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Old 09-16-2007, 08:59 AM   #1
C. L. "Charlie" Boyd
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1976 31' Sovereign
LAKELAND , Florida
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10
Greetings from west central Florida!

I and my domestic partner, Paul, acquired our 1976 31 foot Sovereign (center bath, rear full bed -- see attached JPEG) to replace our prior "classic" RV, a 1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia Campmobile, which caught fire and was declared a total loss. On the way back home from meeting with the insurance adjuster after our "Westy" burned, we were passing Conibear RV Center in north Lakeland and spotted the Airstream on their resale lot from the highway. It had been placed there on consignment sale by the family of its original owner, a 91 year old widower from Michigan who had used it for the prior ten years as his "snowbird" winter residence in a mobile home park in Dade City, FL. It was all-original and in fairly good condition considering having sat all that time in the hot Florida summers unoccupied. Apparently the former owner was a WBCCI member, as his membership number -- 12398 -- appears on the front and rear of the Airstream along with a WBBCI seal on the rear.

Since acquiring this Airstream, we have been slowly going about restoring and renovating the interior to correct 30+ years of wear and tear. The only mechanical repairs needed so far have been to replace the original A/C unit, which was dead, with a new one and to put covers over the original ceiling vents, which were sun-rotted. Apparently the former owner was a smoker, so we needed to strip all of the vinyl wallpaper and have primed and painted those walls in gloss almond enamel, which surely brightened things up! We plan to remove the old carpeting and install an oak woodgrained laminate floor. Also I plan to make several repairs, including fixing some of the damaged tambour cabinet doors.

Our Airstream is currently parked on a campsite in a private membership campground in an oak hammock near the Withlacoochee River in eastern Citrus County, FL, near Inverness. Currently we do not own a vehicle capable of towing the Airstream, but we will likely get one when the lease on our Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV is up in about a year. My other "classic" vehicle, a 1982 Corvette Collector Edition, likely has the power to tow the Airstream but the frame is not up to that job!

I would be interested in hearing from others who have Sovereigns about what remodeling or renovations you have done to your Airstream.
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C. L. Boyd
Lakeland, FL
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:09 AM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
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Welcome to the forum, Charlie! I'd say that's a pretty roomy replacement for the Westie. Bummer having the other one burn, I hope you weren't camping in it at the time!

I think you'll find there are a lot of really nicely done remodels on the forum. Lots of talented people here. I've always gotten great advice. Enjoy!

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Old 09-16-2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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Naples , Florida
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Hey Charlie,

Welcome to the Forums........nice find! Do keep us posted on the progress of your restoration and if you can't find answers to your qestions in the search, just post it! Lot's of expert knowledge from folks who have been there and done that!
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:47 PM   #4
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2006 19' Safari SE
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Hey Charlie...welcome to the Airforums and congrats on your Airstream find...sounds like a keeper. Too bad the Westy burned, but, hey..."out of the ashe..." like a phoenix, right? You're going to get a lot of enjoyment out of your Airstream....good luck in the rennovatoins...lots of good info, good folks and moral support here...just dig in and look around, and if you can't find what you need, just ask...

Glad you could join in...
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:17 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums, guys. We are in the (hopefully) final stages of getting a similar vintage Sovereign back up to snuff, and by a strange coincidence, today was "replace-a-vent-day".
If you want to read up on what we have done so far, here is a link for the thread here on the forums:
Chances are good if your coach needs something, we've already "been there, done that", and you can just follow along, and do (or in some cases, not do) what we've done.
Everyone loves pictures, so post 'em if you've got 'em.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:48 PM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
1964 24' Tradewind
Plant City , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 302
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Congrats on joining the ranks of Airstreamers. You will find a really great group of people here. Very friendly and helpful. Be sure to check out the rally forum and if at all possible come to a rally. Even if yours is not ready to travel it would be great to come see in person what others have done to their trailers. See you on the road!
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

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WBCCI #15754 --- AIR #18873
1972 - 31' Sovereign International (Betty)
1964 - 24' Tradewind (Glory)
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:55 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Forums from the Florida Panhandle. We're glad to have you with us.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:48 AM   #8
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1966 17' Caravel
Fairbanks , Alaska
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Congratulations...There is something special about Airstreams. I think everyone can define in their own words. We sure love ours. Welcome to the forums. There are so many helpful, kind people here. Enjoy!
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