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Old 02-26-2006, 12:03 PM   #1
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1965 26' Overlander
1990 34' Excella
Vintage Kin Owner
1975 20' Argosy 20
Upper Black Eddy , PA
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Also posted in interior restoration, but...

I'm considering the purchase of 1965 Overlander from Indiana. i have a few questions:

1) How can i found someone close to Indiana and knowledgeable to inspect before I purchase, as I'm in PA? How much something like that typically cost?

2) The skin and interior of the trailer appear to be good and well taken care of. the seller seems to be very knowledgeable and informative (spent a total of 3 hours + on the phone with me with no committment to purchase), but he reports that a number of the systems "appear" to be good but remain untested (orig dometic gas/elec fridge, orig Magic Chef gas oven and stove, LP system).

3) the trailer will require an A/C install (necessary), sewer holding tank install (necessary), new tires (necessary), and furnace install (which I'm not doing now, I will use a small temperature controlled ceramic heater if it gets cold).

4) The trailer has the original Bowen 9 gallon water heater with a newer Shurflo pump. Should the water heater be replaced due to age?

5) Should the orig appliances and LP tanks be replaced due to age?

The seller is asking $4800 for this trailer. Is the too much money with these types of repairs necessary?

Any info would be REALLY appreciated!

Kathy
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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1968 24' Tradewind
Louisville , earth
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Hi Kathy,

A good place to start is in the "so you want to buy a trailer that is three states away thread. http://www.airforums.com/forum...ghlight=states Lots of us are willing to go look at a coach if it isnt to far away. You should offer to cover gas and such for whoever does the lookover. One thing to remember is that this is sort of a good neighbor look over and not a professional service. Knowledge varries alot from member to member and trailer inspections vary accordingly.

Another good thread is http://www.vintageairstream.com/rr_t...condition.html. It will give you a better idea on what you are looking at in terms of condition and value.

Finally, You need to look into what shape the axles are in, a coach that old may very well require new ones which is also a big ticket item
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Old 02-26-2006, 01:54 PM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Also posted in interior restoration, but...

Greetings Kathy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
I'm considering the purchase of 1965 Overlander from Indiana. i have a few questions:

1) How can i found someone close to Indiana and knowledgeable to inspect before I purchase, as I'm in PA? How much something like that typically cost?
As Gen Disarray mentioned in his post, there are volunteer inspectors here on the Forums who may be in the area of the coach you are considering. If you are looking for professional systems inspection such as LP Gas, electric, etc.; most RV and/or Airstream dealers offer these types of systems inspections. I know that when I inquired about six months ago, a price estimate of from $175 to $200 was quoted for a systems inspection that involved all LP Gas, water, and electric systems -- with an additional $35 to $50 per wheel to inspect and re-pack the wheel bearings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
2) The skin and interior of the trailer appear to be good and well taken care of. the seller seems to be very knowledgeable and informative (spent a total of 3 hours + on the phone with me with no committment to purchase), but he reports that a number of the systems "appear" to be good but remain untested (orig dometic gas/elec fridge, orig Magic Chef gas oven and stove, LP system).
While it is possible that the original 2-way Dometic refrigerator and Magic Chef range may still be perfectly sound and servicable; it is a question that only inspection by a qualified LP Gas techician can answer. The original Dometic in my '64 Overlander was replaced in the late 1970s -- it is now on its third refrigerator (a 3-way Dometic that is far supeior to the original 2-way IMHO); but the original Magic Chef range is still going strong with no particular concerns -- parts can be quite problematic when a failure does take place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
3) the trailer will require an A/C install (necessary), sewer holding tank install (necessary), new tires (necessary), and furnace install (which I'm not doing now, I will use a small temperature controlled ceramic heater if it gets cold).
There are a number of potential replacement RV air conditioners on the market, but the problem may be finding someone who is familiar with performing an installation on an Airstream particularly if the Overlander you are considering didn't come equipped with an air conditioner -- unlike many competitors, Vintage Airstreams did not utilize an existing vent opening for the installation of an air conditioner, rather there is a measurement from the main (number one -- far forward) roof bow that determines where the hole is to be cut for the air conditioner -- it is at that point where the bracing and wiring for the air conditioner was factory installed. If the coach has an original Armstrong Bay Breeze air conditioner, even its replacement won't be a simple remove/replace as it is not built like today's air conditioners -- there are two separate modules connected through two or three small circular hoes in the roof -- the air conditioner will need to be removed and the opening cut for the now-standard 14" square opening.

Unless it has been removed by a previous owner, the coach should have a blackwater tank of approximately 8-12 gallons, but there was no washwater tank on Airstreams until 1975. I am not certain whether the blackwater tank was still mounted below-floor in 1965 or if it had been moved to the above floor location in 1965 -- my '64 has its blackwater tank mounted below-floor. In either event, if your coach requires a new tank, it is unlikely that you will find a stock, off-the-shelf tank that will fit; but there are several custom tank builders who can be found through a Forums search.

On the subject of tires, be prepared to do a little research, and possibly enlist the vendor from whom you plan to purchase tires. While clearance issues are not prevalent with the tandem axle coaches, it is not an unheard of issue -- if you have the tire dealer measure for the tires (particularly is they must be special ordered as some shops do with ST tires), a problem with fit would be on the dealer's responsibility if his personnel do the measuring. Something else to check is to be sure that the coach doesn't have split-rims. By 1965 split-rims may not have been offered, but they were originally installed on my '64 so the '65 would likely be in the era of transition -- if the coach has split rims, new rims would also be required in most shops; and again it would be advisable to have the shop measure the originals for off-set, bolt-circle, and center hole diameter as these are crtical to proper fitting of the wheel (the wheel would also need to be rated for trailer use and 2,600 pounds).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
4) The trailer has the original Bowen 9 gallon water heater with a newer Shurflo pump. Should the water heater be replaced due to age?
As long as the Bowen water heater passes an LP Gas inspection, it isn't that much different in design than the newer models. If, however, there is evidence of tank leakage or issues with the LP Gas system are detected, a new replacement would provide some degree of peace of mind. My original Bowen failed while I was more than 1,000 miles from my usual service source, which meant doing without hot showers for the last week of the vacation or utilizing the campground bathhouses (neither among my favorite vacation memoris) -- with my Minuet, the water heater was on the list of immediate replacement items as a result of the earlier experience with my Overlander. The one thing that may pose a problem is that the new water heaters are significantly smaller which means that the original opening will likely need some modification -- my Airstream dealer handled the installs on both of my coaches and while the opening repair is visible on the Overlander, it is not terribly objectionable -- the white door on the new water heater, does tend to stick out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
5) Should the orig appliances and LP tanks be replaced due to age?
The answer to the question is quite individual as much is based on personal preference. So long as the appliances pass the inspection of an LP Gas technician, many would stay with the originals if they are still functional and presentable. The LP tanks will likely need new OPD valves along with certification -- again, if the tanks are original aluminum models, it is well worth the expense of new valves and re-certification; if, however, the tanks are older steel tanks, it is often no more costly to purchase new steel replacements -- or if a polished coach is in your future, new aluminum tanks can be polished to match the exterior of the coach (the original aluminum tanks can also be polished to match the coach's polish job).

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
The seller is asking $4800 for this trailer. Is the too much money with these types of repairs necessary?
The price that you quote is very comparable to what I paid for my Overlander in 1995 when I purchased it in Central Illinois. The air conditioner was working as was the water heater -- it needed a furnace, water pump rebuild, refrigerator, tires and rims, LP Tank upgrade/update, house battery, and Univolt replacement; the interior was immaculate, and the exterior was in need of polish/Plasticoat but the skin was in excellent condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
Any info would be REALLY appreciated!

Kathy
Good luck with your decision! The Overlander is a popular coach with many due to its "winning" compromise between comfort and towability.

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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