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Old 12-17-2017, 07:23 PM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
Findlay , Ohio
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Running lights aren't all working

Hello. 1971 Overlander. The left side running light works, the front 3 and right side do not. I replaced the right side one and it still doesn't work. Other than the cliche "why?" is it like christmas lights where the the left one is the first on the circuit so it works and the right one won't work until the middle 3 are fixed? Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:32 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Hello to another Overlander owner. Mine is a 75. Mine has a 7 pin plug at the front of the body just above the mounting plate. The running light breakers are inside the trailer under the front window, behind the gaucho.

I do not believe the running lights are like old Christmas lights. One bulb can go out and the other lights will still work. This is my observation. Your owners manual may have the wiring color codes for the running lights, battery charge wire (blue), brakes, ground and the like.

You may have a broken wire and it may be just behind one of the running light mounts.

It can be frustrating to trace down a problem like this. Our vintage trailers are prone to corrosion at the connections and broken wires from years of use.

David
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:23 PM   #3
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1971 27' Overlander
Findlay , Ohio
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Getting Somewhere

Thank you for your help. I pretty much rewired the truck, replaced the cable going to the trailer and then the contacts. Everything is working well, except the trail/brake/turn lights. With a voltmeter i get power from each terminal, including the turn signals. When I put a bulb in, absolutely nothing. 2 questions: 1, does the canister actually have to be attached to the frame to finish the ground, or does just placing it in the opening suffice? and 2, the dual filament canisters I purchased have a red and white wire coming out and the airstream is green and red/brown (depending on L/R). Does it matter which is which? How do I tell from the canister side which is the brake/turn and which is the running light wire? Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:49 PM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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The running lights have to be grounded. When you checked voltage, you probably touched the black instrument wire to the shell to complete the circuit. I found the sheet metal screws that hold the running light fixtures to the shell act as the ground.

Our old trailers don't necessarily follow modern wire color schemes. You should be able to find a running lights diagram for your trailer on the internet somewhere. Try Airstream.com and document archives.

It's a hassle, but you might have to connect your tow vehicle umbilical cord to the trailer, turn on a turn signals, and then watch your voltmeter blink or not. You can keep testing in this way until you find the tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals.

David
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:56 PM   #5
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1971 27' Overlander
Findlay , Ohio
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Had a good today, all exterior and interior lighting/electricity now works! Thanks for all your help David! Now on to the LPG system.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Always happy to help a fellow Airstreamer. I've been helped many times by participants in these Forums.

I've not been in the gritty details of propane appliances. The furnace and water heater gas valves is not a repair item for me. I can run a propane line and clean a burner. Modern appliances with automatic ignition get even a bit more complex with their circuit boards and the like. I have replaced the appliances, or taken them to a repair shop where they have folks who know what they're doing. I don't want to be the cause of a big bang!

The original appliances in our old Overlanders are at the end of their useful life, especially the furnaces.

David
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:45 PM   #7
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1971 27' Overlander
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Thanks again!

Thanks again David!

As a quick update...took our maiden voyage in it a couple weeks ago from Ohio to California and she did pretty good. Couple blown fuses and gas leaks etc, but nothing I couldn't fix in under 10 minutes.

I'm probably going to move on to the water and plumbing when i get home in a week. I was thinking of removing the water tank underneath. I noticed everyone talk about removing the belly pan (?). I found it on mine, but all of the propane lines are screwed into it....is this normal or is this a fix from a PO?

Also, as an observation...driving across the country...I saw 0 airstreams on the entire trip until I got to the beaches of Cali...where they are all (no offense to anyone) new ones. And not to further vent, but everyone I went up to, to ask questions were clueless. Like the old AS have a larger septic bayonet line (4.5 inch I think) does yours? Where do I get a 4 1/2 inch one today? Like not order one, but go to a dealer and get it. No help what-so-ever...they just looked at me a shrugged. The nice lady at Camping World didn't have them in stock either. I won't talk about the draining fiasco I had to endure because it isn't a "standard" 3 inch....haha.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:05 PM   #8
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Your coach is probably equipped with Thetford fittings on the sewer dump.
There are adaptors to convert to the Valterra type fittings.
Look up Thetford on the net and see if you can find a local source for the adaptor. If you find a source. Buy at least 2 adaptors as they break easily.
Don't know where you are at in CA. But look up Inland RV. They may be able to help.
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:56 AM   #9
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You can get a Thetford to Valterra adapter on Amazon.com. I agree that you should keep at least one spare, because they are easy to break.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:27 PM   #10
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1975 27' Overlander
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California? Wow, you're brave to pull your Overlander over the great plains in the winter. Stay south for as long as you can. Watch for slick roads and high winds.

I am replumbing my 75 Overlander right now. I am installing new black and gray water holding tanks. I have the drain lines done, and I will start on the fresh water plumbing shortly. Here is a photo of my shower drain line.

The propane lines are in fact always connected below the belly pan. You certainly don't want a small gas leak to accumulate inside the the structure somewhere. When the lines are exposed, you can smell the gas leak, and it is easier to repair it.

I removed the belly pan to gain access to the water tanks and frame members for significant repairs. My trailer had a moderate case of "rear end separation" where the rear subfloor rots out, and the body is not longer attached to the frame at the rear of the trailer. Then the frame rails begin to droop, or sag. The black tank was broken and leaking, the gray tank was too small at 10 gallons in my view.

So have a good and safe trip home. You probably have a list of things needing addressed. I enjoy working on these old Airstreams. Maybe you do too.

David
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:41 PM   #11
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1971 27' Overlander
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David,

So my take on it is that in '71 there was no separation of grey and black water tanks, all went to the black water tank. I'm guessing yours was the same and you decided to separate out the two now? What is the reason/advantage of doing so? Again, my experience is now 5 parks and all of them have just a single dump station. Thanks!

~Brian
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:35 PM   #12
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I'm not sure how yours is plumbed. There was no wash water (gray tanks) in Airstreams until 73 or later. It was common practice to let gray water run on the ground in the bushes somewhere. This practice is no longer allowed. Some trailers have been plumbed so gray water can run through the black tank if it is a two dump valve trailer. Most don't.

I fitted my old 66 Trade Wind with a gray water tank, and I'm installing a new gray tank in my 75 Overlander. This way we can boondock for a couple days and then find a dump station. Other folks use auxiliary tanks sometimes called "blue boys" that you can drain gray water into and then cart it to the dump station.

David
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Old 01-28-2018, 10:48 AM   #13
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1971 27' Overlander
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Well, I took a minute and went into the "bathroom" and saw that the kitchen sinks and bathtub and bathroom sink connect to a single line which ties into the dump valve area of the black tank. The interesting thing to me is it ties in in front of the valve so it can drain as soon as the cap is open? I guess this mean all of that water sits in the pipes until the end cap is opened? Also how do you get the hose on without letting water out. This seems silly to me. I think a grey tank is the way to go...fun times.

In this picture the drains are coming in from top of picture and direct connection to black water on the right...
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:56 PM   #14
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I agree, appears pretty dumb. I wonder if it was done that way as I heard it was required to have a cap on your sewer discharge port while towing. We citizens don't like people dumping their sewer tanks while on the road, thus a cap is needed.

My son's 69 was the same way. The gray water drained into the waste water drain manifold after the black tank dump valve. See photo. His Globetrotter has an above the floor black tank and a bottom discharge pipe at the back corner of the trailer. Really dumb. Maybe your Overlander drains at the back of the trailer with a pipe through the rear frame rail like mine does.

Valterra makes a cap with a garden hose connector on it so you can hook up a garden hose and drain the wash water into the bushes (no longer allowed.) Or if you are parked with full hookups, you can connect the "stinky slinky" to the sewer bayonet port and then to the sewer drain pipe. Then you can take a long hot shower and wash all the dishes while all the water runs down the sewer where it belongs.

Plan on installing a gray tank. Just yesterday I ran the drain line from my new gray tank to the waste water drain manifold. I used 1 1/2 inch ABS piping as many newer trailers do. Gray water by definition has no solid wastes. And yes, the gray tank has its own dump valve.

David
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