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Old 02-06-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
Richmond , Virginia
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Smile Mint Condition 64 - Should I change anything?

I just bought my first airstream. I won't tell you how much I paid for it, but lets just say I was very blessed.

As you can see in the pictures, it's in immaculate condition. I wonder if someone kept it in the garage somewhere. At some point, the water line burst in the very back, but it looks like no water damage. They then unhooked all the water lines. I plan on replacing them all with PEX. The only other items are replacing the goucho cushions because they were latex and have hardened, and the previous owner pulled up the linoleum tiles to put down another floor.

As you can see, it's pristine. I even have this super fragile outdoor lamp. I pulled the awning down today. I think it was installed, and never used - some time in 89.

So, here's the question. What can I do that won't affect the value (as if my wife would ever let me sell it now)

It road very well with no bouncyness, so I think the axles are fine, but haven't had the time to get to spend underneath. I'd like to put click lock linoleum floors in, but I don't need to pull the cabinets, so I'll fit up to the cabinets then use the trim that's used everywhere else to hide the seams.

My wife wants to replace the counter tops. By the way, the table matches them exactly, so that must be original.

The CB antenna seems to have been added, but not sure. I am considering removing that as well as the TV antenna.

Any suggestions on what I can add or remove that will increase or dramatically decrease the value would be appreciated. I don't want to do anythign foolish.

It is a shame in a way... I'm an accomplished cabinet and furnituremaker. I had hoped to be able to customize this, but it looks like I'm just preserving a museum quality piece.

My wife says I can buy a junk one and mess with that one, but she wants to keep this a period piece with period colors and textiles. I also left the original steel tanks with the guy I bought it from. I plan on going with the new aluminum ones. Was that a big mistake? I know there's a little more money involved, but I do plan to shine this bugger up.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:09 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
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a couple more pics

Limit on ten pics, so I decided to add a couple more on my own post.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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Neat looking trailer.
I'm gonna side with the wife.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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Leave "AS-IS" including the counter tops! Tell your wife she can change those out on the junked one that you do a custom job on. As for your axles, my guess, they're bad. Though they may have the right ride height, the rubber gets hard and it will beat the trailer going down the road. A quick test, take a wheel off, put a jack under the hub and see if it has 4-5 inches of movement up and down (mine started moving the trailer up in the air after 1 1/2 inches. You can check with Colin Hyde on the forms, he can have them shipped directly to you. A one day job to change both.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:27 PM   #5
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Suspension Viability

I donít know if this is a valid test of axle viability, but with my 31 foot 2002 ASCL sitting on the tongue jack I can stand in the very rear of it and flex/straighten my knees (as if jumping) and set up a smooth increasing rhythmic/harmonic springing action of the suspension.

I would think that if the torsion springs were degraded this springing action would be compromised or non-existent, so before jacking one might try jumping .
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:00 PM   #6
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I drove it about 40 miles, and though I didn't see a soft rolling motion, it didn't bounce around very much. It was much easier than pulling my dad's 30 foot rv. Also, passing other people on the road didn't cause the panic that I used to endure seeing the trailer recover from the wind friction.

As far as countertops. How about I just store the old ones somewhere and give them to a new owner. Where exactly do you draw the line here? Do the traditionalists keep using the latex matresses too? Repair the copper instead of putting in pex? There has to be a line there somewhere. I want to use the trailer. I think the repairs need to be in an order. #1. Safety. Replace the axles. I sent an email to Colin already. I'll replace the tires as well. #2. Hidden functionality. I plan on replacing the light bulbs with LED possibly, and the wooden goucho slides with 500 lbs metal glides possibly. The copper replaced with pex. The only other thing I thought would be nice would be to replace the aluminum hinge locks with european stay open hinges.

Any thoughts on the floor? Would the purists glue down linoleum tiles again?
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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Hello... Welcome to Airstreaming... Beautiful trailer. Do what you want, update your plumbing, new mattresses, it is yours to do as you choose.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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A "true purists" would buy "VCT" and cut it down from the 12"x12" out of the box squares to the original 9"x9" (though I think it's a bit much). Tires will open up a big debate. I'm personally an old bias ply guy 7.00x15 for me. Though many/most run radials. I like the height and stiffness of the bias ply tire. Those with new axles (22.5 degree angle). Some are even changing the down angle since the height of todays tow's are higher. Since I often pull with a 1968 Travelall or a 1962 Galaxie I stayed with the 22.5 when replaced.

Plumbing, lots of guys are going PEX, though I'm still a copper guy. More work, but I like the way it looks (I just dislike plastic). I have thought it would be good to do a trailer in the high pressure braided vinyl PVC hose with good old hose clamps. Easy, cheap, etc...

Why ya thinking of changing out the goucho slides? The ones there can handle a bunch of weight.

Hey, I'm in Front Royal, VA (a little north of Richmond)
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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wow, very nice rig. It is yours now, what you want. Maybe take it camping a few times and see what comes to mind as far as what works and what you might want to do.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:25 PM   #10
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Beautiful Overlander. You are mightly lucky to find one in that kind of condition. Welcome to the forum.

I would change the copper to pex, install new axles, install new radial tires and possibly an air conditioner if you are going to do any summer camping below 3000 ft elevation. I have had a fair amount of experience working with pex and changed the plumbing in my 66 TW so I can help you some. I am not too far away also.

Dan
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:25 PM   #11
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To answer the questions posed in the first post, it is the opinion of most vintage trailer owners that any major change to the floorplan and the surface materials reduces the value of the trailer. Exceptions could include gutted trailers that have had costly extreme makeovers that sometimes cost 50K to 100K from professional shops and private hobbyists. But these projects are in a separate category from unmolested orginal trailers....like yours.

The value reduction is true of any vintage car, furniture, period house and vintage trailers. The great thing about vintage trailers is things like plumbing, water tanks, and appliances that are not visiable can be changed and updated to materials like pex without effecting the value.

Even counter tops can be changed if they are damaged or worn. I replaced three of the four counters in my Safari and was able to match the original color with new material. I also used VCT tiles on the floor.

Axles should be replaced....and in your case you will have to ditch the split rims for new rims. Just make sure you can keep the groovy hub caps.

Many people have and will say "just do what you want" and I think they are missing the whole point of owning a vintage model.

Listen to you Wife. Aluminum tanks are a nice upgrade and look good with vintage.

I love the pleated interior roof also....that was an option back in 64'. There must also be a side panel next to the bed.

This is an excellent model in great condition....why change what works?
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Beautiful Overlander. You are mightly lucky to find one in that kind of condition. Welcome to the forum.

I would change the copper to pex, install new axles, install new radial tires and possibly an air conditioner if you are going to do any summer camping below 3000 ft elevation. I have had a fair amount of experience working with pex and changed the plumbing in my 66 TW so I can help you some. I am not too far away also.

Dan
Actually, I was looking at just getting one of those small portable AC's. I can just plug it in, and make a small plate for one of the windows. That way I don't have to worry about roof penetration, and if it goes bad, it's just another $100 off Craigslist.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #13
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zolatone

One final question. My wife would like to paint the interior. The zolatone is dingy, but in really good coniditon. I really don't want the hassle of trying to use zolatone. I can spray with an HVLP sprayer and then use a splatter paint technique to get the color varieties. I'm guessing I shouldn't mess with it?

As for counters, I think we are committed to replacing them and the table. I am pretty confident I can remove them without damage and set them aside for the someone else that wants to roll it into a museum someday.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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Okay, we have caught the fever.

I don't know how this is happening, but we are considering a second one that is in salvage. Is this some kind of weird medical condition brought on by exposure to aluminum and zolatone paint?
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