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Old 06-30-2004, 04:31 PM   #1
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1958 Overlander Restoration

I thought I would start this thread to document my restoration of a 58 26 foot Overlander. I'm doing this for two reasons - one is figured those of you with old trailers might enjoy this, and two to help keep my motivation.

First are pictures of what I'm starting with. Note the beautiful pink interior

Ken J
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:35 PM   #2
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Ken,
Will you be bringing the 58 Overlander to the rally next month.

Mark
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:45 PM   #3
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Step one - tear out the interior

Do ya think I'll ever get it all back together?

Actually looks a lot better now that everything is cleaned out. I've kept all the cabinets to use as patterns.

I look at this and wonder what I've gotten myself into......

Ken
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:48 PM   #4
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I see your point; based that last question on your first picture. It will be nice when your finally finished.

Mark
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:56 PM   #5
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Step two - remove the belly

As you can the PO put the plumbing through the frame - why didn't I ever think of that - makes life soooo much easier, you don't have to mess with putting drainlines topside through cabinets.

Ken
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Old 06-30-2004, 04:59 PM   #6
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Meanwhile - back at the ranch........

Build cabinets - I look at this and I think this is gonna be cool......
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:04 PM   #7
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Ken,

Thanks for documenting your restoration. It looks like a complete overhaul!
I'm also documenting my restoration on our 11/60 Overlander, however my restoration is not to the extent your is. I look forward to the process and your progression.
Are you replacing all the cabinets with new cabinets and hardware? Or just setting them aside to get to the floor? The reason I ask is that I have the same interior (Pink and all) and I'm looking for 2 of the cabinet latches. Let me know.

Steve

P.S. You may have motivated me to post my progress. What a great way to learn and share! Keep it up.
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:06 PM   #8
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So where am I today?

As of today, I brought the trailer to the welder. They are going to fix the frame from the cut job the previous owner did with the plumbing. They are also going to measure for new axles and springs. When those come in I'll take the trailer back and I'll have them install the axles, springs, new brakes, wheels and yes baby moons and trim rings I'm also going to have them put a new coupler on for me.

Between now and then, I will replace the floor, and continue to build cabinets.

So there you have it - where I am at this point - I will plan to use this thread from time to time to update the progress. At this point I hope to be able to use the trailer sometime in 2005. Meanwhile we have our 75 that is really nice - in fact I had them side by side this morning - man what a difference........

Ken
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:12 PM   #9
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Mark

I don't think we will be camping in this for awhile - we will bring the 75 with us.

Steve

Thanks - yes I'm replacing most of the cabinet hardware - what are you looking for, if its those twisty white knobs, I'm planning to use/keep those.

Yeah - get your trailer on a thread - would really like to see your progress. One of the reasons I'm doing this is this is my 4th Airstream - first three have been in really great conditions - is one its the same year as my wifes birth, and two because I really wanted to tear into one of these. I could get by without a floor replacement, but I figure what the heck, I've got everything out of it, need to replace front because of some rot and rear because of some frame seperation - figure might as well do the whole thing.

Ken
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:23 PM   #10
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Why I can do a restoration

Just thought I would add a couple of pics of the 75 - could not do a restoration if I didn't have something to go camping in. The 75 doesn't have the coolness factor that the 50's trailers do

Ken
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:38 PM   #11
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Thanks Ken I will continue the search for the "white twistys".

This is our first trailer/Airstream period. We have two small children and thought we would be like the "Bradys" and start some family camping. My wife and I have always liked Airstreams. When I was looking for a camper she told me "I'm not going to have an UGLY trailer sitting in our yard!! Unless it is an Airstream. Yeah!! So we entered the wonderful world of Airstream trailers. We had no idea we were joining a cult! Its Great! We bought ours from the original owner in Palm Springs, CA. Its in original condition and I think fairly good shape. I have some very nice documentation and photo's of the previous owners in Europe with the trailer. They even had a newspaper article written about them and pictures of the trailer in the paper. Its kind of cool and makes us appreciate it much more and knowing that we are continuing its journey for the next 45 or so years.
As you know we are tackling the Axles/Brakes at the moment, and I jumped ahead of myself and put in a wood floor and reupholstered the front couch (wife's request/job).

Steve
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:57 PM   #12
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Steve

Wow you lucky guy - sounds like a GREAT trailer - several years ago I had a chance to buy a 57 Carivanner from the original owners - same deal lots of pictures and great memories - I passed it up because it was more work than I wanted to take on. As it turns out, it would have been a lot less work than this one. Oh well, live and learn.

I am absolutely convinced that trailer camping is the best thing for small kids - in 1988 we bought our first pop up and have been camping with our two boys since then - I think going somewhere and being stuck all together in a small box really brings the ol family together. My oldest is now 18 and doesn't have much of an interest in camping with us, but the memories we have are unbelievable - another little tip, we keep a log of all our trailer trips so every once in a while we can go back and re-live those trips - best thing I ever did - kids and I will look back and read what we did and all the great memories come back.

Ken
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Old 06-30-2004, 09:45 PM   #13
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Ken,
this will be fun to watch. I'm doing a similar job on my 63.
I will also post some progress reports, time permitting. I got the shell loose this afternoon after work. It's hanging 3in above the frame now, from the ceiling beams.
No trailer work tomorrow, but I will get some more wor done over the weekend.
Long live old Overlanders!
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:53 AM   #14
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Uwe

Thanks - I've been watching your 63 project with great interest. Appears to be several of us doing the same crazy thing. Hopefully this weekend I'll be tearing into the floor - ohhh boy! I'm not doing a frame off because the frame is in good shape - just surface rust.

Ken
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Old 08-10-2004, 09:31 PM   #15
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What are you guys doing about "wash" water tanks. I've about talked myself into above floor tanks inside the wheel wells on each side. Connected low with pipe running around the back between them. Would us a marine shower pump to bring the shower water up to the tanks. Connecting it high on the tank on the same side. Gives me 100 gallons but all over the axel. Could do a 4 day stay and empty on the way out.
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
What are you guys doing about "wash" water tanks. I've about talked myself into above floor tanks inside the wheel wells on each side. Connected low with pipe running around the back between them. Would us a marine shower pump to bring the shower water up to the tanks. Connecting it high on the tank on the same side. Gives me 100 gallons but all over the axel. Could do a 4 day stay and empty on the way out.
My 63 will have 55 gal grey, 18gal black, and 52 gal fresh.
Grey is inside frame rails under floor right behid the rear axle.
Fresh is under floor right ahead of the front axle.
Black is on top of floor under toilet in rear of trailer.
I have done extensive frame mods to accomodate the tanks. I boxed in teh C-channel,and installed double strength cross members fore and aft of the sub-floor tanks. The frfame still has enough flex to be an Airstream, but now has enough beef to carry the tanks, even when full.
The frame modification added about 120lbs of metal to the overall weight.
I think that this installation will be very close in function and quality as it is in the new trailers, without the use of pumps or macerator etc. God gave us gravity - why not use it.
The cavities between the frame rails and cross members can take sizeable tanks, even without difficult mods. Take a look, you might be surprised.
My 1971 has a 36gal grey tank retrofit, which works flawless.
btw, tank vents are very important for proper function of the tank system.
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Old 08-11-2004, 05:34 AM   #17
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Right, vents. Almost forgot about that. Where did you find tanks swallow enough to fit within the rails. Looks to be 6 inches. So your fresh water pump is under the floor or do these self prime up.

Would only need pump for the shower when not connected to sewage.
Also trying to maximize cold weather tolerance.

I saw the pic of your frame, or someone who did similar. Very nice work.
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Old 08-11-2004, 09:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Right, vents. Almost forgot about that. Where did you find tanks swallow enough to fit within the rails. Looks to be 6 inches. So your fresh water pump is under the floor or do these self prime up.

Would only need pump for the shower when not connected to sewage.
Also trying to maximize cold weather tolerance.

I saw the pic of your frame, or someone who did similar. Very nice work.
I found a few places that make affordable ( less than $ 400ea.) custom tanks.
You can go as deep as 6-8 in, your frame rails are 4 in.
The bracketry can easily be bolted on or welded to the frame.
If you enclose the tanks with underbelly and insulation, then you can add a heater duct and make them winter proof, if that's an issue.
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Old 09-06-2004, 08:23 AM   #19
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Progress..........

I've removed the floor... its interesting that the floor was not rotted, except in the very front of the trailer - however, the old wood was pretty gross, smelly old yuk. Also, some of the bolts had pulled through and the wood around the bolts were rotted - so I've learned that just because a floor is solid does not mean it doesn't need to be replaced.

The frame is in GREAT shape - no rust! So I've cleaned it up and at this point it is primed ready for final coat. New wood was cut using pieces of the old floor (hope it fits!), I've epoxied the edges soooo now the floor goes in - easier said than done. Here of pictures of the progress........

Ken
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Old 09-06-2004, 11:33 AM   #20
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Looking good, Ken! What kind of wood did you end up using?
I am glad to read that you had now frmae problems. Mine was a challenge.
Good Luck!
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