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Old 06-08-2015, 07:06 PM   #1
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1963 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Just bought a 1963 that needs a complete restoration.

Hello everyone. I got got a '63 Overlander that hasn't been touched (or cared for) since. I'm hoping to gut the inside and get the outside "presentable" before reveling it to my wife for our anniversary next month. She's always said we'd get one when we retire but I couldn't wait. Does anyone have tips for removing dirt and mildew from the aluminum? I don't think I have the time for a full polish but I'd like to clean it up a little. Also the tongue and entrance step have quite a bit of rust on them. Any advice helps.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:22 PM   #2
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
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I'd start with dish soap (or Simple Green, maybe?) and a plastic-bristle brush for the outside. The tongue and entrance step could be wire brushed and painted.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:47 PM   #3
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1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
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Do it right the first time and use POR-15 when you do your tongue, step and bumper. I used top quality paints recommended by Lordco with all the appropriate cleaners primers etc and rust was popping back through the finish within 4 months...very disappointed. Happily its PORed now and looks awesome :-)

for cleaning the interior use Mr. Clean Magic erasers and any old bathroom spray with bleach, tilex, scrubbing bubbles that sort of thing. I even used it on my wood by my hood fan where water had infiltrated and molded the cabinets interior you will be amazed at how clean the walls will be after. Do not toss anything yet if you plan to replace you will need it for templates be it curtains, cabinets or foam. I just washed my 47 year old original upholstery in the tub with a whole lot of bleach, oxi clean and laundry soap...repeatedly...like 5 times each till the water ran clear kinda repeatedly it is now clean and soft and chenille like. Amazing quality, keeping it :-)
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:49 PM   #4
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1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
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oh and decide if you will be polishing it. That will determine if you weather proof it now or later. Search for Tin tins sealants summary when you are ready for that stage.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:39 PM   #5
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1963 26' Overlander
Hollis , New Hampshire
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Use mr Clean Magic erasers and premium car soap to clean the outside, it does an amazing job! Ditto on the interior... Is the interior in decent shape? If so you may want to rethink the gut job, or at the least do it carefully. The interiors can be amazing when cleaned up. Mine, unfortunately was past repair.....
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Old 06-09-2015, 01:12 AM   #6
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1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
Victoria , British Columbia
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ditto what reinergirl said...I've got a 63 tradewind and I love the interior. If you can save it, try to :-)

plus you'd save a bucket load of money in the long run and restored originals have great re-sale value, don't be to quick to tear it apart because once you start that horror show you can't go camping in it for at least the next year or two

PS, Have a look at reinergirls posts shes done an awful lot of work on hers and has shared lots of great info that will be useful for what you may be in for with yours :-)
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:22 AM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
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Our 63 is pretty much original. If you have zeotone, you can be pretty aggressive without damaging it. Some 63s came with optional plasticoat. Ours was never clearcoated at the factory, so a moderate polish job with an automotive polisher once a year is enough to keep it acceptable. The old furnace needed to be replaced with a Suburban for minimal cost. A new water heater was also required. The original natural rubber foam cushions and mattress usually have to be replaced by high density urethane. I would put a new demand water pump in, instead of trying to maintain the constant pressurized air system.
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
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1963 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Wow you guys are awesome! Sadly i don't think the interior is savable. At least not the floor. Under the mildewed carpet is distorted peel and stick tile thats on top of rotten plywood. I'll go in careful and try to salvage what I can. Good advice on keeping things for templets and once I revel it I'll see if my wife wants the original floor plan or something else. For now I'll pick up some Magic Erasers and soap and see if she shines up. Thank you all. I'll post picks as I go along. It there a progress thread?
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:16 AM   #9
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1965 17' Caravel
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Take lots of before, during and after photos of the removal. You'll need to refer to them often when you are rebuilding and replacing the interior. From your description of the floor, be ready for a complete floor replacement... a fun job!
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:59 PM   #10
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1963 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2015
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The Erasers are Magic Mr. Clean!

You all were right! The mildew and dirt can off easy with the magic eraser and the shell doesn't look that bad. I can see myself in it. It's not mirror at all but I can see myself. If I can figure out how to post a picture on here I will.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:07 PM   #11
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1968 28' Ambassador
Dover , Arkansas
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If your clear coat is in bad shape, I used an organic stripper to strip mine. It works great. Just coat, go to bed and wash off in morning. Bought at a PPG paint store. Jim
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:52 PM   #12
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1963 26' Overlander
Tulsa , Oklahoma
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Update. She loves it!
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