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Old 12-31-2002, 08:53 PM   #1
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Brand new to this; need logistics advice

First, thank you all. I've learned more in the last couple of weeks, having found this site, than in the last 5-6 months I've been seriously thinking of scratching my lifelong vintage Airstream itch. Countless questions have already been answered, but this one needs a tailored reply.

I'm considering a '67 Overlander which currently lives in Illinois. Almost Wisconsin. I've never towed so much as a bicycle. Nor have I driven more than about five times on snow or ice.

My dilemma is: should I drive out there (1182.86 miles door-to-door, according to Map Blast) through the potential wintery weather and my complete cluelessness, to benefit from the experience of the journey and the previous owner? Or should I take the more conservative (though much less gratifying) approach and have it somehow brought to me in Texas?

Then, if it isn't the smartest thing for me to attempt the transport by myself, does anybody have specific suggestions for how I can get it here? Cost? Speed? And then how I can learn to operate all the systems without the previous-owner-tutorial??

MANY thanks in advance for the wonderful advice I know you will give!

VERY excited,
Holly
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:32 PM   #2
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What do you have for a tow vehicle? How much time to get back?

John
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:36 PM   #3
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Well Holly the first thing I'd do is go meet John Irwin and buy him a steak. I'd try to get him to help with a check list. I'd plot the trip home with all kinds of people,dealers, tow companies etc to call if necessary. I'd ask the owner if they had ever been on one of the discussion groups, and review their posts if so.I'd ask anything and everything that came to mind of anyone and everyone who might know, with NO hesitation or embarassment. I'd also explore the purchase possibilities closer to home. Chas of this list just picked up a Overlander in or near Austin for an excellent price. Heck I'd even try to talk John in going along for the ride.
I would think twice about anything less than the International.
For a long trip home the running gear and tires must be of first priority. Where a crosstown or nearby purchase allows you to concentrate on interior systems and save running gear for later or a bit at a time. Lots to think about.
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:39 PM   #4
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Ya know, I realized that I'd left the all-important tow vehicle ID out just as I hit the button.
I've just acquired a '91 Suburban, but I don't know much about it beyond that. (I read in some other thread someone asking for a VIN which could give specifics on a GMC van and am hoping there's a website somewhere I can look mine up. Haven't got a clue about rear axle ratios...if that's the proper term.)

Time is not an issue. My kids are both in high school, completely self-sufficient, and I'm not punching a clock these days.
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:47 PM   #5
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How about the hitch on the Suburban, you will need a brake contoller. You need good brakes, and bearings on the trailer, especially if you never towed. Do you know if these work? How about tires?

John
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:49 PM   #6
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I've been really glad to see all the Texas neighbors on here. I'm pretty sure I just missed out on that other Overlander due to stupidity 'cause I've been on the lookout.

And there's another '68 for sale here, but the thing I'm keen on is the dinette layout. (At least I think that's what you call it - I'm really unfamiliar with all the language yet.) This one in Illinois is just a peach and I've sorta fallen for it.

For instance, what do you mean by "less than an international?" Does that refer to the tow vehicle or the trailer?

Thanks for the suggestions - I've been asking many more (and more intelligent) questions since I've found you guys. (I cringe when I think about the one I almost bought a couple of months ago...)
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:58 PM   #7
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I don't have the hitch as yet. I know I need the brakes, and I need new tires. All sage wisdom and suggestions welcome. I've been reading about tire size and the relationship to tow power but I'm thinking I need to find out more about my specific vehicle before getting much deeper into that, right?

I'd also like to know if anybody around here has recommendations for mechanics do do all this tow-vehicle-fixing - is my regular Joe Mechanic likely to be able to help me get my Suburban safe and ready?
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:05 PM   #8
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Thumbs down

Oh I shouldn't have said that about the International. because I am not positive about my theory, and I have no experience with the 60s models. But I feel the LandYacht series (which has been described here
as the basic or lowest series)is less desirable in the cases where the grey water tank is located below the blackwater tank. If I'm correct this gives an elevated platform on which the commode sits.
Now I'm sure this gives a lofty view,but I suspect the tanks positions will be a continuing problem to repair or troubleshoot.
The International series in the mid 70's appears to have a different drain layout. Please disregard my personal opinion.
They are all the finest on the road if taken care of.
BTW are you planning to travel with it or use it for a studio or such?
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:13 PM   #9
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Nononooooo! This is exactly the kind of stuff I've yearned for. I've only had pictures and some descriptions to go by, and I'm frankly terrified to make the plunge without knowing more.

Do tell??!! I thought it was just the size that mattered. Any waste-related advice will be extremely helpful. All I know is you definitely want greywater and some of the single axles with rear baths sag a little.

What else??!!
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:14 PM   #10
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As to the tires I would be sure to get tires of not only the proper size but also the proper load range as well.

From a standpoint of tow rig setup you may want to contact a loacl RV dealre and have them go over your Suburban. Based on the tow weight of the Airstream you plan to tow they should be able to reccomend what you need to make the vehicle work properly. I would reccomend that you talk to the service manager not the sales guys.

You may also get a suggestion from one of your Forum neighbors as to a reputable shop in your area.

The VIN decoder I mentioned is usally in the service manual for your vehicle. Another option is to stop by a Cheverolet dealer with the VIN and ask them if they can decode it for you.

VIN DECODER

Here is a decoder I found on the web, but I do not know if it will work for your Burb. I also see on this decoder that rear axle ratio is not part of the VIN. It is on the Ford VIN. You may need to look for a build tag and get the info off of it.
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:30 PM   #11
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Danger Will Robinson Danger danger

If you have never towed anything that big ,
and you are talking snow and ice,
then you are just asking for trouble.

Throw in that you have not seen it yet, but will probably buy it anyway "since I drove all this way"

Airstreams are not RARE , they are for sale all over the place and there are lots of them in Texas.

Unless there is something VERY special about this one , I would at least wait until the weather was better.
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:41 AM   #12
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Neighbor

Since hex kind of nominated me, I'm right here in Hays County, as close as your phone, and would be glad to talk to you. I don't like to put my phone number on the forum, so I'll PM you with it.
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Old 01-01-2003, 01:51 AM   #13
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But don't forget he nominated you with a steak dinner!

(I myself will do almost anything for a good ribeye.)
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Old 01-01-2003, 02:03 AM   #14
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Hex ~

60's models, International models or not, didn't have grey water tanks. They weren't introduced until '73. Also, the Land Yacht wasn't so much the "lowest series" as the International package had the "Eddie Bauer-type" upgrades that we see today in cars...extras, but just a matter of choice as to whether they are "desirable" or not.

Shari

P.S. Good luck Holly in whatever you decide to do & welcome to the forums!
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