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Old 02-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 85
It's all mine now!!

OK, so what have I gotten my self into?
I'm the apprehensive owner of a 1959 Dual Axle Overlander.
The floor is shot, I've got 6 (2 spares) of the oldest tires I've ever seen and a great shell.
I'm hoping not to have to take the shell off but I guess I'll see what happens as the floor comes up.
I clearly need a new astro vent and a couple fantastivc vents. A plumbing system, electrical system and a lp gas system.
I'm torn between restoring it to original or "customizing" it to something more desireable to me. If I customize it, I'll have a lot of original stuff for sale.
Pictures if I can figure it out!
Can anyone tell me if the door hinges are original?

Thanks in advance for the help, I've learned a lot already!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
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1971 25' Tradewind
1965 26' Overlander
Ferndale , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Looks good!! Your trailer and I have the same birth year!
I would do a new interior design....based on the new Airstream "Riva" concept.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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1968 24' Tradewind
Rural, blink and you'll miss it , Missouri
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Welcome! Looks like a good project! I say make it to suit yourself! Enjoy~(and post lots of pics please...)
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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2006 25' Safari
St. Augustine , Florida
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Cool! I like the appliances. I hope they work. I would refurb unless you have a special need but hey, as you said, it's all yours now! Is the warranty transferrable?
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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1955 22' Safari
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Great Lake State , .
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Highly recommend shell off restoration, new floor, wiring, axle’s, tanks, gas lines, etc, etc......being in Brighton,Mi. "Tin Can Tourist" in Milford, Michigan have there spring rally in May.

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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San Diego , California
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Depending on how much money you have and what your end use will be, I wouldn't overlook cleaning up what you have and using her as-is. My suggestion is that you might be amazed at how well she works with new flooring and new sheets. But to each their own! Whatever you choose, she's a beauty.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:56 PM   #8
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2012
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She isn't going anywhere "as is". Tomorrow is about picking up supplies, Sunday is about getting it as stripped as possible. I removed the subfloor in front of the kitchen today. It wasn't original and very poorly done. Many of the rivets holding the belly pan on are pulled out. I need to get a respirator as it is tough to work in there right now. I also am assuming that the floor tiles are atleast suspect of having asbestos.
Can I assume that to properly replace the sub floor, I have to atleast remove the belly pan and the lower interior wall?
What is the benefit to removing the shell?
Will a trailer this old have fiberglass insulation in the walls? If so, can I replace the upper wall without removing the entire interior wall?
I've seen threads where the interior walls are being stripped. Is this just to repaint?
I think I'll leave it at that for now, I have too many questions to really organize them right now.

Thanks!
Dan
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
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Dan,

You might want to go purchase/check out "Airstream Custom Interiors" 2010 ISB-978-0-7643-3539-6, by David Winick. You can get this probably on line at Amazon or ABE books, if not at your local library.

Dave does a few complete tear downs that many folks do out there, but does with the Airstream Company trying to keep it all original and at the same time design the new models. You'll not only get the visual, but almost the step by step of what he could salvage, or fabricate to update but also attempt to keep it original.

will it be the same as your 59 Overlander, probably not, but at least it will give you some idea from 1948 Wee Wind, 1957 18-Footer, 1968 Caravel, to the 75th Anniversary LE Bambi. All smaller trailers, but Airstream with a long history.

Good luck, as you have a gem and you don't want to do something that you wish you had not done. It takes time, so take your time as it will eventually get to where you want it to be and it will meet your plans for down the road.

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
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2010 28' Flying Cloud
Lower Alabama , USA
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Dan, congratulations and this one looks like great fun to restore. If you have the space, I am betting you do a shell off to make sure frame and floor are in good shape before you put the effort in the rest.

Keep those photos coming so we can enjoy your progress.
All the best,
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:40 AM   #11
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Wildwood , Florida
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Great trailer!!!
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #12
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1991 34' Excella
1963 26' Overlander
1961 26' Overlander
Central , Mississippi
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That is a nice shell. We are just now getting close to the rebuild on our '63 so I know where you are!
I did a shell off and would do the same again. It makes the belly and floor very easy to get done properly.

Keep us posted with lots of photos!

On Edit: yeah, those door hinges look to be correct.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #13
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 85
Thanks all
Sl4bltt, I ordered the book,
Hiho, just found your thread. I've been doing most of my research in the 50's so I was slow to find yours. Reall like your work.

2 questions
Has anyone done a mid bath remodel? I think I want to but the wheel wells keep getting in the way.
Are the inner, upper ends fiberglass?
Thanks.
Dan
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:30 PM   #14
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
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Posts: 270
Dan,
I just received another book by Tim Shephard "restoring a Dream" from Amazon today. After going through all the ones I have collected which down the road, will be part of the mobile library, I came across this one and ordered it. The price is decent and Mr. Shephard breaks this into nine (9) chapters from "falling for Airstream", choosing vintage, Inspections, and the big one "restoration that has 17 sub categories with some great shots. I think it was only $16.99 and I had it in two days. It has a January 2013 pub date ISBN-978-1480280571 and this also can be purchased as a kindle version. Real great source of information.
Another addition for a library when you sitting at the camp ground and no one bothers you because of your Airstream and aluminum is like a magnet, it attracts, is Airstream Life. I bought most of the back issues last year as we have been airstreaming for 19 years and Rich really brings the community together on repairs, history, and events that we can't afford because we've dumped the $10K into the Airstream that year. He really does a great job with his team and you can go over and over those many magazines and really enjoy the adventure that others have made and learn the what not to do or the to do based on those adventures.

Again good luck and take your time as the cost is the same.

Best of Luck,
SL4BLLT
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:44 AM   #15
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 85
SL4BlTT,
Already read the Shepherd book, Kindle download, I think the day it came out. Just got the Winick book,everyone fell in love with the 75 aniv. layout, so thats probably the baseline. Going to a camper show tomorrow to see whats being done currently. continuing to remove the old interiior and plan the new one. Ordered torsion axles from NY, bought 27 sheets of alluminum off craigslist, briefed my welder, etc. Now if only it would stop snowing!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:21 PM   #16
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
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Dan,
Glad that the references are helpful. I like they layout of the Shephard book as it provides great insight for anyone looking to buy an Airstream saving a few of those "Duhhh" moments. I will use it for sure if I start looking for another one to rebuild, even having owned one for almost 19 years. We've used the heck out of our airstream almost all of those years and have done lots of upgrades. I know there are things I did right and things I did wrong, I've just forgotten which is which.
I think the comeback of the Bambi, 75th anniversary style to include the LED's and moderns systems inspired lots of folks to look at rebuilding and upgrading older models. Allot of great systems within that limited space.

That's quite the collection of aluminum you have coming. Sounds, like it will be complete rebuild. Sounds like your welder will be having a great time.

Sorry to hear about the snow as it does limit progress. The downside of not living is the warm south as we're cold here as well at 20 in the morning to 55 degrees in the afternoon in the Sandhills of NC. Even here, you have to winterize as the copper pipes are very difficult to get to if they break. We do have a few nights of freezing temps that can incur some costly repairs if you want to risk it. I'd rather use that $500 repair for something else.

Good luck with that new Overland and keep us posted on your rebuild with pictures.

SL4BLLT
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:44 PM   #17
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1957 26' Overlander
Winston Salem , North Carolina
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Congrats on your new baby!! Can't wait to see your progress with the remodel. Gorgeous AS.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #18
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1959 24' Tradewind
Quantico , Virginia
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Congrats. Looks like a great trailer to fix up. My wife and I got a '59 Tradewind in November and have been slugging away on it since. We try to maintain a blog in order to help out others facing a vintage airstream for the first time. rivoting: an airstream story enjoy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:07 PM   #19
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1958 26' Overlander
Portland , Oregon
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Welcome to the multi-dimensional world of 50's restoration! May your journey be rewarding.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:31 PM   #20
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1959 26' Overlander
Brighton , Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 85
Well, It's been a busy week. I got the trailer stripped to the commode, tub and bathroom sink. Need to figure out how the tub and toilet come out the easiest. Need to get my fridge into storage as well. Wow is that thing heavy!
Also, ordered axles from Colin, going with new torsions per his and everyone elses advice. Talked to the welder, let him know I was on a new project and to expect the axles. Found an add on craigslist for 27 .25 5052 sheets about two hours away. Guy bailed out of a project and I grabbed a bunch of stuff! aluminum, shears, 2 fantastic vents, pressure regulator, water pump, umbilical cord, etc. A huge score for me!
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