Originally Posted by Naddy
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.
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!