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Old 07-19-2018, 02:15 PM   #1
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1963 30' Sovereign
Dalllas , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2018
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63 Sovereign

I am beginning to restore a 1963 Sovereign that has been in inside non-heated storage in the upper midwest for 25 years.. I am a beginner and novice in Airstream systems. Iíve looked for instructions on how the plumbing works but most of what I have found is for newer models. There is no manual to follow. I know it does not have a gray tank. What do I do to determine what repairs are necessary?
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:56 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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Are you refering to just the plumming?
Does it have any leaks?
Do the tail and brake lights work?
How about the interior lights.
Do you know if it was winterized before being stored?
What is your intent for use?
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:09 PM   #3
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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What TGT said. Do you have pictures? In your opinion, what is the condition of the trailer? I know all this seems overwhelming, but help is here on the Forums if they know specifics. As far as the plumbing, Iíve used all PEX. There were no manuals, just knowing where the appliances were being placed. Not that difficult. Give us a little more info and glad to help if I can. Good luck, Bubba
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:16 PM   #4
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1963 16' Bambi
1962 22' Safari
Yreka , California
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We have a 63 Bambi and we removed all the original plumbing lines except for a few things like a vent that was good, etc. when we restored our trailer. Our plumbing lines were copper and we replaced them with pex. Even if you aren't doing a frame off restoration, you can run pex (likely) alongside the original plumbing. One thing we discovered, however, is we put the plumbing lines along the same place as the original... now 14 years later we realize that we didn't consider accessibility as well as we should have. The original ran along the outside wall and in the winter it was in a place that got pretty cold (we do winter camping) so that was a concern and the repair and even turn on for various valves aren't quick and easy to get at as newer Airstreams.

Good luck! Yes, post pictures and specific questions to get great accurate responses from this forum... the folks are awesome!
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:58 AM   #5
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1963 30' Sovereign
Dalllas , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba L View Post
What TGT said. Do you have pictures? In your opinion, what is the condition of the trailer? I know all this seems overwhelming, but help is here on the Forums if they know specifics. As far as the plumbing, Iíve used all PEX. There were no manuals, just knowing where the appliances were being placed. Not that difficult. Give us a little more info and glad to help if I can. Good luck, Bubba


The Airstream has all copper plumbing. It has been sitting idle for 25 years. My father was the last to use it. Heís very thorough and Iím certain he would have drained everything before storing it. It has what looks to me to be a small air compressor under the kitchen sink. I do not know how to see if it works. There is a small compartment outside of the kitchen with a fitting that looks like an air fitting. The water holding tank and water heater are under the bed. My father has informed me that the water heater does not work. The toilet is a low profile original in good condition. It sits on a platform which I assume is the black tank. I understand that pex is the preferred modern material which Iíll eventually convert over. For now I want to leave as is and see how it goes. I need step by step instructions how to test and use the plumbing system as is and then go from there. The Airstream is off site currently. I can send photos later this coming weekend.
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Old 09-13-2018, 08:25 AM   #6
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1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
Southeast , Michigan
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Your Ambassador was originally built with a fully pressurized water system with a galvanized steel water tank under the street bed.

The air pump under the kichen cabinet operates on 12V and would pressurize the water system. There should be a pump switch on the wall, probably forward of the kitchen cabinet and looking like a normal 120v light switch. It should turn the pump on if there is a charged battery or the trailer is connected to a tow vehicle. There was no on-board battery charger in 1963 unless a previous owner added one, so plugging into shore power alone will not allow the pump to opetate. If you have 12v and the pump does not run, there is probably an inline fuse in the wire going to the pump, right next to the pump, that should be checked to see if it has blown.

You can do a preliminary leak check with air pressure using the air fitting on the water cap. Use a compressor to charge the system to perhaps 20 or 30 psi. Do not exceed 50 psi. You can the listen for leaks, spray soapy water on any suspect fitting or pipe to look for bubbles, or just let it so it an hour or two and check the pressure again. If the pressure has dropped, there is at least one leak somewhere or possibly multiple leaks. A leak could be a dried out gasket in a faucet, or it could be a split pipe, etc.

Good luck.
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