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Old 07-21-2014, 02:50 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Anderson , Indiana
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Purchasing a '66 26' Overlander

Just thought I would introduce myself, and talk about the new to me 66 we should hopefully be picking up this week. I've wanted an Airstream for a long time due to the classic good looks, and to add another toy to the collection for the family to enjoy! I found a pretty decent deal on a 26' Overlander not far from me, that I eventually convinced the wife to buy! I believe it has only had a couple owners, the last being a couple that purchased it, and parked it in their yard to use as a spare room! I don't think they used it much at all, and it has just sat in their yard for the last 20 years. Due to the sitting, I'm prepared to go through most of the systems to get it all back into working order, and have enjoyed reading up about a bunch of items on this forum. I'll try to post some pics once I get it home, and start cleaning it up. My first goal is to get it towable with new axles, and tires, then start waterproofing it. Can't wait to get started!
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:22 PM   #2
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1965 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Congrats on the new trailer! I have a 65 overlander & we love it ! If you haven't already , open rear hatch to check for floor rot , mine was camouflaged w/ plywood over rotted ply. I recently replaced axles, big difference in the ride. Enjoy....


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Old 07-21-2014, 04:57 PM   #3
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1967 26' Overlander
Bugtussle , Oklahoma
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Congrats. I have a 67 Overlander that I am in the process of "fixing up". It is in bad shape and I bought it knowing it needs the works. My advice to you is don't buy a vintage airstream unless you are prepared to do a frame off restoration. No telling what you will find. A mouse infestation will require that you gut the interior. Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:22 PM   #4
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1959 26' Overlander
Western , Massachusetts
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Yup, Overlanders are a great size.

Yup, mice can force you to remove all the interior walls.

Yup, floor rot can force you to spend a lot of time and/or money doing a frame-off restoration.

That said, many of us think a vintage Overlander is very worth the effort.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:57 PM   #5
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
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I agree with the above, though I am riding on original axles on our 66. These are great trailers. The size is perfect and they have the coolest interiors to me. We love ours. Be sure to keep any original documentation you find, and take a lot of pictures of your before and after.
We should have an Overlander Rally someday!
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Old 07-25-2014, 03:03 PM   #6
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Love mine!

Just finished up a two week trip to Nova Scotia. The sad part, the M52 Dometic finally said "Bye, Bye". It is now being shipped to AL for a rebuild to keep the trailer original. The AC will be next, new axles were done a few years ago. I have the International model which has the best wood I've ever seen in an Airstream.

Enjoy,
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Old 07-25-2014, 04:23 PM   #7
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1967 26' Overlander
Bugtussle , Oklahoma
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You are right about the wood on the international. Beautiful. I carefully removed every panel with plans to reuse them.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:41 PM   #8
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
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We do love 66 models but not I have airstream envy! Yours is bigger than mine! I want an overlander! My smarter half said not til I finish the caravel!
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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1965 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Probably sound advice!( unless you have an enormous garage...


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Old 07-26-2014, 07:54 AM   #10
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1999 27' Safari
Stone Mountain , Georgia
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Congratulations Kline1966! Your story sounds very similar to ours. We have enjoyed bringing her back and using her. We are the third owners and have most, if not all of the past records. We are currently in the Finger Lakes of New York having pulled her up from our home in Atlanta. It is indeed a great size whether pulling into a mountain campsite in Shenandoah National Park or the flat lands of Florida, she pulls well!
Chris& Beth and Geraldine ( 1966 Overlander International center twin )
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:10 AM   #11
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1966 26' Overlander
Anderson , Indiana
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Thanks for all the great comments, and I agree with them all.

This one is the International model and the wood inside does look amazing to me too! I've seen very few Airstreams in person, but have looked at a lot of pictures, and the interior on the 66 just looks the coolest to me! The 70s trailers just don't look right to me, while the 66 can be left as is, and be really nice! The outside looks really cool to me as well. The best part about this one is that it appears to all be original with all original appliances, and furnishings inside. My goal is to retain almost all of them, and keep it looking as original as possible. Only thing I might change will be to get rid of the carpet, and add a nice wood floor.

I'm hoping for the best, and that i get lucky, and have a few of the systems work when I get it home and start going through them. I've already been reading many posts on repairs, and looking at videos, and have seen a couple of vendors that work on them too.

I'm hoping to get it home in the next couple weeks. My travel schedule is going to make it tough. I will post some pics as soon as i get it home and start the cleaning process.
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Old 07-26-2014, 04:49 PM   #12
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The furnishings are very nice on the International model with blue-ish, teal colored coverings and curtains. What I found interesting is how they used ironing board fabric for the backside of the curtains to block out the sun. Mine had the original brown carpet of which I replaced with the same type, just a color that matched the covering gs and curtains better. I was blessed that the original owner of mine had covered the windows with foil to block out the sun so the colors are still very bright have almost 50 years.

Would love to see pictures.

Enjoy,
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:31 AM   #13
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
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If you have an Old Time Pottery store- you can find ready made curtains , lined, that can be cut off and hemmed to fit. Pretty cheap too
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:51 PM   #14
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1999 27' Safari
Stone Mountain , Georgia
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Kline, Although there are some beautiful wood floors out there, please also consider Marmoleum natural flooring. We installed it and it has that 60's look as well as being very durable. Our '66 had bright blue shag carpeting ( it was the first to go .
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:49 PM   #15
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For us, we went with a "carpet, tile, carpet, tile" look.

Carpet in the living room, tile in the kitchen, carpet in the bedroom, tile in the bath. That way you have the warmth of carpet and the easy clean up of tile where you need it.

Enjoy,
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:57 PM   #16
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I chose to use a cork tile in the living room and kitchen, berber carpet in bedroom, and stick down tiles in the bathroom. I like the defined space look.

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Old 08-20-2014, 08:34 AM   #17
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1966 26' Overlander
Anderson , Indiana
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I finally got the Overlander home, and it went much better than I could have ever hoped for. The unit has been sitting for the last 20 years, so I was worried about the axles and hubs. On top of that there was a rusted pad lock on the tongue that had been there most likely that whole time as well, and no key was available. I went down with my Dad, who is always up for a challenge and willing to help out. I started with the lock, and was happy that my electric grinder went right through it. First challenge done! Second I went around and got all the lug nuts broke loose. I had gone down a couple weeks prior and gave them all a liberal dose of PB blast to aid in the process, and they all broke loose without issue. Once all the lug nuts were loose, I backed up the truck, put it in 4 low and hooked it up. It pulled right out of its long term parking spot with no issue, all the wheels turned just fine, and there were no surprises! Once out of the taller weeks and poison ivy I replaced all of the wheels with a newer set of trailer wheels I picked up, and inspected the hubs for grease, and they looked good. I also purchased a magnet mount set of trailer lights so I would not have to mess with re-wiring the old style plug. We arrived around 9:30 and were back on the road around 10:45! Here is a quick shot from when we stopped to double check everything before heading out on the highway. The trailer pulled great with no issues.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:21 AM   #18
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1999 27' Safari
Stone Mountain , Georgia
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Looks good! It looks in similar condition to our '66 when we picked it up in Tenn. It had also sat since the mid 90's and had brand new 1993 Michelin tires. Needless to say, the easy ride home were all those beautiful cracked sidewall tires could muster.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:36 AM   #19
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1966 26' Overlander
Anderson , Indiana
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Progress is going a little slower than I would have hoped for on the trailer. I broke my foot, and it is preventing me from getting on the roof to get it all sealed up. I did buy a bunch of parts including all the new windows I need, new vent covers for both skylights, and the plumbing vents as well as the fridge vent. I've been doing a bunch of searches, and learning about the trailers, and how to do repairs. I did get the nerve up this weekend to plug it in, to see what would work, and was pleasantly surprised, that all the interior lights and fans work!! The fridge did not come on, so that will need addressed, and I know that the AC unit blower motor is locked up, so I didn't try to flip it on. I've also pulled up several sections of carpet in different places, and the wood looks pretty good underneath, including the bathroom area

Once I get it sealed up, I'll move inside, and start cleaning out and fixing what is broken inside. Now that the weather is cooling off, it will be a little easier to spend time in there to get some work done!
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:53 AM   #20
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1966 22' Safari
Hilltop Lakes , Texas
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Fridge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kline1966 View Post
The fridge did not come on, so that will need addressed,
If your trailer has the standard RV gas absorption fridge, you won't hear it "come on." They are designed to run on a propane flame, so they're efficient for boon docking. They will also run on 110v AC, but the device that makes this happen is an electric heater.

In other words, the fridge should be silent, unless someone has attached a fan in the fridge vent to improve efficiency.

Also, these fridges take about a day to get cold, so you can't really tell if it's working with a short test period.

Best of luck with your trailer. We have a '66 Safari. I think that's a good year for Airstreams.
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