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Old 11-21-2021, 09:03 PM   #1
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1966 30' Sovereign
Sonoma , California
Join Date: Nov 2021
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Video of my new 1966 International - some questions about what I've got + restoration

Hey there,

Located in Sonoma, CA - I've just picked up a new [to me] 1966 Airstream International. I made a short video with some questions throughout so I can start to think through the plan. Some of the questions I've got:
- Can I easily remove cabinets for re-work/reinstall? Where are they attached?
- What's the thought on the subfloor? Shell-off, replace? Toilet room shows the street
- Is this frame galvanized? Chances it needs work?
- Is the center section of cabinets/beds part of the original layout?
- what do you think of the rework that was already done? It seems there's some super hardware and I should try to rebuild/reno what's been done already

I realize that's a lot for a single post. Just grab what you can and share back any thoughts!

https://youtu.be/QeYY-mBIdEw

Thanks,
Ken
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Old 11-22-2021, 07:48 AM   #2
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2016 20' Flying Cloud
Centennial , Colorado
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Great video and congratulations!

That particular vintage originally aluminum wiring. Since you are going to look at redoing a lot of things, you may want to poke around and find out the wiring situation. Might be worth upgrading it all. My 1966 had a soft sub floor in the back end as well. The rest of the floor was great. Mine had mice, pigeons and red army ants living in it for a long time. I sympathize with your situation cleaning up after the squirrels.

The body of your Airstream looks pretty good and that should save you a lot of time in the restoration project. When I first started working on mine, I couldn't source anything for the windows at all. Over the years, there have been more vendors that supply the window clips, there are videos available on how to seal the windows and there is a great community full of information tips and tricks here.

Please continue to post videos and ask questions.
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:03 AM   #3
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Ken,

You have a lot going on there. If you've only got a year or so to get it done, not sure a shell-off would be in your best interest. It would be must faster to remove the belly pan for an inspection, replace/repair flooring/frame that's required. In regards to the layout, the drivers-side bed area appears to be original, passengers not. Would suggest you take a look at other 1966 SOR Trailers and see what you do and don't like. You could even look at the sale brochure for 1966 to get an idea. The trailer has had many things done to it, just really depends what you want in the end. Here a link that will help. I don't mind telling you, I've always wanted a 1966SOR with the corner couch even though I've got a 1966 Overlander

https://vintageairstream.com/photo-a...-sovereign-30/

Good Luck,
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:39 PM   #4
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1966 30' Sovereign
Sonoma , California
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Originally Posted by rideair View Post
Ken,

You have a lot going on there. If you've only got a year or so to get it done, not sure a shell-off would be in your best interest. It would be must faster to remove the belly pan for an inspection, replace/repair flooring/frame that's required. In regards to the layout, the drivers-side bed area appears to be original, passengers not. Would suggest you take a look at other 1966 SOR Trailers and see what you do and don't like. You could even look at the sale brochure for 1966 to get an idea. The trailer has had many things done to it, just really depends what you want in the end. Here a link that will help. I don't mind telling you, I've always wanted a 1966SOR with the corner couch even though I've got a 1966 Overlander

https://vintageairstream.com/photo-a...-sovereign-30/

Good Luck,
About the belly pan removal. Would you do that job as a first effort, after it's gutted, or do it when the floor is removed? And, can the floor be removed and replaced without removing the shell?

Thanks a bunch - Ken
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Old 11-23-2021, 05:38 AM   #5
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Ken,

I guess the first question would be, "What end-product do you want and how much time do you have to complete the task?" The thought would be this, unless you already have a floor plan you want in mind, which has nothing to do with the current floor plan, before completely gutting the trailer, find out what major issues you have with the floor and frame by removing the belly-pan first for an inspection. You may find after removing the belly-pan, the only area of floor rot is in the rear of the trailer and the rest of the subfloor and frame are fine. Then again, you could quickly find out the trailer frame is completely shot, requiring a complete rebuild and might not be something you want to tackle. I've seen to many folks on the forms buy a trailer, gut it, throw away half the interior, to then find out it's a much bigger project than they thought, to then later try and sell a junk trailer stating "Completely Gutted, All the hard work done" and then complain they can't get their money back out of the trailer.

Again, removing the belly-pan and inspecting the trailer that way, will tell you 95% of everything you need to know about the condition of the frame/subfloor. Plus, it will allow you to remove the pink fiberglass insulation that most likely has many mouse hotels!

Just my two cents, not saying I'm right, others might tell you the first thing to do is polish the trailer. (never understood that)

Enjoy,
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Old 11-23-2021, 06:25 AM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Welcome! Sure looks like needs a new subfloor and new axles at least. Everything else is subject to inspection in more detail, I think. We did a shell on subfloor with belly pan off. It is doable, but not necessarily easier than shell off. You can see what we did in our thread: Little Girl Refurb in the '70's section of the forums. It did take us 4 years to get our trailer functional but that was working only summers, and we did new cabinetry, etc. Yours looks to perhaps be a shorter refurb if you can reuse cabinets. I think you'll have to take them out to evaluate them, but you'll have to take everything out to do subfloor anyway....
Our layout was somewhat similar to yours in the center section with the twin beds but it looks like the curbside one was raised for more storage. We converted ours to a twin bed on curbside, and cabinets on streetside.

Good luck and keep us informed!


Kay
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Old 11-23-2021, 07:10 AM   #7
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1966 30' Sovereign
Sonoma , California
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Originally Posted by rideair View Post
Ken,

I guess the first question would be, "What end-product do you want and how much time do you have to complete the task?" The thought would be this, unless you already have a floor plan you want in mind, which has nothing to do with the current floor plan, before completely gutting the trailer, find out what major issues you have with the floor and frame by removing the belly-pan first for an inspection. You may find after removing the belly-pan, the only area of floor rot is in the rear of the trailer and the rest of the subfloor and frame are fine. Then again, you could quickly find out the trailer frame is completely shot, requiring a complete rebuild and might not be something you want to tackle. I've seen to many folks on the forms buy a trailer, gut it, throw away half the interior, to then find out it's a much bigger project than they thought, to then later try and sell a junk trailer stating "Completely Gutted, All the hard work done" and then complain they can't get their money back out of the trailer.

Again, removing the belly-pan and inspecting the trailer that way, will tell you 95% of everything you need to know about the condition of the frame/subfloor. Plus, it will allow you to remove the pink fiberglass insulation that most likely has many mouse hotels!

Just my two cents, not saying I'm right, others might tell you the first thing to do is polish the trailer. (never understood that)

Enjoy,
Paul, what you're suggesting is that I just jack the trailer up, make some space underneath and start pulling some belly pan rivets off to see what's going on with the frame, right? As far as I can tell, the floor up front is good - and bad in back. I don't want to do a shell off if I don't need to [at least for my intended use, some travel in northern California and Oregon].

I guess I'm thinking more about the steps required to do what I want to do. I need to assess what I've got as easily as possible, looking underneath, and then make some decisions about moving forward. Seems I can pull the belly pan quite easily, actually.

Ken Gracey

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