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Old 03-24-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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My Life with Henri (or, Taming the '74 Sovereign)

It was getting somewhat embarassing. After all, I have been a member here for almost a year, and have soaked up enough information from the thousands of great threads and posts to make me feel a bit like an owner, but "The One" for me had not yet come my way.

Well, it finally did: on Sunday I was doing my usual pass over the dozen or so different online sites I'd been watching, one caught my eye, one that had been posted only a few hours previously.

I talked to the seller and his wife in email briefly, then we spoke on the phone and arranged a time to meet, so Monday morning my wife and I found ourselves making a four-hour drive to go and look at it. It's currently in a fishing camp, quite a nice, well-run one on a beautiful lake only a little over an hour from where our children live, so my wife talked me into renting the spot it's on for this season, so we could "get used" to operating the trailer. It's also so that she can keep our boat there with it, and enjoy the wonderful fishing available in the lake, while being close to the kids and a good friend of hers all at the same time. It will also give me a chance to do some of the things that need to be done to it before we get on the road.

After all, it has sat in that same place for 10 years, so I can see LOTS of stuff I'll have to do.

Ta-da: my new-to-me 1974 31' AS Sovereign!







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Old 03-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Very Nice!

Congradulations, Its good to hear you plan on returning the trailer to the road. You will soon see the trailer smile!
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:44 AM   #3
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Very, very nice; congratulations. It looks an excellent way to ease into Airstreaming.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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Congrats! It looks to be in nice shape.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Welcome to the wonderful world of the Sovereign. Having used a 24ft Argosy (which I love) for about two years, I was thrilled to get the 31ft. We have the rear bedroom and all that extra room is so great. I hope you two enjoy yours as much as we have enjoyed ours. It looks like a well cared for trailer.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #6
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Best of luck with your newest addiction! We dig our 74 Soveriegn. My husband calls it Nixon but I prefer Shagn'wagon! I hope you get all the joy out of it as we have ours.
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:34 PM   #7
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Congrats!!!!!!!!! Nice to have you in the fold. You couldn.t have picked a nicer one to start with. I'd have to say my Sovereign is one of the best choices I've made. My cats and I love ours. Mine is almost the same as your but with one twin where you have two. The PO removed the Gaucho in mine as well so I have a futon couch there. I know you will love yours it looks great!!! As far as towing it I haven't found it to be any problem at all. Good luck with your new baby and try not to smile to much.

SL
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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1974 31' Sovereign
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10q!

Thanks to all of you for the congratulations!

We are certainly still excited about this investment, and my wife is busy scouring the family for things she foresees she will need that we don't already have, and I will be shortly putting together a deficiency list, things "to be repaired/improved".

I'm sure my wife's list will be shorter than mine...
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Update: the new TV fell through

Well, I thought I had a great deal on a great TV, but after spending three hours on a bus to go and look at it, when I saw it the signs were all against buying.

It was a 2004 Ford F-150 SuperCab, a dual fuel (gas and CNG) one, and it looked to have everything I need in a TV (which isn't much). AC, 5.4 litre V8, and a rust-free body.

It was at the outside of mileage I wanted (130,000 KMs or about 80,000 miles) but the body was mint, it had new tires, and was all around crowd-pleaser.

But, when I got there, the owner was in the midst of trying to figure out where ATF was leaking , and then, when he decided to take it to the local garage it wouldn't start. While we were letting the mechanic look under the hood, I walked around the body, looking for any other defects. Then I noticed that the gap around the driver's side door wasn't even all around (while passenger's door was perfectly aligned) and the gap between the cab and the box wasn't equal on both sides.

I shrugged my shoulders and mentally said good-bye to it, then told the owner that I wasn't going to go ahead, and explained exactly why. He was surprised (or appeared so) about the obvious body problems, but took me back to the bus station for the trip home.

Disappointing, but how many negative things do you need to see before deciding not to buy?

Oh well, back to scanning the web and newspapers...
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:57 PM   #10
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabLover View Post
Congrats!!!!!!!!! Nice to have you in the fold. You couldn.t have picked a nicer one to start with. I'd have to say my Sovereign is one of the best choices I've made. My cats and I love ours. Mine is almost the same as your but with one twin where you have two. The PO removed the Gaucho in mine as well so I have a futon couch there. I know you will love yours it looks great!!! As far as towing it I haven't found it to be any problem at all. Good luck with your new baby and try not to smile to much.

SL
Yes, you're right: they are identical, except for the mod your PO did with a bunk, and my PO took out (and threw away ) the original Dometic fridge. It's also amazing that the overall condition of both TTs is the same: pretty darn good!

On mine, the beige trim strips that go around the bathroom several times, and around the ceiling of the sitting area once, are all cracked, yellowed, or MIA and generally detracting from the look. Result: 70' of "insert nosing" ordered from Inland RV.

Also, because the black tank is partially disintegrated (and again, my PO threw out the original terlet) I've order a new black tank from Inland and I'm actively shopping for a decent new porcelain terlet.

Gotta love it, huh!?
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:17 PM   #11
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhonda View Post
Best of luck with your newest addiction! We dig our 74 Soveriegn. My husband calls it Nixon but I prefer Shagn'wagon! I hope you get all the joy out of it as we have ours.
Thanks! Cool names.

So far, I am considering three: Elspeth, Gerda, and Urge. The reasons behind the first two are not really clear to me, but Urge was the name of a VW Microbus driven around the US in the '60s by one of Ken Kesey's friends and a few others called "The Merry Pranksters". Can't remember who just now, and it's probably not important, but I loved that book, and the tale of the trip.

Lots of other things to do to the TT, but I can't easily access it since it's four hours away, and I can't stay overnight yet (the camp opens in May).

So, I get to muse on what name she deserves, what things I need to buy for her in order to accomplish my plans to have her roadworthy by September at the latest.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:30 PM   #12
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Smile Congratulations Neighbour!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Ta-da: my new-to-me 1974 31' AS Sovereign!
Congratulations Aage! We're not far away from you, and we recently picked up a '74 Sovereign as well, although yours looks to be in better shape. Ours has the mid-bath and rear bedroom layout. We've had it for a couple of months now and have started working on it, but I'm only now getting a chance to start a thread where I can start documenting what we're doing, and of course ask questions. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f221...tml#post683234
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:25 PM   #13
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Thanks, Grant. Yeah I was lucky to get one that had been -very- lightly used for towing, and therefore has a wonderfully complete and well-maintained body.

As for under the skin, I will see within about 6 weeks what has rotted out and where.

Cheers,
Aage
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:27 PM   #14
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Cool

Aage, looks like you have a real winner there!

U are smart to have gone with your gut feeling on the TV.

Good luck on your search

Michael
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:32 PM   #15
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Aage,

Hello from Manitoba and congratulations on the '74 Sovereign. We have a twin to yours (except our's is rear bedroom). If you're going to be travelling you'll probably have to replace the Univolt System and for sure 4 tires. Someone on the forums once said about all the Univolt was good for was a boat anchor so don't throw it in the dump. Having replaced ours I can vouch that the weight of it would make a darn good anchor.
Have fun and enjoy. Don't try to do a lot of things at once - you'll soon get discouraged. Make a list and complete one chore at a time.
If you're headed out west some time - look us up.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:23 AM   #16
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Congrats

Way to go, I have a copy of the owners manual and shop manual if you don't have them and need any information. I am getting a new ac unit and power converter put in my 74 Soveriegn next weekend. That old univolt is just a little too loud for me. Martin
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:07 PM   #17
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Bob,

Thanks for the invite! If we do the West Coast trip I want to do, we certainly will get up your way.

Martin,

Welcome to Airforum.com! And I see you have good taste in trailers!

Thanks for the info offer. I have the original manual, 35 years old, handed down to me by the original owner's son (from whom I bought it). It's full of notes and falling into confetti, so I plan to scan it in order to preserve it.

Plus I do have a Service Manual, although it's from 1976, so I may ask you for clarification from time to time, since for sure there will be some differences. I'm actually hoping to be able to trade someone for a '74 Service Manual. The one I have is in mint condition.

Glad to have you here, I hope you enjoy your time here, too.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:32 AM   #18
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1974 31' Sovereign
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Cabinet dimensions please?

Well, the status now is that the TT is still a four-hour drive for me, and I am collecting parts to repair various things, plus purchasing add-ons.

I need some help from another owner: in order to have a TV where I want it (facing the lounge area, attached to the vertical panel on the right side of the refer, I need the width of that panel, please.

So, I'm wondering if anyone can give me that width, so that I can see how big a screen of LCD TV I can put there.

Here's a photo of the section I'm talking about. The little blue microwave is gone , so please just ignore it. I'm pretty sure that I'll need a mounting bracket that will allow me to swivel the TV a bit up and down as well as left to right, so that a good comprise can be reached for views.

I also figure that I will probably have to reposition the thermostat, since even a li'l TV puts out a fair bit of heat.

Thanks in advance,
Aage

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Old 04-11-2009, 01:41 PM   #19
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That panel is 29" at the top of that microwave and is 26" at the top of the panel. The wall slants into the trailer. My 26" Sony Bravia "2007" which I had brought to be installed there measure 26" accrossed side to side. It will fit nicely. The speakers are on the bottom. Anything larger will stick out a bit. By the way my Sony HD LCD TV has almost no emittance out the back or front only some on the top. Most HD LCD TVs have low heat issues. Plasmas TVs are very hot. As far as the TV brackets most will move from side to side, in and out, swivel up and down. But not raise up and down. I could watch it from the kitchen as well. It will swing around 180 degrees.

I also use this as my computer monitor.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:52 PM   #20
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The width of the panel is 29 1/2 inches. We have a 20in lcd and it seems like a decent size for the space.
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