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Old 08-18-2008, 01:06 PM   #1
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Found Mine!

I finally got one – my first Airstream: 1973 Overlander! I started casually looking for one to completely remodel and modernize about three/four years ago. Then, two weeks ago I saw two Airstreams on the side of the road For Sale. I tried calling the seller but never got an answer. With renewed enthusiasm, I found this ‘73 Overlander on craigslist. So, within a week, I became the new owner. I admit, I didn’t do the research or examination that I should have – but it seems really clean and the PO honest. With the interior being in such good shape, I’ve reconsidered my intent to renovate (at least for now) except for minor cosmetic updates like upholstery & flooring. The exterior is clean as well but showing signs of corrosion (or maybe top coat oxidation). Don’t know if/when I’ll pursue polishing. My main focus will be to learn how to operate and maintain all the features and how to tow it! My tow-vehicle is a 2006 Xterra – of which the Overlander is about the maximum weight/tongue limits. I did some practicing in a large parking lot and set the controller and WD hitch. Everything felt pretty good – other than my nerves. I look forward to being a part of the A/S community and will have LOADS of questions. My grandparents were airstreamers for most of their life, participating in caravans (US and international) and my grandfather was the president of a WBCCI unit in WV. I called and found that their numbers are still available, if I choose to join. I need to find out more about the club and the different divisions… and have read some on this forum already.

I want replace the electric refrigerator with a 3-way ASAP. Does anyone know who I might hire to do the installation in Cocoa Beach/Central Florida? The PO said that the LP lines are still intact, but I can’t really tell…..

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Old 08-18-2008, 01:15 PM   #2
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It looks like a really nice trailer. But what's with the light pole sticking out of the top?

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Old 08-18-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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Very nice and welcome to the forums! You will soon get an answer to your question. There is a great Central Florida WBCCI unit you might check into. The president of the unit is a great guy. He's on this forum and goes by silvercabin. You might send him a PM or e-mail to learn more about the club. We are members of the Georgia unit, but are not active, I'm afraid. My wife is into camping, not rallying except for the ones we attend that are organized by members of this forum. Oh well.

Anyway, great to have you on board and hope to hear of many adventures with your new-to-you Airstream. Again, congratulations on your new find.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:22 PM   #4
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That's no light pole, that's the Wineguard for new digital television!
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:29 PM   #5
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Wow, if that's what the digital changeover looks like, I'll pass.

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Old 08-18-2008, 02:14 PM   #6
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Wow, if that's what the digital changeover looks like, I'll pass.

Yeah, but the reception is great and you can get Hi-Def, too.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:15 PM   #7
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BTW, funkill, as you can tell, we like to have fun around here, even at each other's expense sometime...it just means you're one of us now.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkill View Post
I finally got one – my first Airstream: 1973 Overlander! I started casually looking for one to completely remodel and modernize about three/four years ago. Then, two weeks ago I saw two Airstreams on the side of the road For Sale. I tried calling the seller but never got an answer. With renewed enthusiasm, I found this ‘73 Overlander on craigslist. So, within a week, I became the new owner. I admit, I didn’t do the research or examination that I should have – but it seems really clean and the PO honest. With the interior being in such good shape, I’ve reconsidered my intent to renovate (at least for now) except for minor cosmetic updates like upholstery & flooring. The exterior is clean as well but showing signs of corrosion (or maybe top coat oxidation). Don’t know if/when I’ll pursue polishing. My main focus will be to learn how to operate and maintain all the features and how to tow it! My tow-vehicle is a 2006 Xterra – of which the Overlander is about the maximum weight/tongue limits. I did some practicing in a large parking lot and set the controller and WD hitch. Everything felt pretty good – other than my nerves. I look forward to being a part of the A/S community and will have LOADS of questions. My grandparents were airstreamers for most of their life, participating in caravans (US and international) and my grandfather was the president of a WBCCI unit in WV. I called and found that their numbers are still available, if I choose to join. I need to find out more about the club and the different divisions… and have read some on this forum already.

I want replace the electric refrigerator with a 3-way ASAP. Does anyone know who I might hire to do the installation in Cocoa Beach/Central Florida? The PO said that the LP lines are still intact, but I can’t really tell…..
Enlarging your photo, shows that the axles are shot.

You can check them out yourself, in 30 seconds. The following article will teach you how.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:28 PM   #9
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InlandAndy may be right, but I honestly can't see the top of the wheel in the photo when I enlarge it. Follow his link and follow the directions on how to inspect the axles by the torsion/angle arm method. If he is right, this would take precedence over replacing the fridge IMHO.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:38 PM   #10
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1973 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Enlarging your photo, shows that the axles are shot.

You can check them out yourself, in 30 seconds. The following article will teach you how.

Dura Torque Axle

Andy
OMG - you've got to be kidding me..... I'm in a state of panic now. Shot? Crap. I'll check out the link and try not to cry......
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:52 PM   #11
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Oh nooooo --- I am much too novice to even figure out what to look at ... I looked at the link for checking my axles and have NO idea where the torsion arm is... where are you looking??? Oh - this is sounding really bad.

[IMG]file:///c:/temp/moz-screenshot-10.jpg[/IMG][IMG]file:///c:/temp/moz-screenshot-11.jpg[/IMG]
Does this pic tell any more about their condition --- figured PO might not want their photo on this ... thus, the flowers!
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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I want to say I am jealouse again I loved my 1973 overlander 27 footer. That is 1 fine trailer. If you want to check your axles call tech support at Jackson center. Andy told me mine were shot to. I was devistated until a buddy that rebuilt his said otherwise. Yea they were worn not shot though. I called jackson center they showed me how to measure it. I did and they were well withing tolerance. Worn but not worn out. turned out my trailer was on a bit of a dip. so someaxles had more tension on them. Your trailer looks great. Enjoy it. I hope you have many fun times in it. Please post what your findings are I am intrested in how shot they really are. PS I think they look fine. If you look under the trailer the torsion bars are right behind the wheel that is in place of the springs. If you have downword stance you are fine. Kind of like baby crib caster. Swing by a dealer and they will also tell you they are very common My car hauler also has them.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:39 PM   #13
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Now, about those aliens in the picture. Are those flower children? My 76 Sovereign didn't come with anything like that. By the way, welcome to the Forum and you have a good looking trailer. Andy may be right, but frankly I can't tell because the hubs are as black at the tires. Calm down, the new axels might not cost as much as the new frig you want. They're certainly easier to install. Take it from someone who has taken out a frig and put a new one back.
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:14 PM   #14
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I Andy told me mine were shot to. I was devistated until a buddy that rebuilt his said otherwise. Yea they were worn not shot though. I called jackson center they showed me how to measure it. I did and they were well withing tolerance. Worn but not worn out. turned out my trailer was on a bit of a dip. so someaxles had more tension on them.
Torsion axles "cannot" be rebuilt by an individual.

The shafts must be removed with a 50 ton puller, minimum. Then new rubber rods of the correct length and composition must be deformed and frozen with liquid Nitrogen, then very quickly reinstalled in the axle tube, along with the shaft.

I would seriously doubt that anyone would have the proper equipemnt to perform that operation, let alone have the correct knowledge as to what kind of rubber, it's composition, and it's correct length for a given weight rating.

Rebuilding leaf spring axles can be done by most anyone.

Henschen has not rebuilt axles in many years.

When the torsion arm is parallel to the chassis, the axles are shot.

Why is that said?

All torsion axles are weight sensitive. When you add a payload, the arms then, would go upward.

Therefore when the trailer hit bumps, it will bottom out.

That information is not an opinion, but 'facts" from Henschen engineers.

Additionally, depending on who you talk to at Airstream, you quite well will get different opinions.

Airstream, unfortunately as well as it's employees, engineers excepted, are not torsion axle experts.

In this case GKN Henschen, "is" the experts.

The article on how to check your Henschen axles out, comes from Henscnen, and does not contain any opinions, but simply plain ordinary everyday facts.

I think we could safely say the Henschen is not an Airstream expert, and by the same token, Airstream is not an expert on Henschen axles., and especially most all of those in customer service.

Opinions yes, facts, no.

Additionally, and this is fact, because of the incorrect composition of the rubber rods used on the 1974 and older models, those axles will "ALL" fail.

It's not a matter of what, it's just when.

Torsion axles can also be ruined by not using them.

We, and several Airstream dealers, have already replace many axles on 2006 models, because of non use. Just plain facts.

Andy
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