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Old 12-19-2010, 07:17 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1962 26' Overlander
Kissimmee , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7
Restoring our '62 Overlander.

Just bought our first Airstream: '62 Overlander from Pompano, FL for $1500. I am going to try to rip some of the rotten plywood out of the floor and see what needs to be done to get a solid floor on her. Pics of her soon to follow!
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:31 AM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,741

Sounds like you have a good trailer. I have a 1960 and I am waiting for my wife to get ready and we are going to hit the stores today for the trailer . The only rot I found was by the front door. I used marine epoxy, and figerglass to fix that spot. I took all the linoleum up (what a pain), but was not able to get all the black cut back tar off. I sanded the floor. I am staining the floor. laying tar paper and insulation for an engineered wood floor. I will put the engineered floor down this week by stapeling it with 1 3/8" staples. I am going lay my speaker wires under the floor so they will stay hidden. Weather has been aweful here lately and we have a break today. Two weeks off and I plan on hitting the project everyday.

Can't wait to see your pics.

Brian & Adrienne
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,523
I am on that 60's train too. Just got the flooring in my 66 after redoing the soft spots I found. Also near the door, and one under the tub where the bathroom vent pipe comes in.
Be sure to seal the outside seams all around before you mess with the flooring or it will still be leaking.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1968 26' Overlander
Lost Angeles , California
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 17
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I have a 68 that has two layers of plywood... apparently the previous owners thought the best way to fix the rotten floor was to cover it up and hope for the best! It should work for a little while but someday down the line somebody will be tearing it out.
All I need is a some solar panels, and a place to park outside the smog of LA.

1968 Airstream Overlander
1975 Airstream Sovereign
TV = 1997 Ford F250HD Powerstroke
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:26 AM   #5
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1962 26' Overlander
Kissimmee , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7
That's great advice guys! Thanks! I was going to try to refrain From taking the tub out, but the floor is soft in the back by the bathroom. I might as well do it right. How hard was the tub extraction? Anyone know where to get a good copy of the floor supports and maybe the tank layout?
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:42 AM   #6
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1962 26' Overlander
Kissimmee , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7
Here are some before pics!
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:57 AM   #7
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,640
Ha! You just couldn't resist doing some polishing could you? I know the feeiling...

Welcome to the board and congrats on your new Airstream. I have a 63 Overlander that is very similar to yours. I've been restoring mine for the past two years, I'm done with the back half and will begin the front half next year. I have a few recommendations for you if you like.

1) If the floor in the back is soft, it's most likely quite rotten, especially around the tub drain and the perimeter (where rain water leaks in from the outside, and slides down the walls, rotting it out at the j-channel that ties the aluminum side panels to the plywood floor). This is extremely common in trailers of your vintage and length. Further, it is quite possible that the steel frame members underneath are rotten as well. I had to cut out and replace the back three cross-members because they had rusted out so badly. Luckily my main frame rails were in decent condition.

2) There are many people who have done what you're about to do, this forum is chock-full of information. Forum member 62overlander aka Frank Yensan has a 62 Overlander in Baltimore, and has documented his renovations here: Anna Lumanum (like most blogs it's in chronological order so read from the back to front).

Another Forum member, Uwe, has one of the most famous threads on this forum where he documented the renovation of his 63 Overlander, you can read it here: .

And if you're interested, I've documented all of my work on my own 63 Ovwerlander in the blog and thread links below in my signature.

All of those threads/blogs are pretty lengthy, but they have a ton of information and ideas. Also, they have a lot of pictures of what your trailer would look like with the skins out and the floor out, so you can get a good idea of what you're up against.

Good luck and keep us updated on your progress!

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Old 12-20-2010, 07:05 AM   #8
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1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,640
Oh, one other thing, tub extraction isn't that hard. The toughest part is probably removing the drain, if yours is original then it should be a male threaded insert from the top, that goes into a female threaded cast piece from below. If the insert won't rotate using a drain wrench (has an X that fits the cross-pieces in the drain insert, can be found at hardware or big box stores), then there are a couple of things you can try. Mine had a lot of silicone caulk holding it in, that didn't serve at all to stop the leaks, but did make it impossible to break the drain free. I had to remove every bit of that silicone first.

Then, if it still isn't moving, hit it with a heat gun for a while and see if that will help (be careful to keep the heat on the metal and don't melt or burn your tub). Unfortunately, you might need access to the bottom cast piece in order to get enough torque to turn it, which means removing or pulling down the bellypan in that area. Mine was already in tatters and I knew I was going to replace the whole plywood subfloor anyway, so I just cut away the bellypan to access it.

Other than that drain piece, there are rivets and screws holding the tub in around the perimeter, and once those are removed, it should come out.

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:16 PM   #9
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1962 26' Overlander
Kissimmee , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 7
SO, It’s been a while, and a lot has changed since I was on here last or worked on the airstream (lost a lot of free time). I have gutted starting my way from the front to the sink on the port side, and past the refrigerator on the starboard side down to the steel beams gutted (not much, I know). The refrigerator and furnace are still there, just set aside, not likely to work as they sit, but unsure. I'm still trying to figure out how much work time and money I want to invest compared to how nice and functional I want it to be. I’m having a hard time figuring out the cost, and don’t want to strip everything out if I can't afford to put working stuff back in. My initial goal was to gut everything rotten and work around what's still good. I think the plywood subfloor is bad everywhere, with the exception of a few places which would be worth replacing anyway (one source of my dilemma). From the sink back to the toilet on the port side, everything above the subfloor is in great usable condition, but I don’t know if it’s possible to salvage those cabinets, sink and stove, drawers, toilet, etc. or if it’s even worth it. Most of the wood grain is so beautiful! Any ideas on disassembling and reassembling without damaging the cabinetry, or even leaving intact while replacing the subfloor? (I have very limited weatherproof storage space on my property)
I will start coming back to my thread more often, as this project is burning a hole in my ego, and would like to make some solid ground. I am more or less afraid to make a mistake, take something out or destroy something that would be worth a lot to someone else who wants to keep theirs original.
Please let me know what the most valuable parts are to the airstream community, so who ever might need them can have the opportunity to buy them. This will help in weighing what should stay, what should go, and what needs to be replaced or fixed.
I notice new toilets in most redone airstreams, what prompts the replacement? Do you guys recommend fixing the furnace, fridge, water heater, etc. or having them replaced with newer models? Any good sources for either?
Another thing I’m really hesitant about is the fresh water, water heater, and sewage systems... not to mention the propane gas system.
Stay tuned to the 'things I’ve found while renovating' thread, I have some cool things to post there, but have to find the pictures. (and to think I barely have anything out of it yet!)

Bottom line: I haven’t gotten anything substantial done to the airstream. I am getting so far ahead of myself, nothing is getting done. I also don't know whats valuable on the airstream market, to demo accordingly. Any help, words or advice, or wisdom is GREATLY appreciated. Thanks for all the support. This is by far the coolest forum I have been a part of. Thanks again.
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