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Old 02-27-2019, 08:02 PM   #121
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zero26tb4u View Post
Thanks dbj, I believe Bill's is a 78 but I'm still learning by following his build as well as others on the forum.
If you have the same bath layout, rear in Bill's case, then the majority of this thread should and/or could apply to your trailer. Mineís a Ď77 and is for the most part the same as Billís. Earlier in the decade is when major changes happened but I believe that at the minimum Ď76-Ď78 would be essentially identical...

Of course it was the 70ís so...

Ian
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:19 PM   #122
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Hi Iansk, my 76 is actually a rear bed, side bath model but I don't believe there is much difference, if any at all, in dropping the belly pans and wraps to inspect the frame and hopefully in my case not having to pull the shell off. I have some floor rot and frame repairs needed in the rear but I'm hoping to be able to repair the same without pulling the shell. The one thing I'm still a little fuzzy on is the tank pans. If you remove these do the tanks come down with them or are they otherwise secured between the frame rails? I plan on pulling the belly and sides this weekend and will probably start a thread here on the forum regarding the same.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:56 PM   #123
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I repaired the rear end separation on my trailer without pulling the body off the frame. I had 9 areas needing welding repair from the axles back. I had floor rot around the wheel wells also, which I just "patched" including driving the patch under the c channel for some strength.

I'll be reinstalling a new rear belly pan here in the very new future; working on my back; drilling lots of rivet holes. It ain't fun, but it's easier than pulling the body off.

Bill's frame appears in worse shape than mine was.

David
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:53 AM   #124
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1978 31' Sovereign
New Smyrna Beach , Florida
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Pans

If Iíve learned anything so far, it is the statement that ďyou donít know the condition of the frame until the pans come off.Ē

I applaud what your doing, Zero. But you show a lot of wisdom in doing it. Why invest all that money in redoing if the foundation is faulty.

Iím praying your frame is in good shape. If yours is in really good condition would you consider s swap? Mine is a work of art, a study in oranges, browns,. Itís entitled it, ďA study in Ferrous Oxide.Ē A priceless heirloom. If you had mine, you could limp (a little trail as rust debris behind) from campground to campground and charge people to see it.

Iíd leave a big laughing smiley face, with tears rolling down his round face. Donít know how
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:34 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zero26tb4u View Post
Hi Iansk, my 76 is actually a rear bed, side bath model but I don't believe there is much difference, if any at all, in dropping the belly pans and wraps to inspect the frame and hopefully in my case not having to pull the shell off. I have some floor rot and frame repairs needed in the rear but I'm hoping to be able to repair the same without pulling the shell. The one thing I'm still a little fuzzy on is the tank pans. If you remove these do the tanks come down with them or are they otherwise secured between the frame rails? I plan on pulling the belly and sides this weekend and will probably start a thread here on the forum regarding the same.
The difference is in the frame layout as your tanks are further forward due to your bath being further forward. Otherwise, not much different in all other respects. Many folks have done shell on renovations and I believe many of those wish they did it shell off. I did my Silver Streak shell on and it wouldíve taken me less time and I believe I would have done a better job had it been shell off. In fact, Iíll probably lift the shell of the SS in the future and address things I didnít do the first go around.

Read through as many threads as you can stomach. Meanwhile, pulling the belly pans and wraps is a great idea to asses frame condition.

As for the tanks and pans, they ďshouldĒ be held up by another meathod than the pans, 43 years ago anyway. Iíd hold off on the messing with the tanks just yet until you can see the main frame rails and outriggers. Even a frame in great shape will probably need love.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:55 AM   #126
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Our tanks were held up by lengths of right angle iron down the sides of the tanks, and flat bar across under them. Black tank supports were rusted half away, which is why we felt like we were going to go through the floor when we stepped into the bathroom.
Ian is right in that we did a shell on floor replacement, and would do a shell off if we had it to do again. We had the entire floor out so were able to fix and coat our frame adequately. It would be harder if you did piecemeal floor replacement. Hardest part was getting tanks back in, and belly pan on after the floor was in. If we had done shell off, we could have flipped the frame to drop tanks in and put the belly pan on.

Kay
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:43 AM   #127
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I would also recommend shell off. So many of the early rebuild processes go faster and cheaper (especially if you farm out work):

Frame repair, sandblasting, frame paint, tanks & plumbing, sub-floor, belly pan, etc.

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If you use a gantry, or some other method, to rotate the frame just adds to speeding up the process.

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Old 03-01-2019, 05:37 PM   #128
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Duo air or not dual air

I would like to initiate a discussion on the pros and cons of dual air for a 31 foot AS. I live in Florida, and during the summer months we travel through and to some pretty warm climes.

Even with a 15.5 air unit, without ducted air, I doubt in 90 plus weather, that the inside of a 31 AS during the heat of the day is going to be south of 80 degrees.

The obvious issue with dual air is how you power them. I have dual air in by 28 foot Jayco, but it requires 50 amp, and I absolutely hate lugging that heavy 50 amp cable around.

I had dual air in a Pace Arrow Vision in the late nineties and it used a load-management system and it was a 30 amp motorhome.

Faith's A/C is mid-ship, so if I went dual air, I might move the main unit forward and put the second smaller unit between the rear bath and bedroom.

Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone have direct experience with a 31 footer in extreme heat and whether one unit can handle it?

I'm wide open for discussion.

Bill
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:40 PM   #129
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See post # 176... if I recall his whole split system ran on diesel from his TV.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18448
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:08 PM   #130
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Bill,

I plan to keep the same single AC layout for the following reasons:
- 100 +/- lbs is already a lot on the roof and I’d rather not double that.
- as above... I’d need to fabricate at least the same ribs to accommodate a second unit.
- 30 amps is my target ceiling.
- Parking (shade) is a consideration as is insulation but also perhaps a well designed fan system will aid in my AC distribution as I’m gunning for an open plan design.
- budget. On the market for the most efficient, lightest, lowest profile and quietest AC made. Hey, it’s my pipe dream, let me live it.

My 17Ę...

Ian
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Old 03-02-2019, 12:14 AM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Vintage View Post
I would also recommend shell off. So many of the early rebuild processes go faster and cheaper (especially if you farm out work):



Frame repair, sandblasting, frame paint, tanks & plumbing, sub-floor, belly pan, etc.



Attachment 334672



If you use a gantry, or some other method, to rotate the frame just adds to speeding up the process.



Attachment 334673 Attachment 334674 Attachment 334675


Where did you get this?
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:04 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iansk View Post
On the market for the most efficient, lightest, lowest profile and quietest AC made.
Ian
Any candidates that fit this high standard?

Bill
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:22 PM   #133
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Hi Bill: Two AC units running at the same time would require 50 amp service. New Airstream models have the option of two AC units to keep the trailer very cool.

There are some things that can be done to mitigate the sun's heat. Airstream now paints the roof of their new trailers with a heat reflective white paint. School buses have that white paint also. I will do this to my trailers someday. I believe it would help a lot.

A good insulation would also help. I think rockwool is one some folks rave about.

I've seen some folks hang that sun shade mesh from their awning to block some of the sun.

I vote for just one modern RV ac unit like Ian described.

Or you could just travel to the Rockies and camp in the shade at 10,000 feet. It is comfortable during the day and quite cool in the evenings. No AC needed.

David
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:25 PM   #134
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Gantries Built

Worked yesterday and today to build gantries.

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I learned a lot building them, which is another way of saying, I would do them differently - way too heavy.

Iíll write more about what I wouldíve done differently.

Strong winds for the next few days, not good for a gantry lift.

Tomorrow, prepping the vents to run the hoists through them, and to find a couple of big guys to put the gantries upright.

Bill
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:43 PM   #135
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Bill, great looking gantries. They may be heavy and cumbersome, but gives a little confidence in safety. Be careful and enjoy the journey.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:37 PM   #136
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Introducing Josh Turner

I want to introduce you to the master welder who will build a new frame for Faith. His name is Josh Turner, T3 Custom Fabrication, Eustis, Florida. His number is 352-455-1420. I've know Josh since he was in high school, and he and my daughter went to University of Central Florida together. Josh grew up in the fabrication business under his father's wing. Now, he and his brothers operate the business, and do absolutely beautiful work. The bonus is they have experience building Air Stream frames.

You will be hearing more about Josh as I get the shell off and Josh begins work on a new frame for Faith.

Today was one of those days where you run around, pick up supplies, get little productive work done, but there is no way to avoid it.

Today I prepped the two ceiling vents through which the chain hoist will be used to lift the body. Spent an hour or two going around the perimeter of the base of the body to insure that everything holding the body to the frame has been disconnected. Even though I have gone over the path several times, I still found things I missed. Most notably was the three, number 3 Phillips bolts holding the door frame to the floor. I don't have a screw driver stout enough to break them loose. I'm babying the heads because if I strip them out they are in a difficult spot to cut, grind off or drill out. I've tried giving them a good strike with a number 3 screwdriver, but they won't budge - they need to come off tomorrow if anyone has any ideas.

Bill
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:53 PM   #137
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Go to the big box stood and get an impact driver . You hit it with a hammer . They come in a box with big bits . Have fun . Blue
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Old 03-04-2019, 09:09 PM   #138
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Thanks

Thanks to David, Blue and Bubba for your great suggestions.
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:33 PM   #139
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Gantries Ready

Today, we moved things closer to pulling the body from the frame.
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I rented a pull-behind-your-truck man-lift that has a 400 lbs. capacity. I had used one of these a few years ago to swap out an AC unit on one of my previous campers, and found it to be very helpful. Today I used it to strip the ceiling vents of rivets to free up and remove the window mechanisms from the vents, to raise the gantries into position (the gantries were of a weight on the edge of what the lift could handle), to place the chains to wrap around the gantry and place the two, one-ton hoists to do the lift with.
The next pic shows the positioning of the hoists
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The next two pictures show the gantries and hoists in place.
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The three #3 Phillips bolts in the sash of the door that were holding me up are broken loose and ready to come out. The remedy was to put a #3 bit into a socket and use the ratchet to gain leverage. Probably use the same technique removing the floor bolts that have a Phillips head on them.
Tomorrow there is too much wind to attempt a lift. I still have two or three stubborn attaching points to resolve and to put some minimal cross bracing in place before the pull later in the week. At IANSKíS suggestion I am going to put about 40 lbs. of ballast on the street side to counterbalance the weight of the awning and the door. I understand from IANSK that without the ballast, the shell tends to yaw a significant amount. With all those things accomplished, I can probably pull the shell on Thursday or Friday.
I have a question. I have heard some horror stories of wind damage to the shell in strong winds. Once the shell is on the ground, what is needed to properly secure it, if anything? The shell has to weigh 700 to 1,000 lbs. It would take a pretty good wind to move that around and the shell is aerodynamic. Anyone care to opine?
Bill
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:47 PM   #140
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Good idea on the man lift. When I pulled the shell on the 55, I was in our workshop. So no worries with wind. If I had been outside on the grass, I would have anchored it. I would have used mobile home screw anchors or 2x4 stakes on the inside bottom spreaders and screwed to the spreaders. You may not have anything to worry about. If itís doable, I would consider strapping or anchoring. Good luck
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