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Old 03-02-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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Kevininwa's Avatar
 
1974 31' Sovereign
1978 28' Argosy 28
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 27
New Project Sovereign

Here is my new project. We have an Argosy that we are about 70% finished working on when suddenly a 31' Sovereign falls in our lap. By fall I mean comes up for sale on CL 70 miles away. It has some considerable leaking around the VV windows (has anyone experienced this?) causing some rot around the front door. It was comparatively recent condition and although it means a great deal of unpleasant work, is not an expensive repair and I'm foolish enough to think I'm up to the task. I used the essential HF boroscope to get in all the nooks and crannies and found subfloor rot fore and aft. But my wife has always wanted a mid bath AS and what is a few hours lying in muddy gravel compared to true love? So we get the thrill of towing a trailer of unknown condition on the highway with Harbor Freight tow lights during our famous pacific NW rain. Did I mention that it was a steal due to leaks too numerous to mention? We got it home safely and threw a tarp over it. Now I'm going over it carefully (a more astute mind would pick up that going over it carefully is something you do BEFORE you buy it) and have not found any surprises.

The current plan of attack is replacing 8' of subfloor on either end. As the photos show, I'm at the point of removing the subfloor at the front. All is going according to plan but I'm anticipating a situation I'd like input on. As I get closer to the galley cabinet I think I'm going to need to pull it to get all the soft spots. My original idea was to go to a safe edge and use Git Rot epoxy if it was still more or less sound. But there is so much going on under that cabinet (converter, battery, heater, water pump, drain plumbing) that I think I should pull it now if I'm ever going to need to do that. I need to replace a bad Univolt and water pump, so it would be so nice to have room to do it right. Does anyone have ideas about re-configuring the cabinet? It has so much going on under there I'm thinking it might be good to disperse some things, or at least have it more accessible. The fuse panel in particular.

Any advice for this 'as long as I'm there' situation? I know the next step is to address the VV situation. They have been retrofitted with single pane, but I need to the assess the quality of that install. Lots of new rivets but it looks like it might be fundamentally sound. Is there anything else to do while I have the inner skins off? Another question I have not found the answer to is a thermostat next to the fridge. It looks original and has fan and cool settings so it must be for the AC (original, BTW, so I don't have much hope for it). It has the furnace thermostat in the back, but I see no reference to an AC control in the manual. Does anyone have this control? I may have to retrofit to a new AC unit and wonder if there are models that allow for remote control.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevininwa View Post
Here is my new project. We have an Argosy that we are about 70% finished working on when suddenly a 31' Sovereign falls in our lap. By fall I mean comes up for sale on CL 70 miles away. It has some considerable leaking around the VV windows (has anyone experienced this?) causing some rot around the front door. It was comparatively recent condition and although it means a great deal of unpleasant work, is not an expensive repair and I'm foolish enough to think I'm up to the task. I used the essential HF boroscope to get in all the nooks and crannies and found subfloor rot fore and aft. But my wife has always wanted a mid bath AS and what is a few hours lying in muddy gravel compared to true love? So we get the thrill of towing a trailer of unknown condition on the highway with Harbor Freight tow lights during our famous pacific NW rain. Did I mention that it was a steal due to leaks too numerous to mention? We got it home safely and threw a tarp over it. Now I'm going over it carefully (a more astute mind would pick up that going over it carefully is something you do BEFORE you buy it) and have not found any surprises.

The current plan of attack is replacing 8' of subfloor on either end. As the photos show, I'm at the point of removing the subfloor at the front. All is going according to plan but I'm anticipating a situation I'd like input on. As I get closer to the galley cabinet I think I'm going to need to pull it to get all the soft spots. My original idea was to go to a safe edge and use Git Rot epoxy if it was still more or less sound. But there is so much going on under that cabinet (converter, battery, heater, water pump, drain plumbing) that I think I should pull it now if I'm ever going to need to do that. I need to replace a bad Univolt and water pump, so it would be so nice to have room to do it right. Does anyone have ideas about re-configuring the cabinet? It has so much going on under there I'm thinking it might be good to disperse some things, or at least have it more accessible. The fuse panel in particular.

Any advice for this 'as long as I'm there' situation? I know the next step is to address the VV situation. They have been retrofitted with single pane, but I need to the assess the quality of that install. Lots of new rivets but it looks like it might be fundamentally sound. Is there anything else to do while I have the inner skins off? Another question I have not found the answer to is a thermostat next to the fridge. It looks original and has fan and cool settings so it must be for the AC (original, BTW, so I don't have much hope for it). It has the furnace thermostat in the back, but I see no reference to an AC control in the manual. Does anyone have this control? I may have to retrofit to a new AC unit and wonder if there are models that allow for remote control.
The first "BIG" step is to water proof the trailer, by replacing all the gaskets, including the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets that only last 2 to 3 years.

Then that protects the rest of your project.

Andy
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:52 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1978 28' Argosy 28
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 27
progress

I have the front 8 feet of subfloor put and I've dropped the belly pan in the front. I'm trying to get out of dropping the banana wrap as well, but it will be harder to put the floor back in if I don't. The great news is that it looks like the frame is sound, even the outriggers have minimal rust. There is a constant downpour here in Seattle (ok, 30 minutes of cloudbreak in the last week or so) so I'm temporarily disregarding Andy's call to seal and working backwards- repair the inside, then seal the outside. Andy, you mentioned in an earlier post about the steel plate on the front. That extrusion between the front and corner plates does have a popped rivet, but it looks sound and it is nice and flat on the outside. I'm trying to get what needs done, but I know that now is the time to do it. I've got a bad picture that shows it from the inside.

One great thing about working in the rain (at this point, the tarp is only a suggestion of protection) is that I can see how porous the AS can be. I get water coming in from several points, particularly the bottom rub rail. The VV windows are living up to their troublesome reputation.

Beside the question about the steel plate, can anyone address the folly of not dropping the wrap? It is mostly in good shape so I don't need to replace any sections. In this scenario I'm leaving insulation out of those cavities. I don't see a good option other than the pink cotton candy to use, and having seen what I pulled out, forget it. I toyed with the idea of installing the spare tire in the front, but I don't want to overdo it this go-around. I know everyone's tired of seeing floorless AS hulks, but take a look and give me your 2 cents anyway. Has anyone used the rivet remover from VT? After creating a few ovals I think it might be a good investment.
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