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Old 01-13-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
Perry , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Looking for Inspiration

Hi All,

I am a proud new owner of a 1974 Sovereign Land Yacht. It is need of extreme repair but I got it for $500.00. The background is this. I am the co-founder of the Barth Syndrome Foundation. I co-founded the charity in 2000 along with four other parents to save the lives of those who suffer with this rare genetic condition. I lost a son in 1990 and vowed to do everything I could to save the live of my son (Michael) who also inherited the disease.

I have wanted an Airstream for as long as I remember. My son grew to share this same dream. We would often talk about buying an old Airstream and spoke of all the things we would do to customize it. We intended to take it on the road to find other boys who have Barth syndrome. My son said it would be the Mobile BSF International Headquarters. Together we would go on road trips to make memories as we promoted awareness about Barth syndrome. Michael died in 2009 before that dream became a reality.

Restoring this Airstream is of greater significance than owning a travel trailer. It is about keeping a dream alive. I know it is an ambitious goal but I would like to complete the renovation of our "Silver Twinkie" by June of 2012. The 2012 BSF International Conference will take place in St. Pete Beach, FL at that time. Boys with BTHS from around the world will be gathered in one central location. They adored Michael and would love to see the Mobile Headquarters.

Several of Michael's friends recently came over for a visit. At that point I showed them the Silver Twinkie. I recorded their comments about the Silver Twinkie on video. I have attached the link to the video for you to see. It is funny. Granted they used some colorful language but it is funny none the less. The last laugh will be mine when the Silver Twinkie is restored and the dream comes true. Here is the link to view Shelley's Silver Twinkie. Enjoy!!!

Anyway, any advice is welcome!
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
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Welcome Shelley,

Glad to have you with us. Looks like quite a project. Keep us posted on your progress.


"One of the best lessons I've learned is that you don't worry about criticism from people you wouldn't seek advice from."

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Old 02-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
Ottawa , ON
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11,219
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Howdy and welcome to Airforums.com, Shelley! Wow, you have picked yourself SOME project. Unless you can find yourself a big, fast, really experienced crew of repair folks, I would think twice before making any promises to folks about having it all done for this June.

That device on the ceiling that one of your helpers was tuggin on is (I think) the exterior TV antenna control. It lets you raise, turn, and lower the TV antenna on your roof. So tell them to stop yanking on stuff and stepping on your doors until they know what they are doing!

Seriously, if you intend to do it yourself, you will need a copy of the Service Manual for that year. There is a lot of great info in there, worth it's weight in gold!

First chore: get it protected! Read threads on the forums about stopping leaks, and get to that first. Water seeping in is the biggest enemy you have. Stopping it from coming in will give you some time to think it all through and plan on what to do and how to do it.

It coudl be a great experience for you and your "crew" to work on it together, so take your time and attack it wisely.

Very sorry to hear about the problems you and your sons have had, keep up the good work!
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:08 AM   #4
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Normal , Illinois
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Sad, sweet story.

Good luck.

Find a need and fill it.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
Perry , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Aage, I loved your recommendation to tell the kids to quit yankin'. I think I am going assume that as my mantra. Quit yankin' on my Twinkie dream and start helpin'. Yep, June is a pipe dream. Too bad I made that promise to myself but I could scale back just a bit. AND THANK YOU for the advice about the service manual. I am beginning to feel ill prepared for being a Twinkie Owner. Or should I say ill prepared to be the owner of a vintage Twinkie in need of repair. We need an extreme Trick my Twinkie week soon!

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:38 PM   #6
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
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Shelley, we bought our '71 Tradewind in January of 2010 and did our first camping trip in it the last weekend in May.

I won't say it was anywhere close to "restored" at that point, but it had new axles, an enclosed aluminum box for the battery, new or repaired running lights, sealed windows, a new water heater, a renovated fridge, new curtains, a floor that had been patched, sealed and painted with aluminum aluthane, and walls that had been scrubbed clean of years of grime. We set up an airbed on the open floor and put out folding wooden chairs for company to sit on.

Start with the safety stuff. When that's done, there's nothing to stop you from going anywhere.
Our travel and renovation blog: https://tinpickle.blogspot.com/
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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2008 19' Safari SE
Erie , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 942
Hi Shelly, welcome to the forums!

We intended to take it on the road to find other boys who have Barth syndrome. My son said it would be the Mobile BSF International Headquarters. Together we would go on road trips to make memories as we promoted awareness about Barth syndrome. Michael died in 2009 before that dream became a reality.
First, I'd like to tell you that I'm so sorry to hear about your boys. I don't have children, but can't even imagine what it's like to lose them. Many sympathies.

Second, Shelley, do you still intend to use the AS as a mobile BSF headquarters, as Michael envisioned? Or will you be using it for personal use only? Because if you'll be using it to further the BSF mission, you might think about seeking funding and help for fixing it up. That's a big, big, BIG project there, and not only could you probably use the help from people with experience with this kind of thing, but it would also help garner publicity for and provide education about Barth Syndrome if you can interest some of the big guns in helping further Michael's Dream.
"If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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