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Old 10-01-2006, 05:56 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1974 31' Sovereign
Cabot , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Mod Airstream

This is our 74 Sovereign, and in addition to solving all the typical problems with an old, under-maintained rig (leaks, mold, etc) it was completely remodeled inside. New floor and subfloor, furniture/cabinets, paint, and stainless are among the list of additions we threw in. Please let me know what you think of this unit, as it is my new home!
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:52 PM   #2
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1956 16' Bubble
Rose Lodge , Oregon
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: 1961 26' Overlander
Posts: 921
Love it!

Are you on the road? Where would one encounter such a gorgeous, unique trailer in person so as to thoroughly inspect your workmanship?
Of course I'm an elitist. Look around you.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:55 PM   #3
Silver Mist
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,008
Images: 28
Nice job, I like the mix of vintage and new!
'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

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Old 10-01-2006, 08:47 PM   #4
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Inverness , Florida
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 264
Love it.. so clean and unclutered. lots of room.The only thing I would do is put a small fold down table where the laptop is..
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:02 PM   #5
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1963 16' Bambi
1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,937

I would also put a table and comfy chair where the laptop is! Then I would have comfy cushions for my back on the front couch...

I like the clean and unstated look! It would probably take me 5 minutes to fill up your nice trailer and get it cluttered. As much as I try the simple approach, I seem to be like pig-pen in the comic strip, but my "cloud" is bunches of stuff! At least I don't collect rocks like Lucy in the Long, Long Trailer!

Hope to see you on the road!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
rio rico , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 119
cheers, Jeff
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:45 PM   #7
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,340
Images: 7
Looks great!

Is that stainless steel on all the cabinets and doors? Looks fantastic!

Did you paint the inside also?
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:18 AM   #8
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1967 22' Safari
1960 Caravel
Edmonds , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,445
elliottkatz, welcome to the forums! Your Sovereign is just beautiful - great work. What a wonderful place to call home! I'd love to see some "before" pictures - always makes an impact when you compare before & after.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:21 AM   #9
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Currently Looking...
Fort Wayne , Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 113
Images: 10
Tres Cool!

My first reaction is, "wow!" Then, I want to know, "how?"

Did you use a satin finish paint inside, or a matte finish? What type of paint? Did you pull the tambor doors and spray? Any slide problems after you re-installed? Did you use the same type of paint on the inside of the main door? Did you just clean and Flitz the existing vinyl for prep? Did you paint the existing closet doors or replace them? What did you spray/roller/brush? Is the orange accent color laminate or paint? That doesn't look like a Zip Dee awning, did you make your own? Are you planning on window treatment? Did you contract any of the work out? Did you change or re-work any of the infrastructure; electrical, plumbing, frame, axel, etc? Did you scoop it out, install the floor and then, re-build the interior? Any plans for solar? I'll stop here, but you realize this is, "How'd they do that?" central.

Kudos to your design sense!

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Old 10-03-2006, 09:53 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
1974 31' Sovereign
Cabot , Vermont
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 13
Hi Everybody,
Thanks for your replies! All of your suggestions are certainly on the to-do list- I need a table and at least one other place to plant my rear in that main living space.

As far as the technical how-we-didits, all the work I did along with my sister, and her boyfriend. It took about two and a half months to bring it to its current state. When we purchased the vessel it had been left sitting under leaking trees for a year and was pretty gross inside. After I pulled the molding carpet and tore into the rotten floor I found numerous ant farms living in the plywood, and of course a small snake that we imported from NY to eat the ants... But otherwise, much of the AS was in decent shape. The skin is in very good condition and all the appliances seem to work very well. The floor was only rotten in places, and I did not have the time to do full on ply replacements, so I just did the front space and the rear bedroom space and left the hall original. I chose to leave the plumbing, axel and electrical stuff alone for the time being, but could see some of it being addressed in the future.

We primed the interior with some run of the mill bacteria killing primer and then painted the interior with a behr variety satin latex from home depot (Fencepost is the name). Nothing special but so far so good. The only problem I've had with the latex is on the vinyl wood veneers. I did not prep the vinyl as much as I should have (should have done extensive sanding. I don't know what Flitzing is) so the paint can be scaped off fairly easily. Most of the painting was done by 3inch rollers but we did hit difficult areas (hinges, latches etc) with white spray paint. That worked well enough. The orange is also a satin latex.

Now for my questions:

That awning is a problem actually. I need a new spring for one end and have no idea if there are any available. Its a Carefree awning and seems to be totally obsolete. Any ideas?

Also, I'm still getting some leaks after having spent countless hours resealing the exterior. The leaks are coming from above, and I removed and resealed all the vista views and all the gutters. I also resealed the roof vents but wonder if anybody has ever had leaks come into the vent openings and trickle down the inside of the walls?

PS: I have only one picture of the old interior on my computer. But I'll find more.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:25 AM   #11
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1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,546
Images: 260
Check your sewer vent gaskets! they are a likely culprit

I don't see an antenna in your pic, but if there was one, and the base is still in place, that's probably leaking, too.

and yeah, any water that gets in will trickle down the walls. It can even go up hill from the sewer vents. the insulation gets soaked, and can "wick" the water almost anywhere.

also check your fridge vent. and around the a/c...Basically, any penetration of the skin up there is a possible culprit.
Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:27 AM   #12
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Currently Looking...
West of Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 6,699
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Like everyone else, I'm impressed! Great job.
It looks like you are in Vermont? You may want to search for some recent posts regarding winter living in an A/S, just to give you some things to consider. From what I've been reading it looks like it can be done, but there are some major considerations. Hope all tha best for you in your A/S, looks great.
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:26 PM   #13
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Fort Wayne , Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 113
Images: 10
Thanks for the insight into some of your refurb approaches, Elliot. I'm going to be taking our 34' Excella in a similar direction.

Excuse me for refering to "Flitz," which is a line of metal & fiberglass cleaner/polishes. What I thought I was remembering was, "B-I-N Primer" made by Zinsser. It's shellac & alcohol based and is used to prime glossy, vinyl type surfaces like the Airstream interior.

Thanks for sharing!

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Old 10-03-2006, 04:03 PM   #14
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2006 22' International CCD
1957 26' Overlander
Plymouth , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 544
Images: 14
You have a beautiful trailer. Nice work
My 57 Overlander thread ( Holly is her name)

"Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale"
(Hans Christian Andersen)

WBCCI 10289
AIR 11240
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:59 AM   #15
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Chatham , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about!
Do you have a webpage? You know, the "how I remodelled an Airstream, spent a wad of cash, and ended up with an incredibly cool nest" webpage?
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:59 PM   #16
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1960 22' Safari
in the wilderness , The great Mojave Desert
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,077
There is nothing about your trailer I don't like. Congradulations on a fine unit.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

AIR# 13896
CA 4

Yes, we have courtesy parking for you. About an hour North of Los Angeles.
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:15 PM   #17
3 Rivet Member
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2005 30' Classic
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 162
Your rig gives me the "restoration bug"

My first Airstream was a 65 Caravel that I restored to original followed by a 76 21 footer that I did just cosmetic work on.

My latest is my beautiful 05 30' Classic but seeing the fabulous job you did on yours makes me want to find an older trailer and do something retro....way cool

Welcome to the slippery slope of The Airstream'll never have as much enjoyment (with your clothes on) doing anything else!

'05 30' Classic rear queen with an '11 Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel tow vehicle
Avatar is inflight refueling of an F-15 over job ever!
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:16 PM   #18
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1974 31' Sovereign
madera , California
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 48
Incredible, Thank you so much for showing and sharing what can be done!!
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