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Old 07-12-2018, 09:59 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2018
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New to me Ď68 Overlander

I just came into a 1968 overlander that used to be my grandfathers. Itís been in the desert of New Mexico itís whole life and seems to be in good shape... I havenít seen it in years though and I donít think itís gone for a ride in over 10. Iím planning on bringing it home to Texas this weekend and looking for recommendations on getting it highway safe for the 700 + mile trip. Obviously Iím going to put new tires on it, right now it has 7.00/15LTís looking around it looks like people have replaced those with ST225/75R15 Cís ... does that sound right? Iím seeing a lot about just automatically replacing axles since theyíre so old... and a little about repacking bearings?

Once I get it safe to drive home Iíve got a short window until Iíd like to move in (a few weeks) so any recommendations on what would need to be replaced first would be great. Right now all I have is pics of the wheels/tires, propane tanks and tongue and the make/model. Once I get out there I can and will send more and probably make a dedicated thread for fixing it up.

Thanks in advance for any help! Any bit of advice goes a long way, I am a complete noob to fixing up trailers.

P.s. missed the new member page and accidentally posted this in general maintenance. Currently havenít figured out to delete posts so itís still up as of now.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:59 PM   #2
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Good luck
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:13 PM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
Calgary , Alberta
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You want to move in and full time live in it, is that what you're saying?
Could be lots of projects to do depending on its condition before that might work, who knows without knowing the condition or seeing it.
Are you going to travel with it once back in Texas or park it somewhere to live in?
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:24 AM   #4
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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Tire size is what is I installed on my 68. I would definitely check the wheel bearings and brakes before such a long pull. If it has been sitting that long they will need repacking and this is July so road temps will be very high so you don't want to burn up a wheel bearing on the side of the road. If you are going to be traveling much new axles should be on your list of things to do. The rubber in the old ones gets hard after 50 years and you basically have zero suspension on the trailer. If the trailer is in good shape, moving in in 2 weeks might be doable but I worked on mine 2 years before it was ready to travel in. Since it is a desert climate trailer you may not have the rot problems but you will have lots of things work on. The list of things you need to do or may have to do is long. That said, 68 Airstreams are really great trailers, the real wood cabinets vs the plastic covered stuff of the 70' make them special to me.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:34 AM   #5
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Congrats on your 68. Sounds like a lot of fun in the future. Itís hard to say exactly what to take on a recovery mission. I guess you take every tool you can think of. We would always take a bottle jack, torque wrench, rope, foil tape, just to name a few. Once you get there, do a good visual on the exterior and belly pan. Secure anything thatís loose. Tie the door shut and the interior Hehr vents at the LeDeux lifters. Your break away switch May or may not work. Do you have a controller in your TV? Think electrical, as in break lights, turn signals, etc.. I donít know your route, but Hwy. 285 is pretty rough due to the oil patch. We were coming back from Taos a few weeks ago and made that mistake. Good luck and just take it easy. Bubba
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:44 AM   #6
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1968 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander View Post
Good luck
Awesome! I see you have a 68 overlander as well. Could you possible give me any specifics as to which conversions you went with? Do you maybe have a thread from when you did your conversions you could link??
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:47 AM   #7
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1968 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monza View Post
You want to move in and full time live in it, is that what you're saying?
Could be lots of projects to do depending on its condition before that might work, who knows without knowing the condition or seeing it.
Are you going to travel with it once back in Texas or park it somewhere to live in?
Monza, Yes, I plan on moving in on the 1st for better or for worse. I wont get into details about it. I'm not trying to make it a show horse and it doesn't need all of the amenities... just necessities. It will be parked for the most part, but travel isn't out of the question. I plan on continuing to fix it up as I live in it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:52 AM   #8
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1968 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
Tire size is what is I installed on my 68. I would definitely check the wheel bearings and brakes before such a long pull. If it has been sitting that long they will need repacking and this is July so road temps will be very high so you don't want to burn up a wheel bearing on the side of the road. If you are going to be traveling much new axles should be on your list of things to do. The rubber in the old ones gets hard after 50 years and you basically have zero suspension on the trailer. If the trailer is in good shape, moving in in 2 weeks might be doable but I worked on mine 2 years before it was ready to travel in. Since it is a desert climate trailer you may not have the rot problems but you will have lots of things work on. The list of things you need to do or may have to do is long. That said, 68 Airstreams are really great trailers, the real wood cabinets vs the plastic covered stuff of the 70' make them special to me.
Twind, yes I am hoping the dry climate has reduced any exposure to rot... if not this project will be a lot more work than 2 weeks can handle. I'm not trying to make it a complete restore yet, just get it live able so I'm hoping that 2 year restore doesn't become a baseline for me as well.

Could you possibly recommend new bearings for me?
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:35 AM   #9
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1967 26' Overlander
Alpine , Texas
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I live in far west Texas . If you need help and you come this way get in touch .
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:53 AM   #10
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1968 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
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Originally Posted by Joyflea View Post
I live in far west Texas . If you need help and you come this way get in touch .
Thanks JoyFlea, if I break down on I-10 in West Texas It would be good to have someone to call on for advice and or help!
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
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1968 24' Tradewind
Oxford, , Mississippi
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Feel free to contact me when you get it home if you have any 68 specific questions. Each model year back then had their own little differences..

Just had a thought for you. Airstream used a 6 pin round plug back then not the newer 7 blade style. If it still has the original plug you will need to put a new style on the trailer. Also, you can't rely on the trailer plug wire colors, mine was original but the wire colors did not match the manual. You will have to check the wires and see what each wire does and then wire them into the new plug at the correct terminal to match the current standard configuration on the truck recepticle.. Hopefully you will be lucky and someone has already updated the plug.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:52 AM   #12
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1966 26' Overlander
1981 31' Excella Limited
1964 22' Safari
Ramona , California
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I have a 66 Overlander. I owned 4 airstreams at one point and the Overlander has always been my favorite. I would consider ordering brakes and new hubs and a spare wheel/tire from Redneck Trailer and taking them with the trailer to a local truck/trailer repair facility. Hopefully you can locate one near the current trailer location. I would probably just order 4 wheels and tires as well. You could have it drop shipped to the destination but i assume you could also just take them with you in your TV. They could repack bearings and replace the brakes in a day. I will send you an invoice that should provide you with the correct p/n. There pricing is great and they have about 20 locations across the country.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:02 PM   #13
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I've been buying airstreams in the SW for 20 years and have NEVER had rust or rot issues. the 60s are pretty bullet proof. Had a 64 all orig and everything still worked
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:40 AM   #14
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2013 23' FB Flying Cloud
Conroe , Texas
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Congratulations!
You have the Tires covered. Brakes need to be check I doubt they are operational.
Wheel bearings need to be cleaned a repacked.
What is the length and what kind of TV are you using?
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