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Old 01-13-2011, 12:33 AM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
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Question Brand new to Airstream NEED HELP!

I bought a 27ft 1970 Overlander sight unseen (dangerous) from a friend (even more dangerous) in the remote Southwest and now I need to get it here (to OKC). The folks who sold it to me are very meticulous about everything they own. They gave me a fair deal on it and have shown me tons of recent pictures as well as gone over every little detail of good and bad (to their knowledge, which is good, but not real specific). I am pretty positive I got my moneys worth. I have been window shopping for two years; but, one never knows until they get into a project, huh! I guess I'll find out. It is going to eventually be my FULL TIME HOUSE after I make it live-able (to my standards). That part is not rushed, but any day now I need to go and get it and bring it home.
I could rent a vehicle or buy. I own to many already. I don't think my Plymouth Grand Voyager will do the job; although I tow my motorcycles and quads with it, tis is quite a jump in weight. The Toyota and or the VW will not do. I do not plan on camping and moving it around a lot until I am sure its live-able. So there is no rush into buy unless my cost of renting is more than 1/4 of buying. There is questions about the AC & Heat I need to figure out (later). The Fridge is cooling but not all the way and the Water heater may need work(later). All of these things are original and have not been put to much use lately.
RIGHT NOW I JUST need some tips before going to get it.
It is a remote area where I would have to travel hours for tires and or other supplies if I needed something upon hook up. The tires hold air but are dry rot infested. I basically need to show up at their house with everything I need to haul it off (part of the sale pricing).
I need to bring all (4) new tires
and I need to make sure that I have the proper TV
Im considering a 2008 Toyota Tacoma V6 but don't know if that will have the umph to get it over the I40 high plains climb in New Mexico. The next option was a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Pickup 2wd or a 2008 Jeep Liberty Dry weight is over 4700lbs.
The pictures below show the interior as it is today and the exterior as it was in 2003. I have pictures of the now more oxidized exterior that will eventually need a full 250-300 man hours of work to SHINE. Feel free to tell me anything you feel is useful knowledge. I have the Towbars, chains and it is all up to date with all the good stuff (paperwork).
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Ironhead View Post
I bought a 27ft 1970 Overlander sight unseen (dangerous) from a friend (even more dangerous) in the remote Southwest and now I need to get it here (to OKC). The folks who sold it to me are very meticulous about everything they own. They gave me a fair deal on it and have shown me tons of recent pictures as well as gone over every little detail of good and bad (to their knowledge, which is good, but not real specific). I am pretty positive I got my moneys worth. I have been window shopping for two years; but, one never knows until they get into a project, huh! I guess I'll find out. It is going to eventually be my FULL TIME HOUSE after I make it live-able (to my standards). That part is not rushed, but any day now I need to go and get it and bring it home.
I could rent a vehicle or buy. I own to many already. I don't think my Plymouth Grand Voyager will do the job; although I tow my motorcycles and quads with it, tis is quite a jump in weight. The Toyota and or the VW will not do. I do not plan on camping and moving it around a lot until I am sure its live-able. So there is no rush into buy unless my cost of renting is more than 1/4 of buying. There is questions about the AC & Heat I need to figure out (later). The Fridge is cooling but not all the way and the Water heater may need work(later). All of these things are original and have not been put to much use lately.
RIGHT NOW I JUST need some tips before going to get it.
It is a remote area where I would have to travel hours for tires and or other supplies if I needed something upon hook up. The tires hold air but are dry rot infested. I basically need to show up at their house with everything I need to haul it off (part of the sale pricing).
I need to bring all (4) new tires
and I need to make sure that I have the proper TV
Im considering a 2008 Toyota Tacoma V6 but don't know if that will have the umph to get it over the I40 high plains climb in New Mexico. The next option was a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Pickup 2wd or a 2008 Jeep Liberty Dry weight is over 4700lbs.
The pictures below show the interior as it is today and the exterior as it was in 2003. I have pictures of the now more oxidized exterior that will eventually need a full 250-300 man hours of work to SHINE. Feel free to tell me anything you feel is useful knowledge. I have the Towbars, chains and it is all up to date with all the good stuff (paperwork).
Dodge RAM definitely over either the Tacoma which is just not enough truck at all...go Tundra if you must go Japanese. Tacoma is unibody, Tundra has a real frame, Dodge has a better frame. I know there are people who just adore Jeeps, but they are gas hogs and maintenance hogs even when not towing! If I were buying new today, I'd probably go with a Ford F-250 - as just a teensy bit better than the dodge or chevy 3/4 tons. Mine isn't vintage so it weighs more than yours. An F-150 should be good for you.

happy trails, Paula
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:52 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your questions, of the potential tow vehicle that you mention, the half ton Dodge seems like the best bet by a long shot. The others may not be up to the task. Bringing new tires with you seems like a good idea. Will you have a way to mount them on site? Also, you will need a trailer brake controller installed in the tow vehicle so that the trailer brakes will be functional.

Brian
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:01 AM   #4
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Sounds like you have your hands full, but realize that and are ready to tackle the job. I admire a "doer"! You definately need four new tires and two sets of wheel bearings with seals and the appropriate grease. You may not need the bearings but then you may. Its cold out there now so have a good sleeping bag. Have fun! Please keep us informed.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:16 AM   #5
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go Tundra if you must go Japanese.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Dodge RAM definitely over either the Tacoma which is just not enough truck at all...go Tundra if you must go Japanese. Tacoma is unibody, Tundra has a real frame, Dodge has a better frame. I know there are people who just adore Jeeps, but they are gas hogs and maintenance hogs even when not towing! If I were buying new today, I'd probably go with a Ford F-250 - as just a teensy bit better than the dodge or chevy 3/4 tons. Mine isn't vintage so it weighs more than yours. An F-150 should be good for you.

happy trails, Paula
Paula, FYI the latest TV ads are stating that the Tundra has more american parts and more assembly in the USA than the F150.

Funny story: The Geo Tracker was a mini SUV built in the late 1980’s developed by CAMI which was a joint venture between General Motors of Canada and Suzuki of Japan. In 1998 the Tracker was sold as a Chevrolet after GM discontinued the Geo brand. In 2004 the tracker was discontinued.
Funny part, I saw a 2002 model being driven by a man with a long beard in a flannel shirt. The bumper sticker on the “Chevy” Tracker read ‘Buy American’.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Tv

27' will weigh about 4000# dry. Close to 6000# when you are ready for travel. Longer wheel base tow vehicles will provide more stability.
I have a '74 26' Argosy and tow it with a 3/4 ton Dodge extended cab pickup; it's a good match.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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After installing new tires, check and grease the wheel bearings, check operation of the brakes and lastly operation of the exterior lights. Also make sure you install a good battery so your brakes will work in case you loose the trailer- all the normal safety stuff for towing a trailer.

Dan
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
go Tundra if you must go Japanese. Tacoma is unibody, Tundra has a real frame,
Really? This is news to me. I seem to remember Toyota replacing rusted frames on Tacomas. When did they change over to unibody construction?
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Ironhead View Post
I bought a 27ft 1970 Overlander sight unseen (dangerous) from a friend (even more dangerous) in the remote Southwest and now I need to get it here (to OKC). The folks who sold it to me are very meticulous about everything they own. They gave me a fair deal on it and have shown me tons of recent pictures as well as gone over every little detail of good and bad (to their knowledge, which is good, but not real specific). I am pretty positive I got my moneys worth. I have been window shopping for two years; but, one never knows until they get into a project, huh! I guess I'll find out. It is going to eventually be my FULL TIME HOUSE after I make it live-able (to my standards). That part is not rushed, but any day now I need to go and get it and bring it home.
I could rent a vehicle or buy. I own to many already. I don't think my Plymouth Grand Voyager will do the job; although I tow my motorcycles and quads with it, tis is quite a jump in weight. The Toyota and or the VW will not do. I do not plan on camping and moving it around a lot until I am sure its live-able. So there is no rush into buy unless my cost of renting is more than 1/4 of buying. There is questions about the AC & Heat I need to figure out (later). The Fridge is cooling but not all the way and the Water heater may need work(later). All of these things are original and have not been put to much use lately.
RIGHT NOW I JUST need some tips before going to get it.
It is a remote area where I would have to travel hours for tires and or other supplies if I needed something upon hook up. The tires hold air but are dry rot infested. I basically need to show up at their house with everything I need to haul it off (part of the sale pricing).
I need to bring all (4) new tires
and I need to make sure that I have the proper TV
Im considering a 2008 Toyota Tacoma V6 but don't know if that will have the umph to get it over the I40 high plains climb in New Mexico. The next option was a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Pickup 2wd or a 2008 Jeep Liberty Dry weight is over 4700lbs.
The pictures below show the interior as it is today and the exterior as it was in 2003. I have pictures of the now more oxidized exterior that will eventually need a full 250-300 man hours of work to SHINE. Feel free to tell me anything you feel is useful knowledge. I have the Towbars, chains and it is all up to date with all the good stuff (paperwork).
Since the Airstream is 40 years old, you should probably check out the axles.

The following will help you to do that.

The Dura-Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:29 AM   #10
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If it were me and I was facing so many potential issues I'd make a dry run out there to assess exactly what was needed. I know - it's a long way and too costly to just drive out. However I believe it will save you much money and time in the long run.

You can accomplish serveral important things: Ascertain that you can move it (is it sunk into the ground or has trees growing through the a-frame; see if the owner had installed a weight-distributing hitch (and the trailer pieces are present and useful). Is he selling you the hitch (you mentioned tow bars, but I don't exactly know what you mean). See if you need a battery; bring it this time- there are folks here who can tell you what size. You can test your running lights by by jumping the trailer-side umbilical at the 11- and 1 o'clock positions. If you can remove the wheels, take them with you and mount the tires. See if the body is intact - especially the windows; If they are loose you can secure them.

I just feel that there is much to learn once you can see the trailer and you'll have more chance for success.

Good luck. Pat
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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Hi and welcome to the forums. We have a 1971 27ft overlander. Please feel free to PM me if you have questions. There is a great A/S certified service center in Griffith's RV as well.
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:14 PM   #12
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Sounds like you have a job ahead of you. As a short list of items here are some things that you may want to consider.

1. If you are renting a tow vehicle take a moment to see if it has a brake controller installed. If you are going to hit any hills i would highly recommend that you have one.
2. Bring a can of wheel bearing grease with you as well as a good jack and 4-way. Take some time to inspect the bearings as you may need to give them a good greasing if they have been sitting. Like Mhilley suggested bring extra seals and bearings with you just in case. Call it cheap insurance.
3. Bring Flat hardwood boards to give the jack some footing if the trailer is out in the field or somewhere with softer ground.
4. Bring an extra 7-way plug, wiring supplies, electrical tape, light bulbs, ect. to get the lights working. Even bringing an extra battery would help for the trailer.
5. Bring water, soap, & some towels with you. It may end up being a dirty job.
6. Like Andy suggested test the axles but you can wait to replace them when you get home.
7. Bring a helper if you have one. Sometimes two are better than one.
8. Most importantly bring a good stocked tool kit with you including items like screwdrivers, needle nose pliers, channel locks, sockets, ect.
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:25 PM   #13
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Caution! NO JACKING

Unless you know precisely where to put a jack under an AirStream DON'T use it. If you do use a jack to raise the tongue in order to get the hitch high enough; make sure you don't crush the propane line. Some of them are installed under the channel iron tongue.
There are a number of threads here on the forum showing you how to raise a tandem axle trailer using blocks. You should refer to them and take the aforementioned blocks with you. Read the threads on proper hitch height as well.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-13-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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I have a 73 Overlander and I pull it with a 2006 Dodge Ram 4.7L, 3.55 rear end. It does the job. It works great on flat land, It gets a work out on hills. I bought the truck before I bought the trailer. If I bought the trailer first I would have got the 5.7L engine with a bigger rear end. A Dodge chrysler mechanic saw the trailer and truck and said the truck is tuff and no problems pulling the trailer. I had the trailer, wife, dogs, luggage, Gardening stuff all packed. I just go slow and take my time.

Brian
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