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Old 08-03-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
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1958 26' Overlander
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Post At The Beginning - Prioritizing

So.. we are about to begin the interior remodeling of our (new to us) '58 Overlander. I think that some work we will do ourselves and some will be sent out to be done professionally. But as I sit here and contemplate my first steps, I am starting to feel confused about how to prioritize what comes first, second, third...
This is going to be a mix of hiring things out and doing some things ourselves.
My neighbor told me to start with building around the kitchen. Since we are planning on building new counter units and replace the fridge, that makes sense to me.
We also will be putting down new flooring, or rather, having it done. There is nothing in the front, so a dinette will be built there. The bathroom will be gutted and remodeled. Okay, the whole thing will probably end up being gutted, I am just not ready to say that yet as it sounds so BIG.
But anyway, thoughts on how to prioritize? I guess Windexing the windows isn't high on the list.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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At The Beginning - Prioritizing

Greetings MaryC!

Welcome to the world of Vintage Airstreams!

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Originally Posted by MaryC View Post
So.. we are about to begin the interior remodeling of our (new to us) '58 Overlander. I think that some work we will do ourselves and some will be sent out to be done professionally. But as I sit here and contemplate my first steps, I am starting to feel confused about how to prioritize what comes first, second, third...
You are working with a plan, and that will help to insure a smooth rennovation/restoration. I suspect that most Vintage owners on the Forums would suggest that you perform an in-depth assessment of the coach and determine its particular needs. The usual approach is to start from the bottom and work your way up. What is the condition of the frame and running gear? As a pre-1961 coach, yours likely has leaf-spring suspension so an axle replacement won't likely be an absolute requirement . . . rather, you will likely need to rebuild the spring shackles and leaf spring packs. The spindles, bearings and brakes will also likely need close inspection with the brakes likely needing rebuilding. The frame, outriggers, and hitch need to be inspected and any rust damage repaired.

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This is going to be a mix of hiring things out and doing some things ourselves.
My neighbor told me to start with building around the kitchen. Since we are planning on building new counter units and replace the fridge, that makes sense to me.
While this may seem intuitive, in the realm of Airstream travel trailers, it may not be the best idea. When Airstreams are built, the shell is completed and furniture is loaded and installed from the rear forward so it is usually best to consider this order of construction when restoring/refurbishing.

When it comes to farming out repairs, you will want to carefully investigate any potential technicians that you employ. Much of the restoration and refurbishing on both of my coaches has been performed by technicians whom I have hired. When choosing technicians, I asked around in the Airstream community for recommendations . . . and that is even easier today with the tools provided by the Internet. Initially, I worked through contacts in the WBCCI for recommendations; today it is easier to double-check and obtain information about prospective technicians.

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We also will be putting down new flooring, or rather, having it done. There is nothing in the front, so a dinette will be built there. The bathroom will be gutted and remodeled. Okay, the whole thing will probably end up being gutted, I am just not ready to say that yet as it sounds so BIG.
But anyway, thoughts on how to prioritize? I guess Windexing the windows isn't high on the list.
Prior to installing new floor coverings, you will want to insure that the existing subfloor is in good condition and free of rot. Prior to addressing floor covering replacement, it is highly advised that the subfloor be in completely sound condition prior to proceeding. Typically, the areas below any of the windows is most suspect when it comes to water damage as well as near openings to exterior compartment access doors. While examining the floor, you will also want to verify that the coach does not have rear end separation; which if present, should be repaired before forging ahead with restoration/refurbishment.

The usual recommendation prior to attacking interior projects is to insure that the foundation (frame, running gear, and floor) is sound. Once a sound faoundation has been determined, all leaks should be addresses and solved . . . then, attacking the interior cosmetics can proceed with confidence.

Good luck with your projects!

Kevin
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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 08-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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1958 26' Overlander
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Thanks Kevin! This trailer was owned by Mello Mike who did much of the running gear and leak repair/replacement and thankfully, much of it is documented on these forums. The subfloor is exposed as all the lino tiles were taken up. The only suspect place is at the entrance door where the floor took the most wear and moisture. It is a bit warped. We would like to check the frame but need to study up on the most efficient way to go about this.
I will check out our local WBCCI. Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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As an aside, the neighbors all seem very excited about this trailer. it is quite the conversation piece and they can't wait to see how the interior turns out. Strangers bicycling and walking through the neighborhood are stopping and striking up conversations, sharing a love for vintage, airplanes and metal art!
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