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Old 06-25-2006, 11:16 PM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Slick asking questions

Hi everynone this is my first time in a internet forum so excuse me if I seem a rockie, but I have just bought a 1972 27' Airstream International and I don't know verry much about Airstreams. I was hoping that some one can help me find an owners manual that can lead me in the right direction so that I can maintain the Airstream and hopely restore it. I live in Arizona and I will be using the Airstream as a traveling office to do photography workshops. I currently do not have a vehicle to tow the Airstream and I am hoping someone can give me some advice on the type of truck that I will need to tow the trailer because I do not know the weight of the Airstrean.

Thank you for your help. Slick
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:33 PM   #2
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1975 27' Overlander
fort wayne , Indiana
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manual

yo slick,

welcome to the forum. i have a 75' 27' international. you can get maintenance manual from airstreamstore.com a copy from the original factory direct. a decent quality copy.

as far as a tow vehicle (tv) that is a debate. i would recomend a 3/4 diesel truck. i have a older chevy 1/2 ton and it does a good job, but to pull full time i would go bigger.

crowbar
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:43 PM   #3
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Slick,
Welcome to the forum. It's great to have another member from the valley!
Use the chart at http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf to estimate the weight of your trailer. This is the dry weight for the base unit and a starting point. You need to figure in things like propane, water etc. Make sure you give yourself some extra margin for things you will add.
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Old 06-25-2006, 11:51 PM   #4
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1975 27' Overlander
Twin Cities , Minnesota
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Slick,
My original owners manual shows my unit being pulled by a 75 Chevy full sized wagon. By inference that is the Only tow vehicle that will work. Good luck finding one. They were crudely built and didn't wear well with or without an AS in tow.
That said, my impression of this forum is "that which is worth doing is worth over doing" is the norm. A good 1/2 ton pickup or van IMO is plenty.
Good luck. And welcome to this clan of grounded dirigibles.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:04 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
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Hi Slick--Been pulling my 1973 27' Overlander since 1988, very successfully with Chevys: 3/4 ton window vans, and 1/2 ton Suburbans. Started with 5.7 ltr. and 3.73 rears. Now have a 2001 Suburban 5.3 ltr. with a 4.10 rear. All worked well, but the 4.10 rear is the iceing on the cake. Always tow in "D" which is 3 rd gear, 1:1 ratio. A 1/2 ton will handle your A/S, and give you a good daily driver, however in towing bigger is always better. I believe an A/S over 27' requires at least a 3/4 ton pickup or Suburban, or a 1 ton van. A 3/4 ton van really only has 1/2 ton running gear. From my years towing my A/S I belive 27' is the ultimate size. Large enough to be comfortable, and very easy to tow (6200 lbs loaded for the road). Get that A/S on the road, and enjoy.--Frank S
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:55 PM   #6
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For no-scare traveling, I would go with a 3/4 ton diesel truck. It has been said many times that a well matched tow vehicle/trailer decreases stress and makes travel far more enjoyable. Your TV (tow vehicle) will give you many years of trouble free use if you stay 20% under its towing capacity. That doesnt mean that you cant tow capacity, it just means that your TV will last longer and give you better service.

I would make sure the TV has tow mirrors and at least a 10,000 lb rated hitch. Automatics are better TVs than manuals. Also, be aware of the fuel tank size, the bigger tanks keep you out of the fuel stations longer and gets you to your destination faster.

You will find many threads in this forum and others on this subject.
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Old 06-26-2006, 03:30 PM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Now that you have the Airstream that pretty well defines what you have for storage. How much and where you tow will define what you need for tow vehicle. If you are going to tow in the mountains you need the 4.1 ratio. and at least 5 liter displacement unless you go diesel. The vans give you convient storage out of the weather and used ones are cheaper than trucks. If you go the truck route you will likely need a cap. Buying new gets you the best reliability but highest cost. If you are going to cruise the Interstates try and get the longer wheelbases. Early model Ford vans have longer wheel base and less over hang that early GM types. New GM is now comparible to Ford. Long box trucks have the longest wheel bases but make small campground and parking lots a problem. Gas is cheaper than diesel orginally but Diesel will pay for itself if you go over 40,000 miles per year.
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:42 PM   #8
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1972 27' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Thanks to everyone that responded to my questions

Thank you Airstream lovers for the informatiom that you provided I have been on vacation and away from the eternet for the last two weeks. I would like to ask anyone what type of paint that I can use to paint the interior of my 72 Overlander, and if the wooden cabinets can be stain to a lighter color
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Old 07-09-2006, 09:16 PM   #9
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1977 31' Sovereign
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You can clean the inside fairly easily but I would not paint it unless you hate the woodgrain lookof the intemediate walls and the vinyl wallpaper. if you do paint the wall paper you need a special primer to seal in the plastisizer in the vinyl otherwise is will come off in sheets.

I am not sure whether you actually have wood cabinets. Many of the 70's are woodgrain vinyl. Which you can not do anything with. If it is dark wood. You would need to remove the sealing varnish and then bleach the wood. Not an easy task and the results can be terrible unless you really know what you are doing.
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultradog
My original owners manual shows my unit being pulled by a 75 Chevy full sized wagon. By inference that is the Only tow vehicle that will work. Good luck finding one. They were crudely built and didn't wear well with or without an AS in tow. That said, my impression of this forum is "that which is worth doing is worth over doing" is the norm. A good 1/2 ton pickup or van IMO is plenty. Good luck. And welcome to this clan of grounded dirigibles.
Okay Slick -- From experience on these Forums Ultradog might say that I lean towards being able to climb Pikes Peak or else your tow vehicle isn't up to par. All this advice is free (take that for what it's worth). The number of posts under my name should mean something (it doesn't). Therefore, IMHEO (in my humble and exalted opinion), the following is the ABSOLUTELY ONLY tow vehicle you should consider ... and Chevy is throwing in XM Satellite Radio and On-Star ... for you -- a buck two-eighty!!
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Old 07-09-2006, 10:29 PM   #11
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Okay, I had my fun. You are close to some significant mountain travels. You will want to get more serious the more traveling you might do off of interstates -- though Airstreams and other RV's don't really have enough ground clearance for anything but carefully considered dirt roads. Owners manuals for most gas-engined TV's (tow vehicles) do tend to suggest towing one step below overdrive if you are in mixed terrain. Diesels may not need to do this but the loss of economy by towing below overdrive is nowhere enough to pay for a diesel. I do think something like the Chev/GM 1500HD could be your ticket. SUVs are problematic -- it can seem pretty big but unless you are buying the biggest in any manufacturer's line they tend to have less wheelbase and less payload capacity to hold passengers + tongue weight. Toyota and Nissan don't make big enough SUVs for this trailer & the mountains. Me? I did buy a new GMC 2500 Duramax/Allison this year -- but plan on going very far afield for a very long time with this rig and my Safari -- which is significantly heavier than a trailer of your vintage. Hang around, ask questions -- I'm sure you'll get an earful. Welcome to the fabulous democracy we call Airstream Forums!
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