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Old 12-22-2017, 08:43 PM   #1
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1984 Sovereign buying advice

First time posting. We are looking at moving up from our small 1957 Canned Ham to a 1984 Sovereign 25 Side Bath. Looks to be very nice inside and out. Will view in person tomorrow. Asking price is a negotiable $22500.00.

Does any one know if this year has solid plywood sub floor?
In a similar price range does it make more sense to look at 25s from around the 2000 year time frame?




Thanks
Charles and Magi
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:17 AM   #2
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Nice uit there, be sure to fastidiously check the rear separation problem many had, and the floor for rot that can be hidden under furniture, carpet, storage,etc. that is a major issue. Or can be.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:25 AM   #3
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That is a sweet looking trailer

Sometime in the early 90s, Airstream changed from polishable skin to a brushed aluminum skin, which is not polishable.

I have a painted Argosy so I don't have a horse in this race, but there are pros and cons to either.

Things to research….Polishing, clear coat, oxidation, and $$$.
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:33 AM   #4
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Okay so the first visit went well. The Sovereign looked better in person than i the photos. We have a plan for a second trip to see the unit at a campground all set up. Just trying to not get blinded by the silver bling.

-interior is all original and the AC, fridge and lights were all working hooked up in the yard.
-the only rust I saw was at the bottom of the belly pan at the from of the tongue. The box where you can keep blocks and such
-the water was not hooked up to could not test system
-did not check gas for stove
-tires were 2 years old with maybe 500 miles
-Awnings were excellent
-no signs of soft spots on the floor
-no funky smells or water spots
-windows looked good but did not open all or look closely at seals
-Seams looked pretty good but I don't really know how to inspect them and the roof.

Any advise on how to get past the buzz of shopping and the shiny exterior and check out this Airstream? What should we look for?

It is a rear full size bed. We want a twin. Any suggestions on how difficult it will be to take out existing bed and cabinets? We completely renovated a canned ham so we are not shy and have tools. Just curios how difficult it will be to remove the back bedroom structures

We have an agreed upon price just shy of $20,000. It is original, road ready and very pretty. Any feedback is greatly advised
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:07 PM   #5
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Looks nice, people have converted queens to twins
I would do a search
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Old 12-24-2017, 06:14 PM   #6
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My 85 29' had OSB sub floors check around the perimeter for soft spots . It looks like they have replaced the floor covering . I would be surprised if one the age hasn't leaked .
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Old 12-24-2017, 08:53 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies

What is the best way to check for soft spots? Other than the center almost the whole floor is covered. The bed, couch cabinets.

Can I tell if it is OSB by looking at the wood in the rear storage that is accessed from external hatches?
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Old 12-25-2017, 05:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasher View Post
Thanks for the replies

What is the best way to check for soft spots? Other than the center almost the whole floor is covered. The bed, couch cabinets.

Can I tell if it is OSB by looking at the wood in the rear storage that is accessed from external hatches?
Open the outside compartment doors and check there , look under any cabinet or under the couch up by the front wall . I'll almost guarantee it has OSB . It looks like someone did a great job polishing it and if the present owner did the work He should know if it has OSB . Have they replaced the axles ? Another place to look is under the bathroom sink . I don't think these had rear end separation I believe it was the rear bath models .
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:30 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info

We are going to see it tomorrow all set up at a camp site. This will give us the opportunity to check water and such.

On an 1984 is replacing the axles a common thing? What can one see with the naked eye underneath that would be cause for any alarm.

Thanks
Charles
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:15 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info

We are going to see it tomorrow all set up at a camp site. This will give us the opportunity to check water and such.

On an 1984 is replacing the axles a common thing? What can one see with the naked eye underneath that would be cause for any alarm.

Thanks
Charles
The axles have rubber rods inside them and it gets hard over time and you loose the softness of the ride . from the picture it sits pretty high on the tires so looks like axles are in pretty good shape that trailer is 33 yrs. old they usually don't last that long . Brakes and bearings are another thing to ask about . As far as axles go if you jack up the trailer and the wheels don't drop very much it means the rubber is too stiff . They usually sag when they are worn out .
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:03 AM   #11
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Looks very similar you our 87 that was appraised at $16,500 about 5 years ago without the nice polish job and needing axles. It looks Ike the drapes have been replaced at some time, end cap looks good and it appears to be sitting well on the axles (already replaced)? Wheels have obviously been upgraded. If floor checks out and everything works, it looks like a fair price.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:39 PM   #12
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Take an ice pick and poke thru the carpet around the edges of the walls to check for soft spots, try to peel the carpet back a little if you find an area that is suspect. Also look under any vent locations, the toilet and refrigerator vent and others for leakage ar the floor or drip marks on the walls. Jump up and down a bit on the back bumper and see if the frame separates f rom the floor. Open the windows and look at the rubber seals for rot,etc. open outer compartments and look in them for water damage. Otherwise this rig looks quite nice, and should be a good one. Don't sweat the axles at this time, they will likely roll just fine , look for missing rivets due to a too hard ride, lack of Spring in the axles.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:40 PM   #13
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Second inspection

We had a great second visit with the Airstream again today while it was hooked up to site power and water.

How big a difference is there between 96 versus 102 inch widths?

-AC working well (we are in Florida)
-Sub floor seems to be plywood not OSB
-Gas stove all good
-Water heater working well
-Owner does not use the gas for the fridge so not sure about its functionality
-Gas smell coming out of water heater exterior hatch
-Small leak of water above rear axle below shower area. Checked under sink and all is dry. Suspect pipe leak under shower drain somewhere

I have a contacted one of the inspectors from the forums and I am arranging for a professional inspection before final deal. Does the $300.00 inspection fee sound like a good idea? I figure it's better to find out before than after the deal!
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:40 AM   #14
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I think you’ll want the fridge to work on gas — needed while traveling. The other things sound like pretty easy fixes. In any case, I think the $300 to a knowledgeable and competent inspector would Be a good investment. If the inspector is also an appraiser, that would be great. You’ll probably want “agreed value” insurance and would need that.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:38 AM   #15
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It takes about 12 hrs. for the fridge to get cold on propane but as said you will need that for traveling a new one runs about $1200. They can be repaired but thats not cheap either . It's a nice looking trailer looks like a good one .
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:44 AM   #16
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I enlarged the pictures and noticed 2 patch panels in the lower front corners . I would look inside to make sure there is no internal damage and leaks . a pair of SS Wrap protectors will cover them up and protect against stone damage .
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:36 PM   #17
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Final view with Forum Inspector, 3 Issues

Did a final view with a professional RV inspector

His overall impression was that the Sovereign was in the best condition of the similar age ASs he has seen. Beautiful inside and out with all systems working.

That being said there are several issues.

1. Atwood water heater is working but there was a noticeable propane odor well after switching it off. Question. Replace or service? We want to be SAFE!

2. Two of four bolts in holding tank belly pan are rusted from inside out.(see photos) These are the two street side. Inspector could only guess as to the cause and suggests AS tech service. Estimate $800-2500.00 depending on cause. Questions. Does any one have ideas of cause for leak? Is it feasible for a handy but newbie guy to remove belly pan and investigate cause or better to take to AS tech?

3. I had noticed plywood covers in the rear exterior hatches covering the original OSB sub floor. Upon further investigation we found completely rotted OSB in the curb rear corner and running to the middle of the back room along the edge. Inspector believes the damage was from previous hatch door leak. All the plywood repair is dry with no signs of water. The current owner of 7 years said he never noticed or did any repairs so we assume this has been like this for some time. Weighting the bumper does not show signs of separation and seems solid.
My plan has been to convert the rear full set up into a twin. Upon removal of bed frame and cabinets I could repair sub floor properly. Should I be more concerned about this issue?

We had an agreement with the owner for $19,500 tentative on the inspection. I have asked if they are willing to amend the price concerning possible repairs in the $3000-6000.00 range. There are a few more things but above are the main concerns.


Any advice on issues or pricing is greatly appreciated

Thanks
Charles and Magi
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:08 PM   #18
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Images of OSB rot curb rear corner

Here are photos looking in the back curb corner of the rear exterior hatch. Question. If we take all interior our of back bedroom is it just a matter of placing new sub floor?
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:23 AM   #19
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I would walk away from it . The plywood repair over the floor is just a cover up . You can find something much newer for the same money . The rusted pan holds the water tanks if you remove the pan down comes the tank . Airstream charges $125. / hour and their parts are very expensive .
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:45 AM   #20
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is it just a matter of placing new sub floor?

I've been watching this apparently nice looking Airstream and this thread caught my attention. I've traveled such long distances only to either very disappointed by what I found or jerked around by a seller that I'm reluctant to look at something more than a half hour away. So I can vicarious shop this rig through you. Thank you.

Replacing a sub floor properly is not a job to be taken lightly. One of the things I like about Airstreams is most anything is repairable or replaceable, but it's not always cheap or easy. You can expect, unless you are a rare bird indeed, that once you start digging seriously into the floor there will be much more to replace than is apparent now. And rust in the area between the sub floor and the belly pan is an insidious varmint prone to biting once it's den is exposed. I would bet a good sized pile of silver dollars once the belly pan comes off the area of those rusted bolts you will not be happy with what you see.

This is all, of course, my biased opinion and worth every penny of my fee. It is better to have shopping patience than repair skills. If you don't have repair skills you'd better have the patience of Job. Good luck.
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