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Old 08-12-2018, 05:10 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Los Gatos , California
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Potential purchase advice

I'm considering buying a 1970 Overlander from a neightbor and wanted some advice from you seasoned owners.
I tend to get excited over new projects and get a little blinded.
This AS had been sitting for 15-16 years. Was is good working order when parked. Inside is missing the front couch and a few doors but mostly there.
Lots of rat turds inside and in all the exterior doors.
Needs tires.
Not sure what's working as far a hookups. Not near the house.
The plywood under the bathroom looks bad and covered with rat turds.
Body looks really nice.
I've restored lots of cars and and work in construction.
Question: js it possible to replace the rear subfloor without pulling the body?
Am i getting into a hug project?
Asking price is $3500. In CA that is cheap for a complete AS.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:29 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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You can find a better deal. Way too much rust.
While possible the rear floor would be a challenge. Removing the entire bath for example.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:50 PM   #3
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1970 27' Overlander
Los Gatos , California
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Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
You can find a better deal. Way too much rust.
While possible the rear floor would be a challenge. Removing the entire bath for example.
It looks like surface rust. It's lived in Ca.
I've been looking for a little while and haven't seen anything complete in Northern CA for under $5k.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:52 PM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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Potential purchase advice

It looks comparable to the last two 70s model Airstreams Iíve bought, and itís comparable in price.

First I bought a 72, that one is my daily use trailer today. I replaced the sheet of plywood in the back, and patched the plywood around the front windows. I had to deal with some rear separation in the bath and some frame rot in the bath that I handled the same time I replaced the back plywood.

To do this right, you will need to gut the interior and remove the inner skins. The shell can remain in place. New axles were required. It was a 120 day initial build where the entire interior and plumbing was replaced.

On the 75 we just did a super fast patch up, we didnít remove much interior. We patched up the holes quick, cleaned the hell out of it put new flooring in, and new Pex plumbing This was a fourteen day build.

The 72 is freaking awesome, and the 75 has served as a full time home for two of my brother in laws for over three years total.

We have spent about $25K total on the 72 and about 5k on the 75, both inclusive of purchase price. If I was going to tow the 75, it would need axles, but since it isnít moved much that hasnít been done.

Count on some floor rot, especially in the back and around the front windows and refrigerator, count on replacing all of the copper tubing, and count on replacing the water heater and water pump.

Unless the frame is rusted out forward of the rear axles I would pay 3.5K for that trailer all day long, but thatís me.
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:09 PM   #5
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Not a good deal...mice smell almost never ends.....spend more and get something you can use...don’t have to be an as
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Old 08-12-2018, 06:29 PM   #6
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1970 27' Overlander
Los Gatos , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
It looks comparable to the last two 70s model Airstreams Iíve bought, and itís comparable in price.

First I bought a 72, that one is my daily use trailer today. I replaced the sheet of plywood in the back, and patched the plywood around the front windows. I had to deal with some rear separation in the bath and some frame rot in the bath that I handled the same time I replaced the back plywood.

To do this right, you will need to gut the interior and remove the inner skins. The shell can remain in place. New axles were required. It was a 120 day initial build where the entire interior and plumbing was replaced.

On the 75 we just did a super fast patch up, we didnít remove much interior. We patched up the holes quick, cleaned the hell out of it put new flooring in, and new Pex plumbing This was a fourteen day build.

The 72 is freaking awesome, and the 75 has served as a full time home for two of my brother in laws for over three years total.

We have spent about $25K total on the 72 and about 5k on the 75, both inclusive of purchase price. If I was going to tow the 75, it would need axles, but since it isnít moved much that hasnít been done.

Count on some floor rot, especially in the back and around the front windows and refrigerator, count on replacing all of the copper tubing, and count on replacing the water heater and water pump.

Unless the frame is rusted out forward of the rear axles I would pay 3.5K for that trailer all day long, but thatís me.
Thanks for the detailed reply. Is it necessary to remove the whole interior to get to the rear plywood?
Is it necessary to replace the axles? Not worth rebuilding?
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:43 PM   #7
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If you plan to travel. Axles are a must. Otherwise you will beat the coach to death.
As stated. Hard to replace a large section of the floor without removing the interior and inner skin.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:08 PM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
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Potential purchase advice

I would say that it is worth 3.5k easily if the body is nice and all the windows and doors are there.

The big question is the condition of the frame and floor.

Replacing the axles is a no brainer to me. It is not that expensive and now you have new axles, a new suspension and new brakes. The axles canít be rebuilt.

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Old 08-12-2018, 08:13 PM   #9
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1975 31' Excella 500
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In order to repair the plywood the inner skin has to be removed so that the portion of the floor that sits under the walls can be put back in. There are bolts that pass through the plywood that have to be cut out and replaced. The inner skins have to come out to do that.

While it seems like a lot to gut the trailer, one and a helper can do it in a couple of days. It takes about twice as long to put it all back.

The axles cant be rebuilt because of their construction.

They are ďtorsion axlesĒ that use rubber rods in place of actual springs. The rubber gets hard and breaks, leaving the axles perpetually bottomed out.

There is no alternate but replacement, due to the age of your axles, they ARE shot. I put off replacing my axles for my first two trips and it left me with a problem to fix. The pounding caused the rear of my trailer to sag several inches, I had to put it back up.

Donít do what I did.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:32 PM   #10
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1970 27' Overlander
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If i pull the interior, does it make sense to replace the whole floor? I would like to use something like coosa board.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:32 PM   #11
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Potential purchase advice

This is what I did with my floor. This should give you an idea of what the job entails. Click image for larger version

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The first three pictures are around the front, the last picture is the back.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post

While it seems like a lot to gut the trailer, one and a helper can do it in a couple of days. It takes about twice as long to put it all back.

I agree with your first statement but certainly not your second.

Dan
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:38 PM   #13
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Potential purchase advice

Quote:
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i agree with your first statement but certainly not your second.

Dan




It might be a little optimistic

Depending on how far the components are broken down in disassembly..
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:46 PM   #14
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So how much time do you have? This looks like a huge project; basically a complete gut job. It looks like it has copper piping, old wiring, etc. Who knows the leaks that exist and what the mice have done to the wiring? If it were me I would pass. I’m pretty handy. I basically built my first house (just bought a shell). I did the wiring, studding, trim, etc. Except plumbing. Water leaks are terrible. But there was lots of help out there with books, etc and I had experience in doing most of it from doing smaller projects. My suggestion is to maybe find someone that specializes in rebuilding Airstreams to guide you. It may mean having them doing some of the stuff that’s over your head. Also would be able to give you a good idea of what needs to be done. It might be cheap now, but it may take so long to complete you’ll never have time to enjoy it. There are probably some very well kept AS’s out there that are older and cheaper if budget is an issue. Remember that movie “The Money Pit”? My experience with remodeling/renovating is it always leads to more than what you think.
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