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Old 11-16-2006, 06:42 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
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First Use Rehab

Well Gang, This is the first use rehab. I needed to make my 1974 31' Sovereign Landyacht serve several purposes...The first use was a permanent hookup so I could live in it over the winter. Later, we'll use it for camping.

We cleaned and caulked everything we could outside, put a 1 inch foam skirt around the entire trailer, put in water, septic, electric, satellite and phone lines (underground and in conduit as needed), fixed the bad spots in the floor, laid a 1/4 inch floor over the old one, put in an extra two 20 amp circuits so I could run electric heat and outside floodlamps without compromising the electrical integrity of the 30 amp system already in place, primed floors and walls with Kilz (after cleaning), painted walls with latex and I laid carpet (instead of the wood I was planning). We took out the kitchen for now - but Pa built a counter for me. I have a refrigerator, a 2 burner hot plate, a convection oven and a coffee pot. I actually only snack here, I eat at Mom and Pa's <g>.

The one issue we can't resolve without tearing the bathroom apart is hot water. The system looks old and probably needs replacement - it is propane and we've decided not to trust it at this time. I simply heat water in a pan and do my meager dishes with that. I run over to Mom and Pa's to take a hot shower <g>. Not a problem as they are close.

So - I've been living here for a week and the only issue is today, the first rain we've had...the AC is leaking slightly! ACK! Pa is gonna go up there as soon as it clears to check the system and see what we can do...shroud? More caulk? Gaskets? Pa will determine what is needed. Any suggestions and advice is heartily welcomed! I've tried over and over to post photos but its not working. ~ Merry
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:48 PM   #2
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Kitchen photos

Here is my new kitchen area....
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #3
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If you have an aftermarket air conditioner, you probably have a bad gasket, and the unit will have to be moved off the mounting hole, and a new gasket installed.
If you still have the original Armstrong air conditioner, you can vulkem the seams where it is riveted to the roof.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:14 AM   #4
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Ac

Thanks, Terry,

Pa is gonna check it today - we're having nice weather now. I'll let him know what to look for!

~ Merry
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:30 AM   #5
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great unit! I've got a Sovereign that I've started modifying from the back forwards. Don't know what to do with all the couches up front, yet, but I like your open approach.

Good luck with the leak. I am constantly chasing leaks in the window frames.

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Old 11-17-2006, 09:43 AM   #6
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Water heater option

I put in a Kenmore 6.0 Gal. 115 v. waterheater in place of the original. Granted, I don't have a propane boondocking option, but I have all the hot water I need wherever I plug in. Installation is simple and fast in the original space.
Your doing a great job!
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Old 11-17-2006, 10:01 AM   #7
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Merry,
Looks toasty and oh so cozy.
Good luck on the leak.

Michael
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:52 PM   #8
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Zep - thanks for the compliment! My plan for the total rehab (which is scheduled for the future) is to put in dinette storage benches & table where the current table sits. I'm hoping to have a custom made table that will swing out leaves over the benches to make a larger work surface for my sewing...and both bench backs and table can be lowered to be a bed. Not sure if I can convey what I want to a carpenter, though.

That small bench came from Walmart. Its 45 X 22 inches. The dog loves to sit up there and stare out at the driveway and road. She knocks the pillows off for a better view.

The mushroom chair under the table is a fold-up. It can be pulled out for use.

None of the stuff will be left in the 'Stream when we do the total rehab. It is not secured in any way and probably can't be, which is why I will make more permanent fixtures in the future, but will follow the basic layout of today.

~ Merry

~ Merry
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:52 PM   #9
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Melody,

I'll check into that! THANK YOU!

~ Merry
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:53 PM   #10
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Michael - we've been unable to find the leak so far...Pa thinks maybe when he put the skirting on that we blocked the drainage tube and it backed up? Anyone know if the AC has a drainage tube?

Thanks!

~ Merry
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:20 PM   #11
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My 75 Trade Wind has the AC drain in the streetside wheel well in front of the front wheel. It is a plastic tube if about 1/2 inch. If yours is the same you might have folded it if you wedged a foam sheet into the wheel well.
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Old 11-17-2006, 09:36 PM   #12
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AC drain tube...

Richard,

Thank you! That will make the search a lot quicker!

~ Merry
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry Stahel
...
None of the stuff will be left in the 'Stream when we do the total rehab. It is not secured in any way and probably can't be, which is why I will make more permanent fixtures in the future, but will follow the basic layout of today.

~ Merry
Merry, it is surprising how well unsecured chairs and tables will travel. My folding chairs and table are usually right where I left them. If you secure the small items, I think you'd be OK to travel.

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Old 11-18-2006, 03:38 PM   #14
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Hmmm...

Zep,

Pa saw the bench for the first time today and asked if it was a storage bench. I thought "dang, that would've been even better!"

However, the reason most of the stuff is gonna be removed when we do the total rehab for camping is because I want more bed space - I expect to be camping with my parents and husband and possibly a kid or two...or five. We tend to inherit children in the summers LOL.

The big easy chair is a reject from our old house, I had planned to get rid of it when the dogs claimed it as their own. To make them more comfortable living here, I dragged it in from storage. The dog promptly claimed the bench, instead. I'd like to make a custom-made platform bed where the chair is.

My current computer desk eats up kitchen space when the chair is in front of it - the dogs can sidle by but people tend to squeeze past. So I want to remedy that, too - we keep in touch with our extensive family via an online family Yahoo Group, so even camping, we'll need access at least some of the time.

Where the huge long closet was amidships (over the wheel well) we're planning some drop-down bunking - has anyone ever done that?


~ Merry
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:04 PM   #15
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The hot water problem

The ability to have hot water is a bit different.

The old hot water tank is propane - we capped off all propane at this time due to the PO's apparent aptitude for fire - behind the fridge was a blackened mess, as well as the stove. The propane lines would all have to be replaced before using because Pa refuses to even consider a test of such a shaky operation.

The plumbing has also been jury-rigged at least once that Pa can see. Some joints are soldered that shouldn't be, and pipes are not in logical places. Too near walls with potential for freezing, etc.

To fix this would require major tearing up of floors and re-doing lots of plumbing. We're already in the 20s here at night. Its COLD out. Also, I'm only living here for another 6 weeks or so before I zip out to go visiting relatives.

Even wiring in an electric hot water heater will require a 2-3 day job. Pa has too many other things to do, getting ready for Christmas (he makes wooden toys for the grandkids and nice furniture for Mom every Christmas).

After looking around with the ideas Melody gave me...I found a soultion.

I HAVE water...what I don't have is hot water.

There is a thing called a Bucket Heater made for animals - cattle, horses, goats and sheep - it is basically a sealed heating element that can be electric or 12 volt battery powered. It goes in a large bucket...or a stock tank to either de-ice when water is frozen...or warm up too cold water. Most have a thermostat and only heat to 45 degrees. I found one that can boil water. It costs about $30. There's some kind of safety feature that makes it turn itself off if there's not enough water, so it doesn't burn up or cause a fire if left unattended (Not that I'd ever do that!).

My thought is to fill the sink or my shower pan with water, plug the bucket heater in and let it warm the water.

I can then do dishes, bathe the dogs or take a bath myself.

Any thoughts? Dumb idea? If so, other suggestions?

~ Merry
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:05 PM   #16
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It's a great stopgap solution, but it's not that hard to redo the propane lines. In all my AS's, there is a fitting in the pipe close to where each of the service lines enter the shell. Redoing just from that fitting to inside to each appliance would be quick and very safe--any leaks from old defective pipes would be outside.

You are right to worry about freezing the pipes if they are along the wall, but I don't think you have to worry about those that are inside the living area, meaning behind the cabinets. The real worry is the pipe that runs across the belly pan (if you have a mid-bath Sovereign like mine with the bath on the curb side). If you have a rear bath, it's the pipes that are in the compartment under the sink and where they run under the shower pan.

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Old 11-18-2006, 08:41 PM   #17
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Hot water...

Zep,

I think those propane fittings aren't there - I think that's what Pa was talking about when he said its been soldered. He is shaking his head - apparently someone else did a quick fix that wasn't really safe.

I have a mid-bath Sovereign - that pipe going across the middle underbelly had holes...Pa ran the new waterline under the ground and then straight up into the sink pipes, then heat taped it.

He looked at the shower today, shaking his head and mumbling under his breath. I expect good things in the next week or so...LOL.

Thanks for the help so far - I'm relaying all to Pa and he's checking things out.

~ Merry
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