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Old 03-12-2013, 11:57 PM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
Berwick , Nova Scotia
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Thumbs up New Project - 1971 Overlander

Hi Folks,

Now have my hands on this '71 Overlander. Going to do a full restore starting with frame rebuild if necessary (been parked for several years) new axles, rewired, re-plumbed, etc.

Am sticking with a rear bath but making it about 6' long with a large corner bathtub in it. Switching to a double bed in front of that with a hall going down the driver's side to the rear bath. I've seen this design really pan out in a few modern airstreams, and I really like it.

I run a small paving company, and we are looking for a combo office and of course RV for the weekends when we can get away.

It'll be a big undertaking, and I'm looking forward to getting started later on this week. Any feedback is welcome!
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Take lots of pictures as you take things apart. They make great references even if you're not going to re-use any of the interior.

If you enlarge the bathroom to 6 feet, that will push the bedroom forward and in turn shorten the length of the kitchen counter (assuming that you're going to keep the kitchen counter in the same place).

If you don't already know, your '71 does not have a gray tank unless a PO added one. Just something else to be aware of so you can plan gray plumbing appropriately.

She looks really nice though! Good find! and good luck with your project.

Chris
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:03 AM   #3
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1969 29' Ambassador
brooksville , Florida
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Many people keep their walls so they can use the as a template. Finding the correct curve to mesh up with the walls can be tricky..
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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1971 27' Overlander
Berwick , Nova Scotia
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Great tips guys! Is the black water tank in these plastic or metal?

My plan was to just put in a black and grey tank between the cross members, provided of course I'll be able to fit one if they're tightly spaced.

I'll definitely be keeping my walls to use as templates, I plan on having the counter on both sides of the trailer at the front, with the exception of the fridge, which will be mounted with the microwave built in above it, my thought was to put my new electrical panel below the fridge.

Anyone have any other suggestions about the placement of the panel?

Anyone know what the crossmember spacing is on these?

Thanks guys, I'm looking forward to this, should be fun!
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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The black tank in our '72 was plastic. I would think the same for your '71.

The floor cross members are 2 feet apart front to back. Every other one is dropped about 3/4" to allow for a gusset under the seam between the two sheets of plywood. The cross member framing is not quite the same in front of the door as that's where the A frame ties into the main side frames.

Be careful raising the fridge too high. If you get a fridge about the same height as the one currently installed, and then raise it enough to clear an electrical panel, you'll find it will end up hitting the curved ceiling/wall and being pushed out into the middle of the trailer more. We raised our fridge about 5 inches total and installed the water pump under the fridge. The new electrical panel and converter we installed in the base of a microwave cabinet directly aft of the fridge.

One other thing to consider, is that the fresh water fill for your water tank is probably on the door side of the trailer, which is opposite of the current standard. If you leave it there, which is the easiest thing to do, you'll find that filling your water tank at fill stations will mean dragging a hose around or under the trailer as most will have the fresh water tap on the same side as the dump station. We flipped our fresh water tank around so the fill in the driver's side along with all the other hookups. Just a thought.

Have you read any of the full restoration threads? They are a great source of information for a complete gut job. I can't find my link to the big list of full restoration/rebuild threads, but here's ours: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f185...urb-50967.html

Chris
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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1971 27' Overlander
Berwick , Nova Scotia
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Hi Chris,


That's good info to have for sure, now that I think about it, I'll put the microwave in another cabinet beside the fridge, that way I can have my fridge at proper height.

If the cross members are 2' I should be able to get a regular RV grey water tank eh?

I'm headed to pick the thing up tonight, been sitting at a campground for 10 years. Think there's any hope for those wheels to be free-turning? I'd like to get it back to my shop (20 miles) without having to do an axle job.

Also, should I replace the airstream fridge? It still works, and my plan was to just paint the yellow inside with white plastic paint.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #7
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Well, it's night time, so I guess you're out picking her up. Let us know that goes.

Assuming she has the original axels, they're shot. But they'll get her home the 20 miles. Plan on new axels before you take your remodeled trailer out.

Tire, bearing, and brake conditions are another matter, and will vary greatly depending on how long she's been sitting. I'd plan on re-packing the bearings at a minimum before moving her if you can.

The cross members are 2 feet apart on center. There's about 21 inches of room between them for a gray tank. The main frames are about 55 inches apart, so that gives you about 21 by 55 inches for a tank. The biggest issue is the frame is only 5 inces deep, so if you want to enclose the tank totally in the belly pan, that's you max depth for the tank. Vintage Trailer Supply sells a 16 gallon tank that will fit in side the belly pan ok, but it's only 16 gallons. Here's the link to it: Gray Water Tank

There are other places to get RV tanks. Here's one we looked at extensively: RV Waste Holding Tanks | Replacement RV Waste Take | Grey Water, Black Water Tank

Your tank options will increase if you decide to let it hang below the belly pan some. Of course, you can't do that if you install a gray tank over an axel, but if you go directly behind the axel, you can. There are places out there that will custom buils a tank to your specs, but that can get pricey. Another option, if you feel up to it, is to build your own like I did.

Regarding the fridge, if it works ok, and it's original, it has a benefit of probably not needing 12 volts to operate on propane. But, if it has not been used for awhile, don't turn it on without inspecting the rear of it. If mice have been living in the trailer, they may have nested in the rear of the fridge. A good inspection to make sure the flue and burner are clear of debris would be time well spent before trying it out. Keeping it or not is more of a personal decision, assuming it works ok.

One other thing to be aware of (if you haven't learned this already): if she has the original umbilical cord wiring, it will NOT match the current wiring standard on your TV. There are several threads that cover this topic in detail. Use the search function to find umbilical cord wiring threads.

Hope this helps.

Chris
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #8
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1971 27' Overlander
Berwick , Nova Scotia
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Well unfortunately I wasn't able to get to the trailer last night due to the ground being so soft at the campground. So I'm a few good ground-drying days away from starting my project. For some reason they wouldn't let me demo it at it's camp site

Good info on the grey water info, I will be re-plumbing my whole system so factoring grey water separation into it won't be an issue. I'm planning on getting a corner tub and putting a whirlpool kit on it. Am also planning on setting up the 3/8 plumbing system with individual runs to each fixture, should make it easier to swap/service taps and whatnot in the future.

About the grey water tank, I plan on going to 75 degrees with the new axles, which from what I've read will bring nearly 2.5-3" of suspension lift to it, plus a smoother ride. If I did get that effect with new axles, it wouldn't be such a big deal to drop down below the belly pan then eh? An added benefit of adding height is that it will sit level behind my Tahoe.

I'll definitely post some pics once I get it moved out.
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