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Old 07-10-2006, 10:03 PM   #1
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1974 27' Overlander
scottsdale , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2
just bought 1974 27' need a bit of knowledge

it doesn't have any rot and doesn't look like leaking, how can I keep it that way? Also what truck can pull this and without jackknifing as I saw in a post?

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Old 07-11-2006, 06:12 AM   #2
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,076
as for the rot, it is mostly caused by if you don't have any...first be thankful, next make sure you keep up the outside sealants around windows and seams, checking them every once in awhile to see if they need to be redone. Cracks will lead to leaks.
I am not the most experienced pulling the trailer yet as I had a motorhome for a long time, but with a 27' you would do well with a full size pickup that is as long as you can comfortably drive and own.
A longer truck wheelbase means better towing for the trailer. That said, the weight of the your trailer would probably need a 3/4 ton truck but would do ok with a 1/2 ton full size , or similiar towing rated suv...or full size van. Others will tell you more.

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Old 07-20-2006, 04:11 PM   #3
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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just bought 1974 27' need a bit of knowledge

Greetings kdlarson!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Overlander ownership!

Originally Posted by kdlarson
Also what truck can pull this and without jackknifing as I saw in a post?
Airstream's published figures for your coach indicate the following:
    • Empty Weight (no options/accessories/fluids) -- 4,600 pounds
    • Empty Hitch Weight -- 515 pounds
As an estimate, you would likely be approaching 6,300 pound gross weight with a hitch weight when loaded of about 750 to 800 pounds. When considering tow vehicles, I would suggest looking for a rig that is rated to tow at least 8,000 pounds (my experience has been that something approaching 20% reserve towing capacity results in a more relaxed towing experience) -- it is also wise to double-check the maximum tongue weight rating of the tow rig (particularly with some SUVs with unit bodies).

My two favorite tow vehicles for my Overlander have been my '84 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (360 c.i. AMC V8/Torqueflyte Automatic/3.90 differentials), and my current GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.10 differentials) -- in fact, the Suburban just passed 169,000 miles on my last trip.

Good luck with your tow vehicle selection!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-20-2006, 05:37 PM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Define how you will use the tow vehicle. What do you need to carry in the TV?, How many kids? , Other uses for TV? (Jobs or hobbies). That determines if you need an open pickup or a cap How many doors on the pickup. Long bed or short or maybe a full size van is a better choise then maybe you want a big SUV like a suburban or smaller one (not my choise: too short wheel base).

Then you need to determine if you want to go new or used. Then brand. Lastly check the tow rating.

Now you must select the best hitch at a reasonable cost to prevent sway and jack knife problem. You will definitely need weight distribution hitch with sway control of some sort.
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:36 PM   #5
Frank S
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 316
Hi kdlarson--I tow my 1973 27' Overlander which weighs 6400 lbs loaded and wet, with a 2001 1/2 ton Suburban 5.3ltr, and 4.10 rear. Works great. I have also towed it successfully with 5.7ltr Suburbans, and Window Vans, mainly with 3.73 rears. The 4.10 works a lot better. I believe the 27' is the best compromise between size and space. Easy to tow with a 1/2 ton, small enough to be easy to handle, and large enough to be comfortable to live in. Look forward to plenty of good times with your A/S.--Frank S
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:40 PM   #6
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
Cincinnati , Ohio
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Posts: 49
or you could tow with something more radical...

Welcome kdlarson!

My husband and I have a 1977 27' Overlander and we tow it with a 2005 Jeep Liberty CDI. The CDI is the diesel engine from the Mercedes E-Class -- 2.4 liter, tons of torque, lots of pickup -- that's been used in Europe for years with much success.

A 27' Airstream is about as big as I would want to tow with such a short-wheelbase vehicle. We got stablizers arms and a swaybar, first thing. We also tow it with empty tanks. It's very stable to tow with, even in crosswinds. I'm the one who usually does the towing because I have an easier time backing and parking than my husband does, and you CAN'T jacknife with a Liberty! (Well, you can, but you won't damage your trailer.)

We like the Liberty because we get in the low 30's gas mileage in city driving, and in the mid 20's when we're towing. Plus, I'm not left to drive some honking-big truck every day (and we can't afford to keep a truck around just for towing...).

So, even though we get funny looks driving down the road (because it looks like the tail wagging the dog), the Liberty is well worth it!


Dave, Pam and Asa
Really old house + really new camper = good living

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