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My 1958 Overlander

Posted 04-11-2013 at 01:36 PM by MaryC

In 2012 I suddenly was stricken with aluminum fever. I spent months researching and studying and thinking about what kind of AS I wanted. It had to be vintage, and it took me quite awhile to narrow down size, configuration and body style. Cost? That somewhere along the line got stretched a bit, but I had plenty of justifications for that. Most of that was prior work done and overall condition of the trailer for being 54 years old. And mostly because ...I wanted it.

I consider myself fortunate to have found a vintage Airstream that has had enough restoration on it to be able to tow safely. Running gear, lights, brakes have been replaced or restored. It was a desert trailer, so I didn't have to worry about the problems I might find if it had been sitting someplace for years in the Pacific NW. The trailer has even been polished! The windows are all in great shape, just need a little bit of work to get a few of them sealing tightly again. An intense rain storm which had more sensible people pulling over off the highway through the Chemehuevi mountains heading north to Needles tested for leaks. All dry inside!

Really lucky! When looking to purchase long distance, I was able to find the work that had been done on this trailer chronicled in the Air Forums. That made my purchase feel so much more comfortable.

I am an equine photographer, and the trailer will be used in my business as a base of operations/office/living quarters. And, truth be known, it is my fascination and I don't think I need to explain that here.

When we are not traveling, my AS is stored inside a private RV garage on a farm just south of the city. I consider myself lucky once again to have found such a place. Living in the city with a one car width driveway, there is no way it could be stored at home for any length of time.

For the past 2 months my shiny ting has been residing inside an RV shop being completely remodeled inside. Gutted, painted inside, new flooring (marmoleum) and birch cabinets, new plumbing as well. Refer replaced. The old one worked, but it was too tall for what I wanted to do with the closet side cabinetry. I wanted a higher than normal counter to set my camera gear and whatever necessaries of the moment..a la Pavoni coffee press, a toaster, battery chargers, groceries you name it.

The front was empty so we have had a dinette built which will serve for dining and a desk top for much work processing images on my laptop as well as a bed as needed. Probably even some client image presentation on a larger screen.
We've kept the Princess stove, the sink, ceiling lights, and overhead bins, the rest is new, but with many nods to its 50's vintage style. The twin beds have been rebuilt and soon will sport some comfy new mattresses.

We kept a 24" space opposite the door, between dinette and counter to fit in an aluminum dog crate or two (stacked). We travel with dogs and also plan to use it when attending some of the dog shows that we compete in.
Recycled leather upholstery and marmoleum floors were a must for me for keeping things clean not only for dogs, but the fact that I work with horses and horse shows as my primary job then there is all that road tripping and camping that is scheduled in forests, deserts and beaches.

Clearly, I fall into the category of farming out the restoration work. Its costs much more, but having it done professionally means that I will get to use it in my lifetime and hopefully it will be done right the first time.
Looking forward to getting it back in the next month and setting out on some test trips before its pressed into service in my busy photographic season.
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