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Old 05-18-2020, 04:21 PM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Dorr , Michigan
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Need ideas to keep moving forward and motivated

My Airstream renovation has ground to a halt because of several projects need to get done to to provide the space and the means to get the gantries stood up and in place and the trailer to the location where the lift will take place (lift will take place a few miles from me at my parents property). I have gone as far as I feel safe prepping for the lifting of the shell knowing fair well it need to be towed several miles to the work location. I keep feeling that the shell off needs to be done before i work on any other aspects of the renovation. Any ideas on what i could work on in the meantime to still feel like i am making progress? below is a list of items that i have on the to do list. which of these would you suggest I work on in the time between now and lifting the shell?

right now the trailer sits with the full interior removed, interior skins removed, wheel inner and out liners are removed. I have been filling my time working on polishing my Alum. LP tanks but i feel my time could be better spent else where right now

Still needs to be completed
1. shell lift
2. remove belly pan
3. frame repair/cleanup/painting
4. fix/replace any holding tank/plumbing issues below the floor
5. axle replacement (have the axles already)
6. subfloor replacement
7. find and fix leaks (i have marked several already on the inside of the outer skin
8. Clean windows, replace gaskets, and tint windows.
9. replace roof vents
10. remove and replace AC
11. start exterior polishing
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Old 05-18-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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Only you can find the reasons and motivations IMO.

Trust yourself.

If time could be better spent elsewhere. . . change course . . . trust yourself.

Maybe read Eric’s “The Love Shack” thread for inspiration:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f22...ck-183431.html

Great photo in first post:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/101126254@N05/43010602711

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:21 PM   #3
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1977 31' Sovereign
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I think i may have phrased that poorly. I should have asked given the fact the shell may not be lifted off for a few weeks what would be a logical next step to do in the meantime? Something that could be put on hold once i have the frame ready to work on.

Thanks for those links i think that may help.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:22 PM   #4
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I agree that if you haven’t already, spending some time deeply reading threads here dealing with renovations would be a great idea generator and motivator, along with steeling you against the inevitable challenges ahead.

Also, researching interior design ideas on the net might also generate ideas that would have relevance to exactly where you are in the stage right now. You may find a capability or option that would be much easier to build in at this stage then later, for instance the idea of installing conduit, or split air conditioning, or solar, or what have you.

Also, it’s not too early to start thinking about interior design in terms of colors, lighting, fabrics etc. and starting to research sourcing those items, or fabricating them yourselves.

There are also a myriad little things that you could be doing, everything from refinishing the tail light assemblies, name and serial plates, detailing any vintage appliances you are keeping, etc.
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:53 PM   #5
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I don't know what all is involved with replacing the axles or if you need to take them off for something else you have planned, but if you are going to be towing several miles and there's something wrong with the axles on the trailer, I might think about doing that replacement before the tow. But being pretty ignorant of the entire process, I would consider the source before taking advice from the likes of me!
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb75 View Post
I don't know what all is involved with replacing the axles or if you need to take them off for something else you have planned, but if you are going to be towing several miles and there's something wrong with the axles on the trailer, I might think about doing that replacement before the tow. But being pretty ignorant of the entire process, I would consider the source before taking advice from the likes of me!
the trailer was hauled around 35 miles since it was purchased from a local airstream dealer and before that it was hauled 200-400 miles from out of state to the dealer to give a quote for renovation and then ultimately being sold to me on commission. its not a bad thought if it was sitting in a field for an extended period of time but given its recent history I am fairly confident the trip to the liftoff site will be uneventful.
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Old 05-18-2020, 06:50 PM   #7
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Keep your axle swap for later when you can use the gantries for the frame.
The windows are a PITA and if you have a place to work on those at home I’d suggest setting up a work station for that.

While the shell is still attached it might be wise to do any roof work, like removal of vents and other items for cleaning/replacement/eventual sealing...

Have you taken off all the marker light housing? Brake lights? Badging? Those would be good to work on at home.

There are thousands of steps, but you can only take one at a time...
Rooting for you.

Ian
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:10 PM   #8
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thanks for the drive to read more and more threads everyone. i think i stumbled into what i need to do next. My sovereign has a carefree awning and after more reading about it i am under the impression the lower awning arm mounts have 2 screws each that go into the end grain of the subflooring. obviously the lower mount brackets will have to be removed for the shell off so will be removing the awning (i am aware that the spring tension will need to be released very carefully before disassembly.) so i guess that is a big enough project to keep me busy.
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Old 05-18-2020, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iansk View Post
Keep your axle swap for later when you can use the gantries for the frame.
The windows are a PITA and if you have a place to work on those at home I’d suggest setting up a work station for that.

While the shell is still attached it might be wise to do any roof work, like removal of vents and other items for cleaning/replacement/eventual sealing...

Have you taken off all the marker light housing? Brake lights? Badging? Those would be good to work on at home.

There are thousands of steps, but you can only take one at a time...
Rooting for you.

Ian
i have been trying to to see how the tail light housing are mounted. i see how the monarch lights come out but how is the housing attached to the trailer? guess when the rain stops here i will take a better look at since i have only glanced so far
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:09 PM   #10
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There is a lot of superficial stuff you can do right now, that will have to be done eventually. BuT, as mentioned earlier, the window (and hatch) seals are obvious.

Look at it this way--you are going to lift the shell, replace the floor, and then set the shell back in place. For weeks/months afterward, you will be worrying about wiring, insulation, sealing from the inside, but you will definitely not want to damage your new subfloor with leaky window/hatch seals.

The good news is that you can do the windows/hatches one at a time, so it isn't like you are going to get stuck in the middle of a big project and that will result in delays to the shell lift.

good luck!
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:25 AM   #11
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You forgot sealing all the seams for possible roof leaks. We used Sikaflex. We bought it on Amazon.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycuda View Post
i have been trying to to see how the tail light housing are mounted. i see how the monarch lights come out but how is the housing attached to the trailer? guess when the rain stops here i will take a better look at since i have only glanced so far
The taillights are fastened via rivets from the inside.

Itís pretty gratifying to cleanup these pieces and itís much easier to do when off the shell.

Ian
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:51 PM   #13
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Roof vents, leaks, window gaskets, lights, interior wiring, remove belly pan, axles. We can keep you busy!
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:22 PM   #14
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Well if you're going to lift it by the roof vents I wouldn't bother resealing them before removing them. Removing the belly pan now would help it's not structural and needs to be removed for the shell off.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:03 PM   #15
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You can save removing (most) of the bellypan until after the shell is off. It is a lot easier to flip the frame with your gantries and do all that work from above.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:46 AM   #16
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Just remember the Hardest Part of any project is getting up and walking out the door to start working on whatever is your passion OR your nemesis.

Once you start your day working on whatever project/work you have it's not that bad at all working on it the rest of the day!
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:27 AM   #17
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I don’t see clear coat removal on your list. You could start removing clear coat if there is any left on your trailer. You could also start removing the lower trim band and banana wrapping to prepare for shell separation. Lots of rivets to drill.
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM   #18
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thanks everyone for the project ideas. I am working on the windows right now since i picked up a replacement for one of the stack windows that has deeply scratched glass that is also very wavy looking. i have the window out and disassembled, the used replacement torn apart, and the glass tinted. just waiting on the gaskets and a buffer to arrive and then that window can be reassembled and installed. I want to polish up the frames before reassembly since i will have the best chance to get them from every angle depending on the weather this week i will be pulling the 2 remaining stack windows to rebuild with new gaskets and then on to the rest of the windows. getting the first one going was stressful but now I am ready to attack the rest of them and get them all cleaned up and ready to go
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