereign
Arlington , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 10
Images: 3
Circe: 86 Sovereign 29' Side Bath

After many months of reading, video watching, podcast listening and forum voyeurism .... I finally did it...I became the proud first time parent of an Airstream.

She may not be the belle of the ball, but she's a looker and my kinda girl.
There are some pics on my profile

I named her Circe. You may remeber her as the Greek goddess in Homer's Odyssey when Odysseus visits her island of Aeaea on the way back from the Trojan War and she changes most of his crew into swine.

My friend has an 'island' outside Colonial Beach in Monroe Bay on the Potomac. I renamed the place Isle of Aeaea base on the line "he could not resist the need to be on this island"

Initially it's going to be a cabin for me to get away, sometimes with the kids and the dog and sometimes alone. 90 min drive makes it a little hard to do a quick visit, but so far you couldn't just go on a whim and be home same day. Don't have a TV...probably a 2021 expense. I am considering renting a truck for the one or two trips I take this year. I did a little research and Enterprise have trucks with tow packages and can carry the weight of my AS.

I did what I think was a pretty good inspection base on all the stuff I've learned to look out for and I think for a 33 year old, she stands up pretty darn good.

Time will tell on that one, but was ready to camp on the first night and most of the systems are working. LP tanks, lines, batteries and tires were all in almost new condition. Stove, toilet, AC and Fridge work great and were replaced in the last decade.
I think Furnace and water heater will be early replacements

Did a inspection underneath and the jump on the back bumper test and I think they passed inspection

Shell is in great shape...one ding by the bathroom window. Endcaps/windows are in great shape.

bathroom needs a lot of love, but at least the toilet looks good.

I did a bunch of nerdy AS things:
Bought a shirt, hat and Xmas ornament and I joined WBCCI

I'm very excited and little nervous
only the future lies ahead
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:13 AM   #2
Rivet Master
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,130
Check the floor at the back under the beds. Pull up carpet floor covering etc. That bumper compartment is a killer.

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Old 07-07-2020, 05:11 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
1985 31' Sovereign
Lovettsville , Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 49
Now that you’ve had some more time, how has your Airstreaming experience been? Any new discoveries or problems pop up?

I’m still in the planning phases of a Full Monty on my ‘85 Sovereign which was unfortunately not camp ready when I got it. But I’ve been enjoying reading others’ stories and learning as much as I can while I am still working toward getting started.

It doesn’t seem like I come across many stories of ‘80s models being renovated, so when I come across one, I get excited to see what someone may have come across and the opportunity to learn from their experiences as well.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:18 PM   #4
1985 31' Sovereign
Poway , California
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 84
Blog Entries: 2
We purchased a 1985 29’ in 2009 and have been doing an interior renovation. Since it has been in CA most of its life (WA originally) the floor had a couple spots that needed bleach (strong marine grade stuff) and epoxy. No severe floor rot.

We decided endcaps and some original ABS items would be repaired/repainted in-place (sponge paint to match vinyl clad inner walls). Other ABS items at their end of life/cracking. Bulkhead walls contact paper was peeling and the plastic T molding was cracking with glue all dried out. Accordion doors stank. Shower side wall was literally corrugated cardboard with peeling contact paper.

We removed all bulkheads leaving the F channel except one on drivers side by bunk-moved it to front.

Sold sofa. Two fellas from AZ. $300.

Purchased a fiberglass tub from Inland: figured the ABS one would crack eventually.

Had furnace serviced, sanded & painted the top w high heat paint.

New AC. Will be getting new electric-gas water heater & new fridge.

New fresh water tank and pump. New PEX, built our own manifolds.

IKEA lift bed hack for rear double bed. (No room for queen).

Bulkheads- 1/2” Baltic birch covered in Nevamar, shop-laminated, we jigsawed & routed.

Removed tambour upper cabinets in galley and rear bedroom but painting tambour and placing back in end-caps. Will use tambour in bedside tables and lavatory cabinet. Will use slide doors in upper cabinets of galley.

Turned microwave cubby into pantry with Rubbermaid pull-outs. Built drawer system into too-big of closet; changed lower cover of the water pump and the wheel well into a bi-fold to ease opening process and make more vertical room for the drawer system. Will attach 12” ventilated shelving to walls and side of drawer box for hanging clothes.

Built Pull-out between bath wall and galley wall. Holds brooms/swifter and food wraps. Similar to Rev-a-shelf idea. 16” deep just clears vent stack.

Will build more robust support in galley for solid surface countertop and “granite” (composite) sink.

Will add bulkhead to next to door for added support of upper cabinet. Purchased mid-range hood vent. Renovating a 70’s magic chef range instead of the 80’s model (hinges not robust enough for glass door).

Built-in dinette with ikea slats for seat cushion support; seats removable for storage. Backs will be upholstered in-place.

Vinyl + outdoor upholstery batting surround in bedroom for insulation & cover side garages that were for bunk underbed storage.

Center pedestal table (hope we just need 1 pedestal but might need a second).

For visitors we bring a tent, “foamies” and ikea slat-bed cots.
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Old 11-26-2020, 01:45 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1986 29' Sovereign
Chanhassen , Minnesota
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 78
Another 1986 29'

My wife and I purchased a 1986 side bath, twin 29'ft Sovereign about 6 years ago and decided to start a renovation 3 years ago. We are keeping the same layout but upgrading the interior, systems, belly aluminum, lights, etc.

If you have any model specific questions don't hesitate to reach out.

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