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Old 03-13-2003, 05:22 PM   #1
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Some Guidance

I am restoring a 1975 Overlander Landyacht (27 feet). I was wondering if someone could give me a quick outline of a good strategy. It appears to be in good conditon but I have plans to gut it and make it mint. I would like to get started on the interior but I obviously would like to make sure that it is structurally sound. What should I look for. I am going into this pretty green but I am very excited about the project.... Thanks
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Old 03-13-2003, 05:30 PM   #2
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Others will want to provide more details, as well as the url of the Vintage Airstream Club, but I do think on a project like this you start with a survey of the floor. Nothing much is going to go right until you get any rot problems dealt with.

Thre is a lot of information in the archives here on these forums.

Mark
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Old 03-13-2003, 07:28 PM   #3
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Floor

I have stripped it down to the plywood and it doesn't appear to have any water damage. I have also stripped the paneling and have had no leakage is the recent rainy days. After I double check and make sure there is no rot, I think I will start on some interior work. If you were me would you start on the re-flooring or the re-panelling first? If I do the panelling should I consider re-wiring? Thanks....
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:52 PM   #4
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This would be a good time to think about both plumbing and wiring and any changes you would like to make. Also any additions, telephone, computer network, tv, power vents, air conditioning, etc. They will be easy to snake in and hide with the right planning and an empty interior.

Flooring or partitions/cabinetry first are a hard decision. Unless you can protect the new floor you are going to do a lot of trucking across it measuring, installing, etc. OTOH, if you intend to have a floor that goes wall to wall you will need to account for the thickness when building the new partitions and cabinets.

One other thing I would do before going any further is pull the belly skin back and give the frame a good inspection. If it needs serious enough repair to have to pull the body now is the time to find out.

John
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:16 PM   #5
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Belly Skin

John,
Thanks for the advice. I am a little confused with the process of "pulling the belly skin back" for frame inspection. Are you reffering to the frame of the alluminum body or are you speaking of what lies beneath the plywood flooring?
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:31 PM   #6
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"Under the bellyskin" is the space between the plywood floor and the bottom of the trailer or skin. Pretty much an area most of us want to avoid but unfortunately where most of the so-called skeletons are buried, rotten floor which looks deceivably good from above, rusted steel, damage from plumbing leaks, nasty itchy insulation, spiders and on my Overlander, a snakeskin, which scared the @#$% out of me!! If you really want to find out where your serious problems are that is the place. It is good that you sound to be excited about your project but take a moment, sit back and get a game plan. If you just get in there and gut it in one weekend remember that it takes a lot longer to put it all back correctly.

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Old 03-13-2003, 09:32 PM   #7
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The flat skin underneath and above the axle. There is fiberglass insulation that sometimes holds water and causes problems.

John
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Old 03-14-2003, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by 74Argosy24MH
The flat skin underneath and above the axle. There is fiberglass insulation that sometimes holds water and causes problems.

John
Something to look forward to as Bambi gets older.

Eric
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Old 03-14-2003, 01:54 PM   #9
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The belly skins on the newer trailers are not water tight and rightly so. When hit with water (in a direction I can't seem to find) my Safari takes on water in the area behind the axles and near the bumper storage area.

I found this out for the first time after washing the trailer and when pulling out of the drive. As the nose of the trailer dipped down when I hit the street I noticed a trail of water exiting from both sides of the trailer at the seam that joins the most rear belly panel to the next. I took the trailer back to my dealer and as a double check also contacted the factory who both stated that water can get into this area dependent upon pitch of the trailer and direction of the water. My gut feeling is that it comes in somewhere around the bumper storage compartment that holds the electrical cord.

There are holes within that storage compartment that lead directly to the underbelly area but I don't believe that water is entering here. If that compartment gets a direct hit of water, and it doesn't drain quickly enough out the hole cut for the electical cable it could enter the underbelly area. I don't get water collecting when we get rainfall if the trailer is level or at my storage location. Only after I wash it.

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Old 03-14-2003, 06:04 PM   #10
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Chas,

Thanks for the thorough advice. I do understand the value of planning, I want to do this right. Tomorrow I will pull up the plywood and see what I am really dealing with. I have an exterior question...

The exterior skin is in good conditon except for two small holes. Am I correct to assume that the body work can be dealt with towards the end of the project?
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Old 03-15-2003, 12:10 AM   #11
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Smile Don't you think

That...
It would make more sense to take care of the exterior body work while you've got the inside exposed..
With "two holes" that you need to fix...

Just my way of looking at things~
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Old 03-15-2003, 06:31 AM   #12
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How big are the holes? Small enough to put a rivet in for a repair? If not are you going to replace the panel(s) they are in? If you haven't pulled all the interior panels you don't have any more access than you will with the interior complete. The rivets are removed from the outside, unless you plan to use bucked rivets as opposed to Olympics all the installation is from the outside. Any exterior damage that might happen during restoration can be repaired at the same time as the existing damage.

John
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