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Old 09-02-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
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1957 26' Overlander
Moscow , Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Strange device and rear bumper on '57 Overlander

Hi all,
I attach 3 images here of my recently acquired '57 Overlander. The rear bumper is quite 'interesting' for lack of better terms. I wonder whether one of you can explain the bulkiness of the bumper including the 3" diameter pipe across and most importantly the weird adjustable 'glider' device (?) in the second and third image.
For what it is worth, the last 2 cross-members are rusted out and will be replaced. I just wonder whether I should 'downsize' on the rear bumper.
Thanks all!
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Looks like the frame was extended to move the bumper out far enough to clear the spare tire. I don't believe that the spare would have been mounted there originally, but I could be wrong on that. The 3" pipe may have added at the same time, or later, as a drag point in case the rear of the trailer bottoms out on a steep incline.

The weird item looks like a clamp of some sort. No idea what it was for.

Chris
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Naddy View Post
Hi all,
I attach 3 images here of my recently acquired '57 Overlander. The rear bumper is quite 'interesting' for lack of better terms. I wonder whether one of you can explain the bulkiness of the bumper including the 3" diameter pipe across and most importantly the weird adjustable 'glider' device (?) in the second and third image.
For what it is worth, the last 2 cross-members are rusted out and will be replaced. I just wonder whether I should 'downsize' on the rear bumper.
Thanks all!
First, welcome to the forums!

"Interesting", indeed! Here's my take on the contents of the picture. This is all strictly guesswork.

1. The rear bumper configuration is a lot like our 1960 Pacer, except it looks like the rear frame members on which the bumper is mounted had several inches of metal welded on to increase the spacing of the bumper from the shell.

2. Apparently the reason that was done was to mount a spare tire on the rear bumper. In general, hanging a spare tire on the back of an Airstream is not a good idea. It adversely affects the center of gravity and adds to the bending moment on the frame, which can result in separation between the shell and the frame. ("Rear end separation")

3. My guess is the cross tube is storage for a sewer hose.

4. The screw-like-thingies on either side look like they might be stabilizing jacks in the stowed position. You might try turning the screws and see if they come loose and can somehow be hooked to the frame or bumper in a vertical position. Small trailers of that era needed stabilizing jacks. Without jacks, two people walking to the back of our Pacer could cause the tongue jack to lift right off the ground.

That's my guesses anyway. Hopefully someone who knows more about it will come along!
.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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1957 26' Overlander
Moscow , Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Thanks so much for your replies.
There is a welding seam and it makes a lot sense that that was done for the spare tire. I think during frame repair I will have the bumper distance reduced to its original length - and find a place for the spare elsewhere.
I think it is a jack (see pic)! I would never have guessed that. Kind of cool actually.
Now you can imagine what PO happy-welder did to the front of the Overlander...
Thanks guys!
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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I think it is a jack (see pic)! I would never have guessed that. Kind of cool actually.
The built-in stabilizing jack is kind of clever.

If you remove the frame extensions to put the bumper back where it was originally I don't think it will fit anymore, though.

Obviously your PO welder had plenty of steel lying around --that angle iron that the jacks clamp to must be 3/8" thick! Lotta extra weight there. . .

Looks about like an average-level restoration project for a trailer that age. There are a lot more 60s and 70s trailers around than 50s, so you've got a relatively scarce one there. Good luck with it!
.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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1957 26' Overlander
Moscow , Idaho
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Posts: 47
It's at least 3/8. I'll measure it later. Weight aside, I think the 'homemade' stabilizer jacks could be saved, they do not interfere with the bumper per se and I could reduce the frame so that they would be just short of being flush with the bumper.
But PO Happy-Welder cut also a hole in the steel frame for the towed position of the jacks and I do not like that at all (see images). I also think it is not necessary and could easily be modified.
But then there is still the weight...

Thanks for your encouraging words. I like the 13 panels and the fact that it is a 26' single axle trailer. But before soon I will probably scream for help when it comes to 'shell-on/shell-off frame repair/floor replacement' and 'how to replace belly pan if you are not a pro-metalworker' questions
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