Title: 1973 Airstream Overlander 27 - Virginia
I just posted a new ad on Airstream Classifieds.
This is a '73 Overlander that we purchased about 4 years ago and has had extensive renovations done during the whole time we have owned her. As much as I love this trailer and have taken great pride in the work I have done, my wife and I want to travel longer distances with our two dogs and will be looking for a motorhome.
All the work I have done has been documented and recorded with many pictures and text. There are no surprises with this trailer, I have gone through every system and everything works. You can check out the blog for this trailer at: http://1973overlander.blogspot.com/
I've had a couple of folks asking about using the front area where the recliners are for sleeping. If you would rather have the trailer without the new recliners, I can sell them separately and take 1,000 off the price.
And for folks just starting to look for a vintage Airstream or other trailer, please keep in mind that when you go looking, there are many different versions of what "restored" means. A similar vintage, similar length Airstream in good shape but in original condition will probably sell for around 8,000 dollars. What you don't get for that 8 grand give or take is what will end up costing you more than double the original investment cost.
For example, the axles that the trailer rests on last for about 20 years. Most of these 40+ year old trailers are sitting on original axles. The axles use rubber rods that have long since dried out to support the trailer so if you don't replace them, you will end up popping the rivets in the shell from the all the excess movements and slamming the rig takes from going down the road. New axles are about 7-800 each plus shipping. If you do the work yourself (not that easy, take my word) then you are out close to 2000 bucks. Pay somebody to do it and it will about double.
Original trailers also have original appliances. Go out and price replacements for a sanity check.
And the labor that goes into really fixing these rigs up isn't cheap. I probably have on the order of 4-500 hours of time invested. If you aren't into DIY then figure that most RV dealers price their labor out at about 65 bucks an hour.
Most original Airstream trailers will have some water damage unless it was stored indoors all its life (yeah right). All trailers eventually leak, even Airstreams. You won't see it, unless you know where to look. Buy an unrestored trailer and you will get educated fast. The plywood in the floor rots and the water then rusts the frame which is made from steel. The structure of the trailer relies on the plywood that holds the frame tight to the aluminum superstructure. That has all been repaired on this trailer.
Things that have been repaired or upgraded include:
• Complete frame preservation and replacement of fiberglass batt insulation with closed cell foam board. Several outriggers that were rusted out were repaired with new steel.
• Replacement of rear bathroom subfloor and complete rebuild of the bath with new cabinetry and Corian counter, stainless bowl and a 32" shower pan.
• Two new axles, about 3 years old with centramatic balancers on each wheel.
• Upgraded the wheels to newer custom aluminum rims from the original steel rims.
• Replacement of all copper plumbing lines with PEX tubing.
• Potable water tank dropped and sanitized. New stainless custom water fill that will not allow foreign matter into the tank.
• New Dometic AC replaced in 2014.
• Newer Dometic fridge that replaced the original.
• New custom cherry cabinetry in the kitchen area with a corian counter-top and sink and built in microwave.
• 2 new Lambright recliners ($800 each)with cherry swivel tables.
• LED lighting throughout including recessed strips that wash the ceiling with light. Several new LED fixtures
intake/exhaust fans for front and back vents that have digital speed control.
• Front wing windows removed and rebedded. All screens replaced, all screen frames painted with metal texture paint that was clearcoated to retain the finish.
• Original Zip Dee awning in front as well as side and rear awnings still in good shape and functional.
• New commercial grade vinyl plank flooring, laid over 1/8" finish plywood.
• New custom curtains and aluminum blinds throughout.
• Interior repainted in 2016 with oil based paint.
• Digital TV antenna with amplifier, LCD tv with built in DVD player on articulating mount.
• New 5 1/4 speakers and upgraded radio.
• Trailer roof coated with Ceramiflex, a commercial elastomeric coating. I still have about 2 gallons that will go to the new owner.
• Upgraded 12v
charger from original unit.
Of course with a 43 year old trailer there are a few warts. There is one dent on a rear upper corner panel that was done by the previous owner. The outside finish is original, it’s never been polished and in some spots the clear coat has worn through. In 1973, trailers did not come with grey tanks and I did not install one since we never planned on boondocking with it. I do have a blue boy that will go with the trailer for that purpose.
The upper cabinets are still as original. I had planned on replacing them with cherry doors and cherry face frames mounted on top of the original cabinet structure. I have the veneer plywood cut for that project and will give it to the new owner if they wish to continue on with the work.
The asking price reflects the original cost of the trailer and mostly the materials that have gone into it. I have long lost count of the number of hours of labor I have put into the rig. But that is what normally happens with projects like this. That’s OK, she’s lasted 43 years and hopefully she will last quite a few more in the next owners hands.
You can check out the blog for this trailer at: http://1973overlander.blogspot.com/
You can contact us by filling in the form on the right hand column of the ad listing: