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Old 02-06-2007, 07:36 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Algoma , Wisconsin
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1970 Overlander "Airstream Called Desire"


After a year or more of lurking on this site I think I should post something. First of all, thank you to everyone who has so freely and generously shared the wisdom and experiences gained in Airstream ownership. This is such a valuable resource.

Don and I are coming up on 1 year of vintage Airstream ownership. We purchased our Airstream Called “Desire” in March 2006. What a year it has been. We discovered a mutual aluminum lust when we were vacationing in Arizona a few years back. We happened into an outdoor café and they were utilizing an old Bambi for storage. How cool, we thought. Little did we know then, but the fever had taken hold. We spent a couple years prowling websites and scouring magazines doing our due diligence. We did have some criteria. We wanted vintage. Our first thought was a gut rehab situation. After much research, we felt that would probably require more than we would have time, energy or cash to realistically pursue. Then we got fussy. We decided we liked the rear bath format and wanted a mid cabin double bed. Don’s tall and didn’t want to have to shoe horn into a twin bed. We didn’t need 31 feet of trailer and we liked all the wood detailing in a late 60s model. That led us to decide on an Overlander.

Our next hurdle was location. We are in NE Wisconsin – not a huge market for silver twinkies up here. At the time, we didn’t have any tow vehicle beyond my 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We happened upon our dream trailer on Ebay last spring. The layout was perfect, the location was doable – the seller lived in Lower Michigan and the price seemed to be going in our favor. We bid and won. The seller would have delivered Desire to us but we were itching to be able to use her. We found a decent used truck not far from home and went to retrieve our treasure in Michigan.

We got to learn how to pull a trailer by bringing her home through Chicago and Milwaukee traffic. We made it home in one piece. She is in remarkable shape for being 37 years old. Floors are solid – all the appliances and systems are original and functional. We’ve a few cosmetic things to play with but over all, we’ve had a ball with her. We took her out on four extended trips last summer and the rest of the time, her summer berth is the far point in our yard that overlooks the lazy Ahnapee River and the highway into Door County. If you are headed into Door County via Highway 42 and see her, give a honk – everybody does!

I've posted some pictures in the members area.

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Old 02-06-2007, 09:58 PM   #2
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2007 23' International CCD
Lapeer , Michigan
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Nice name Desire and congratulations. I like the curves to the door and awning and the rear bath makes the bedroom a great den. Glad you found it in such good condition. Next time we go to Penninsula SP we'll give you a honk.

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Old 02-07-2007, 04:12 AM   #3
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1974 27' Overlander
1954 26' Romany Cruiser
1960 26' Overlander
Rockingham County , New Hampshire
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Sweet looking rig!
'74 Overlander (T-O-Bee)
'46 Spartan Manor (Rosie)
'54 Cruiser (Bogart)
'60 Overlander (Hoagy)
2007 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Duramax
WBCCI 1754 - AIR # 6281
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:07 AM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
1964 24' Tradewind
Plant City , Florida
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Congrats on your new family member. I'm glad you decided to post her so we can all see how beautiful she is. I can't wait to have some after photos of our Ugly Betty.
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

Debbie & Lewis Adkins
WBCCI #15754 --- AIR #18873
1972 - 31' Sovereign International (Betty)
1964 - 24' Tradewind (Glory)
2002 Ford F250 Super Duty
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:51 AM   #5
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1969 23' Safari
Grosse Ile , Michigan
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Great story!!!

I was right there with ya a few years ago, when I decided it may be time to "jump" and invest (hee hee) in an Airstream. I had spent many summers back in my childhood with my Grandparents in their 69 23' Safari. As I had a family of my own now, I just figured in this day in age I would NEVER ever be able to fit my family comfortably in a tiny little 23 footer....and actually, I wondered how my Grandparents did it all those years.... They even wintered in Florida for upwards of 5 mos a yr in that little Safari !!

So, like you, I mulled around a few options, and decided that for what I "needed" ....that the 31' was way too much trailer. I had basically ruled out the 23', and had decided the best compromise was a 27' Overlander. The "best of both worlds" I figured.
I have a 77 Lincoln "TownHouse" with a 460 to pull said trailer with, so the TV was not a problem. Keep in mind that even after touring a few smaller vintage Airstreams at the Int'l Rally in Lansing in '04... I had evolved into thinking that anything under 27' would be claustrophobic.

Okay, fast forward to the legendary ebay....(hmmm...) Found a nice looking 72 27' Overlander in mid-central Ohio....looked like it needed a light cosmetic overhaul, everything "looked" complete and functional.... Unfortunately, someone stepped in at the last few minutes (natch) and blew the bid way up, but by this time I had set my mind on this trailer, and had spoken to the owner on the phone a few times, and had several pictures in my possession. Finally, I won out at $3650.00. I figured to put another "large" at least into the trailer, and I'd have a nice ride.

Grabbed my buddy, and his trusty new Ford Expedition, and away we go to central Ohio, plunk down in the center of farm country. About two and a half hours from Detroit, we reach this guy's home..... I think I knew I was in trouble when this (let's just call him) "Dentally Challenged" younger "kid" comes strutting outside in his filthy denim overalls, and no shirt underneath.... Looking like he has eluded the ravages of soap, hot water, and a washcloth for weeks....and the variety of asundry items "on display" around his "compound" led me to believe he was either hoping some of these assorted items were hoping to take root around his yard, or were just jewels in waiting, for an anticipated restoration. (by this time, the banjo and guitar riff from "Deliverance" was drumming in my head...)

The story eventaully comes out that this lovely Overlander was acquired by this gentleman from an acquaintance that used it as a "hunting lodge" out in the woods at some undisclosed location.....(maybe THAT'S where the VP has been all this time!!!) and that none of the accessories, and systems had ever been tested...

Upon further inspection, it came out that this "gentleman" had never ever touched this trailer since he "acquired" it.... He could not even run a shop vac through the interior.... and there was a half inch of assorted "ick" everywhere inside the trailer....countertops included. All the drapes were gone, all the upholstery was shot, to the point where I would have found a dumpster on the way home to dispose of all of it before bringing the trailer home. The carpeting was also original, and ripped and threadbare....and mostly all of the tambour doors were gone, or laying askew. He then dropped it on me that he had no keys for any of the doors, the compartment doors included. There was no battery, so he could not even power up the trailer to show me that even one light worked..and actually he did not even want to remotely accomodate me in any assistance whatsoever... I think he just wanted me to fill up his greasy little paws with several century notes, and then get the #$&@ out of his life. ..then he added that he did not have a title either, and that was no problem...titles could be had anywhere..."No Problemo"....

My buddy and i looked at each other several times....our eyes were getting tired from rolling them as much as we did.... and after a very short private conference, we both decided that I needed to walk away from this potential train wreck. Boy oh boy... "Ol' Caleb" was none too happy to hear of THIS news....and his overly pleasant outgoing manner (??) was quickly replaced with a few threats and accusations directed at my ancestors. (my mother, in particular)
The one line from that old Charlie Daniels song came to mind... The one about there being two of us, and only one of him!!!..(hee hee...) So just before it became a case of me "kicking ol' Green Teeth right in the knee".... We decided it would be prudent to make an abrupt exit.

In the next week or so, after repeated threats by phone from this budding entrepreneur down in Ohio....and his proposition that I at least send him a check for $100 to relist his "jewel" on ebay again.... (natch, I told him right where to get off) he left me stinging negative feedback on my ebay account, in which i immediately left him equally derrogatory comments on his acct...and so on and so on...

I guess my eagerness to purchase another Airstream on ebay was quite tempered after that I put the whole matter on hold for a few yrs.

Matter of fact, I toured an absolutely awesome 72 Overlander at the Airstream Homecoming in Jackson Center in 04. The elderly couple had owned it for several yrs, and it was just MINT. We exchanged phone numbers, and he told me that within a year or so, they were going to sell their Airstream, and they wanted $6500 for it.... It was a no brainer that I would be MILES ahead of the game buying this trailer from these folks in NC, and having something I could use right now, then to put another $5k into restoring a "turd" and having a potential 3 to 5 yr restoration project on my hands.

But now, fast forward to 05.... and a duplicate clone 1969 23' Safari shows up on ebay..... looks like it can possibly even be my Grandparents actual trailer.....
Long story short..It wasn't the former #22425 after all....(we'll recant this whole story another time...k??) But, either way, I decided that the time would be right to purchase this little gem. Anyways, my family population had decreased by one since the Overlander episode... (The ex told me that if I ever brought an Airstream home, that would be the last straw....) So, I figured that with the three of us now....myself, and my two children (10 and 12) that we may just be able to fit all comfy in a 23 footer after all....

Ya know what??? I was right.... It really fits us quite well.... Four may be a little tight..... I was actually quite amazed as to how efficient and roomy my Safari really is....

BTW....I still kept the pictures this guy sent me of this Overlander....funny now, looking at them in retrospect, and thinking I am much the wiser now in Airstream-ese...I figure these pix of his must have been taken ten years previous....hehe!! And I am still SOOOOOO glad that I never took "the leap" with this one.... there is so many other awesome preserved well taken care of Airstreams out there....

Well, I have taken up enough of your time now....sorry for all the ramblage.... Keep us up to date on your travels and progress on your Overlander.....

back to keepin warm here in the frozen tundra...

Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich
WBCCI #22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)

Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)

When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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