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Old 11-09-2018, 12:23 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
Los Gatos , California
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 3
Stargirl the Airstream - 1968 Overlander Overhaul!

I purchased a 1968 Airstream Overlander in February of 2018 with the plan of moving in immediately. I had no Airstream knowledge, no restoration/handyman/general construction skills, and worst of all, no money. I had paid a "trailer restoration company" to make my trailer livable with the last of my funds. I was returned a trailer with no functioning plumbing, electrical, or propane systems, terribly installed appliances, flooring, and furniture, obvious evidence of mouse infestation (literally a nest IN THE OVEN), old water damage, and leaks EVERYWHERE. After contacting the "business" to get my money back, there was no response. The lawsuit is still underway. If you ever hear of a Michael/Mike/Myke Enrico of AM Recon down in SoCal, run run run away!

I was pretty stuck. I wasted a lot of time and more money trying to repair these essentially irrepairable issues. I got the inside looking OK, only to be frustrated over and over by more blown plumbing pipes, more kinked propane lines, more rotten subfloor, etc. Seven and a half months post-purchase I decided to gut the entire thing and start from scratch.

This thread is just to keep me honest and organized on my restoration. I so value the depth of knowledge I've found on these threads. Sometimes it's hard for me to not feel bitter working on my Airstream, since I feel forced into this massive renovation I know will (at times) be way over my head. Having this community, especially the posts of all your beautiful finished trailers!, will be so helpful in keeping me inspired and motivated.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,386
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Hi and welcome to the vintage Airstream hobby. Sounds like you got robbed. You will feel much better doing the work yourself.

You are starting on what sounds like a huge project. I did extensive work on a 66 Trade Wind, but not to the extent you are talking. Even at that, I would budget some $15k and maybe well over 1000 hours to renovate your Overlander. These vintage Airstreams are not for the faint of heart. They are fun and valuable when completed if they still look and feel like an old Airstream.

You'll have to post some pictures of your Overlander when you get a chance, especially before the tear down as pictures can be helpful in answering questions. Take notes, label everything, organize parts, and don't throw anything away as pieces you take out are valuable patterns for making new parts. I identified every part with a Sharpie as I tore out my bathroom. For example "molding around the tub - lower". It is helpful a year later when I am putting things back together.

Folks here can be helpful in your project. Many have done what you are about to do. Here is a photo of my 75 Overlander 27'.

David
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Link to my 1975 Overlander Improvement Journal:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f17...ml#post2053792
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:20 PM   #3
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1974 27' Overlander
Baltimore , Maryland
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Welcome. Sorry to hear about your experience. It's going to be a big job, but if it's something you want...

How do you eat an elephant?
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:17 AM   #4
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1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
Mesa , Arizona
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Summer3 do sorry to hear of this happening to you.

I have heard of them as a relative was getting some work done a couple of business bays down the strip mall. The relative sent me a pic of an Airstream outside. I looked the company up, as you never know when you need another resource, but didn't see and history of Airstream knowledge.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:27 AM   #5
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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summer3, I can only imagine how disheartening and discouraging it could be to go through what you have. All I can say is get a game plan, tackle the critical issues, and safety first. Like Greatly said, one bite at a time will get it finished. Good luck and ask the questions, Bubba
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:49 AM   #6
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1968 20' Globetrotter
ANN ARBOR , THE GREAT LAKES
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 487
Look at what you have…

The good news and the bright side is you have a 1968 Overlander, This is a very sweet-spot in the entire history of Airstream trailers. We don't know how well researched your decision was to buy this trailer, but you've stumbled on to a really good size and year. If you think that you have invested more than it's worth, JOIN THE CLUB. Most of us have an unrecoverable amount of time and money in our trailers.

You say that you have no skills or knowledge of trailers. 1968 is one of the easier years to rebuild. Parts are available, nothing is complicated. The 1968 Overlander will teach you everything that you have to know. Team up with it, move forward, and forget about the orifices that screwed you. Your bad feelings will wane, and your learning will strengthen you, it'll become fun. You can make up for lost time and money with knowledgeable purchases and decisions. Instead of buying an $800 water heater at Camping Whirl, buy a scratch and dent off eBay for $250…

Your best spent $20 is to become a supporting member, and post ten pictures of areas that concern you. Pictures are the key to knowledgeable responses from Airforum members.

As many members have, you've started an appropriately titled “Thread” specific to your trailer. A few examples of how well this works…


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f116...on-178655.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f116...on-134984.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f170...al-174266.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f372...ix-184236.html


There are not enough “improved”, “big-fixed”, “renovated”, “restored”, "overhauled" 1968 Overlanders on the road… You can help.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:22 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Did you name your trailer after the character in the Jerry Spinelli novel of the same name?
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1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:44 PM   #8
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1967 26' Overlander
Haute-Aboujagane , New Brunswick
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 188
Sorry to hear about your experience. It is a hard work but it also comes with a lot of satisfaction. We love our 67 Overlander.
Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
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1958 18' "Footer"
Idyllwild , California
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Take a DEEP BREATH!
When you are done it will be time to find another source for help. & Don't get rid of ANYTHING!!! Hopefully this will turn out to be a "good thing".
Remember you only lose or make money when you sell!!!
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:33 AM   #10
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1968 26' Overlander
Los Gatos , California
Join Date: Oct 2018
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@davidsonoverlander After the book! It was my favorite when I was younger and I’m patching all the exterior holes with stars

Thanks so much everyone else for the encouraging words! Will try to post pictures soon!
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:15 AM   #11
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1980 24' Caravelle
vallejo , California
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sorry to hear of your prolem. as others have said, you still have your overlander[my favorite size/model] you will be able to make it youe own. there is no time-line but your own. 2 plus years on my 80 caravelle and 90% done. take your time, go camping in it, have fun. kurt
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:31 AM   #12
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1964 26' Overlander
1974 31' Sovereign
Milton , ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summer3 View Post
@davidsonoverlander After the book! It was my favorite when I was younger and I’m patching all the exterior holes with stars

Thanks so much everyone else for the encouraging words! Will try to post pictures soon!
That's a great name for your trailer! I read Stargirl to my students and my own children, and I could certainly imagine Stargirl living in an Airstream.

I wish you all the best with your project!
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Milton, ON

1946 Spartan Manor
1954 Va-Ka-Shun-Ette
1964 Overlander
1965 Avion C-10 Truck Camper
1974 Sovereign
2005 F-350 SRW 4x4 crew cab long box
TAC ON-5
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