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Old 11-19-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Vinny our '84 Sovereign

Hi folks,

We’re trying hard to get our beloved Vinny camp-worthy in time for the California Streamers Winter Rally at Vail Lake. Not sure if we’ll make it but we’ll try. I thought that I might post a few pictures and a progress update.

We removed the yucky old carpet and most of the stinky came out with it. We’re in the middle of installing new countertops in the bath and kitchen. I rebuilt the oven, powdercoating the rusty parts, and it looks pretty good. Susie has most of the upholstery work done with the exception of the curtains. We still need to choose carpet, but we’ll wait until the dirty work is done. We’re embracing the ’84 Sovereign’s brown and bronze interior accents, going with a “vintage Hawaiian” look.

I plan on installing new kitchen and bath faucets over the Thanksgiving weekend. I guess we’ll find out then how many existing plumbing problems we have. (PEX ) With all if the information on this GREAT forum I feel empowered to fearlessly take on that funny grey tubing. Sammi Jo, my 3 year old assistant, will “help”.

Right now the big push is to get things far enough along so that we can drop our trailer and TV off at Inland RV on the 26th. We don’t feel confident enough to work on a few things that we’ll leave to the experts, like brakes.

I just have to say that this forum has inspired us and kept us motivated to finish our work on Vinny and GO CAMPING!!!

IMG_2241.pdf

IMG_2239.pdf

IMG_2240.pdf
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:58 AM   #2
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Your photos didn't attach. Instead of using the "insert image" (the icon with the mountain in it), use the paperclip. Then you can insert photos of many types into your text (bmp, jpg, tiff, gif, png, etc.)

After you've used clicked on the paperclip, browsed to find you image file, then clicked upload, and closed the "manage images" window, you have to click on the paperclip again to insert them into the text where your cursor is.

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:09 AM   #3
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Hi Zep,

I used the paperclip icon in my original post. I went back to see if I could re-insert them and I see that I've used most of the space allowed for attachements.

Chris
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:28 AM   #4
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I would guess your attachments are too big, or bigger than they need to be. Photos convey plenty of detail at approximately 800x600 pixels. Maybe you can get a moderator to erase your attachments that aren't working to give you more room.

You can get a lot more attachment room (and more message room, etc.) if you become a supporting member. A small contribution is all it takes. If you go to "Forums", you'll see a thread that will help you do this.

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Old 11-19-2007, 11:50 AM   #5
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Zep,

We'll donate $20 to the cause. I followed this link http://www.airforums.com/forums/f318...nts-20812.html and clicked on the link, a few times, expecting a link to Paypal... maybe they bill me via email. Maybe each time I clicked on the link I paid $20. Geeze I am a newbie.
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Old 11-19-2007, 12:34 PM   #6
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Ok, I figured out how to do the Paypal thing. I'm now enhanced.
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Old 11-19-2007, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemy55
... Maybe each time I clicked on the link I paid $20. Geeze I am a newbie.
We were all newbies at one time, and some still act like it. Ahem.... Thanks for helping out!

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Old 11-19-2007, 03:42 PM   #8
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Trying to post pictures, again:

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Old 02-27-2008, 12:49 PM   #9
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1985 25' Sovereign
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We did it!

Thanks to all of the knowledge shared in this Forum, we made our very first camping trip last weekend! The major issues that we could have never accomplished without all of you kind and helpful people include:
  • The fridge: Dinosaur Electronics, etc.
  • Tires: Michelin 16” radials (not G.Y. Marathons)
  • Plumbing: PEX
  • Water leaks: everywhere
  • Nasty looking clearcoat: gone
  • Water heater: stays lit
  • Propane: no leaks
  • Generator: Yamaha 2400
  • Battery charging: Intellapower w/ single AGM
  • Lots of broken parts: Inland RV
I’ll try to post some pictures of the interior when I can. We think it came out pretty cool. We have plenty of work to finish, but for now we have a safe reliable trailer!

How do we look parked between the Country Coach and the Prevost?
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:08 PM   #10
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I love your choice of interior fabrics! And kudos for getting it rally-ready and getting out there! I'l bet you had a blast! And you sure look classier than either of the aforementioned SOB's...

Susan
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:21 PM   #11
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Hey ML55

I'd have to say that your Airstream sure makes that Prevost look cheap.

I'll bet those folks felt pretty foolish. They spent all that money on a bus and you got a real RV. Poor guys probably left early so no one would see them slinking out of the CG.

You did a fine job on that trailer.

Happy camping

Barry
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:35 PM   #12
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Thanks Alumatube & Safari57! Guess who wanted tours of our trailer at the CG. That's right - "bus" drivers.

Here's some interior photo's. You'll note that the only curtains we have finished are the ones over the kitchen window. We're going with the Hawaiian pattern in the front w/ the striped pattern in the back, over the Hawaiian comforters. My wife made the grass skirts for the beds. We thought that was fun. The gaucho is barkcloth (?). The cabinet doors are not original, but as close as we could get. A carpenter friend made them for me.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #13
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That is GREAT! Good job on the redecoration!

And I hope you charged the bus drivers an admission fee!

Susan
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:09 PM   #14
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Super job on the re-model. That is one FINE 'streamer.

Be sure to post more photos as you get it completed.
I hope mine will look as good, someday.
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:29 PM   #15
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Nice job

Wow. What a difference that makes. All the work you did looks so good and nothing looks out of place. We just got our Soverign about 4 weeks ago and we're still in the process of getting it cleaned up and ready to go camping. Once summer is over I'm looking forward to new counter tops, new sink, new floor, new curtains and a new bathroom (if my wife gets her way). Long term goal is to replace the gaucho with a dinette. Great trailer.

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Old 01-25-2021, 03:05 PM   #16
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Update, almost 13 years later:

We sold this amazing trailer a few years ago and used the money to buy a brand-new SOB (what a mistake). Now I’m back lurking in the Forums with the itch to renovate a similar length older/vintage AS, this time likely from the frame up, hopefully a “shell on” but we’ll see. I am now “BogieGolf” instead of “84Sovereign” because of some issues with membership and email accounts. (Thank you, Moderators, for getting me back in).

During this COVID era I have spent some time collecting and organizing pictures. I have a lot of progress photos documenting all types of our AS repairs. What I should have done is post them while the work was being done as to document and help others. I am sincerely sorry that I did not do that. However, the main goal at the time was to get our trailer on the road to enjoy and build some lasting family memories…and WOW did we accomplish just that! Our little girl in some of our photos will soon be off to college.

So I really hope that no one gets too mad at me for resurrecting such an old thread. My sincere intent is to share some of the work we did, and things we learned, so that others might be motivated to bring one of these 80’s trailers back to life. Yes, these are heavier model years. But Vinny became an incredibly reliable trailer that served our family very well on trips throughout California, Arizona and Nevada.
So in the coming days I’ll post some pictures and information (at least the stuff I can still remember). I’m thinking of categorizing my posts like this:
• Wheels, tires.
• Refrigerator rebuild.
• Electrical.
• Plumbing.
• Cabinets and countertops.
• Upholstery.
• A/C & running on a generator.
• Strip, prep, polish. (Yuck)
• Decals and trim paint.
• Interior stuff.
• Tow vehicles that we used.

Thanks and take care,
Chris
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:38 PM   #17
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Thanks for the thread resurrection, Chris. Had a 1985 Sovereign 25' with a rear corner bed, and your photos take us back to memories of the good times on a cross-country trip in the 90's, plus many East Coast and New England adventures to PEI etc..

Post #2728 in the 20-footer thread has some photos of a similar 25' .

Good luck with your search . . . and . . .
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:03 PM   #18
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Neighborhood Driveway Strip Party

So here is essentially where the fun began. Following the 570-mile “rescue” trip across Nevada and California, we had the brakes, wheel bearings, tires & wheels replaced, and had the alignment checked before we started any of our own work on the trailer.

In these photos you can see how extremely bad the clear coat was. The filiform corrosion was everywhere. No 2 panels had the same appearance/finish.
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After gathering some information from the Forums, we decided to use Citrus Strip to remove all the clearcoat. (How could it look worse, anyway, right?) Concerned that the Citrus Strip might damage what might have been left of the awning fabric, we deployed it out, revealing the almost perfect/perhaps unused awning fabric…dumping about 20 pounds of Nevada desert sand on our heads and driveway
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Some panels took multiple coats of the stripper, but we eventually got down to bare aluminum…with filiform marks everywhere. But the bare aluminum finish was already a big improvement in the appearance department. Our goal was to own a nice looking and reliable family camper, and not a showstopper. Whenever the final product didn’t have that “perfect” appearance (but still was functional) we would agree to settle with “good” and my wife and I would remind each other, “it’s a trailer, not a piano”.
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Old 01-27-2021, 03:53 AM   #19
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Thanks for the update . . . well done!

As TCwheels's signature says . . .

"Don't let perfect be the enemy of better."

Happy trails,
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:20 PM   #20
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1985 25' Sovereign
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Dealing with Dents

Thank you so much, OTRA15 for the kind words

Once we had the clearcoat all removed we had to develop a strategy to address the worst of the dents, and we would learn to embrace the minor ones as beauty marks. This dent on the rear end cap was a little smaller than the diameter of a bowling ball, with soft edges, no creases. (photo was taken prior to clear coat stripping)
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We did not want to remove an interior panel to work this dent from the inside, so reading elsewhere in the Forums we thought we’d try a suction cup method. Bought a pair of these at Harbor Freight Tools (my source for tools that I’ll only use once ).
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With some patience, and an application of clean soapy water, it popped out. I had to tug a lot harder than I had expected. Be really careful if you are going to try this, go easy, and really take your time, especially I would think if you are going to attempt a suction cup method straight panels.
This is not a good picture, but the dent was not noticeable afterwards.
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The front two lower panels had so many dents, large and small. Panel replacement was looking like the only option until we saw a newer AS on the road with segment protectors / rock guards. So…we covered up the front dents instead. (photo was taken while we were still in the polishing process)
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These were purchased from Inland RV. In my opinion, they look fine on these 80’s trailers. So maybe a solution for anyone out there with a big dent in the front. Was a trailer, not a piano…
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