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Old 07-19-2021, 02:17 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1974 31' Sovereign
Mission , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 23
Hello from BC Canada

Hello everyone,
I have been reading this forum on and off for years -- what a great community you've built. At one point I thought I'd be looking for a new (or newer) Airstream, but here I am taking the plunge on a very needy '74 Sovereign.

My husband and I have wanted an Airstream for more than a decade. The timing was never quite right until now. We had a tiny teardrop trailer for a brief period -- after restoring it and taking it out for it's maiden voyage we quickly discovered that sleeping in it together (squished and uncomfortable) was terrible! Having a trailer was a huge improvement over tent-camping, but we needed a lot more space. With a 31' Airstream, we will have exactly that!

We had it towed to our home last week (it had not been on the road in 16 years), and after finding some significant areas of floor rot, we have already removed the furniture, systems, appliances and window trim. Now we're on to the interior skins! We're in for the full monty and do expect this to have a long timeline, and will be trying to do most of the work ourselves.

My husband and I will be working on some projects both together and apart, so will have separate accounts here.

Cheers,
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:35 PM   #2
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 2,920
Welcome. Going from a teardrop to a Sovereign is a huge difference, needless to say. A full shell off sounds daunting, but one bite at a time, and after awhile, you’re out camping. It seems like more people are going the Full Monty route which is a great way to get what fits y’all’s lifestyle. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure all structure and utilities are constructed correctly. Start a rebuild thread and post some pictures good luck and have fun.
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Old 07-19-2021, 08:11 PM   #3
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
1969 21' Globetrotter
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 8,272
Images: 1
Welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. I enjoy the "long" Airstreams as they have more room and are more comfortable for long distance traveling in my view.

I helped my friend renovate his 76 Sovereign 31' a couple of winters ago. We did not do a shell off as we deemed it unnecessary. But it did have rear end separation and rear end frame sag. The subfloor under the bath vanity and tub were rotted, and so was the rear frame cross member. We repaired the frame, reattached the rear end, repaired the subfloor and then rebuilt every cabinet in the trailer. We also installed new under floor insulation, new belly pan, and new axle assemblies. It is a very nice and comfortable trailer now. They use the thing quite a bit. It is a twin bed rear bath floor layout.

I'm with bubba L on the "project thread" in the Knowledgebase found near the bottom of the Forums page. Find Sovereign and then you can read how others renovated their trailers.

David
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KnowledgeBase trailer renovation threads: 69 Globetrotter, 76 Sovereign, 75 Overlander, 66 Trade Wind Such fun !
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:14 PM   #4
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1974 31' Sovereign
Mission , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
It seems like more people are going the Full Monty route which is a great way to get what fits y’all’s lifestyle. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure all structure and utilities are constructed correctly. Start a rebuild thread and post some pictures good luck and have fun.
At this point I am assuming it is a Full Monty, but maybe I am jumping the gun on that decision. I am not quite sure where the dividing line is on how much rot is acceptable to be taken care of one section at a time, vs. putting down a fresh new sub-floor. This is a mid-bath twin, I think the rear end is solid.

It is also a case of me hating the look (and smell) of the part that is rotted and knowing that the person that had it was not diligent about maintenance (the word squalor comes to mind). The furniture and appliances were not worth saving/repairing, though I kept a fold-out table I might restore, some pieces for templates, and am hoping to keep the end-caps if I remove them VERY carefully.

My husband (4HRH) started a rebuild thread, I will be pouring over everyones projects -- I already checked out your beauty!

Thanks so much!
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Old 07-21-2021, 02:07 PM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
Mission , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I helped my friend renovate his 76 Sovereign 31' a couple of winters ago. We did not do a shell off as we deemed it unnecessary. But it did have rear end separation and rear end frame sag. The subfloor under the bath vanity and tub were rotted, and so was the rear frame cross member. We repaired the frame, reattached the rear end, repaired the subfloor and then rebuilt every cabinet in the trailer. We also installed new under floor insulation, new belly pan, and new axle assemblies. It is a very nice and comfortable trailer now. They use the thing quite a bit. It is a twin bed rear bath floor layout.
Thanks David, your friend was sure lucky to have you! The renovation photos looks great -- what an upgrade on the cabinetry too, nicely done. Seeing as you have a '34 yourself, I can tell you really do like having the extra space!

Mine is a mid-bath twin, though the jury is out on what size bed(s) will end up in the back. I'm currently vacillating between the idea of Twins and a California King. I definitely want to take advantage of the extra hatch in the rear to build in some storage. It will definitely be needing new axles, not too sure about the belly pan yet. So many considerations, even more so than a "to-the-studs" home renovation!

Thanks for the warm welcome.
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