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Old 07-17-2017, 07:36 PM   #1
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1975 27' Overlander
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 52
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Airstream Reno - 1975 Airstream 27' Overlander

Hello Everyone,

After years of looking through these forums and reading up on full monty's and renovating Airstreams I bit the bullet. I am the proud owner of a 1975 Airstream Overlander at 27ft long. I bought it in its original condition 2 months ago with all the original 70's interior intact. It towed well from PO in Hamilton to its new home in Toronto (Canada).

The only thing I was able to notice that the whole trailer leaned a little towards the door-side (OH OH). When I bought it, I was aware of frame repair that needed to get done but just didn't quite know how much of it was required to be replaced or repaired.

I have gutted the complete interior but ensured to hold on to some neat overhead storage lockers and some other miscellaneous stuff I can reuse.
I could see while removing the kitchen cabinets that the wheel well was completely sagged towards the wall side.
Last week, I finally got around to digging into the subfloor with my circular saw to reveal the shape of the frame and outriggers in that area. The main frame members look good upon closer inspection but the outriggers at the door side wheel well are the main issue of my leaning Airstream problem. One outrigger was not even attached to the frame anymore and the other is completely rusted through and both will need replacing. I wanted to post some pictures here for your reference as I am sure I have gotten you curious.

My main concern is that because these outriggers have started leaning towards one side, I noticed the frame member that the outriggers attach to has had a lot of stress put on it causing it to bulge upwards which ultimately causes an uneven floor. Also, you can see in the picture that it has started to crack right where the shock mount is. Any advice on how to address this? I am going to have a local welder here in Toronto check it out to see how we can resolve this. Next up is removing my belly pan and subfloor to further inspect and address the frame parts that will need replacing. The good thing is, the other wheel well looks to be in much better shape. I am not looking to do a shell off restoration so any advice for a shell on restoration of frame is much appreciated!
I also understand that this project is going to take a lot of work... that is why it's my new hobby.

I will post a few pictures of the AS and my progress in my gallery when I try and figure out how to do this.

Thanks everyone and Happy Monday!

BlackBear
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:55 PM   #2
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1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
Build yourself a set of gantries. You've just purchased yourself a shelloff reno! They said it would be fun!

All joking aside, I'm surprised you made it home. Your main axle plate is in terrible shape and certainly needs attention. The issue isn't the outriggers. I've done a bit of framework myself. I would attempt that fix without doing a shell off. Completely necessary in this situation.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:35 PM   #3
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1975 27' Overlander
Toronto , Ontario
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Thank you @raphspeak for your valued input.
I can see you speak from experience. I went out today to have another look and to look at this main axle plate. Like you said it's indeed toast. Worse of all, aside from the main axle plate, I noticed another tear in the main frame causing the floor to be uneven. Shell off restoration all of a sudden sounds a lot more what I have got myself into. Where are you able to buy the main axle plate? I couldn't find one on any of the Airstream Supply websites. Thanks everyone in advance.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:33 PM   #4
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1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 59
To be honest it's very easy, and probably cheaper to fabricate the axle plate yourself. You'll more than likely need cross members and outriggers too. I would suggest buying a low cost plasma cutter (see lotos on Amazon). Get some plate with the same gauge as your axle plate and replicate the plate yourself. Buy some 5x2 tube cut your cross members and out riggers from that. Just make sure they're actually 5x2.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:34 PM   #5
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1974 31' Excella 500
Chicago , Illinois
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The airstream frames leave a lot to be desired. I'm confident that you'll engineer something better that the factory did.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:42 PM   #6
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
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blackbear

Looks like you have found something to keep you out of trouble for a while. Welcome to the wonderful world of vintage Airstreams.

Dan
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:37 PM   #7
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
1971 27' Overlander
1973 31' Sovereign
Griffin , Georgia
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 162
Images: 14
Blog Entries: 1
Welcome to our world of vintage airstreams...
Take your time and don't cut ANY corners.
Do each project to perfection
In the end, you will always be glad you did...
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:01 AM   #8
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1975 27' Overlander
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 52
Images: 9
Update

Hey everyone,

it has been a while since I posted anything so wanted to give you all the update. I have a very well experienced welder up here in Ontario that has been helping me out to get this 75' Overlander frame back into shape.
I decided that we have to replace and reinforce the entire front frame and replace all outriggers on the frame. The rear portion of the frame is in decent shape and will only require rust removal and POR15. I will be applying POR15 to all steel and rust proof the entire frame.

I am not sure how I go about inserting these pictures in the body of this message so feel free to view the links below.

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...?i=39663&c=504
It took a long time to receive these outriggers but it was well worth the wait. They were on sale and will replace all my existing outriggers.

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...?i=39664&c=504
My welder fabricating the new front frame with outriggers installed.

https://www.airforums.com/photos/showimage.php?i=39665
New front frame installed, we used rectangular tubed steel to really give it some extra strength.

I will keep you all up to date on this reno!

Thanks,

Bas
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:16 PM   #9
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Hi Blackbear: I recently purchased a 75 Overlander. Your "full monty" frame repair is of considerable interest to me. I can only wonder what might have caused that kind of moisture damage. Usually the damage is in the rear of the trailer. Maybe your trailer was parked in a lake for many years on that side.

My seller said the previous owner had dropped the belly pan, inspected the frame and deemed it good, cleaned and painted it, and installed new insulation and a new belly pan. I will soon drop the rear belly pan and inspect it for myself from the rear axle back. I could be in for a new "hobby" just like you are.

It appears you are making very good progress in rebuilding this Overlander from the frame up. You will be at it for a good long while.

I hope you can keep us followers updated.

David
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Old 10-03-2017, 06:55 PM   #10
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1975 27' Overlander
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 52
Images: 9
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi Blackbear: I recently purchased a 75 Overlander. Your "full monty" frame repair is of considerable interest to me. I can only wonder what might have caused that kind of moisture damage. Usually the damage is in the rear of the trailer. Maybe your trailer was parked in a lake for many years on that side.

My seller said the previous owner had dropped the belly pan, inspected the frame and deemed it good, cleaned and painted it, and installed new insulation and a new belly pan. I will soon drop the rear belly pan and inspect it for myself from the rear axle back. I could be in for a new "hobby" just like you are.

It appears you are making very good progress in rebuilding this Overlander from the frame up. You will be at it for a good long while.

I hope you can keep us followers updated.

David
Thanks David, it has been quite the adventure to say the least ha-ha. Please feel free to call me Bas. Many years of being on this forum have really given me the confidence and knowledge I needed and continue to need with this reno.

I agree with you that it does seem odd how my front frame needed to be replaced rather than the rear frame. From the looks of it, it actually shows that the rear frame has already had quite a rebuild done to it by the P/O which works out in my favour. The sticker on the Airstream indicates it was registered in Florida at one point in time so that might be the cause of all this frame rot.

Bold move on your part to start removing that belly pan to see what your next adventure will become. Bold but smart and in the end gives you the confidence that once your frame is in good shape you can start enjoying the A.S Overlander life. Well, I forgot to mention that the floor will likely need to replaced, plumbing redone, electrical work, furniture building and painting... I must have still missed a few to do items in this list ha-ha.
Nevertheless, I will definitely continue to keep everyone up to date and I look forward to follow your Overlander story as it develops.

Thanks!

Bas
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:04 PM   #11
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Thanks Bas: Let's keep our Overlander renovations going and keep each other posted on these Forums. Maybe Florida had a negative effect on your trailer. It is salty and wet there quite a bit. It's a good place for Airstreams to revert back to iron dust. I have my fingers crossed that my frame and floor repair will be mild. I won't know until November looking at my schedule. But what ever it needs under there, I'm prepared to get it right.

David
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:28 PM   #12
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1975 27' Overlander
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 52
Images: 9
A little update

So I have been working away on the Airstream on any free day or weekend I can get. My goal is to install the subfloor before the Canadian winter starts coming down. I have been working with my cardboard templates so I can get the perfect fit for the floor. This process has been a little more work than I anticipated as I of course want it to be perfect. As of now, the first piece of plywood is in and is solid as a rock.

I decided on applying RedGard to the subfloor. It's a roll on rubber sealant that provides a very thin but durable rubber layer on the subfloor. It starts off pink and turns red when dry. I love the fact that it provided a complete waterproof seal to the plywood so that I can enjoy it for many years to come. I was wondering if there is anyone else in the Airstream world that has used this material for subfloor sealant and how it worked out for them.

Since I had access to my grey and black tank, I decided to take both out and clean them up. High pressure washer and bleach really helped to get these tanks to smell and look much better again. While looking at the connections and flush valves, I realized that I much rather would have these positioned in the rear bumper. I was wondering if anyone ever considered to put the flush valve handles in the bumper instead of sticking out from the opening in the subfloor and how much work this would be.

I am hoping to get the entire subfloor installed before the snow comes so I can focus on removing the rest of the interior panels and look at rewiring the trailer. I purchased all my aluminum sheets the other week so I can start cutting out my banana wraps and belly pan templates. It's slowly but steady coming along. Quite the process but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, well almost.

More updates to follow! For those that are interested to follow my live progress, feel free to check out http://instagram.com/stormytheairstream

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:23 PM   #13
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1975 27' Overlander
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Hi Bas: Is your Overlander a center bath? Mine is a rear bath twin bed, and it has the dump valves in the rear compartment. I am in the process of removing my black tank (broken) and grey tank (too small) and see what can be improved under there. The tank pans are rusted junk, and I will have both tanks on the floor tomorrow. There is a nifty twin angle iron frame arrangement that is hinged to let the tanks down.

You are making good progress on your project. That frame looks good.

David
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:22 AM   #14
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1975 27' Overlander
Toronto , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
Hi Bas: Is your Overlander a center bath? Mine is a rear bath twin bed, and it has the dump valves in the rear compartment. I am in the process of removing my black tank (broken) and grey tank (too small) and see what can be improved under there. The tank pans are rusted junk, and I will have both tanks on the floor tomorrow. There is a nifty twin angle iron frame arrangement that is hinged to let the tanks down.

You are making good progress on your project. That frame looks good.

David
Thanks David, this is really helpful. My Overlander has a rear bath as well. It looks my tank pans were recently replaced, reinsulated and installed so I got lucky. So to confirm, your dump valves for grey and black is located in the bumper compartment box? This is exactly where I want to relocate mine. I have attached a picture of where they are located now. I am sure it is not rocket science to relocate these but am curious to know how they connected yours from the tank pan to the rear compartment. It is literally a pretty shitty job dealing with these tanks ha-ha. Best of luck!

Bas
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