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Old 04-02-2008, 10:43 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Saying HI

Hello Folks,
I'm in the middle of a restoration/customization project. I'm sure glad to find this forum. I'll be spending some hours reading the info here, and hopefully I'll have some things to contribute. I've been restoring and rebuilding custom autos for 35 years and I've rebuilt one SilverStreak trailer. My current project is a 1978 Sovereign. I'm building this trailer for full time living off the grid, so many of the weekend amenities have been pitched in favor of more longterm solutions. Conservation and renewable resources are key. I'll be doing some skin restoration, interior remodeling, window repair, and general fix-up stuff. I bought the trailer for $1,800 and it is in pretty good shape for a 30 year old.
For some reason, it has been a lifelong dream to live in an Airstream trailer. It's one of those oddities that you hesitate to tell people . It seems I'm in like company here though. I'll be doing this work full time for the next 2 or 3 months so I'll post pictures. I have 2 dogs that will share my accomodations.
I'm looking forward to sharing with you all!

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Old 04-02-2008, 10:46 AM   #2
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Santa Rosa Beach , Florida
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Welcome from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.
SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1956 26' Cruiser Overlander
1970 23' Safari
Lambertville , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Sounds like a fasinating project. I can't wait to see the way you set up the trailer. Please post us some before pictures.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:26 AM   #4
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West of Fort Worth , Texas
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Welcome David,
We all understand your fascination with Airstreams - no apology needed.
Glad to have you here.
AIR #15800

"Wimpy" 1/2 ton 2002 GMC Sierra 4X4 Z-71 Gasser
2000 Safari SS 25'
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:34 AM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Chandler , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Welcome. I have a 1976 Sovereign and I'm trying to get it ready to take to the lake. Just pulled it home from Michigan, last October. Living off the grid is not what I'll be doing since I've spent about $5K to get septic, water and power to my lot, but to each his own. I just wanted more room for my two dogs, Bob and me. Oh my, did I put the dogs first? Well, don't we all. Let's see some pictures of what you started with and what you're doing now. I love this trailer and anything I can do to make it better, I want to know about.
Judy At Home in Oklahoma
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:34 AM   #6
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1975 31' Sovereign
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 11

Welcome David-

Good luck and have fun! We just took out 31 ft out for the maiden voyage this past weekend. All the time, trouble and money is well worth it.

B&D from Indiana
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Old 04-02-2008, 04:59 PM   #7
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
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Welcome to the Airforums, David... Your deep dark secret of wanting to live in an AS is safe with us! We understand! (Completely.)

See you down the road...
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair & PastPrez, 4CU/WBCCI
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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Kingston , Tennessee
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Welcome to the forums. Glad to have you with us.
John & Tammy Adams
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:36 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25

Thanks everyone. I have a number of things I'm doing that may be of interest. For heat I have a small custom made woodstove that has a water heater and oven built into it. I'm taking special precautions for fire safety but thankfully the Airstream construction lends itself to it well already. I have devised a way to use a catalytic propane heater as a back-up that eliminates the moisture problem that you normally have. I'm building my own kitchen unit that has a large utility sink in place of the usual small RV sink, and some innovative storage. I've designed a manually pressurized shower system that allows me to take a hot shower with as little as one gallon of water. I have a lightweight aluminum fence system that collapses for travel and creates an 8' X 24' fenced yard for the dogs. I'm also tackling the ground clearance issue for rough road use. Right now, the trailer is just finishing up the demolition stage and all these subsystems will be going in over the next few months. I'm looking forward to learning how to rebuild some of my deteriorated windows, tips on working with exterior skinning, and just bright ideas in general that folks here might have. If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about this project . I'll see everyone in the other forum sections!

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Old 04-03-2008, 06:04 AM   #10
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2016 20' Flying Cloud
Centennial , Colorado
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Welcome David!

Your project sounds fascinating! Can't wait to see more posts from you as you progress along.

Please post some pics as you go along.

Steve "Centennial Man"
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:12 AM   #11
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1969 23' Safari
New Orleans , Louisiana
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wow, david, that sounds like a fantastic project. I love these "alt.airstream" redesign ideas, use the search function to find some others along these lines, I know Carlos Ferguson has a woodstove in his vintage unit, along with no fridge and some gorgeous cabinetry, etc. and David Winick's designs are super, but less along the "alt" line...

please post some pictures as you move along on will have a bunch of us subscribing to your thread, by the way, give your thread a good title when you start it, concise but descriptive... your detailing of the project will add to the knowledge base here and benefit everyone..
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:30 AM   #12
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Agree with everything fotochop said, your ideas sound fun and interesting, and you're going to have a lot of interest, so please post often and with lots of pictures.

You might have already found them, but since you're basically starting from scratch, I think a great resource for you would be the numerous "Full Monty" type threads, which can be found here:

Looking forward to reading your updates, and best of luck on your renovation!

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Old 04-03-2008, 10:03 AM   #13
2 Rivet Member
1977 31' Sovereign
Prineville , Oregon
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 25
Thanks Folks,
I will share what I know and what I learn. This is my first AS project so I'm on a steep learning curve. This forum is a great resource and I'm sure glad to find it. I've dubbed my project the "Doghouse Project" . When people ask me what I'm doing I tell them "building a doghouse". I consider myself one of the dogs LOL. Luckily I have a drivers license because the other 2 don't.
The overall idea is to build a movable cabin that can function well in any hostile environment. Frozen plumbing and other problems will be dealt with. To some it will be a more "primitive" approach to living, but to me, eliminating the problems is the biggest luxury. The AS is a great travel trailer IMO, but none of these is designed for permanent residence. My concept is to build a "working" trailer.

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