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Old 01-09-2008, 08:39 PM   #1
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1966 26' Overlander
Prosser , Washington
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What would you do?

64 Overlander 26'

Am just getting started on the renovation. This forum is amazing. Thank you those who created it and all the AS owners who made it what it is.

My question: I am only going to be pulling her twice a year. One trip up to my spot (90 miles) and then one trip back home (same distance...lol).

Do I need to have a huge concern with axles? I am going to inspect more closely but everything looks good and it pulls great.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:48 PM   #2
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Hey NWOverlander,

I would hope that you performance enough maintenance that your Airstream's lights, brakes lights, brakes all function, and tires are all up to spects.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:55 PM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
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Definitely

I am completely pulling all electrical and starting from scratch, so lighting is covered.

New wheels and tires will be added-brakes checked at that time.

I am spooked by the axle talk and want to know what you thought with respect to that. It pulls great, no problems. I anticipate <200 miles per year on it, so <2000 miles over the next ten years. Is it worth redoing the axles for that small amount of travel?
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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Maybe, maybe not. Some things to think about concerning where you are going, like, is the road smooth? No huge rough spots, no unpaved stretches? Will you be traveling where there are spots in the road where a wheel may leave the ground while negotiating that spot? Are there big sharp depressions in the road where you may drag the rear?
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:06 PM   #5
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1966 26' Overlander
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Will have to

Will have to check out the site more closely. It is paved all the way from my driveay to about 200' from my site. Am not sure about that last 200 feet though... It is a developed area at a lake and a slab at the site so I am pretty sure it is all in good shape. Didn't notice anything terrible when I bought it.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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This is one of the hardest questions I've heard. Things that need to go into you decision would be what you plan to do with the Overlander at the end of 10 years. If you're saving it to pass on to the next generation, I would get new axles. If you plan to scrap it, I wouldn't.

I assume it's a twin axle. Some of the early Overlanders were single axle and this wouldn't work for a single. If it's a double axle, I would weigh it carefully, run it with dry tanks, as light as possible, and have the tires inflated just to the minimum inflation pressure for the axle weight. Drive at 55 mph. At that speed and with the tires as soft as possible, I don't think you will be shearing too many rivets off. Get the wheels and tires precision balanced, and stay off the gravel roads.

You might want to try one of the "air-hitches" to minimize vibration from the tow vehicle to the trailer; but why would you spend money on that rather than new axles?
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWOverlander
64 Overlander 26'

Am just getting started on the renovation. This forum is amazing. Thank you those who created it and all the AS owners who made it what it is.

My question: I am only going to be pulling her twice a year. One trip up to my spot (90 miles) and then one trip back home (same distance...lol).

Do I need to have a huge concern with axles? I am going to inspect more closely but everything looks good and it pulls great.
They really are tougher then people let on. I'v dragged them 500 miles on 30 year old tires without checking anything.
There are thousands of them out there with wore out axels, on the road every day.
Really, 90 miles won't hurt anything.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:20 PM   #8
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1966 26' Overlander
Prosser , Washington
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More than 10

I was just using the ten years as an example. I plan on using the site for many more years than that,

I can also leave the AS up there over the winters. I pay for electrical year 'round so I may just need to drive it up there one time and be done with it. I would just have to make sure she is sealed tight and can withstand the winter snow (several feet).

Do they hold up well to snow?

Photo is of general vicinity in late winter....

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Old 01-09-2008, 09:32 PM   #9
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I recently drove my '69 Safari back home 1100 miles after purchase on a fairly-shot 40 year old axle and if I lost a rivet I sure didn't notice. THere was a stretch of Alabama interstate that was just downright BRUTAL for a good 5 miles. I slowed to 45 mph there but made it thru fine.

I did catch one flat tire on the trip and that was problematic. The shot axle makes the trailer ride lower than it should and you have to jack the unit up really high to get enough clearance to remove the wheel. With a new axle I won't have this problem, plus I'll get a smoother ride. The old axle may have contributed to the flat tire but the tires were quite old and dry.

You should definitely use (or install if missing) your leveling jacks whenever parked. This takes weight off the rubber suspension in the axle.

From the description of your ride you shouldn't have much trouble if your hitch is correctly adjusted (I have sway bars also). Like the other poster stated, there are many many older trailers still rolling fine with old bad axles. Having said that, though, I'll be replacing mine asap.
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #10
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1966 26' Overlander
Phoenix , Arizona
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Not knowing any better when I bought mine

I bought my trailer in Indiana. If you look at my profile I live in AZ. And did when I bought the trailer. The distance was most of 2000 one way.

Yep, I drove in and towed out.

I checked the lights and made sure the tires were aired up. And that was it. The brakes didn't work and it didn't matter much as my van (the one listed below) did well in the total stopping. Yes I did allow greater distance between me and the vehicles in front of me.


What I know now that I didn't consider then.
Tires were old. As in 10+ years old. Had good tread and they were still very old.
The entire running gear was 38 years old with not much work. And the trailer had been sitting for a number of years. At least 10 with no movement from that location. So the wb grease was very old too. The axles do and did need replacing. They are not too bad as far as height. So it is not sagging badly. However the rubber in the axles have taken a set and they are very stiff.

What I had going for me was the trailer was basically empty of stuff. And tanks were dry. I didn't push it as far as speed. Kept to the limit or just under. Things got a little shaken up over the 2000 miles. However no rivits have been lost. And no damage was incurred.

My recommendation, if you are going to make 2 trips a year with 90 miles on each, leave the axles alone for now. Support the trailer when it is parked and the stabliizers will not do that job. they will only stabilize it. Do not exceed 55 to 60 mph and slower is better.

When you get to the point of traveling more, then replace the axles. These type of axles do not like long periods of inactivity. The new axles will be the same, so if you replace them and the trailer sits for long periods what did you gain? Or what did you accomplish? Pretty axles on a trailer that sees < 200 miles in a year.

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Old 01-10-2008, 08:58 PM   #11
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Tow it like you stole it!!!
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