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Old 08-23-2007, 06:25 PM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
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When do they start having holding tanks?

My husband and I have found ourselves with 2 vintage 26" overlanders. (1959 and 1960) and will be redoing them for different purposes. One will become a spare bedroom which will be lots of fun. But in starting our project, we realized that they do not have holding tanks. For this project that is not a problem but if we want a newer model for our vacations, what year do they start having holding tanks and more self sufficiency. Are the older models needing full hookups in order to fully function?
Thanks for the help!!
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:44 PM   #2
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WOW! Great question...I don't think anybody has ever asked specifically about this before ~ black tanks that is....

Trailers without any holding tanks are considered "Park Models" today.

Prior to the 60's, many were without tanks because it was customary for travelers to dig or use "gopher holes" to dispose of their waste. Grey tanks were not standard prior to '73/74. Black tanks...I'm not sure, I believe they were optional in the late 50's & early 60's - I know by '63-'64 they were standard as the marketing was that they were "self-contained". Prior, it may have only been the International (upgraded) models had them...my '56 doesn't but my '64 does FWIW.

I'm sure someone will know for sure and post a definitive answer ~

Shari
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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According to RJ Dial's site, Vintage Airstream Home, the International and Land Yacht trim lines were introduced in 1958 and marketed as "self contained". That is probably the year for black tanks.

Bill
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:21 PM   #4
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Thanks Bill!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
According to RJ Dial's site, Vintage Airstream Home, the International and Land Yacht trim lines were introduced in 1958 and marketed as "self contained". That is probably the year for black tanks.

Bill
So that could still mean the standard (not Land Yacht or International) models didn't have them though...which may be what she has 'cause hers apparently are a '59 & '60. Hmmm....where's Fred when we need him?

Shari
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:57 PM   #5
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I know our 63 had a black tank, and a neighbor's 59 did not have one. Both Overlanders, our was built in Ohio, his in California. Both were standard Land Yachts. I have seen a 62 with a black tank, also a Land Yacht, also an Ohio manufactured unit.
If you really want to use it without holding tanks, you can get a "blue tote" to hold the contents of the sinks and shower. It will also hold the contents of the toilet, but dumping it is not a pleasant experience.
BTW, our 74 is one of the first units to leave the factory with a (10 gallon) grey tank.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Thanks Bill!So that could still mean the standard (not Land Yacht or International) models didn't have them though...which may be what she has 'cause hers apparently are a '59 & '60. Hmmm....where's Fred when we need him?

Shari
Shari,

I figured you would know where Fred is, after all he lives in Colorado. Don't ask me, I have not been to Colorado since 2002.

Bill
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
Shari,

I figured you would know where Fred is, after all he lives in Colorado. Don't ask me, I have not been to Colorado since 2002.

Bill
Around here...he is often refered to as my "second husband" dating back to an early mis-print in a photo caption in Airstream Life article he wrote!

Shari
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:28 PM   #8
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I can't help with the black tanks...I am a 70's kind of guy But I do know that in late 1973, early 1974 the gray tank was optional. By the 1975 model year it was standard equipment and darned small too. Mine is only 10 gallons only enough for a couple of quick showers...good thing there are lots of thirsty raccoons around the campgrounds I frequent

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Old 08-23-2007, 08:39 PM   #9
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Hi everyone.. To get back to you all.. both of our overlanders are California made.. just an FYI.. and I find that their configuration is a bit different as well. But what I am seeing here... safer on the mid 70's and GREAT Airstreamers!! Thanks everybody for viewing and helping.. We did not realize SOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY THIIIIIIIIIIIINGS when aquirering these trailers. SO much FUN getting to know them and you all!! THANKS!!
Well.. then another question.. the 1959??? It is what we found out a dinette style, no gaucho in the front. Are these collectible? rarer? We want to redo this one as original as possible. THANKS AGAIN!!
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellalaluna
Hi everyone.. To get back to you all.. both of our overlanders are California made.. just an FYI.. and I find that their configuration is a bit different as well. But what I am seeing here... safer on the mid 70's and GREAT Airstreamers!! Thanks everybody for viewing and helping.. We did not realize SOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY THIIIIIIIIIIIINGS when aquirering these trailers. SO much FUN getting to know them and you all!! THANKS!!
Well.. then another question.. the 1959??? It is what we found out a dinette style, no gaucho in the front. Are these collectible? rarer? We want to redo this one as original as possible. THANKS AGAIN!!
Stella,

If you have not already, check out the photo archives at Vintage Airstream Home A wonderful resource of vintage airstream information also the archive section of the Vintage Airstream Club site The Vintage Airstream Club

Join the Wally Byam Caravan Club International and the Vintage Airstream Club and attend a rally.

Bill
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stellalaluna
My husband and I have found ourselves with 2 vintage 26" overlanders. (1959 and 1960) and will be redoing them for different purposes. One will become a spare bedroom which will be lots of fun. But in starting our project, we realized that they do not have holding tanks. For this project that is not a problem but if we want a newer model for our vacations, what year do they start having holding tanks and more self sufficiency. Are the older models needing full hookups in order to fully function? Thanks for the help!!
Hi Stellalaluna:

Black water tanks were optional from about 1958 to 1962, then became standard in 1963. From 1958 to 1962, if a trailer had the Land Yacht or International trim upgrade package, it should have had a black water tank as part of those self-containment packages. The standard base model Airstream from those years likely had a drop-to-daylight toilet that required a gopher hole or some other arrangement such as a covered bucket. The standard trailer was discontinued for the 1963 model year, when the self-contained Land Yacht became the new base model. So beginning in the 1963 model year, all Airstrerams should have had black water tanks. Wash water holding tanks first appeared in 1973 or 1974, can't remember which year.

One of the earliest, if not the first, Airstream to have a black water tank was Wally Byam's custom 1956 26' tandem axle louvered window trailer which he took to Mexico and on the European Caravan in 1956. As were many of Wally's personal trailers, it was an experimental one on which he tested features for practicality and toughness before they were introduced into the regular Airstream line up. This trailer also had the then-experimental Henschen Dura-Torque axles five years before they were introduced in 1961. Below is a photo of Wally's trailer #1, which is the prototype of the "International" self-contained trailer, at the foot of Austria's Arlberg Pass taken on the 1956 European Caravan.
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Old 08-23-2007, 09:58 PM   #12
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Fred

What a NEAT picture. I love it. It looks like a painting.

And by the way, is Wally's trailer painted?

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Old 08-23-2007, 10:24 PM   #13
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Fred: What a NEAT picture. I love it. It looks like a painting. And by the way, is Wally's trailer painted? Barry
Hi Barry:

The photo also appears on page 788 in the June 1957 issue of National Geographic magazine. Yes, Wally's trailer is painted in what -- to my eyes -- looks like an eggshell white. In the mid Fifties, Wally was smitten with all the pastel colors and envisioned painting Airstreams in Easter Egg colors, as suggested in this 1956 photo.

Wagonmaster Lou Mosley's trailer # 50 is ahead of Wally and the Ardean Miller family's trailer # 60 is behind Wally. They are waiting while deciding whether to tackle Arlberg Pass during a June snowstorm. They voted to give it a go, and the trailers ascended at 10 mph in 3 minute intervals. The first cars were greeted at the very top by sunlight ... and honked their horns in celebration to let the others below know the climb was successfu! .
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
Wally was smitten with all the pastel colors and envisioned painting Airstreams in Easter Egg colors, as suggested in this 1956 photo.
The first Argosy!

Painted & experimental ~

Shari
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