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Old 04-29-2011, 10:46 PM   #1
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
1969 31' Sovereign
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1969 31' Sovereign Landyacht International - Gutted!

Hello friends! Thought I'd share some photos of our slow but steady progress of the life and trials of our first restoration/remodel! Long story short -- We bought our first Airstream spanking new in 2007 and bought our second for 1/52 of the price two years ago right out from under a couple at a campground. It was meant to be parked at the lake rather than towed, but somewhere between replacing the floor, sprucing up the inside and installing a few new blinds, we discovered we had fallen in love. Unfortunately, behind the skins and under the new floor, there was a river running through! Leaky windows, rear separation, and a non-fuctioning furnace were no match for great weekends ... but to put her back into commission and tow her? Well, that's where the story begins.

Out went the "New" Bamboo floor, the wooden blinds, the newly covered leather cushions, and every other thing in sight. What we found, both shocked and awed. In less than two weekends, all 31' had been gutted right down to the outer skins...
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
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The repair list is long -- but while we're waiting for our favorite AS guru to give her rear-end a lift, repack the bearings, reattach the brakes, sand, repair and paint the frame and fabricate a few metal pieces over the wheels -- we've been busy renting a garage, building an AC'd office and charting a plan for restoring and rebuilding cabinets, walls, fiberglass pieces, and the list goes on. We hope you'll enjoy our twists and turns, and of course, flubs. We so love this community and look forward to learning from you all.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:36 PM   #3
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Whoa! This is exciting! I'm in!
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
https://visitsiouxfalls.com/assets/i...uxfalls-og.jpg
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:54 AM   #4
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Thanks Splitrock! Spent yesterday scrubbing the skins. Amazing what a little bleach and water will do. Photos of the fiberglass bathroom pieces this evening. Happy Sunday...
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:26 AM   #5
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Wow! That was a nice looking trailer to start with. Good luck with the repairs and modifications. I see you haven't removed the belly pan. Is that still on your list of "to do"? Would you mind naming your favorite Guru? Happy Sunday to you too.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
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The best steak I had in my life was in Arlington Texas in 1969. Can't remember the name of the place. It wasn't too far from the airport in Arlington:-)
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
https://visitsiouxfalls.com/assets/i...uxfalls-og.jpg
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:29 PM   #7
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Top ... Randy at North Dallas RV. Really great guy and knows his stuff. He's popular though so you have to be patient.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stowaways View Post
Top ... Randy at North Dallas RV. Really great guy and knows his stuff. He's popular though so you have to be patient.
Just wondering who is out there. I've done all the work on Abby myself. Thanks
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
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We're doing everything but frame repair and stiffeners. Flooring, painting, rebuilding cabinets, rewiring 110, refurbishing fiberglass in the bathroom, etc. Maybe on the next one we can tackle that. For now, the interior is plenty!
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:49 PM   #10
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Hi Stowaways!

I'll be following your progress closely: we're about to embark on restoring one, too. I'm still reading, researching, and trying to find my feet in the rundown chaos, but your interior pix made your Sovereign look great! I would have been sick at having to dismantle something so beautiful to get at the river underneath. Best of luck, and please please post lots of pix and details for the rest of us.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:22 PM   #11
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Your 69 could have been a twin to ours. We did had the same layout. It will be interesting to see how she comes out. What did you do with all your gutted parts?

The Vintage rally in Texas is coming up I think the second week of May. There will be people there looking for all the stuff you pulled out.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #12
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Houston, we have lift off!

The "69" is finally on her way home from the shop! Her rear has been officially lifted and her floor is good as new. Now the real work begins. First stop, rewiring the 12 volt (with 12 guage 2-wire) and compiling a list of everything that needs to be wired before we tackle re-insulating the walls. Man is vulkem sticky! We're delirious ... possibly from excitement, but more likely from the 107 heat. Where's Colorado when you need it???

For fun, I posted a photo of our make-shift AC and the 98 degree warehouse with all of our to-dos ... what were we thinking???
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #13
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Hmmm...the pictures aren't sideways when you tilt your head ...
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:36 PM   #14
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So glad to see your girl has recovered from her butt tuck. She will be ready for another 40 years. Our son just bought him a 69 Ambassador. He has to drive to Alabama and bring it back to Oklahoma. I am having flash backs of what we had to fix before our 69 Sovereign was road ready. Keep us posted on how your girl is goes back together.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:18 PM   #15
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Cool

What she meant to say was rewiring the 110 (with 12 guage 2-wire). She learned a lot yesterday and today about 12 volt & 110. She did a great job and now we have all new 110 wiring. Now she has to figure out the AV systems
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:31 PM   #16
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Looks like you have a good start!!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:24 PM   #17
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Well, to be honest, I hate electricity but it wasn't so bad. It was neat to see the nest of wires turn into something shiny, new and less tangled. Of course, when the shore power is finally plugged in, I am so a mile away!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:26 PM   #18
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Ah! Come on! It'll be OK! Don't be afraid!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:22 PM   #19
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End Caps 0, Us 1

Well folks, we're still alive!!!

Finally back at it on the '69. The "Perma R" insulation took forever, but we're happy with the progress and results. We went with 1 1/2" for the easy to reach places (lower sections) and 1" for the rounded ceiling sections. We figured this one out pretty quick because 1 1/2" gives the sides a little extra support and a snug fit with the skins, but the rounded pieces along the upper portion of the sides and ceiling are full of spaghetti wires and such and called for something with a bit more flex -- thus the 1". We had considered the "pink stuff" but decided against it mostly due to handling and the prospect of the itchy fibers. Time will tell if the "R" values hold up.

Then came the foil tape... if we never see another tube of Vulkem or foil tape again, it will be too soon! Oh, I forgot to mention, before the insulation (while the inner skins were off), Sammie singlehandedly resealed every single seam, rib, joint...etc., and month's later, we're still trying to get the gunk out from under our fingers! Bring on the rain mother nature!

Finally, we were ready for the EVER OMINOUS end caps. Or so we thought.

Armed with horror stores about the end caps and countless weekends of teeth gnashing, explicative snarling and back breaking twisting and contorting, we rolled up our sleeves and dove in! Surprisingly, in one weekend, we managed to do the unimaginable. But not without a little help from our brother-in-law and a tricky little $19 tool from Harbor Freight!

After a bit of trial and error, we found that if we popped a few rivets in the top of the end cap, then a few in the upper corners of the windows, the rest would eventually line up and follow. Using the rachet-able "Cargo Bars", we were able to stretch, lift and contort each section of the end cap. Little by little, the fiberglass stretched and pulled just enough to allow us complete victory. Well, minus one tiny oversight. One of the 110 wires got caught behind the beast, so we had to fish it out ... but we did, and all was well. The second end cap over the back bath proved to be MUCH quicker. Mostly because we knew the drill and had learned from our efforts the day before.

A few other things we learned along the way. Use a small screw driver to line up the holes and slightly nudge the fiberglass one direction or the other. Then pop a rivet above or below.

During the course of the last few weeks, we managed to run the AV wires for the DVD car stereo, sub woofer, iPod jack, speakers (for the bedroom and living) and both LCDS.

Next up are the long skins which need to be washed and installed.

Lots of odds and ends to come, but we seem to be on a roll. Hope you enjoy the progress. A few photos below of before and after.

Happy New Year!!! We're pooped.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:27 PM   #20
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A few more photos...
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