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Old 03-29-2019, 06:03 AM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
ENFIELD , NS
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
The Hillie D

Hi everyone,
in October we found an airstream project.
a 1972/1973 overlander.
27ft of pure madness.

History of this airstream is only known for the past 8 years in which she sat by herself unused and lonely.
see pictures below.

the first thing i had to do was transport it. It was December when we did move it and i put the RV package on my caa and we proceeded to tow it with the thought that if it did break down we could get caa to come and take us the rest of the way.

My expectation of this trailer was that everything is broken or will break.

Any way to my astonishment, i was able to move this trailer with no problem.
no heat on the wheels, all lights worked and my transport was impressed at how well it towed and how little sway there was on the highway.

we delivered her to her temp home and left her there for a few months.
I have been formulating a plan on it since. And last week i began to put my plan to work.
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:14 AM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
ENFIELD , NS
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
Stage 1

I have begun the work.
My plan is as follows.
I asked my financier (wife) is this a 5 year project, 10 year or life time.
As in how long will we keep this trailer? I'm partial to wooden schooners so eventually that maybe what we get when were done with the land.
We have pretty much agreed this is a 5 year project with possibility of more.
So i will not be gutting this airstream.

We will be doing all work we can, and what we can i have a guy who will do it for me.
1st order can i move it again?
My guy Errol was given the order to inspect the axles and wheel bearings for me as he will be the one doing the inspection before we leave the lot.
I like Errol, he has a lot in my area and he lends me tools and gives me knowledge and encouragement anytime i need it!
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:00 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Welcome to the Forums!

Lots of folks who start to work on a neglected vintage trailer end up putting 5 years into the rennovation, whether that was their original plan or not. I hope you get luck and don't find rotten floors and rear-end separation.

good luck!
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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2002 25' Safari
Dewey , Arizona
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Great looking project. No need to inspect the axles, brakes and bearings. Based on the age, history and appearance the axles need to be replaced.

I would drop the belly pan and inspect the frame before developing a plan.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:35 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
ENFIELD , NS
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
1 month, so much to learn more in love than before.

So its been a month of me working on this project.
Its been fun, not ready to quit yet.
i stated in the rear, the floor felt like it was gone, and once i got under it all, it was completely gone.
So i pulled the whole bathroom apart.
see pics.
below the floor i found that the black water tank has a large crack in it, the pan it sat in fell apart and the l bars holding it all up need to be replaced.
frame rust isn't as bad i as i thought but it will have to be treated but i dont think there are any holes in this area.

My plan is to fix the tank as it will be grey water tank for the shower and sinks.
Treat the frame, paint and seal. Replace the holding bars. I wont be getting a replacement pan as i dont feel it is necessary and possible bad design anyway having a place for water to pool like that doesn't make sense to me.
I was thinking about installing canoe drain revits along the belly in sensitive spots so no water would pool if there was a leak again.
then i will re-insulate with roxul and lay a floor back down. I have treated wood for the rear as i believe this is the most prone are to water damage.

My questions for you all is:
1. any reason i shouldn't add those drains? they are small and will allow water to escape and not pool by the frame if there is a leak again.
2. when i replace the floor does it have to be one piece? or can it be 2 divided down the middle?

cheers joe
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:36 AM   #6
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1973 27' Overlander
ENFIELD , NS
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
rotten floors, no rear end seperation
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:50 AM   #7
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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You wrote:

"I have treated wood for the rear as i believe this is the most prone are to water damage.

My questions for you all is:
1. any reason i shouldn't add those drains? they are small and will allow water to escape and not pool by the frame if there is a leak again.
2. when i replace the floor does it have to be one piece? or can it be 2 divided down the middle?"


What do you mean by "treated wood?" If you mean the "wolmanized" or pressure treated wood that is supposed to be rot resistant, don't use it. It is full of chemicals that not only make for an unhealthy environment for you, but it will also react with the aluminum and cause corrosion. Most people seal their plywood subfloor, especially on the end-grain using polyurethane or penetrating epoxy. Much safer.

The drains you are talking about are just drip points so that water doesn't accumulate in the bellypan? If so, I don't see any harm in having them. The belly pan isn't meant to be air tight in the first place.

Many Forums members have replace a section of floor by splitting it down the middle. Try doing a search for "shell-on floor replacement," and you will find some threads. Usually people put a "doubler" underneath the split to help join the halves together and reduce floor flex.

You mention that you intend to try to repair the old black tank and reuse it. These tanks are typically made of HDPE and short of plastic welding, there isn't very much that will stick to it (though there are some threads discussing the merits of different glues). A safer bet would be just to replace the tank. If you want an exact replacement, the tank was probably made by INCA plastics, and they still have the molds for those old tanks.

good luck!
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:25 AM   #8
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1973 27' Overlander
ENFIELD , NS
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
i didnt know that about treated wood and aluminum. im not worried about voc or anything like that as it im told its safe for indoor use, but corrosion is not good. thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:35 AM   #9
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1973 27' Overlander
ENFIELD , NS
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 13
I would also be doing the plastic weld option on the tank, i have the gear.
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