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Old 03-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Apex , North Carolina
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New owners of '70 Overlander, Apex, NC

Hey!

I have searched this site a lot over the past few months reading lots of Airstream and Avion camper advice.

Just brought home a 1970 Overlander (27-ft) International yesterday. Found it on Craigslist in Raleigh and had to beat a bunch of other potential buyers to get to it quickly. It had been sitting in an older couple's backyard un-used for the past 4-6 years. Towing home went fine, other than the curb-side rear storage door blew off and re-tracing my 45-minute drive I was not able to find it (see my posting in the classifieds looking for a replacement door).

Here are the pictures from the Craigslist ad. Will get more pics uploaded off my wife's camera. The small pics make it look in a lot better condition than it is. The outside is really dirty with a few dents and rubs. But the inside is actually almost as good as the pics, with a few aging plastics, etc.



This camper is in good shape with just minor issues to work out, but we could take it camping today if we wanted to. It is very complete and original. The original interior is in good condition, which was a big selling point for me. Thanks for all the advice folks have posted on this forum about what to look for!

A side note - my very first camping trip was when I was 3-years-old with my grandmother, great-aunt, and great-uncle in his Airstream at Uwharrie National Forest in NC. I found out that the seller of my Airstream had primarily used it for camping at Uwharrie! I knew my uncle's was an Airstream, but couldn't remember what model until he emailed to say it was also an Ambassador. I will see him this weekend, so will try to find out exactly how similar my purchase is to the one he used to have - year model, options, etc. Too cool.

My family - I have been married 7 years and have a wonderful wife and two great daughters age 4 and 1-1/2. See my wife's blog for more info The Nuss Haus. We are members of Central NC 4x4 club (CNC 4x4 Club), which does several camping trips a year. My wife and I camped a lot before the kids, but have only gone a few times since my first daughter was born because it was always going to be too cold at night, or raining, etc. We have several friends with campers, so knew we wanted our own camper so we could get back to camping more. I have a pop-up and 2 truck campers in various states of dis-repair, that I have not had time to get usable for us. So...

Our plan - When we found out we were getting some tax money back this year, we decided to buy a camper in decent, usable condition. I know that I do not have time for a project right now (like a floor replacement or interior restoration), so we wanted something we could use as-is and fix the more manageable items as time allows. Our budget was $2000 for the purchase, which would leave us with some extra money for things like tires or a new appliance. We knew we would not get something perfect, but wanted something solid and relatively complete. I was scouring Craigslists in NC, VA, and SC (using http://crazedlist.org) for weeks, but every "traditional" (wood framed) camper I found in our price range had water damage, meaning major wood rot. Then we found a 1969 Avion nearby for $1500 that was advertized as "usable as is". Seeing it in person, it was actually a decent basis for a full-restoration, with too much missing/damaged interior to use as-is. More of a project than we wanted, so we passed on it. The next day I found a 1984 Wilderness wood-framed camper for $2000 that was very complete, came with WD hitch and sway control, and the seller claimed had no leaks. I went to see it with the intention of bringing it home, but I found major hidden leaks and rotted wood (whole front and rear walls), so passed on it too. We were getting discouraged. But as soon as I got home, my wife showed me this Airstream that had just popped up on Craigslist for $3k. I went to see it the next day, expecting major issues, but found that it needed only small things (well, smaller things than re-framing a rotted wood camper). I negotiated to $2800, and the rest, as they say, is history!

We are very excited! Our first camping trip is scheduled for the 2nd weekend in April, so I've got a lot on my list to get ready.

Thanks for a wonderful Airstream forum (that I will now be using very heavily)!
Richard
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:16 AM   #2
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Welcome Richard. Glad to have you with us and congratulations on the Airstream. Join in on a local rally when you're up and road-ready.

Kevin
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:54 AM   #3
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Update

Sunday morning I re-traced my towing route one more time and found the missing compartment door about 15 miles from where I left the seller's house, BUT... it is bent badly, like almost a 90-degree bend.

I think I can dis-assemble it and make it work for now if I can't find a replacement.

This door looks like it clips in - no hinge. Since it is bent, I can't test-fit it, but I *think* that the keyed latch goes on the bottom when installed properly. Is that right?

If so, the seller had it on wrong - the latch was definitely at the top when I left his house.

Also got to talk to my great-uncle yesterday. His Airstream was this exact year, model, and everything. The only difference we came up with was that mine has the Therm-X heater by the door, and his didn't.

He bought his 1970-model in 1974, and proceeded to take it all over the country. He said he put over 100,000 miles on it. Said he love it and that it was trouble-free. He sold it in 2000 when my aunt declined in health and they were no longer traveling like that. He sold it in Greensboro, NC to a couple who wanted it for traveling to NASCAR races.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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Welcome to the AS life...

Great to hear on the purchase and glad you found your door. I live in Raleigh and started my search like you over a year ago. I ended up heading out of town to make my purchase because AS in my price range never lasted long either. If you ever need advice on local suppliers for "odd" things, let me know and I'll be glad to tell you of anyone I know. As for the door... I think you'll find something if you keep looking.

I'm currently doing some floor work and the bathroom renovation on my 69 Safari and hope to have it done within the next 30 days or so.

I usally go to Falls or Jordan for short weekends so maybe I'll see you out there one of these days.

Luke
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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I usally go to Falls or Jordan for short weekends so maybe I'll see you out there one of these days. Luke
Hey!

I actually live 5 minutes from Jordan Lake, so let me know if you head out this way!
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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Apex , North Carolina
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Got time to do check some things out tonite.

Tried to dump the black tank, but it was empty, which I guess is a good sign. I'm going to run some water down the toilet one night this week and make sure it doesn't leak and will drain out the valve. (I've got direct access to my septic tank, so can dump there)

Ran the Therm-X heater by the entrance door for a while - it works fine!

I've got some water damage in the rear storage compartment floor (which I bet is why the rear edge of my bathroom floor is soft), and the battery tray was just laying in there - rusted off at the bottom. So I pulled the battery.

Hooked up the 110 power without a battery, and the 12V lights and 110 outlets are working. Supposedly everything works except the A/C, so we'll see.

I need to order a weight-dist hitch and sway control. I weighed the tongue yesterday evening, and came up with 680 pounds tongue weight with nothing extra inside the camper - no televisions, no dishes, nothing. Does that seem right? I thought it was supposed to be more like 500. This thing came with 800 pound load bars and a messed-up head, so maybe that tongue weight is right? It has dual newer-style propane tanks in the front, with probably one full and one empty. Maybe those tanks bump up the weight, plus maybe there is water in the fresh tank? I'm going to try to check the fresh tank one night this week.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Hey Carman & BoCox, how about joining some fellow Carolinians at Alumalina March 23 -24 -25.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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Carman and BoCox:
We second Sandlapper's motion to try coming to Alumalina. We are on our second Airstream-had a 2007 20 ft Safari for 5 years. There is nothing like the adventure and A/S community. Terry, with OutofDoorsMart will be there and would be a great source of info on this trip as well as the other rally goers. We are in Fuquay Varina, NC and look forward to the trip next week. This is our first rally and inaugural trip with this A/S. Sandlapper has worked hard to prepare a great rally.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:14 AM   #9
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1970 27' Overlander
Apex , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandlapper View Post
Hey Carman & BoCox, how about joining some fellow Carolinians at Alumalina March 23 -24 -25.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbee View Post
Carman and BoCox:
We second Sandlapper's motion to try coming to Alumalina.
Thanks for the invite! But the camper won't be ready in time. We've got a trip planned to Uwharrie National Forest in exactly 1 month, and I'm going to be spending any free time (whatever little that may be) between now and then on the camper.

What are you guys doing during the day while you're there? Depending on what's on our calendar, we may (no promises) be able to head down there (camperless) with the kids for part of the day on Saturday just to meet some folks and check out some trailers/RVs for ideas.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:36 AM   #10
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Carman,
I am in Youngsville, what size is the door you are missing? I have one from my 78' International which I no longer own. I have a bunch of things from my 3 previous AS. I will be attending the Alumalina gathering and plan on bringing my spare parts. PM me with the size of your missing hatch.
Steve
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:49 AM   #11
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Carman:
I would expect most will be hanging out and visiting on Saturday. Do try to come by.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:31 AM   #12
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We live in one that exactly like yours, give or take a few things, it is very very polishable, wait til you see how well it shines up when you get to that point. Vintage is better, but did it also come with the owners manual?
Let me tell you - that door has to be fitted by hand into where it needs to attach, and you are going to have one heck of a time getting it to do what you want before you finally turn the key. I think it's the door that covers where the fuse box is.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:37 AM   #13
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Great find,, and a fair price..

We got our 72 Overlander about 3 weeks ago.. Hope you have a job you can take a little cat nap once in awhile.. Once we got ours home it seemed that I ended up working on it more than I planned.

Know the feeling of road ditch searching.. Over the years my farm help seems to scatter spare tires,, trailer ramps,, and gas cans all the time. Have used an airplane several times to help with the search..

Welcome to the group,, and first things first..

And like the rest of the folks here when I first got ours,,, MORE PICTURES PLEASE..

Sodbust
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:57 AM   #14
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Carman:
I would expect most will be hanging out and visiting on Saturday. Do try to come by.
Carman, we are definately hanging out Saturday. We have a loose (emphasis on loose!) schedule. There is a thread under the Forums Rallies-Alumalina. Post #93 has the lose schedule.
We have some other folks dropping by for the day, so come on. Should be worth the trip. Everyone is welcome. Let me know if you need anymore info. John
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