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TomW 08-19-2011 03:09 PM

Sneakinup will do great things with this Sovereign
Back around 2004, One of the forum's [almost] charter members put a '72 Overlander back on the road with a custom interior he designed & constructed. Since I was refurbing my '67 Overlander around the same time, we swapped alot of email about the best way to approach/implement improvements. I was fortunate enough to catch up with him at a couple of Florida forum rallies.

The finished interior of Sneakinup's Overlander was awesome - he obviously understands what works. And his attention to detail was incredible.

Sadly, the economy eventually forced him to sell his work of art, and he dropped off the forums.

Fortunately for this forum, circumstances have improved, and he never lost his aluminitus. Sneakinup has acquired a '77 Sovereign, and is assessing his options. We've subsequently swapped a few emails about his new blank slate.

Since he has already shared with me a first-cut web site to chronicle the re-birth, I threatened to "out" his new project to airforums. He asked me to wait until 'the website is ready'. If you want to see a master in action, I recommend you post to this thread, or write on Sneakinup's wall, or PM him for encouragement. He is a most talented individual, and all will appreciate his approach.


Darkspeed 08-19-2011 03:17 PM

Ya he's just south of me. I heard he did really good work on his last one.

Chuck 08-19-2011 05:58 PM

Well thats good to hear that things are looking up!

Sneak's absence has most definitely been noticed. Glad to hear he's making a come-back. :bb:

SmokelessJoe 08-19-2011 06:22 PM

Good news about Sneaknup!
Barry was an absolute inspiration for me as I set out on my Argosy "contemporization" in 2005.

I'd met him via email about a year before I announced my project. See post #7 here:

His clever, inventive work was unique, original and astonishing and his willingness to share and encourage knew no bounds. (He's the guy who first suggested I join the Forum).

I noticed that he soon thereafter drifted away so it's good to hear the news of his return with this new project.

Some of us are going to really enjoy the vicarious trip...


Sneakinup 08-20-2011 04:56 AM

Thanks for the nice post Tom, and the other wonderful comments. I have been back and reading posts for a few weeks now. Wow, there is some real talent out there doing amazing jobs on their trailers. Very inspirational for me now that I am an owner again.

Some of you that have been around for a while may remember me. I joined the forums almost 10 years ago shortly after I bought my first Airstream. A 1972 27’ Overlander. With an unbelievable amount of help from other forum members, some of which became friends and I still keep in touch with, I was able to transform my trailer in to the “trailer that I wanted.” For all the assistance, friendship and encouragement, I thank the forums, the people on them, and of course Airstream for making such a cool product. With that said, I accept this Oscar… wait, wrong speech. Oh yeah, just thanks to the Airstream community for all your help. I digress.

Like many of us, I was hit hard by these wonderful economic times, and sold my baby almost 2 years ago. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t "panned for aluminum" on Craigslist, Ebay, open fields, people’s backyards, and so on, in the hopes of finding another project.

Well, the reason I am back is that I located a 1977 31’ Sovereign right here in Tampa, and now, once again, I am a proud aluminumaniac. As with many of the Vintage trailers, it needs significant work, but I have that T-shirt already.

Right now it is almost totally gutted. It didn't come with much of an interior, but that is the way I wanted it. It did however come with a new AC, water pump, newer water heater, and new converter. A lot of those big expenses are covered.

Once the belly skin comes off, the work begins. If you are interested, I will post my cathartic web site of my progre$$.


mello mike 08-20-2011 06:29 AM

Welcome back, Barry. It's good to see you on the forums again. I remember your posts quite a bit when I joined back in 2004.

Sneakinup 08-20-2011 01:42 PM

Thanks, it is good to be back. It was a rough 2 years not having an AS to tinker with, travel in, or just take a relaxing afternoon nap in. :lol:

summerkid 08-20-2011 02:11 PM

Tom, Sneak already gets about 9 emails a day from me, each one on a different subject. But now I will add a 10th to "encourage" him, he will probably love that.

Aviator 08-20-2011 03:17 PM

Your Overlander is fantastic. I look forward to watching what you do with your new canvas! Hopefully I will get a chance to see it in person at one of the rally's here in the Southeast.

DKB_SATX 08-20-2011 06:08 PM

Wow. I just looked through lots of the photos of your previous trailer. It's funny how little things grab my attention... of all the outstanding work you did, I think my favorite thing is the nice curved cabinet door you used to replace the horizontal tambour door. It's both a great bit of design thinking and an outstanding piece of craftsmanship. I look forward to being inspired by your work on the Sovereign!

Stefrobrts 08-20-2011 06:14 PM

I still remember your first project as one of the slickest interiors I've seen on AF. Good luck with your new project!

Skatiero 08-20-2011 08:04 PM

Wow! Amazing work! So cool that you have another project!!

Sneakinup 08-21-2011 06:04 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks.... This is what I call a "clean slate." Yikes! But oh, so much fun.

(hopefully it loaded properly)

Darkspeed 08-21-2011 06:28 AM

Any idea what the frame is like?

Sneakinup 08-21-2011 12:52 PM


Originally Posted by Darkspeed (Post 1035641)
Any idea what the frame is like?

Just a preliminary check has some holes through the main c-channel under the bathroom. Fairly common. I checked the integrity of the A-frame before moving it and it appears to be solid. I know I have a few outriggers that will need replacing. Oddly enough, after having removed all of the parquet flooring, there were no soft spots in the floor. Very unusual. We'll see when I pull out the tub and brittle bathroom plastics. Just a small area left to check.

Once I get done with the interior strip out, I will go around the trailer and make sure it is leak free. Many of the windows have no caulking around them, and I know from recent rains that it is coming in from there.

When it is all water tight from the top down, I will venture under the trailer and drop the banana wraps and belly skin. That will be the tell all. Ya never know, but I don't think it is going to be too too bad. (he says to himself with cautious optimism) Fortunately, whatever I find can either be fixed or replaced. I got the trailer for "next to nothing" so I can't really complain.


TomW 08-21-2011 02:14 PM

Proceed cautiously

Originally Posted by summerkid (Post 1035416)
Tom, Sneak already gets about 9 emails a day from me, each one on a different subject. But now I will add a 10th to "encourage" him, he will probably love that.

I think he will simply eat it up. But let's be careful to not give him a big head or anything.

Sure, he's simply fantastic with both knowing what works & how to implement it; but be sure to include platitudes instead of gushing admiration of great things to come in your emails...


TomW 08-26-2011 03:53 PM

I'll ring Barry's bell for him
Okay folks - I was hoping Sneakinup would ring his own bell about a site destined to chronicle greatness-about-to-happen. But he "snuck up" :rolleyes: and added a link to his signature instead of updating this thread.

So's you don't have roll the mouse up to his last post, bookmark this site:

Barry's Sovereign

He's kinda slow, but most Masters are...


Chuck 02-21-2012 06:30 AM

Ok, this the restoration thread?

I saw sneakinup's pic uploaded to the gallery--ruberized undercoating. what's up with that? no por 15? sure looks a heckuvalot easier. but will it hold up?

Sneakinup 02-21-2012 06:48 AM

No, I document on my own web page. 77 Sovereign

I did my last trailer with POR15. Not this one. The frame on this trailer was still mostly painted black after 35 years (you can see it in some of my pictures). The rust was of course due only to the insulation soaking up water and laying against the frame and outriggers. After doing my repairs and welding, I wire brushed everything, applied 2-3 coats of OSPHO with a pump sprayer, and have just started to spray paint it. I did the same thing on a flatbed trailer of mine and it has worked well. Auto restorers use OSPHO all the time with excellent results.

I wouldn't say it was less work, just less expensive and not as messy. I am pretty confident that I will get another 35 years out of the frame. The one difference is that I won't do what the previous owners have done, and that is to let the trailer go unattended and neglected for years on end. I will sell it before that happens. :)

Melody Ranch 02-21-2012 07:34 AM

I too use OSPHO. It works great. I never will use Rustoleum again. It bleeds rust thru within months on everything from pipe and cable fence to Airstream frames.

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