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Old 11-15-2016, 06:53 PM   #1
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Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody...

I don't know this forum well enough to know where to list this topic. If I need to move it, I will. If there is a forum member that you feel has expertise in this area, please feel free to tag them:

I am looking at an Overlander. Not sure if size & age, but the guess right now is mid-60's, 26'-ish.

Inside is almost completely original and in very good shape considering that it has sat for quite a long time. Outside, however, is concerning, and since I have never owned an AS, I want to be sure that I am not getting in over my head. Some windows have plastic over them, but I am not too concerned about them. I may have to replace the glass/seals. The kicker is the skin on the front and rear. They were damaged due to a storm that fell branches onto the roof. It has been in this condition for at least 5-10 years. Upon inspecting the interior, there is no visible water damage - no musty/moldy smells. It seems that although they are dented severely, the seams have not been compromised.

The owner is asking $1,200, but I might be able to get it for $1,000. At that price, I feel like it would be worth it even with the skin damage. Am I wrong? Can the skins be rolled/smoothed back out, or are they a lost cause. I have read that complete replacement can be thousands - $10,000+.

I would just like advice on pursuing this trailer. I will include a few of the dozens of pictures that I took today. If you want to see more, I may have some more to show.

Thanks in advance for any wise counsel.


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Old 11-15-2016, 07:08 PM   #2
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Ouch! I think $1,000 is too high. Unless you can do all the work yourself that is going to add up quickly. Looks like there might also be rib damage.
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Old 11-15-2016, 07:21 PM   #3
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My advice: Run, do not walk, away from that trailer.
My opinion: Even if you got the trailer for free, it is not worth fixing. You will be money ahead to spend your money on a trailer that is in good shape.
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Old 11-15-2016, 07:23 PM   #4
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I do not think you could get your money back even in salvage metal value.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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This would be my take........if having a fairly stock mid 60's AS trailer is your cup of tea, then buy this trailer, as the interior looks to be in exceptional condition for the price; THEN look to purchase a mint condition exterior but natty interior (or even better, gutted) same year and model. Then between the two you'd end up with a fantastic trailer bought very wisely and cheaply.

Buying gutted or trashed trailers of this vintage are a dime a dozen with reasonable or even great exteriors. Buying a great condition stock interior of this vintage........almost impossible.

I wouldn't try to fix this shell, but keep it just in case the other shell needs a panel that is good on this one.

Have to think outside the box when looking at AS trailers.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:06 AM   #6
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What a great idea about putting two together to make one good one.

I've always wondered about the people that gut a trailer and think they're restoring it and then leave it that way.

I agree that the trailer in question is sadly a lost cause but the thought of using the interior has me excited.

Good luck
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:28 PM   #7
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Let's Just Say...

I really appreciate everyone's input.

Let's just say that I was crazy enough to get this for parts and look for a shell, I have a new question: Without going into to the step-by-step details, how would I remove this interior without doing damage to it - especially the cabinetry. Can it be removed rather easily?

Also, if you were the one buying it for parts, and since $1,000 seems too much - how much would you offer? (I understand getting it as cheap as possible is best)

@eliyahu @Isuzusweet
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Old 11-16-2016, 01:48 PM   #8
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run!
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfside1 View Post
I really appreciate everyone's input.

Let's just say that I was crazy enough to get this for parts and look for a shell, I have a new question: Without going into to the step-by-step details, how would I remove this interior without doing damage to it - especially the cabinetry. Can it be removed rather easily?

Also, if you were the one buying it for parts, and since $1,000 seems too much - how much would you offer? (I understand getting it as cheap as possible is best)

@eliyahu @Isuzusweet
If it goes in, it must come out, and yes it went in through the door. Yes, some rivets will have to be drilled out or a very sharp flat bar inserted to cut the rivet, but most cabinetry will simply be installed with Phillips screws; just be careful and take your time. Take lots of pictures, notes in a dedicated notebook, label and bag all items.

Even if you're planning on replacing something, keep it anyway until such time as you have installed its replacement (and it works). Don't throw anything away until the project is over.

As for value of the interior and trailer, its subjective, but like I said a complete unmolested interior of this vintage is bloody rare; not to mention hard to find parts, also known as bloody expensive or unobtanium parts like windows, window hardware, replacement panels, lights etc, etc.

Trust me, go to Airstream supply and find a window crank for this vintage, window opening assembly or even the bloody window. Just to give you a perspective the side windows for my motorhome in the cockpit area, used with framework are $475.00 EACH!!! Weep hole covers are $8.00 small, $11.00 large with 8 small and 21 large required to replace them all on my coach. It adds up in a real hurry.

You could easily spend well over $1,000 on bits and pieces needed for another trailer that this trailer may already have in great shape. Even if at the end of the project you sell the remaining windows and parts you don't need you could probably recoup your initial outlay of cash. Check everything out in the trailer, what works and what doesn't. If a window seems hard to open, don't force it, but take a can of WD-40 with you to see if you can free it up.

A true Airstreamer recycles as to reduce his or her impact on this little blue planet we call home. That's why I bought one as I didn't want to take a SOB to the landfill after only a few years.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-16-2016, 06:13 PM   #10
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Definition of "unobtanium"

Keeler Brass Lock company made locks for the 80's Classic motorhomes. Mine needed a new lock cylinder which someone bought Airstream Supplies last three for $27.00 each; then listed them on Ebay for $100 each. I ended up buying a NOS complete Keeler lock assembly from a guy on Ebay for $275. The seller had three of them at $350 or make an offer; all three were sold in less than 24 hrs to three of us on this forum.

Was the lock worth $275? It was to three people that knew the chance of ever buying another one was almost zero.

For a while you couldn't buy weep hole covers, windshields or even tag axles. There was at one point only one tag axle in North America. You still can't buy replacement brake drums for that tag axle.

The one last reason I would buy that trailer would be even if I wanted to change the interior completely would be at least know what weight went where. So when you take it apart, make sure you section the trailer off and weigh what pieces you pull out of that section; then you know what weight went where in the trailer.

People make the mistakes of buying a gutted trailer or gut the trailer and don't have a clue as to how much weight in cabinets and interior bits they can put back into the trailer SAFELY.

Restoring a trailer is more science than design.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:57 PM   #11
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I agree with Isuzusweet. Buy it and find a good shell and marry the two- if you have the capabilities or can pay to have the work done. I would feel guilty paying less than $1,000. I like win/win situations. That nice interior is easily worth the asking price.

Good luck, Dan
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:11 AM   #12
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many people have fixed worse damage than that. If you are capable of learning how, then go for it. The money is minimal for that trailer. If you are afraid of tools and spending the time, forget it. Move on
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:42 PM   #13
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Everyone's input here is greatly appreciated. After careful consideration, we have decided to go ahead and buy it. The owner and I have agreed on $750, since I will only be getting a salvage title. If worse comes to worse, I can sell parts for more than I paid.

I went back and looked at the interior again. The only interior damage is on the inside of that external cave-in the rear. It is in the shower area. I looked too see if it was more aluminum, but it appears to be painted plywood or fiber board. (I have attached a few images) How does something this get repaired? I certainly don't intend to make this a museum piece, so what other material could I replace this with, if I can't get a plywood replacement?

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Old 11-24-2016, 07:29 PM   #14
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It's fiberglass. You can cut it out, then push out the exterior dents and then have a fiberglass expert fix the part you cut out.


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