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Old 06-01-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
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1976 27' Overlander
Midlothian , Virginia
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1
Thumbs up Surprises on new purchase of '76 Overlander

Hi, we just purchased a 1976 Airstream 27' Overlander. We drove to PA to pick it and towed it back home to Midlothian, Virginia.

Of course, according to the seller, everything worked. We found it sitting in a woods road with no electricity available to check out the appliances and no gas tanks.

However, the trailer appeared to be mostly original and not in too bad a cosmetic shape.

When we got it home, the first thing I did was hook up to power.
The AC did come on and blow cold, until it tripped the breaker.

The refrigerator freezer got cold but not the refrigerator itself.

Next on the fun list was to put water into the tank and turn on the pump. Wow, that worked and we had water pressure.

Opps, knew it was too good, the hot water heater has a big leak and water is running onto the bath room floor.

Didn't have any LP gas tanks yet so we couldn't try any of the gas appliances. Did notice that the mice had been living for some time under the burner tray of the range.

So much for my first few days with the new toy.

So far playing with the trailer has really been fun. After my first few attempts on the original appliances I decided that I would just plan on replacing all of them.

Sooooooooooooo, it seems that the trailer will be traveling north again soon to the nearest Airstream dealer, which is just south of Fredricksburg VA.

I plan on doing most of the labor on the trailer myself except for installing the AC unit on the roof and the Refrigerator.

I am sure that I will find this forum very informational in the future as we bring this Airstream back to it's glory days.


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Old 06-01-2007, 11:06 AM   #2
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1979 31' Excella 500
Detroit Area , Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 498
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Be careful not to give up too quick on the fridge. It will take 6-8 hours to get a cold blast from the freezer all the way down to the fridge.

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Old 06-01-2007, 11:14 AM   #3
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1975 25' Tradewind
Dewey , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 12,036
Images: 62
Blog Entries: 1
Congratulations on the trailer and welcome to the forums. The everything worked the last time we used it is used alot by sellers. I would drop the previous owner a line and ask him if he wants to send you a few hundred for a new water heater. He will most likely either ignore you or say sorry, but you never know. The water heater may have had water in it ans froze, that will split the tank.

The AC may be fine and the breaker is weak. If you could measure the amperage to the unit you would know. If you can't, you could replace the breaker and see if it still fails. That would be a much cheaper solution if it works.

The refrigerator may just need to have the flue cleaned. There are many threads that talk about that. Use the search function to locate them.

Again, welcome to the forums!


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Old 06-01-2007, 11:19 AM   #4
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1995 30' Limited
Ashland , Missouri
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,610
Welcome to this forum! It looks like you're happy with your new Airstream and ready to go to work Hope we meet you on the road~G
1995 Airstream Classic Limited 30' ~ Gypsy
1978 Argosy Minuet, 6.0~Minnie/GPZWGN
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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1977 31' Sovereign
1963 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Johnsburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,922
How good is the power you have it attached to. If you are running an extension cord from the house, it may have a big drop in it when you kick on the air. This will overload the breaker and cause it to pop. Check at the unit that you have at least 95 volts when it kicks in. If you have a clip on ampmeter, check that the startup current is within specification. The fridge is likely ok if the freezer freezes ice. You may need a computer fan to put in the ductwork if you use the unit when it is hot. A real small computer cpu fan inside the refrigerator section gives much better cooling distribution and works on 12 volts DC and does not draw much power.
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:21 PM   #6
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1974 31' Sovereign
1970 23' Safari
1956 26' Cruiser Overlander
Lambertville , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,174
sounds familiar


I know how you are feeling, but you first need to turn a blind eye to all of the issues that you believe you are having, then you need to spend with no fiscal responsibilty and all will be OK. It really isn't that bad. If the A/C unit kicked on and blew cold you are probably fine with that. My guess is you had it plugged into a 15Amp 110 outlet and you overloaded it, not a big deal. The shore power should be plugged into a 30Amp service to run the A/C. The refer is probably fine too, it takes a while to get the bottom box cold, and take everyone's advice here make sure the refer is exactly level. The gas appliances are pretty bullet proof and if they appear as though they function, than they probably do. Make sure you check for gas leaks!!!!! no joking here, safety always comes first. The water heater is not a huge deal, if you want 10 gal propane only replacement you can get scratch and dent from camping world outlet center in Bowling Green KY for about $100.00. Normally the scratch and dent is the outside cover wich you probably do not want to use if you have the stainless door now, you can make it fit the new unit.

Congratulations on your purchase you will find lots of great and knowlegable owners here that can help. You now have a new restoration hobby with a camping problem.


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Old 06-01-2007, 06:00 PM   #7
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1973 31' Sovereign
Bertram , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 277
Images: 21
Welcome aboard! Hey, as you will are not alone. Welcome to the world of those who say..."why did I not read all these post before I bought this Airstream?" Hey, we just love the challange.
If it has good papers, hey, most everything else is easy...well maybe not easy, but doable one bit at a time.
Hey, you did not mention any roof leaks
"There’s not much in life we can’t over-analyze”
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:15 AM   #8
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1968 24' Tradewind
Louisville , earth
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Originally Posted by drag'nwagon
you can get scratch and dent from camping world outlet center in Bowling Green KY for about $100.00. Dave
Lets pretend for a moment that nobody else knows about this scratch and dent center.... . Can you give some details?


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