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Old 07-30-2004, 03:25 PM   #1
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I'm thinking of buying an '85 34" Sovereign. Appears in excellent shape - inside and out.

Gonna check frame via peek holes in back-bumper storage door; floor underneath rear twin beds and near sink and front sofa. Going to examine plumbing to see if it's that bad PVC stuff...

Brakes and bearings haven't been touched in five years, but it was pulled recently from Florida to Midwest, without incident.

Anything else I should know about this year/model? What's a fair price if it's in real pristine shape?

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Old 07-30-2004, 07:32 PM   #2
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I have an '85 Sovereign 25', so much will be the same.

The 80's Airstreams are an excellent choice. Prices are strictly by condition. If it is towable and has a decent exterior, at least $5,000; if it has a few extras and is really, really nice it could easily bring $15,000.

The factory plumbing was polybutylene, not pvc. It will be a medium grey, if original. It will also blow apart at the connectors one at a time. The tubing itself holds up great.

The converter (Univolt), if original, is old enough to be suspect. As is the refrigerator.

The tambour is of an age where it starts to come apart. But it may well last many more years. It depends entirely on storage conditions.

The abs end caps (above the sofa in front and above the beds in back) tend to crack along stress lines. There are no replacements. I patched mine and painted.

Check where the galley sink drain goes through the floor and into the grey tank. The hose clamp often is loose and allowing water to leak unseeen under the counter, rotting the floor.

The wheel bearings definitely need packing after five or more years. Five plus year old tires should not be trusted, even for short haul.

The curtains, if original, are likely friable. As is the upholstery.

And always, always, always check the axles!!! There are three of them at what - $800, $900 each?

These are definitely worth putting money into to make it what you want it to be. They are functionally equivalent to a new one, just not quite as wide. Take a look at my photos to see some of the changes I made in our Sovereign.

Good luck,

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Old 07-30-2004, 08:42 PM   #3
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1958 30' Sovereign of the Road
Plymouth , New York
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1985 34' Limited

Also, the picture windows are double panes. Both of mine have developed leaks between the panes, and I've replaced one, at $700 installed, now only single pane replacement. Also, if it has carpeting, it'll need replacing. I just did mine and you can see it in my pictures in my photo album...came out really nice. Check the tank cleaning pull valves, as they are timely replacing them. Does it have the new OPD valves, another cost if not.

I paid $15,000 for my 1985 34' Limited in 1998. I feel it is worth that or more now that it has all new interior couch, dinette and floor. I had leaks that I did not know about under the front picture curb side window, and in the rear on the back curbside corner. What is the floor plan on your, as the rear queen is more sought after than rear twins.

I'd like to see pictures of the pantry area on yours.

Rob, Zoe', Stanton, Bryce, Braedon and Finn Baker
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:27 AM   #4
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Unhappy Pass...

Saw the unit this past Sunday. Outer skin in good shape; but six feet of damaged skin was patched over by new sheet of riveted aluminum sheeting. Window curtains showed water staining (probably from repair?). Floor seemed good. Plumbing showed grey tubing, as you said. Brakes and bearings haven't been serviced in 10 years. Michelin tires looked ok, but probably at least as old. Inside was extremely dusty. A few broken tambour doors. Carpeting clean, but spotty in places. Upholstery clean but visibly old. Sellers were asking $14,500... a good price if the unit was spic and span. As is... I felt it was too much, so I passed. Would've taken a whole lot of cleaning to get this unit to my liking. Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-06-2004, 08:23 PM   #5
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I have a 25" Soverign; very nice condition. Looks great! My problem is twin beds.. As I look things over I see the hot water heater is - forward on the port side of the sleeping area. Is there an expediant way to change over to a twin or queen configuration and leave the water heater as is.?Our unit is a l985, constructed Dec. 84.. Ron Hosking
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