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Old 02-02-2011, 08:39 PM   #1
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Naming Nomenclature

I just bought a 1971 Overlander Twin Bed. I am trying to figure out what the model name of this trailer is. Is it an Overlander or International Land Yacht or International or Land Yacht? Pardon my ignorance but I am confused... The VIN starts with a "1" on the title. I am guessing this is a mistake based on what I have been reading i.e. I for International and L for Land Yacht.... Can somebody explain to me what the difference is between a Land Yacht and an International model is, if any? Also, what does the number above the "Land Yacht - a Travel trailer" name plate correspond to? Mine ends with FJ. Thanks for your help. I am already loving the airforums...
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:47 PM   #2
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First VIN reference offered -- see upper left corner at 71Overlander

At some point going back in time 'International' related to units equipped for both 120 volt AC & 12 volt DC operation. I'm not sure where in the 50s, 60s or 70s that still held ground. Seeking any informed responses...

My first take is that you certainlyl have an Overlander.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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I had the same question some time ago. Never got an answer. The vin says mine is an Excella and the Land Yacht thing is not in my vin, the the Airstream plate on mine (with the vin on it) says Land Yacht.

So maybe it is a Land Yacht in one sense, but not in another?
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:27 PM   #4
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Okay, so here it is in a nutshell...

Airstreams in the 50's...for the most part, were named based on their length & interior layouts. A 16' trailer was a Bubble or Caravel, a 22' trailer could be a Safari, Flying Cloud, Caravanner, etc. a 26' trailer was an Overlander or a Cruiser and 30' were Liners or Sovereign of the Road. Also, things were not real standardized - you could get a lot of "one off" builds.

In the 60's...the names still indicated the length - much like in the 50's except, things started to get more standardized. There were two different factories, so there were still slight differences between the models - but they tended to be a bit more consistent. They also introduced levels of finish within the models and more lengths. There could be a "Land Yacht" package which was the basic model or the "International" model which had more features like different wood, upholstery, padded fabric walls at the beds, etc. things that would make them more comfortable for longer trips or on caravans to foreign lands.

In the 70's this pretty much remained the trend...more standardization and features. They also added the Excella line which was another level of finish much like the CCD vs International vs Flying Cloud's of today. The thing that's different about the 70's is one year trailers would be "odd numbered" lengths, and another year they would be "even numbered" lengths...oftentimes the shell didn't change, they just changed what they called it - I suspect for marketing purposes.

Another thing that constantly comes up is a faulty document that roamed around in the Airstream archives for years, which mistakenly indicated a "0" (zero) as an "O" (letter). It stated the "O" stands for Overlander when in actuality it is intended as a "0" (zero) which is just a placeholder when the "Land Yacht" level of finish is present. "I" was used for "International" finishes.

One of the best places for information online to help you compare the differences of the vintage rigs can be found in the Photo Archives...

Fast forward 25-30 years...the confusion really sets in, Airstream started recycling the old names. The same names which used to be used to determine length, now mean a level of finish. And a Land Yacht could be a fiberglass motorhome...

If you want to confirm your model/year/finish package and sometimes layout - post your VIN number and someone will help you decipher it or look it up in the Photo Archives link...

Shari
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:00 PM   #5
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That's a great answer, Shari. Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:50 PM   #6
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Lookie here:

Airstream, Inc :: 70s
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:02 AM   #7
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Thanks everbody for pitching in! I think that I got it....almost.

My VIN number (on the IL Title) reads: 1 27 T 1 J XXXX. I tried to match it with my VIN plate and was able to decipher all the letters and numbers EXCEPT the first one that is too faded to read (any idea how to revive it by the way?)

So following the documentation you guys were kind enough to point me to, here is what I can make of it:

1- mistake - should read I for International Model
27 - 27 Ft
T - Twin Bed (indeed)
1 - 1971
J - Made in Jackson Center
XXXX - sequential number

Am I on the right track here?
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:22 AM   #8
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lmassa,
You have it correct. My '72 Ambassador has an I for the serial number indicating International. On the title it is listed as 1. I told the DMV clerk it should be I and she said that I is not an accepted character for a VIN. She explained to me when the DMVs all went digital and instituted VINs instead of serial numbers some letters were not allowed to be used to avoid confusion (I,O)
Confusion avoided?
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmassa View Post
Thanks everbody for pitching in! I think that I got it....almost.

My VIN number (on the IL Title) reads: 1 27 T 1 J XXXX. I tried to match it with my VIN plate and was able to decipher all the letters and numbers EXCEPT the first one that is too faded to read (any idea how to revive it by the way?)

So following the documentation you guys were kind enough to point me to, here is what I can make of it:

1- mistake - should read I for International Model
27 - 27 Ft
T - Twin Bed (indeed)
1 - 1971
J - Made in Jackson Center
XXXX - sequential number

Am I on the right track here?
You basically have the sister A/S to ours....we have the '71 27' Double/Double model (where we have another gaucho in the rear rather than a set of double twins -- and the wardrobe across from it).
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:11 AM   #10
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Going back to the day when we used typewriters instead of computers, the lower case L was used in place of a one on the type written numbers. This has led to a problem as time has passed by.
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