Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-12-2017, 12:15 PM   #1
New Member
1973 27' Overlander
asheville , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
overwhelmed but excited

just purchased a 1973 overlander (27')
was told everything "worked"
hooked a hose up yesterday and water was coming out everywhere underneath
the wire to plug in has been cut off
i guess i should have researched more before i purchase my first airstream...
first camper ever, so i am ignorant
not sure what wire i need to buy and if i can connect it anywhere at my house to check all the electrical...?
also absent is the wire to connect to the truck for lights/brakes etc- and i'm not sure what i need
wondering if there is a website for the basics
found some rotten floor in the bathroom too
hopefully this isn't a loss
just want to camp with my wife and 2 year old
any help is appreciated
thanks for your time

SETH73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2017, 01:42 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
Ruffn It's Avatar
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Huntersville , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 69
Sounds like you've got your hands full. Maybe a visit to an official dealer/repair shop might be in order, at least to help prioritize your rehab efforts. According to AS there's a dealer/repair shop in Marion NC, not too far from you.

Kevin & Deb & {Bella}

"To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring -- it was peace." M. Kundera
Ruffn It is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2017, 06:20 PM   #3
Rivet Master
dbj216's Avatar

1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,215
Images: 1
Hi seth73, welcome to Airstream Forums. Asheville, NC, is such a pretty city.
I love to visit there. Especially the Grove Inn.

The Overlander is a nice size Airstream. Most of us who buy these vintage Airstreams are prepared to do a rather extensive renovation. These Forums are chock full of hobbyists who have done renovations and in many cases a complete rebuild.

Nicely renovated vintage Airstreams are in the $20k range or more. Do it yourself and save almost nothing. The cost of the parts and trailer usually come close to $20k. A professionally renovated vintage Airstream is in the $50k range. They get paid for their 1200 hours of labor. You can find "original" vintage Airstreams where "everything worked last time I used it" trailers for $5k if the body is good. These are usually project trailers ready for renovation. The situations you describe, water leaks, cut power cord, etc., fit perfectly with a project trailer.

By the way, a cut power cord is a red flag that maybe the last guy who plugged in the trailer smelled smoke or got a shock off the aluminum body! I would not plug in this trailer until I inspected all the electrical. I routinely cut off the power cords on power tools that I know are shot. At the workplace we call this a safety program "lock out, tag out". Render it inoperable.

I would consider the seller either very ignorant (this can happen in an estate sale for example) or dishonest if (s)he did not accurately describe and disclose the condition of the Overlander to you at the time of sale. There is "buying a used Airstream checklist" on these Forums that systematically assess the subject trailer's systems.

If you don't want a project trailer, then "flip" it to someone else. There are many of us Airstreamers who have "aluminum-itis" You MAY break even on the deal. You will describe the trailer accurately of course. By the way, the Overlander is a very popular size Airstream.

Shed the Overlander if you don't want the renovation project, then you can decide on a "camp ready" trailer that would suit your family's needs.

Remember, all advice given on these forums is completely FREE! What a deal!


PS: Here is a photo of my 66 Trade Wind, about three years after I started working on it. It is an average renovation, but it is "travel ready". There is no fancy hand crafted cabinetry in this baby. However, all systems work good.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	1505 Home Street Front (Small).jpg
Views:	68
Size:	88.0 KB
ID:	285386  
dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2017, 08:57 AM   #4
Got gandkids?
Jim & Susan's Avatar

1973 27' Overlander
'Possum Holler , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,439
Images: 39
Greetings Seth. Looks like you have a project on your hands. Take your time and you'll be fine if you are reasonably handy. We have a '73 that we rebuilt, tho not finished yet. You can read about it in the '73 Overlander Sub-forum, along with many others.

You might also take a look here and the many rebuild threads from many different years.

Your shore power end connector can be replaced. RV centers carry those. Make sure you buy an RV connector and don't try to substitute with something from the hardware store (unless it's specifically made for an RV). As others have pointed out, careful of electrical shock.

The chord that goes between the truck and trailer is called the umbilical chord. I had to replace mine as well. NAPA and other car parts places carry them. Get one that you have to wire one end yourself. Pinouts are not really standard, especially on a more than 40 year old trailer.

Good luck. We're in Asheville often 'cause our daughter and family moved up there. It's a beautiful place. Maybe we can get together some weekend.


Air No. 6427
Jim & Susan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2017, 07:35 AM   #5
New Member
1973 27' Overlander
asheville , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3
Thank you for all the timely responses...
Sorry that mine are not
Having hard time navigating site on my pad...(pop ups are intolerable)
Jim, I spent a couple hours reading your full monte thread last night
I wish I had it in me, but don't think I can pull it off at this point in my life
The work you have accomplished! You must be proud
I should have read this (air forum) before I purchased, but you "can't" become a member until you own, right?
Anyhow I just wanted a camper to do a little traveling/camping- not a multi-year project to take over every spare minute, of which I have little
Already have learned so much from you all.
David, thanks for this thought about faulty electrical wiring and why it is cut, but I'm guessing it was just thieves taking what they could get- I'll be aware while I plug it in. Looks like you have put in the time too, beautiful camper!
You are all invited to come see it
if I redo it, I'll gut completely and all the innards that do not work for me will be up for grabs
There is no way I'll try to replace to original
Just not in the cards
After seeing what it takes to do it right (from you all) I don't even think I have the time to go it halfway
Discouraged but thankful
Happy Mother's Day! To all the beautiful mothers out there
SETH73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2017, 08:48 AM   #6
Rivet Master
Minno's Avatar

1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,396
Well, you could get the wiring fixed and use it without the water systems for awhile. If you had a tent or fold down (I guess they're "pop-ups" now ) that's what you'd have anyway. If you have a basically intact trailer with potential plumbing issues and electrical issues, it'd still be do-able to get her functional again without a complete tear down and rebuild. Is there someone you know with basic trailer knowledge, or someone here on Forums near you in the Inspectors section who could maybe point you in the right direction? Maybe a WBCCI club member would help out to get her functional if you approached them?

Wishing you the best,
Minno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2017, 06:06 PM   #7
New Member
JPRodgers's Avatar
1973 27' Overlander
Carmel , Indiana
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2
Images: 3

You are describing our 73 Overlander that I bought six months ago for $5k. Exterior is in good shape - one window is glued closed as a botched leak repeair, no electric and some floor rot in the back. So far I've gutted the interior (skin still on) and am getting the courage to start repairing the floor. I expect to replace all systems and take 2-4 years in the process. Good luck.

JPRodgers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2017, 06:32 PM   #8
Rivet Master
A W Warn's Avatar

2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC , Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,119
Maybe the plumbing is ok. Could be the low point drains were left open when the trailer was winterized. Look where water is running then check for valves above. Also look at the water heater drain plug to make sure it is not loose. There might be a separate pressure relief valve that could be open.

You could be correct about thieves. Get the cord repaired and have someone who knows how MAKE SURE IT IS SAFE.

If you have not found it on the forum yet, there is a list of volunteers who will inspect a trailer. You may be able to find someone close by to help get you started. Look for a tab along the right side of the screen that says "Inspector". Or if you can't find it, you can go to the community tab, Click on member list, click on search members, then select advance search from the drop down, fill in the town and state (nothing else), then scroll down to inspector type and select trailer. I did this and found there's only one inspector in Asheville, so check around in nearby towns if that person does not work out. (Not speaking of anyone in particular - be forewarned; just because a person volunteers to inspect, there is no guarantee that they are competent to do the things you need)
2014 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
A W Warn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2017, 07:19 AM   #9
New Member
1973 27' Overlander
asheville , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 3

I purchased the plug and extension cord need to plug her up.
The overhead lights and most all of the outlets are in working condition! Air conditioner turns on with no blower (squirrel fan not working) and then just cuts off...? The lights above the twin beds and above the sink don't work nor the vent fan in the bath.
I have found 6 different spots where the copper pipes burst and am in the process of cutting it all out.
Mostly i have just been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning- mice remnants and smoker remnants.
The outside running lights have not been tested, yet to hook up an umbilical cord...
There is a kink in the propane line under the trailer so I have not had a chance to start up the stove top or water heater to see if they function.
There is damage to the aluminum in a few spots and I wondered if you can just cut out a piece and rivet it over top to produce a patch like/quilt effect, with some sealer placed between...??
Anyhow, that is where she stands,
oh yeah and we think we are going to name her PINGA
after some sugar cane moonshine from Brasil
SETH73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2017, 09:38 AM   #10
Rivet Master
Minno's Avatar

1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,396
Minor damage to aluminum is potentially something to live with. After all Pinga is 44 yrs old and subject to second hand smoke! If it's something you can't live with, then I would take the time to replace panels, rather than patchwork (I'm a quilter, so very familiar with "patches", just not necessarily on the outside of my trailer!). You'll probably have to run new propane line where it's kinked. We covered our outside propane line with pex to protect it when we installed it, although over 20+ years of owning trailers, we've never had damage to the propane line outside the trailer. (We had extra Pex )
I'm glad you decided to keep her.

Minno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2017, 05:36 PM   #11
Rivet Master
dbj216's Avatar

1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,215
Images: 1
You have quite a project on your hands. It would keep me busy for a winter or two. Cleaning is a good way to assess your trailer's condition and what you want to fix first. Make sure all your 12v fuses are good. The AC motor not running may be due to a blocked fan due to a mouse next or something. Or the motor is shot. I'm too lazy to sleeve my propane lines with PEX, but it wold help prevent damage to them from flying rock and the like.

I try to do one item at a time to make my trailer better. There are a hundred items sure, but just one done make a guy feel a bit better. Your list ought to have the most glaring defect toward the top of the list. As many of Airstream Forums members have said, don't worry about cosmetics until you are sure your axles, brakes and bearing are good to go. Do important stuff first.

dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2017, 04:57 PM   #12
New Member
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Little tip with the gas line. Replace it from the tanks back to where it enters the trailer and then from the inside if you have access replace it and check it for leaks. DO NOT USE A LIGHTER TO DO THIS OR EVEN A SOAPY MIX OF WATER AND SOAP. Go to a gas supply house and get the proper leak detection liquid to check for leaks throughout the trailer all lines and connections and
all gas appliances.
Keep in mind that LP will settle in low places. It has a high flash point and will hang around low lying places areas. LP is heavier than air so always be mindful whenever dealing with LP gas.
I have a gas license and home inspection license in Florida.
Bob Moyer
We all learn from our mistakes in buying and selling. So be safe and enjoy your project!!!'

Ram1726 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
picking up our 16 Lounge EXT in a couple weeks - excited but questions! jtrichel Sprinter and B-van Forum 11 07-06-2015 06:15 PM
First timer from MN -- excited to be here, but w/ a curmudgeon at home jennie456 Member Introductions 28 06-21-2015 06:36 PM
1966 Ambassador followed us home! Both excited and overwhelmed RKL1954 Vintage Kin 0 06-08-2014 08:15 AM
New Members - Excited, Nervous and Overwhelmed! AirKar Member Introductions 23 07-04-2013 03:26 PM
My Dream Trailer...But Overwhelmed 1966Countess Vintage Kin 22 06-19-2012 08:06 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.