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Old 06-16-2014, 01:21 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1972 31' Sovereign
Lake Elsinore , California
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 72
Howdy all

Afternoon all.
New member here. Name is Kelly McCulley and I have a daughter...hence the MacDad...

I joined to search and learn more about our new to us Airstream and likely ask a few questions, probably dumb ones, but I appreciate any help.

Back round, I am a Union Master Carpenter and have done MANY different construction trades over the years like A/C, plumbing and some flooring. I also come from a long line of auto body repairman. My father was an auto body and paint guy and his dad was a body man and my grandpa on my moms side owned a sheet metal fab shop.

I think rebuilding this sweet Airstream will be inside of most of my skill set, but I already have found many unique concepts in the trailer so I will definitely need some input.

I am 50 yrs old and have had a bad neck injury a fe years back and have had 2 major surgeries with plates, screws, pins and plates on a 3 level discectomy. No fun, and has limited many of my abilities and strength, but if I take my time and my son in law to be helps with the labor I think we can do this.

The reason for the trailer: My daughter is getting married in Sept and her and her fiancé are full time volunteer ministers who tech the Bible to the deaf. They have both gone to school to learn ASL {American Sign Language} so that they can help people. They help deaf who have never been taught sign to learn the language on a volunteer basis, but their main focus is a Bible education. The plan for the trailer is to be able to stay mobile. They plan to live full time in it in an RV park either in Whittier Ca. or Anaheim Ca. but the trailer allows them a freedom to move anywhere they may be needed like in disaster relief, or to help a deaf congregation in need. Did I mention I am very proud of my kids?

We pooled our money and found them a decent shape 1972 International Sovereign 31' that has a quite straight and clean shell but the interior was mostly gutted already and what was left was literally trash. The entire floor is spongy and needs replacing.
We have already drilled out all of the interior rivets and carefully removed the interior sheet metal for a thorough cleaning and stripping of years of wallpaper and paints. We have stripped all old wiring, plumbing and gas lines. We salvaged the hot water heater {not sure if we are going to use it or go a bit bigger for a live in} the furnace and roof A/C unit which I think we can get all working again. We saved the charger ac/dc converter but will not be using it, We are setting it up as a park model for full hook ups, no 12 volt or liquid tanks.

So far, we have removed most of the belly pan, thanks to this site I learned about the "hidden" rivets and that made the job a lot easier. We have interior completely stripped. The body is just about ready to lift off of chassis. We thought the chassis looked really good except under the rear bath where there was an obvious leak and a bit of rust but it is much more invasive that we thought. Not terminal, but will require a lot of fabrication and welding to repair...oh well, that is what we get for buying a unit from Texas that was in LA for many is not always Good thing my life long best friend owns a welding and fabrication shop.

Look forward to getting to know you all here and thank you for some much needed advice in advance.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:30 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
1987 25' Sovereign
Oregon , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 491
Welcome, this is a great place to get questions answered.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:01 PM   #3
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Vintage Kin Owner
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 11,464
Images: 9
Welcome to the site Kelley and good luck with the reno/restoration project. Keep us posted on your progress and we'll be here for moral support if you get that sinking ship feeling.



"One of the best lessons I've learned is that you don't worry about criticism from people you wouldn't seek advice from."

William C. Swinney

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Old 06-17-2014, 10:29 PM   #4
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6,405
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 2
Bless them for serving others!!!

I would consider NOT making a 'park model'.. as you said, they may be going to 'devastated areas'... that likely means 'drycamping' or 'boondocking'... gasoline will be hard to procure... and power, too.. not to mention the 'necessities of life'....we all flush. If in a tough area, having the capability to not be an additional burden on the victims, it would be good to be somewhat self-sufficient.. (In this case, it is good to be self dependent/sufficient.. at least for a little while)

This means having the 12V stuff will allow lights, fans, water pumps to operate "off the grid"... or boondocked... Also, the propane detectors and "Emergency breakaway TRAILER BRAKES" run off the 12v system...

Using the LED driver modules, you can operate the LED strips or lamps really efficiently..

Anyhow... I'll add y'all to my prayer stream...
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 06-19-2014, 11:05 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1972 31' Sovereign
Lake Elsinore , California
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 72
Good thought cwf.
I may rethink a bit of that, but living space and closet space will be at such a premium it will be tough. We are completely moving the rooms around. We all hated the mid twin bed rear bath configuration. The bedroom will be aft now for sure and the bath in front of that and kitchen next to the entry door and living room in the front.

On our 1972 there are no breakaway brakes. No need for 12v system other than what is powered by the tow rig.

I agree that flexibility would be nice though, but I see most disaster relief work still having them parked in some sort of RV park with at least sewer hook up.

Got me thinking now.
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