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Old 05-06-2008, 03:35 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
So a pertinent question is, how do you check the frame for rust if you can't see it?
With the belly pan intact (and I'm told it is), how can you know?
- Climb on the rear bumper and jump up and down to get a feel for how "loose" the frame is.

- take along a cordless drill, some pop rivets and a flash light. You should be able to remove a few Alum rivets and pull down a small part of the pan in the rear. The last 4-8ft is the most likely area to be badly rusted. You can replace the rivets when you are done.

From the looks of the pictures... I'll lower my earlier max price to $2200.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:01 PM   #62
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Thanks for your help and candor, Steve.

It's tough on me because it seems that trailers in Texas are going for more than the national average, but Texas trailers are the only ones that I can realistically go and actually look at myself.

-Marcus
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:28 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
So a pertinent question is, how do you check the frame for rust if you can't see it? This unit is in a coastal town right now, though I have no idea how much time it has spent there over its lifetime.

With the belly pan intact (and I'm told it is), how can you know?
one way to know is to assume that there is rust and plan on addressing it accordingly. you're gonna want to remove the belly pan anyway to clean out all the mouse tirds. i'm also sure you're going to have some sort of floor rot somewhere in the trailer.

i'd say no more than $3000 on the max price, preferably less.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:02 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanfood
one way to know is to assume that there is rust and plan on addressing it accordingly. you're gonna want to remove the belly pan anyway to clean out all the mouse tirds. i'm also sure you're going to have some sort of floor rot somewhere in the trailer.

i'd say no more than $3000 on the max price, preferably less.
Thanks David, from the many stories I've read on the forums, I know this advice is sound. There's no doubt that it's going to have some rust and some leaks and likely some floor rot. As a buyer I'd always like to minimize my risk exposure, but who's to say that if I pass on this one, the next one won't have the same issues, or worse...
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:30 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
but who's to say that if I pass on this one, the next one won't have the same issues, or worse...
That works both ways... if you don't pass on this one, then next one will be perfect. LOL!

IMO, the less a trailer looks "messed with" the more likely that it will be in good condition. Good repairs are not as obvious as the bad ones.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:36 PM   #66
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Look at the classifieds here on forums. A pretty nice looking 65 24ft Tradewind posted yesterday. Another nice looking older one too..
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:47 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Airboss
Look at the classifieds here on forums. A pretty nice looking 65 24ft Tradewind posted yesterday. Another nice looking older one too..
That's a great looking Tradwind for sure. I love the HONDURAN MAHOGANY.(Right Frank? )

Two unfortunate things about it though--it's in NY so I'd be looking at something like $800-$900 in gas as well as a week-long trip to get it, or $1100 - $1500 to ship it. And I just don't have a week to take away from my wife and 7-month-old right now.

And, I really love the design features and styling cues in the early 60s models, like the jalousie windows and the door-within-a-door. The '65 doesn't have those features.

But believe me, I've definitely been checking the Forum classifieds religiously for the past several months, as well as ebay, every craigslist in an 800-mile radius, and the local fishwrap's classifieds. So far, I've been outbid or out-hustled on every unit I've had my eye on.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:51 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner
That works both ways... if you don't pass on this one, then next one will be perfect. LOL!
No doubt, Murphy's Law right?

Quote:
IMO, the less a trailer looks "messed with" the more likely that it will be in good condition. Good repairs are not as obvious as the bad ones.
That certainly makes sense. The interior of this one has most definitely been "messed with" extensively. I can understand why I'm receiving such sincere warnings from all of the veteran vintage owners.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:07 PM   #69
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Yes I saw that on your post about a older rig.. My Bro in Law had a 66 24 Ft T.W. what a nice unit it was...
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:26 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Airboss
Yes I saw that on your post about a older rig.. My Bro in Law had a 66 24 Ft T.W. what a nice unit it was...
There's a lot I like about the TW. I should probably consider extending my search to both TWs and O'landers in those years.

But for some reason I just REALLY love the aesthetics of the O'lander in this particular vintage, something about the window spacing I think. And I also like the extra room-- my intent is that someday my Airstream will serve double duty, both as a camper for me and my family, and as a guest house on our property.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:29 PM   #71
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I'm going to percolate on this one for a bit. I can't do anything about it until the weekend anyway, I have too many meetings this week to be able to take any time off from work to follow up on it.

Many thanks to all of you for sharing your insights, and please keep them coming. You all have wisdom that can only come from experience, and I appreciate and value your input.

-Marcus
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:56 AM   #72
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FYI,

HERE is a nice '66 Overlander in Nashville. That's 13 hours from you. Find a friend to share the driving and you can do it on a long Saturday.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:57 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
There's a lot I like about the TW. I should probably consider extending my search to both TWs and O'landers in those years.

But for some reason I just REALLY love the aesthetics of the O'lander in this particular vintage, something about the window spacing I think. And I also like the extra room-- my intent is that someday my Airstream will serve double duty, both as a camper for me and my family, and as a guest house on our property.
That's because Overlanders rock... not to long, not too short. The door with in a door, that's a good enough reason for me.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:16 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
There's a lot I like about the TW. I should probably consider extending my search to both TWs and O'landers in those years.

But for some reason I just REALLY love the aesthetics of the O'lander in this particular vintage, something about the window spacing I think. And I also like the extra room-- my intent is that someday my Airstream will serve double duty, both as a camper for me and my family, and as a guest house on our property.
I am with you on the Overlander, especially the 1963. I own a 1963 Double, you have seen my thread on the restoration according to an earlier post. It's size is just about perfect for travel, and a small family will be very comfortable in it.
The layout of the twin is slightly different. The entire floor plan is moved forward a foot or so, to make room for tall closets at the foot ( or head) of each bed. Th distance from the galley window to the double front room windows is smaller, the galley is moved forward a foot or so. The curbside window in the bedroom is larger than mine. There is one foot less space in the front room due to the tall closets in the bedroom/bath area.
This is not bad, just different from mine.
A very nice feature of most 1963's are the very clean and accurate rivet lines. This is visible in your pictures of the Overlander with the two prices...the front and rear curved segments are connected by rivet lines that form the window skins. In essence, there are continuous rivet lines running all the way around the trailer. This makes the 63's look so clean from the outside. In my opinion, that's a bonus for a vintage unit in which you invest lots of money.
These Overlanders tend to be light on the tongue, which works against weight distribution and sway controls that rely on tongue weight. I am in the process of relocating my batteries to under the dinette, and adding a spare tire to the tongue. Not trying to add weight, just relocating. That should give me in 12-15% tongue weight, relative to the trailer weight. A thing to consider when you're building stuff... It tows great, but the much praised Reese Dual Cam HP doesn't work very welll on this trailer, for some reason.
I also own a 1958 Flying Cloud, and am picking up a 1963 Globetrotter that I just bought. I agree that 1963 is a great year for Airstream.

My take on the original "mahagony" interiors is a little harsh, though. The ones that I have seen that were original were merely routed plywood with hardware attached. I am not particularly fond of the finishing quality of the early " real wood" interiors. A carpentry hobbyist can do severely better than that, without any weight penalty.

A word of caution on the belly pan wrap...mine was truly wrapped, making a shell on restoration very difficult. What this means is that the belly pan material is brought up and over the c-channel, then wrapped back down into the c-channel and riveted with the shell overlapping the outside. Replacing the belly pan sections would be difficult, at least if one wants to do a clean job and not just slide the new metal under the skin.

On another note...having seen and worked on many Airstreams in various stages of repair ( or should we say disrepair) I do believe that the quality of the frame, ribs and shell is vastly improved in the 70's. The rib material is of a better quality, thicker and better formed. Frames are often rectangular tubing as opposed to c-shaped, and I personally do like the window and access hatch quality of the early 70's. The trailers don't look as pretty, but I must say that my 71 Tradewind was an excellent camper.
Neither the 58, nor the 63 could reach the quality and strength of my 1971.

Having said that, the feel and vibe of the earlier trailers is much different. I truly feel at home in the 63 Overlander, actually more relaxed and better rested than at home even while traveling long distances. Something about the rounder shape of the shell, and the fragility of the windows and doors that makes it all special, I guess. A well preserved or well restored example reminds me of a jewelry box, in some ways. Seing the front of it in the rear view mirrors makes me smile, every time.

In any event, I wish you much luck in whatever Airstream you end up with. I send you a huge wave of positive vibes...
If indeed you're going for the early 60's/late 50's era, be prepared to invest time and money, and be sure to have plenty of both. The promise of the sellers means nothing. ( in most cases) I am yet to see one that didn't need at least a partial floor replacement, appliance replacement, or just general maintenance on a grand scale. 20k spend very quickly, and then you're not done with it either. Vintage is fantastic, but fantastic vintage is very pricey. My 1963 Overlander gobbled up $ 20k in materials faster than I would have ever believed. And yes, it is nice now, but not really finished yet...

Uwe
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:42 AM   #75
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And that is why Uwe is so respected.... I too smile every time I look in the mirror.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:48 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Area63
I am with you on the Overlander, especially the 1963. I own a 1963 Double, you have seen my thread on the restoration according to an earlier post. It's size is just about perfect for travel, and a small family will be very comfortable in it.
The layout of the twin is slightly different. The entire floor plan is moved forward a foot or so, to make room for tall closets at the foot ( or head) of each bed. Th distance from the galley window to the double front room windows is smaller, the galley is moved forward a foot or so. The curbside window in the bedroom is larger than mine. There is one foot less space in the front room due to the tall closets in the bedroom/bath area.
This is not bad, just different from mine.
A very nice feature of most 1963's are the very clean and accurate rivet lines. This is visible in your pictures of the Overlander with the two prices...the front and rear curved segments are connected by rivet lines that form the window skins. In essence, there are continuous rivet lines running all the way around the trailer. This makes the 63's look so clean from the outside. In my opinion, that's a bonus for a vintage unit in which you invest lots of money.
These Overlanders tend to be light on the tongue, which works against weight distribution and sway controls that rely on tongue weight. I am in the process of relocating my batteries to under the dinette, and adding a spare tire to the tongue. Not trying to add weight, just relocating. That should give me in 12-15% tongue weight, relative to the trailer weight. A thing to consider when you're building stuff... It tows great, but the much praised Reese Dual Cam HP doesn't work very welll on this trailer, for some reason.
I also own a 1958 Flying Cloud, and am picking up a 1963 Globetrotter that I just bought. I agree that 1963 is a great year for Airstream.

My take on the original "mahagony" interiors is a little harsh, though. The ones that I have seen that were original were merely routed plywood with hardware attached. I am not particularly fond of the finishing quality of the early " real wood" interiors. A carpentry hobbyist can do severely better than that, without any weight penalty.

A word of caution on the belly pan wrap...mine was truly wrapped, making a shell on restoration very difficult. What this means is that the belly pan material is brought up and over the c-channel, then wrapped back down into the c-channel and riveted with the shell overlapping the outside. Replacing the belly pan sections would be difficult, at least if one wants to do a clean job and not just slide the new metal under the skin.

On another note...having seen and worked on many Airstreams in various stages of repair ( or should we say disrepair) I do believe that the quality of the frame, ribs and shell is vastly improved in the 70's. The rib material is of a better quality, thicker and better formed. Frames are often rectangular tubing as opposed to c-shaped, and I personally do like the window and access hatch quality of the early 70's. The trailers don't look as pretty, but I must say that my 71 Tradewind was an excellent camper.
Neither the 58, nor the 63 could reach the quality and strength of my 1971.

Having said that, the feel and vibe of the earlier trailers is much different. I truly feel at home in the 63 Overlander, actually more relaxed and better rested than at home even while traveling long distances. Something about the rounder shape of the shell, and the fragility of the windows and doors that makes it all special, I guess. A well preserved or well restored example reminds me of a jewelry box, in some ways. Seing the front of it in the rear view mirrors makes me smile, every time.

In any event, I wish you much luck in whatever Airstream you end up with. I send you a huge wave of positive vibes...
If indeed you're going for the early 60's/late 50's era, be prepared to invest time and money, and be sure to have plenty of both. The promise of the sellers means nothing. ( in most cases) I am yet to see one that didn't need at least a partial floor replacement, appliance replacement, or just general maintenance on a grand scale. 20k spend very quickly, and then you're not done with it either. Vintage is fantastic, but fantastic vintage is very pricey. My 1963 Overlander gobbled up $ 20k in materials faster than I would have ever believed. And yes, it is nice now, but not really finished yet...

Uwe
Thanks for the thoughts and advice, Uwe. Yours on the '63 O'lander was the very first resto/reno thread I stumbled across here, and it has served as quite an inspiration for me. I absolutely love the work you've done, and completely understand how it has taken so much time and money to do it. I really do appreciate all of the advice and words of support.

And I agree on the rivet lines on the '63, I love how it flows from the body into the endcaps. That's one of the first things I noticed on yours in your thread, and after you polished it stood out even more. Just beautiful.


-Marcus
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:53 AM   #77
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That's because Overlanders rock... not to long, not too short. The door with in a door, that's a good enough reason for me.
Amen, brother!
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:55 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by byamcaravanner
FYI,

HERE is a nice '66 Overlander in Nashville. That's 13 hours from you. Find a friend to share the driving and you can do it on a long Saturday.
Hey Steve, you wanna fly down to Austin and drive out to Tennessee with me this weekend? None of my "normal" friends understand my newfound Airstream obsession...

The good news about a trip to Nashville from Austin is that there are a lot of great BBQ joints in between here and there. I can already taste the ribs in Memphis...

-Marcus
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:59 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94
Hey Steve, you wanna fly down to Austin and drive out to Tennessee with me this weekend? None of my "normal" friends understand my newfound Airstream obsession...

The good news about a trip to Nashville from Austin is that there are a lot of great BBQ joints in between here and there. I can already taste the ribs in Memphis...

-Marcus
I'll go... any excuse for BBQ.... Will my ticket be waiting at the SW desk? If you haven't noticed, I loves me some BBQ
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:57 AM   #80
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I'll go... any excuse for BBQ.... Will my ticket be waiting at the SW desk? If you haven't noticed, I loves me some BBQ
For Mother's Day, I've invited my wife's folks and my folks over to the house for dinner. I'll be smoking a brisket all day on Sunday, and probably some ribs, sausage, pork tenderloins, and maybe a couple of chickens too. I'll take some pictures and post them up on an OT thread. I might not be able to contribute pictures of Airstream renovations to this forum, but I'm always happy to share my BBQing with folks.
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