Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-02-2021, 11:40 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
1975 Sovereign Total Overhaul

Hi, everyone!
This forum has been a great help to me, and I'm at the point where I figured I should stop lurking and actually post something!
So here is my intro thread!

My In-Laws have a cabin in Northern MI where a 1975 Sovereign has sat for as long as I've known them. My wife started travel nursing and showed an interest in borrowing the AS.
Upon further inspection, it was clear that this thing was NOT road worthy. Rodents had moved in, it was full of mildew and mold, and the suspension was collapsed.
With her parents' blessing, we gutted the interior where it sat, and spruced up some wiring to hopefully get it home.
After getting new tires installed (NEVER jack up an AS on soft dirt. Bad things happen), we made the 4 hour journey back home.
It got parked in my dads brand new pole barn (Thanks, Dad!) and we set to work.

This thread is a collection of photos documenting our process. And I'm sure a million questions in the future!

Thanks!

-Jared
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201004_170718731.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	272.9 KB
ID:	389733   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201107_150231271.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	640.1 KB
ID:	389734  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201107_145741408.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	227.4 KB
ID:	389735  
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2021, 11:45 AM   #2
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
We got the AS back home and quickly settled on the gantry method of lifting the shell. Lumber prices were sky-high, but what are ya gonna do?
We also discovered sever rot in the rear, to nobody's surprise. This is, after all, a mid-70's rear bath AS.
I went to work cutting off all the outriggers and getting new ones from the fine folks at Woodland Airstream. The frame, crossmembers, and axle mounting plates all had some cases of serious rust.
I'll upload more pictures tonight of the patchwork done
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2021, 12:08 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
 
steve46's Avatar
 
1976 25' Tradewind
Currently Looking...
Flushing , Michigan
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 109
You’re embarking on an adventurous journey. I’m nearing the completion of a similar scope project on our ‘76 Trade Wind and would be glad to offer perspective if you wish. This will be fun for you!
steve46 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2021, 12:33 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
1970 23' Safari
Marion , New York
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 123
Welcome to the Forum, Jared, and the vintage Airstream restoration journey. I started a shell on floor replacement last summer. Bad weather hit before I could get the new floor installed. You are fortunate to have a barn to work in. I can tell you from the experience I've already had, that your fun is just beginning. I look forward to following your progress.
DremStremer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 08:42 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Thank you for the warm welcome, Drem and Steve!
I'm trying to get pictures to upload, we'll see if that works.
This will hopefully give you guys an idea of the rust I've had to clean up.

I've added all new outriggers, and had to add a few new frame crossmembers as well. I found out that the shorter crossmembers were 1.25" wide, the taller ones were 1.5" wide, whereas the new ones only come in a full 5" high, and are 2" wide.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210126_172740267.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	419.5 KB
ID:	389784   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210201_192727270.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	235.4 KB
ID:	389785  

SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 08:46 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Now we couldn't let all that rust go unchecked, now could we?
Small bits of the frame were cleaned up with a wire wheel on an angle grinder. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES if you use one! Patches were cut to fit, and welded on to hopefully strengthen the areas.

My grey and black tanks came in last night from Class A Customs, hopefully today I can get cradles for them made.

After welding in cradle mounts and the new front hold down plate, it'll be ready to be sent off to the sandblaster and to get painted.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210202_175901679.jpg
Views:	11
Size:	316.7 KB
ID:	389787   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210202_175852900.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	265.9 KB
ID:	389788  

SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 08:49 AM   #7
Rivet Master
 
57Vintage's Avatar
 
1958 26' Overlander
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 632
Images: 22
Look forward to following your progress.
__________________
Harold & Rebecca

Our thread:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f97...er-172124.html
57Vintage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 02:53 PM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 386
Welcome

Jared

Let me add my welcome to you.

I also did a gantry lift of the shell off the frame. I want be glad to help in any way I can.

See my thread below.

Good luck. Itís hard work but so worth it.

Bill
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 11:03 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar
 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,867
Jared

Welcome to the insanity! It looks like you are having lots of fun already and learning a lot.
We have a 66 Tradewind that I have made numerous improvements to- the project thread is Danís 66 Tradewind Improvements and I am also building our retirement trailer- a 95 34í.
Looking forward to following along and I will help out any way possible.
BTW, I am from Michigan and still have family in Milan.

Dan
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2021, 11:14 PM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
Look forward to following your progress.
Thank you! Let's hope I can keep this train rolling!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcronin4 View Post
Jared

Let me add my welcome to you.

I also did a gantry lift of the shell off the frame. I want be glad to help in any way I can.

See my thread below.

Good luck. Itís hard work but so worth it.

Bill
Thanks, Bill! I'll keep you in mind when (not if) I have questions!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Jared

Welcome to the insanity! It looks like you are having lots of fun already and learning a lot.
We have a 66 Tradewind that I have made numerous improvements to- the project thread is Danís 66 Tradewind Improvements and I am also building our retirement trailer- a 95 34í.
Looking forward to following along and I will help out any way possible.
BTW, I am from Michigan and still have family in Milan.

Dan
Dan, Milan is a quick jaunt down 23 for me!
Thanks for checking in, and best of luck on the MONSTER of a 34 footer.

Today I didn't get what I wanted to do done, and that was moun the grey and black tanks, but cest la vie. What I DID get done was cracked all the axle bolts loose and made sure that they'll be removable by the sandblaster. One fought me, but a nut that's cut in half can't be tight.
I also got an order placed with the fine folks at Colin Hyde. I'm about 4 weeks later than I should've been, but late is my style. Haha
I'm getting 2 new axles (3500 lbs, 32.5*) and a lift kit. I can't wait to see how she is with new running gear!

Last but not least, some pictures!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210303_144859770.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	353.5 KB
ID:	389841   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210303_173933921.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	332.8 KB
ID:	389842  

__________________
- Jared
1975 Sovereign 31', converting from rear bath to mid bath
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2021, 03:40 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
1973 29' Ambassador
Woodward , Oklahoma
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 41
You are amazingly talented, and I will enjoy following your process!
ddhisself is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 09:06 AM   #12
New Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 2
Wife here! We had a few folks tell us that it just needed some paint and cleaning, and maybe an updated floor, but boy, once we pulled the walls down, I'm glad we listened to our guts.... and our noses. The whole AS smelled like mouse pee and mildew - blech!

I'm not as handy or technically gifted as Jared, but I'm pretty good as cleaning up behind him as he goes, haha! Stuffing the millions of bags of insulation and mouse turds and mouse mummies was on me and I was STOKED to finally see the end of it!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Mousenest.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	355.7 KB
ID:	390107   Click image for larger version

Name:	Mousenest1.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	381.5 KB
ID:	390108  

Click image for larger version

Name:	mousenest2.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	219.4 KB
ID:	390109   Click image for larger version

Name:	mousenest3.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	282.4 KB
ID:	390110  

Poptarte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 12:04 PM   #13
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Not a lot has been going on, as life gets in the way. Here's some more photos documenting how stuff was when we dragged the old girl home, not in any particular order.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201113_150243296.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	412.8 KB
ID:	390130   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201113_150253663_HDR.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	382.2 KB
ID:	390131  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201113_150311389_HDR.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	532.6 KB
ID:	390132  
__________________
- Jared
1975 Sovereign 31', converting from rear bath to mid bath
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2021, 12:06 PM   #14
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
She's been to North Dakota, and Mexico! Anyone know where I can look up the "20608" PO's?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201113_162946328_HDR.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	299.9 KB
ID:	390133   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20201113_163448633_HDR.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	274.7 KB
ID:	390134  

__________________
- Jared
1975 Sovereign 31', converting from rear bath to mid bath
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2021, 06:18 AM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
wcronin4's Avatar

 
1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 386
Jared

Looking at your pics is Deja Vu all over again, as Yogi Berra used to say.

Our 78 was infested with roaches. When our daughter was helping us remove some of the inner skin and that exposed one of several nests I thought she was going to lose her lunch.

On top of that everything was covered with a greasy film. Disgusting! You felt like you needed a hazmat suit on.

Looking back, those beginning stages, taking it apart, building back with a good foundation and cleaning up were some of the more gratifying parts of the job.

Bill
Keeping Faith
wcronin4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2021, 06:51 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
dbj216's Avatar

 
1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,611
Images: 1
Welcome from Colorado: I spent all last winter under a dirty, rusty 76 Sovereign 31'. It belongs to a friend here in town and he did a lot of the work on it. We finished it last June. We had frame repairs, subfloor repairs, and made new bulkhead walls and new cabinets. Also new plumbing, new furnace, and this spring we will install a new AC. We also installed new axle assemblies rated at 3500 pounds each with the 32 degree starting angle, but no lift kit. The axles certainly raised the ride height of the trailer. The wheel well lip was just below the top of the wheel. Now it is almost 3" above. See photo.

I'm wanting to follow along but promise I won't be too obnoxious.

David
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2006 Done On the Ground-800x600.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	60.6 KB
ID:	390920  
__________________
WBCCI #8607
VAC Region 11

See my 1969 Globetrotter 21' Renovation Project:
In Knowledge Base

See my 1966 Trade Wind 24' Reno Project:
In Knowledge Base

See my 1975 Overlander 27' Improvement Journal:
In Knowledge Base

See our 1976 Sovereign 31' Renovation Project:
In Knowledge Base
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2021, 08:50 PM   #17
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcronin4 View Post
Jared

Looking at your pics is Deja Vu all over again, as Yogi Berra used to say.

Our 78 was infested with roaches. When our daughter was helping us remove some of the inner skin and that exposed one of several nests I thought she was going to lose her lunch.

On top of that everything was covered with a greasy film. Disgusting! You felt like you needed a hazmat suit on.

Looking back, those beginning stages, taking it apart, building back with a good foundation and cleaning up were some of the more gratifying parts of the job.

Bill
Keeping Faith
Thanks, Bill! I'm hoping that ALL the parts can be gratifying, however powerwashing off 10+ years of algae was second only to the moment the shell popped free of the frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Welcome from Colorado: I spent all last winter under a dirty, rusty 76 Sovereign 31'. It belongs to a friend here in town and he did a lot of the work on it. We finished it last June. We had frame repairs, subfloor repairs, and made new bulkhead walls and new cabinets. Also new plumbing, new furnace, and this spring we will install a new AC. We also installed new axle assemblies rated at 3500 pounds each with the 32 degree starting angle, but no lift kit. The axles certainly raised the ride height of the trailer. The wheel well lip was just below the top of the wheel. Now it is almost 3" above. See photo.

I'm wanting to follow along but promise I won't be too obnoxious.

David
I'm hoping to be done sooner, rather than later! We're waiting on axles, and the frame is off at the only part I'm contracting out: Sanblasting and painting the frame.

Here's some more recent photos for everyone!

Bent shock mounts from a SEVERE case of worn out suspension, and brand spankin new 28 gallon tanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210308_205456058.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	284.1 KB
ID:	390933   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210310_160319430.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	227.8 KB
ID:	390934  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210312_161615702.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	338.1 KB
ID:	390935   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210312_161628906.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	162.6 KB
ID:	390936  

__________________
- Jared
1975 Sovereign 31', converting from rear bath to mid bath
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2021, 06:43 PM   #18
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Well, I dropped the frame off at the blaster's on Monday 3/15. I was quoted that it'd be done 3/25-4/7.
I got a call yesterday, 3/17 that it's done. No rest for the wicked
They did a great job, and We're onto the next part of the project: New subfloors.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210317_153653_01.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	169.2 KB
ID:	391086   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210318_203921_01.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	118.4 KB
ID:	391087  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210318_203927_01.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	100.6 KB
ID:	391088   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20210318_203931_01.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	144.2 KB
ID:	391089  

__________________
- Jared
1975 Sovereign 31', converting from rear bath to mid bath
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2021, 07:14 PM   #19
Rivet Master

 
1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,883
Jared, looks like they did a great job. Seems like you expect things to be done with quality in mind. A really superior start.
Bubba L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2021, 10:50 PM   #20
1 Rivet Member
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Ypsilanti , MI
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 13
Thanks, Bubba!!!
I'm a bit (actually a LOT ) of a perfectionist, so I'm used to things taking time to be done right the first time.
I'm very pleasantly surprised to find that these guys did both speedy service, and an excellent job!
I guess it's time for my second question for all of you guys: I'm planning on using a bog-standard 5/8 plywood for the subfloor, even though I measure 0.688" at the new floor channel. Is this a good idea? Why or why not?
And what, if anything, should I seal it with?
__________________
- Jared
1975 Sovereign 31', converting from rear bath to mid bath
SotR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sovereign


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Interior gut and total overhaul AirStream73 General Interior Topics 5 12-28-2013 08:52 AM
Total Overhaul of 1979 31' Sovereign - FEASIBLE?? dannyspaniel General Interior Topics 10 10-16-2013 09:47 AM
Complete Overhaul '71 Sovereign chromegnome 1970 - 1973 Sovereign 8 09-24-2009 07:49 PM
total overhaul need advice nevisstudio Interior Restoration Forum 40 04-24-2004 01:51 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.