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Old 04-01-2011, 04:01 AM   #1
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Tshack's Avatar
1964 26' Overlander
Redding , California
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
Newbie just got a 1964 26-ft. Intl. Overlander

Hi all,

I just found this forum and am so grateful, have been poring over it all night into the wee hours.

I just nabbed this 1964 Overlander for a song -- it's my lifelong Airstream dream come true! -- but like many dreams, I should be careful what I wish for, since it's got serious issues.

The most serious: a tree landed on it, and left some huge dents in the roof -- unfortunately, it also squished the swamp cooler, though it still works, and the roof doesn't leak, surprisingly.I don't know if it's even possible to fix these, but at present as long as it doesn't leak, I can't afford to do much right now, but would love to get an idea of what's in store for us. On the exterior sides and ends, everything but the roof looks pretty decent though discolored, with no big dings.

The interior was so full of junk I couldn't see any flat surfaces, but the bathroom looks original and not bad shape, the wood cabinets I could see throughout looked ok, the stove, oven (separate; is that the original setup?) and fridge (Elect/propane) all looked original and all work, as do the lights. No generator, but we want to put up some small solar panels.

One smallish window in the roof (in the front area) is broken and needs to be replaced. The others are all fine, though one leaks a bit at one side seam.

So my first task, I think, is the outside, because the entire roof area and about a foot down all around is covered with some kind of hideous beigeish dried crusty paint-like stuff -- maybe Snowroof or some other kind of waterproofing, perhaps?

Any suggestions on how to tackle this first? I was going to try paint thinner but if it's not paint I worry that would further damage the aluminumI'd love to get this to the buffable stage.

Thanks for any info you might offer; I really appreciate it. I'll post pix tomorrow when I pick it up.

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Old 04-01-2011, 04:43 AM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,389
Images: 183
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Greetings TShack!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!

The range/oven combination that you describe would not have been stock in a 1964 Overlander International. The OEM is a slide-in range/oven combination. Airstream did use a cooktop/wall oven arrangement in their 1970s coaches. My suspicion is that your coach may be misidentied -- the following might help to clarify (at least partially)
  • The front window -- if it is a single centered window, the coach would be pre 1969. If there is a centered front window flanked by two fixed windows, the coach is 1969 or later.
  • Door-Within-Door -- if the coach has a door-within-door arrangement it is a 1964 or earlier coach. If the screen door is separate from the exterior door it is a 1965 or later coach.
  • Window ahead of door -- if that window is jalousie, the coach is 1964 or earlier. If that window is an awning style with one or two larger panes of glass, the coach is a 1965 or later.
The most reliable indicator is the VIN. The Airstream Corporate site has a large amount of new data posted on VIN number decoding -- see this link.

Good luck with your coach!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:52 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2,601
Tshack welcome to the forums and good luck with your dream come true.
Here is a link to a stripper that will remove the coating on the roof. It is a great stripper and nontoxic. Get two gallons and it will be enough to do all the trailer, which will prep it for polishing.
Napier RemovAll 220 - 1 Gallon

You are going to need to check the floor for rot. This is done by inspecting it all around the perimeter of the trailer where the walls meet the floor. Pay attention to below the windows and any openings. Look closely at the rear of the floor. Airstreams have a design flaw in the rear that allows water into the shell and rot the floor. The water will then continue down into the belly and be absorbed by the fiberglass insulation which will trap it there and rust out the frame.
Next inspect the belly pan(aluiminium underneath) for obvious signs of corrosion. If it is falling down or sagging or has serious corrosion around the attaching rivets these are signs that the frame has rusted out. Areas to look for are again at the rear, around the steps and below the windows etc.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news buy it sounds like this one has been abused and neglected over the years and I suspect that you might have serious floor rot and frame rust. You are giong to want to repair these issues before you go any farther into any renovations. The floor is the main structural component that joins the shell to the frame. It is essentail that it be solid and that the frame is also good. The frame is actually quite flexable and needs to have a solid connection to the shell to stiffen it up.
Your first task would be to check and repair the floor and frame then worry about stripping off the roof coating.
If you do want to polish the shell do it before any sealer is applied, that is of course after all old sealer is removed. The polishing will ruin any sealer applied and the sealer will ruin the polishing job.
So the floor and frame are repaired and the shell is polished, Next seal the shell, windows, vents, roof stink pipe vents, new window and door gaskets.
Now you have a solid trailer and have a waterproof shell and you can move on to renovating the interior and repairing all the interior components and appliances.
It`s along road ahead of you my friend and you have your work cut out for you but the end result will be fantastic.
If you need any advice feel free to ask and I`ll keep checking in with your progress.
P.S. here is agood source for parts that is close to you.
Inland RV Center - The Nations Leading Expert in Airstream Innovations
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:59 AM   #4
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1954 25' Cruiser
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Cruisin , Wisconsin
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Welcome Tshack, Sounds like you have a little project ahead of you but it is all mostly fun!
Here is a link to a 57 overlander that was hit by trees front and back and Brad has done a great job so far bringing it back: also look at vintage airstream: Vintage Airstream Photo Archives
for some restored units, good inspiration.
Post some pictures of your trailer when you can.
It's not worth doing if you're not having fun.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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1964 26' Overlander
Redding , California
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
Thanks SO much...

... for all the info, and the link to the thinner, too. I'll be groveling around underneath the carriage -- now I know what I'll be looking for! A huge boon to a total ignoramus on all things mechanical...

Y'all rock! I'll keep you posted as we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Have a lovely wknd, all, and happy trails!
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:34 AM   #6
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1967 24' Tradewind
Greenville , South Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,088
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Hope it was a small tree

Originally Posted by Tshack View Post
... for all the info, and the link to the thinner, too. I'll be groveling around underneath the carriage -- now I know what I'll be looking for! A huge boon to a total ignoramus on all things mechanical...

Y'all rock! I'll keep you posted as we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Have a lovely wknd, all, and happy trails!
I live here in Redding and am renovating a 1967. Let me know if I can help, I'm by no means an expert but know a lot more than when I started. Post some pics!


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