I bought a '77 Sovereign
(rear bath) in NM a few months ago. It's condition was fair to poor; it was pretty much gutted except for the kitchen and bath. The plywood floor was exposed and had a couple of soft spots near the c-channel; not as bad as I expected though. It appeared to have no roof leaks. It had a definite rear sag; the separation was about 1" - 2".
The exterior had a couple of serious dents at the rear and quite a few dings. Tires were in excellent condition, axles probably not. The windows were intact, but the vista views, door and a couple of others had the typical issues of condensation and bubbles/flaking.
It had become a major resort for packrats and mice from top to bottom.
Also, a few repairs from the PO where screws were used to hold trim in place, etc.
I had decided I wanted to do a complete AS shell-off restoration and this was a good candidate. $2500 and it was mine. I estimated that in my free time I could complete the project in a year, give or take.
In the first three days I have done the following-
- Cleaned the interior (nasty)
- Removed the dilapidated kitchen and plastic bath
- removed the ductwork, plumbing (plastic and copper pipes)
- removed the entire interior skin, window trim, etc.
- removed the insulation (mouse condos all over especially the bath area)
- removed the wrap-around trim to expose the belly pan fasteners
- removed the belly pan rivets to expose the shell fasteners (belly pan was full of packrat nests)
I left the electrical wiring. It was in good condition and I will reuse what I can. The frame, from what I can see so far, in in pretty decent shape with several outriggers deteriorated; the main frame seems to be solid.
My plan is to rebuild the frame / floor, perform outer shell repairs and seals, rebuild what windows I can, ensure the outer skin is completely watertight, followed by re-insulation and a complete redesign of the interior space. I do plan on installing a rear bedroom and want to leave as much as the front area as I can open space, perhaps a wrap-around couch at the very front. I will be installing a Eberspacher 34,000 btu diesel boiler for radiant heat and hot water and as much PV solar as I can fit.
Btw, I also have an '06 Itasca Navion that I upgraded a few years ago with 440w solar, diesel boiler and 400aH battery bank- even a 600w wind generator, so I am not quite a novice... though this is my first AS.
I am planning on documenting the overhaul with pics etc as I progress.
Many thanks to those who have provided info regarding their own projects. I have researched extensively (even before I got the AS) and have found this site invaluable as a learning aid. I hope to share my out-of -the-box solutions as I move along.