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Old 11-14-2008, 05:30 AM   #1
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1965 26' Overlander
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'65 overlander been sitting

I have the chance to buy a 65 overlander for between 2 and $3,000 it has been living in a park for a long long time and has only been moved out of the park to the new sellers home. We live about 5 hours from the seller and I have only seen pictures. My questions are how do you know if the brakes are good, and if the tires are the old ones what size would I need to get and bring with me? I have read a lot about getting the bearings greased before but don't really know if the bearings are in the rims or on the axle. Is this all something we could do on the day of pickup? We will be getting brake contol and wiring installed in our truck. Do the brakes have a separate plug or do they work through the 7 pin?
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:51 AM   #2
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The brakes work thru the 7 pin connector. I would plan on some extra time to take the trailer to an RV service place and have the brakes at least inspected, or replaced as necessary. Then, if the tires are old, I would take it to a tire dealer and have the tires replaced. These are things that the trailer will definately need, so might as well plan on doing them up front so you know it is safe for the tow home. Much better to be safe than sorry, especially if these things are needed anyway.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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There are two bearings per wheel. They are in the brake drum. You will need a new carter pin for each wheel as well as a grease seal for each wheel. When you pull the drums, you will be able to inspect the trailer brakes for any physical damage. You can test them by seeing if the brake magnet energizes when the brakes are applied.
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:02 AM   #4
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The tires size on my 67 Overlander is 7.00 x 15 or 225/75/R15. I just bought four new Maxxis 8008 tires to replace my existing rubber. I'll have to check on the bolt pattern for the wheels.

As far as what you can do on the day of pick up depends on a number of variables including your level of experience working on trailers. If you bring a pair of ramps (see my blog for an example), pulling the wheels can go quickly, but you can only do two at a time. I prefer ramps to the more "ticklish" process of jacking up the trailer.

If the tires are not too terrible and a tire shop is close by, you could nurse the trailer to shop and let them swap in the new tires for you.

As for brakes, we towed our '67 Overlander without brakes to the house, although we stayed on back roads, used an escort vehicle and did not exceed 35 mph. Whether or not the brakes will actually work is going to be hit or miss.

Repacking the grease in bearings is not a terribly difficult job, but it can take a little while. There are plenty of web guides on how to do this. If you can ease the Overlander to a nearby RV center or competent auto shop, they might be able to do all of the running gear stuff for you in much less time (although they will want to get paid).

I suggest worrying about the wheels, tires and bearings first. Good luck and enjoy your Overlander.
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:38 AM   #5
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Dreadydreame, Welcome to the Forums from another NC member. If I can be of any assistance to you, please get in touch.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:19 AM   #6
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I am guessing around $80 per tire to replace. Does that sound right? The seller tells me the brakes and lights work!
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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There are answers and there are Airstream forums answers. If you ask a question here, you will normally get a ton of great responses... including those asking for more information.

The cost for the tires depends on what you want to run. There is an entire subforum dedicated to tires and hot topics like Goodyear Marathon failures. If you are picky about tires, I suggest buying what you want via the Internet and paying a local shop to mount and balance them. If you just go blind, you're going to end up with whatever tires the local shop stocks.

As for the "brakes and lights" work, I'm not inclined to trust anything on an old trailer unless I've seen them work myself... that very day.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:47 PM   #8
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I towed my '66 O from Indiana to AZ on 8 year old tires. You can tell by the DOT #'s stamped in the tire side wall.

Plan on spending some time when you get to the trailer to hook up and verify lights and brakes work. I took extra light bulbs, bulk wire, electrical tape and a 12V tester. Taking spare tire wouldn't hurt either.

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Old 01-01-2009, 04:36 PM   #9
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You can check the brakes easily enough. When you take the wheels off take off the brake drums and inspect the brakes. Be careful! Wear a face mask for lung protection when working on old brakes. The linings contain asbestos and the dust is bad for you.

Brush off dirt and dust with a paint brush and check that the mechanism is not siezed. Check the magnet by connecting a 12 volt battery. The magnet should "grab" a wrench or other steel item. If not, check the wiring.

When a trailer has been sitting a long time the brakes are usually still good. They do not get worn and because they are inside the brake drum they don't get too rusty. A little surface rust is normal and won't hurt anything.

The outer bearing will come right off when you take the drum off. The easy way is to loosen the hub nut with the wheel still on. Leave the nut on a few threads so the bearing won't fall in the dirt. Then give the wheel a wiggle and the bearing will pop out.

To take out the inner bearing lay the wheel over a rag and drop a hammer handle down into the hub, and tap the bearing out. This will push out the bearing and seal without damage.

Now you can wipe off the bearings and races, inspect for wear, and pack with fresh grease. To pack a bearing put a gob of grease on the palm of one hand, hold the bearing in the other hand and smack the edge of the bearing repeatedly against the grease until you force fresh grease right thru the bearing.

Now put everything back together and gently tighten the nut. Give the wheel a spin to squeeze the grease out, and retighten the nut. The nut should be just tight enough that there is no looseness in the bearing but not tight enough to put pressure on the bearing. Peachy keen tight.

Put in a new cotter pin, put on the cap and you are good for another 50,000 miles.
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Old 01-01-2009, 05:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dreadydreame View Post
I have the chance to buy a 65 overlander for between 2 and $3,000 it has been living in a park for a long long time and has only been moved out of the park to the new sellers home. We live about 5 hours from the seller and I have only seen pictures. My questions are how do you know if the brakes are good, and if the tires are the old ones what size would I need to get and bring with me? I have read a lot about getting the bearings greased before but don't really know if the bearings are in the rims or on the axle. Is this all something we could do on the day of pickup? We will be getting brake contol and wiring installed in our truck. Do the brakes have a separate plug or do they work through the 7 pin?
Proper care of brakes and bearings, requires that they be serviced every 10,000 miles or once a year.

If the trailer doesn't move, once a year is still required.

Why???

Water gets in the bearings, which in turn can and will rust.

Running gear on a travel trailer must be treated with respect, or you or someone else, can suffer the consequences.

You can play games with a kids wagon, but not a travel trailer, no matter who the manufacturer may be.

You also cannot compare trailer running gear to that of cars and light trucks.

Torsion axles also go bad, by just sitting. You can partly check them out without any tools or even getting your hands dirty.

Dura Torque Axle

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Old 01-01-2009, 06:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Proper care of brakes and bearings, requires that they be serviced every 10,000 miles or once a year.

If the trailer doesn't move, once a year is still required.

Why???

Water gets in the bearings, which in turn can and will rust.

Running gear on a travel trailer must be treated with respect, or you or someone else, can suffer the consequences.

You can play games with a kids wagon, but not a travel trailer, no matter who the manufacturer may be.

You also cannot compare trailer running gear to that of cars and light trucks.

Torsion axles also go bad, by just sitting. You can partly check them out without any tools or even getting your hands dirty.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
Brake shoes last about 40 to 50,000 miles.

If the 12 inch magnets are working, they are good for an average of 20,000 miles.

10 inch magnet brakes average about 18,000 miles.

Andy
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